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Mar 4, 2012 04:29 PM

Pioneer Square/Qwest

I am traveling to Seattle (from Florida) for the first time and made the mistake of letting Hotwire pick my hotel for me. I am staying next to Qwest Field, and from my understanding, it is not the safest neighborhood. Any tips on eating in this area? How's walking around the area? How's the best way to traverse to Pike Place? A search of chowhound archives didn't turn up much. I will be there for 4 days at the end of March.

Also is the Walrus and the Carpenter as good as everyone says it is? I am thinking that this will be our one "must hit" restaurant. Was also looking at Spur, Etta's and Dahlia's.

Finally, I am gluten intolerant, so any advice on the best gf places woudl be highly appreciated.


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  1. I typed up a nice long reply, but my browser ate it. I don't have time to recreate it all from scratch, so I'll give you the short version and recommend you use google to fill in the details:

    You're at the Silver Cloud? A looong block south of there is a great bar called Hooverville, but don't bother eating there. To the north is Elysian Fields, a large and respectable local brewpub worth a visit if you like to try local beers (but that gluten intolerance...)

    Best coffee in the area is at Zeitgeist, worth a stop.

    Salumi is a block east and half a block north of Zeitgeist, lunch-only Tues-Fri and worth a stop if your schedule allows (look up this place, much has been written on it.)

    Plenty of options in the Chinatown/International District further east on Jackson. I strongly recommend (in order of priority by my tastes, yours may vary:)
    * pho at Pho Bac on 7th ave S. (Seattle is a great town for Vietnamese food, large local community.)
    * green curry at Thai Curry Simple
    * bo la lot & other goodies at Green Leaf (a more comprehensive Viet restaurant.)

    (I'm sure you know, but viet and thai cuisines - where fish sauce is the staple seasoning - are generally friendlier to the gluten intolerant than those that use soy sauce.)

    Browse at Uwajimaya but steer clear of the food court.

    Not sure when your trip is exactly, but there are Sounders (Major League Soccer) games at one on Friday the 23rd, another Saturday the 31st, (both at 7pm.) Soccer is really big up here - the Sounders average 38000+ per game - and I recommend going to one if you have a passing interest - but also worth noting is that Occidental between Royal Brougham Way and King St fills up with food trucks a couple of hours before kickoff and some of them (notably El Camion - tacos de cabeza!) are pretty good.

    Best way to Pike Place market is to walk north on 1st Ave. The walk up Occidental is nice as far as Occidental Square, but you should avoid the square itself after dark unless there's a Sounders game - it's normally an open-air drug market at night. 1st Ave is well-trafficked and very safe, day and night, provided you're not distracted by an iphone.

    5 Replies
    1. re: terrier

      Qwest Field to Pike Place Market is nearly 2 miles - I suggest Lightrail from the Stadium stop to Westlake (end of the line) which puts you 3 blocks from the Market.

      1. re: howard 1st

        Or, alternatively, walk up from hotel on 1st ave to Occidental, hang a right, and up to entrance to underground free bus tunnel up to Westlake (stop for the market), and again, just head West down to Pike Place.

        Don't miss Salumi - it's right in your neighborhood.

        1. re: gingershelley

          1st & Occidental are parallel. The bus tunnel is between 4th and 5th ave S and Jackson & weller streets - but the Stadium stop on the light rail is closer to the Silver Cloud.

          Personally, I'd walk up 1st but I realize not everyone likes walking as much.

        2. re: howard 1st

          FYI.... It's actually about a mile (1.1). 20-30min walk. Even the southern most part of Safeco is only 1.5mi to the market.

          1. re: tykapfh

            I was just about to check the math given above because no way is it 2 miles...1.1 sounds exactly right. I too would walk. You're actually not staying in a bad neighborhood and while yes, there are homeless people around, I really don't think there are more there these days than elsewhere in the downtown/Belltown area.

            Someone told me the Silver Cloud has a shuttle to the heart of downtown, but I'm not sure if this is still the case.

      2. Getting around is fine. Use the transit tunnel or the light rail if you feel uncomfortable on the street. The International District tunnel stop is right near Century Link field (no longer Qwest, FYI). Elysian Fields has a full bar as well as their own beer, and has decent food for a brewery.

        Personally I love Spur. My partner and I like to go during happy hour and share 4-6 plates to make a meal. Have not been to W&C (yet!).

        1. Thanks for the help! So glad to hear walking is fine; I was going to feel really silly if I had to ride to Pike Place. Salumi is definitely on the list and I'll have to stop by Elysian Fields. And thanks for the tip on the soccer game - will have to try to grab some of those tacos!

          2 Replies
          1. re: 3degrees

            In the interest of full disclosure, Pioneer Square and neighboring Chinatown host numerous non-profits providing services to homeless, poor, and elderly, so you will surely see these unfortunate. Most do not bite unless provoked. Some are friends of mine.

            1. re: mrnelso

              I don't worry about walking around Pioneer Square in the daytime. Even at night, I'd be more concerned about some of the idiots drinking in the clubs in that neighborhood and spilling out onto the street, than I am the poor bastards who live out there.

          2. I can also highly recommend Tsukushinbo in the ID for Japanese food. Service can be slow when they're crowded, but it's worth it. Ditto Terrier's comments on Pho Bac and Green Leaf. And also agree to avoid Uwajimaya's food court, although the rest of the store is wonderful. Cafe Campagne in the Market serves great French bistro food. In addition to the bus tunnel, there are also buses along the western side of the Silver Cloud. Ask the concierge. I'm sure he/she could recommend transport. Tulio's, a nice Italian place downtown has a gluten free menu and I believe Sazerac, next to the Monaco hotel, also in downtown, also has a gluten free menu.