San Fermo

4.7
563 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 563 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
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

San Fermo was all around great, but they were out of both the entrees we initially ordered (scallops and anglinotti). The server was not aware, so had to come back after orders were already placed to ask our second choices.

t
Minneapolis
59 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Very good, very authentic Italian cuisine in a small, charming house setting. Ingredients seem to be fresh and high-quality. We particularly enjoyed the rigatoni with guanciale and the Spaghetti Bolognese. Only complaint: the level of head-banger music was a bit over the top, and made conversation difficult.

WP
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun and intimate setting. Service and food were spectacular.

RP
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our second visit to San Fermo, and we weren’t disappointed (well, they were out of the nectarine salad, so a little disappointed).
The menu made it hard to choose, and their dishes are unique, interesting, and oh so flavorful.
Can’t wait for our next visit.

LR
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is consistently delicious. The melon and prosciutto was so fresh, the bolognese is one of the best ever, and the atmosphere is so welcoming. Highly recommend San Fermo!

PC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Lovely room & patio with authentic Italian dishes - especially classics like Bolognese (amazing) - and seasonal offerings from the farm and sea. Limited menu - pasta-centric - nicely curated wine list and reasonable pricing for the quality of the food. You may not get extremely full - portions are on the smaller size depending on the dish - but a very relaxed and friendly dining experience with delicious food that seems to employ the approach: fewer, fresher ingredients, simply & flavorfully prepared. Perfetto

TB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite restaurant in Seattle! Their food is always great and the menu changes often. The location and ambiance is unbeatable. Even when sitting alone at the bar, I've gotten great service.

D
Charlotte
139 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love love love this place. This was our third time. 2 dinners and we did a Sunday brunch. The food is unpredictability amazing. Fantastic and creative bar program.

I attached the pics from brunch but dinner was equally and more amazing

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Requested a sparkling rose for 24th anniversary and they supplied a very nice pour for both my wife and myself complimentary.. that was very nice. My wife was surprised and loved it! Excellent place will go back for sure!

MB
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first time in Seattle and followed a recommendation.

l
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

We enjoyed San Fermo. The menu was limited, but the food was tasty. We ordered bruschetta, split a Caesar salad and two pasta dishes along with a bottle of wine. Was surprised to see a 20% service fee tacked on to the bill. Basically they auto gratuity. That’s too bad because we would have been more generous. I understand auto grat for a large group, but it is a bit presumptuous for a middle-aged couple. It just seemed peculiar. That aside, it was a solid choice for us and we had a nice meal.

GL
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Ate at the bar to be seated sooner. Bartender not the friendliest. Smaller portions but excellent food. 20% Tip is automatically added into bill which I am not a fan of. Tip amount should be at the discretion of the customer and could be higher or lower depending on the level of service they receive.

j
Seattle
15 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Not REAL Italian in our book

OT
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second time at San Fermo and we absolutely love this place! The Carbonara was good but the Bolonagse was great. Make sure to start with some bread and there signature butter, though. So good!!
Sitting on the patio offers a very nice ambiance plus they have blankets if you're cold.

VL
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was lovely. The host was nice but after that the service lacking. The menu is small and the server didn’t tell us about the special. We heard after we ordered when she was telling another table. Disappointing because it sounded great. The server also never asked if we wanted a second drink. Nice gal but perhaps busy with other tables.

AS
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

The atmosphere was good and we were well welcomed. However, the waiter was rude and seemed to resent that our friends did not understand English and needed us to translate. The food was tasty and the portion size was acceptable for the shrimp risotto, but our friends meals were the size of first, not main courses. The spaghetti portion was just barely sufficient for the wife, but the husbands pasta was very small and I regret that I didn’t ask for more pasta for him. He joked that only 3 more pieces would have been enough. I think he only had 5 or 6 rigatoni. We were disappointed. The food tasted good, but the service was unacceptable.

CM
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

San Fermo is a lovely little restaurant with good ambiance and outstanding service. It’s a bit pricey but the food, while limited is quite good. I’d go back

SS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Food was delicious but the service was very very slow. We were encouraged to order everything upfront and quickly so it was a big surprise how long it took for the pasta dishes to come out. As we waited we weren’t offered additional drinks or complimentary bread.
It was nice to eat outside but for a late dinner the music track was not relaxing at all.
My husband rarely gets grumpy with slow service but he did this night and there was no way to reflect it because the gratuity was built into the bill.

l
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food: A-. Patio: A+. Wine: A. Service: A-. 10/10 would go again to sit on the patio and enjoy a summer evening.

