View Full Version : Seattle food lover's guide?

04-22-2007, 10:13 PM
As noted elsewhere, I'll be spending a short weekend in Seattle next month. Of course I'll be visiting Pike Place Mkt again, and being a lover of cured meats, I need to finally pop into Salumi, but I'm looking for other food shopping ideas convenient to that same general area. Suggestions? Cafés, bars, and restaurants also appreciated, but especially interesting food finds. TIA

04-23-2007, 07:15 AM
Have fun!!
I usually stick around Pike's Market ...great chinese food; fabulous crab they wil steam and split for you, coffee and pastry everywhere.

Giada(sp?) did one of her "weekend getaway" shows for Seattle....maybe she has a link on her site for the places she visited---I know one was on the islands, which won't help.

I miss PNW already!!!!

04-23-2007, 08:20 AM
OK, I've become addicted to food blogs lately. I've been reading this blog that's linked from Joe's page...Gluten Free Girl. She's a writer and she has a wonderful story about food, life, and especially love. Her fiance is the chef of a place called the Impromptu Wine Bar, a small restaurant that features different wines every month. He builds an entire menu based on a different region of the world to go with these wines...and he makes everything from scratch. I don't have to eat gluten free, but you can bet I'd try to go to this place if I was going to Seattle...although I think the vegetarian in me would have a hard time eating some of the dishes!

Food blog: http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/

Restaurant: http://impromptuwinebar.com/

04-23-2007, 01:34 PM
What restaurants have you eaten at in the past?

As for food shopping places, other than Pike Place Market, I would recomend Uwajimaya or Viet Wah in the Int'l district. Uwajimaya is more Japanese and Viet Wah is SE Asian groceries. Connected to Uwajimaya is a "food court" with amazing places to eat (i.e. Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Bubble Tea etc). It would be a great place to grab lunch or you could always do dim sum at one of the real restaurants in the Int'l district. But coming from SFO, this may not be all that new to you so take my recomendation with a grain of salt....;)

The only other unique or special place for food items that I think of would be the local farmers markets which generally start up in May. But since you will already be at Pike Place that may be overkill. Besides, the farmers markets are all held on the outskirts of downtown so nothing really within walking distance of where you will be. The nice thing about the farmers markets is that they give you a real flavor of Seattle whereas Pike Place is filled with tourists (and locals too).

04-23-2007, 06:55 PM
Thanks, Ana. I've only seen that show a couple of times, but they seem to do a pretty good job. Here's where she went in Seattle (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_wg/episode/0,3151,FOOD_28436_48673,00.html).

Thanks for the links, Erin. There's another food blogger in Seattle who's very popular, but I'm drawing a blank - who is it?

How sad, Misskitty, I'm trying to think where I've eaten besides Etta's, Ray's Boathouse, Macrina Bakery, my friend Bruce's kitchen.... Must've been hole in the wall places, cuz I don't remember. Guess that means lots of options! ;) I believe I put this on another thread, but I love PNW cuisine, so the local/seasonal thing is always attractive to me (doesn't have to be fancy or famous) so the one Erin mentioned sounds like a good choice.
I'm a couple of blocks from Japan Town, and DBF lives in a predominantly Chinese neighborhood, so I've got the Asian groceries covered, but the food court is appealing nonetheless. Did someone say "dumplings"? :D
Too bad about the farmers' markets. While Pike Place is always fun, I know what you mean about getting more of a local feel from the farmers' markets. But I really won't have much time, so I'm sure I can fill it up with Pike Place and other shops around the hotel. Elliott Bay Book Co. could kill the afternoon! What is it with visiting bookstores when on vacation? I mean, it's a great place and all, but they DO sell books where I live! :p

Thanks for your input, everyone.

04-23-2007, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the links, Erin. There's another food blogger in Seattle who's very popular, but I'm drawing a blank - who is it?

I think you're thinking of Molly, of Orangette fame...http://orangette.blogspot.com/

04-23-2007, 11:32 PM
Great. Yet ANOTHER to add to the list! :p
Nope, not Orangette - definitely never saw that one before. I owe an email to my old friend Amy ("Cooking with Amy") so I'll ask if she knows. I have a feeling they've met....

And since this is my thread, I think I get to hijack. Have you ever visited "I'm Mad and I Eat"?

04-24-2007, 07:51 AM
Hmm...dang, that was the only other one I knew of in Seatlle! I'm curious now, let me know when you remember/find out!

As for the site you mentioned, yes, I do have it on my list to read. The list which keeps growing, since the way I do this is to find a blog I like, read all the archieves, then start looking at their links. Those I like get added, repeat process ad nauseum. I have a really long list now...:eek:

04-24-2007, 05:05 PM
Is it Seattle Bon Vivant (http://seattlebonvivant.typepad.com/)? That's the only other Seattle blogger I can think of :)


04-24-2007, 07:09 PM
May well be, Carrie!
No word back yet from Amy, but it's a really nice blog either way. I'll spend a little quality time with it over breakfast tomorrow. Thanks.

