San Fermo

4.7
463 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian


Our reservations are designed to give you the first available table at your booking time. Please keep in mind that we do not reserve specific tables, or areas of the restaurant. We maintain space for walk-ins, so if you’re having trouble finding a reservation, please stop by when you get to the neighborhood.
We serve traditional and contemporary Italian in one of Seattle’s oldest homes. Our menu changes daily and features handmade pastas, peasant braises and traditional veal, lamb, and seafood dishes. We offer vegetarian and gluten free options daily.
Our reservations are for 2-hour time slots. We do our best to accommodate as many guests as possible, so please be considerate of other diners when you are finished with your meal.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.4

San Fermo is a charming Italian restaurant in an old house where an indie rom-com would take place. Use it for a first date in Ballard.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 463 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our regular date night spot. Always something memorable on the menu.

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g
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat in the front dining room, where you feel a part of the kitchen. It's an amazing dining experience to see food being prepared and plated like this. The service was top notch, and the food even better.

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was superb and the atmosphere and service was outstanding.

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R
Seattle
17 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The only negative about our experience was a drunk man at a nearby table. Really loud, stupid and using the F-bomb every other word. The only thing we hold against the restaurant is that they should have cut him off much earlier, and asked him to pipe down. Otherwise, cute little place, great service, good food.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The only complains I have are about food. The appetizer was good - we ordered Farinata. The main course was very bad. I had risotto which had over cooked rice and too much garlic. The only flavor I could fell was garlic. My husband had pasta. Pasta was over cooked and the souse was at the bottom of the plate as a broth which was not nice. Overall for Italian restaurant serving over cooked pasta and risotto I believe is very bad sign.

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HB
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for a wonderful meal, hopefully I’ll be back much more often!

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E
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food and definitely a gem of strong Italian food using local fare in a great Seattle neighborhood. Some aspects of the ambience (music) was a little distracting from the atmosphere and overall experience, but overall a great experience!

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KT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Service was terribly lacking. We ordered salads and they brought them out quickly, then we waited about 45 minutes for our entrees. At what is supposed to be an upscale dining restaurant, you would think they would have figured out pacing. There was also no server presence. They did not check on you, ask you if you need anything, or even update you as to the length of time your food was taking. Truly disappointing and I will not return based on the poor service.

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MR
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice restaurant , amazing food . Very nice atmosphere.

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G
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

My wife and I went for our anniversary last week. Inside the house is tight quarters, but very fun, and all of the staff were great. It was hard to hold a conversation, as there were a lot of people around us and sound echoes there. The food was disappointing - I had jufki with a pork sauce and wife had polenta with prosciutto. Since jufki and polenta are easy and cheap dishes, I expected the meat to be the selling point. Instead, it was the worst part. For the price point, not worth it at all. The rest was good, and otherwise we had a great time.

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e
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant! Feels like you are eating a home cooked Italian meal in a cozy home

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k
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

A very cute space for a restaurant. The food was fine, but the service was not very friendly or attentive.

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DF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent throughout the experience. I wasn't happen with my selection however the server offered another selection. Although I didn't order the spaghetti, I got to try it and it was outstanding, I throughly enjoyed it. Overall great place for dinner, entertaining or just a cocktail at the bar.

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F
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I love the look and feel of the restaurant. Cozy, intimate. But food overall was only so so. Salads (caesar and beet) were very good. Main courses were only ok. Pasta (black pepper carbonara) was very rich, too rich. My cioppino sauce just was not as tasty as I expect -- not a lot of interest in sopping up the sauce with my toast. Service was very good. I may give it another try but if the main courses aren't a lot better, that would be it.

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A
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ate in the “Attic”. Great location, a bit noisy when full, but it’s a small space, so not their fault. Food is fantastic, service equally so. Had the bolognese and rigatoni, I could have either daily without tiring. Two thumbs up, will definitely be back. Perfect place for a romantic evening.

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A
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food at San Fermo is delicious, inventive Italian food! And very reasonably priced. The drinks were wonderful as well and the ambiance was perfect for a date night. My new favorite Italian restaurant in Seattle.

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AR
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

we had a wonderful time here! Their was a slight miscommunication with our served once but overall we would come back.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was awesome!

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CD
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place has a very relaxed and "homey" feel – which is in part because this restaurant appears to be in a makeshift/renovated home, which feels somewhat odd/out of place along the street. However, the minute you step off the porch and are inside, you understand completely why this place seems to be so popular. The seating you might imagine to be 'tight" in a makeshift home, but its actually quite comfortable. Their seemed to be 3 different seating locations: front of house, back of house, and upstairs (we were at the back of the house). Great atmosphere in this place - they had jazzy, soul music playing in the background. We tried an appetizer that I am use to seeing on many menus - the brushchetta. And while it was delicious, they definitely had their own take/twist on the dish... it is heavy on the mushrooms and not so much on the tomatoes. This dish, in fact, doesn't looks so much different than what you expect that during our dinner I actually witnessed another table order the same and were left as surprised as us at what they were served. In terms of the service, it was both good and friendly, though it did take some time for our main dishes to come out - nothing to fret about so long as you enjoy the company you are with. The main dishes were quite good, and will definitely be back to try some of the others. I only had the house red which was quite good, but from the list we were served, their selection looked affordable.

