Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
Apr 13, 2008 11:51 AM

Weekend in Seattle: must eats?

Taking my first trip to Seattle, but it will just be a quick turnaround. One day of work means that I will be staying at the Marriot, and I'm not renting a car, but I will brave public transport of all kinds if there is a great meal at the other end of the line. So, aside from Pike's Market, please let me know how to best get a taste of Seattle between Friday evening and Sunday evening! Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Kosmo,
    Seattle is home to a myriad of dining choices. It is also my hometown...Here are some stellar culinary experiences (these are "higher end", but well worth the $$$).

    Seafood: Ponti Seafood (Fremont on the Ship Canal)
    NW Cuisine: Cascadia (1st Ave in Belltown)
    Steakhouse: El Gaucho (1st and Wall)

    From the Marriott these are all simple trips by taxi...Ponti will be the furthest fare, but well worth it if you are a seafood fan. Over a weekend you will need reservations for a table, but if you are dining in the bar you should be fine. Great atmosphere in all of these locations. Cascadia has great views of Puget Sound and a busy happy hour on Fridays.



    1. Recommended by a Seattle friend: Matt's on 1st, right at the Pike St Market ( up on the second floor). I went and had the one of the best meals I can remember. Flawless grilled Colorado loin rack of lamb that had the benefit of a a night in a spice rub accompnied by side dishes that were fresh, simple and complementary- hominy polenta, rabe (not a hint of bitter) with roasted garlic. There was more, but the dishes don't necessarily repeat- menu based on what looks best from the market. Perfect wine pairing as well.
      Far superior to the dinner the night before at Tilth which I feel has been over-rated. alot.
      Don't miss Matt's.

      1. I second Matt's at the Market. However, the number 1 Chowhound destination by this site's poll is Harvest Vine. I tend to agree with that poll.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Leper

          I would avoid El Gaugeo at all costs. I'm really partial to Marjorie on 2nd and Battery.

          You gotta find some nice fish somewhere--that is a must-do IMO.

          Matt's gets my blessings!!

          1. re: allisonw

            Many years ago, I would have enthusiastically agreed with the Ponti's recommendation. We went there often and for every major family celebration. No longer. Once Alvin Binuya departed, the kitchen has not performed to its previous high standards. For the price, I cannot recommend it

            1. re: PAO

              i do like Ponti's on a warm sunny day for the happy hour apps on the outdoor terrace overlooking the canal, but not particularly for the "regular" food/entrees..

            2. re: allisonw

              Are you trying to make a pun for "gouge" with El Gaucho as in, El Gouge-o (they are pretty expensive and it doesn't really strike me as particularly Seattle...but "avoid at all costs" is probably a bit extreme)

              or is there actually a place called El Gaugeo?

              1. re: GreenYoshi

                No, the correct name is "El Gaucho"--sorry didn't think the pun was all that subtle.

                I just think the place is a complete rip-off and I wouldn't bother. We have so many good places here!!

          2. It depends on where you're visiting from - if you're visiting from a major city with good steakhouses - New York, Chicago etc, then El Gaucho will not impress + its pretty overpriced.

            In general, Seattle has good seafood, sushi and fresh produce. Steakhouses are not particularly interesting here - there isn't anything particularly Seattle about them and if you have visited New York or Chicago Steakhouses, they will disappoint. Ditto for Italian food in Seattle. There are a couple of good French restaurants, some good vietnamese food and a basque restaurant worth a visit. There is an international district (chinese, vientnamese etc) - which has some interesting restaurants although it pales compared to SF or Vancouver.

            Here are some good places around Seattle

            - Restaurant Zoe in Belltown (north western, belltown)
            - Matts in the market (Pike place market)
            - Shiro sushi (sushi, belltown)
            - Nishino (very good sushi and japanese, madison park)
            - Union (american fine dining , belltown)
            - Le Pichet (great french bistro food, 1st ave /downtown)
            - Monsoon (great upscale vietnamese, Capitol Hill)
            - Tamarind Tree (vietnamese in International district which tries hard to provide nicer decor than its strip mall location would have you believe - effect is interesting and food is great)
            - Harvest Vine - (Basque, Madison Park - not particularly Seattle but great food / setting and a favorite restaurant of many on this board)

            Of course no visit would be complete without checking out the market and trying a couple of local coffeehouses. Emmett Watsons in Pike Place Market offers good fish and chips and local brews, and there are a number of good coffee houses around the city outside of the ubiquitous Starbucks. Cafe Vita, Zeitgeist, LLadro are some of the good local independent coffe shops.

            1. If this is your first trip to Seattle, you may want to try one of the Tom Douglas restaurants- Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Etta's, Lola, or Serious Pie. I think Dahlia Lounge has the most NW feel.