From the rustic and charming restaurants located at Issaquah’s outdoor boutique shopping center Gilman Village, to artsy and hip spots found on Historic Front Street (and more!), the hidden dining gems in Issaquah are abundant. In this post we’ll share our growing list of the best restaurants for dinner in Issaquah, listed in no particular order.
Most (if not all) of the spots are single location, locally owned, and noticeably pour their heart into what they do – from the fabulous menus to the spot-on service, we’re so excited to share these finds with you. At time of publishing, all of the restaurants on the list were offering outdoor dining options but as seasons change be sure to check with them first, if that is your seating preference. We’ll be continuing to grow this list as new restaurants pop up or come on our radar, so check back in the future for new favorite finds!
The Best Restaurants in Issaquah
For a quintessential Pacific Northwest dining experience, head straight to Fins Bistro. The highlight of their menu is the local seafood offerings, but they offer “turf” and vegetarian options as well. With fine-dining seafood favorites such as a crab cakes and king salmon, along with less common options such as the Chilean sea bass and a PNW paella, there are dishes to suit any Pacific Northwest palate. On our visit we tried both the rockfish and seared sea scallops, and would give both five stars.
If you’re as much of a sucker for a Farm to Table experience as we are, then a visit to The Well and Table will be worth every penny. Their menu features seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, along with a lovely offering of fine wines and cocktails.
The Well and Table is tucked away in the wooden storefronts that make up Gilman Village and has probably our favorite outdoor patio and ambience of any of the restaurants that made our list. We sampled several of their menu options and all were delicious, but if you happen to go when Halibut is on the menu, do not miss this fabulous dish!
Our research for this article was our first visit to local Asian-inspired seafood boil restaurant and raw oyster bar Kraw Bar, and our only regret is that we hadn’t made it here sooner. Their artisanal cocktails were some of our favorites, and they win in our book for most unique offering in town. Menu items like furikake fries, Japanese street corn, and fried cajun catfish bao buns are just a few of their most popular creative dishes they offer. The clams we enjoyed were divine, and we’ve added a visit for their signature seafood boil to our eating bucket list.
We’ve mentioned them before in our Best Sushi Restaurants on the Eastside article, and have come back time and again for the excellent sushi and ramen at Orenji Sushi & Noodles. We’d dare anyone to find a better bowl of ramen around, and would highly recommend taking home a jar of their signature house made chili oil. Their 4.5 star average on Yelp is hard-earned and well-deserved.
Not only does this unassuming gem deserve a shout out for their incredible food, but their service (in particular their dedication to making families feel welcome) deserves to be noted. The server wasn’t aware we were doing recon for our article, she just authentically went above and beyond to create a family friendly environment for us. From interacting with our daughter, to bringing “kid friendly” chopsticks and a special treat at the end of the meal, we are so grateful to have this amazing eatery in our own back yard!
If you’re in the mood for fresh, flavorful Mexican food, head down to Masa Mexican Kitchen + Cantina. Their creative twists on classic dishes and drinks, best-ever tortilla chips, and abundance of healthy options, makes Masa a crowd pleaser for families, vegetarians, and anyone really. And in case you’re in need of further convincing – they have some of the best scratch made margaritas in town. We tried one of their burritos and street tacos, and look forward to heading back for other signature dishes such as the corn soup, enchiladas, and camarones a la diabla. We’ll see you there 😉
Focused on locally sourced, scratch made food and cocktails, Levitate Gastropub offers modern American cuisine in a hip, family-friendly environment in the historic Downtown Issaquah area. We love their outdoor patio for family friendly dining, and hands down they have the best fish and chips in town.
Some of their other must-try dishes: blistered shishito peppers, the pretzel loaf (yes, loaf!), and anything on their “sandwiches” menu.
You’ll find Chinoise, a local Asian fusion restaurant serving up gourmet Pan-Pacific Rim cuisine, in the Issaquah Highlands area of town. Chinoise is owned by Chef Thoa Nguyen, winner of the popular Food Network cooking TV show “Beat Bobby Flay” – so you know it HAS to be good. With a huge menu of wok fare, noodle and rice entrees, sushi and other seafood specials, there is something for everyone at Chinoise. We loved their summer rolls and walnut shrimp – not overly sweet and not overly breaded, which is hard to find! We’d highly recommend trying some of the signature craft cocktails as well. The mango mojito and lychee martini were both incredibly delicious and fresh, as you can see by the whole lychee garnish in the photo.
Formula Brewing, Issaquah’s first brewery and beer garden, is the spot to be for any pizza and beer loving visitor to Issaquah. Their taps include an ever-rotating selection of “true to style” brews, and a friendly, relaxing setting for all ages. They offer a huge, open indoor and outdoor seating areas, and in addition to their beers (we’ve never tried one we didn’t like!) they offer some of the best wood fired pizzas we’ve ever had. With crusts that have a slight crunch on the bottom, but still a good bit of chew, our mouth is watering just thinking about our last visit!
Looking to leave the littles at home and head for a night out? The Black Duck Cask & Bottle offers an ages 21+ gastropub experience with 17 local taps, a rustic “open air garage” type restaurant and a gourmet twist on traditional pub fare. They’re located at the historic Gilman Village shopping center which makes for a fun place to wander and shop before your dinner.
We hope you enjoy sampling Issaquah’s awesome dining scene, and if you give some of these spots a try, be sure to let us know what you think! Own a restaurant you think should be on this list? Let’s get in touch.