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Seattle delicacies

j
jonlabo Oct 1, 2009 04:55 PM

I will be in Seattle next week. Whenever I travel to new areas I search for unique local foods (ex “Beef on Wick” – Buffalo). Anything I should not leave Seattle without trying?

Thanks!

  1. p
    pusherman Oct 9, 2009 03:26 PM

    They're not unique to Seattle, but I've never been anywhere with beets on the menu so much! Seattle also seems really nuts about goat cheese. Both are locally produced.

    I love regional hot dogs, so I'll agree you should check out a Seattle-style dog (cream cheese and sriracha).

    1. a
      akq Oct 3, 2009 01:16 PM

      Geoduck and Washington Rieslings (not necessarily together).

      As mentioned by other posters, there aren't a ton of really uniquely Seattle foods like in other places, that I know of. I'd suggest Dungeness crab, some oysters, and geoduck. If you haven't had sweet smoked salmon (salmon candy, Indian candy, etc.) it's not unique to Seattle, but it is pretty tasty. Check out the Pike Market for some excellent smoked salmon. Chowder was another good suggestion - try Pike Place Chowder's offerings...some of them are outstanding. Other than that, maybe some Washington wines - maybe try some of the Rieslings which Washington does pretty well but are often undervalued. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/din...
      You might also check out Fran's chocolates - lots of people love them.

      1. g
        GreenYoshi Oct 2, 2009 10:37 AM

        I like all the suggestions, but I don't think they quite get to the OP's question. None of these are iconic-ly Seattle like Chicago Dogs, Philly Cheesesteaks, Beek on Weck, Garbage Plates, Hangtown Frys, Lobster Rolls, etc are for those respective regions.

        The Pacific Chowder (one with bits of salmon and crab in it) is close, and maybe smoked salmon (the lox style kind of, but definitely the dryer hard smoked style) is a pretty solid one.

        Oddly enough, I might nominate one of the late night hotdog carts with Cream Cheese Hot Dogs for this. I've never seen that anywhere else and it's pretty common for the Fremont and Pioneer Square hot dog vendors.

        4 Replies
        1. re: GreenYoshi
          p
          phillydogs Oct 2, 2009 01:38 PM

          YES to the cream cheese hot dogs!

          Check out this post that just went up today about CC dogs-
          http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/10/ho...

          1. re: GreenYoshi
            Tom Armitage Oct 2, 2009 10:38 PM

            You don't think that Washington oysters (Hood Canal, etc.) are "iconically Seattle?." Huh???

            1. re: Tom Armitage
              Vetter Oct 13, 2009 06:52 PM

              I agree with Tom. I say to get your hands on some of Taylor Shellfish's finest. Kumamotos, oh my.

            2. re: GreenYoshi
              soypower Oct 3, 2009 02:37 PM

              I concur on the Cream Cheese hot dogs. If you've never had one, you must try it. I noticed they're putting lots of other stuff on them these days, but the original comes with nothing but cream cheese and carmelized onions.

            3. natalie.warner Oct 2, 2009 08:50 AM

              *Oysters
              *Salumi Salami- only open t-f
              *Regional Berries and Fruit (Pike Place Market or seasonal dessert menus)
              *Vietnames (Green Leaf or Tamarind Tree) in the international district
              *Something fish related- Like cheap fish and chips on the Pier at Ivar's, Pike Place Chowder- Clam or Scallop Chowder, or Fish (salmon?) at a place like Steelhead Diner- sources from Pike Place Market- or Market Grill
              *Gastropub food- Quinn's, Spur, or another
              *Local coffee- Cafe Vita (lower queen anne or capitol hill) or another (Victrola, Stumptown-in Portland too, Vivace, etc)
              A local food cart (Skillet, Marination Mobile, or Maximus/Minimus)- they are gaining momentum in the city and are a new phenomum in the last couple years- their websites say were they are located each day

              ALSO- Eat your way thru the market one morning and afternoon- be aware most things don't open until 10am most days- All worth trying= daily dozen donuts in a paper bag, crumpet shop, svlenda bakery, piroshky piroshky, market grill (fresh fish grilled sandwiches) , three girls bakery, beecher's, bavarian meats, delaurenti's (store/deli/gourmet), etc

              Maybe these will help?
              http://www.yelp.com/list/wandering-through-pike-place-seattle
              http://www.yelp.com/list/from-out-of-town-seattle
              http://www.yelp.com/list/if-i-was-vis...

