Dinner Reccs for Solo Traveler in Seattle
I will coming to Seattle from Austin later this month for a 3-day weekend. I'm looking for reccs on places where it's comfortable for a solo diner to eat alone, preferably at the bar. I won't be able to head out until 8 or so on Thursday, but can eat earlier on Friday and Saturday if that opens up bar dining options that wouldn't be so great as things get crowded later in the evening. Please just let me know if timing is an option with one of your reccs. I will be staying downtown, so restaurants in that area are preferable. I read a thread from a few months ago on which several people recommended Harvest Vine, so that's already on the list (and I understand that it's not DT). Thanks!
Place Pigalle does serve food at the bar and I believe the fantastic bar tendress you mentioned is named Sydney. Cafe Presse (near Licorous and Lark) and 611 Supreme serve food at the bar..both are located on Capitol Hill. Le Pichet is also good for solo eating and is near the Market. I second Campagne as well...great place for solo dining.
Licorous has a yummy menu (it is the bar operated by the restaurant Lark next door)...but Lark is my fav restaurant in Seattle, and if you are that close to Lark, i'd try to snag a table for one and eat a full meal there...the Lark meal i had three weeks ago was staggeringly good...
I just returned (to DC) from a trip to Seattle yesterday. The best meal I had, hands down, was at Crush. It is not downtown, but it's great. My dinner there was one of the best I have had in years. The restaurant is in Capitol Hill, roughly two miles from downtown. Cab fare should run about $10. Take the bus if you want, but go to this restaurant. If you sit at the bar, you will enjoy an unobstructed view of the entire kitchen. Meals are prepared feet from your seat, and I guarantee that Chef Justin Wilson will come chat with you. He talks to everyone in the restaurant if he gets the chance.
My dining companion said about Crush, "if I were on death row, I would request what we just ate as my last meal."
"Which part?" I asked.
"All of it," he replied.
I agree completely. By the way, do not leave without trying the foie gras. Suffice it to say that this dining expereince is one that has made a lasting impression. The day after our dinner at Crush, I rose at 6am, walked 6 miles and ran for 45 minutes. I am not exactly an athlete; so, I was famished. We went to a reputable restaurant (recommended on Chowhound) for lunch, & I did not expect to be picky. After Crush, I was. I ended up skipping most of the meal because "normal" food was disappointing after such a pleasant meal at Crush. (not a fan of the name, I'll admit, but honestly, who cares about that?)
Seattle is a great city for bar eating. My husband and I often prefer the bar, and I always choose it if I'm dining solo. Here are places where I've eaten solo and I recommend without reservations (as in doubt)! El Camino and Santa Fe Cafe are in Fremont and Phinney, respectively, in case you are out and about!
I don't think time is that much of a deal. Good bars are lively but at top restaurants they do turn over! BTW, Palace Kitchen has a great late dinner/breakfast special after 10 pm for $12.00. Always a winner! Listed alphabetically:
Crow (both bar and kitchen bar)
Harvest Vine (I prefer the kitchen bar upstairs)
How to Cook a Wolf
Le Pichet (probably the most crowded)
Santa Fe Cafe
PS When I was in Austin last winter I ate at the bar at Vespiao. Fabulous!
Cafe Campagne in the market has a nice little bar and I often see folks eating there solo. I've actually always wanted to do it myself and just never gotten around to it. There's a really cool little bar in Place Pigalle (also in the market) and very friendly bar-tendress but I don't know if they serve food at it or not.
There are great bars that serve the dinner menu at Flying Fish and Cascadia in Belltown, just north of downtown. Txori is also there, but if you plan to go to Harvest Vine, that would be a bit of overlap. Also, Boat St. Cafe, sort of between the Space Needle and the water, has a little bar you can get dinner service. Great French bistor style food. If you are willing to wait, Sitka and Spruce is great, and they sit people communally, so you won't dine alone. The wait for one is probably shorter. Again not downtown, but worth the drive.