Here are our suggestions for great food before a show at a popular music venue in one of Seattle’s neighborhoods: Ballard, Belltown, Capitol Hill (Pike/Pine corridor), Pike Market or Seattle Center. Besides receiving high marks from satisfied diners, each of these restaurants offers the option of a late night menu if you want to extend the evening beyond the show.

Umi Sake House
2230 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 374-8717

Umi Sake House offers informal, but sophisticated dining, snacks and cocktails with a focus on “fusion” Japanese cuisine, generous sushi rolls, teriyaki and sake. It has happy hour every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., making it a perfect spot for refreshment before catching a show in Belltown or nearby Seattle Center. During happy hour, it features a nice selection of bites from $5-$10, including ribs, chicken, prawns and vegetable tempura as well as sashimi and sushi rolls. After the show, catch the late night happy hour (Sunday-Thursday only) from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Café Presse
1117 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 709-7674

Cafe Presse is a favorite spot for hedonists headed for a show on the Pike/Pine corridor. Owners of Pike Market’s Le Pichet again recreate the casual ambience and fare of a Parisian bistro, featuring croque monsieur and other sandwiches, salads, cured meats and excellent pate, steak frites and its famous made-to-order roast chicken. The atmosphere is enhanced by a global selection of magazines and newspapers, as well as soccer on the big screen in the bar. The kitchen is open every night until 1:30 a.m., making it the perfect spot to hit on the way home from Capitol Hill.

Related: Best Food Trucks In Seattle

Art Restaurant
99 Union St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 749-7070

Art Restaurant offers smart, casual Pacific Northwest dining expertly prepared by caring chefs committed to the market-to-table philosophy. A special feature is the daily antipasto buffet featuring locally made artisan cheeses. Enjoy your selections against stunning views of Elliott Bay through floor-to-ceiling windows at the 13-foot Douglas Fir table set in front of the 12-foot wine wall. The daily happy hour runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Located in the Four Seasons hotel, Art Restaurant is convenient to show venues in the downtown Seattle core and Pike Market.

La Isla
2320 N.W .Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 789-0516

La Isla, claiming to be Washington State’s first Puerto Rican restaurant, offers a refreshing break from the more prevalent (and generally mediocre) Tex-Mex cuisine found in most Seattle neighborhoods. House-made sauces, soups, salads, savory pastries (empanadillas and cod fritters), appetizers and sandwiches round out the small bites, along with a well-rounded selection of familiar but authentically prepared Latin dinner entrees, side dishes and signature cocktails. La Isla is open until 2 a.m. every day in the Ballard neighborhood, as well as Redmond if you hail from the east side.

2000 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 441-1430

Each of Tom Douglas’ restaurants has a completely different flair. Our favorite before or after a show in downtown Seattle is Lola in Belltown. It offers a Mediterranean-influenced menu of mezze (appetizers), tagines, roasted meats and kebabs prepared from Pacific Northwest-raised meats and produce from its Prosser farm east of Seattle. The dinner menu is served until midnight, but if your evening’s entertainment should draw into the wee hours, Lola’s begins breakfast service at 6 a.m.

Related: Best Local Rock Bands In Seattle

Carole Cancler is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on