Drove down to Portland from Seattle this weekend and stopped in Olympia twice; on the way down for dinner and the way back for lunch.
On the way down we stopped at Curry Corner at the recommendation of the boards -- we found it to be good, solid indian food. I'd heard the food was not at all spicy, so I almost went for the medium. I ultimately chickened out and went for the mild, and am glad I did; it had some definite kick. Service was good. I would definitely go back!
On the way back we stopped at Kitzel's Deli, which we hadn't seen mentioned elsewhere. We split a reuben ("The Tibor") with a side of potato salad. The reuben was great (the potato salad was not), the cashier was very friendly, and the place is nicely quirky (though they were out of water and forks). After lunch at Kitzel's we walked over to Wagner's European Bakery. The service at Wagner's was grumpy and full of sighs, and the pastry (an eclair) was just OK.
Ultimately I think Wagner's doesn't warrant a return trip, but I'd stop at Kitzel's again for a deli sandwich.
Depends on what your people are into! As a whole, food in Olympia is not that good. And the places that can be good are usually inconsistent. That said these are some of my favs:
Tofu Hut! My new favorite!!! Owned and run by a Korean mom and daughter. Very consistent, service is good, and the food is fantastic! it is billed as "asian fusion", which is always scarey to me, but they don't just mash flavors together but rather offer a variety of authentic asian dishes. The food is very fresh. The pad thai (which can get old so many places offer it) is actually a fantastic authentic rendition, complete with tamarind, fish sauce, and no ketchup in sight. Their Koren bbq ribs are spicey, savory, perfect. The chap chae is excellently flavored - so many places use way too much oil, especially sesame. And they have a stir fried udon w seafood and korean sauce which sounded a bit strange but was fantastic. I did not have the Japanese curry rice, but it looked and smelled amazing. Oh, and they had a vegan cheesecake, which my cheesecake-crazy-friend told me she absolutely loved.
QB, or Quality Burrito - super funky Mexican Olympia style! They have homemade Horchata as well as homemade Kombucha! Sweet potato fries as well as hand cut thick amazing tortilla chips. Excellent homemade salsa and their tofu tacos are amazing! You get the idea. The only thing I would definitely stay away from is the beans and rice. Strange, but true. Some of their cooks are FANTASTIC and will leave you eagerly awaiting eating-left-overs time. Others of their cooks are...uninspired to say the least. Oh and the service ranges from horrible to ok. But worth the risk most of the time.
Curry Corner - amazing Indian food and spot on every time.
Little De Nang's - best pho around. Their vegetarian broth is sooooo good that I don't even add all the stuff half the time!
Sage's Brunch House - not open many weekdays, but well worth any effort you can make to get here. Sage is the owner, very nice, and is classically trained french chef. Any and all dishes are amazing and she is happy to make something off the menu for dietary restrictions etc.
9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516
4804 Pacific Ave, Lacey, WA
Little Da Nang Restaurant
301 4th Ave W, Olympia, WA 98501
213 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501
Sage's On Rogers
903 Rogers St NW, Olympia, WA 98502
The Iron Rabbit Restaurant and Bar has excellent burgers among other menu selections. Great spot for lunch and/or dinner with a casual environment.
Also, I totally agree with the Curry Corner recommendation. I ate there once and was so happy with it I covered the party's entire ticket!
One last thing...
You can't beat the Taco Truck on Harrison Ave (down the street from Iron Rabbit in fact!) on the Olympia's westside. It's big, orange, and great quick Mexican food. I lived in So Cal for a while and that's one thing I miss.
Sandwich (all will be very busy at lunch so recommend early/late lunch):
5th Avenue Sandwich Shop (most everything on the menu is good)
117 5th Ave SE
Meconi's (great chili)
1051 Capitol Way S
Bread Peddler (great quiche as well)
222 Capitol Way N # 103
520 E. 4th
619 Legion Way
Vic's Pizzeria (great organic ingredients)
233 Division St NW
re: Steve in Olympia
Great recommendation on La Tarasca. We were there for dinner tonight. We shared thee chili verde, the carnitas, and the chicken mole. My favorite was the mole. It had a nice caramel flavor. The carnitas were flavorful but maybe a touch dry.
We also went to Chica's for lunch. It was pretty good, but not very kid friendly. They didn't even have high chairs!