How to get into popular Seattle restaurants

Patience can be a virtue.

A colorful bowl filled with vegetables topped with a pita and surrounded by vegetation

Hamdi is one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year.

Photo via Hamdi

Table for… none? We know rejection can be all too common when trying to find a reservation at a hot Seattle restaurant. But don’t take it too personally.

Whether you’re heading to Canlis or a buzzy spot like Ballard’s new Turkish restaurant Hamdi (opening this weekend), tricks of the trade can boost your chances. Master these, and you’ll never go hungry again.

Keep eyes on Insta 👀

Make sure to hunt down restaurant accounts on Instagram, where many reservation announcements are made. You’ll also want to bookmark Tock pages and refresh them like you’re buying Taylor Swift tickets once table availability goes live.

Where this might help: Central District’s Communion Restaurant & Bar usually takes reservations on the 15th of the month, as does LTD Edition Sushi. Filipino fine dining restaurant Archipelago will release reservations on Monday, Jan. 2.

Be flexible on dinner time

Are you an early bird — or a night owl? Most of the coveted reservations from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. get snapped up quickly, but if you don’t mind eating at slower times, you can still find great seats available.

Where this might help: Capitol Hill’s fancy Italian joint Altura still has December reservations at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. — same with Queen Anne favorite Eden Hill. Acclaimed Columbia City restaurant Off Alley accepts walk-ins after 6 p.m. — but since it’s such a tiny place, try texting for a reservation between 5-5:45 p.m.

Sidle up to the bar 🍸

Hop up onto that stool — restaurant bars are the best for those flying solo or want to grab a last-minute meal. Tip your mixologist generously.

Where this might help: The iconic Canlis has a stellar bar menu and great cocktails near its famed piano. White Center’s TOMO can seat a few walk-ins — and so does Hamdi, if you wanna see what the hype’s all about.

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