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Feedback on my researched 4 day itinerary for July please!!!

Hi all,
NY CH here; I've been ravenously reading all the threads here on this board. My husband and I have been meaning to make it to your fair city for quite some time and we are finally making the trip. We have four nights in Seattle before departing for Cannon Beach and Portland. Very excited!
A little about us: we are both in our late 20s. I love farm-to-table New American food, but we are open to any cuisine, and we'd like to mix it up a bit from dinner to dinner (no pizza please). We are looking for any eating experiences that are unique to Seattle, from cheap to splurge. Oh, also, we both love beer, my husband loves coffee, and I especially love cheese and ice cream (in case you couldn't tell). I have mapped out a tentative itinerary with the wealth of knowledge on this board, but there are still some holes. Am I on the right track? Any glaring omissions? Thank you in advance!!!

Day 1 (Friday)
Dinner- we arrive in time for late dinner (9 or later)-- we are staying at Fairmont Olympic-- so somewhere nearby-ish would be nice. Spur? Quinn's also sounds good.

Day 2 (Saturday)
Breakfast- open
Lunch- we'll be spending the day doing touristy things such as Space Needle, Pike Place market, Pioneer square, downtown, etc. so we will probably make a lunch of all the goodies at the market.
Dinner- Spinasse (we went to the Piedmont region of Italy last summer so we are psyched to try this place)
Drinks- Any good place for after dinner drinks near Spinasse? This'll be our fancier night out so no dives.

Day 3 (Sunday)
Breakfast- spend the morning in Ballard hitting up the farmers' market and checking out Besalu and Honore bakeries and shopping. Where can we get coffee in Ballard? Also, I am clueless when it comes to coffee. What is the best thing to order? Does each place have a specialty?
Lunch- we'll be headed to the Mariners game in the afternoon so I have Salumi bookmarked as near there to get lunch to eat in the stadium. Will it be swamped? Willing to wait if it's worth it, or will definitely consider other options.
Drinks- I have Pyramid, Triangle Pub, Hooverville bookmarked as near the stadium for drinks after the game.
Dinner- Etta's

Day 4 (Monday)
Breakfast- open
Lunch- not quite sure yet what area we'll be exploring yet
Dinner- would love to get Vietnamese food or another ethnic food that Seattle does better than NYC. I have Green Leaf bookmarked.
Drinks- we have to leave early the next morning but I can sleep off my hangover on the Amtrak, so can we do a little beer crawl near our hotel?

Not listed/filed yet...
Molly Moon's, Full Tilt, cute bakeries near the Fairmont for breakfast (Dahlia?), Theo Chocolate, Vivace, Victrola, Top Pot.
Happy Hours:
Toulouse Petit
Best cheese plate:

I have agonized over not including Walrus and Carpenter or Sitka and Spruce on my itinerary. W&C can't fit in on our jaunt to Ballard, and with limited time in the city I don't know if we'll make it back to Ballard on Monday for dinner. And the menu at S&S doesn't seem to jump out at me. But I can be convinced. They both seem very unique to Seattle.

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  1. Saturday drinks: tavern law and cannon would work. You can make a reservation for upstairs at tavern law.
    Sunday lunch: salumi is only open tue-fri. I think you should grab lunch at greenleaf which is close to the stadium and fulfill you Vietnamese requirement.
    Monday lunch: I would hit up Revel in fremont. It is a fun neighborhood to explore. And than you would be close to walrus and carpenter for dinner.

    19 Replies
    1. re: dagrassroots

      Is the upstairs called Needle and Thread? This looks perfect for our Saturday night.
      Thank you for the info about Salumi. I just assumed they'd be open Sundays. Too bad... but I think I will do what you suggested and get lunch at Green Leaf on the way to Safeco.
      Fremont seems like a fun neighborhood for Monday. Revel had been on my radar so I'll keep that in mind.
      Thanks again!!!!

      1. re: dagrassroots

        And close to the Theo factory. The tour is interesting, but even without it you should visit the shop, which has lots of free samples. I normally am not a big truffle fan but like Theo's truffles and caramels even more than the bars. I always take my friends to Fremont when they visit. From there you can walk along the canal to Old Ballard.

        Top Pot isn't anything to get excited about. I love the chocolate at Molly Moon's; whenever I get another flavor I regret not getting chocolate.

        1. re: sweetpotater

          Great info about Theo! Sounds like Monday is shaping up.
          I will always choose ice cream over doughnuts. We will probably do both Molly Moon's and Full Tilt to compare.

