What Food is Seattle Known For? (Top 10 Iconic Foods)

Seattle, nestled in the Pacific Northwest, is famous for many things – its stunning natural beauty, vibrant music scene, and thriving tech industry. But one aspect of Seattle’s charm that often goes overlooked is its delectable cuisine.

From fresh seafood to mouthwatering pastries, Seattle offers a diverse culinary experience that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. In this article, we will explore 10 foods that Seattle is known for, each contributing to the city’s rich gastronomic heritage. Let’s dive in!

What Food is Seattle Known For?

Seattle is popularly known for its Pacific Salmon, Dungeness crab, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Geoduck Clams, Chowder, Teriyaki, Oysters, Coffee, Craft Beer, among others. Seattle’s diverse and vibrant food scene is a testament to its rich culinary heritage, which has been shaped by its location along the Pacific coast providing access to an abundance of fresh seafood.

Pacific Salmon

#10. Pacific Salmon

When you think of Seattle, one of the first foods that come to mind is Pacific salmon. The city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean provides access to some of the freshest salmon in the world. Whether you prefer it grilled, smoked, or pan-seared, Seattle’s salmon is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts.

Dungeness Crab

#9. Dungeness Crab

Another seafood delicacy that Seattle takes pride in is the Dungeness crab. Known for its sweet and tender meat, this crab is often used in dishes like crab cakes and chowder.

Dating back to the indigenous tribes of the region, crab has been an integral part of the local diet for centuries. Early settlers quickly embraced this delectable crustacean, and it soon became a staple in the city’s culinary heritage.

Seattle is blessed with an abundance of seafood restaurants, many of which specialize in Dungeness crab preparations. Places like Elliott’s Oyster House and The Crab Pot are renowned for their crab-centric menus. Be sure to try some during your visit.

Coffee Culture

#8. Coffee Culture

Seattle is synonymous with coffee, thanks in large part to the iconic Starbucks, which originated here. However, the city is home to a plethora of independent coffee shops and roasteries, offering a wide range of coffee blends and brewing methods.

Starbucks: The Global Coffee Phenomenon

Seattle is synonymous with coffee, and it all started with Starbucks. This global coffee giant was born in the city and continues to be a beloved part of Seattle’s coffee culture.

Local Roasteries: A Hidden Coffee Gem

While Starbucks is a household name, Seattle is also home to numerous local roasteries. These hidden gems offer a more intimate coffee experience, with expertly roasted beans that cater to every coffee connoisseur’s palate.

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

#7. Beecher's Handmade Cheese

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is a local gem known for its artisanal cheese varieties, including the famous Flagship Cheddar. Pairing Beecher’s Handmade Cheese with wine, charcuterie, or fresh bread is a gastronomic delight.

Knowledgeable staff can guide you to create the perfect cheese board or recommend wine pairings that complement their cheeses.

You can sample and purchase their delectable creations at Pike Place Market. Beecher’s isn’t just about cheese; it’s about creating unforgettable moments.

From special events to corporate gatherings, the cheese platters and catering options are a hit, adding a touch of sophistication to any occasion.

Geoduck Clams

#6. Geoduck Clams

For the adventurous eater, Seattle presents the opportunity to try geoduck clams. These large, burrowing clams are a Pacific Northwest specialty, known for their unique texture and flavor.

Try it raw in sushi or sautéed for a taste of something truly exceptional. You’ll find them served raw in sushi or sashimi.

As geoduck clam demand grows, so does the need for responsible harvesting practices. Sustainable harvesting methods are crucial to ensure the long-term viability of these clams in their natural habitat.

Seattle has implemented regulations to protect geoduck populations and their ecosystems to ensure a continuous supply of this delicacy.

Pike Place Chowder

#5. Pike Place Chowder

When you visit Pike Place Market, be sure to stop by Pike Place Chowder for a taste of their award-winning chowders. The chowder-making process at Pike Place Chowder is akin to conducting a symphony.

Various ingredients are harmoniously combined, resulting in a final product that is a true masterpiece of flavor. Their New England clam chowder and seafood bisque are particularly renowned.

The cozy ambiance of Pike Place Chowder adds to the overall dining experience. Whether you choose to sit indoors or enjoy your chowder with a view of the market’s bustling streets, you’re in for a treat.

Craft Beer

#4. Craft Beer

Microbreweries: Where Beer is an Art

Seattle’s craft beer culture is thriving, with microbreweries dotted throughout the city. These establishments focus on producing small batches of unique, flavorful beers that cater to a wide range of tastes.

IPA Dominance: Hop-Forward Brews

Seattle’s love for hops is evident in its dominance of India Pale Ales (IPAs). If you’re a fan of hoppy, aromatic beers, Seattle’s craft beer scene will not disappoint.


#3. Teriyaki

Seattle’s love for teriyaki cannot be overstated. The city has its unique take on this Japanese dish, featuring marinated grilled chicken or beef served over rice. It’s a quick and flavorful meal option that you’ll find at many local eateries.

One of the key reasons behind Teriyaki’s popularity in Seattle is its affordability. It offers a delicious meal option that doesn’t break the bank, making it a favorite among students, office workers, and families.

Seattle’s Teriyaki joints have evolved to offer a wide range of menu options. From Teriyaki bowls to Teriyaki sandwiches and even vegetarian versions, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

In our fast-paced lives, Teriyaki stands out as a quick and convenient meal choice. Whether you dine in, take out, or order delivery, you can enjoy this delectable dish with ease.

Dick’s Drive-In Burgers

#2. Dick's Drive-In Burgers

Last but not least, we can’t forget about Dick’s Drive-In Burgers, a Seattle institution since 1954. Their classic, no-frills burgers and milkshakes have won the hearts of locals and visitors alike.


#1. Oysters

Oyster lovers will be in paradise in Seattle. The city offers a fantastic selection of locally harvested oysters, often served fresh on the half-shell with a variety of creative toppings and accompaniments.

Seattle’s proximity to the Puget Sound ensures a steady supply of fresh oysters. Whether enjoyed raw or cooked, oysters are a delicacy that embodies the taste of the sea.


Seattle’s food culture is a delightful blend of tradition and innovation, offering a wide range of flavors and experiences for food enthusiasts.

So, whether you’re a seafood enthusiast, a coffee aficionado, or simply a lover of good food, Seattle has something to offer that will tantalize your taste buds – the city has something to satisfy every palate.

Also Read: Top 10 Traditional Tennessee Foods (Most Loved)

Scroll to Top