Restaurants & Bars


Gather up your squad and head down to the market on Friday, March 23rd for a fabulous, fun event that brings together a diverse selection of over 70 local vendors to delight you with tastes of their delectable products. And their vendor list is still growing!

Arcade Lights is a wonderful opportunity to sample a selection of delicious drinks, foods and sweet treats, from a wide array of local, small-batch, and artisan vendors. Arcade Lights is always a great time and a wonderfully festive event, where you can enjoy something local and tasty, try something new and have a blast, under the Arcade Lights!

Year after year, Arcade Lights brings new comers and local favorites together to showcase their products and have you wanting more, and this year looks to be no exception. Where else will you find Elleno’s Greek Yogurt, Etta’s, Swede Hill Distilling, Fremont Brewing, Poquitos, Nutty Squirrel Gelato, Schilling Cider and many more local loves all at the same place? Only in Seattle, and only at Arcade Lights.  Be sure to check out a full list of vendors and brace yourself for taste bud nirvana!


2018 brings with it a couple new and exciting additions to Arcade Lights. Explore the brand new MarketFront expansion and be sure to check out the new and improved Night Market at Arcade Lights! On top of the already incredible 70+ artisanal food and drink vendors, some the Market’s own artisan crafters will be getting in on the fun! Night Market vendors will be there to show off their unique, hand-made goods and crafts, all available for sale. Come for the food and drinks, stay for the cool, locally made stuff!

This year’s event is sponsored by Seattle MetDRY Sparkling, DEI Creative, American Lamb and Edelman. As always, proceeds go to benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation which helps to maintain our beloved Pike Place Market and keep the community thriving.



Grab your tickets before they’re gone, and get ready for fun under the Arcade Lights!

Arcade Lights at Pike Place Market, 7:00 pm, Friday, March 23rd


General Admission – $75
Tickets include tastes of as many of the hand-crafted savory and sweet bites as your heart desires – while supplies last – and include five tokens for tastes of beer, cider, non-alcoholic drinks such as root beer and sodas and wine. Tasting glass included. Additional tokens will be available for purchase.

Premium Entry – $90
Limited Quantity Available! Premium Entry into Arcade Lights 30-minutes before the General Admission crowd takes over the Arcade! Includes 5 drink tokens, unlimited food, plus EARLY ENTRY at 6:30PM.

VIP with Early Entry – $150
VIP guests have exclusive access to the VIP Lounge on the *NEW* MarketFront, which includes seating, music, and sweeping views of Elliott Bay and the Seattle Skyline with exclusive food and beverage tastings from elite vendors. VIP Guests receive 5 drink tokens and unlimited food, and can enter the VIP Lounge at 6:00PM to begin celebrating before entering the Main Arcade at 6:30PM with Premium Entry. VIP guests can use the VIP Lounge at their luxury anytime throughout the night.

Arcade Lights is a 21 and over only event, so please plan accordingly.

For more information, visit the Pike Place Market website.

By Megan Hill

Though he honed his skills at highly respected Seattle sushi restaurants Shiro’s and Sushi Kappo Tamura, chef-owner Hiro Tawara’s new Belltown restaurant, Wa’z (411 Cedar St.), will not focus on his native Japan’s raw-fish-and-rice dishes. Instead, Tawara will serve the country’s elegant, seasonally shifting prix fixe meals known as kaiseki, a style on which Tawara built his career and has shared via Pike Place Market pop-ups since 2015. Wa’z is set to open in March.

Tawara started his career at Kyoto kaiseki restaurant Kyo-Yamato and worked at other kaiseki spots as well, so this opening marks a return to his roots after spending time in Seattle focused on sushi. Wa’z’s intimate framework couldn’t be more different than the Taco del Mar it replaces. The multi-course, artfully plated meals will be served in two formats: a “Premium Kaiseki” at the 16-seat chef’s counter only, featuring 8 to 10 courses priced at $100 to $110 with an option to add a sake pairing, and a scaled-down “Gozen” with three menu options priced at $50 each, served in the 16-seat dining room.

Hiro Tawara
 Courtesy of Wa’z

Tawara said that while his food will reflect his Kyoto training, he’ll adapt his cooking to work with local ingredients. Each dish will be punctuated with modern touches, as well as influences picked up from dining around Seattle — but it won’t be fusion.

“I can’t get the exact same ingredients here,” Tawara told Eater. “So I have to think about how to incorporate Northwest ingredients into my food, and still being traditional, not a fusion. I look to other styles of cuisine, such as European and other Asian cooking, to get inspiration on how to use ingredients in my food.”

Savvy Seattle diners, of course, may recall the elegance of high-end kaiseki from the city’s only other purveyor, now-defunct Naka, which chef-owner Shota Nakajima converted to more-casual Adana last year — to instant accolades, considering that the young chef is a semifinalist for this 2018’s James Beard Award for Rising Chef of the Year. Though he had to pivot for financial success, Nakajima hasn’t abandoned kaiseki, and currently runs quarterly dinners focused on the style for his devout followers.

When it opens, Wa’z will operate Wednesday through Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m.

