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Good/Cheap Lodging and Food Downtown?

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I have a work conference at the beginning of February in Seattle that I am planning on extending into a short vacation. I don't want to spend too much on a hotel, but I'd like to be within walking distance of the major sites/restaurants. Is anyone familiar with either of these two places?

Ramada Inn Downtown Seattle
2200 Fifth Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

Executive Hotel Pacific
400 Spring St
Seattle, WA 98104

They both seem to have pretty mixed reviews online. I'm 24 and traveling with another friend, so we don't need anything special...just a convenient place to lodge.

And if anyone has any recommendations for any other hotels, or good/cheap places to eat near any of the hotels I mentioned, it would be much appreciated.

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    1. The Ace Hotel in Belltown (just north of downtown, but within walking distance) has a pretty cool style. I think it's fairly affordalbe, too. Some of the rooms have shared bathrooms down the hall, but from recent reviews online, it sounds like everything is clean and OK to share. Check out acehotel.com.

      I used to work next door to the Executive Hotel Pacific and from the outside and lobby it seems nice. They recently did some renovations and it's a good location to all of downtown Seattle.

      For inexpensive restaurants...definitely graze around the Market. There are a ton of food vendors and small restaurants that are all affordable. A short cab ride away in Capitol Hill is Cafe Press, which is very affordable French food. Also, if you stay at the Executive Hotel, the International District is a do-able walk south and has inexpensive Asian restaurants.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MaggieSue

        Thanks for the help guys. I got an excellent rate at the Executive Hotel Pacific (400 Spring St), so I went ahead and booked a room there.

        In terms of restaurants, I'm coming from Chicago, so I'd really love to get a few regional specialties that I wouldn’t be able to find back home.

        If I wanted to stay under $20 per person for lunch and under $30 per person for dinner, what places would you guys recommend? I'm going to be getting in on Friday afternoon (at which point I am going to RUN to Salumi's before they close), and leaving first thing Monday morning, so I basically have time for 6 to 8 meals.

        Chicago has plenty of great Thai, Vietnamese, and Mexican, so any specialties that don't fall into one of those three categories would be great. I would really love to get some excellent (and relatively inexpensive) seafood while I'm there.

        I'm not going to have a car while in town, so I'd prefer to walk wherever we go (although if a place is truly that special, I don’t have a problem getting in a cab). Thanks in advance!

        1. re: thomasec

          Hey there thomassec,

          I used to live in Chicago and was very active with the chowhound community then. This was around the time we were discovering places like spoon thai and all that, and when RST was starting to come out of his shell. A wonderful time!

          Anyway, Chicago is a phenomenal food city! It FAR surpasses Seattle in just about every foodie way. And that is OK, considering the population density. Even the Korean (real charcoal grills in Chicago) and Mexican is much better in Chicago.

          I now live in Seattle. So I think my advice is good for you. Although I admit I have not been here very long so I may not have discovered all the gems.

          What can you get in Seattle but not Chicago?
          1. The produce is much more flavorful here, and that applies to anything you eat in a restaurant. We could not understand why anything with a vegetable in it tasted better when we initially moved out here.
          2. There are a couple Hong Kong style cafes which, last I lived in Chicago, did not exist there. LA Cafe in the chinatown is a fun example; you can get steak and potatos with pasta and marinara alongside some kidney congee, for example.
          3. There are some good Taiwanese places, notably Facing East in Bellevue. There were no Taiwanese places I was aware of in Chicago.
          4. The seafood here is, in general, much better than Chicago. I'd recommend Sashimi. Try Mashiko's in west seattle, or Saito's. Order Omakase. Or go to the Ballard docks and buy some fish directly off the private fishing boats if you can cook. Try the Szhichuan crab at Schicuan Chef in Bellevue or Seven Stars Pepper if you want to stay closer.
          5. Despite there being TONS of vietnamese and Thai places here, Chicago beats them in taste (especially with the Pho and authentic Thai (secret menu at Spoon thai). I was really surprised about this, but it is true, for me.
          6. Do not eat Mexican here, it is terrible, even places like La Carta de Oaxaca pale in comparison to the Oaxacan street carts in Chicago.
          7. Get some Salumi at Salumi. WONDERFUL artisian salumi's and other cured meats. Worth the hype.
          8. Check out reviews at Yelp.
          9. Will you bring me some German food from Lachett's or Resi's? Can't find good German here.
          10. The Chicago chinatown is as good as if not better than Seattle's, with the exception of the fresher seafood here.

          That is a short list. Seattle still has some great food. But I was trying to think of things better than Chicago, of which I have found few.

          I'm hoping that I missed a lot of places. I do like Seattle food! But Chicago may be the best food city in the US!

          1. re: Ligament

            Thanks for the advice Ligament! I'm not sure if American Airlines is going to be OK with me bringing a couple Weiner Schnitzels on board, but I'll try.

            I will definitely be hitting up Salumi on Friday, and probably going to Belle Epicurean for breakfast/lunch on either Saturday or Sunday since it's right next to my hotel. I'm sure I will make at least one trip to Pike's Place Market for lunch.

            I'm still trying to figure out a good (and relatively inexpensive) seafood restaurant while I'm out there. Fresh fish is definitely not something you can find in Chicago (at least for a reasonable price), so anything under $35/person within about a mile of our hotel would be excellent (400 Spring St.).

            Again, I am interested in any regional specialties that you would not be able to find in Chicago, so definitely keep the suggestions coming! I appreciate the help immensely!

            1. re: Ligament

              Thanks for the great suggestions Ligament! I'm not sure if American Airlines will let me bring Weiner Schnitzels on the plane, but I'll try.

              As I said, I am definitely going to be hitting up Salumi's on Friday for lunch, and I will probably eat at Belle Epicurean for breakfast/lunch on either Saturday or Sunday (as it's right next my hotel). I'm sure I will have at least one meal at Pike Place Market (Cafe Campagne looks excellent for brunch, but I am open to other suggestions).

              I would love to get some (relatively inexpensive) fresh seafood while I'm out there within a mile or so of our hotel (400 Spring St.). But really, I am interested in any regional specialties that you can't get in Chicago.

              Thank you so much for the suggestions! They've helped immensely!

        2. Folks, our site's about where to find great eats, so we ask everyone to stay squarely on that subject. Lodging and general travel advice are too far out of our narrow mission. Sorry about that, and now back to the chow.

          1. Some friends stayed here a couple years ago and liked for price and convenience.
            http://www.mediterranean-inn.com/ One nice aspect is a kitchenette and convenience to a nice grocery store [Metropolitan Market]. A short bus ride or Monorail ride to the center of dowtown. Right by Key Arena and Seattle Center. Plenty of good cheap eats nearby.

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