HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >


Most seattlest restuarant?!

i am laeving seattle for philadelphia after about 13 months and have enjoyed every singel moment here. For the next two weeks, I want to chow the most Seattlest possible restaurants/cafes. Places I have enjoyed are elemental gasworks, shiro's, etc. Since I travel quite a bit, am looking for places that cannot be found in new york, san francisco, paris, tokyo, beijing, singpore, etc. in other words, places that use local ingedients heavily (salmon, corn, pears, etc)

thanks a lot in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. When I've had friends from Europe visit me in Seattle, the one dish they all rave about is Duke's original chowder. Second would be the dungeness crab at Seven Stars.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Walters

      Boy, it's pretty hard to beat the Salty's @ Redondo the manilla clams (lots of veggies and garlic, and bread for dipping) not to mention the chowder. Ask for a touch of sherry in it, also they have the best "Coffee Redondo" ever! I think they actually have these items for happy hour, save some bucks.

    2. Market Grill (though they recently had 100% staff turnover, and I'm not sure if the new folks are as good as the old). That is the most "Seattle" place I know, though it's much more casual than the places you mention.
      Vivace for coffee.

      7 Replies
        1. re: hhlodesign

          Yeah, I've heard the stories. But I don't know that that means the person who goes in for his salmon sandwich will now be disappointed. And I wonder if the new cooks (esp. one) will be there long, anyway.

          1. re: christy319

            Mark, who used to run the place, had been there for (I think) 7 years. All the recipes were his; the chowder, the mayo, the rubs, all of it. Mark actually cared about the food he was serving and was not just there to make a buck (he was on salary.) Mark was the reason Market Grill was such a great place. When he left, he took the soul of the place with him. You can find Mark across the street at Frank's now.

            1. re: hhlodesign

              Google was no help, Henry, so what is Frank?

              1. re: mrnelso

                Frank's Produce.

                I haven't eaten there since both Mark and Shane left, but my sources tell me the salmon sandwich isn't much different (though the coleslaw is, and it's not good). The rub wasn't a recipe-it was just the cajun seasoning from Market Spice. So even though I would agree that the place isn't the same, it still sounds like a place to recommend to visitors looking for a good, inexpensive "Seattle" meal.

                1. re: christy319

                  Thank you, Christy, though I still want to know where Frank's is. I completely agree that this is a great and memorable place for a visitor to lunch, though I hope said visitor will keep room for Cioppino at Jack's, across the Pike, and maybe crab cocktail/oysters (skip the F&C - take a boat to Sunfish at Alki).

                  1. re: mrnelso

                    Frank's Produce is right between Jack's and the Asian Market on the Sanitary side fo the market. It's been a market staple for god knows how many decades.

                    And Christy, I contend that the qualities of a truly great place to eat is so much more than just the taste of the food. And as you stated, even that has suffered.

      1. Matt's in the Market - although I have yet to visit the remodeled location...

        1. Etta's Seafood, The Herb Farm, Carmelita's, Coco La Ti Da, Mistral

          1. Thanks a lot for the replies. My inclination now is to try Salumi, Maximilien, Etta's Seafood, Matt's in the market. These restaurants probably have local seafood (salmon, dungeness crab, geoduck) that will be fresher than Philly or NYC or have special expertise (Salumi.) Any other suggestions along these lines would be great. Not too into ethnic food (Italian, French, Chinese , Korean, etc) unless they use local ingredients.

            The Herb Farm sounds good but I am trying to keep to a budget of $30-50 per person (no wine.) Are there any signature Northwestern vegetable produce? I wouldn't mind Carmelita or other vegetarian restaurants but am looking for restaurants using special local produce.

            2 Replies
            1. re: newerjazz

              the new place Steelhead Diner (Pine below 1st) relies heavily on local seafood and ingredients, if you like places like Matt's you should check this place out if you have time before you leave

              1. re: newerjazz

                Matt's in the Market is closed for expansion - It's due to reopen April 13 (according to the website).

              2. sitka and spruce would be perfect. or lark.

