Going to be in Poulsbo from San Francisco this next weekend. Are there any recommendations from local hounds. A good seafood place would be excellent, but anything destination worthy would be terrific.
I have searched the boards here but did not find much.
I can recommend Burrata Bistro, but I know you have plenty of excellent Italian restaurants in SF. Other than that, I can't come up with much. You would probably enjoy the Four Swallows on Bainbridge Island. Consistently great food and wonderful atmosphere in a historic island house. Service is great when they aren't slammed. Streamliner Diner, also on BI, is another option.
The best restaurant in Poulsbo at the moment, hands down, is Burrata Bistro for consistently good Italian comfort food at reasonable prices. Molly Ward Gardens has a warm, casual, cozy ambience, and owner/chef Sam Ward set his sights high, but the food is quite expensive and the quality too often doesn’t measure up to the price. Mor-Mor Bistro is inconsistent but, every so often, you can do just fine there. Taprock Grill is okay for stuff like meatloaf and fish and chips, served up in a spacious room with log beams and river-rock accents. For breakfast, there’s delicious orange-vanilla French Toast at 12 Trees Café, tucked away in a business park off of Highway 3, and some interesting items (e.g., apple pancake, Dutch Baby, called “German Pancake”) at Oak Table Café in nearby Kingston. For a good all-American breakfast, I usually drive south to the Big Apple Diner in Bremerton or across the Hood Canal Bridge to the Chimacum Café. The Kingston Inn used to be my favorite nearby spot for a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns but, alas, it burned down years ago. If you don’t want to drive that far for breakfast, you can do fine and mingle with the locals at The Diner in Poulsbo, a classic greasy spoon.
There’s a quaint and lovely tea room in nearby Port Gamble that serves both a “breakfast tea” with Quiche Lorraine, scone with Devonshire cream, and a fruit tart, and a classic afternoon English Tea, as well as a la carte items. There’s good micro-brew at the Hood Canal Brewery on Bond Road. There’s some good take-out at Central Market in Poulsbo. This is an incredibly amazing market for a small town in North Kitsap County, and it’s worth going there just to wander around and marvel at the vast array of stuff available there.
The Agate Pass Café in nearby Suquamish, about a 15-minute drive from Poulsbo, emphasizes locally sourced food and wine. The menu is small but usually has a pan-seared fish, duck breast, and vegetarian risotto, in addition to meatloaf and a burger.
About a 30 minute drive from Poulsbo, The Four Swallows on Bainbridge Island serves up good food in a charming and cozy historic farmhouse. If you want fish, you can visit the charming Victorian town of Port Townsend, about a 45-minute drive from Poulsbo, and eat at Fins Coastal Cuisine. It won’t knock your socks off, but it’s some of the best fish in the area.
Would agree with whats already been said. Poulsbo waterfront district has a few second tier type places where reasonably good meals can be had like JJ's Fish House, Whiskey Creek steakhouse, the little hole-in-the-wall Mexican place near MorMor. Just a little further down the street are bakeries, a tavern that does pretty good bar food, a chocolate place that does great hand dipped ice cream bars, etc. Not world class dining mind you but some interesting choices. Oh, the Pho place by Albertsons market is really good and the little Japanese restaurant on the right heading south towards Bainbridge is pleasant enough and tasty. Central Market has great deli, hot prepared takeout, a pizza/hotdog booth and at the other end of the store a nice coffee outlet. Outside they have a BBQ kiosk for some pretty decent sandwiches and smoked meat plates Have fun, its a great little town, insanely touristy in the summer but it holds up well even then.
Good catch, Chaps. I don’t know why I forgot to mention Pho T&N. It’s great. Highly recommended. I’ve only been once to Ichizen Japanese Restaurant and didn’t come away pleased, so never went back. As my other Chowhound posts reveal, Japanese cuisine is one of my passions and so I’m very fussy and critical when it comes to judging Japanese food. However, other reviews of Ichizen make me think it may be worth another try. Both Pho T&N and Ichizen are off Highway 305. If you are driving east, towards Bainbridge Island, they are both on the right-hand side of the road. Pho T&N is in the shopping center with Albertsons. The entrance to the shopping center is at the traffic signal just past the Taprock Grill restaurant. Ichizen is in a small strip-mall, just past the traffic signal at Hostmark St.
re: Tom Armitage
Thanks all, these recommendations will be used. We are going to a family gathering which will take place over the weekend. There will be a lot of us from SF, San Diego, Portland, etc. The breakfast and dinner recs will definitely be used. Likely the two determinants at this point will be who can accommodate large parties (when needed) and which names seem to come up most consistently. Right now that sounds like Burrata Bistro and Mor Mor.
Agate pass cafe sounds terrific, but don't know who will make it up that way. Hope I do but who knows.
I don't know how large your party is, but none of the places in Poulsbo are set up very well to accomodate large groups. Burrata Bistro's seating is mostly in booths seating four to six, although there are some tables near the windows in front that could be pushed together for a larger party. As you know, I'm not as enthusiastic as lobsterravioli and others about Mor Mor, so haven't been there for a while and don't recall the seating situation there. Molly Ward Gardens could put tables together for a large group, and I've been there when such an arrangement was made. I may have been a little too negative in my comments about Molly Ward's. It's really a charming, cozy place -- clearly the best ambience of any of the Poulsbo restaurants -- and the food is good, even if not spectacular. It is, as I said, a little pricey, with entrees going for between $23 and $40. If that's too expensive, Molly Ward's also does a nice Sunday brunch which is easier on the waller.
Agate Pass Cafe isn't as far away as your comment implies. It's just a short drive down Highway 305, around 10 to 15 minutes from Poulsbo. But it's a very small space, so again the question is the size of your group and whether or not they can accomodate it.
Your best bet is to call the restaurants of your choice, let them know the size of your party, and see if they can accomodate the group. For a large group, you would need to make reservations anyway.
Hope this helps.
Not too far from Poulsbo is Silver City Brewery in Silverdale. Fantastic beer brewed on site (mmmm, Whoop Pass IPA), and some of their food is great-- I recommend the Big Daddy Burger and the ribs. It is family friendly with a kids menu that even has some healthy food that isn't fried (my dd loves the grilled salmon and coleslaw).
Yes, the family gathering is large, that said, people are not bent on sitting around the same table together and can easily split up to different tables. People may even break off to different restaurants. This is why I did not mention as a key factor earlier. I wish our folks were better at planning in advance...few but me will have considered options.
That is why I wanted to be at-the-ready with a couple good picks.