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Sep 12, 2009 04:27 PM

Ethnic / Unique Eats in Seattle for Single Girl Staying in Downtown, Reasonable Prices

I'm coming to this late in the game but am in Seattle this beautiful weekend and am looking for reasonably priced eats to carry me through for four/five days between lunches and dinners.
I'll be venturing through most of the neighborhoods at some point or another so any suggestions go as long as its not going to be terribly difficult/sketchy to get back at night to the Sheraton.

Names and some basics would be a huge help. Also, great cocktail bars w/ or w/out food menus, or music venues (jazz, blues, rock) serving food would also be fantastic.

I'm a NY'er. Big foodie Like interesting nooks of restaurants with local produce/meats. I eat anything and am looking for reasonable prices for a great seattle experience.

I've searched the boards but am having trouble figuring out what's reasonably priced. Mid level prices is fine as well. Rough Guide seems terribly outdated.

Thanks so much in advance!!

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  1. I just made a reservation to check out some music at the jazz alley on Tuesday so any nearby suggestions would be great as well.

    Thanks again!

    4 Replies
    1. re: bobjunior

      Here's a random list off the top of my head:

      The bar at The Palace Kitchen (food isn't great, but drinks and atmosphere are good)
      Black Bottle in Belltown (small plates. good vibe)
      Happy Hour @ Barolo (awesome italian food. nice vibe and cheap during HH)
      ZigZag cafe - one of the best bartenders in the city (Murray)
      Spur in Belltown (or Tavern Law in Capitol Hill) - cocktail bar and small plates

      Jazz Alley is nice, although I can't honestly remember the food there. The Triple Door is a great venue if they have any shows this week that interest you.

      1. re: bobjunior

        Jazz Alley is right at the edge of Belltown, which is crowded with techie-hipster joints. Many of these have good food and happy hours. Though they may not always qualify as cheap-eats, prices may be mild compared to Manhattan and fifty bucks gets a satisfying meal most places. Check out HH at Spur, 113 Blanchard. All these joints are struggling in this ecoomy, and happy-hours abound - Google is your friend. If you'd like a taste of NW oysters on the half-shell (do slurp the liquor), I hope you can get down to Elliott's Oyster House, on the waterfront, below the Market for Oyster Happy Hour, where oysters are 50 cents apiece (!) from 3:00, rising by 25 cents each half-hour to 6:00. At Elliott's just stick with oyster happy hour. There, you are, technically, stuck with whatever variety they have too much of that day, but sit where you can chat with the shucker for best results. Palace Kitchen, 2030 5th Ave, is perfectly serviceable, quite local, and just a block from Jazz Alley, at 2033 6th Ave. Lola, 2000 4th, has HH M-F 4-6, and is generally reasonable. Though Jazz Alley offers food, we try not to eat there. Two Bells Tavern, 2313 4th Ave, has good soups, salads, burgers, and local brews, in an urban-dingy, often loud, bar scene, but homey and full of locals. Pike Place Market is just down Pike Street past First and there is food everywhere. Steelhead Diner, Cafe Campagne, Maximilien (get mussels upstairs), Le Pichet. Etta's... The Market draws lots of tourists, but preserves its character by careful management. with no chain-stores allowed (except, of course, Starbuck's #1, which is grandfathered-in). It's worth a trip and a little preparation on this board.

        Triple Door is one of the best music-venues in town. Great sound system and seating/viewing, many good good bookings, decent food, I guess (though we try to eat elsewhere). A favorite bargain for us is 3:00- 6:00 M-F HH at the Cafe, Taste, at the Seattle Art Museum, 1300 1st Ave, two blocks away from the Triple Door. There's a Great local music scene at the Tractor Tavern, in Ballard, just north of the lake Washington Ship-Canal, and right in the heart of historic Ballard avenue, with lots of tasty gentrification nearby. Get thee to Macy's, for a productive visit to the METRO transit information Kiosk at the bus-tunnel. Buses center downtown, right where you are staying, and run out to the neighborhoods and back easily. METRO Transit has a good website, with a good "Trip Planner" function, maps, schedules, etc. From the transit tunnel, by the way, you can ride the Light Rail for a cheap scenic tour. Just a few block away, and on the tunnel route (free) is the Chinatown/International District. Find Green Leaf, Lemongrass, or Tamarind Tree, for good Vietnamese food and prices. Grab a bowl of Pho at Pho Bac or Pho Cyclo and visit Uwajimaya.
        Touristy, but very Northwest, and wth good historical info, is an Argosy boat-ride out to Blake island, on Puget Sound, though you can get a pretty good historical introduction at Ivar's Salmon House, up across the canal on Lake Unioin, in the Latona neighborhood, and cap that off with a visit to the Burke Museum on the UW campus, a few blocks away. You are near Zig Zag, for great cocktails.

        1. re: mrnelso

          You rule. Thanks!

          I'm going to Jazz Alley bc they have a free show Tuesday night. I usually try and stay away from the more main stream pricey spots but free is free. I will definitely look into Triple Door and a bar tender told me to check out Highway 99 for blues.

