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Seattle Iconic Restaurant recommendations??

m
mooney Jun 27, 2010 04:37 PM

Going to seattle for the first time in 2 weeks. We'll be staying downtown for 2-3 days. Would appreciate a few recommendations for some famous Seattle eateries. For instance, if someone was coming to LA I'd answer with places like Pink's Hot Dogs, Philippes, Tommy's Burger, etc... the places that have been around for 50-80 years and are part of the fabric of the city. Thanks!

  1. s
    SeattleHusky Jun 27, 2010 10:52 PM

    Red Mill burger, it was named the best burger in the US

    1. Vexorg Jun 28, 2010 12:02 AM

      Probably the restaurant that would be considered the most iconic in Seattle would be Ivar's on the waterfront. Probably not the best food you'll find (or even the best seafood for that matter) but its long history and the legacy of Ivar Haglund are worth the trip at least once.

      1. l
        Leper Jun 28, 2010 06:08 AM

        Tai Tung in the International District has been operating since 1931. Like Ivar's, it is not the best food in the district, but is still a classic among locals. Bakeman's for lunch offers turkey sandwiches that have kept them going for decades. The upstairs bar at Maximillien's at the Market for mussels (not the downstairs white table cloth restaurant). Salumi for lunch is fast becoming a Seattle classic for many, many reasons. The Pink Door at Pike Place Market for a Toulouse Lautrec experience--especially after 9:00 p.m.

        -----
        Pike Place Market
        1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

        Pink Door
        1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

        Tai Tung Restaurant
        655 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

        Salumi
        309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leper
          p
          PAO Jun 28, 2010 08:38 AM

          For yet a third Seattle "classic" that's been there forever and has bad food, try Thirteen Coins.

          -----
          Thirteen Coins Restaurant
          125 Boren Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

        2. terrier Jun 28, 2010 08:38 AM

          Pho Bac

          Bakeman's

          Canlis

          Oyster happy hour at Elliott's on the waterfront

          Brunch at Salty's or Ivar's Salmon House

          -----
          Canlis Restaurant
          2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

          Ivar's Salmon House
          401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98105

          1. g
            GreenYoshi Jun 28, 2010 08:59 AM

            I feel like I get this request alot.
            Some others that haven't been mentioned that immediately come to mind.
            As others have noted they are of varying quality and beloved-ness.

            Paseo
            Dick's
            Portage Bay Cafe
            Athenian
            Market Grill
            Space Needle Restuarant
            Spud's
            Ezell's
            Lockspot

            -----
            Lockspot Cafe
            3005 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107

            Portage Bay Cafe
            4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

            Market Grill
            1509 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

            Space Needle
            203 6th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

            1. c
              christy319 Jun 28, 2010 09:17 AM

              I think you've gotten a good list but I'd add "decent food" to your criteria--you can eat a lot of bad meals at iconic places.

              1. a
                akq Jun 28, 2010 11:31 AM

                Maneki!

                I agree with other posters that your criteria may be problematic if you care about food quality (although I love Maneki). For example, the space needle restaurant is iconic but generally horrible and expensive.

                -----
                Maneki Restaurant
                304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                1. s
                  seattleviking Jun 28, 2010 02:43 PM

                  Ivar's Salmon House is a definite Seattle icon and worth a visit at least for HH. The building is worth seeing because you won't see many like it anywhere.

                  Ray's Boathouse would be another one that I would consider a Seattle icon. It's got good food and has been a prom date destination since long ago.

                  Tai Tung is Seattle's oldest Chinese restaurant. The BBQ pork is unique. Leaner than most and I've always liked it. Order prawns with lobster sauce or crab Chinese styles. The Chinese long bean dishes and asparagus dishes are good and the chow mien is pretty good, too. The tofu with mushrooms and greens is good. The Mandarin beef is crispy and tasty. Stay away from things like Kung pao, Hot and Sour soup and the like. They are only there because people insist on ordering. Stick to the Chinese American/Cantonese style dishes and you can do okay. But for the food we always go to 663 Bistro.

                  Ezell's should defintely be on the list.

                  Dick's drive is Seattle's fast food and it's been around for a long time. It's the burger that Seattle natives need to eat once in a while and people from other places come, try it and walk away puzzled by why we eat at this place.

                  Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar is a Seattle icon named after a Seattle icon.

                  I think Metropolitan Grill is now a Seattle icon.

                  I also think Dahlia Lounge would qualify as a Seattle icon now.

                  -----
                  Ray's Boathouse Restaurant
                  6049 Seaview Ave., Seattle, WA 98107

                  Ivar's Salmon House
                  401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98105

                  Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar
                  1916 Pike Pl Ste 16, Seattle, WA 98101

                  Tai Tung Restaurant
                  655 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

                  Metropolitan Grill
                  820 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

                  Dahlia Lounge
                  2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                  1. i
                    itsonlyfood Jun 28, 2010 06:12 PM

                    Pecos Pit BBQ. Lunch only, weekdays. Go on a nice day, seating is outdoors.

