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First time in Seattle

hey there fellow Chow Hounds...I am visiting Seattle for a week next week and very curious and excited to eat, drink and be merry! I am from NYC and am very into the dining scene. Please give me any advice about the places you feel shouldn't be missed. Everything from street food, bakeries, casual to upscale dining. Thank you to anyone who responds!

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  1. I might take you out of the immediate area a little bit but check out La Carte de Oaxaca and SAMbar in Ballard, the Tamarind Tree and Green Leaf in the international district, Via Tribunali on Capital Hill, Tavolata and Marjorie in Belltown, Zig Zag Cafe on the Pike St. Hillclimb and the vendors of tiny doughnuts in the Pike Place Market. These are all fantastic places to eat and drink and it will help you get a better feel for Seattle by seeing some of the many neighborhoods.

    6 Replies
    1. re: pj_888

      P.J. Excellent recommendations. I would also add Made-In-Kitchen in the International District and Maximillien's at the Market. (The mussels are incredible as is the upstairs bar.) Matt's at the Market is another Seattle Chowhound destination. For bakeries, Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle is not to be missed. The owner won the Paris Pastry competition two year's ago. For upscale dining, I believe Harvest Vine should be on every Hound's list when they visit Seattle.

      1. re: pj_888

        cool! thank you so much! I (sort-of) have a friend who used to live in Seattle and he recommended these places: Wasabi Bistro, Crow, Matador, Canlis, How To Eat A Wolf, Zoe's, and Quinn's. Since I have no idea what these places are do you have any insight?

        1. re: iparonich

          I.P., Canlis is expensive and uninspired. If you use a blue henna rinse in your hair, it might be a consideration. Matador is Tex-Mex, but wouldn't qualify as that in Dallas or Austin. How To Eat A Wolf is earthy Italian and definitely Chow-worthy. I you go, go early as it gets very crowded quickly. Quinn's offers inspired dining in a tiny, tiny venue. If they can keep up the pace, Quinn's will become a Seattle classic. I haven't tried Zoe or Crow but both are well recommended on Chowhound.

          1. re: Leper

            leper, Quinn's is NOT tiny ..maybe you have missed the entire upstairs. it is however very busy ...

            1. re: Leper

              I can second Restaurant Zoe. I work near there and eat there often. The food, service, and wine list are top notch. The atmosphere is good, too. Always interesting people in there. The gnudi are not to be missed.

            2. re: iparonich

              It's actually How to Cook a Wolf and it should definitely be on the top of your list. Quinn's is excellent and definitely worth a visit--excellent burger and fries among lots of other choices. I wouldn't waste my time with Matador. Canlis is high-end expensive, but they have excellent (in fact inspired) desserts and a killer view, both of which you can sample from the cocktail lounge without breaking the bank.

          2. Wasabi Bistro: it could be said there are better pure sushi places in Seattle - I have consistently had some of the best sushi in Seattle here. Fun, vibrant and "night lifey" too.
            Pike Place Chowder - best chowder in Seattle.
            Pagliacci Pizza - standard, local classic: local ingredients.
            Portage on top of Queen Anne - also a great little Italian "Seattle-esque" bistro.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jamesbra

              Since you are from NYC I cannot let you go to Pagliacci, you will be disappointed. It is fine, we eat it, but it isn't worht a stop while traveilng from ny. Tribunali is Neopolitan style and is worthy if you want pizza.

              My go-to recommendations: Veil, Crush, Union and Boat St. on the upscale front. I will concur with Zoe and Crow as well. Sitka and Spruce, Matt's (mentioned above) Tilth and all do really interesting things with local/seasonal. Oh, and Harvest Vine or Txori for tapas.

              1. re: bluedog67

                Second Boat St (prefer the cafe, better service and food then the dinner I thought, brunch and lunch I believe?) Matt's is my go to place when I want a wonderful meal, great location and service. I would skip Harvest Vine (and so I'm staying away from Txori since it is the same owners), I know people rave about it, but I found the food just ok and the service awful everytime we went.

              2. re: jamesbra

                Try Wasabi Bistro for lunch on a day you are really hungry. The bento box is generous portions, great selection, and good food.

              3. I'm with some of the other comments...skip on Matador, and I'd say Carta de Oaxaca too for Mexican. Also, I'd pick Green Leaf over Tamarind Tree if you get down into the Intl District. Definitely Zig-Zag for drinks, and also Hazlewood for interesting cocktails

                1. Cafe Flora on Madison Avenue in the Madison Park district. Lovely dining in a glass-roofed, glass-walled garden and the best gourmet vegetarian food. No disgusting veggies or boring tofu, but rather such delights as portobella wellington,

                  1. Keep it simple. Visit Ivars for some good seafood/street food.

                    1. I am an East Coaster as well and Love visiting Seattle. WHile I think that Pike Place market has *some* touristy things, the local growers excel! I still fondly recall (and drool) over some of the items I saw, that local growers brought. And ther crafts are great as well.

                      I know it is not *food* but include the Museum of Glass as a day trip, you will be in awe.

                      1. To change the orientation of this thread a little bit-- my wife and I are heading to Seattle for a week on Saturday and we're looking for some salt of the earth type places. Neither of us care for food for food's sake we don't care who the chef is, or their unique and expensive fusion cuisine or whatever we want to stop at places that average Seattlites would go to for food and drinks.

                        Both of us are fans of Chinese and I've been told to wander around the International District and look for busy places-- any recommendations?

                        For Seattlites-- what's your favorite seedy bar? Best seedy bar with surprisingly good food?

                        Sean

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: sdbroom

                          Ama Ama in W Seattle has that seedy bar look (without seedy clientele) with surprisingly good food (try the different sliders (hanger steak, lamb, oyster), the crab roll, fried oyster Bibb lettuce salad, black cod maki etc)

                          Another bar where the food and drink far surpasses the decor is Quinn (Pike and 10th). Closer to downtown, try Palace Kitchen. None of these are true dive bars, though, if that is what you're really after...

                          1. re: sdbroom

                            Best seedy bar with surprisingly good food? That's easy.

                            The Central, located in Pioneer Square, one of the oldest saloons in the city.

                            1. re: sdbroom

                              Tin Hat. Awesome tater tots, great hummus, and the flatliner. The Whiskey Burger is quite good too.

                              And the strongest drinks I've had in town.

                              1. re: sdbroom

                                It's not quite in Seattle, but in Issaquah. It's the Gaslamp. Not seedy, but very local and neighborly. Food's good, too.