Artichoke Pizza | Photo credits: Elizabeth Station

12 Best Bellingham Restaurants To Eat At (+ What To Order)

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A beautiful coastal community, Bellingham extends a warm welcome with its majestic yet pleasant outdoors. This nature’s paradise of a city also has a thriving culinary scene with options for all types of visitors.

One thing for certain is that Bellingham has no shortage of incredible restaurants to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or something more upscale, there’s sure to be a restaurant in Bellingham that will satisfy your craving.

We’ve compiled a list of the 12 of the best Bellingham restaurants to check out!

1. Carnal

Photo credits: Carnal

Located in the heart of downtown Bellingham, Carnal is focused on creative and ambitious live-fire cooking that can be enjoyed in a casual fine-dining setting. While the inside feels warm and cozy with a fireplace, the garden patio is the best place to dine in during spring and summer.

The Marinated Avocado is a great appetizer to start with. The creamy texture of the avocado is balanced with crispy charred corn, and the addition of epazote adds a nice fresh and herby flavor to the dish. A refreshing starter!

When you visit Carnal, one dish you CANNOT miss is their Slow Cooked Bone-In Beef Short Rib. This is most likely to be one of the best-prepared and best-tasting steaks you’ve ever had anywhere.

While the accompaniments change constantly, the centerpiece – the rib remains the same – buttery soft and tender with enjoyably intense smokiness.

What to order: Marinated Avocado, Slow Cooked Bone-In Beef Short Rib

Address: 1234 N State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

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2. Elizabeth Station

Artichoke Pizza | Photo credits: Elizabeth Station

Elizabeth Station is a neighborhood beer market, cereal bar, and deli – an all-in-one place where you can find everything on your groceries list, premium beers and ciders (with 20 rotating taps), and mouth-watering pizzas.

Their Burrata Boi pizza is a house special, featuring ingredients sourced locally. The toppings of this pizza change with the freshest produce available at the time. But, the handcrafted pizza, on the whole, tastes amazing with the perfect balance of tomato, cheese, and basil.

The Pepperoni and Honey pizza is also a must-try. Yes, the combination sounds weird; but, trust us, the completely contrasting salty and sweet flavors of the two make this pizza a winner.

Don’t forget to order a pint of your favorite beer with your pizzas!

What to order: Burrata Boi, Pepperoni and Honey

Address: 1400 W Holly Street, Bellingham WA 98225

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3. Rock and Rye Oyster House

Poutine & Grilled Shishito Peppers | Photo credits: Rock and Rye Oyster House

A family-owned local restaurant, Rock and Rye Oyster House serves New American cuisine with an extensive seafood menu featuring sustainable local seafood. The restaurant is located in the historic Bellingham Herald Building, there is also a bar serving innovative craft cocktails, cider, beer, and more to your liking.

The Beef Carpaccio from their Small Plates menu is a crowd favorite. The meat on your plate comes so thinly sliced that it will simply melt in your mouth. Paired with horseradish aioli for heat, garlic chips and fried capers for crunch, and parmesan, this is a plate full of deliciousness.

Topped with the most flavorful duck-bacon gravy, the Poutine here will make you want more, especially when you add house-cured pork belly. You’ll find yourself salivating just thinking about this dish!

Their cornmeal dredged Pan Fried Oysters have a light crust and are perfectly plump. Squeeze some lemon on top and dip them in the house-made tartar sauce, you’ll be in culinary heaven!

What to order: Beef Carpaccio, Poutine, Pan Fried Oysters

Address: 1145 N State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

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4. Señor Lopez Mexican Restaurant

Photo credits: briandetroit

Señor Lopez is a family-owned and operated Mexican restaurant located in the heart of Bellingham. This is one of those places where you can enjoy authentic food in a family-friendly environment.

If you’re new to Mexican cuisine, the one dish you have to try here is the Molcajete.

While the name refers to the stone bowl the dish is served in, the dish itself is a combination of multiple traditional Mexican favorites. The items you get on your plate are carne asada – grilled beef (thinly sliced, flavorful, and tender), pollo asado – grilled chicken (juicy and tender), chorizo, shrimp, and more.

Everything in the bowl comes cooked to perfection and packed with flavor, as authentic as you can get in this part of the country.

Another traditional Mexican dish you’ll love here is Arroz con Camarones. You can literally taste the freshness of each ingredient in the dish, and the mere quantity of shrimp will leave you satisfied.

Order a couple of their margaritas for a refreshing addition to your meal.

