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Seattle - lower Queen Anne

Portland hound coming up to Seattle for a 5-day conference this Saturday - Wednesday. I'm staying at the Inn at Queen Anne (1st Ave N. & Mercer) and the conference is at the Convention Center (7th & Union). I'm looking for good places near each, or on the way from one to the other.

I'm thinking cheap places, not because I'm afraid to spend money on food, but because I'll mostly be alone and cheap places tend to be more comfortable for lonely little me.

I'm partial to authentic ethnic places with real, adventurous, flavors.

Thanks for any recommendations!

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  1. I spent last year's vacation at the same hotel. This year I just moved out here instead. Just down the block from you is a nice noodle place called Rami (?) Noodles. It is just passed the liquor store on the same side of the road. It is a nice restaurant, cloth napkins and all, but at a reasonable price. If you feel like getting some things to go, go to Larry's Market and check out the wines, cheeses, olive bar, and luscious desserts.

    You are also walking distance from Marinopolis Sushiland, home of conveyor belt sushi. It is cheap, quick, and really good. I highly recommend walking, as construction has lost them almost all parking and the street parking may cause you to get a ticket.

    A bit further away is a unique vegetarian chinese restaurant called Bamboo Garden. They have "meat" dishes that don't actually taste like chicken, pork, or beef, but do taste excellent. The only non-vegan item on the menu is the fortune cookie, but everything is fabulous. They have their own parking lot beside the building and their address is 364 Roy St.

    Enjoy your stay.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shamphi

      I think the noodle place you are thinking of is RACHA, a thai restaurant on the corner of 1st Ave N and Mercer. It's pretty good but I think Tup Tim Thai (on Mercer between 1st Ave W and 2nd Ave W) is more authentic.

    2. i have been very pleased with a quirky italian place (owned by a chinese couple!) called perche no? (means "why not?") on first avenue just above roy. seems the chef was trained by a previous owner and developed a wonderful style of his own. very relaxed atmosphere and wonderful food at decent prices. also recommended is the mecca cafe further down on first - a genuine diner with good comfort food and counter seats making it perfect for single diners.

      btw, i gave up on bamboo garden because it always seemed to smell like an overflowing litter box...

      1 Reply
      1. re: howard 1st

        I would second the recommendation for Perche No. David and Lily, the owners, are great and, although it's not cheap, it's great food, sometimes exotic (I've seen ostrich and cobra on the menu in the past), and they're so friendly I'd feel totally comfortable eating alone there. My one experience of Bamboo Garden was that it was the worst restaurant meal I'd ever eaten. So far, that stands. I'd second, third I guess, Tup Tim Thai.

      2. There is a nice little Greek place called Pano's on 5th Avenue N, northeast of the center. You can either make a meal of the wonderful Greek small plate appetizers they sell or order a full dinner.

        Reliable Thai include Bahn Thai and Thai Heaven, both on Roy.

        1. Try the Mediterranean Kitchen, a little down Roy street almost at the end of Seattle Center. Get the chicken wings. They're garlickly and amazing.

          1. I'd second Perche' No. I wouldn't call it super-cheap, but it's a unique experience, and occasionally you get some very unusual and tasty things there (like ostrich with chocolate sauce, or king cobra risotto). If nothing else, try it because it will turn your conception of "authentic" upside-down.

            Mediterranean Kitchen is one of my standbys, although I'm partial to the shish tawook more than the wings. Enormous portions here, and there's garlic in almost everything. The soups that come with dinner are exceptional, as well.

            The Mecca is a classic piece of old Seattle, and someone really ought to get around to making it a registered historic site one of these days. It's grungy, greasy and grimy, and there's no diner I like better (although Beth's Cafe and the Five Point are also close to my heart).

            1. Around your hotel:

              Mecca Cafe - a lot cleaner since WA started indoor smoking ban, great breakfasts (particularly bacon)
              Sam's Sushi - good udon and bento, skip the sushi
              Shiki - go here instead for sushi, not so cheap
              Blue Water Taco Grill - solid tacos and burritos
              Mcmenamins - good burgers and salads, brew their own beers

              Around convention center:

              Bambuza - 9th and Pike, haven't been there since it opened, but the food was pretty good, slightly fancified Vietnamese
              Baguette Box - Pine and Boren, great sandwiches, owned by same guy who owns Monsoon
              Harried and Hungry - 3rd and Pike, great sandwiches

              1 Reply
              1. re: ceester

                Ceester, I somehow never thanked you for turning me on to the best sandwich I've ever had. Baguette Box was phenomenal! Amazing to be able to get such great food so close to a convention center. Thank you! A year late, but still, thank you!

