Light and Refreshing Summer Lunches in Seattle

A sampling of plates at Soi in Capitol Hill. Photo source.

Fresh veggies, simple yet satisfying salads, and minimalist noodle and rice entrees all make for the perfect midday refresher -- especially on a scorching summer afternoon. Greasy, heavy foods often won’t cut it when you’re already feeling bogged down by oppressive heat. Lighten up! These Seattle-made dishes pack a seasonally appropriate flavor punch.

Photo source

Doc's Marina Grill | Multiple locations

Doc’s tops off an Italian staple, Aglio e Olio (angel hair pasta sauteed with garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, and herbs), with grilled PNW salmon and a baby arugula lemon salad. Additional light lunch options at both the Bainbridge Island and Port Townsend locations include the gluten-free kale salad (tossed with pancetta, apple, candied walnuts, parmesan, and apple-honey vinaigrette) and the classic house green salad, either of which can be ordered as a side or an entree.

Elemental Pizza | Multiple locations

Pizza may not be the first dish that comes to mind when you think “light lunch,” but a perfectly thin crust, wood fired creation topped with ultra-fresh ingredients does the trick. Reach for a slice of Elemental’s margherita pizza (a 12-inch pie with fresh mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil) or the Garden Variety (grape tomatoes, eggplant, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, pecorino, and goat cheese). If you’d prefer to go crustless, choose from a variety of fresh salads of all sizes, including the delicate caprese (grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil tossed with baby mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette). Don’t forget to wash it down with fresh housemade raspberry lemonade!

Red Cedar & Sage | 1501 Pike Pl #200 | 206-538-0377

Take a break from the hustle of Pike Place and head up to Red Cedar & Sage for an afternoon bite in the large-windowed dining room. Go for a light seafood dish, such as the fresh poke or the citrusy ceviche, or opt for the hummus wrap on a sundried tomato tortilla with red pepper, spinach, tomato, and optional chicken. You’ll also find a variety of unique salads, including the Caprese Moderna (served on a Himalayan salt block!) or the Greek rendition with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and mint.

Siam on Eastlake | 1629 Eastlake Ave E | 206-322-6174

Nibble on refreshing Thai offerings such as spring rolls (cabbage, carrot, celery, and bean thread noodles in a crispy wheat wrap) or fresh rolls (shrimp, crab, lettuce, and noodles with sweet and sour cucumber or peanut sauce). Siam on Eastlake also serves an extensive menu of lunch specials, including many lightly dressed noodle dishes, and all dine-in lunch orders include the soup of the day.

Soi | 1400 10th Ave | 206-556-4853

When you’re craving some Thai in the Capitol Hill area and the lunch cravings hit, place your order for the Khao Mun Gai lunch special at Soi. Steamed chicken breast is served over garlic-ginger-chicken broth rice with cucumber and spicy ginger sauce -- all paired with a side of soup. Vegetarians will delight in produce-centric dishes such as the Phad Prik (blistered yard long beans stir-fried with basil, cumin, garlic, bell pepper, and lemongrass).