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If you could only eat in five Seattle restaurants for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

This was a topic of discussion at a recent dinner out. If you could only eat at five Seattle restaurants for the rest of your life, which five would you choose? (Assume you are not going to win the lottery, so you need to take your budget into account.)

This might not be the same as your "Top 5" list, because the restaurants (IMO at least) need to cover a variety of situations, seasons, and price points, and you also want a mix of cuisine types. Sometimes you want fancy, sometimes you just want your neighborhood joint or a place with sentimental value.

My five, as of now:
Monsoon (Seattle)
La Carta de Oaxaca
Matt's in the Market
Machiavelli
Delancey

I want to add The Dish here, because I think a good breakfast counter is important. Still working on the list. Other runners-up were Le Pichet, Via Tribunali, The Corson Building, Pink Door, Canlis.

What about you?

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Canlis Restaurant
2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Le Pichet
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

Pink Door
1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

Via Tribunali
317 W Galer St, Seattle, WA 98119

Delancey
1415 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

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  1. Paseo
    Salumi
    Veraci Pizza
    Perche No
    El Camion

    -----
    Veraci Pizza
    500 NW Market St, Seattle, WA

    Salumi
    309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

    2 Replies
    1. re: mrnelso

      I'm pretty sure Rainin Ribs just made the list (first trip, last night) Skyler (sp?) smokes his brisket 2 days. Ask for a quick look at the smokers. I may need to take my father in law there tonight.
      Do not get the sauce of Bhut Jolokia too close to your food. That stuff is not food, it's a parlor trick.
      A fun one, though. Dip the tiniest point of your little plastic fork into it and touch it to your tongue.

      1. re: mrnelso

        And now Golden Beetle and Revel and Dot's and Uneeda Burger...

    2. Jak's - for the Burger
      Firenze - for the Bolognese (Crossroads mall)

      I can only think of 2 that I couldn't live without, these are my goto comfort places that make food I cannot hope to duplicate at home.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pairswellwithwine

        I keep hearing about the burger at Jak's (West Seattle, right?). I've got to remember to try this.

        1. re: caraely

          The original Jak's is in Issaquah.
          I used to live up the street from Jak's in West Seattle.
          The burgers & fries are killer as are the steaks.
          The bar is great as well. A real bar not foo-foo.

        2. re: pairswellwithwine

          Wow - I didn't know anyone else felt the same way about the bolognese at Firenze. That is one of my favorite dishes. Everything I've tried there has been fantastic!!

          Another place I cannot live without is House of Hong - the best dim sum and since they got their new chef, their regular dinner dishes are amazing!!

          -----
          House of Hong Restaurant
          409 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

        3. So since I do not really have the opportunity to eat out much because I work early in the morning and my husband wants to stay home ALL the time I have not been able to go to a lot of different restaurants but my top choices are.....
          1.Dennys
          2. IHop (in Des Moines on Pac Highway)
          3. Sharis (in Kent on Meeker)
          4. White Center Pizza and Spaghetti House (my parents have been going there for 35 years, it used to be Alfies Pizza)
          5. The Rocksport (love love love their nachos but can not eat them now since I am on WW)

          5 Replies
              1. re: equinoise

                I couldn't live with out my moons over my hammy.

                1. re: dagrassroots

                  Pair of box cars, close the gate, tater side!

                  1. re: JayDK

                    OK, I bite - what did you say?

          1. Good one. My choices for today (may change tomorrow):

            Le Pichet, Harvest Vine, Green Leaf, Quinn's, Via Tribunali

            1 Reply
            1. re: babette feasts

              Hmm, time to update. I do love Quinns but in truth I've probably always loved Zoe more. Pizzeria 22 boots Via Trib, and I need to make room for Mashiko somewhere. Need to go to Harvest Vine, seems like its been years.

              1. In no particular order ~

                Chez Shea
                Steelhead Diner
                Bizzaro
                Serious Pie
                Maximillian's in the Market

                Honorable mention: Brown Bag Cafe (Kirkland), The Shanty, Ray's Cafe,

                -----
                Steelhead Diner
                95 Pine Street, Suite 17, Seattle, WA 98101

                Chez Shea
                94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

                Serious Pie
                316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

                1. My five:

                  Nell's
                  Salvatore
                  Etta's
                  Ray's
                  Nishino

                  Matt's used to be a fave but I think they are losing their momentum somewhat...had a pretty expensive and medicore dinner there a few weeks ago. I also love Tilth and Cafe Juanita but don't eat there often enough for them to make the list. Le Pichet gets honorable mention for sure. When I worked near Pioneer Square, I could not do without Salumi but now just buy their meats at the Met Mkt.