                1. thnx ccqueen. sitka is perfect; it will definitely be on "the" list

                  I just had a thought; I have never had real american food as in American Indian (AI) food. Are there any AI restaurants around? Willing to drive 2~3 hours to Indian reserves. Cascadia's chef uses some AI technique but it seems quite european.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: newerjazz

                    That's a cool idea! I don't know about restaurants, but I've been to a few festivals/powwows around the area. They're not usually in very authentic places (the last one I went to was at Edmonds Community College), but there's usually a few food stands serving really good native stuff. Might be worth doing a search....

                    Another idea would be the Blake Island ferry and Tillicum Village dinner trip. It's definitely a Disney-fied American Indian experience (so you have to appreciate kitsch), but authentic Seattle nonetheless... I think every kid who grew up in the Seattle area did this once as a field trip. You'll see a live show and eat salmon cooked in the traditional way on cedar. I don't know if they do it year-round....

                  2. Check out Stumbling Goat on Phinney Ridge. We were there just last night. The food is fabulous and fresh and the ingredients very local and organic/sustainable. The Flying Fish is another great restaurant for organic and sustainable dining and seafood of course.

                    The most authentic experience I've had with Native American cuisine was out on Neah Bay several years back at a potlatch. Perhaps too far to go for dinner.

                    Check out Cynthia Nims' lecture tomorrow night at REI "Discovering the Roots of Northwest Cuisine". It starts at 7p.

                    1. Oh. If you go to Stumbling Goat, I recommend the tuna and pesto or the Wagyu beef special. And for dessert the cheesecake was divine.

                      1. sophie, thx for the recommendation. wouldn't mind driving to neah bay but almost certain there won't be a potlatch waiting for me. do you know a chief?

                        Stumbling Goat seems interesting; do they serve the Wagyu rare/medium-rare so it's stll a little cold in the interior with the strands of white fat melting in your mouth? may also try flyng fish.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: newerjazz

                          Unfortunately there may not be. Quel dommage. If I ever run across a potlatch schedule, I'll let you know.

                          As for the Wagyu, I think it rotates. Last night the special was Bolognese of Wagyu and Berkshire pork, organic penne rigate. It was definitely tasty, but I tasted the tuna -- it's Albacore, usually not my preference--- and it was the better dish.They also serve mini Wagyu burgers --- seemed intriguing.

                          Here they are: http://www.stumblinggoatbistro.com/

                          The Fish is always good. Chris Keff runs the place with a strong emphasis on local organic. She is fabulous.

                          1. re: sophie.

                            Some friends and I went to Stumbling Goat a couple of weeks ago. Our experiences were not as good as yours, I'm afraid. Our server actually said to us "Are you ready yet? You know, the faster you order, the faster you get your food". (Coming while we were still partaking in the drinks and apps we ordered - AND the restaurant was not full AND it was not late in the evening). We were there on a Tuesday, advertised as half price wine night. When we got there, we were told that the wines marked with a star were not part of the offer - and most of the list was marked with a star. To top it off - they were out of two or three of the one's not marked! I'm not usually a "bargain" shopper and I don't go to places specifically because of "deals" but that really ticked me off. Oh, and the braised short ribs were $34! When I asked why they were so pricey - our waiter tried to tell us they were Kobe. You mean wagyu we asked? Or are you really flying beef in from Japan? I really felt it was too pretentious for a neighborhood place.

                            1. re: Lauren

                              That's too bad-hopefully that server won't stay. I've always had great food and service there, never anything pretentious (the clientel seems to be mostly parka-wearing neighborhood folks, so I don't think most people get a pretentious vibe).

                              1. re: christy319

                                I hope so too. I worry that they are taking themselves a bit too seriously these days. I live in the neighborhood and prentious folk, we are not. The food seems to have gone downhill after Matt Dillon left.

                          2. re: newerjazz

                            if you're looking for wagyu cooked rare so that it is almost cold inside, at a reasonable price, try the wagyu with black pepper sauce at O'Asian.