04-24-2007, 08:11 PM
Canice, as you've already been to Pike Place Market you may already have visited Piroshky Piroshky, but if not, I think it's worth a stop. It's a Russian bakery with sweet pastries in addition to piroshki, and I liked everything I tried. There was a poppy seed concoction that I loved.

Last year I gave my dad a gift box from Salumi (he, like you, is a cured meat aficionado) and he raved about it. I don't remember which kind is which, but of the two he liked best, one had curry and the other had ginger in it.

04-25-2007, 12:15 PM
Thanks, Stephanie. I don't recall having seen the piroshky place, but I will definitely make a point of stopping by!
I got a sweet note from the friends I'm going to visit after my solo shopping trips, and I'm really looking forward to this little jaunt! :)

04-25-2007, 01:46 PM
If you are standing at the 'pig' at the Pike Place
Market, turn around and look back at the street. It
Is the building on your left. Look for the first
Door that leads upstairs. There will be a sign for
Matt's. It's on the second floor. I highly recommend
Reservations, even for lunch, as the place only holds
25 people. Otherwise, we were there at 11:30 and got
A seat at the counter. They are open 11:30-2:30, then
5:30-9 or 9:30.

#1 http://www.mattsinthemarket.com/menu.html

Also, if they like wine, I would go b4 dinner or
After dinner for a glass of wine at:

#2 Tasting Room-Wines Of Washington state
Address: 1924 Post Alley
Phone: (206) 770-9463

Post Alley runs parallel to Pike Place market. It's
Only open from noon-8pm.

#3 If they like seafood, try the Halibut cheeks (very
Similar to scallops) at:

Cutters Bayhouse
Address: 2001 Western Ave # 100
Phone: (206) 448-4884

It's no more Than a block after Pike Place market on the left. ~Theresa

04-29-2007, 09:45 PM
Canice: I saw this at http://culinaryfool.spaces.live.com/

New Urban Eats
Did you miss Twenty Five for $25? Or maybe you made it to a few places but wished you had time for more? Well, there's a new promotion running this year that might be just what you are looking for. This new event is called New Urban Eats. It's sponsored by NW Source and while similar to the Twenty Five for $25 has a few interesting differences.

meant to do a couple things. The first rule means that you'll see new and different places participating each year - while that's a good idea, I do enjoy getting back to some of my "old" favorites. And the next two rules help ensure that you receive quality for your dining dollar.

Also, the price for the three-course dinners will be $30 - still a pretty good deal for an appetizer, entrée and dessert!

The promotion runs from May 1 - May 31, Sundays - Thursdays (except Mother's Day). So far there are twenty restaurants on the list - it's possible that more will be added so check back to see. And you should check the website for all of the details.


04-29-2007, 10:00 PM
I have been trying to think of unique foodie type stores for you to visit and other than Asian places couldn't come up with much. I did want to point out World Spice Merchants as a possiblity though....I haven't been inside the store but my girlfriend lived in the bldg next to it so I have parked my car out front more than once.:o

They are located right below Pike Place so getting there won't be an issue at all.

Here is their website: http://worldspice.com/home/home.shtml

04-29-2007, 10:03 PM
Elliott Bay Book Co. could kill the afternoon! What is it with visiting bookstores when on vacation? I mean, it's a great place and all, but they DO sell books where I live! :p

Thanks for your input, everyone.

While down in Pioneer Square you should pop into the Paper Cat. I LOVE that store! Lots of great cat themed stationary and other goodies too!

04-29-2007, 10:34 PM
Here is a cool link that the http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/ put together for food lovers that are visiting Seattle:


04-29-2007, 10:55 PM
Thanks, misskitty, for thinking of me!!

I'm sooo bummed: my free night for dinner is Friday (will be in my friends' neighborhood doing something low-key on Saturday) so I can't catch the New Urban Eats. Boohoo, that sounds ideal!
Last time I was in Seattle, I'd thought a lot about where to have dinner my free night, and in the event I wasn't hungry at all! I admit to having over-snacked at the airport when my flight was delayed. Oh, wait. It wasn't delayed I thought I was on a flight two hours prior to the one I'd booked :o I ended up walking into a little café-type place not far from Pioneer Square. Cozy and friendly and looked like a restaurant but had a menu like a café, with Mediterranean small bites. And a guy in a pork-pie hat playing classic jazz numbers ala Bill Evans. Cost me about fifteen bucks and was the perfect fit for the evening! So I'll have an idea or two up my sleeve, and maybe count on serendipity again.