                  1. Right now:

                    Pho Bac (on 7th Ave S)
                    Taqueria La Estacion (in Burien)
                    Palace Kitchen
                    Thai Curry Simple
                    Big Mario's Pizza

                    -----
                    Palace Kitchen
                    2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                    Mario's Pizza
                    616 1st Ave Ste A, Seattle, WA 98104

                    Taqueria La Estacion
                    14820 Ambaum Blvd SW, Burien, WA 98166

                    1. Oh there are so many places on this list I haven't been to yet that I HAVE to try!

                      OK, so my five 'must have' Seattle restaurants would be:

                      1. Spiced - I actually dread the day I cannot have this food anymore. It will like a loss in the family.

                      2. Monsoon - The food is essential to my idea of good food and some of the most talented bartenders in the state reside at Monsoon's Eastside location.

                      3. Shiki is absolutely on this list, because not only do they have some amazing sushi but what really shines for me are the home-style dishes, such as sakura braised sardines (very seasonal) and chawan-mushi. Which is funny, because so few people mention them in their reviews.

                      4. Before they closed, Crement may have made this list. I only went once and it made a real impression. Unfortunately it closed very soon after I went, so I never had another opportunity. Eating their country French was like a day at home though, and I've always felt sorry I didn't have more than one experience there. I still dream about the cassoulet and potage we had that night.

                      So, apparently I have only been to three places that I feel I could not live without. I will keep thinking about it...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: starshinesMonet

                        Of the moment (and within city limits):

                        Sitka and Spruce
                        Kisaku
                        Dahlak
                        Elliott's
                        Huong Binh

                        As the OP said, the question is really quite different than a "top 5".

                        -----
                        Huong Binh Restaurant
                        1207 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144

                        1. re: equinoise

                          I didn't think of that! Did you mean within Seattle proper or anywhere? Otherwise I have some MAJOR revisions.

                          p.S> I LOVE SItka and Spruce!

                          1. re: starshinesMonet

                            I was limiting it to restaurants whose address would be in Seattle, WA. So not downtown Seattle, but not far-flung.

                          2. re: equinoise

                            I'm rethinking this, and subbing out Dahlak and Elliott's for El Asadero #2 and Mawadda Cafe. The rationale? A) I can schuck oysters myself, and B) El Asadero and Mawadda are were I *actually* eat. Alot.

                            1. re: equinoise

                              If we are including the Seattle metro area (and not just city limits) my list is:

                              Sitka and Spruce
                              Bamboo Garden
                              El Asadero #2
                              Kisaku
                              Huong Binh

                              -----
                              Bamboo Garden
                              202 106th Pl NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

                              Huong Binh Restaurant
                              1207 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144

                        2. paseo
                          tango
                          chiang's gourmet
                          volterra
                          kingfish cafe
                          cafe besalu
                          it's 6 but.....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bighound

                            The Harvest Vine
                            La Carta de Oaxaca
                            Serious Pie
                            Sitka and Spruce
                            Uneeda Burger

                            -----
                            Harvest Vine
                            2701 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

                            Serious Pie
                            316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

                          2. Saigon Deli for Bahn Mi
                            Green Leaf
                            Hot Mammas for what I think is the closest thing to NY pizza
                            Cafe Campagne
                            Anchovies & Olives

                            -----
                            Saigon Deli
                            4142 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

                            Saigon Deli
                            1237 S Jackson St Ste E, Seattle, WA 98144

                            1. Paseo's - my latin-inspired fix for a cheap sandwich or a bowl.
                              Tat's - my sandwich fix that will dual as my greasyspoon.
                              Flying Squirrel - because you just have to have pizza.
                              Green Leaf - Viet fix that can duo for both casual lunch and dinner. i can do pho and salads here.
                              Sushi Kappo Tamura - sushi and hq japanese cuisine, my night out pick

                              *honorable mention would be Yea's Wok and Mike's Noodle House but I can cook Chinese at home.

