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New York hound looking for recommendations in Seattle

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I'll be visiting Seattle next week and am looking for some can't miss places.

I've heard good things about Spur, Sitka & Spruce, and Crow.

Any places you guys recommend?


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

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  1. too broad a question. How about Green Leaf, Corson Building, Herbfarm, How to Cook a Wolf, Restaurant Zoe, Lockspot for fish n chips, Quinn's. Salumi. Paseo's. Hum bow at the Market stand. Top Pot. Cafe Besalu. Caafe Neuveau (sp).

    Restaurant Zoe
    2137 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

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

    Cafe Besalu
    5909 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

    The Herbfarm
    14590 NE 145th St, Woodinville, WA 98072

    309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

    2 Replies
    1. re: cocktailhour

      I am sorry, how is that too broad of a question?

      1. re: kjellj

        What “can’t be missed” depends on what, specifically, you are looking for. Food preferences, and preferred types of restaurant experiences in general, vary widely. So if, for example, I responded that what can’t be missed is the shirako (cod fish sperm sacs) at Kisaku, would that necessarily be a helpful suggestion? Maybe, but maybe not. When shirako is available, it is certainly one of my "can't miss" items, but not necessarily yours. The more detailed the information provided by someone asking about what and where to eat, the more likely it is that the responses will be helpful. When I invite guests to my house for a meal, I always ask them if they have any food restrictions (vegetarian, food allergies, etc.), and if they have any foods they don’t particularly like (raw oysters, cilantro, etc.). That way I can increase the odds that they will enjoy the food that I prepare. The same concept applies to responding to general inquiries like “what’s good to eat in Seattle?”

    2. The answer to your question depends on what your goals are. Are you looking for the best food, period, regardless of cost? For example, I think Spinasse is one of the best restaurants in Seattle, but you’re from New York where you have all kinds of outstanding restaurants preparing great Italian cuisine. Are you looking for something that has lots of local character and ambience, even if it may not provide the very “best” food? Do you have any specific food likes and dislikes? For example, do you like raw oysters? The Pacific Northwest oysters are among the best in the world. Being more specific helps us Seattle hounds better focus our responses to fit your desires.

      That said, I’ll throw out the following brief list: oysters at Elliott’s; croissants at Café Besalu; Korean-inflected cuisine at Joule or its sibling, Revel; lunch at Matt’s in the Market, preceded by or following a walk-through of the Pike Place Market; or, as alternative to Matt’s, a fish sandwich at Market Grill in the Market; cocktails at Zig Zag Café; a meal at Fisherman’s Terminal, say at Chinook’s at Salmon Bay (breakfast is served on the weekend). Spur is good gastropub, with innovative craft cocktails. Sitka & Spruce is one of my favorite places to eat in Seattle. I highly recommend it. I haven’t been to Crow in quite awhile. It’s perfectly fine, but nothing particularly unique or special. I think there are more interesting choices than Crow.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Tom Armitage

        Thanks for the reply, I understand the question is very broad, but I'm just looking for something I shouldn't miss while I'm in town.

        To be a little more specific, I'm not too concerned with "best regardless of cost". I've been to all the high end, multi-Michelin star places in NYC and while I understand their place in great food, I'm more into the "high end food in a casual setting" kind of places a la Momofuku or the super creative like at WD~50.

        That being said, I'm a sucker for specialist type places as well: a burger that can't be beat or "you have to try the tacos from this cart!"

        Just looking for some insider advice.

        1. re: adamw

          Mistral Kitchen for "kigh end food in a casual setting kind of place." Or Spur or Quinn's or How to Cook a Wolf, in different ways. But MK is great.

          Mistral Kitchen
          2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

          1. re: adamw

            Elemental Next Door presents a very short small-plates menu every day based on local availability.

        2. i just came back from Seattle; i just want to highly recommend Zig Zag for cocktails. we got there a few minutes before 5pm and there was a line to get in. Even w/o the happy hour, their cocktails are better and cheaper than in LA. i consider zig zag to be a place not to be missed. and the people who worked there were very friendly!

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

          1. Quinn's- gastropub with excellent food
            Poppy- northwest regional with an indian bent and an excellent bar-unique
            Salumi- sandwiches and charcuterie
            Paseo's- cuban sandwich
            Tamarind Tree- vietnamese
            Spur- modernist cuisine/bar
            Sitka and Spruce or Corson Building- northwest regional
            Nettletown- northwest fusion- informal and beautiful
            Brouwer's- 40+ taps, belgian and west coast beers, belgian ale house- moule frites is the specialty of the house
            Joule- French-Korean fusion- unique
            Hope that helps,


            Tamarind Tree
            1036 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

            309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

            2 Replies
            1. re: AndrewS

              Andrew, Great list. (I could happily live at Brouwer's if they would convert the upstairs into sleeping compartments.) I would also add "The Book Bindery" and the Szechuan crab at "Seven Stars Szechuan" in the International District as excellent Seattle destinations.

              Book Bindery
              198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

              1. re: AndrewS

                Some of my favorites are definitely on this list :) Just wanted to note that if you're more of a Momofuku Noodle Bar fan you might enjoy Revel more (more street-ish food by the owners of Joule). If you're more a Ssam Bar fan you'd probably like Joule more...the food's definitely more refined there. But Joule, Poppy, and Sitka and Spruce are definitely unique, as is Nettletown (elk meatball banh mi!) :) and Paseo is just comforting, get-in-mah-belly good!

              2. I'm a New York Foodie living in Seattle for the last 4 years. I go back and forth between NY and Seattle once a month for work. I don't go in for fancy, i just want something really good.

                For a great burger in Seattle, hit up Red Mill (2 or 3 locations, but I go to the Phinney one).
                Uneeda Burger is a new kid on the block, but is excellent.

