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Seattle - What are your "Can't miss" dinning experiences?

Hello, making a first trip out to Seattle (from Los Angeles) later this month. We're adventurous eaters and open to anything. What "can't miss" dinning experiences do you recommend?

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  1. What one "can't miss" depends heavily on how much time you have, IMO. There are some good ideas posted on this board in response to recent posts by travellers in a similar position as you. You may even be able to find recent advice directed for someone from LA. Assuming it's just a few days and given that you are open to anything, I'd say:

    Poppy; Salumi (weekday lunch only); somewhere for oysters (Elliot's or maybe the Brooklyn); a locally-driven place like SpringHill or Lark (or Steelhead Diner for more hearty stuff); a viet place like Tamardind Tree or Green Leaf (or Monsoon/East for a more "fusion" bent); an East African place like Dahlak or Ras Dashen (or Habesha if you want more atmosphere; a first rate bakery like Noveau, Besalu or Columbia City; a cocktail heavyweight like Zig Zag, Vessel or Spur (best for food); pinxtos at Txori; and Trophy Cupcakes for dessert. Something at Pike Place is in order: while I can't say for sure what particular items can't be missed there, there are alot of Pike Place specific posts here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: equinoise

      Great suggestions! I agree with all, and think that it is a great summation of high points and direction/

      Make sure to carve out a lunchtime/brunch time stroll in Pike Place Market to eat and browse! In Pike Place Market I enjoy-
      The Crumpet Shop
      Bavarian Meats
      Piroshky Piroshky
      Cinnamon Works
      Daily Dozen Donuts
      Three Sisters Bakery
      Pike Place Chowder
      The Confectionary
      Matt's in the Market (lunch)
      Market Grill (you sit at a counter in the middle of the market- lunch)
      Market Spice Tea
      deLaurenti's
      etc etc etc :)

      1. re: equinoise

        Equinoise's post is pretty much spot on. I grew up in LA and so frequently have visitors from the area. In general, you can get any type of food in the LA area and it is of high quality and very authentic - catering mostly to that particular ethnic group. However, I have recently been taking people to or recommending that they go to Poppy. Despite its Indian influence, I feel it is the best representation of Pacific Northwest ingredients that we have in Seattle. Everyone i've taken has been very happy. I also totally agree on the Salumi rec, the bakeries, and the cocktail places. I know that Vietnamese is one of, if not the, best type of ethnic food that Seattle has but I do not think it is better than LA's Vietnamese food. And yes, a day at Pike Place is in order. So really, I don't have much of anything to add to equinoise's post aside from affirmation.

      2. Excellent - thanks all!!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: LMelba

          Jonathan Gold's hedging response to a question about almond croissants in LA suggests that Besalu of Nouveau's versions may be the best on the west coast. http://www.laweekly.com/2009-12-03/ea... . I surmise this also based on reports that Besalu's crotssants generally beat out those of Tartine in SF.

          FWIW, I really enjoy the plain and ham-gruyere ones at Columbia City bakery.

          1. re: equinoise

            I'm missing it in the link.

            1. re: dagrassroots

              I'm employing deductive reasoning, since he says that "...we are in Los Angeles, not New York or Paris, and greatness in croissants is harder to find." And even his favorite LA almond crossaint is "a bit too big and a bit too sweet".

        2. I don't live in Seattle, I'm on the other side of the State, but I eat about 8-10 meals a month there for the last 4 years. The restaurants mentioned have all been very good or have a good reputation.

          If you and I were dining in Seattle and you wanted me to present you a restaurant that is excellent and also epitomizes Pacific NW cooking I would take you to Rover's. My second choice would be Art of the Table.

          1. Born and raised in Seattle I now reside in LA. There are 3 things in Seattle I cannot find here.
            The first is Le Panier, a french bakery in Pike Place that has been there, it seems, forever. The breads, the pastries, the cappuccinos...you can smell this unbelievable place down the street. Omg do I miss it.
            The second thing I miss is fresh, flown in Alaskan King Salmon....you will not find anything in LA that remotely resembles what you'll find in Seattle. I suggest one of Tom Douglas's restaurants.
            Thirdly, Vivace for espresso. I've heard he's relocated from his original location on Broadway. Sadly, I have yet to find anything in LA that comes close.
            Enjoy!

            3 Replies
            1. re: latindancer

              In LA try the following French Bakeries:

              http://www.maisonrichard.com/

              http://www.capricefrenchpastries.com/

              And one delightful Swiss Bakery

              http://www.emilsswisspastry.com/

              1. re: RetiredChef

                "In LA try the following French Bakeries"

                Thanks for the response. I've tried all you've mentioned and, though very good in their own way, nothing compares in this area to Le Panier. It's really, other than fresh fish, the only thing I miss about Seattle.
                Le Panier makes a normandie...a very rich, savory, flaky pastry that I really miss.
                The collective smells of puget sound, espresso, fog in the air, stalls filled with fruit and vegetables and the boulangerie...nothing in S Cal compares.

                1. re: latindancer

                  >>> The collective smells of puget sound, espresso, fog in the air, stalls filled with fruit and vegetables and the boulangerie...nothing in S Cal compares.

                  There is an old saying in my business:

                  Great restaurants don’t sell food – they sell experiences.

                  You are correct you will never match that experience in LA – beautiful and well put reply – thank you.