San Fermo

4.7
427 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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 427 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
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
S
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great pasta. Best I have had in Seattle.

Report
Helpful
j
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
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.

Report
Helpful
d
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 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.

Report
Helpful
JP
London
8 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fourth visit in as many years. The staff are first rate. The kitchen maintains a very high standard. We were are party of three. We all had different dishes and they were all excellent. On this visit we all had a pasta. They were right sized and perfectly prepared. I personally hate being served a portion that needs to be shared or part taken home. This was not the case at San Fermo.

Report
Helpful
D
Seattle
39 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had dinner here for New Year's Eve. Table was set and ready for us upon arrival. I had a festive pheasant dish that was the nightly special that was presented well.

Report
Helpful
OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

New Year’s Eve

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here for New Year’s Eve and could not have been happier with the experience and the food. I loved the slower pace to the dinner as well. Highly recommend and can’t wait to go back.

Report
Helpful
TK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing! Love the ambiance. Wish the portions were bigger!

Report
Helpful
JL
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've eaten here for our family Christmas season dinner the last three years, and also come for other special occasions. It's cozy and the portions are, refreshingly, appropriate. Taste and presentation are outstanding.

Report
Helpful
MS
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took there my sister who came to visit from California. We had brunch on Sunday and absolutely loved this place. The portions were not large, but absolutely delicious. We also treated ourselves to grapefruit mimosas- yum!

Report
Helpful
OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant, service was outstanding!

Report
Helpful
BM
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Intimate place in an old and historic house. Small menu but done very well. Staff was attentive and helpful.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was quick and tasty, with the perfect portion size. We sat in the back area which has a fabulous cozy feel. Service was attentive and helpful!

Report
Helpful
HG
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

San Fermo was great! Went here for date night before going to see the Nutcracker. We were very dresses up, but the dining can be casual or dressy. The dim lighting made for a very romantic night. Food was great! The black cod was delicious! Cozy seating and the service was great! Would definitely recommend!

Report
Helpful
C
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best neighborhood gem of the century. Grateful I stumbled upon it. Must must must order the octopus and pork belly salad to start.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Service wasn’t great and food ok. Did not like sitting in attic.

Report
Helpful
SW
Dallas
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, great quality. Portions a bit on the small side so order extra bread.

Report
Helpful
t
Seattle
19 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I eat at San Fermo frequently. The food and the service is always excellent.

Report
Helpful
D
Charlotte
114 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply outstanding

Report
Helpful
OT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 3

Very small portions and very pricey for the portion size.

Report
Helpful
M
Sacramento
5 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food! Great wine!

Report
Helpful
LM
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

I took my husband here for his birthday, after hearing very good things about this restaurant. We were seated upstairs and the seating is organized so that you are pretty close to the table next to you. I’ve heard it is a romantic place for a date, but when the people next to you can hear your conversation easily, that takes the romance out of it for me.
We started with the kale Ceasar which tasted a little too much of anchovies and the kale was a bit wet, giving that salad a bit of a mushy texture.
I had the clam pasta dish which was underwhelming. The clans were good, but the pasta sauce was bland but with a hint of spice. My husband had the spare ribs which he felt were mediocre, especially given the price. Service was ok. Server wasn’t overly friendly. She seemed rushed and not very attentive. When we left she said “have a good night” without looking up from the monitor where she was putting in orders. If food was really good, I’d be willing to overlook that! Maybe we just went on the wrong night as they do change their menu daily.
All in all, I’d say, meh!

Report
Helpful
EB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 1

I would only go back in summer or when patio is open for cocktails and appetizers since they have a nice outdoor seating area. Bar area inside is also nice. Attic where we sat is not great - don't sit there. Food was to way too salty and we didn't think it was a value for the higher price of the dinner.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and excellent food

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had rabbit. It was lovely.

Report
Helpful
EP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

The food was way too salty, the waitress was extremely rushed and made us feel rushed. The experience and food was not worth the price. Overall ok experience

Report
Helpful
x
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My mom came to visit from the east coast and on her last night in Seattle we came to San Fermo. The service was exceptional, the food was delicious and the ambiance was super cozy. I'll definitely be back!

Report
Helpful
f
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were outstanding. The server was very knowledgeable of the food, wine, and bar offerings. We will definitely go back. The only downside was the background music. It wasn't really in the background and drowned out conversations. Crowd noise was as expected and the server did turn the music volume down a little when we asked. Timing of the courses was good. We were not pushed or rushed but were very well attended to. And, I'll repeat, the food was outstanding.

Report
Helpful
HF
Anchorage
18 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

We have eaten at San Fermo about once a week for a couple of months now and have had mostly very good food and service. However, on this visit, the pasta dishes and the risotto were both intolerably salty. The rabbit was fine, but the pasta and risotto were flatly horrible. The meal wasn't worth the price and even at half the price, it still would have been terrible. Too much salt is almost impossible to fix. So.... we are now feeling that other old Ballard restaurants such as Staple and Fancy and Bastille have comparable food that is more consistent. The service and atmosphere at San Fermo is very nice.... but for the parking challenge and price point, the food also needs to be top quality.

Report
Helpful
B
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and even better food. Always a treat to eat here!

Report
Helpful
C
Seattle
22 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We were seated on the main floor in the back, it was very noisy and not too Romantic. It was my birthday as noted in the reservation but their was no mention to me. All I would have wanted was an acknowledgement. It was really great service and the food was excellent.

Report
Helpful
m
Seattle
49 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We were super excited to celebrate a birthday in Ballard. Service slow 60 mins before salad was served 90 mins before entree served. Even though celebrating, we had no patience for even tempting a desert order. Food was tasty, server pleasant but not sure what happened between our seating at 5p and meal service. Disappointed

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here for our anniversary. We’ve been a couple other times and it’s always great. The environment is perfect. They have great attention to detail when it comes to there food and drinks.

Report
Helpful
a
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

I liked the feel of this small restaurant but did not feel that we got value for the dollar. We also ordered a salad which never appeared.

Report
Helpful
BW
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I love your restaurant, especially the more and more rare ability to visit. The only missing component for me is a Lager beer.

Report
Helpful
HC
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I had been here for dinner before and the food was incredible. Not impressed about brunch however. Three of us ordered breakfast food and we each tasted one another’s dishes. Food portions are very small and lack in flavor.
Service was great and my coffee cup was never low. Food came out quick and plateware is freaking adorable.

Report
Helpful
T
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Slipped in before the dinner rush for a fabulous dinner expertly prepared. Service was top notch, drinks were immaculate.

Still our favorite place for a special night out in ballard.

Report
Helpful
HF
Anchorage
19 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service every time! Thank you San Fermo for perfect delivery and dependable excellence.

Report
Helpful
J
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

We've been here 3 times for dinner and have enjoyed our meals. The last visit wasn't as good as the first two -- long wait then one of our dishes arrived cold -- but would still give it another chance. Definitely check the menu before you go if you have diet restrictions.

Report
Helpful
VV
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great!

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
11