                For dumplings, check out the brand new Din Tai Fung in Bellevue. It's a chain out of Asia with only 1 other U.S. location. It's my new favorite.
                Jade Garden in the International District is excellent for Dim Sum.

                Hit Senor Moose on Leary or Carta de Oaxaca for excellent Mexican food. Both are in the Ballard neighborhood.

                For really great Thai/Laotian food, go to Savatdee on Roosevelt.

                Good luck and enjoy your culinary adventure here!

                Senor Moose Cafe
                5242 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

                Jade Garden Restaurant
                7th S King S, Seattle, WA 98101

                1. Being in Seattle a fresh year and a half from NYC, Iet me first tell you, lower your expectations. Most of what all has been recommended are generally good solid restaurants, but I feel alot could be alittle more inventive and some of the more popular, Sitka and Spruce, How to Cook a Wolf are just plain blah(I must say Ii havent been to either since we first got here and know there have been staff changes with both, so maybe they stepped it up, but the first impression ruined it.. Some that have stood out for me are Joule, Poppy and Spinasse. Restaurant Zoe is tired, kind of like Union Square Cafe in NYC. Salumi, good meat, but is a waste of time unless there is no line. Lockspot is good for Fish and Chips, and if you're in that neighborhood check out Ocho in Ballard for fun tapas. Avoid, I repeat avoid Elemental, the owner is a tool and the food is mediocre at best. And if you want to stick with the true vibe of Seattle, stick with the big guys Chinooks, Elliots, ffod is average but to me that is what portrays the local scene the best.

                  Restaurant Zoe
                  2137 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

                  2325 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

                  Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

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

                  309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NYPORK

                    Interesting, I am originally from NYC also, and. I agree that Seattle excels more in the mid-range than the high end. I love Joule and Spinasse and also enjoyed Revel (Joule's cousin), but if I had to choose, I'd pick Joule over Revel. I was disappointed at Poppy, as were the other three people I went with -- it seems to be hit or miss since some people really like it and others are underwhelmed. I have to disagree about Sitka and Spruce -- I had amazing food there, and it's very "Seattle-ish" as far as the use of local ingredients. Make a reservation if you go there -- they can have some service issues since the place is tiny, but the food is worth it, IMHO.

                    I'd stay away from Crow -- just went there for the first time and it wasn't good at all. I'm not sure why it's considered good or if something changed there lately. Maybe it's popular because it's close to the Seattle Center? (We went after going to SIFF Cinema.) Everyone likes Spur, but I thought the food was just okay and that it was overpriced. They do a bit of "molecular gastronomy," but nothing along the lines of WD-50.

                    Strangely enough, the best burger I've ever had (here or anywhere) was at Joule. I don't think they mention the Korean Kalbi marinade on the menu.

                    I've heard great things about Art of the Table regarding both the quality of the food and the use of local ingredients. I haven't been there myself yet, though. And what about some of the mobile trucks for lunch? I'm never around when they're around, so I haven't tried them, but maybe Skillet or Marination Mobile?

                  2. Ballard Centric: Le Gourmand (French) is always excellent, and their bar, Sambar, can't be beat. Oh, and La Carta de Oaxaca, also in Ballard, is not to be missed (especially the tamales wrapped in banana leaves)!
                    For morning pastries, Honore Bakery and right next door to Delancy's Pizza!

                    Honore Artisan Bakery
                    1413 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RaeR

                      I would say Poppy is really the place you should go. A really original experience with Northwest flavors

                    2. Hi ... I’ve lived in Seattle for a long time, once owned a restaurant here and have travelled to NYC frequently since I was little. Here is my list:
                      1. Sitka & Spruce, it’s awesome and is a good example of what PNW cuisine is about. They are open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.
                      2. You might want to try Nettletown on Eastlake, it’s where S&S used to be and it’s pretty unique.
                      3. Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard, great, casual Oaxacan food in a fun neighborhood to wander around ..maybe you’ll be here after Curtis Steiner opens his new store down the street the first weekend in May.
                      4. I like both Spur & Tavern Law (same owners) .. great cocktails.
                      5. If you here on a Monday, try Chop House at Licorous on 12th Ave, 2 chefs, one Thai create great authentic Thai food & I’ve never found any in NYC.
                      6. Try to get to Sea Garden in the International District for Dungeness crab with black bean sauce, it’s spectacular.
                      7. Go to Monsoon on 19th, great upscale Vietnamese, open for dinner, lunch, brunch .. all good and the Pho at lunch/brunch is the best in town and we have great Pho here.
                      8. I’ve heard great things about Madison Park Conservatory from a few chef friends
                      9. And do go to Mistral KItchen and be sure to make time for a cocktail, they do an amazing job.

                      Enjoy & hope the weather is good for your visit

                      I’d avoid Crow, it’s quite mediocre now.

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

                      Sea Garden
                      509 7th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: oliveoyl

                        it’s Shophouse at Licorous not chop house ..oops

                        1. re: oliveoyl

                          Well guys, my bet is the NY foodie has been here and left since his/her original post was 4/11 and he/she said they would be in town "next week".

                          So, Adamw, where did you eat?

                          1. re: oliveoyl

                            LOVE La Carta de Oaxaca. Best chili rellenos I've ever had. (I had the cheese ones.) But I know that I don't have much experience with Mexican food, mainly in Seattle and New York -- neither exactly known for south-of-the-border cusine. Curious what others think.

                            1. re: Thiebaud

                              I haven't found any Mexican food in the greater Seattle area that I would claim "the best I've ever had". I was raised in Arizona, however, and frequently had homemade tamales, rellenos and other foods made by friends grandmas.

                              Seattle's seafood, OTOH, is among the best I have ever eaten.