              1 Reply
              1. re: natalie.warner
                m
                mrnelso Oct 3, 2009 02:01 PM

                Berries, oh yes. Look for local Huckleberries.

              2. m
                mrnelso Oct 1, 2009 10:10 PM

                Any complete Seattle trip deserves some serious time wandering the Pike Place Market. It's not the same old Rouse Mall Food Court thing you might have learned to expect. For one thing, chains are not invited, so you will find no Quizno's or Cinnabon here. You will tell grandchildren that you had Cioppino at Jack's Fish Spot, a freshly grilled Andouille sausage at Uli's Famous Sausages (how did a German dude ever cotton to this?), Carne Asada tacos at El Puerco Lloron, a snappy little salad at DeLaurenti's, and the list goes on - a wonderful way to spend a day.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mrnelso
                  b
                  burritobelle Oct 1, 2009 10:48 PM

                  I have to agree with the oyster/crab recommendation. Elliott's Oyster House, on the waterfront, has an awesome oyster happy hour every day. I think its from 3-6p. Oysters start off super cheap, like 25/50cents?, and go up a quarter every half hour.

                  If you don't have much Vietnamese food where you live, Seattle is packed with Pho joints. It is a tasty meal on a cold, Seattle day. I like Pho Cyclo in Capitol Hill, but there are a million places to pick from.

                2. b
                  bourbongal Oct 1, 2009 07:43 PM

                  Agree about the oysters and crab. And salami or other cured meat from Salumi near Pioneer Square. Given the time of year, also consider the humble Washington apple from a local vendor at Pike Place or one of the other farmer's markets. I've been munching my way through a fresh 5-lb bag of Honeycrisps from Anderson Acres in Yakima all week. The apples from Eastern WA will cause you to re-think the fruit entirely.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bourbongal
                    seattledebs Oct 2, 2009 11:49 AM

                    I'm not crazy about most of the Eastern Washington apples -- they tend to be monocrops of the sort of generic varieties you find in supermarkets or exported. My favorite apples are the varied, misshapen heirlooms you're more likely to find at small farmers' markets. Jones Creek up on highway 20 (where I just picked 50 pounds of all sorts of apples), places like that.

                    Other recs: Northwest style smoked salmon (Pike Place market or Wilson Fish at the Ballard farmers' market), fall's wild mushrooms, Ethiopian food.

                  2. e
                    Emilyroo Oct 1, 2009 07:27 PM

                    Dungeness crab. Anthony's offers all-you-can eat on Sundays (at locations other than Pier 66).

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Emilyroo
                      rp1760 Oct 3, 2009 10:23 AM

                      Will Dungeness crab be in season on October 23?

                      1. re: rp1760
                        a
                        akq Oct 3, 2009 01:07 PM

                        The Crab Festival is next weekend 10/10-10/11/09. YUM.
                        http://www.crabfestival.org/

                        Be careful with Anthony's crab feed - they don't use the best crabs and often overcook them. I end up getting the chilled crabs so they aren't as overcooked as the hots. :(

                        1. re: akq
                          Vetter Oct 13, 2009 06:51 PM

                          Ugh, hot crab. Such blasphemy. Eat them cold regardless.

                      2. re: Emilyroo
                        Joishii Nov 8, 2010 03:01 AM

                        This kind of stuff depresses me:
                        Eating dried-out, cleaned-out, hacked-up restaurant crab that's being tossed around by the masses in a restaurant chain, and then being charged an arm and a leg for it (pun intended).

                        Go to Ranch99, get a dungeness out of the live tank for $3.99, and have them steam it for you for free. Then it's really fresh, really tasty, and you get to enjoy the tomalley and the crab butter.

                        Anthony's and Arnie's are great if you're over 70 and can't taste your food, and have enough money to throw away on it.

                        *joy

                      3. l
                        Leper Oct 1, 2009 06:07 PM

                        Szechuan Crab at Seven Stars Restaurant in the International District....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Leper
                          l
                          Leper Oct 1, 2009 06:59 PM

                          Oh, and I forgot to mention, Oysters...

                        2. Tom Armitage Oct 1, 2009 04:59 PM

                          My first three recommendations are:
                          1. Pacific Northwest oysters
                          2. Pacific Northwest oysters, and
                          3. Pacific Northwest oysters.

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