                              Yea's Wok - because i have to have some Chinese food

                              -----
                              Mike's Noodle House
                              418 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                              1. Yummy Teriyaki - downtown hole in the wall, but it's the best teriyaki in Seattle, especially when you're hungover

                                Buckley's in Queen Anne - awesome pub with good food and fun vibe

                                Peso's - for delicious breakfast and mexican dishes

                                Serious Pie - best pizza in Seattle, hands down

                                Pink Door - gotta have some good Italian food in the mix

                                *Elliot Bay Pizza Co (Queen Anne) - I know this is the 6th restaurant I've listed, but I love sandwiches, so I had to include a sando shop on the list. I've lived in Seattle for two years and haven't had a better sandwich anywhere else.

                                1. I just moved away from Seattle, so it PAINS me to write this since I miss the food so much!

                                  Paseo
                                  Tacos El Asadero (Taco bus near Rainier and MLK)
                                  Lark
                                  Cafe Presse
                                  Red Mill Burger
                                  Taste of India
                                  Phuket

                                  (OK that's seven, but one of them is a bus!)

                                  1. Peso's
                                    Bastille
                                    The Noodle Boat
                                    Gordito's
                                    this is going to sound bad....but I LOVE the burgers at Five Guys.

                                    -----
                                    Noodle Boat
                                    700 NW Gilman Blvd Ste E104B, Issaquah, WA 98027

                                    1. Mama's for Tex-Mex
                                      Testy Chef for burgers
                                      Spuds for fish & chips
                                      Geraldine's Counter for French Toast
                                      Yea's Wok for Chinese

                                      -----
                                      Geraldine's Counter Restaurant
                                      4872 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

                                      Testy Chef Cafe
                                      22607 SE 216th Way, Maple Valley, WA 98038

                                      1. Only 5...OK
                                        1. Sichuanese Cuisine in Redmond, behind Sears. Most authentic Sichuan food anywhere in US, IMHO, and I have been to Sichuan many times, and tried many Sichuan restaurants in US and Canada.
                                        2. Cafe Vignole, south of the "hot" neighborhood on South Rainier Ave. A tiny one-man Italian band of a restaurant, with amazing food. www.cafevignole.biz
                                        3. Italianissimo in Woodinville. Not as comfy as Vignole, but also great food. And closer to my Mom's house.
                                        4. Trellis. OK, so I couldn't afford to eat there every day, but never a disappointing meal.
                                        5. Copper Leaf Restaurant at Cedar Brook Lodge, Sea-Tac. Yes, you read it right, Sea-Tac. A beautiful setting, wonderful service, great food AND near the airport.

                                        -----
                                        Sichuanese Cuisine
                                        15005 NE 24th St, Redmond, WA 98052

                                        Italianissimo
                                        15608 NE Woodinville Duvall Pl, Woodinville, WA 98072

                                        Cafe Vignole
                                        9252 57th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

                                        1. Paseo - LOVE this place. Been going for 10 years.
                                          Mashiko - the best sushi, and sustainable
                                          Samurai Noodle - love the rice pork bowl
                                          Fresh Bistro - Pork belly bahn mi
                                          Circa for burgers and La Costa for margaritas - both because we adore the people

                                          Don't think I could ever live in a city without an International District. We don't eat there every week, but love to shop and cook at home.

                                          -----
                                          La Costa Mexican Restaurant
                                          206 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166

                                          Samurai Noodle
                                          606 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                                          Fresh Bistro
                                          4725 42nd Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

                                          1. Seriously in need of a Like button for others' lists.

                                            Green Leaf
                                            Sichuanese Cuisine
                                            Paseo
                                            Crow
                                            Japonessa (as long as they have that HH going)

                                            Was tortured not to put down seafood, italian, pizza, and hamburger places, but cheered up that no one will hold me to just this list for ever and ever. My precioussesss

                                            -----
                                            Sichuanese Cuisine Restaurant
                                            1048 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

                                            1. I've lived here about 9 months now, and have eaten some good food (and of course some not-so-good; such is life) but so far the only place I will enthusiastically put on this list is Paseo (even tho' I've only eaten there 3 or 4 times so far).

                                              I will very much miss Paseo if I ever move elsewhere.