Thank you SO MUCH for pointing out World Spice Merchants! Alton Brown went there all the way from Atlanta to do a segment on spices, so that's a pretty good recommendation. I'd totally forgotten about it, and had no idea it was right near the market. I've seen mention of a supposedly good spice shop in San Francisco, but I've never heard anyone talk about it, and I don't recall where it is or what it's called, so I'm totally lacking a good spice shop experience (despite my attempts to stuff the ballot box when Penzey's was canvassing :p ).

I'll keep my eye out for the Paper Cat!

04-29-2007, 11:03 PM
Thanks for the additional links! Think I'll haul the li'l iBook down to a café tomorrow and poke around the hedonist's blog (AH, is *not* a good abreviation :p )

The past eight days had me on a mission of "one good food experience every day" that lead me out in search of the odd bakery, great burrito, perfect dumpling, etc. so I think that's part of what got me stuck on the "food finds" idea.
Today I had a cheeseburger in a coffee shop for lunch, so I think I'll be less a "woman obsessed" with food finds for a while. ;)

04-30-2007, 07:07 AM
I tend to like comfort food. It's been a while since I've been in Seattle, but here were a few of my favorites.

The icon Grill is one of my favorites. http://www.icongrill.com/ I used to eat there every week when I was working up there. The double cut pork chop is my favorite. :D Their meatloaf is reported to be some of the best in town.

One the best meals I ever had was at the Dahlia Lounge. http://tomdouglas.com/dahlia/ The meal involved incredible wine, roast chicken with sausage gravy, and homemade donuts for dessert. yummmmmmm

Bad Alberts in Ballard http://www.badalberts.com/ may look like a dive, but the food is good and their specials are usually excellent. Monday night used to be chicken fried steak night, it may still be but I'm not sure.

I haven't been, but my good friends in Seattle rave about Kingfish. http://www.openlist.com/restaurants-view-kingfish_cafe.htm It's southern food. Lots of fried stuff

04-30-2007, 10:06 AM
Canice ~ Just a bit more about the World Spice Merchants [www.worldspice.com]. Food & Wine did the following short article in their March 2002 issue:

Mix Master
When Tony Hill traveled the world as a marketing specialist, a friend’s mother gave him a gift that sparked his imagination: an old envelope with a recipe for Madras curry powder scrawled on the back – with no quantities. When Hill asked how much of everything to add, she told him “Only you can figure that out.” Years later Hill is still toasting, blending and tasting spices at World Spice Merchants the Seattle emporium he founded in 1994. At the heart of his vast collection are more than 15 regional Indian masalas – including his own Madras curry powder, which he grinds on the spot or sells as a mixture of whole spices to grind at home. Hill is adamant about freshness: “We follow the spices around the globe,” he says, “choosing them only at their peak” (1509 Western Ave . . .)

Additionally, Sunset Magazine did a very much longer article on the WSM, sorry I don’t have the dates on that article and it’s way too long for me to type up right now. It did mention that on the bottom floor of his store Hill serves fresh-brewed tea and chai and closes the article “w/once you sniff Spice Boy’s stuff, chances are you won’t mind spending a bit to spice things up.”

Guess this tells you that I’ve been wanting to get there myself for quite some time, and I’m a Seattle native! Linda ~

05-02-2007, 10:04 PM
I just read thru my June Bon Appetit and they are recomending (which is no surprise) Tavolata has a Seattle "Summer Hot Spot". Basically, it is a casual Italian place and the chef is Ethan Stowell -- he also runs Union which I already recomended to you. Tavolata is in Belltown on 2nd Ave.....so if you are in the neighborhood it might be worth checking out.

05-02-2007, 10:23 PM
Ack! I totally missed the Union recommendation! :confused:

I had breakfast with my friend Amy yesterday and that was her #1 recommendation for an easy walk from my hotel, though she said Tavolata was well worth moving a bit for.
Flying Fish was a big recommendation as well (and the menu looks great) but I've sort of got Union on my mind.
She raved about Sitka & Spruce, but that seems impractical for my circumstances, so I'll keep options open.
I also like the looks of Zoe, but again, depends on my ambition for the evening.

05-03-2007, 08:24 AM
Canice, I think I mentioned Union in your hotel thread....I was jumping the gun on restaurant recomendations. BTW, the article I read on Tavolata said it had a community table which might be fun if you are into that.

05-14-2007, 01:18 AM
I'm BACK, and had the best super-short weekend getaway evah! Thank you to everyone who posted here and on my hotel thread - it was all very helpful.