What to order: Molcajete, Arroz con Camarones

Address: 1200 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

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5. D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano

Seafood Sauté | Photo credits: D’Anna’s Cafe

Originally a wholesale pasta business that started in the early 90’s, D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano is now a popular hangout spot in the city. The cafe specializes in handmade pasta, bread, ravioli, sausage, desserts, and more, and the ambiance is casual, cozy, and friendly.

Vegetarian or not, D’Anna’s Butternut Squash Ravioli will satisfy your craving for Italian food with its fresh, delicate, and mesmerizing flavor. Of course, the ravioli is handmade, the roasted butternut squash and cheese filling has a hint of sweetness, and the walnut, butter, and sage sauce ties everything together with a beautiful nutty flavor.

Chicken Marsala – a staple dish on every Italian restaurant’s menu. D’Anna’s version of this dish is mind-blowing and authentic. The chicken is lightly breaded and cooked to juicy tenderness with mixed mushrooms, butter, and marsala wine. It is served with pesto-tossed pappardelle pasta.

The Sausage Manicoti is one yummy and filling dish. The marinara sauce has a hint of heat to it, allowing you to enjoy every single bite you take.

What to order: Butternut Squash Ravioli, Chicken Marsala, Sausage Manicoti

Address: 1319 N State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

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6. Black Sheep Bellingham

Photo credits: Black Sheep

Tacos and margaritas, that pretty much sums up Black Sheep Bellingham, a bar with tacos. This laidback bar and eatery is popular for its elevated tacos and craft cocktails served in a bright and easygoing environment.

Their Carne Asada taco has seared flank steak for its filling, which is rich in flavor and very juicy. Served on traditional soft corn tortillas and topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, and cilantro, this one meets all the requirements to be named a great taco.

Their Rockfish tacos are insanely delicious as well, and the Chorizo tacos are a must-have.

Don’t you forget to order Black Sheep’s most popular drink – the house classic Dude-a-Rita. Invented in 2017, this drink has an interesting background story (available on their website), and remains a favorite.

What to order: Carne Asada, Rockfish, Chorizo, Dude-a-Rita

Address: 211 W Holly Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

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7. Pho 99

Photo credits: Angie-Ruth López

For a restaurant without a website or social media presence, Pho 99 is perhaps the most loved Vietnamese establishment in Bellingham. The place is dedicated to serving soulful Vietnamese classics like vermicelli bowls, Vietnamese noodle soup, and more, and the atmosphere is simple and casual with friendly service.

For appetizers, the best way to try their popular rolls is to order the Combo with 3 rolls – shrimp spring roll (Gòi Cuõn), fried pork egg roll (Châ Gìò), and minced pork roll (Gói Cuõn Nem Nuóng). All of Pho 99’s rolls are so good that you cannot miss one for the other!

Bò Kho is Vietnamese comfort food, and the Mi Bò Kho at Pho 99 is the most recommended and ordered egg noodle soup dish here. The soup in this dish is beef stew, which is rich in flavor with bright notes of star anise and lemongrass. You also get a hint of heat, making this bowl of pho seriously delicious.

If you prefer a rice plate over noodle soup, you could go with their Grilled Chicken and Pork Chops Rice Plate. It tastes delicious in its own way!

What to order: Shrimp Spring Roll, Fried Pork Egg Roll, Minced Pork Roll, Mi Bò Kho, Grilled Chicken and Pork Chops Rice Plate

Address: 3503 Byron Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

8. Mount Bakery Cafe Downtown

Photo credits: eatplaybellingham

Mount Bakery Cafe is widely known for the delicious baked goods they make every day. From croissants and scones to cakes and tarts, to serving delicious American breakfast and lunch fare, this charming and humble cafe offers it all.

Known to serve “Bellingham’s Best Bennies”, Mount Bakery Cafe’s The Original “Best Benny” is the one to try if you’re a big eggs benedict person.

Between focaccia and savory waffle for your base, we recommend that you choose the latter, as it makes the dish unique. The eggs come perfectly poached and the ham goes deliciously well with everything else on the plate, including their famous scratch-made hollandaise, which is of perfect consistency.

The Mount Bakery Grilled Cheese is an elevated American classic, perfect for those of you looking for a simple yet hearty meal. Made with their house-made sourdough bread and three different cheeses, you get a perfectly grilled and browned exterior and a creamy interior.

Their Cinnamon Roll is quite popular, so try one before you head out.

