Spending a Weekend in Seattle-- Food recs anyone? :)
I''ll be spending Thursday through Sunday in Seattle the 3rd week of October. I'm quite excited as this will be my first time visiting the city!
I was hoping some fellow Chowhounders could help me out and recommend some fantastic restaurants around town. I don't have a strict price range though I'd like to keep everything reasonable with perhaps one big splurge.
I'll be staying with a friend who lives near University Village but am willing to travel pretty much anywhere. I'm also based in Los Angeles, so I'd probably like to stay away from ethnic and asian food as we've got a surplus of that down here. Lastly, I'm a huge fan of restaurants with an emphasis on locally produced, fresh, organic ingredients, which I hear is quite popular in Seattle.
Also, if anyone could recommend some fun things to do around the city, that'd be much appreciated as well :)
Jak's is quite a good steakhouse, I agree, but this poster might enjoy the offerings at a few other North Seattle places notable for seasonal produce. Check out Tilth, Le Gourmand, Elemental Next Door, Stumbling Goat Bistro, Pear (near U Vilage), Frank's Oyster House, Joule, then go to Art of the Table. For a lark, hit Ivar's Salmon House at Happy Hour (get the squid).
In other parts of the town, have mussels at Maximilien, in the Market, upstairs, in the bar. Brunch at Cafe Campagne. Dinner at Lark, a drink at Zig Zag, Lunch at Matt's In The Market, Oyster Happy Hour at Elliott's Oyster House.
See the Sky Space at the Henry Gallery, climb the water tower in Volunteer Park, see the Ballard Locks and fish-ladder, in the ship canal, and view the exotic plant collection there. Being right on the water, they can grow things other Seattleites can't.
I live near U-Village. I like Jak's but, honestly, it is good food but nothing special and it is overpriced. In North Seattle, I would recommend Nell's. We had dinner there last Friday. I had calf's liver and my partner had venison - both were spectacular. You should also check out Tilth - it is the most "local and organic" restaurant in town. It is not inexpensive, though, and I have previously groused about (the lack of) value for the money there. I really like Carmelita - it is local, organic, vegetarian. Although I am a huge carnivore, the vegetable dishes at Carmelita are so superbly fresh and flavorful, they will make you forget meat. They also always have a nice cheese selection.
As far as fun things, be sure to check out the University District Farmer's Market at 50th and University Way on Saturday mornings. Everything is fresh, local. Don't miss Estrella Creamery cheeses. I could list 8 other vendors there that I patronize regularly but just check it out and see what appeals to you...it's all good.
Lots of excellent suggestions here. If you like local I just discovered a nice place in Fremont called Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop. http://www.eathomegrown.com/
It is not as Gourmet as many on the boards would prefer but it is a great place for sandwiches and while I hear some people are not sure about the Veggie fries I LOVE them!
Fun things in the city would depend on the weather and your taste in fun. I am a kitschy kind of gal and really love riding the Duck (a land/water vehicle) it takes a tour through the city and then off onto Lake Union. The waterfront is beautiful to walk along and of course Pike Place Market is entertaining. Other typical touristy things are going to the top of the space needle, visiting any of the interesting museums. We have the EMP which is.... hmmm... interesting. If you like music and music memorabilia you might enjoy it.
Jak's is good (in my opinion) but the best thing on the menu is their Blue Cheese Burger which many people don't even know about. :-)
Check out Agua Verde on the water by the UW Medical center. Good food & beautiful view. Jaks is also a good suggestion - steaks are high quality and it's an excellent value for the $ ($35 for a 18 oz ribeye with salad, potato and veg - that's two meals... My mom and I got that, an extra salad and a side dish to share and still had leftovers!). YUM.
Other posters have some great suggestions - Cafe Campagne, Boat Street (brunch), oysters at Elliotts, etc. Maybe take a ferry to Bainbridge Island (you can walk on and then walk to the little town to browse the art galleries, try some local wine) and try Mora ice cream! Excellent stuff. Check out the Ballard locks and the gardens there. Maybe try Paseo (Cuban roast) or Baguette box (lemongrass beef or tofu) for some excellent sandwiches. Definately hit the farmer's market (I like the Sunday Ballard market better than Saturday U District, because they have more non-produce stalls to wander). Don't skip the Pike Place Market.
It's gotten lots of press lately, and I'm sure will be labeled trendy soon, but Serious Pie has been our favorite restaurant for over a year now. It's pizza, but it's not. Amazing, chewy, carmelly-charred crust, and delicious toppings. Never thought I'd say this, but the one with the cracked eggs, arugula and gianciale (cured pork) is my favorite. The way the runny yolk acts as a dressing to the greens is marvelous.
It's in Seattle on 3rd and Virigina, pretty close to the Pike Place Market, which is tourist central (and very worth visiting). Get one pizza per person. The Maritime Pilsner on tap is DELICIOUS. Same for lunch or dinner (or in-between).
I recommend the Market in the late morning, snack your way through it (oldest Starbucks is still there), early dinner (like 4-ish) at Serious Pie, take a ferry ride to Bainbridge and back (less than 90 minutes round trip), and then Cafe Campagne (the one downstairs from Campagne) for late second dinner and drinks.