Meridian/Wallingford good eats?
I am gonna be staying around NE 45th St and 4th ave NE. Haven't found much eats in the nabe...any suggestions? Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner suggestions. We are mostly trying to eat on a budget, but don't mind a moderate/expensive meal if it is worth it. Is there any hope in this area or are we going to be bus bound to another nabe?
There's a taco truck right up the street that people swear by (I haven't been) and you can catch a bus easily up or down 45th (to Wallingford/Ballard or U District). In Wallingford, I really like May's for Thai, the Afghan restaurant Kabul and lots of people rave about Tilth (my only experience there wasn't great, but I'd give it another shot). In the U District, you can find a ton of cheap eats - Shultzys for sausage or burgers, tons of Asian places, etc. And there's a farmer's market on Saturdays (I think). If you get to the other side of the University (down the hill) in Laurelhurst there's Jak's which has excellent steaks for reasonable prices. YUM. My fav in the UDistrict is Agua Verde (catfish tacos with arroz verde) down on the water by the UW Hospital.
On your very first morning, go down to Irwin's, at 40th and Bagley. They bake there, and their pies, muffins, and scones are stuff of legend. Good coffee, too, and a comfortable neighborly setting. Directly below you, on the canal, Ivar's Salmon House has a decent happy hour menu, as does Murphy's Pub, at 45th and Meridian. Quite pricier, but very worth a modest spurge, Elemental Next Door, at 35th and Wallingford is a winner. Bizarro Italian Cafe has been a neighborhood favorite for years. At 43rd and Fremont is Paseo, for knockout Carribean grub. Happy Mondays at Art of the Table are reasonable and very good. Molly Moon Ice cream at 45th and Densmore. 37th and Wallingford Ave has Cantinetta. Dick's Drive in is necessary - get the Deluxe and fries and enjoy the clientele. Grab a pastry at La Boulangerie, at 45th and Bagley (2200 45th). You're quite cose to University Avenue (the Ave), with dozens of student-eateries. Among these, I favor Jack's Tapas Cafe (Mainly Chinese) for hand-shaved noodles and that sour-cabbage-with-lamb.
Alot of good suggestions in the Fremont-Wallingford area; I concur with Kabul, U-District farmer's market, Paseo, and Molly Moon. Dick's is draped in drunken nostalgia and dirt-cheap, but I couldn't really say it's a necessary stop--since graduating UW I've come to admit to myself that the fries are terrible. I prefer Sea-Thai over May: menu selection and value over presentation and freshness, but May obviously exceeds on atmosphere.
If you go to the U-District, probably my favorite place remains Pam's, a Trinidadian at 50th and University that makes high-quality roti and other island specialties. Kauffman gave a recent good review to the south indian lunch specials at Chili's Deli, nearby.
One little enclave that hasn't been mentioned is 10 blocks north of the OP's base, at the junction of Meridian and 55th, now called "Tangletown". Here you will find arguably the best sushi in the city at Kisaku; delicious organic cake donuts and good coffee at Mighty-O; acclaimed bar burgers at Leny's; and the quirky tiki-bar Luau. I think there is also a higher end bistro here called Uva, but I've never been.
Kisaku Sushi Restaurant
2101 N 55th St Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98103
Paseo Caribbean Restaurant
4225 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
The bistro is Eva. Nice little romantic-y spot.
Agree Kisaku is good, but I find it to be a little snooty.
Luau is fun (and they often have nice drink specials), but their food is not very good.
There's an Elysian outpost there too.
I remember their food being mediocre, but I actually had some really nice lemon pancakes there for breakfast a few weeks back, so I might go back for dinner.
I found the sushi at Kisaku mostly average, except they had a special salmon roe that they had marinated in soy and mirin - to die for (and I am not a huge salmon roe fan usually). YUM.
Went to Eva for a 30 for $30 special a few years ago and had a really awful meal (overcooked mains, sauces that didn't work, the worst dessert ever) - my SO still refuses to return. It was a really cute place, though and I haven't heard anyone else report such a bad experience there (lots of people seem to like it).
You're also pretty close to Greenlake - if you get up to Stone Way, you can walk or bus it to Greenlake and there are some fun things around there. I think there's a Chocolatti cafe (yum) for cocoa or coffee and Dukes chowder can be tasty if you're in the mood (although Pike Place Chowder in the market or Pacific Place is better, imo). The Greenlake Bar and Grill has some good food and (I've heard) good happy hour specials. Nell's is also supposed to be good, but I haven't been there.
I think you might just be walking the wrong way on 45th... Go west and you'll find alot of interesting stuff right near by.
Joule can be a fun spot with interesting menu items.
I think the old Bella Cosa has been reincarnated as a similar deli/gourmet food store, but with more of a focus on eat-there food.
Of course Molly Moon's is that way, as well.
And if you make it all the way to Stone Way, Tutta Bella (not one of my favs, but some seem to love it) and Blue Star are there (the food isn't great at Blue Star, but it has a nice beer selection...).
If you venture south on Stone Way, you'll hit Pacific Inn. Again, some LOVE their Fish & Chips, but they're panko breaded, not battered, which isn't my thing.