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Solo (somewhat) Intrepid Traveller in Seattle

Hi everyone. I am planning a trip to Seattle for four days (so that's at least 12 good meals waiting to be had :-)). So the first thing on my mind is - where to eat? I love all kinds of ethnic cuisines, and love trying new things. So what are your favorite restaurants, holes in the wall and cafes? My only criteria, besides cost (prefer mid-priced to cheap) is that the menu offers some veggie and/or fish dishes. Oh, and I have a real sweet tooth, so recs for good cafe/bakeries are most welcome too. TIA!

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  1. Here are some choices-
    Malay Satay Hut for Malaysian.
    Green leaf for Vietnamese.
    Seven Star Szechuan Pepper for Sichuan cuisine.
    Dahlak for Very good Eritrean cuisine.
    Paseo for Caribbean inspired sandwiches.
    Salumi for very good Italian Cured Meats and sandwiches.
    Maneki for Japanese comfort food; just won a James Beard Classic restaurant award.
    Cafe Besalu for amazing pastries.
    Columbia City Bakery for great bread and great pastries also.

    1. I would hit the farmers markets:
      Wednesday - Columbia City
      Sunday - Ballard
      There are plenty more markets in Seattle but the ones above have good food (crepes, pizza, tamales) and delicious baked goods (cookies, ice cream, strudel)
      I'd add to list above a bowl of Pho at Pho Cyclo on Broadway or a sandwich at Baguette Box in Fremont or Capitol Hill. Since you are not from here:
      Malay Satay, Green Leaf, Seven Star and Maneki are in the International District
      Paseo is in Fremont (they have a Sunday flea/craft market)
      Salumi is in Pioneer Square (not open on the weekend or Monday)
      Besalu is in Ballard
      Columbia City is in..well...Columbia City

      3 Replies
      1. re: amyh18

        I looked at your profile and see that you live in Orange County, having also lived in orange county I will try to give you some perspective.
        Malay Satay Hut is in my opinion much better than Tropika and is in my experience better than any other Malaysian food you could get in Orange County or LA.
        Green Leaf: Is a very good Vietnamese restaurant and personally I believe it is as good as most of the Vietnamese restaurants in Little Saigon. You may want to go to compare but in Orange County there are plenty of good Vietnamese restaurants.
        Seven Star Szechuan Pepper: In my experience their is not much good sichuan cuisine in Orange County and this restaurant is a chance to sample what sichuan cuisine offers. If you feel like splurging order the Szechuan Crab which is quite possibly one of the best dishes in Seattle.
        I think Seattle excels in Bread so sample from some bakeries mentioned above.
        Also make sure you check out Pike Place Market and sample much of the food. My favorites are the BBQ pork Humbows, Donuts from Daily Dozen, oysters on the half shell from Jacks fish spot and Chowder from Pike Place Chowder company.

        1. re: dagrassroots

          Hi dagrassroots. Funny you should mention Sichuan cuisine. I have had a craving for Sichuan shrimp for months, and haven't been able to find it here in OC. And I agree, there is definitely a lack of good Malaysian restaurants out here too, so I am looking forward to trying Malay Satay Hut. Pike Place Market is going to be one of my first stops. And the magic word- Chowder. I looove a good chowder! I am getting really hungry now.

          1. re: dagrassroots

            Hi dagrassroots. Pike Place Market will be one of my first ports of call when I arrive. I look forward to trying some more Sichuan food too. I have had a craving for Sichuan prawns ever since I left England (surprisingly easy to find decent Sichuan cuisine in England, even in small hole in the wall places) and I have struggled to find this dish out here in OC. There is definitely a lack of Malaysian food out here too. That was another thing easily found in London and pretty good too IMO, so a good Malay curry is definitely in order. And you said the magic word- Chowder. Mmm. One of my favorite comfort foods. I am getting really hungry now! :-)

        2. Wow, these are all fantastic suggestions. I can't wait! :-) Thanks everyone!

          1. One of my favorite restaurants in Seattle (and I've lived in San Francisco so I know food) is Tango, a tapas restaurant. The best dessert - ever - is their chocolate diablo.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Donna Marcelle

              Agree 100% with Tango Tapas. Often overlooked on CH boards by another tapas, Harvest Vine. While the latter may be slightly more authentic, I think Tangos food and of course, their Diablo is superior. I will say I recently had a dessert that surpassed the Diablo (in my opinion, hubbie still went w/ diablo). If you ever stop by San Antonio, TX try Francescas at Sunset choc dessert.
              Also, I believe Monday nights at TT have a lot of specials, including many 1/2 prices bottles of wine.

            2. When you hit the Pike Place Market you HAVE TO hit up Pike Place Chowder as mentioned above. They have a great Bisque chowder that has won awards at a bunch of "chowder offs". It's the real deal...

              2 Replies
              1. re: jamesbra

                Late note: I finally tried Pike Place Chowder's "Seared Scallop" chowder yesterday, having intended this for years. Oh my. It is now surely my top Seattle chowder recommendation. Maybe anyplace.

                1. re: mrnelso

                  Ooh man, that's definitely on my list of things to try. Maybe even more than once. :-)

              2. Here's a suggestion for a great little bakery that will also give you an excuse to get out on the water:

                Coleman Dock, the downtown base for the Washington State Ferry system, isn't far from Pike Place Market. Walk-on fares are cheap. Bainbridge Island is just 35 minutes across the Sound, and the boats run about once an hour during the daytime. It's a beautiful trip, especially in decent weather (and they're saying we may actually get some of that, soon!) Once you're on the island, walk a couple of blocks up the hill and turn left at Winslow Way. You'll find a little downtown district with shops and restaurants, and in the middle of it is Blackbird Bakery. I've never had anything there that wasn't wonderful! The cakes are to die for, and the quiches (always veggie) are excellent.

                1. Not sure from the post whether your trip has already occurred or not.
                  Bakery: Flying Apron, U-District http://www.flyingapron.net/home.htm
                  Cafe Flora http://www.cafeflora.com/information.htm (on the expensive side
                  )Chaco Canyon (U-district) http://www.chacocanyoncafe.com/
                  Patty Pan Grill (Ballard) http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Co...
                  Flowers (vegan-friendly lunch buffet) U-district http://www.yelp.com/biz/flowers-bar-a...