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Upcoming Seattle trip

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I'm planning a trip to Seattle in just less than a month and was planning to get some good eats. I haven't booked a hotel yet, so I'm hoping to find one that's close to a good area for food and drinks. I love all foods and am very excited to try some local food. I would love to find restaurants that are "locavore" (I hate the term) or at least have a heavy focus on local products. I'm not really interested in seeing Maine Lobster on the menu.

So...

1. Do you have any recommendations on a reasonably priced hotel in a good dining location?

2. What restaurants would you recommend? I'm hoping to eat at both high end and casual places, so all suggestions are welcome.

3. Any good places for a great craft cocktail?

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  1. A bar in downtown area called the Zig Zag, Murray was voted Bartendar of the Year. The votes are cast by Bartendars nationwide.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNHKj6...

    If you drink a lil. Go to Contour lounge for a really cheap happy hour. Go early, eat a couple things, drink more, leave when its over. walk to zig zag drink something from Murray. Taxi over to Daniels for their 9pm? happy hour eat a lot here. drink a Mac&Jacks.

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    Zig Zag Cafe
    1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101

    1. I second Zigzag. The atmosphere is so-so but the cocktails are top notch.

      Hotel Andra is right downtown, rates vary but since it's not summer, you should be able to get a deal. You're within walking distance of Pike Place Market, all of Tom Douglas's restaurants, Top Pot donuts, I love Matt's in the Market and Le Pichet (great for lunch -- french onion soup and a demi-pichet of wine).

      If you're willing to venture to Ballard (north of downtown) you've got plenty of great spots there. La Carta de Oaxaca for Mexican, Ocho, Walrus and the Carpenter, Staple and Fancy. There are tons of shops and a movie theater as well, you could make an afternoon and evening of it.

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      Pike Place Market
      1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

      Le Pichet
      Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

      Ocho
      2325 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

      1. Winter is off season, so you should be able to find a decent deal on a hotel, especially if you stay over a weekend. I'd suggest just do a priceline for downtown Seattle, from downtown, there are many good food options: Capitol Hill, the market, Belltown, South Lake Union, and Pioneer Sq are all walking distance.

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        Lake Union Cafe
        3119 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

        1. I ended up finding a pretty good rate at Alexis Hotel. Any more suggestions on great restaurants in the downtown area?

          4 Replies
          1. re: ecwashere7

            Since you're in the south end of downtown, you might want to hit Salumi for lunch. Check reviews here to know what you're in for though, it's a long wait for a sandwich, not a linger-over-wine kind of lunch spot.

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            Salumi
            309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

            1. re: caraely

              I have lingered long at Salumi's common table many times. As an alternative to the excellent services of the sandwich line, you can just slide along the wall back to the kitchen. There, you can order the kitchen specials directly from the cook. There is usually a soup, a salad, a pasta dish, and maybe a vegetable. Good, rustic food. Try to go late. After 2:00, there is less discomfort from the people watching you from the line you avoided (please do not ask the kitchen staff for sandwiches, for that, you stand in line). See the kitchen specials on the sandwich-board in front, and also displayed in the window of the old little salami-hanging room inside the door. Once you get to the common table, you can order what you want, maybe order a bit more after a while, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy conversation with your table-mates, many of whom will probably have traveled far and sought this place out. On the way out, pay the cashier for whatever you ate/drank. Here, please be patient, as the people who have been in the line have waited long enough...

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              Salumi
              309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

            2. re: ecwashere7

              Alexis is a good property. Small and you will enjoy it. No restaurants are too far away. Try a salted carmel truffle from Fran's in the lobby of the Four Seasons (door to the street as well). Tulio's, Sazerac - there are many good restos in the area! Enjoy and report back, please!

