Gourmet Food Stores in Portland and Seattle?
I am doing research into gourmet food stores in Portland and Seattle for an upcoming trip. I have never been to either local so am hoping for some local advice.
Not sure exactly what you're looking for. Grocery store? Bookstore? Cookware? Truffle oil and balsamic? But here goes...
Large: New Seasons, Zupan's, Market of Choice, Kitchen Kaboodle, Powell's for Cooks and Gardeners
Small: Pastaworks, City Market NW, In Good Taste, Curds & Whey, Foster & Dobbs, Square Deal Wine/Steve's Cheese, The Meadow, Cacao, Cork, People's Co-op and Farmer's Market
National Chains: Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Sur La Table
For a more or less broad selection of gourmet goodies, here are a few Seattle stores I like:
DeLaurenti's (in Pike Place Market)
ChefShop.com (they have a brick-and-mortar store at 1415 Elliot Avenue West)
Pacific Food Importers (1001 6th Ave. S., Level B)
Since the decline and demise of Larry's Markets, the best supermarkets in the area for high-end brands and more exotic items are probably Metropolitan Markets, Whole Foods and Central Markets. If they don't have Trader Joe's where you live, they're probably worth a visit, too.
If you're looking for specific items and categories--Asian specialties, spices, seafood, cheeses, wines, cured meats, etc.--tell us and we can probably suggest specialty stores for those.
I am looking for smaller gourmet food stores. Is there an area where several are located or are they spread out. I am from NYC and there every hood has a shopping area with a few specialty stores but there are also areas that you can go to which have a larger assortment of stores like areas of the west village, china town (clearly), bleaker street etc.
No, they're pretty spread out. (You should check out a New Seasons, too, just to see our local version of a Whole Foods that is in many ways superior.) I don't know when you're coming through, but I'd be glad to give you a tour if I'm in town. You can email me privately at the link below if you're interested:
Most of the smaller ones have their advantages and disadvantages with some overlap here and there, but most filling a distinct niche for the city, not just a neighborhood niche.
Sorry, just mentioning it .
They are overpriced on their wines but found some of their Italian cheeses and cookies to be just fine, reminiscent of Italian delis on the East Coast.
I'd second landguy on Bella Cosa--it's on 45th just off Wallingford Ave., in Wallingford. Great little place with meats (including [unless they've run out] a good selection from salumi) & cheese, a nice wine selection, and, one of my favorites, a nice selection of small purveyor products--fennel salt from Volterra (a good Italian resto in Ballard you might want to try), truffle honey, pasta & sauces, etc. Plus the folks are great (yes, we're in the 'hood so it's our walk-able gourmet place!)
Obviously Delaurenti's in the Market & PFI (previously mentioned) are good--Delaurenti's is more high end, but PFI is definitely an experience (albeit awkward to get to).
Just wandering through the Pike Place Market is going to get you interesting stuff . . . World Spice (on Western just outside the market), Spanish Table (same--across the street in their new location), Pike & Western wines, Market Spice (in the market), Joe & Don's (OK, it's a butcher, not too convenient but great squab!), Holmquist Orchards (farm-produced hazelnuts, in the market stalls), etc. . . .
It's fun to poke around our International Dist., although nothing like your Chinatown! However, Uwajamiya (sorry, I never spell that right!) on 5th & Weller is a great Asian grocery--my goal when I visit is to buy at least one thing that I don't have any idea what it is (which last time wasn't successful, but that's OK--live & learn!)
I hope you have a great trip and I'll add more if I think of more.
Every time the Oregonian's FoodDay section has some odd specialty ingredient in it, it seems as if either Elephant's Delicatessan or Pastaworks has it, so definitely check those out. If you're on Woodstock, I'd actually rather go to Otto's Sausages about a block away than Woodstock Wine & Deli.
Other than that, I've found that the small ethnic restaurants tend to have a small ethnic deli with them or next door....like the German place on Powell and 12th or so has a little German deli and sausage market next door. In other words, they're spread all over town from h*ll to breakfast.