Great food, great view in SEA?
I'll have five days and nights in Seattle April 6-11 and am psyched to try many of your recommendations.
So far I have dinner reservations at Steelhead Diner and Union, am still trying to sketch out the rest of the visit. We're staying at the Fairmont.
My husband is a real water nut and I'd like to find a dining spot with great food and a great food.
Also, am happy to hear any other reccys for breakfast lunch and dinner while we're there.
North Carolina hound
Views and food in Seattle have traditionally not gone together. Avoid the Space Needle, for instance except if you want to see the view. Salty's in West Seattle has a fabulous view, cannot recommend the food. Ditto with Palisades.
Ray's Boathouse out near Shilshole used to be the best place for a view (looks right over Puget Sound) and food. I have not been there in several years and understand it is not quite what it used to be. Still might be worth a shot. Order the most simply done seafood dishes. And reserve ahead and see if you can get a seat next to the window. You'll want it to be light outside, needless to say.
If the weather is good, your best bet might be to picnic! The new outdoor sculpture garden is gorgeous and the view (out over Elliott Bay) is spectacular. The one time I was there, the take out food at the small concession was quite good. Or take out Cuban at Paseo in Fremont and have a picnic at Gasworks Park (overlooks Lake Union). Or try fish 'n' chips at the outdoor take out place at Anthony's on the downtown waterfront or fish 'n' chips at Little Chinook's at Fisherman's Terminal near Ballard. The oysters on the half shell at Elliott's on the downtown waterfront are very good--the white wine/shallot granita they serve with them is a perfect complement. I cannot recommend their entrees particularly.
Matt's in the Market is definitely a CHOW favorite. They expect to open in the middle of April--- but if they randomly open early, Matt's is not one to miss.
I wish Le Pichet had a view.
There was a recent post regarding Seattle pizza and DeLaurenti's in the market was mentioned. I bought a slice today and then went down to the waterfront viewpoint within the market. It's this shabby grungy counter with stools and wide wide windows for the public to enjoy. I just discovered it today. Definitely a good place to tuck away for a few minutes with a book or a baked humbow from that Chinese stand in the market. The pizza was good. Not fantastic or out of this world, but I'd definitely stop by again. DeLaurenti's is a sweet shop. Not as in sweetshop though.
Let's all hope for some early April sun, but if you happen to be at the market on a rainy day, eating from one of the various vendors, walk straight towards the water from the pig and you'll come to this nice little end and a marvelous view of the Sound.
I pretty much agree with everything PAO mentioned but the Waterfront Seafood Grill, right down on the pier and next to the new sculpture garden would be a good option, albeit expensive. More intimate options would include Maximilian and Chez Shea - both in the Market with views out to the sound, although at Chez Shea especially, you should request a table by the window as I'm pretty sure that the view isn't available from all seats. The restaurant at the Edgewater hotel also has fantastic views. I know they have struggled with quality but they are under new management with a new chef. I've seen more posts regarding their brunch than their dinner but perhaps other hounds can weigh in on that option.
Regarding other recommendations, Belle Epicurean for delicious pastries and Shuckers for great oysters and other seafood are right in the Fairmont so that is easy. Be sure to pop into Le Pichet - whether it is for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just an afternoon pick up when weary from sight-seeing, it's a French cafe (cheese, charcuterie, bistro fare, great wine by the glass, half pichet, pichet or bottle). It is a real local favorite at any time of day.
Carolinahound, I agree with the other two posts. (Great views are in direct proportion to bad food.) I second Maximillien's at the Market. I like the rustic upstairs bar; great view and some of the best mussels you'll find anywhere. You'll think you're in Europe. Chez Shea is very romantic. Hopefully Matt's at the Market will be open for lunch after their epic rennovation. A good view of the market with a fun restaurant staff. Seattle doesn't have good BBQ but we have good Asian; don't miss the International District, Seven Stars or Tamarind Tree. Be brave and order something you've never even seen and report back. Have a wonderful visit, your timing is excellent.
I second the restaurant at the Edgewater Hotel (called Six Seven). The hotel is essentially built on top of the water, and on a warm day you can sit out on the deck, though the view indoors from the floor to ceiling windows is quite spectacuar too... particularly at sunset, where you can watch the sun set over the Puget Sound over the Olympic Mountains. Last time I went for dinner (several months ago), the food was great. Just make sure to request a table next to the windows and away from the bar (which can be quite loud).
I second the Waterfront Grill at Pier 70. Also, you might consider adding Canlis to your list. Both are fine dining. Canlis is perched high above Lake Union and is a Seattle institution--very old school. The food is generally well prepared, if not cutting edge, but service and atmosphere are superb.
Although it isn't too fancy and takes a little more planning on your end, laying a handpicked spread out while on one of our ferries will satisfy a water nuts need for a view.
Pack a basket with goodies from the Market, a nice tablecloth and some dishes and you are good to go for a unique meal. At Pike's you can get fresh bread, cheeses, fruit, preserves, you name it. I am not sure how they feel about alcohol or candles on the ferry but you can get really creative. It takes a little finesse but I am sure you could sneak a nice wine in an anonymous container.
Make sure that you check the schedules too to find a ferry trip that is long enough to enjoy your meal with leisure.
For great food and views, you could always pick up a gourmet lunch to go at Pike Place Market (DiLaurenti's?), Salumi, or a downtown Thai joint and eat it on a ferry...
Ponti Seafood Grill, on the Lake Washington Ship Canal, has great food and views. Ray's Boathouse has a better view but the food is less interesting and probably just very good (though I haven't been there for a couple of years).
The Space Needle has pretty good (though unexciting) food and the view really is fun. You'll pay far more than on earth, but of course you're paying for the view.
McCormick & Schmick's Harborside on Lake Union for dinner...fabulous view and reliably good Pacific NW Fish & Seafood.
THe Edgewater's view of PUget SOund is the ultimate view and their food is, in my opinion, much better than Ray's.
Try Place Pigalle in the market--a little bit hidden away, but just go past the pig and past Don & Joe's meats and you'll be there. It's a small place so try to make reservations. For breakfast, go to Geraldine's Counter in Columbia City. For lunch, try Baguette Box in Capitol Hill, and for dinner go for sushi at Maneki in the international district. Those are all great neighborhoods for tourists to explore too. Good luck and welcome to Seattle!