                            1. re: barleywino

                              actually just hoping to find a restaurant that refuses to destroy an exquisitely marbled Kobe/Wagyu steak by cooking it to medium-rare or more. any place that does so is either not serving truly marbled Wagyu or the chef has absolutely no clue.

                          3. They don't focus on local ingrediants, and it certainly isn't fine dining, but if you want the true Seattle experience you cannot leave without stopping by Dick's for a burger, fries, and a shake. Since you've been here for a while this is probably a done deal, but just in case, be sure not to miss out.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: bergeo

                              I agree. Dick's is totally Seattle. They are still family owned. They treat their employees well, too. I love their chocolate shakes.

                              1. re: Seattle Rose

                                I interviewed Dick Spady a few years ago for a college paper. He is truly a nice guy who cares about people--his family, his employees, his customers. They pay their bugger-flippers better than other fast food operations, and offer benefits even to part-time employees. The benefits even include college scholarships and childcare subsidies! They believe it gets them better, more loyal employees (and from what I've seen, it works!)

                                But the thing that struck me most was what he said about expanding the business out of the Seattle area. They started Dick's within a year of when McDonald's began, with a very similar business model. Early on, he and his then-partner realized they could franchise and have Dick's all over the country, and make a ton of money. But he said they decided that they were doing well enough with what they had going here, and they didn't want to have to travel so much and be away from their families. A corporate CEO turning down an opportunity to make a lot more money, saying he's making enough now, thanks...what a concept!

                                1. re: MsMaryMc

                                  Thanks for the additional information on Dick's. Very unusual, don't you think?

                                2. re: Seattle Rose

                                  As much as it pains me to admit I do love a Dick's chocolate shake.

                              2. Tilth, in Wallingford, focuses on local, organic foods. She hasn't been in business long enough to qualify, perhaps, as Seattlest, but will surely make the grade. A great Seattle experience is a quick downtown-to-Alki ferry ride and shuttle to Sunfish, for Haliabut and Chips. Pure kitch though it be, the Blake Island Salmon dinner has enough culture in it to be a lot of fun. The mask dances are loud and memorable.
                                An all-you-can eat fest of Dungeness Crab at Anthony's is something you will never get anyplace else and very tasty and fun.
                                Oysters at the bar in Elliott's (do the oyster happy hour) is also very Puget Sound and good.


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mrnelso

                                  Ah, yes, crabfest on Sundays at Anthony's. Just know that the Anthony's on the downtown Seattle waterfront does not have it -- you have to go to one of the other Anthony's restaurants.

                                  And the Oyster Happy Hour at Elliott's is my go-to place. They even have Guinness on tap :) in addition to lots of local beers and a slew of rums.

                                2. Thanks for all the recs; had preety bad luck this weekend.

                                  went to Sitka on Sat at 5:20 pm; they have a sign - private dinner party till 8 pm . Instead we went to Haenam Korean on Highway 99 and ordered bbq 2 (pork belly & squid) and bbq 7 (beef rib). A satisfying meal that goes well with beer.

                                  hit Pike this morning, the lamb pelmenis from Cafe Yarmaka is out of this world. The dumpling skin is tender yet toothsome and the lamb filling is delicate and flavorful. Simply the best outside of russia. Went to Salumi and guess what? it's closed from Friday till Sat.

                                  next week is my last week; am determined to conquer Sitka, Salum and a couple more places. Will report back.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: newerjazz

                                    dont' forget to get the Dungeness crab ravioli at Cascadia before you leave (not to be confused with their soft shell crab risotto, which should be avoided), and their douglas fir sorbet martini. and the Vessel 75 cocktail at Vessel. what the hell, get the Dungeness crab spring rolls at Monsoon too.

                                  2. Canlis. Quintessential Seattle.

                                    1. Ray's Boathouse - Seattle marine history and a great view upstairs - decent food too. Don't eat downstairs inthe restaurant - go upstairs to the bar. lots of fun

                                      1. I am new to this site, but hopefully this helps

                                        a couple favorite of mine are The Icon Grill on 5th Ave and the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar on 4th Ave.

