From the fine folks behind the Seattle Boat Company comes Bowriders Grill, a tucked-away little oasis of a cafe on Lake Union that has quickly become a beloved summer hangout and hub for boaters. Located next door to Renee Erickson’s Westward and nestled almost underneath the University Bridge, the beachy Bowriders opened late last summer and has been ramping up operations ever since under head chef and “beer tender,” Matthew Lasof. In the airy, open kitchen, Lasof and the friendly crew have crafted a Northwest-driven menu of handheld snacks highlighted by such items as a seared salmon sandwich topped with spicy slaw, beef tenderloin lollipop skewers, roasted elote-style corn, and savory mushroom wrap, as well as a rotating array of seasonally inspired specials. The entire menu, which also includes cool sips, Washington wines, and beer on tap, is available for quick and easy dockside pickup to those answering the call of the water. Boaters can order online via the website, designate a pick-up time, and then tie up at the dock as a friendly staffer delivers the packed-up picnic. There are plenty of lounging spots for those seeking to catch some rays on land. The patio is dotted with cheery umbrellas shading the hi-top tables and an upcycled old vessel has been cleverly reimagined with plush seating and arranged around a cozy fire pit in a sandy corner. Every seat in the house looks out across the lake to reveal views: kayakers paddling around as the seaplanes land, yachts plying the waters, and those iconic downtown buildings stretching towards the sky. After 7 p.m., boaters can tie up at the fuel dock on a first-come, first-serve basis to come ashore for sunset dining, and landlubbers can find plenty of street parking on Northlake Way any time. For the most up-to-date hours, specials, menus, or to order ahead online, go to: bowridersgrill.com.
Better on the Bow