HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >


Where to go with a picky eater? (SEA)

I'm originally from the Seattle area and will be back for visit in May, and am excited to try some of the new restaurants that have opened since I moved to London over 5 years ago.

However, my very English husband is not what one would describe as an adventurous eater – he likes simple food that is well cooked, but his interest in food ends there. He is also quite picky about what he eats, and while I finally got him to try figs and foie gras earlier this year, I fear that the menus at some of new restaurants will send him running.

When we’ve been in town before, he liked both Lola and Purple, but I want something new. Are there any more places between the chains and the more adventurous experiences? So far I’ve come up with Barola, Maximilien, and perhaps the Dahlia Lounge – none of them particularly “new”.

I don’t think a place like Crush, Lark, or How to Cook a Wolf is going to be his sort of thing. We’ll be near the convention center, so places nearby would be a bonus.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Spinasse might fit the bill well. Simple and perfectly crafted food (the pastas will blow your mind!) Opened last year, it's still my favorite new restaurant in Seattle. It's not quite a mile's walk (or a short cab ride) up Pike from the convention center to 14th Ave.

    1. I'm thinking of Restaurant Zoe, or the Queen City Grill. Or Crow on lower Queen Anne. Each has fabulous meat and poultry dishes. I've taken a picky eater friend to all of them!

      1. Quinn's. You can have your foie and he can have great pub food. Cafe Presse is another fun place that picky eaters can also enjoy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lauren

          Thank you very much for all of your suggestions, I have a much better list.

          1. re: Lauren

            I agree with these two suggestions, especially if your husband is a carnivore. Excellent meat dishes, things he will recognize (and enjoy) and very good quality. The roasted chicken at Presse is awesome, as is the steak frites

          2. he can still get his beef and potatoes at Crush (I gave an unadventurous friend and his wife a gift certificate to go there, they ordered that (among other dishes) and said that was their favorite dish). Barolo is another good choice, if you are looking for Italian. you can go to Maximilien's for lunch where he can get his bavette steak frites (dinner would be much more expensive there than lunch). I would agree that Lark could be too precious for him.

            1. Steelhead Diner in the Market might be a good choice. Crush and Barolo are also good choices.

              1. Thanks for the suggestions.

                We enjoyed a great breakfast at Lola, and an equally lovely dinner at Barola. Also had nice pizza at Serious Pie. We ventured up to Quinn's for lunch and thought it was just okay. The fries were heavily salted, and the burger quite a ways off the medium well requested by the picky husband. Food was still alright, and the staff friendly, but a bit steep for what we got when we were expecting something closer to perfection for a $10+ burger.

                Thanks again!

                5 Replies
                1. re: nanette

                  its tough to fault a restaurant for not wanting to ruin a burger. with such an unconventional order of Medium WELL, its just better to error on the under side than the over.Most diners have a misconception as to what medium well(or any other description of temp. for that matter) looks like. I have on so many occasions seen someone order a steak or burger medium, and when it comes out, complain that there is no red center!? FTR, mediumwell is brown all the way through with a slight twinge if pink in the very center. Also, tough to base your like/dislike of a place on level or seasoning(salt). It is(outside of price/value)probably the most subjective critisism one could levy. Everyone has a different ideal level of salt. Yours is just lower than the Chef's.....that is all.

                  1. re: nkeane

                    Well I don't think so. We eat quite a few burgers and know that it is only a little pink in the middle. This one was pink all the way through with red in the middle. That's not medium well. When I placed the order I said "only a little pink, not red". As for salt, I'm a fan of the stuff and these were well, really salty to the point of being inedible. As these were fries, there isn't a lot of reason for them to dump salt on them, I always thought it was more wise of the chef to lightly season and allow the diner to put more on them if they like. If not, why put salt and pepper on the table? I can safely say I've never had saltier fries in all my life.

                    Perhaps you're a fan of Quinn's and I will say they had a lot of great beer. However, I feel that when I go somewhere they should cook my burger right and go on the safe side of salt, leaving it down to me. If there is a question about burger doneness, why not ask me? I'm not the only person who has had a less than stellar experience at Quinn's, so I don't think it is just me.

                    1. re: nanette

                      I am also not a fan of Quinn's food and found the items to be a bit greasy and overly seasoned. It's also way too much meat with barely a vegetarian or simply healthy option. I would go there for a drink though. On the other hand I just love Restaurant Zoe.

                    2. re: nkeane

                      Nanette can fault the restaurant for whatever reason she wants. Whats it to you? (are you the owner?) First of all, if they don't want to take "such an unconventional order" they should have said so. If you are in love with the place, good for you. Let others have their opinion ... no need to talk down to them and tell them they don't know how food is supposed to come out. That really bothered me to the point I felt compelled to write this!

                    3. re: nanette

                      Glad you enjoyed Lola, Serious Pie and Barolo, nanette! Kudos for venturing away from the "safe" places known and looking for new venues. Come back to the beautiful Pacific NW when you can - there'll be new and interesting restos again!