I've written an exhaustive review of my weekend that wouldn't be appropriate (it's loooong) for this BB, but for key points:

I stayed at the Monaco (don't think there's a much better location!) and high-tailed it down to Salumi on Friday afternoon. I'm soooo glad I made it! From there I wandered down to Pioneer Square and the requisite visit to Elliott Bay Book Company, where I resisted buying books, but did pick up a copy of the lovely Northwest Palate magazine, which I enjoyed so much it seems to deserve its own thread. Patricia Wells was going to be there that evening, but I had to get serious about my own dinner.

Parched from all the cured meats and my long walk, I nipped into the Bookstore Bar & Café in front of the Hotel Alexis and quenched my thirst and had a nice chat about restaurants with my cocktail server. I'd decided on dinner at Union, but something in that magazine and my chat with the cocktail waitress caused a change of heart.

I made my way back to the hotel to freshen up and put on a clean shirt and head down to Steelhead Diner on Pine Street, near the market - my new, revised dinner destination. OMG! Wish I could post my whole account of that day and my fun evening at that restaurant. It was the BEST! Fantastic meal in front of the open kitchen, lively atmoshphere, helpful server and more. Go there!

Saturday morning I did head down to Pike Place Market. I am very much NOT a morning person, but thought it would behoove me to get there at 9:00. In spite of my late-morning ways, I actually got there at 8:30 and was amazed to learn that it doesn't open at all until 9:00. Whoever heard of a market opening at that late hour?

Feeling peckish, I took Stephanie's advice and got a wicked pastry at Piroshky, Piroshky! and then a cappuccino at Le Panier, where I scored both a stool at the counter and an only slightly coffee-stained copy of the New York Times. So I killed some time there before getting back into the now-open market.

I had a very successful trip to the spice shop as well as the market, and had planned to have lunch at Matt's which is, alas, closed for rennovation and expansion.
I set out in search of a good (not "great" but decent) lunch, and met failure after failure. Then I was upon the newly remodeled Seattle Art Museum. LOVE that about museums these days -- they have good food in nice cafés that are open to all. So that's what I did, had a perfectly lovely onion soup and half sandwich there before going back to my hotel to freshen up.

At 2:00 a dear friend picked me up at the Monaco and took me out to his new home (he and his wife and son relocated from Berkeley last fall) in Ravenna. But not without a stop by Top Pot in Wedgewood. What a wonderful place!

I had a fantastic visit with them, including a walk around the University campus, visit to the locks, etc., followed by terrific fish and chips at an ale house in Ravenna, and an after-dinner pint in the only complete bookstore/café/pub (each separate, yet part of the whole enterprise) I've ever seen.

So I got a fine hotel, lunch at Salumi, a fantastic PNW dinner, a good trip to the market and World Spice Merchant, and a lovely visit with my friends.

Thanks for the advice, everyone! Can't wait to go back..

05-14-2007, 08:31 AM

Sounds like you hit all of the great spots of Seattle in very little time - good job!

Nice work on going to Top Pot too! We go to the downtown one waaay too often and didn't know they had one in Wedgewood. I love that neighborhood - may have to visit that location sometime.

What did you have for lunch at Salumi? Did you stand in line very long?

Le Panier is my favorite place to go at the Market. Yummy coffee and pastires.

I haven't been to the redmodeled museum but there food used to be awesome. I believe they scored a great chef recently that really tries to focus on local ingredients (not that that is a new idea).

05-14-2007, 08:36 AM
Canice, it sounds delightful! I think it's funny that we were both staying at Hotel Monaco in different citys this weekend. Thanks for the review.

05-14-2007, 03:37 PM
The line at Salumi wasn't bad at all - maybe 10 people in front of me - and I was able to get a spot at the communal table. But I didn't get there until almost 2:30, so it wasn't the peak of the lunch period.
It's funny, I wanted to get the platter, but the sign said "serves 2" and when I asked if they could make me a half-platter they said no, they're already made. I started to order a prodsciutto sandwich, but really, really wanted to try a couple of different things, so I had the platter and brought the leftovers with me. Just being cured meat, I figured it'd be just fine in my hotel room, and it was.

I haven't been to the Top Pot downtown, but if you're looking for an excuse to get out to Wedgewood, that would be a good one! What a great space! I could spend hours there, something I'm pretty sure I've never said about a doughnut shop before. And what a great neighborhood for a nice walk. (BTW, I had a "Pink Feather Boa" :p .)

The menu at SAM looked very much like it was focused on local/seasonal ingredients. One of the gentlemen next to me had a pizza that looked wonderful - cracker thin, blistered crust. Yum. I wanted something light, so I had onion soup and half a chicken salad sandwich, but even that was very tasty indeed. My friend and I were talking about this great new trend of putting excellent cafés in museums; seems it used to be that you could get a ham sandwich and a bag of chips in the basement, but now the cafés are destinations unto themselves.

I had SUCH a good time. I was really bummed when my friends moved away, but now I have a great excuse to get to Seattle more often, so there's a serious silver lining.