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Seattle downtown options

I did a search and didn't see much on this. I'm going to be in Seattle, staying downtown at the Fairmont, for two nights next week. Does anyone have recommendations for good eats near the hotel? Actually, I will have a car, so walkable places aren't strictly necessary but probably easier. I'm traveling on business, so budget is flexible. I don't think the best food is necessarily the most expensive, but I'm not limited to only casual places.

I like Italian, seafood, steak/grilled meat, Spanish/tapas, most anything except I'm finicky about Asian food. Generally when I travel for work I like to experience whatever is good in the place I'm visiting (for example, when in Baltimore once, I made sure I got some good crab). So food that is known to be good in the area is really what I'm after. I'm assuming in Seattle this means seafood, but I'm sure there are other less obvious great local options.

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  1. Thedoorchick --

    There are many great restaurants in Seattle and you can search through this board, but I wanted to share one of my favorites that's close to your hotel: Tulio. It's at 1100 Fifth Ave. Try the sweet potato gnocchi w/butter and sage. Intimate place, cozy bar eating. Enjoy Seattle!

    1. TDC, Harvest Vine for Tapas is a short drive from your hotel. For Seafood, I highly recommend a local Chowhound favorite: The Szechuan crab at Seven Stars restaurant. (When eating this dish, be sure to wear a blouse that's easily replaceable.) Also, the upstairs bar at Maximillien's at the market serves fantastic mussels. Enjoy!

      1. Just a few blocks from your hotel is Union, at 1st and Union. The seafood, pasta and meat dishes there are all fantastic.

        In your hotel is Shuckers, one of my favorite places for lunch or drinks and apps. They have great oysters (hence the name).

        1. I think Cafe' Campagne is excellent.

          I can't wait to try Tulio's ( I know - its only been there for a 100 years - is there salmon raviolli the top thing on the menu? )

          1. Hello The Door Chick:

            Call a taxi and ask the driver to take you to "Dick's" at Queen Anne Ave. It is close, they don't take reservations and usually it is hard to get a table. It is wonderful food.

            The whole area Lower and Upper QA is nice with other restaurants, bars, theatre, etc. nice. Hip, cool, urbane. Check it out. QA is very easy to get around with walk, taxi, bus or whatever need to do.

            Downtown is dead at night. The Market closes at 6pm, so QA works. Here are few a few fave's"

            http://www.ddir.com/history.html (A classic

            )

            http://www.tenmercer.com/
            http://www.chowfoods.com/five/index.aspx
            http://www.mcmenamins.com/index.php?l...
            http://www.opalseattle.com/
            http://www.yelp.com/biz/how-to-cook-a...

            Whew!

            Doug

            BTW - Get out of a hotel. That is Business 101 Good Luck!

            10 Replies
            1. re: NCRGBL

              I'm sorry Doug, but I had to chime in before TDC is lead astray. Dick's is a horrible fast food chain which originated in Seattle. Locals tend to love it purely for the nostalgia factor, when in fact, they make one of the worst fast food burgers I've ever eaten, YMMV.

              As far as Doug's other recommendations go:
              Tenmercer is a nice place to go for a drink after the theater or Sonics game, but the food is not very good at all.
              The Five spot is part of a local casual chain that serves unremarkable food.
              Mcmenamins is a chain from Oregon that makes bad pub type food.
              Opal is decent.
              How to Cook a Wolf is the only good recommendation of the bunch. But you're better off walking to the owner's other restaurant called Union, which is a mere 5 block walk from your hotel.

              My favorites downtown (and Belltown) are, Mistral, Union, Tavolata, and Marjorie.

              1. re: hhlodesign

                Also Matt's in the Market is great! For lunch try the pork tenderloin sandwhich. I can't order anything else.

                1. re: bigred10

                  Lark is pretty good. Crowded but good. 6 of us ate there, shared like 6 choices off every menu except the desert, paid corkage on 6 bottles we brought and the total including 25% tip came to just over $80 per person.

                  1. re: bigred10

                    For me, it's the catfish sandwich

                  2. re: hhlodesign

                    Dick's is to burgers as Olive Garden is to Italian.

                    1. re: Leper

                      For me, your description fits Red Mill more closely, with Dick's more of a low-rent Burgermaster, but I support the general point. Dicks definitely gets you consistency, familiarity, nostalgia, calories, and calories, all really cheap and fast. The frat-and-sorority-house show is free. I actually look forward to the occasional Dick's Deluxe and fries when I'm crossing that way...

                      1. re: Leper

                        hehe. i moved here two years ago and most locals will defend dick's by saying, "well. it tastes great when you're drunk at 2am!"

                      2. re: hhlodesign

                        Don't forget...Dick's was made popular in the snappy tune "Posse's on Broadway" done in the 90s (80s?) by Sir MixALot. Also originated from Seattle. LOL ("Dick's is the place where the poor hang out...")

                        1. re: Swooze

                          Dick's is the place where the *cool* hang out. :)

                          Baaaadddd food, though. Red mill is much better.

                        2. re: hhlodesign

                          Not being a native, I somewhat agree with this assessment of Dick's. It's adequate for fast food, but it is nothing mind blowing. Far from the worst, but not close to the best. Mind you, I also think that California's In-and-Out burger is over rated (although I respect their business model).

                          Sorry, but MCD fries are close to crack as a food can get, and unless you are cooking your shoestring potatoes (and brining them first) in pure peanut oil, nothing comes close to them.

                          My favorite, messy, full flavored, cheap, bad-for-you-and-you-know-it, burger has been Oakland CA's Giant 1/4 pounders. Albeit, nostalgia plays heavily for me here too. But far superior to Dick's, in my book.