Our local airport may have more “under construction” plywood than South Lake Union, but Sea-Tac locations have undergone a rush of reinvention in recent years. Stuck at the airport? At least there’s something to eat. Here are our favorites.
Main Terminal | A Doors | B-doors | C-doors | D-Doors | N-gates
Stick to local entrepreneur Kathy Casey’s fish fry shop classics; Just because you can get fish and chips with wild Alaskan salmon doesn’t mean pink fish makes an appetizing fry. Stick to the flaky place, generous portions of crinkle fries, and quirky but lovely dessert fish: tiny bite-size cheesecake-filled waffles served with sweet dips.
There’s nothing particularly local about the barbecue they host at this central restaurant — it’s run by a North Carolina outfit — but we appreciate the attempt to put familiar hiking trail names on the menu. , from the Mailbox Peak Sandwich with pulled chicken to the Enchantment’s Traverse cocktail of gin and blackberry. Alaskan beers pair well with a simple brisket sandwich, which has just enough sliced meat to satisfy but not enough to feel like a feast.
The leading lady of Seattle’s vegetarian scene, Cafe Flora, brings the rare restaurant designed for the Instagram set to the airport. Divided between a sunny dining room and a walk-in counter, the menu is fresh and meatless: a bowl of cereal mixed with crispy tofu, several arugula salads and a breakfast menu served until the start of the afternoon. Many dishes can be vegan, nut-free or gluten-free. Take a picture of the “you look radiant” neon on the statement wallpaper.
Born in Kirkland and now a chain in greater Seattle, Lady Yum specializes in candy-colored macarons, in flavors ranging from classic lemon to circus animal, designed to resemble the classic pink cookie. Simple macarons make a great airplane gift, but the shop also offers nearly indestructible clamshell boxes for last-minute gift shopping. Look, we bought you cookies from Seattle!
When Thierry Rautureau closed both Luc and Loulay in 2021, Seattle Met‘s Allecia Vermillion wrote that he had been a “hugely influential chef” here since the 1980s. His LouLou recalls the same mix of French style and cheerful irreverence as his old restaurants – farmhouse wallpaper, wicker chairs – but with a simple menu of niçoise salad and “le club” sandwich. Your best bet: take-out sandwiches topped with flaky croissants. It’s nice to see a touch of our cheeky chef in the hat, but for God’s sake, someone is correcting the “Pike’s Place” chowder entry on the online menu.
The town’s favorite mac and cheese has been a Sea-Tac mainstay for a decade now, and they know not to mess with what ain’t broke. If you love the classic gravy pasta, rich tomato soup, or grilled cheese sandwiches at Pike Place Market, you’ll love them here too. Snack packs made with Beecher’s flagship product will likely beat anything airlines try to sell on the flight.
What kind of Ballard bar has more people downing Michelob Light and Budweiser than freshly poured IPAs? No one will mistake Terminal D’s faux brick walls for anything on Market Street, and a phone ordering system keeps service remote. This type of food would look familiar anywhere — burgers, chowder, wings — but the space tends to be a little quieter than most airport bars. Most beers on tap are local only, like Elysian and 10 Barrel, but we spotted a Georgetown tap coming in before our last flight.
It’s heartwarming to see authentic local joints get their place in the airport, especially when it’s a poke joint that started out as a Seattle food truck. The sight of flight crews lined up at this quick service counter tells you everything you need to know about quality. The poke comes by the pound, and the garlic chicken rice plate, served with a classic Hawaiian macaroni salad, is a good alternative to fish.
What was born a food truck will eventually end up at the airport, apparently, though Skillet has long since become a brick-and-mortar mainstay in Seattle. The northern satellite location serves breakfast all day, like the classic fried chicken and waffle that keeps so many Capitol Hill revelers alive every weekend. The bacon jam bloody marys and burgers on a brioche roll are pleasantly on par with Skillet’s other places; a Concourse C outpost is coming soon.