The 10 Best Restaurants In Madrona, Seattle

A 1944 Pullman bus taking passengers through Madrona in Seattle
A 1944 Pullman bus taking passengers through Madrona in Seattle | © Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Catrina Pang

While Seattle’s mostly residential Madrona neighborhood may not be known for having a plethora restaurants, it is still home to some excellent venues. From freshly baked goods to French steak frites to authentic Thai cuisine, Madrona residents and visitors needn’t go far to find a fantastic meal. Below, we guide you through our picks for the top restaurants in the neighborhood.

1. Bottlehouse

Bar, Cheesemonger, Wine Bar, Wine, Beer

An urban winery offering guests a tasting, pour, or bottle of its selected wines from around the Pacific Northwest, Bottlehouse not only allows visitors to take a bottle home or cork it to enjoy in house, it also features small plates, artisan cheeses, and cured meats handpicked by the resident Cheesemonger. The wine bar is cute and cozy, situated in an old home with a lovely outdoor patio area as well as tables inside. Upon entering, visitors see a blackboard listing all of the various wine flight options in addition to the menu, which features numerous delectable items including a delicious triple cream cheese plate served with crackers, fresh cherries, blueberries, and a fruity jam. They also offer excellent sandwiches, pickled fruits and vegetables, pork shank with polenta and vegetables, seasonal toast with prosciutto and figs, and duck confit rillette, just to name a few. The resident Cheesemonger even comes out on occasion to assist guests in picking out their food. The romantic ambiance and incredible service make Bottlehouse perfect for a date night or special occasion, though many neighborhood residents also love to stop by and relax after a long day at work.

2. Vendemmia

Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Mexican, Wine, Beer

Recently opened by accomplished chef Brian Clevenger, Vendemmia is an approachable Italian restaurant featuring refined simplicity through its service and food. Their green beans have a good balance of salt, oil, and char, the paccheri pasta comes with a generous topping of pork, simple and tender, with a non-tomato based sauce, and the black cod entree is perfectly flaky with crispy, salty skin, on top of potatoes and a creamy béchamel sauce. Their steaks are cooked to perfection, and their snap peas and crab are amazing, as well as the pasta with pork shank and beets with pear and goat cheese. The restaurant is cozy and clean, with seating for around 30 people, and it has a small bar area as well as a kitchen that is open to the restaurant, allowing guests to easily watch the chefs preparing the Italian cuisine. Many also like to opt for the set course dinner, a great deal on simple yet inventive and delicious dishes picked out by the chef. All of the ingredients in the dishes are fresh, and they use local sources whenever possible, with the menu changing frequently according to the availability of seasonal ingredients.

3. Hi Spot Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, American, Contemporary, Vegetarian, Coffee, Tea

Since 1978, Hi Spot Cafe has been a neighborhood institution, serving up five different freshly baked scones, buttermilk biscuits, cinnamon rolls, wheat bread, cookies, brownies, and granola every morning. Everything on their breakfast and lunch menus is made fresh, and they use local roaster Fonte coffee for all of their coffee beverages, with beans roasted and delivered fresh weekly. The café is located in a beautiful 1904 Victorian home, connected to a store front that housed the family business in those days. There is also a beautiful outdoor patio that can seat about 40 people, where the original family garden was located. The savory biscuits are heralded by many, as are the Green Eggs and Ham made with pesto, the Pacifica omelette with smoked salmon and capers, the Eggs ‘Bengal Benedict’ with curry sauce instead of hollandaise, and the Reuben. The cafe with all of the coffee and baked goods is at the front while the actual restaurant is upstairs, so when it gets crowded on weekend mornings and the wait is long, many customers like to sit in the café area with a coffee and a book until their table is ready.

