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recommendations of restaurants not to be missed in Seattle?

We are chowhounds from Toronto and will be visiting Seattle for 4 days in early December We would like recommendations for restaurants that we should not miss. We love vegetarian food, fish, Asian.... and anything that is just delicious. We are not interested in steak houses or restaurants whose specialty is meat. We will be staying downtown...
We would be greatful for your help.

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  1. Tamarind Tree or Green Leaf (many posts here) for Vietnamese.
    Pho Cyclo for pho. or maybe Pho Bac.
    Malay Satay Hut for a huge Malaysian menu.
    Elliott's Oyster House oyster Happy Hour.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mrnelso

      I'd take the cab ride to Ray's Boathouse, maybe 20 minutes from downtown. It has a fantastic wine list with wines from the Northwest region, and outstanding seafood, much of it caught locally. The view of the Puget Sound is beautiful. This can be your big dining experience.

      But there's also a less-expensive cafe with microbrews from the area, as well as seafood, if you'd rather go casual.

      http://www.rays.com/new/

      1. re: mrnelso

        Strongly second the recommendation for Green Leaf and Malay Satay Hut, which are both quite vegetarian friendly. Elliott's is super for oysters, but I'd go elsewhere for other seafood.

        1. re: PAO

          Thank you, PAO, quite right about the elsewhere. Would you recommend Etta's? (Unfortunately, I've never been there).

          1. re: mrnelso

            Etta's is a good bet for casual NW seafood. Great crabcakes and a great weekend brunch menu. If you're an oyster fan, Shucker's in the Fairmont Olympic is as good (if not better than Elliott's). Their popcorn shrimp is to die for (they use chopped rock shrimp, instead of the usual bay shrimp).

            1. re: nonbei

              Thank you - I often enjoyed the catfish or tuna sandwiches at Matt's, too, pre-remodel. Do they still feature a huge and hilarious line-up of oddball hot-sauces to go with?

      2. Nishino for Japanese is really great. My wife and I both love it and the chawan mushi is excellent. It's been one of our favorites since our first visit.

        1. Chiso's new sushi bar that just opened up would be a unique experience. There are only 10 seats. It's called Kappo and Taichi Kitamura is a great Chef.

          2 Replies
          1. re: niknik2

            I heard Kappo is omakase only, right?

            1. re: HungWeiLo

              right, $100 pp for sashimi, some cooked items (such as chawanmushi, razor clam (when available), true Wagyu beef, etc), sushi, dessert...beautiful spot, a bit reminiscent of Urasawa in L.A. but not up to that rarified level (or price point) yet

          2. Ethiopian or Eritrean food is strong locally, and often overlooked as a vegetarian option for visitors. How about Meskel, Dahlak, or the more centrally located Pan-Africa Market?

            1. I recently just got back from Seattle and have to say our two favorite meals were Nishino's (amazing Japanese food) and matt's in the market (salmon blt sandwich, yum!!!)

              2 Replies
              1. re: travelchow

                i like the crab BLT at 94 Stewart even more than the salmon BLT at Matt's

                1. re: travelchow

                  I just discovered a love for Salmon BLT's and clubs- my first experience was at Hattie's Hat in Ballard when we were exploring dives and seattle established restaurants.