Best Seattle Neighborhood for hound foodie
I'm an SF foodie moving to Seattle in a few months. What's the general take on the different neighborhoods from a food perspective? If I'm looking for authentic, genuine, ethnic eats, are there any particular neighborhoods that they are concentrated in? What are the different authentic ethnic specialties that different neighborhoods offer?
Equinoise has given you a pretty fine list there. I'll add a couple of recommendations based more on geography:
I would recommend the looking just west of the Columbia City neighboorhood. Housing prices are reasonable (for Seattle), and you have easy access to Columbia City, which has a great farmers market much of the year, and several noteworthy restaurants, a good butcher, and a great bakery. It also leaves you a very easy drive to Rainier Valley and the International District via Rainier Blvd. It's also pretty easy to get into downtown from the Columbia City area.
That being said, my absolute best advice to a hound moving into the area is: Find a house in walking distance from the T-Link light rail line. It'll take you to several great eating neighboorhoods, and straight into the heart of downtown (where parking is a trial, at the best of times).
These questions could provoke a longer response, but here is brief one:
Belltown and Capitol Hill have the greatest concentration of food-trend/chic sort of restaurants, brasseries, gastropubs and cocktail bars. Pike Place Maket and its environs will also have a number of these places, and also food specialty shops. Many of the perennial board favorite restaurants are located in these areas.
Ballard, Wallingford and West Seattle also have some notable high-end French, Italian and NW/Local places, pizzerias, and one-off ethnic places.
The University District has a wide variety of budget/student priced ethnic food and other eats, with a few places worth travelling for.
For authentic "ethnic" eats:
Chinese: Mainly in the International District or Bellevue; Sichuanese and Taiwanese are the best regional fare, IMHO. Dim Sum/Cantonese in these areas is decent but will disappoint compared with SF.
Viet: International District or Rainier Valley.
Mexican: at taco trucks and humble taquerias, which are generally scattered throughout neighborhoods in the southern and northern reaches of Seattle (Rainier Valley, White Center, South Park, Northgate, Beacon Hill), or the adjacent suburban towns (Renton, Shoreline, Burien, etc). Also La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard.
Ethiopian/Eritrean: Central District and Rainier Valley
Carribean: Central District and Rainier Valley; also Pam's in the U-District (Trinidad).
Korean: Federal Way, Lynnwood, Shoreline Lakewood (near Tacoma) and to some extent, U-District and Bellevue.
Indian: Redmond, Bellevue, and to some extent, Renton or Kent.
These observations make generalizations, and there are a number of notable exceptions. It's a start though.
I think that's a great breakdown. You'll find that it's much like SF, or maybe like a lot of higher rent US cities--most of the good ethnic eats are going to be in outlying neighborhoods or suburbs. But if you want great neighborhood farmer's markets and a variety of good restaurants, there are plenty of in city neighborhoods to choose from.