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Seattle/Tacoma Dinner/Lunch Recommendations

I will be in Seattle 01/12 - 01/15 and Tacoma 02/23 - 02/26 on business. I've been looking at this board for some recommendations and I think I have found some options but I wanted to get your opinion.

I'm staying at The Paramount Hotel in Seattle on both trips. I will have a car and I don't mind driving 20-30 miles to get a decent meal.

I would like to stay under $30 for dinner and under $15 for lunch but I don't mind spending extra for a good meal.

Here's the list of places I have so far;

1) Wild Ginger
2) Red fin
3) Matt's
4) Steelhead
5) The union
6) Pacific grill
7) Indochine
8) The matador
9) Vuelve A La Vida
10) The matador
11) Asado
12) Dhalia lounge

I will be working couple of blocks away from The Paramount hotel so let me know if any of these places are close enough for a quick (about 1 hour) lunch.

Thank you in advance!

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  1. RJ, You've done your homework well--especially your Tacoma destinations. At Vuelva A La Vida order seafood. Also recommended in nearby Fife is Sapporo for Sushi and Japanese cuisine. Very humble, but wonderful people and food. (The soft-shell crab appetizer is an amazing bargain. A great lunch or dinner destination.) In Tacoma, avoid the Harmon at all costs. Since you are near the Paramount, check out Dinette and Quinn's. Both quirky and good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Leper

      I can't speak to the Tacoma places, but in Seattle I can't heartily reccommend Wild Ginger (relatively expensive, gringo-friendly pan-asian cuisine), Red Fin (mediocre sushi) or Matador (fairly poor gringo-mex/spanish/pan-latin). I like Matt's, Steelhead Diner and Union very much. There are alot of good choices within a mile of the Paramount, in the Capitol Hill, Pike Place and Belltown areas.

    2. The Baguette Box would be a good place for a quick lunch and is right up the street from the Paramount http://www.baguettebox.com/capitolhil...

      I second the Quinn's recommendation. A good place for dinner http://quinnspubseattle.com/

      Also another fun place on the Hill that is open late is Cafe Presse. http://www.cafepresseseattle.com/page...

      Pike Place Chowder in Pacific Place would also be good for a quick lunch http://www.pacificplaceseattle.com/re...

      1 Reply
      1. re: PaqpIn

        So I Pike Place Chowder, but the one in the market seems SOOOOOOO much better than the one in Pacific Place. I'm sure they're the same recipe and everything, and I'm sure a big part of it is that my perception is skewed from just being at the market (coming in from the cold, more energy, etc), but the soups from the one in Pike Place just seem to taste better

      2. Pike Place Market will be a great resouce for you for lunches- Piroshky Piroshky, Market Grill, Matt's in the Market, Steelhead Diner, Pike Place Chowder, Cafe Yamarka, Three Sisters, DeLaurentis, I love NY Deli, etc, etc

        No to Wild Ginger and Matador (great for happy hour food and that is it)
        Yes to Dhalia Lounge (thought I like The Palace Kitchen better), Matt's, Steelhead, and Union is debatable (I would try Anchovie & Olives instead- it is in Capital Hill a mile+ up Pine- it is another Ethan Stowell restaurant that just got rated top 10 by GQ)

        -Long's (downtown) or Tamarind Tree (International District)
        -UMI (Belltown on first) for sushi- I have had many great meals at the sushi bar solo
        -If you venture to Ballard- Bastille, La Carta Oaxaca, and La Isla
        -Le Pichet (French bistro brunch, lunch, or dinner- by the market)
        -Dinner in Capitol Hill- recommended ( all are sort of in the Pike/Pine area east of Broadway- which is the main drag in Cap Hill- which is a hill climb up from your hotel)- Anchovie & Olives, La Spiga, Quinn's Gastropub, &Oddfellow's Cafe (lunch & dinner) & dessert at Cupcake Royale or Molly Moon's- maybe coffee and relaxing at Cafe Vita or Stumptown

        1. Oh!! also! Honeyhole (sandwiches) is a couple blocks up Pike from your area- so good! Hot and cold sandwiches- developed and flavorful

            1. re: natalie.warner

              Natalie - thank you so much for all your recommendations. Looks like I'm going to need a 3rd trip to try all these places :)

            2. Wild Ginger is very good and everyone is happy with having tried it out. It is very tasty and a great "Asian Fusion" spot. Go and try the satays to start, then the duck and perhaps the seven flavour beef if you fancy that.
              I would also heartily recommend The Flying Fish. It is on 1st Street and some call it 'quintessential Seattle'. I had the best seared scallops I've ever had there, but I regret not getting the salt and pepper crab - that looked phenomenal.

              1. Re: Tacoma dining.

                You've listed the Matador twice--I'm assuming you are interested in going there both in Seattle in Tacoma? That Tacoma location is nothing special--just another Tex-Mex joint, although the fire pit bar is nice on a cold night.

                Pacific Grill has good PNW-type food but you will easily exceed your budget if you order more than one course and a drink. If you are concerned about budget, go there during happy hour and sit at the bar.

                Vuelve a la Vida has great Mexican food for these parts; the tacos are great, and the camarones rancheros are fantastic. Portions are large. Don't expect ritzy surroundings or chips and salsa, though.

                Asado is very good, and probably one of the most consistent restaurants in town. The steaks may break your budget, however. You can avoid this problem, again, by sitting in the bar. Their Asado burger is delicious and a great deal at $12.

                Of all the places you've listed as potential visits in Tacoma, only one is a place that serves PNW cuisine; the rest are Latin American derived. I'm not sure where you're from (and if you're from the Northwest, you'll probably disregard this), but If you're up for it, you may want to try a pub that serves local specialties. We have a pretty strong pub culture down here. One example of a local pub specialty: fish and chips. The Spar Tavern in Old Town has good hand-battered fish and chips--your choice of cod or halibut. Gig Harbor is across the Narrows Bridge--and about a 20 minute drive from downtown T-Town--and has the Tides Tavern, another great local spot with really great fish and chips.

                5 Replies
                1. re: luckywonton

                  Pacific Inn Pub, in Fremont, has a panko-dipped F&C with a little extra seasoning in the coating.

                  1. re: luckywonton

                    Luckywonton - thank you for the recommendations. I didn't mean to list the Matador twice so I don't think I will go there twice.

                    I'm originally from Sri Lanka (a tiny island off the south coast of India) and have lived in the east coast and mid west for about 8 years....so I'm all over the place.

                    I would love to try some of your local pub food and anything else that's considered PNW cuisine. Let me know if there are any must go places that fall into this category.

                    1. re: rjayasuriya

                      Did you ever go to Sunshine Restaurant on Staten Island, NYC? I liked that place when I went a few years back. I wish there was Sri Lankan in the SEA area, but Spice Route in Bellevue, WA has several Tamil Nadu/Chettinad style dishes, and I recently had an egg curry there that they described as "Ceylon" style.

                      Spice Route
                      2241 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007

                      1. re: equinoise

                        Equinoise - my mom and brother lives in Staten Island so I've been there. There has been couple of new Sri Lankan restaurant openings recently in SI. I went to a new place when I was there earlier this year. Let me know if you are going that way again - I can give you some recommendations for some Sri Lankan restaurants.

                        1. re: rjayasuriya

                          Thank you all for your recommendations! I had a good time in Seattle last week.

                          Dhalia lounge - I had the five spice duck and it was phenomenal! This was by far the best dish during this trip. I will be coming back in February to try this again.

                          Wild ginger - the food was okay but it didn't blow me away. I expected that based on some of your comments.

                          Thanks again.