What to order: The Original “Best Benny”, Mount Bakery Grilled Cheese, Cinnamon Roll

Address: 308 W Champion Street, Suite C, Bellingham, WA 98225

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9. Old Town Cafe

Breakfast Burritos, | Photo credits: Old Town Cafe

Operating out of a historic building – Oakland Block, which was built in 1890, Old Town Cafe is a hot spot for the morning crowd. This is a hip and cozy bistro with a menu revolving around local, natural, and organic products, and with house-made pastries, and plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Old Town Cafe’s French Toast is legit one of the best you can find in the region. You can have your French toast made from sourdough or whole wheat bread, and enjoy it the old-school way, with butter and table syrup.

The Lumberjane Omelette has smoky bacon, cheese, slightly sweet caramelized onions, earthy mushrooms, and kale. Make your own burrito with the omelette by choosing corn tortillas, or go the classic American way with toast.

For your drink, their organic espresso should get you going for the day, or maybe something cool like coconut water or one of their cocktails.

What to order: French Toast, Lumberjane Omelette

Address: 316 W. Holly, Bellingham, WA 98225

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10. Cosmos Bistro

meatloaf sandwich | Photo credits: Cosmic Bistro

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Cosmos Bistro serves comfort food in a casual and comfortable setting. Most of their dishes feature locally sourced ingredients, along with local wine and craft beer on tap.

Their super flavorful and delicious Adobo Sandwich is likely to make you have a foodgasm! The dish is savory, tangy, and a little bit sweet, and the toasted sourdough bread rounds up to make a finger-licking good sandwich.

If you’d love an all-included breakfast, the Bacon Nation is the way to go. With diced bacon, caramelized onions, roasted potatoes, smoked cheddar, and sweet peppers, you get a lot of different flavors and textures that work in harmony.

There is also a vegetarian option – the Vegetation Nation, which you can make vegan to meet your preference.

What to order: Adobo Sandwich, Bacon Nation, Vegetation Nation

Address: 1151 N State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

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11. YunGaNe Korean Restaurant

Photo credits: Yungane Korean Restaurant

YunGaNe is where you can get authentic Korean comfort food right here in the heart of Bellingham. From Korean BBQ chicken wings to BiBimBap, every dish on the menu will take you on a tour of Korea. The place itself is simple, warm, and elegant, and the food is BOMB!

A highly recommended first-rate dish at YunGaNe is the Spicy Pork Bulgogi. The pork is crazy tender and extremely juicy, and in terms of flavor, you get a mix of sweet, savory, and spicy notes with highlights of ginger.

You can have the Bulgogi as it is or as a sandwich or wrap – Spicy Pork Bulgogi Sandwich or Spicy Pork Bulgogi Wrap.

Soondubu, which is basically soft tofu stew, is popular for several reasons. This simple yet complex-flavored Korean stew is hot, spicy, delicious, and comforting, with an intense umami flavor. You can choose between vegetable, mushroom, mixed, and seafood soondubu at YunGaNe.

What to order: Spicy Pork Bulgogi, Spicy Pork Bulgogi Wrap, Spicy Pork Bulgogi Sandwich, Soondubu, Deep-Fried Oreos

Address: 1204 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

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12. Arlis’s Restaurant

Photo credits: kakikathy

Arlis’s Restaurant is a popular breakfast/brunch spot in Bellingham, with a menu full of American favorites. While the place is rather small and cozy, it gives a comfy and relaxed vibe for people to enjoy their meals in peace.

Of all the dishes served at Arlis’s, The Beast is probably the one with a cult following! You get 11oz. country fried steak smothered in their house country gravy, which is creamy, rich, and indulgent. You also get a few sides with the dish, but let’s just accept the fact that the steak and gravy are divine!

Their homemade buttermilk Biscuits & Gravy – a creamy sausage gravy, is sure to ring in all the nostalgia!

What to order: The Beast, Biscuits & Gravy, Pancakes

Address: 1525 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

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From a city with a flourishing food scene that is Willingham, to a city that’s already known as a foodies abode – Vancouver, CA you’ll notice that your culinary exploration is a complete contrast between both these places. Yes, we have a list ready for you with the Absolute Best Vancouver Restaurants you ought to try.

How We Create Our “Best” Lists

All Noms Magazine’s “best” lists are created using multiple factors and signals to help readers find the best restaurants, things to do, and places to stay at. Some of these factors and signs include personal experiences, correspondence with locals, and compiling experiences from review sites.

Each list is also created to be balanced (in terms of price, cuisine type, ambiance, and more) as possible. This means that the lists are not specifically created in ranking order. You should be comfortable picking from any of the spots on the list and generally have a good time. But of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and everyone may have different experiences/palates.