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Looking for Best Beer & Food Joints in PacNW

Will be traveling through Portland and Seattle for 2wks. Love great food. Love good beer. Love when they are put together at the same table. Not looking for some basic "beer" bar, but nice restaurants, tavern, brasseries, etc that have good food and good beer.

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  1. In Seattle, Brouwers Cafe has one of the best beer tap selection I've ever seen. Good Belgian food too. In Portland, The Green Dragon and The Horse Brass are two awesome beer bars.

    2 Replies
    1. re: porky pine

      Hold on - the Horse Brass is an amazing British-style pub, with a beautiful selection of beers BUT the food is forgettable and nearly non-existent -- like a real English pub. Not sure about the Green Dragon, although I've heard pretty good things...

      1. re: AlbertaHound

        Has anybody tried the food at Concordia Ale House in Portland? It seems to have a really good selection of beers, but I haven't eaten there. And if it's not good I'd like someone else to have to suffer through a bad meal :^)

    2. In Seattle..
      Brouwers - a must
      Collins Pub - a second
      Hoverville (no food but great taps)
      Georgetown Liquor (blue coller at its best)
      Elysian (but not Elysian Fields)
      Jolly Roger Tap room (great fries)
      Gordon Bierch (if you are craving a lager)
      The Taproom (just for selection, but not a place I go often)
      Pike Street Brewery (the new muesam bar is worth a visit)


      7 Replies
      1. re: phinious

        Curious why you recommend the other Elysian locations but not Elysian Fields (Sodo)? I've had much better food at the latter, and the beer's obviously the same.

        1. re: terrier

          The beer is the same, the food is fine, I just find the Fields location to be too cold and sterile for me to recommend to an out-of-towner as a prime example of a Pac NW neigborhood pub. Believe me, I live two blocks from the Square, and I wish this was not the case. I don't go there more often because I don't feel that it is a place that embodies a culture of locals, or regulars.

          For a more honest experience of local atmosphere, it is far better to make a trip to the Capital Hill or Tangletown locations.

          1. re: phinious

            In re: Capitol Hill preferential.
            I always found the beer to be, well, beer, and the F&C to be definitely not all that, but good enough, but somehow the experience of the place - the clientele, the light, the space, the furniture, did I mention the clientele - always made me feel well entertained and definitely hip. That's not easy for an old guy. If the rumor's true, that the F&C, warts and all, is gone, then I believe I am too. Anybody want to suggest another dish there?

        2. re: phinious

          I'm heading up to Pike Place for a visit and to try a bowl or 2 at World Class Chili. Any place with-in walking distance?

          1. re: PDXChilihead

            The Pike Place Brewery is in the lower level of the Market (I think, get lost arund that place). I believe there is a street entrance off of 1st. Maybe someone else knows exactly. I went there a couple of years ago with friends and remember it as not bad, good bar food and selection of beers. I am not a huge beer person but thought I would let you know as you are right there! Have fun!

            1. re: PDXChilihead

              PDX, please report back - Apparently, World Class Chili is challenging for some folks and I look forward to the reflections of a fellow "chilihead."

            2. re: phinious

              Jolly Roger (even better onion rings)

            3. I'm digging Georgetown Liquor Co, and I'm not usually very excited about vegetarian pub food. They have a good beer selection, and both times I've eaten there it's been very good. I liked the enchiladas and a sandwich with roasted red peppers, goat cheese and olive tapanade. The split pea and fake ham soup was surprisingly good -- and didn't taste fake at all. They also have free old school video games!

              1. In Portland, if you go to the bar at Higgins, I believe you will have found what you are looking for.

                1. 74th Street Ale House for food and a good beer selection
                  Pub at Piper's Creek for awesome beer selection and excellent burgers
                  Collins Pub for great beer selection and (usually) excellent food
                  Duck Island (Goose Island?) on Aurora is supposed to have an excellent beer selection and you can order from Beths next door and they bring your food to the bar (if you should feel like a 12 egg omelet!)

                  Silver City in Silverdale (Olympic Penninsula) for great beer and food (looks like a chain restaurant, though).

                  In Olympia - Cicada for excellent food and some good beers on tap. Also the Eastside Tavern for beers (Olympia) and Speedway BBQ for excellent BBQ and beers (plus a new cider!) - in Lacey.

                  Check at Rays and McCormick & Schmicks (1st Ave) for brewer's dinners while you're here.