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              Tulio
              1100 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

              Four Seasons
              820 Griffin Ave, Enumclaw, WA 98022

              1. re: firecracker

                Seattle is a foodie's heaven! Last visit we found Anchovies and Olives and Pink Door, both were very, very good! Etta's, Maximillen @ the Market, Cafe Campagne, Georgian Room@ the Fairmont Olympic where have stayed twice, Dahlia Lounge are all wonderful! If you get to Etta's, don't miss their Coconut Creme pie, yummy! :)

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                Cafe Campagne
                1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

                Pink Door
                1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

                Dahlia Lounge
                2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

            3. Alexis Hotel is slightly south of most restaurants in downtown Seattle. However, a quick cab ride or a 20 minute walk will get you to some great places. I would highly recommend any of the Tom Douglas restaurants. Dahlia Lounge never disappoints; Serious Pie serves delicious high-end pizzas; and Etta's is great for seafood.

              There are also some nice places along the waterfront, namely Elliott's Oyster House and the Edgewater (both of which have great happy hours, as well).

              As for cocktails, I would recommend Zig Zag just below Pike Place Market or Tavern Law (a speakeasy in the Capitol Hill neighborhood).

              Here's a list of some great casual, but nice restaurants:

              Toulouse Petit (Queen Anne neighborhood, creole inspired. Deliocious)
              Peso's (Queen Anne, same owners as Toulouse. Great mexican breakfast)
              Ballard Loft (Ballard neighborhood, pub food. Fun environment, games upstairs)
              Pink Door (Pike Place Market, nice place w/ amazing Italian food)
              Bastille (Ballard, french cuisine, cool vibe)
              Umi Sake House (Belltown neighborhood, great sushi)

              That being said, if I could recommend one neighborhood to check out, I would have to say Ballard. There are tons of restaurants and shops. Very cool area.

              Hope that helps! Enjoy Seattle!

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              Pink Door
              1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

              Zig Zag Cafe
              1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101

              Serious Pie
              316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

              Elliott's Oyster House
              1201 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

              Umi Sake House
              2230 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

              Dahlia Lounge
              2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

              1 Reply
              1. re: pwmac17

                Noadh777,

                don't let your visit be complete without a visit to Capitol hill.. the lively bustling streets of the pike/pine neighborhood are super fun for people watching, and the food scene is incredible. Everything from take out fish from a window - superb! (Pike street Fish Fry), to upscale - (dinner at Anchovies n Olives, Tavolata), great noodles - Boom! Noodle house, and 20 more, from dive bar happy hour to lauded cuisine. Oh, and Melrose Market.
                Take a cab up the hill from downtown, then walk back down, watching and eating on the way. Trust me. Look up threads on here, and you will find much information on all mentioned.

                The Alexis is good, and the Bookstore is a nice bar within for a happy hour if a rainy day - but get out into the neighbohoods, as Alexis as some have said, is toward the financial district and can be quiet after business hours. Let us know what you do!

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                Tavolata
                2323 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

              2. These recommendations look great. I have a reservation for Dahlia Lounge and I definitely plan to visit Zig Zag and possibly Tavern Law, too. My time is limited in Seattle to just a couple of days. I wish I could spend a whole lot longer. I'm trying to decide on my other dinner which will probably be more on the casual side. Maybe not.

                Any suggestions for breakfast? I saw a couple, but could always use a few more.

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                Zig Zag Cafe
                1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101

                Dahlia Lounge
                2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                3 Replies
                1. re: ecwashere7

                  Peso's and Toulouse Petit (right next door to each other in Queen Anne) both have great breakfast. They usually are pretty busy but the wait is never that long. I've heard Portage Bay Cafe serves awesome breakfast...never had it though.

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

                  Queen Anne Cafe
                  2121 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                  1. re: ecwashere7

                    Lola, another of Tom Douglas's restaurants, does breakfast quite nicely. I've always gotten the gravlax, and though I'm not a fan of sweets, I've tried the fried to order donuts with mascarpone and fruit compote and thought they were very good.

                    1. re: Brunhilde

                      I second Brunhilde's rec (and actually got the exact same things off the menu!). Lola is Mediterranean influenced, with mezzes and such. I got the gravlax, which is very good and I highly recommend (the ficelle on my last visit was slightly stale, hopefully only one-time occurence), my friends got the eggs benedict. Please get their doughnuts; served with a sweet mascarpone and seasonal fruit compote, it is a Tom Douglas signature (also served at Dahlia's Lounge). Order them early (at water service) since they are freshly made and may take a while.