                                        A couple unique items on menu you might want to try....

                                        Icon: Meatloaf, and you have to try the Hot Fudge Sundae it is very unique presenatation and enough for 2

                                        Purple Cafe and Wine Bar : you have to try the Mac and Cheese with Lobster. If you are wine lover try their 4 glass samplers. They are a great value and the selection is wonderful. Unfortunately I am usually good for for a couple of them!

                                        As for Steaks, Daniels Broiler and Jaks are my favorites. Jaks ( West Seattle or Issaquah)is always crowded and hard to get into, but is a good value. Daniels has 3 locations ( Lake Union, Leshi or Bellevue) Lake Union in my opinion is the best setting. Has a great outside seating during the warm months, has a wonderful piano bar and wine list. If you want to bring your own wine the corking charge is fair and as I said the steaks are the best. Try the Rib Eye. Everyone talks about the Met in Seattle but the ambience and service at Daniels is better and the Steaks are both choice and comparable.

                                        Bon Appetit

                                        I would also agree with othyer above regarding Salty's. I also prefer the Redondo location. It is truely a Seattle ( Federal Way) unique experiance. Very quaint and remote although the view from West Seattle location is the best ever at looking across water at city.

                                        Dick's is the Best Seattle burger Drive in. Only about 10 items on the menu for over 40 years. Why mess with success. Many have tried to buy Dick Spady's secret but thank god he has never sold out, just continued his tradition.

                                        1. Always on our list, weather permitting - get an order of fish & chips to go at the Lockspot and walk on down to the Ballard Locks, sit on a bench and watch the boats go through.

                                          That's Seattle.

                                          1. Thanks you for your enthusiatc replies. Went to Salumi on Friday. Had the hot meat plate; it's truly wonderful.

                                            Then hit Sitka in the evening. had the salad trio, salted pork belly duck egg, little streets with hanger beef, monkfish in saffron sauce and an olive oil gelatino. The first three dishes were a touch too salty but otherwise cooked competently. I am quite taken by the understated monkfish dish which comes with a mild sauce, accented with grapefuit slices; it brngs out the delicate flavor of the fish while emphaszing its texture. truly a masterpiece that flows with the ingedient in hand. The gelatino is another muted dish that showcases the exquisite flavor of the Trampetti olive oil; it has a light touch of sweetness and a leafy tea-like aftertaste; I am talking about a $300/lb silver needle white tea taste not Lipton tea). The sugar content is controlled perfectly so it doesn't overpower the olive oil. All in all, I am quite impressed by these last 2 dishes.

                                            Will be going back to Salumi on Friday for lunch and getting takeout for lunch on the plane on Saturday. Any suggestions of what to get? Probably will get some cold cured meat for the takeout. Is there anything special that I should ask for? ( know about the pork cheek and oxtail but may not be lucky enough to get those specials)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: newerjazz

                                              The salami called "Fennochiona" is the top of the heap, for this regular customer. OK, so Sopprasotta, Hot Coppa, and Mole, are not far behind (being, after all, the best of their class), but Fennochiona kicks...
                                              Get these for the airplane take-home, but seriously observe the Specials (on the sandwich board our-front and displayed in the cooler-box-wndow, inside). These are the dishes long-gone-mom inspired, and they can be had, here, in communal company, back in tha back. Skip the (completely fabulous) sandwiches and savor the flavor of the kitchen and the table.

                                            2. Fu Man Dumpling House, 143 and Greewood. Hell of a find. Reasonable, hand made Chinese dumplings. Wonderful garlic laden dipping sauce. Seats a hand full, feeds the soul and makes memories. We drive once a month 35 miles to eat there. df

                                              1. Have you tried Bizzarro Italian Cafe in Wallingford, that's definetely a very Seattle experience. They have a 300 mile menu that relies most heavily on local produce, hormone free meats and dairy and loads of fresh baked goods made fresh daily, like breads and desserts.