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Feb 24, 2012 11:22 AM

First time in Seattle -- help requested

Hi all!

I am heading to Seattle on business the end of April. It will be my first time there -- yippee! I will be staying near the downtown Washington Convention Center and I won't have a car. I am looking for ideas for dinners -- but I am on a per diem of around $60 per day. That will go largely towards dinner.

Any help you could provide would be appreciated.


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  1. The Convention Center is in downtown right at the base of Capitol Hill. Any restos in Cap Hill, downtown, belltown, international district, queen anne, or ballard are walking distance or easy bus ride. $60/dinner will get you pretty far in all but the most expensivve Seattle restos. Any more specifics on what you are looking for?

    3 Replies
    1. re: akq

      I'm a pretty adventurous eater and I'm from an area with lots of different ethnic food. I'm looking for good food. What's Seattle known for? I'm sorry I'm so vague.

      1. re: Disneyfreak

        Seafood, I guess. There was a recent thread on Seattle specialties - that might help, too.

        Without more to go on, def hit Pike Market and sample the goodies there. Plus, head up to Melrose Market.

        I'd make a rezzie at Altura - really great food. On the pricey side, but totally worth it.

        1. re: akq

          I will definitely hit Pike Market! It was my first thought when I found out I was going to Seattle. I checked out Altura's menu -- it looks great.

          I think I want to do some seafood when I am in Seattle also.

    2. DF, I would definitely recommend Long's Provincial, Matt's at the Market, the Palace Kitchen and Steelhead Diner. (All well within easy walking distance.) At Long's, focus on their seafood options and try some of their unique appetizers--your palate won't be bored. You can also ride the S.L.U.T. to South Lake Union for Cuoco, Brave Horse Tavern and Re:Public. Have a great Seattle Chowhound experience!

      1. Must Try: Mistral's Kitchen on Westlake (5 blocks from Conv. Center). Always seasonal, fresh and top quality. And very good prices, underprices in my opinion.

        If you have a particular genre of food, chime in and that narrows it down. The seafood in Seattle is world class, the bar is high, but I'll list the standouts that will make it very hard for you to have a bad experience in the downtown area. There are many additional options outside of downtown, but I’ll keep it inside the downtown corridor.

        For a sample of Seattle's seafood, you will not be disappointed with:
        - Sea Star (they have an extended Sushi menu that’s very good)
        - Aqua (and sister restaurant El Gaucho) has a shuttle that will pick you up downtown afte 5pm). Aqua is the seafood restaurant on the Seattle waterfront/Pier 70. El Gaucho is the Steakhouse. Skip El Gaucho, but Aqua is good.
        - Blue Acre – 2 blocks from Conv Ctr

        The above will be expensive, but worth the extra $ - look at their menus online.

        These below are consistently great, and a notch down on cost:
        - Shuckers (in the Fairmont hotel - walking distance and good for lunch)
        - Etta's (in the market - near the touristy crap like the pike place market, 6 blocks from Conv ctr)
        - Six Seven (Edgewater hotel) – good view and good food. On a weekend, the longue is lively with a band after 8pm and a nice looking crowd/band.

        2 Replies
        1. re: indoctrin8ed

          I happened to get a virtually identical question from a friend last week. Here is my response, forgive any redundancy:

          The convention center is sort of dead zone for good eating dominated by national chains and steak houses with little character. RN74 is by far the best restaurant within a 2-block radius of the Sheraton.

          If you walk down 6th Ave until you reach Westlake then go 2 blocks on Westlake you reach Mistral Kitchen which is very nice, food sort of like RN74 but somehat less $, more simple and northwest in style, with a focus more on cocktails whereas RN74 is wine.

          If you are willing to walk to Shiro's for sushi you could also pass Le Pichet which is a very nice french brasserie place. Near Steelhead diner in the public market complex is also Matt's in the Market which does the northwest cuisine right.

          If you go up Pike Street to the capitol hill neighborhood there is a fairly meaty gastropub place called Quinn's which is an excellent value, good beer selection, and perhaps the best burger in seattle.

          In Belltown I really like Spur and Branzino; this is close to Shiro's.

          Lark has been "meh" on recent visits, though it was good in the past--for that sort of food Sitka and Spruce is much better (may be closed or doing Malafacha "pop-up" on Mondays). Very near Lark BaBar is a fun, cheap Vietnames option and the bartender Evan Martin is a good guy who will treat you right. Right next door to Lark is Canon, probably the best cocktail bar at the moment.

          1. re: equinoise

            Baguette Box, at 1203 Pine St has good food at good prices.
            Check out the fried tofu sandwich.