I am Flying Up to Seattle for 1 week
My wife and I just got back from our first visit (4 days) and we had the greatest time!
We started in Woodinville, which is wine country, about 30 minutes west of downtown Seattle. If you have a car, it is worth the trip. Columbia winery and
Chateau Ste Michelle were big and beautiful, a bit-touristy, but we had a great time. Right next door is RedHook brewery, with a tour and beer-tasting. I wouldn't eat at their very noisy restaurant, however. Just down the road in a strip-plaza was a very nice wine-bar and eatery called Purple Cafe. Great wine list. Order the pizza, or sweet-pea ravioli.
We had a great time eating our way around the Pike's Place market. Get a newspaper-map-guide from the big information booth in front of the market at First and Pike. Cherries are in season, be sure to get some. We started at the Crumpet Shop, crumpets done perfect either sweet or savory, in the corner market building on First. Directly above the Crumpet shop is Matt's, a highly regarded small restaurant we wanted to try, but they were closed. If you get in, would you please report back? Instead, for lunch we found Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar. It is hard to find, below street level in the Soammes/Dunn building between Virgina and Stewart, across from Kell's Irish pub. We had seafood chowder, oysters on the half-shell, and local beer. We had a nice conversation with some foodies next to us and they were enjoying the seafood stew. Directly across from the main market building is a little place called piroshky-piroshky, that serves Russian sweet or savory butter-pastry-empanada-thingies. We enjoyed the apple-cinnamon, and the beef-and-onion. In the south arcade building was a large and well established brew-pub called Pike's Brewery. I had the ploughman's plate, with salami from Batali's dad's place called Salume. We had tried to get into Salumi in Pioneer Square, but they are closed on Mondays.
We also had a lot of fun at a city-block wide indoor Asian market called Uwajimaya, on Fifth near James. A few small food stands to sample and nibble, and a lot of Asian groceries. Look for Yummy House bakery across the street, good Chinese bao.
Ray's Boathouse was a fabulous dinner event for us. It is up in Ballard, so it is a 15 minute drive north from downtown, but worth the trip. They have two levels, a proper dinning room on the lower level, and a more casual open-air seating in the cafe upstairs. A beautiful view of the water with the mountains as backdrop, made even better as the sun set. I would absolutely recommend both the seafood combo salad, and the sablefish with sake kasu.
We had a nice dinner at Wild Ginger, right downtown and very convenient. An asian-and-satay inspired place. SIT at the kitchen satay bar, but don't order the satay, instead, order small plates of the seven-flavor beef, the black pepper scallops, and the fragrant duck. Our server told us the Sichaun Green Beans were very popular as well, though we did not try them. They have a nice bar as well - I had the Vesper cocktail since I have always wanted to try one, but didn't want to buy a whole bottle of Lillet blanc, just for that. They have a nice wine list, too.
I don't think you can talk about Seattle without mentioning Coffee. Every time I stepped out of our hotel, the first thing that hit me was the aroma of coffee. I think Seattle-ites drink so much espresso even the sewers smell like coffee! Of course the very first Starbucks is at Pike Place, and jammed-packed with picture taking tourists including us. Seattle's Best Coffee, which I found out is also owned by Starbucks, is also omnipresent. Tully's is local, I think. Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square is local. I had a coffee at Victrola in Capital Hill, the whole place is done in 20's and 30's era decor.
As long as I'm talking about coffee, I should tell you, I love donuts! Because they're not the best for you, I usually shy away from those chains, like Dunkin Donuts, that serve mediocre versions. But when I heard about TopPot from a local, I had to visit. I had the old-fashioned glazed, and the Boston Cream (which was one of the best donuts I've had IN MY LIFE!) If you have even a passing interest in donuts, check this place out.