              2. I'd second Tup Tim Thai.

                1. Veil is within walking distance and is doing some of the best food in the city!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hhlodesign

                    I'm going to stick my neck out and defend the honor of Bamboo Gardens. It's very good for a vegetarian restaurant, if you buck my drift. I think you have to really enjoy the quirks of fake meat. The almond and orange "chicken" dishes are outstanding, and if you enjoy the vegetables you're ordering, they prepare them well (crunchy and al dente). However, I have had really bad dishes there (some mushroom thing that was so slimy and wormy it was like a fear factor-type event, and the soups are slimy as well, and I've had a hotpot that really sucked - ok, maybe you're right) that made me want to cry. The trick is knowing what to order. Stick with anything deep fried.

                  2. Bamboo Gardens is very hit or miss. I would avoid it at all costs. Ive been a vegetarian over half my life and think it may have been the worst vegetarian food I ever had. Even my friend who will eat anything wouldnt eat it.

                    1. Seconding Mediterranean Kitchen. Love their garlicky side. Try the hummous with pine nuts appetizer, too. Rather addictive. Friendly feeling to the place and you won't feel awkward being solo.

                      Shiki sushi another fine solo spot. Sit at the counter and let him do the picking.

                      In between QA and Convention Center, on 4th Ave, is an all-time favorite for burgers and brews, The Two Bells.

                      1. A block and half for the Inn is Moxie. It's a very good neighborhood restaurant w/ a great happy hour, 4-5:30. Try the lamb burger & clams.

                        I would not try Perche No. It's very over priced italian food that is average to say the least.

                        Mecca is a Seattle institution, grear for breakfast.

                        Pesos is right across the street from the Inn and they have the best andy probably only happy hour breakfast in the city from 9-11. All their brekfasts dishes are six.

                        Instead of Tup Tim which every one tries, tremendously overrated, try Phuket on Queen Anne Ave.

                        Places to stay away from.
                        Choy's Chinese- many health code violations and everything is droned on garlic
                        Veil, unless you want to spend 100/per.
                        Sushiland. If you want sushi, Sam's is a block a way.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: drock36

                          "Veil, unless you want to spend 100/per."

                          Since when does spending $ equate to bad food. The food at Veil is some of the bestin the city. they also have a happy hour where I've had 3 mini lamb burgers, a white asparagus soup, and a champagne cocktail for less than $20. I eat alone at the bar often and have never felt uncomfortable.

                          You also have to question anyone who would recommend Mecca and Peso's. These places are notoriously horrid.

                        2. You're not too far away from Crow (same block as the aforementioned Marinopolis Sushiland). This is a good choice for a single diner as you can eat at the bar-bar or at the kitchen view bar. Nice atmosphere and good food.

                          http://www.crowseattle.com/index.html

                          1. Based on working in the lower Queen Anne area, so here are my picks...

                            ---

                            Top Picks:

                            Panos Kleftiko ($+) - Greek; fun place; appetizers are the way to go here; also entree's can be made as appetizers.

                            Crow ($$+) - Modern American; Good mid-to-high priced meal - dine alone at the kitchen bar

                            Bahn Thai ($+) - Thai; inexpensive and best panang curry in town

                            Veil ($$$) - Modern American; Mini-lamb burgers and salted peanut butter ice-cream, mmmm
                            http://www.veilrestaurant.com/

                            Perche'no ($$) - Italian; I've had good meals here, especially the braised/roasted meats (lamb, pork, or exotic
                            )http://www.perchenorestaurant.com/

                            ---

                            Good for lunch/happy hour:

                            Peso's ($$) - Americanized-Mexican
                            Buckleys ($) - Pub Grub - http://www.buckleysseattle.com/
                            Med Kitchen ($$) - Lebanese

                            ---

                            Haven't been to but look interesting

                            Moxie ($$) - http://www.moxieseattle.com/

                            ---

                            Places to avoid:

                            Chutney's ($$) - Indian