September 7

Night Moves

Shift your dining focus to dinner in South Lake Union.

Amazon’s foothold in South Lake Union leaves the neighborhood abuzz during lunch hours. The need for quick, mostly healthful eats produces epic lines at spots like Evergreens Salad, mamnoon street, and the dozen or so food trucks that camp out in SLU. While most food trucks hit the road after the lunch rush dies down, many of the busy lunch spots (especially those at The Regrade) remain open for dinner. Dining in SLU after dark and on weekends not only means shorter lines and wait times, but affordable parking, too. Nine different garages offer 10-hour parking for just $2.45 after 5pm on weekdays and on weekends.

Newer restaurants have made the finding lunchtime grub a cinch, but don’t skip on SLU for dinner. Maine lobster tail with pancetta truffle gnocchi. Steak tasting flights. Miso marinated opah with baby bock choy. Those are just a few items that dot dinner menus at restaurants in the neighborhood. Look beyond lunch hour in SLU and you’ll find refined flavors, dinner experiences, and special occasion spots.

Below are seven picks for great dinners in South Lake Union.

The Butcher’s Table

Why go: Culinary chops—Proprietor Kurt Dammeier (Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Pasta and Company, etc.) and executive chef Morgan Mueller (former executive chef at San Francisco’s James Beard award-winning Jardiniere) team up to serve up U.S.-bred wagyu and more.

What to order: You can go big with a tomahawk ribeye or porterhouse, but butcher cuts like Coulotte and flatiron are flavor-packed and more affordable options.

Cinque Terre Ristorante

Why go: Freshly made pastas inspired by the Italian Riviera, house-made bread, extensive local sourcing.

What to order: Fettuccine con gamberi al limone (fettuccine, gulf prawns, lemon zest, crema, ikura, microgreens); or splurge on an order sustainable white sturgeon caviar.

Chandler’s Crabhouse

Why go: Lakeside dining, fresh seafood, and classic service.

What to order: Something from the seasonal crab menu; watch for Alaskan king, Alaskan bairdi, and live local Dungeness.

Maslow’s by Farestart

Why go: Farestart’s offshoot at Amazon serves elevated classic American shared meals. Eat well and give back.

What to order: Charred shishito peppers to start; Mad Hatcher fried chicken with candied bacon gravy to share.


Why go: killer cocktails and focused, Northwest cuisine.

What to order: duck confit with braised white beans, crispy Brussels sprouts, and passionfruit coulee.


Why go: Rooftop dining and fantastic Lake Union views.

What to order: Start with the “Pio Tosini,” a 16-month aged prosciutto di Parma with marinated nectarine; grilled daurade with avocado, sumac, labneh, and fenugreek.


Why go: The new kid on the block features Derek Bugge’s modern Latin flavors.

What to order: Vancouver Island king salmon with fregola sarda, pea tendrils, fiddlehead, and salsa verde (but don’t leave the restaurant without trying the octopus).

Story by Ethan Chung and Photographs by Alex Ellis and Courtesy of Chandler's Crab House and 2120.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle