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Solo female traveler to PDX and SEA

I'm coming in from NYC for work to Portland, then heading to Seattle. I'm looking for recommendations in both cities where a female solo diner can get a good meal. Don't mind a little bit of a scene, but more importantly, looking for good food that highlights any regional specialties. I'm open to pretty much any type of cuisine except Italian (very common to find in NY).
Thanks for the help!

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  1. In Seattle: Palace Kitchen (central downtown, active bar, part of Tom Douglas group all good for the solo diner but this has the best food and atmosphere; you can walk to all his places from there -- Lola, Dahlia, Etta's and have a lovely evening). Place Pigalle, heart of the Market, not often mentioned on this board but fine regional specialties, exquisite ingredients and small, intimate bar or table from which you'll enjoy one of the best views in the city. Many pleasant spots in the Pike Pl. Market so you can give yourself an evening to find what suits you.

    You will find a long list of sushi recommendations and preferences on this board. If you arrive early (5:30), Shiro's is memorable but there is somehow always room at my cathedral, Saito and would recommend it above all.

    What are your latest recommendations in NYC? My favorites are Gramercy Tavern, Oyster Bar, standbys of yesteryear. Curious to know of any new good places.


    1 Reply
    1. re: tbilisi

      NYC discussion is off topic for this board, folks. Please stick to those places in Seattle and Portland. Thanks!

    2. As a "solo" Male diner I rather like sitting at the counter at the 5 Spot in Queen Anne. Good atmosphere and it's fun to watch the fire at the grill in a very busy kitchen. I noticed an interesting seating arrangement at Steelhead Diner as well....seems like it would be a good place to hang and observe while having a good meal. I love their menu. Maybe I'll see you at 5 spot having Pot Roast one evening! Good luck!

      1. Just had lunch today with a friend at Wildwood, NW 21st in Portland, and I think it is great there for single diners.
        The waiters are attentive, it is very comfortable with nice booths and the food is great.
        I have not been there alone but do eat there with husband and girlfriends, I would recommend it :)

        1. Sushi bars are always good for a solo meal. Do a search here to find faves. Also, we've got many Thai places, and eSan at 133 SW 2nd Ave has comfortable bar seating as well. Wildwood, by the way, has a nice bar to sit at, as does Higgins. Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I always find that sitting at the bar makes for fun solo dining!

          1. For Seattle I would highly recommend Le Pichet, my favorite spot to have a solo meal at the bar..breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Great atmosphere, food and drink. The Harvest Vine for Spanish food also has bar seating.
            I second the Palace Kitchen and Shiro's but not the 5 Spot. Sorry.
            Lunch at Salumi, if you can make it tues-fri 11-4, is a must! I'm a big fan of the Vietnamese food at Green Leaf in the International District.
            In Portland I had a great meal at The Park Kitchen.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cocolucia

              Thanks, everyone!

              I'm planning a group dinner in PDX at ClarkLewis for Sat night - is was recommended, any good?

              1. re: vinogirl212

                Check out higgins in portland. Sit in the bar. Greg Higgins was responsible for bringing the local organic vibe to portland. I dont think they ever use anything out of season and most of their product is from small local family farms.
                About Clark lewis Ive never been and while the press loves them I've heard not so good things.

                1. re: denalismom

                  I had a fantastic meal at clarklewis a couple of years ago. I hear the ownership has changed since then so YMMV.

            2. I have seen few raves over clarklewis in the past year.
              Higgins is a good idea too, comfortable for a single diner.

              1. With all the places in Portland where I've eaten solo I honestly don't think there is any place where you wouldn't be fine dining on your own. Go for anything you want. The only thing I'm kind of careful of is not to take up a full table on a friday or saturday night. If a place is crazy busy, I'll take a seat at the bar and order from the dinner menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: duckduck

                  I agree. Here are some personal favorites, however:

                  * Wildwood, which has a row of front row seats in their open kitchen.
                  * Park Kitchen, which does have a bar and an area sort of in front of the kitchen
                  * Alberta Street Oyster Bar, which also, of course, has a bar, but a lot of two-tops, too.
                  * Le Pigeon, which has a bar right in front of the two-man kitchen. (Note: this is the only one that might not take a reservation.)

                  You'll get local ingredients cooked interestingly and well at these places and should feel totally fine dining alone. Although if you're looking for dining partners, you might want to head over to PortlandFood.org.


                2. please partake of our local seafood while here. Oysters, mussels, local fish, it's all really stellar and if you hit the right restaurant you'll be in heaven. I second the recommend for Le Pichet.