Food & Drink

Check Out These Seattle Restaurants & Bars to Make the Most of Your Summer 2023 Staycation

August 8, 2023
More from Our Summer Guide
Paddle through Portage Bay with a kayak rental from Agua Verde Paddle Club, then refuel with Baja-style Mexican food and margaritas at Agua Verde Cafe. (Agua Verde Cafe)
If a trip to somewhere warm and beachy simply isn't in the cards for you right now, don't discount the power of the staycation. These local restaurants and bars will make you feel transported—minus the hassle and cost of airfare. Read on for details on local spots that should be on your bucket list if they're not already, and find even more options in our list of patios to check out and our food and drink guide.

Agua Verde Cafe and Agua Verde Paddle Club List
Agua Verde Cafe, a colorful Baja-style Mexican spot with a patio, bar, and cantina overlooking Portage Bay, feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A cocktail menu from the team behind Rumba List adds to the tropical feel, while food options range from quesabirria to rockfish tacos. Not only that, but you can conveniently rent a kayak or paddleboard from the adjacent Agua Verde Paddle Club to complete the experience.
University District
Pickup, dine-in

Bongo’s Cafe
This perpetually underrated spot in Phinney offers super-solid Caribbean and Cuban food (try the Desi sandwich) and a stretch of white sand with colorful patio furniture that The Stranger's Paul Constant likened to a "relaxing vacation."
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Little Water Cantina List
The collage of vintage postcards on the wall of this modern Mexican standby is enough to stoke your daydreams of faraway places. Better yet, the restaurant boasts a view of Lake Union's many marinas, with Gas Works Park in the distance, that you can gaze upon while you sit on the patio and eat ridiculously fresh guacamole alongside rotating summer food specials. You're going to want a fruit-shrub margarita, too.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Of this beachside restaurant started by a group of Renee Erickson alums, former Stranger writer Angela Garbes wrote, "Manolin feels like a beach vacation—not the cheesy kind with blended drinks and fresh towels, but the kind of oasis you might discover at the end of a bumpy ride down a dusty road, where you take up residence in a palapa and subsist on fresh fruit, seafood, and warm tequila for weeks." Don't skip the spot's famous rockfish ceviche.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Magnuson Cafe & Brewery
This cafe and brewery brought to you by Dexter Brewhouse and Mollusk Brewing boasts a spacious patio with an unrivaled view of Lake Washington.
Sand Point
Pickup, dine-in

Marination Ma Kai List
There's no better place to contemplate the Seattle skyline and pretend you're on an island getaway than the local Hawaiian-Korean franchise Marination's West Seattle outpost Ma Kai. The restaurant's beer garden patio offers a breathtaking view of Alki. Order some "aloha fries" (hand-cut twice-fried fries, kalua pork, mayo, kimchi sauce, furikake, and a sunny-side-up egg) and shaved ice.
West Seattle
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Navy Strength
If you're in the mood for some tropical tipples, this modern tiki bar serves an eclectic mix of libations just right for summer days. Stranger contributor Naomi Tomky writes, "It evokes a summer afternoon on a patio in 1958 more than the typical plastic and pupu platter tiki bar: elegant but fun, both tasteful and tasty."
Pickup, dine-in

Ray's Boathouse
The mind-boggling view at dockside restaurant Ray's Boathouse remains a Seattle classic.

Shaka Snacks List
This recently opened snack shop in the University District specializes in craveable Hawaiian-Korean fare like spam musubi, wagyu burgers, fried mochiko chicken, mac salad, and kimcheese tater tots. Eating any (or all) of the above on the beach sounds like an ideal way to spend a summer afternoon.
University District
Pickup, delivery

Perch beside a fire pit on one of the famous Adirondack chairs at this seafood-centric Mediterranean restaurant (which was purchased and renovated by Renee Erickson's restaurant group Sea Creatures in 2018) and admire the view of Lake Union. Former Stranger writer Bethany Jean Clement once wrote, "It is directly on the shore of north Lake Union, so there's an unbeatable view of the downtown skyline, looking like a distant dream of busyness across the sparkling water...It's so wonderful, you might pass out."
Pickup, dine-in

Report This

Please use this form to let us know about anything that violates our Terms of Use or is otherwise no good.
Thanks for helping us keep EverOut a nice place.

Please include links to specific policy violations if relevant.

Say something about this item. If you add it to multiple lists, the note will be added to all lists. You can always change it later!

Gotta catch 'em all?
Click below to be reminded about every instance of this event. (You can turn this off anytime of course.)
Remind Me