Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
Sep 11, 2007 10:43 AM

10 Hot Seattle Restaurants

I was surfing and found this article

about the 10 hottest restaurants in 80 cities. In Seattle the article's picks are:
Dahlia Lounge
Seastar Restaurant and raw bar
Sitka & Spruce

I will be travelling to Seattle for the first time in October and after all of my researching was disappointed to find that not one of these was on my list. My list:
Elliot's Oyster House
Tamarind Tree
Pink Door
Ray's Boathouse
The Metropolitan Grill
Matt's in the Market

On a positive note, in a related article TopPot Doughnuts was one of the top 10 doughnut places in the country (not just the city). At least I can pick a good doughnut place!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Depends whether you are looking for trendy, or more traditional/downscale/informal. If trendy, go with the cityguides list (I would pass on Qube, Coupage, Tavolata and Dahlia lounge, though, and substitute Nishino, Chez Shea, Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, and Harvest Vine). I would keep Matt's for lunch, though, and do Tilth for Sunday brunch.

    1. Them vs. You and why you're mostly right.
      Them = "hot" = editor says to food writer "what's hot that we haven't done before?" Writer looks for latest, and best buzz p.r. can generate.
      You = first-time visitor who wants to sample the best/unique/memorable the city offers. Your list is solid for that, plus you've picked places with real atmosphere.

      Please peruse the boards -- there are great and adventurous eaters here (check out a recent post that helped one visitor with her itinerary).

      Follow up with a trip report!

      1. Please don't be disappointed that your list does not entirely match the one they use to sell magazines. Yours is a good list of good places.
        There are some good places on the hottest list, if you can get past their hotness. Especially
        Crush, Sitka & Spruce, and Tilth

        Elliot's Oyster House - do the Oyster Happy Hour - Oysters weekdays 50 cents each from 3:00, rising in price by 20 cents each every half-hour- Go at 3:00 and order a dozen or three.
        Tamarind Tree - very good, though the menu can be confusing and the staff may or may not be able to be helpful. The Bo Bai Mon (7 courses of beef is a hysterical circus of plates and bowls and fire and fields of greens - very fun and memorable). Lately another Vietnamese place nearby, Green Leaf, is about on the TT level in food, quite a bit better in service, and lower in price (but both are quite good). Tamarind Tree wins the stylin' derby hands-down, though - beauriful colors, nice cement work and waterfall.
        Pink Door - you can do better in food, but the scene and setting are fun.
        Ray's Boathouse - a local classic - go at a good time of day for the water view. I like sunset. There is a lot of good fish around here - Etta's and Matt's spring to mind, but Chinook's, Ponti, Anthony's, Cutter's, and others I forgot will serve you well.
        The Metropolitan Grill
        Matt's in the Market - oh yes Catfsh sandwich lunch nearly qualifies as cheap-eats and defnitely as a cheap fine dining.
        Etta's - will be good

        You are in the coffee capitol of the world. There are many styles and approaches, many serviceable and some outstanding, depending entirely on your particular taste buds. A well-rounded tour of Seattle coffee would include Vivace, on Denny on Capitol Hill, (get a Ciro), Victrola, Victrola - 411 15th Avenue East, Caffe Vita, Pike St. on Capitol Hill, Zeitgeist, 2nd and Jackson, Lighthouse, on Phinney in Fremont, Cafe Ladro (various locations), the mendici is an orange mocha, Cherry Street Coffee has slightly erratic coffee, but good culture, Uptown Espresso, especially capuccino. If only for the stamp in your passport and to mark an epoch in coffee evlution, Starbuck's #1 on Pike Place. Some campaign actively against Sbux, but they deserve a lot of credit and the coffee is (usually) much better than the truck-stop beverage that predominated before they broke the mold, for which we are eternally grateful. The a capella R&B group on the sidewalk in front is good at an oddly parallel level...

        1. Hottest? Certainly not Dahlia Lounge - which is good but too reserved and traditional to be hot. And not Qube unless bad food and an empty restaurant is hot. I haven't been to Seastar. As for the rest, I can see calling them hot - if you are using the term to represent new and popular places.

          As for your list - I would always go to Shuckers or The Brooklyn over Elliott's for oysters. I haven't been to dinner recently but two recent lunches at Saito's were not as impressive as they were in the past. Try Nishino or Kisaku instead. Union - absolutely. Pink Door - only if you can get a table outside. Ray's - a classic but you're already going to Elliot's (or hopefully Shucker's or The Brooklyn), Union and Matt's in the Market so it's not necessary. The Metropolitan Grill is good but it's a steakhouse. You've undoubtadly been there, done that, many times. Matt's in the Market - absolutely - maybe for lunch. Etta's - not my favorite TD restaurant. Try Palace Kitchen for a "hotter" ambiance!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lauren

            We always recommend Matt's but is he working it in the new space? I've heard they haven't found their stride yet.
            Recent visit to Pink Door signals an upswing in specials, standards still standard (but good -- don't miss the patio if it's a nice night)
            I'm going to give Oceannaire a vote for oysters, too. Downtown, happy hour special, a bit above the Brooklyn from what I've had there.
            If you sit in front of Saito, you will have a great meal at Saito's.
            I double the vote for Palace Kitchen v. Etta's (still good for breakfast in the Market but otherwise too-touristed). Best hamburger and counter for eating it at dinner time.