The Oyster Queen Speaks

Renee Erickson picks where to eat in Seattle this summer

There's no question that Seattle's food scene is booming. Between the fresh seafood and the growing affinity for all things local, you can't make it to the compost bin and back without hearing about a dozen new restaurants. "Seattle diners have become more curious and more willing to try new and creative foods," Renee Erickson, the James Beard-nominated chef and owner of local favorite The Walrus and the Carpenter, says.

The only downside? Cool temperatures and consistent rain drive Seattle's food scene indoors much of the year—except during the sunny months of July and August, when the clouds part and restaurants fling open any door, window or vestibule in sight. Here are Erickson's favorite places to do like Icarus and embrace the sun during the city's brief and glorious summer season.

Delancey and Essex

"Nestled on a sweet, quiet street in Ballard, these sister restaurants are located next door to one another—and within walking distance of my house! They're perfect for a meal at any time of day, with incredible pizzas, salads and cocktails. It should also be noted that Essex has the best wood-fired burger in the city."

The Fat Hen

"Across the street from Delancey and Essex, I love the French-inspired Fat Hen for breakfast, lunch and pastries. Their coffees and wines are also lovely, but the Benedicts are incredible."

Coyle's Bakeshop

"This is a new spot in Greenwood. Rachael [Coyle] might have the best chocolate cake in all of Seattle—not to mention knockout granola and pastries."

Spinasse

"I can't say enough good things about this spot. It has perfect pasta, an immaculate Piedmontese wine list and all around some of the best Northern Italian fare I've ever tasted."

Rain Shadow Meats

"Located in the Pioneer Square/Melrose Market area. Russell [Flint] has done an incredible job of changing the way Seattleites think about meat. His products are ethically sourced and perfectly butchered, then sold alongside delicious sandwiches, beer and wine. I love this place for an easy lunch in the summer."

Picnic

"Anson and Jenny [Klock] have made this Phinney Ridge spot a lovely place for lunch or a midday snack. What I love most are the soups or taking my niece, Maggie, for a charcuterie plate. And to be totally honest, I don't think I've ever gone without indulging in a glass of rosé. They've got an incredible wineshop with everything you need for a dinner party."