Waterfront and view restaurants aren't as common in Olympia  as in other Puget Sound cities, but they do exist. At Percival Landing, Dockside Bistro (501 N. Columbia St., 360/956-1928, http://docksidebistro.com , 11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Sat.–Sun.) offers a quiet little nook to enjoy the marina and a plate of Northwest flavors and wine.
Budd Bay Café (525 Columbia St. NW, 360/357-6963, 6:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Sun., entrées $20) at Percival Landing is open for all meals and has a popular Sunday brunch buffet, with outdoor dining in summer featuring a marina view. This is a good place to sample famous Olympia oysters on the half shell.
Get Olympia oysters, geoduck clams, and other perfectly prepared seafood at Gardner’s Seafood and Pasta (111 W. Thurston St., 360/786-8466, 5–9 p.m. Tues.–Sat., closed Sun.). Reservations are advised.
In front of the Olympia Brewery and overlooking Tumwater Falls , Falls Terrace Restaurant (106 Deschutes Way, Tumwater, 360/943-7830, www.fallsterrace.com , 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri., 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat., 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun.) has moderately priced dinners that feature chicken, steak, seafood, and veal. They also offer a Sunday brunch. The lounge features an outside deck, a favorite place to drop by for a drink. Reservations highly are recommended.