                                              1. in no specific order...
                                                Sitka and Spruce
                                                Carte de Oaxaca
                                                Green Leaf
                                                Delancey
                                                Salumni's

                                                -----
                                                Delancey
                                                1415 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: smellymel

                                                  i might have to bump somebody off here to make room for the Golden Beetle in Ballard. amazing Mediterranean. a much needed addition to the area. open late til 1am too!

                                                2. Le Pichet
                                                  Sitka and Spruce
                                                  Either Bamboo Garden or Szechwan 99
                                                  Noodle Boat
                                                  Huong Binh
                                                  Either Kisaku or Maneki
                                                  (OK so I have 6)

                                                  and I may consider substituting Five Guys for one of the above for my greaseball hankerings

                                                  -----
                                                  Le Pichet
                                                  Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

                                                  Bamboo Garden
                                                  202 106th Pl NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

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

                                                  Noodle Boat
                                                  700 NW Gilman Blvd Ste E104B, Issaquah, WA 98027

                                                  Huong Binh Restaurant
                                                  1207 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144

                                                  1. Sorry, I had to include a couple of out-of-towners.

                                                    Cafe Vignole, Rainier Beach
                                                    Georgia's Greek Deli, Greenwood
                                                    Dahlia Lounge, downtown
                                                    Bai Tong, Tukwila
                                                    Naan & Curry, in Renton

                                                    -----
                                                    Georgia's Greek Deli
                                                    323 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA 98117

                                                    Cafe Vignole
                                                    9252 57th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

                                                    Bai Tong Restaurant
                                                    16876 Southcenter Pkwy, Tukwila, WA 98188

                                                    Dahlia Lounge
                                                    2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                                                    1. Bamboo Garden (Bellevue)
                                                      Tavolata
                                                      Noodle Boat
                                                      Poppy
                                                      Green Leaf

                                                      -----
                                                      Bamboo Garden
                                                      202 106th Pl NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

                                                      Noodle Boat
                                                      700 NW Gilman Blvd Ste E104B, Issaquah, WA 98027

                                                      Tavolata
                                                      2323 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                                                      1. Monsoon, Anchovies & Olives, Sitka & Spruce, Le Pichet, Flying Squirrel Pizza

                                                        -----
                                                        Le Pichet
                                                        Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

                                                        Sitka & Spruce
                                                        2238 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

                                                        Anchovies & Olives
                                                        1550 15th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

                                                          1. re: dothepuyallup

                                                            Those are five great Seattle Gold Standard eateries. And Dick's does belong on the same list as Canlis. Canlis for it's duck and Dick's for the french fries.

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

                                                          2. LOVE seeing Marination on the list! And completely adore Mashiko. There is no other sushi place as far as I'm concerned.

                                                            If moving into the mobile food field, I would also add Where Ya At Matt. The shrimp and grits are insane, po boys heavenly, and beignets ... well, there are not words.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Ambria

                                                              Matt's turned out some GREAT gumbo, but I was a little turned off by the 'po boys quality vs their $11 price tag. Not bad, but would be a better $7 'which in my book.

                                                              365 Days of Food: samjreed.tumblr.com

                                                            2. Pink door
                                                              Pho bac
                                                              Pabla
                                                              Taqueria el sabor
                                                              Taqueria guaymas

                                                              1. In no particular order:
                                                                Via Tribunali
                                                                Sitka and Spruce
                                                                Nishino
                                                                Hi Spot
                                                                Chez Shea

                                                                Honorable mention: Spinasse, Spring Hill, 5 Guys Burgers, and Hole in the Wall BBQ

                                                                -----
                                                                Spring Hill Restaurant & Bar
                                                                4437 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

                                                                Chez Shea
                                                                94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

                                                                Spinasse
                                                                Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

                                                                Nishino
                                                                3130 E Madison St Ste 106, Seattle, WA 98112

                                                                Via Tribunali
                                                                317 W Galer St, Seattle, WA 98119

                                                                1. Within the city limits:

                                                                  Green Leaf
                                                                  Tsukushinbo
                                                                  Kabul
                                                                  Cafe Campagne
                                                                  Tie: Golden Beetle (I've only been there once so far) or Tango

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Cafe Campagne
                                                                  1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

                                                                  Tsukushinbo
                                                                  515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

                                                                  1. I noticed someone mentioned Maximilens (sp?) in the market...I'm curious about this as the one time I've tried it was honestly the worst food and experience I've ever had in Seattle. It was absolutely terrible and I would never even think of going back. Seeing it on a top 5 is interesting to me.