Late June in 2017, the first expansion of Pike Place Market in 40 years, the MarketFront, opened. Producers Hall and the Pavilion that rises above it is one section of that complex. On a cool, overcast winter day here in Belltown, this is a look at this building:

The newer Producers Hall & Pavilion is just west of the original Pike Place Market (on right in photo). The yellow Joe Desimone Bridge connects the old & the new.   The north end of Producers Hall and the 2nd floor Pavilion that rises above it. In warmer, busier months, the upper Pavilion will provide additional space for farmers and craft vendors. It is partially enclosed at this time of year, with glass somewhat sheltering guests walking through from Elliott Bay winds.

Distinct market pig hoofprints imprinted in the sidewalk next to Producers Hall. Three businesses, at the far end of the block in this photo, now occupy the hall: Honest Biscuits, Old Stove Brewing, and Indi ChocolateLittle Fish restaurant will be arriving in the future, in a different section of the hall.
Above right: Indi Chocolate factory and store. Inside the east entry to Producers Hall.

Inside Producers Hall.  Honest Biscuits (left), Indi Chocolate (in far back at center) and Old Stove  Brewing (right) share an open floor plan which looks out over the waterfront. A quiet winter weekday.

The Pavilion on the 2nd floor above Producers Hall.  The left photo is looking south, the right photo is facing north.

All photos:  Alethea Myers

Popular Cutters crabcake with corn succotash

Situated just north of Pike Place Market in Belltown, you’ll find Cutters Crabhouse. This writer has regularly lunched at this restaurant with its incredible waterfront views for well over a year now. In this time, the food, view, and friendly, professional service provided have made this a consistently good experience and reason to return. Although seafood is featured on their menu, Cutters also has a great selection of other fare to choose from. Their fettucine, for example, isn’t a bland white sauce typically found in most eating places, but a mix of fresh spinach and tomatoes in white sauce, sprinkled with bread crumbs.

According to Brett Gardner Howell, Executive Chef, their most-requested dish is the crabcake with creamy corn succotash, made with both Alaskan and snowcrab meat. The crab sandwich is flavorful, mixed with artichokes, shaved onion, parmesan, cheddar, topped with a tomato. All of their food is from the Pacific Northwest, sourcing the next door market and fresh, local venues whenever possible. For example, their menu currently has local Beecher’s fried cheese curds as an appetizer and Mick’s Jelly, both sourced a block away, and excellent when served together. Cutters has a “Fresh Sheet” which changes every 2-3 months, in addition to their seasonal menu, and they always have a soup of the day.

Concerning those panoramic views: Cutters Crabhouse has expansive windows, looking south over Victor Steinbrueck Park to Pike Place Market, eastward spanning the Big Wheel, working waterfront, ferries as well as other boat traffic, and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains across Elliott Bay. Even on a cloudy winter day, it’s pleasant to eat here.

Beautiful view at Cutters Crabhouse, even on a cloudy day

They often partner with Pike Place Foundation, and recently won a 2017 Hoofprint Award for their ongoing support for these events, donations and their participation. “Cutters Bayhouse” was the original name when it opened in 1983, and has remained at the same location. Longevity extends not only to the business but to some of the people who work there: 15-and-20 year anniversaries were recently celebrated for two employees. And families are made welcome with activity sheets that kids can draw on, as well as on the large white paper “canvas” spread on each dining table. As Chef Howell commented, “The best thing about our restaurant is our people. We take a lot of pride in our family atmosphere.”

Cutters Crabhouse, on many levels, is a cut above.

Left:  Cutters’ Kale & Romaine Caesar Salad with Oregon Bay Shrimp.      Right:  Delectable Beecher’s Cheese Curds & Mick’s Jelly

The annual Dine Around Seattle event isn’t until later this spring, but in the meantime the organization is presenting a Shellfish Showcase, where participating restaurants showcase at least four shellfish dishes. Sunday through Thursday each week until January 25th, diners can enjoy one or more of the four crafted shellfish dishes at these two Belltown spots…


ORFEO | 2107 3rd Avenue | 206-443-1972

Dish One: Spaghetti alle vongole, with totten inlet manila clams, white wine, garlic, shallots, parsley, and butter.

Dish Two: Dungeness Crabmeat Beurre Fondue with homemade cappellini, and melted butter.

Dish Three: Mediterranean mussels roasted over the coals with garlic, rosemary, preserved lemon, and black pepper.

Dish Four: Charbroiled oysters on the ½ shell with crispy bacon, garlic butter, and Parmigiano Reggiano.


Queen City Grill | 2201 1st Avenue | 206-441-4311

Dish One: Seared Diver Scallops with chorizo, potatoes, salsa verde, almonds, and cilantro.

Dish Two: Lopez Island Clams in njuda and a smoked tomato broth, with crostini for dipping.

Dish Three: Smoked salmon and Dungeness crab salad with fennel, apple, and avocado.

Dish Four: Shrimp toast sandwich.

Dish Five: Tagliatelle with clams, uni butter, garlic, chilies, and herb bread crumbs.

Dish Six: Dungeness Crab Fagotini in tarragon butter with micro celery.

Dish Seven: Grilled Lobster “Thermidor” with celery root.