Seattle has better restaurants than London

After living in London for about five years, there are still restaurants in Seattle that we dream of.  The funny thing is I think I could move away from London someday and not miss one restaurant here.  Why is that?  What’s wrong with the London food scene such that I literally believe that Seattle has better food options that London?  For me, it comes down to the balance of several factors of the experience.  First, there is the food quality itself – how does it taste?  Second is the atmosphere of the restaurant – what’s the ambiance?  Third is the price – how expensive is the experience?  And fourth is the service – how attentive (but not intrusive) and conscientious are the servers?


It’s not any one factor that matters disproportionately – it’s the balance of these four factors that matter.  And this is where Seattle outscores London easily.  Can I find world class eating in London?  Of course and I’m sure there are more Michelin-starred restaurants in London than in Seattle.  But can I find that experience at the right price point, with the right attitude, and the right accessibility?  Nope.

I’ll back up my assertion with a carefully constructed list of the Seattle places I miss.  Here they are, in no particular order.

  • Wild Ginger – 7 flavor beef!
  • Kingfish Cafe – good and proper soul food
  • 5 Spot – theme of the week on Queen Anne
  • Lola – nom nom Greek in Beltown
  • Dahlia Lounge – good seafood, better coconut pie
  • Lark – foofoo tapas near Seattle U
  • Serious Pie – Tom Douglas does gourmet pizza – Beltown
  • Red Mill Burgers – best burger ever – Greenwood
  • Zoe – i heart branzino – Beltown
  • Crush – organic Madison
  • Tilth – organic Walingford
  • Sushi: Nishino’s / Shiro’s / Chiso / Kisaku
  • El Gaucho – steak and wine
  • Cafe Juanita – Eastside Italian
  • How to Cook a Wolf – foofoo tapas in Queen Anne
  • Elemental – truffled popcorn and drunkeness
  • El Camino – may I have a margarita with my pastel de tres leches?
  • 35th Street Bistro – fun in Fremont
  • Volterra – delicious Italian in Ballard
  • Stumbling Goat Bistro – Greenwood
  • La Carta de Oaxaca – Ballard and as close to Oaxacan food outside of Oaxaca