                      For breakfast recs, I applaud Dahlia's Lounge's venture in presenting a great congee (with egg and ham hock) with Chinese doughnuts (youtiao) ... all of which is just like how my dad makes it. Got the doughnuts again after having them at Lola's.

                  2. How about some late night eats near the Alexis? I'll be getting in kind of late from my flight and will probably be pretty hungry.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ecwashere7

                      The Alexis is a great choice and you will love it. Palace Kitchen is about a 15 minute walk away and it is open until 2 am. If you're really wiped out, I'd just cross the street to Bokka in the Hotel 1000. The food there is great and I think it is a underappreciated due to being a "hotel" restaurant. I have eaten there several times and think the food is creative and interesting. I like the bar there - the happy hour is a fav of local ferry commuters due to proximity to the ferry docks.

                    2. I just got back from a great trip out to Seattle.

                      My first day:

                      Breakfast - Cafe Campagne - I had a delicious french toast and my wife had a very tasty omelette. I was very happy with this choice.

                      Lunch - My wife just wanted a snack, so we stopped at the Macrina Bakery and I got a sandwich while she got a treat. Great baked goods. My banh mi-inspired sandwich was very tasty. The brownie was incredible.

                      Pre-dinner cocktail - Zig Zag - I found the service to be somewhat lacking. It wasn't incredibly busy, and our waitress was friendly but certainly not attentive. The drinks were good, but not exceptional.

                      Dinner - Dahlia Lounge - My wife and I shared some dumplings for an app which were quite yummy but nothing out of the ordinary (I'm a sucker for dumplings). She got a salmon dish with potato gnocchi and black truffles. I got roasted duck. Both dishes were very tasty. Her's was certainly a standout. Mine would have been but I found the skin to be almost on the burnt side. Our bread pudding for dessert was just awesome.

                      Day 2

                      Breakfast - Lola - We kept it simple with Pancakes and oatmeal. I thought both were very good. Other dishes that came out looked equally appetizing.

                      Lunch - Ray's Boathouse. We had gorgeous but cold weather, so I wanted a view of the Olympic Mountains. Ray's cafe had some great food. In a setting like that back in my area (New England), I usually expect to find the food and service to be quite lacking. Both the food and service were excellent. It was a nice surprise.

                      Pre-dinner cocktail - Tavern Law - I was really impressed. I am a cocktail snob and am used to some of the best cocktails from places like Drink and Eastern Standard in Boston and Death and Co and Pegu Club in NYC. I found Tavern Law to be in the same level of those bars. I ordered the Blood and Thunder, which was a play on the Blood and Sand. WOW. I also loved to see Moscow Mules served in their proper vessel.

                      Dinner - My wife and I were looking to go casual, so we first tried to get into Quinn's Pub. The wait wasn't bad, but I was ravenous. We ended up at Boom! Noodle. I really enjoyed my bowl of ramen.

                      Thanks again for all of the excellent advice. It made my trip quite fun. I can't wait to come back to visit all the places I didn't get to in my short time there.

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

                      Cafe Campagne
                      1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

                      Quinn's Pub
                      1001 E Pike St, Seattle, WA

                      Macrina Bakery & Cafe
                      2408 1st Ave, Seattle, WA

                      Zig Zag Cafe
                      1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101

                      Dahlia Lounge
                      2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ecwashere7

                        Thanks for coming back to the thread and reporting what you did, ecwashere! Sounds like you made the most of a short stay and hit some really good restos in that time.

                        Please come back to vacation and enjoy what the PNW has to offer!

                      2. While visiting Seattle last spring, my favorite spots were:

                        Quinn's-absolutely delicious, seriously, just go.
                        Zig Zag for cocktails
                        Salumi

                        And Paseo gets a separate special mention for literally the best meal of my life. That Midnight Cuban Press is a thing of beauty.

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                        Salumi
                        309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104