                  1. Try Feierabend in the Cascade neighborhool near the flagship REI store. They have a wide variety of excellent and more hard to find German beers and bar food - pretzels, spatzel


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: bourbongal

                      In my mind, the Jolly Roger is the template for this sort of deal. Excellent beer brewed on the premises (including cask) and grub that is several cuts above standard issue "bar food." I was there today. New lunch menu. I ordered the Green Chili Philly. Superb, as usual. The two pints didn't help my afternoon squash game...

                      1. re: Finspot

                        What's green chili philly, Finspot? Sounds intriguing.

                        1. re: bbqboy

                          Sorry bbqboy, been lost on the interwebs lately. The green chili philly takes the philly cheesesteak model and works in a bunch of hot green peppers and melted jack. It's v. good, but not as good as the Panang curry philly they had a few months ago. That was a sammich!

                    2. Finspot is right on -- Pacific Maritime's Jolly Roger is the template for "good beer & good food" at the same table. Way better than average pub food, and often a surprise entree (I had great vension once).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bartb

                        Agreed. The Jolly Roger is solid as can be. I like most of the beers quite a bit, which is what led me there in the first place, but I like the food even more. Ray's Boathouse is pretty reliable too if one is looking for beer and food together.

                        As for Portland, can't say the menu or the beer list at the Green Dragon moved me, although I wasted a perfectly enjoyable couple hours there. It's new, though, and the ownership is solid, and I have high hopes.

                        The Horse Brass is a classic pub and probably the best (or at least most comprehensive) tap selection in the city, but anyone with a lick of common sense should know moments after they walk in the door that under no circumstances should they actually eat there.

                        AFAIC, the only place for good beer and good food under one roof in Portland is Higgins' bar. Used to also say the Concordia Ale House, but since they ownership change I can't vouch for the food, which used to be terrific if too generous by half.

                        There's also the Full Sail Pilsner Room, the bar of the McCormick & Schmick's on the waterfront on Montgomery, which isn't stellar food, but is passable and, during happy hour, hilariously cheap and very acceptable. The beer, OTOH, is almost uniformly stellar, with a couple of otherwise nonexistent Full Sail beers on tap, or even on hand pull.

                      2. In Portland:
                        The Rock Bottom Brewery
                        The Greek Cuisina (food, not sure about beer)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dusk2311

                          I'm one of the few McMs apologists around here. I believe beer should be as variable as wine (it amazes me that the same people who believe that a good wine should be vintage and vary from year to year and from block to block in a vineyard think that good beer should be as invariable as Coors, and complain about McMs' inconsistency...), so I'll totally back you up on that. And I'll call the food bar food-plus. Another plus about McMs is that they have an interesting site in Centerville, WA (the Olympic Club), in that vast wasteland between Oly and Portland. If you're driving from Seattle to Portland or vice versa, it's nearly impossible to time that drive to miss both the morning and evening rush hours in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Portland, so it's nice to have a haven in the middle.

                          But Rock Bottom is simply a nationwide chain with average bar food and a big beer list. You can get that anywhere. For that kind of thing, Henry's has a bigger beer list and some sort of local connection (although it's still part of a chain, it's a chain based here), and the food is comparatively creative.

                          I don't know about the food...heck, I don't even know if they have food, but Belmont Station is the absolute best place to go to get a beer in town. Local, regional, national microbrew, international...it's beer Mecca. They used to be right next to the Horse Brass, almost a part of them, but they've moved.

                          The Laurelwood has excellent beer and usually better-than-acceptable food.

                          I usually tend toward the "great beer, good-enough food" spots, though, because I live here and I'm cheap. You'll have to look to others to find the "great food, beer's good too" spots.

                        2. In Snohomish, a nice little antique tourist destination in central Snohomish County (north of Seattle), you'll find Fred's. That's what it's known as locally. Trying to remember the real name -- something like Rivertown Alehouse. It's on the main little strip, First Street. Best beer list around, in my opinion. Always rotating with dozens of hard-to-find imports, microbrews, etc. Your basic (but good) burger and garlic fry fare, from what I recall on the food front. But they probably have more.

                          1. Hale's Ales might do the trick. They have some a good Reuben, a good burger, and some other decent food in a nice and interesting environment.

                            1. if you drop by pioneer square, be sure to stop in at the Merchants Cafe....the oldest bar/rest in seattle...tons of history and great company - food & BEER! you'll love it! its my fav spot in seattle. it is the original "skid row" saloon....the underground tour is worth a stop if you have the time. cheers!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: joankrussel

                                Used to go there a bunch. I'd say it's hit or miss. Depends on the staff that day. When it's hit, you'll be pleased.