4. Red Cow

Restaurant, French, Steakhouse

With a classic interior of crisp white walls complimented by black booths and slate tables, Red Cow is a proper French brasserie featuring housemade charcuterie, local shellfish, a full bar, and a robust offering of steak to choose from. One of many popular restaurants owned by the famous Ethan Stowell, Red Cow is a paradise for meat lovers. The charcuterie plate is a must to start with, which comes with slices of toasted baguette, mustard, and pickled vegetables. The rich creamy foie gras and the soft, light, whipped chicken liver mousse are favorite choices for the charcuterie. Patrons have found favorites in the tender Wagyu beef, perfectly seared Coulotte steak with horseradish sauce, Moules Frites, Ribeye with Béarnaise sauce, and filet mignon, as well as the roasted chicken and the trout. The steaks all come with amazing soft crunchy frites piled high with a tasty garlic aioli. The crisp haricot verts with shallots, herbs, and butter are also very popular, and burger lovers are huge fans of the Red Cow Burger with white cheddar, bacon, tomato, and caramelized sweet onion.

5. Bistro Turkuaz

Restaurant, Turkish, Greek, Asian, Middle Eastern

In a quaint, intimate little restaurant, Bisro Turkuaz transports you to another country with its home-cooked Turkish dishes, warm decorations, and Mediterranean music playing in the background. From its roots in Central Asia, Turkish cuisine became rich and varied, a reflection of the journey to Asia Minor and the great expanse of the Ottoman Empire. Thus, at Bistro Turkuaz, patrons are treated to a flavorful culinary tradition with elements of Greek, Persian, and Middle Eastern dishes. The restaurant gets its name from the story of a valuable Persian gem that was traded in the bazaars of Turkey in the 16th century and then sold to Europeans by Venetian merchants. The French mistakenly named the blue-green gem ‘turquoise,’ meaning Turkish. Bistro Turkuaz embodies the essence of Turkish cuisine, especially with the slow cooked lamb shank and vegetables dish, paired with a bottle of Kavaklidere Yakut, a red blend from Turkey that complements the lamb really well. The crisp, delicious chocolate baklava and Turkish coffee also make an excellent finish to a great meal. The owner is always happy to walk new customers through all of the dishes and recommend food and wine pairings.

6. Cafe Soleil

Cafe, Ethiopian, French, American, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian

For over 20 years, Cafe Soleil has been a local favorite for brunch in the Madrona area. Sitting on a corner, this little café has simple and stylish decor including smooth cement floors, huge windows, gauzy floor-length curtains, and little blue bottles with fresh flowers poking out adorning the tables. Its menu is far from the norm, with a pleasant jumble of American breakfasts, Ethiopian-inspired dinners, and assorted pasta entrees. Locals love stopping by on Sunday mornings for some Ethiopian French press coffee or mimosas with any of their perfectly cooked frittatas and crunchy toast with jam. The French toast, garlic and sundried tomato croissant, and the spinach, garlic, and goat cheese omelette are other favorite breakfast items. The seats fill up quickly at brunch because of the café’s popularity, so it’s best to get there early. At dinner time, the restaurant is less crowded, but its reinterpretations of classic Ethiopian dishes, including the swiss chard and eggplant, are excellent, especially paired with the fresh tomato and yogurt with injera and the delicious Ethiopian spicy tea.

7. Agelgil Ethiopian Restaurant

Restaurant, Ethiopian, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

With beautiful Ethiopian live piano music playing all night, Agelgil Ethiopian Restaurant transports its visitors to another world, full of delectable traditional Ethiopian dishes in an elegant atmosphere. Order the shiro and it comes out bubbling hot with a stuffed jalapeño pepper, the lamb tibs are very tender and nicely seasoned with Ethiopian spices, herbs, and butter, and the homemade vegan baklava with Ethiopian spiced tea make for the perfect dessert. The vegetable combo is also a popular choice, with seven different vegetable preparations, as is the Gomen Be Siga, a dish with collard greens and meat. The service is exceptional, they have great beers on tap in addition to Ethiopian bottles, everything is fresh, and all of the presentations are beautiful. Though it only recently opened, patrons have already fallen in love with the nuanced and varied spices and the unique flavor profiles of each of the dishes. The restaurant offers a variety of delicious vegetarian and gluten free dishes as well, and it is open everyday except Wednesday.

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