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S
Seattle
27 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Continues to be one of the best restaurants in Seattle. LOVE this spot. Can't wait to go back again!

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A
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Cool place! Had a nice intimate setting upstairs before the dinner rush filled up- then it got a little noisey and fairly shoulder-to-shoulder with the tables next to us, honestly. Service was great even at its busiest, very pleasant and knowledgeable staff. Food and cocktails were great, but for what we paid I would be very disappointed if they weren’t. I would say this is a place you’ve gotta try at least one time for a nice date spot.

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HM
Seattle
12 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Celebrated Valentine’s Day a day early by trying San Fermo for the first time. Food was delicious and even though portions were small, the food was rich so it was just there right amount. The place is small and the time between courses was really slow. The stars of the meal were definitely the desserts. So, if you’re not in a hurry and are good with a small yet delicious meal, I highly recommend this place.

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TH
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot! Jake was an outstanding aid in our experience. Small, intimate setting. They did an awesome job accommodating our pregnant friend with a one-of-a-kind cocktail creation as well. Will definitely be back!

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CC
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a snowy Monday and my husbands birthday. Everything was perfect. We will be back!

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s
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

San Fermo is a great neighborhood restaurant.
Location is convenient; setting, service & ambience is first class!
Menu covers all tastes & food is excellent.
One of our favorites!!

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OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful! Always!

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JD
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a couple dear friends visit from the east coast. Wanted to take them some place special. Everyone at San Fermo does a fantastic job at making you feel welcome and taken care of.
The food is always delicious and well executed. My wife and I work in restaurants here in town so rarely have a night off to go out to dinner. But when we do, we are always happy leaving San Fermo.
We’ll be back, again and again!

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RB
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints, love this place!! The food is absolutely amazing.

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JH
Palm Springs
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

We love San Fermo and will be back. The brunch menu was a bit limited and hope it expands. The main issue is that in my party of 4, only 3 guests were served their plates. The 4th guest, me, wasn't served for 10-15 minutes after everyone else. There was an obvious error in the kitchen and the staff came out and both apologized and said "we are taking care of your order." But when the bill came, San Fermo did not take care of my order. They billed us for the dish that came out way too late. We thought that was a mess up. Don't say your going to take care of it and then not take care of it.

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OT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went for my birthday with my best friend. Amazing meal. Beautiful atmosphere. Wonderful service. Will DEFINITELY go again.

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KN
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Service and food was awesome, but I was a little upset with the Octopus salad. It was way over dressed and when the cook was sauting he drug the pan over the flame and incorporated the gas smell into the food. It was pretty much uneatable and that was something my date and I was so eager to try. Im from chicago and have worked under an incredible Italian Chef and the food really hit home to me! I will def. be back!

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JB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time there, tried a few of the entrees and appetizers. Really excellent. Not typical flavoring to the sauces, but very tasty and unique flavors. Service was extraordinary: attentive and enthusiastic. Unhurried, nice atmosphere. My only quibble was the CCR music in the background. Ugh. ;-)

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C
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a fantastic evening here! The food is great, ambience cozy and charming, and they always have the best music playlist. We usually dine family style and share a few dishes which gives us a chance to try a few different things. Service is attentive and knowledgeable. Highly recommend San Fermo!

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s
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Our experience was alittle hit-and-miss
Lovely ambiance, friendly, good service, supportive of local farms and other sources, nice menu selection. Chicory salad was delicious. Ordered the bolognese and the carbonara. The bolognese was delicious but surprisingly spicy. I would have preferred it less spicy. The herb--sage?-- was a bit strong. Portion was good. Carbonara was too salty, herbs too strong and sauce wasn't creamy and delicate. Kind of sticky. Overcooked? Portion was really small. Just seemed like more precision and care is needed in the kitchen. Might have been an off night. We will probably give San Ferme another chance because there were some very nice things about dining there.

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B
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

It was good but not "wow" good as I had expected. The antipasto was uninspired and the saffron Bolognese, a supposed signature dish, was mush.

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JC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Ordered Saffron Spaghetti Bolognese, it was tasty, but spaghetti was rather mushy. Also had Branzino, which was good, but pricy.

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JY
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very comfortable setting, very good food. Need several more characters to meet the opentable requirement

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S
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great pasta. Best I have had in Seattle.

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j
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and top-notch, friendly service. If only they had their own parking lot the evening would have been perfect.

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d
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We had one issue, the noise level was quite high. We were upstairs, the music was quite loud and we asked our server to turn it down a bit, which he did. There was also a large group of 6 who were quite loud, laughing and talking and it is such a small space upstairs that it was difficult to talk to my wife in a normal voice. We have been to San Fermo 5 or 6 times and the food has always been excellent, pasta, meats and salads.

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