          1. re: bobjunior

            Hope you can fit-in a visit to the Ballard Locks and their gardens. Story goes ship-captains brought plants from around the world, and it's a great collection. Stop in at the visitor center, too, and walk across to the fish-ladder. Once in Ballard, just up to 7302 15th Ave NW, Luchbox Laboratory is a burger with craft. Close by, the Woodland Park Zoo has a free Rose Garden and updated exhibits. The Space Needle is fun, but you get an even better view for free by climbing the water-tower in Volunteer Park, where there is also a free conservatory, dahlia garden, lovely park, and Asian Art Museum (check out the jades). If you get up there, go to Pike Street Fish Fry. Though monumentally erratic, it's a good concept - they buy and fry whatever oddities they find, and sometimes to good effect. Note the fried lemon. Yum. Nearly next door is Quinn's, and just a few blocks away is Poppy, where the very fine chef produces a NW take on Indian Thali, crowds of small plates on a platter. We look forward to your report.

      2. If you're looking for reasonable eats, you must try Sazerac! it's on the corner of 4th and Spring attached to the Monaco Hotel... an easy walk from the Sheraton. Their happy hour is 4 - 8 pm Monday thru Saturday. No drinks over $6. Beer is $3 ... try the Naughty Nellie local brew or a tasty $5 Bloody Mary. Stay away from the margarita ... overkill on lime juice! Order off the Happy Hour for some tasty cheap food ... $2 sweet potato fries with 3 tasty dipping sauces, $3 goat cheese stuffed dates with a balsamic glaze, and $5 wood fired pizzas (I loved the white pizza best). It's a fun, lively place with modern decor and you can eat at the bar or at a table... plenty of space.

        1. You will find tons of good cheap eats in the International District. Check out threads about Green Leaf (Vietmnamese), Tamarind Tree (ditto). Szechuan Noodle Bowl, Samurai Ramen...there are some local blogs devoted to eating in the ID, too. Market Grill in the Pike Place Market has great grilled salmon sandwiches and counter seating. There are lots of other good eats in the Market--Pike Place Chowder, Piroshky Piroshky, La Cocina del Puerco, Mee Sum Pastry for humbows, 3 Grils Bakery (NOT to be confused with Sisters) for sandwiches...all cheap and good and good for solo diners. (Many of these aren't open past 6, though). Cherry Street Coffeehouse, Zeitgeist and Cafe Umbira are coffee places that do very good inexpensive food ie sandwches/soups (food is best but coffee not so great at Cherry Street). Grand Central Bakery is also great for sandwiches/salads (very cool space, too, and outside seating). Julie's Garden on Yesler has fantastic spicy chicken pho though the rest of the menu is very blah Chinese-American, so only go for Pho.

          3 Replies
          1. re: christy319

            Christy319, I happened to stumble into cherry street today after doing some of the tourist spots, and the feta sandwich was fantastic. I'm not a coffee drinker but had my obligatory seattle cup (a latte), which was great as well.

            Tonight I'm taking the bust to Capital Hill. Will mull over the suggestions to see if any are in that neighborhood. Tonight I'll end at triple door.

            Ilman, I will definitely try Sazerac before I head back.

            Thanks again to all.

            1. re: christy319

              That's "Girls," though they have a grill, too. Right across the aisle is Jack's Fish Spot, where you must have a cup of Cioppino, and maybe oysters. Don't leave town without experiencing Dungeness crab. They have a pricey little sampler at Jack's, but at least it is a taste. Better is to just buy a live one, have Jack cook, clean, and crack it, take it home, and eat it with melted butter with a little lemon. From there, go up Post Alley (which joins Pike Place at Jack's) to Pike Place Chowder, for a cup of Seared Scallop, and across Pike Place to Uli's Famous sausages, where they will grill-up any sausage you see in the case (he offers well over a dozen varieties), maybe with onions and peppers, and definitely have the fries. If you click on my handle, you'll see I've written a lot about Seattle eats, especially the Market... Have fun.

              1. re: mrnelso

                Hey, i'm also a pretty big foodie from ny and i've been working here in seattle for the last year.

                I think there's some great recommendations on this board.. but the place i'll single out is Barolo (7th and Westlake) for their after 10pm happy hour. I go here at least once every two weeks.. not just because i live right around the corner, but because its quality. Nothing on the menu has dissapointed me.. except the fried calamari -- its just calamari -- instead, i'll opt for the grilled calamari which is pretty special

            2. Hi all. Thanks again for recs. I'm off on my next trip to Raleigh and then New Orleans so I cant write a tremendous amount but here's my wrap up...

              Saturday night, (prior to reading post replies) stumbled into List in belltown for a glass of wine and then Tavolata. Bar service at List was quite nice. I think it might have been a mistake not to eat there. Tavolata was nice -- had the rigatoni with house made sausage but it wasnt fantastic. Hard to top the various italian offerings in NYC.

              Sunday had lunch at Cherry Street Coffee House in Belltown. Excellent feta wrap and latte. (I'm a reformed coffee drinking but had to have my obligatory seattle cup.) Sunday night headed to Capitol Hill for dinner at Quinns. Had the chicken which was very flavorful, well priced and a made for a non-heavy meal. Bartender was quite helpful and pleasant. Afterwards, I headed to jazz cafe for some free salsa.

              Monday, walked around the market. Had a lovely savory crumpet at the Crumpet Shop. Grabbed a pear tarte from Le Panier to take aboard my Locks Cruise, both of which I quite enjoyed. Finally, visited Murray at Zig Zag for some custom vodka-based cocktails, dashed to Jazz Alley for a free show and then ended my eating with some apps at Palace Kitchen.

              All in all loved seattle. Would have liked to check out some more of the recs here but its just a good reason to come back.

              Thanks again for all the tips!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: bobjunior

                Thanks for the wrap up- I am always curious...