D
Seattle
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Lovely room though noise level was high. We were punished for bringing a 5th guest (to join us for a cocktail) by being placed at a table right next to the host which meant we were surrounded by people queuing up for their tables. We were disappointed that the evening special--which sounded delicious--was already sold out at 1900. Lots of rules about how and when we had to order our food, splitting checks etc. Overall the meal was good not great. Food was not terribly memorable. Our bill was $320 for 4 people.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 5

Bad food, bad drinks. Great ambience. Food and drinks should be simple and elegant like the atmosphere. Instead, it’s sadly overworked

d
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

lovely spot to celebrate our anniversary, food and service was excellent, will return

OT
London
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful as always! Family had a cozy light meal in the attic room as they had all just flown in. It was delicious, summery, and a great way to start the night.

o
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We've enjoyed San Fermo several times since it was recommended by friends. The staff include thoughtful servers and creative kitchen staff. Still trying to get the ins and outs of the menu and our own dietary concerns, including with the bar, but my visiting Bay Area brother in law just loved it. So grateful for this in Ballard, nearby home.

JF
Seattle
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I love the ambiance here! Service is great. The Bolonese dish is wonderful!

OT
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Family get together with parents visiting from out of town. Service was very slow, frequently felt forgotten, with some drink orders missed, not coming back after a first check in until signaled. Wine and water pours were really rushed and messy. Main courses took over 30 mins to come out and were tepid. Overall, disappointing. We planned to stay for desert, but left early.

OT
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Romantic vibe in a quaint old house. Do not miss the bruschetta, it’s outstanding.

DL
Seattle
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So good, as always. Focaccia was incredible!

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food just took a little while to come up but otherwise one of my favorites!

JA
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Food good as always. Ridiculously small portion of anoglotti. If you are suggesting pasta as a main course, which your menu and servers suggest, that portion size is just completely unacceptable. A joke really.

KE
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, excellent service! I don’t think I’ve ever had my food be ready faster!

AS
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

It was lovely to sit on their patio- however the ladies running back and forth was not. I normally wouldn't mind however they seemed to be annoyed..? Our server was nice, until she abruptly told us that we had to order all at once- not that big of a deal. She forgot I gave her my card to pay at the end so at one point my guest and I were just sitting there for an extended period of time, they rushed so fast by the tables it was near impossible to stop someone to ask. Food was good- the bread and butter was near the best part, along with the mixed greens. I will skip the rest, and conclude that the shrimp and risotto tasted majorly of a plain tomato sauce mix.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Bummed. We’ve been there several times and always received great service and great food. We were celebrating and received lackluster service, slower food delivery and forgotten pieces of our order.

D
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

chose this place to celebrate my retirement. waitstaff was painfully slow. went thru an entire bottle of prosecco without checkiing on us. 45 minutes to get food with an early dinner reservation. will not return

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service and ambiance:
Well appointed and great ambiance. The service was solid. Refined enough to match the price point.
Food: The pastas we ordered we good but not as complex, subtle, and delicious as I would have expected the menu to suggest. The portions seemed small, but were adequate. Below expectations. The gelato was overly icy and overwhelmed by the salty meat and balsamic. It was actually not good at all.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Multiple terrible experiences of getting rushed. On our last date night we were told that we couldn’t order an appetizer until we ordered our dinner. Super rude hipster servers. Food is the only reason we have given them multiple chances. They’re bolognes is great... but not good enough to put up with the rude staff.

MC
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

THE BEST SERVICE.
THE BEST FOOD.
THE BEST AMBIANCE.
THE BEST SEX AFTERWARDS.

thank you.

OT
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the place but the upstairs dining area seemed bland and a bit dull compared to other tables at the restaurant on the main level.

MY
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this restaurant, one of my favorites in Seattle. The food, ambiance, and service are all wonderful. Will keep going back!

CP
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We love this place, portions are small but we go for special occasions

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