                                                                    As for my 5...

                                                                    Carolina Smoke (Bothell)
                                                                    Preservation Kitchen (Bothell)
                                                                    Piroshky Piroshky (Seattle)
                                                                    A Terrible Beauty (Renton)
                                                                    Wild Vine Bistro (Bothell)

                                                                    Oddly many of my favorite places are in Bothell....I will say this list is pretty vague (as in its the only 5 I could think of that aren't huge chains). I have an extensive list of places I've been meaning to try but haven't yet due to time/availability/financial restraints.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Piroshky Piroshky
                                                                    1908 Pike Pl, Seattle, Seattle, WA 98121

                                                                    Preservation Kitchen
                                                                    17121 Bothell Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011

                                                                    Carolina Smoke
                                                                    23806 Bothell Everett Hwy, Bothell, WA 98021

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: lucasaevans

                                                                      This was a pretty expensive faux high-end meal. I'm not blaming anyone for suggesting it, but it was a pretty mediocre meal.
                                                                      We had the short-rib appetizer. It had inedible thin, stringy green onion on top of the meat. Looked too much like grass or chopped sutures. Absolutely nothing to write home about. C+.
                                                                      He started with the leek, potato and bacon soup. While tasty, it was ground to mush and somewhat sweet. B+
                                                                      He had the rockfish. This was fairly a fairly small portion swimming in a coarse and grainy, cheezy sauce that was supposed to be Butternut squash puree. He didn't get the butternut at all and the fish was overwhelmed by the bowl-full of sauce. On top was a few sprigs of broccolini. C-
                                                                      I had an order of "bibb lettuce and potato salad". Quote: "Bibb Lettuce & Potato Salad. Roasted baby potatoes, daikon, basil, onion ash marmalade". This dish was a few, undercooked potato slices with some basil puree and an egg. That's it folks... No bibb lettuce, no daikon and no marmalade and where did the egg come from? We sent the potatoes back to be cooked. They were rare-hard and not to our liking.
                                                                      I asked for the drink menu and had to ask for it again.
                                                                      We shared the bread pudding. It was some bread pudding mixed with a deconstructed cinnamon roll and vanilla ice cream. Perhaps a few nuts were thrown in. Tasty, but not much that was from scratch and not really a bread pudding dessert. C
                                                                      This and four drinks was $101. It is a nice restaurant, setting, though loud. It is a house and the walls are hard and nothing has been done to tone things down.
                                                                      Service was average. It was too pricey and pretentious for us.

                                                                      1. re: ardelle

                                                                        I'm sorry, but I can't tell which place this is a review for?

                                                                        1. re: Brunhilde

                                                                          No, I'm sorry... I really thought I had linked this review to Preservation Kitchen. That's what it is about. I will copy and paste the above to their restaurant page.

                                                                          1. re: ardelle

                                                                            Definitely agree - went once - mediocre expensive food and terrible service. I haven't figured out why some people love it.

                                                                        2. re: ardelle

                                                                          Okay, sorry, Maximilien. I'm bit tired. And I've only ever been there for happy hour and cocktails, so thanks for the full report.

                                                                      2. no particular order

                                                                        Via Tribunali-I can eat neopolitan pizza almost everyday
                                                                        Le Pichet-if we can never go to europe again..
                                                                        Moshi Moshi-painfully torn between sushi & vietnamese
                                                                        Pasta Bella-homestyle italian is a staple, i would put a mexican place first if only there was one
                                                                        Blue Glass-someone has to serve me cocktails, beer and breakfast!

                                                                        1. Spinasse
                                                                          Monsoon
                                                                          Cafe Juanita
                                                                          Tilth
                                                                          How to Cook a Wolf

                                                                          1. Din Tai Fung - for the juicy pork dumplings
                                                                            Spinasse - for the sage pasta
                                                                            Green Leaf - for the Da Nang pork
                                                                            Market Grill - for the salmon sandwich
                                                                            The Walrus and the Carpenter - for the oysters, steak tartare and martinis

                                                                            1. Thanks for this post. You've given me more than enough to ponder for my upcoming vacation in Seattle the August. So many fantastic choices!