                    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid...

                    1. m
                      mooney Jun 28, 2010 07:07 PM

                      I appreciate everyone's response! I have some narrowing down to do! Gotta strike that balance between tasty food and history!!!! Gracias.

                      1. c
                        clearskies0810 Jun 28, 2010 07:36 PM

                        maneki - an international district institution
                        matt's in the market - a pike place market institution

                        (both delicious!)

                        1. m
                          mrnelso Jun 28, 2010 11:01 PM

                          Good suggestions here, but lack of clarity about the goal. Is it food or history?
                          >
                          Red Mill burger, it was named the best burger in the US
                          …and we still wonder who so named this hugely pedestrian burger (not bad, but
                          not outstanding – just a good fast-food burger).
                          Ivar’s is, indeed, historic, and the Salmon House actually delivers good local history
                          through its design and good photos. You can eat good, even memorable, food at
                          Ivar’s, but probably not 4-star gastronomy (though hope springs eternal).
                          Lately the happy hour is gaining iconic status. In summer, sit on the barge.
                          Tai Tung is the summation of all Chinese food history in Seattle, and iconic to the max,
                          but will probably disappoint the international café set, as it often does locals.
                          Bakeman's is simply hilarious, and you WILL get fed and entertainingly.
                          They roast the turkey every day, and even though the bread comes from a
                          Supermarket.
                          Maximillien's upstairs bar for mussels. Has an unforgettable Seattle view, and the
                          food is quite tasty. There are several other Market restaurants with good views,
                          but this is the Frenchiest view table.
                          Salumi is a hoot. Go early. Do not ignore the kitchen specials on the sandwich board.
                          The Pink Door is Seattle’s own café table.
                          Burned into the brains of Seattle late-shifters for decades, Thirteen Coins is nothing
                          if not iconic. Some uncharitables say just stop at "Thirteen Coins is nothing"…
                          Pho Bac has been around longer than many Seattle Pho places, and feeds good lunch
                          to platoons of grateful office workers from downtown.
                          Canlis has it all. Stunning architecture, gorgeous Seattle view, famously
                          well-executed food, excellent use of local ingredients, world-class service.
                          Expect the price and be happy of the memorable experience.
                          Elliott's Oyster happy hour is wonderful, but better selection is had at other hours.
                          Though the prices are higher at other times, they are quite within the local range.
                          I can’t speak to their other food, because I am usually there for happy-hour.
                          Salty's brunch is one of those nearly fancy shindigs your aunt might take you to
                          to celebrate your graduation.
                          Paseo is a high-volume, short menu neighborhood place that has been cranking out
                          delicious take-out. Tthough you might get one of those tin tables, you are better
                          off taking it home and plating it there. It’s rarely been entirely satisfactory to try to
                          attack these huge meals with a polypropylene fork.
                          Dick's is history in a box. An early entrant in the national fast-food burger joint
                          scene, Dick just keeps on keeping on. Employing generations of students to
                          calorify even more students. Go to Red Mill, go to Dick’s, you will find it hard
                          to settle on a basis for judgment.
                          The Athenian is one of Seattle’s cherished dives. OK, the Pike Place Development
                          Authority has been hard at work trying to pretty-up the diveyest parts, and have
                          found themselves in hilarious conflict between the desire to preserve and the
                          desire to improve. I imagine you can still have an early-morning highball and a
                          Hangtown-fry with some of the locals, there. Some of these old fellahs still remember
                          when oysters were cheap an underappreciated.
                          Market Grill is very well focused. Maybe the shortest menu in town, but favored by
                          lunching locals.
                          Right across the hall, Uli's Famous sausages presents an amazing array, and you can eat
                          in the Bierstaub.
                          The Space Needle will likely be the only rotating Restaurant you’ll find hereabouts.
                          Most go for the rotation and the view; both of which are quite nice.
                          Spud's is iconic in that it has been selling Fish and Chips up by Greenlake forever.
                          I never cared for their stuff, but many swear by it.
                          Ezell's is chicken in the hood. I never knew if it was the chickenness (it’s
                          pretty good deep-fried chicken, though that’s a limited context), or the exotic
                          hoodness that makes it appear so regularly here.
                          The Lockspot is at the Locks. Since you must go the Locks (and the Carl English
                          Gardens), it’s a nice bonus that the Lockspot is ready to feed you Fish and Chips.
                          Maneki! has been serving capable Japanese food in Seattle for over 100 years.
                          Don’t expect molecular gastronomy here, but dinner will be genuine.
                          Several bucks lighter than Canlis, Ray's Boathouse will still set you back some, but
                          it’s been a date-night place for decades and the food is good.
                          Tom Douglas’s restaurants are uniformly good, if different. Dahlia Lounge is sedate,
                          Serious Pie is informal. The rest are in–between, but good.
                          Pecos Pit is a messy BBQ lunch. Short menu, long lines.

                          -----
                          Canlis Restaurant
                          2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                          Ray's Boathouse Restaurant
                          6049 Seaview Ave., Seattle, WA 98107

                          Pink Door
                          1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

                          Maneki Restaurant
                          304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                          Serious Pie
                          316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

                          Lockspot Cafe
                          3005 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107

                          Thirteen Coins Restaurant
                          125 Boren Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                          Market Grill
                          1509 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

                          Tai Tung Restaurant
                          655 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

                          Space Needle
                          203 6th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                          Salumi
                          309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                          Dahlia Lounge
                          2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: mrnelso
                            b
                            Bethwick Jun 29, 2010 09:48 AM

                            Great list! I would add Three Girl's Bakery (eat at the cramped counter or do takeout) which has been around forever, Emmett Watsons Oyster Bar, and The Crumpet Shop, all in the Market. If you find yourself in the 'government/financial center' of the city, try McCormick's Fish House & Bar, one of the first restaurants of the now large chain, lunch is way better then dinner.

                            1. re: Bethwick
                              m
                              mrnelso Jun 29, 2010 11:08 PM

                              Thank you for adding - Three Girls; Love the Reuben, but there are no bad sandwiches. Crumpet shop; good soups and fresh-baked bread (not Monday).

                              1. re: Bethwick
                                b
                                blue2000 Aug 16, 2010 04:21 PM

                                Ever since I got worms (grubs? Larva?) on my oysters and the guy who was cleaning (ha!) shrugged and sneered at me when I pointed it out, I haven't gone back to Emmet Watsons.

                              2. re: mrnelso
                                m
                                mooney Jun 29, 2010 10:27 AM

                                WOW!! Thanks a million for the detailed and lengthy response. God, I have some planning to do but you've made it a lot easier! Someone who clearly knows what the hell they are talking about. Cheers1

                              3. b
                                Booklegger451 Jun 29, 2010 02:22 PM

                                I had to work hard, but I think I have places I can add:

                                Top Pot Donuts - Good coffee and wonderful donuts.
                                The Original Starbucks. - It's... Iconic...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Booklegger451
                                  m
                                  mrnelso Jun 29, 2010 11:14 PM

                                  Exactly great additions. HowEVER you feel/taste about Charbuck's, store #1 is the definition of iconic. Since the PDA took control of the market, decades ago, chains are not invited and nothing is allowed to change without a public-hearing-process (egad), so what you see is the real deal.
                                  How could I forget Top Pot, either? - thanks again

                                  1. re: mrnelso
                                    l
                                    laserkatie Jun 30, 2010 07:24 AM

                                    I definitely second Top Pot doughnuts!! I no longer live in Seattle, but I absolutely crave them. I don't eat doughnuts anymore partly for health reasons, but also because I'm always disappointed in any other doughnut. Definitely go there for a breakfast treat!

                                2. c
                                  cocktailhour Jun 29, 2010 07:49 PM

                                  Iconic Seattle:

                                  Ivar's, Ray's, or Anthony's for a classic seafood restaurant. Ray's has good food.

                                  For Seattle foodie classics--Dahlia Lounge and Flying Fish. They were both cutting edge at one time, less so now, but they were definitely the definitions of the Seattle food scene at one time.

                                  for food and touristing--Pike Place Market. There are many choices here. Athenian Inn was in the Sleepless movie, but not so much about food. Maximilien has its strengths and weaknesses. Matt's in the Market, same. Pink Door for outdoor deck and drinks and snacks is my preference. Market Grill has changed ownership. Emmett Watson's is ok. The original Starbucks is also in the market.

                                  If you're not from here, neither Red Mill nor Dick's are worth it for the food alone.

                                  -----
                                  Pink Door
                                  1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

                                  Flying Fish
                                  2234 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

                                  Market Grill
                                  1509 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

                                  Athenian Inn
                                  , Seattle, WA 98101

                                  1. kaleokahu Aug 16, 2010 03:29 PM

                                    Bear in mid that "Iconic" doesn't necessarily mean the best or haute cuisine, but given the "famous" and longevity criteria, here are my top eats that say Seattle:

                                    1. Space Needle
                                    2. Canlis
                                    3. 13 Coins
                                    4. Ray's
                                    5. Dick's Delux
                                    6. Northlake Pizza
                                    7. House of Hong
                                    8. Jones BBQ
                                    9. The 5-Point
                                    10. Ivar's Salmon House
                                    11. Le Gourmand
                                    12. Il Bistro
                                    13 Il Terazzo Carmine
                                    14. Roanoake Roadhouse
                                    15. Marco's Supper Club
                                    16. Compagne
                                    17 Queen City Grill
                                    18. Salty's
                                    19. The Homestead
                                    20. Maxmillian

                                    -----
                                    Canlis Restaurant
                                    2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                                    Ivar's Salmon House
                                    401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98105

                                    Il Bistro
                                    93A Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101

                                    Queen City Grill
                                    2201 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

                                    Space Needle
                                    203 6th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                                    13 Coins
                                    505 5th Ave S Ste 160, Seattle, WA 98104

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