          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

            Please report on the Tilt vs Moon comparisons

            1. re: mrnelso

              Here's my comparison, Mr. N.: Full Tilt is a lot better than Molly Moon. Parfait, Empire, Peaks, Old School, and Cupcake Royale are all better than Full Tilt.

                1. re: not the bad Steve

                  Thanks for the ice cream recommendations. A couple of them look like frozen custard places-- do they have regular ice cream too? I like frozen custard, but prefer scooped ice cream. Parfait looks amazing. Do they have a brick and mortar location or are they food truck only? Is there a usual location or do they move around?

                  Unfortunately we probably won't get to a) as many as I want to and b) shops that are not near other things we want to do, so some of those are probably out.

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    Peaks and Old School both serve exclusively frozen custard, by scooping it.

                    Parfait is truck only. Location calendar is here: http://www.parfait-icecream.com/sched...

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Peaks and Old School both serve exclusively frozen custard, by scooping it.

                      Parfait is truck only. Location calendar is here: http://www.parfait-icecream.com/sched... .

                    2. re: not the bad Steve

                      I've had Parfait once -- some kind of spicy Mexican chocolate which was tasty but the texture wasn't ideal (a little bit of ice chunkage, tho' minor). I'd try them again, tho'. Also have had Peaks and Old School once each; both good but flavor choices at Old School are limited to choc/vanilla/flavor of the day (if I remember correctly) and I prefer Full Tilt over both. I wouldn't turn down any of them, tho'!

                      1. re: Bax

                        Old School has one rotating flavor in addition to chocolate and vanilla; Peaks has two.

                        Both tend to have packed pints of recent rotating flavors in the freezer.

                        While I like Full Tilt a lot better than Molly Moons, these both suffer from an indistinct, mushy consistency in my view. I wish I could explain how this differs from frozen custard, which is soft by design, but I have a hard time. It may actually have to do with how thick FT and MM are when then melt--pretty far from a liquid.

                    3. re: mrnelso

                      It's Full Tilt by a head and we are lucky to have both these thoroughbreds in the neighborhood. I git a kick out of the Beecher's flagship at MM, too.

                    4. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Theo is right next to Brouwer's. Chocolate then beer? Beer then Chocolate? Chocolate then beer then delicious grilled meats at Revel?

                      1. re: Brunhilde

                        This is great news! I had heard of Brouwer's but wasn't sure we'd fit it in. Beer and chocolate sounds perfect. Hopefully both are open on Monday?

                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          As fine as Brouwer's might be, don't miss Revel, for sure.

                      2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                        At Full Tilt, head DIRECTLY for the salted caramel, and super-dark Chocolate Orange.... trust me. The original Full Tilt is a mile from my house, and we buy all our ice cream there:).

                        Second Sweetpotater on Theo's tour/ at least the shop. Fremont is fun!

                        also +1 on dagrasroots recco's for Sat. drinks, and greenleaf for your Safeco day. Hooverville is WAY more local than the (corporate feeling) Pyramid IMHO.

                        For Friday, have dinner at Matt's in the Market or Quinn's.

                        If you guys spend perhaps an afternoon (post Ballard or Fremont) at Seattle Center, do happy hour at Toulous petit. Best time to go there.

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          Thanks for the suggestions! I made a reservation for Spur for Friday but I'm still torn between that and Quinn's. Turns out we wouldn't be ready for dinner till about 10 pm so at that point I'm not sure how big of a dinner we'll want. I bookmarked Toulouse Petit.

                        2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          You need to schedule your Theo tour ahead of time, if you actually want a tour, on their website.

                          1. re: sweetpotater

                            I just did. Looks like some of the times were already booked up so thanks for the tip!

                    5. I love Spur! It's mostly small plates so I usually plan on ordering 3-4 and sharing with my dining partner. Their twist on a Pimm's cup is a great cocktail as well.

                      Breakfasts: If you're going to the Pike Place Market, I like the Crumpet Shop for a quick simple breakfast. If you want a more substantial meal, there's the 5 point (kind of divey), or Dahlia Bakery, Dahlia Workshop, or Lola (all Tom Douglas joints).

                      "Where can we get coffee in Ballard?" LOL every 5 feet. I don't have specific recommendations as a non coffee drinker, but this made me laugh. I don't think you'll have a problem.

                      Salumi is closed on Sunday.

                      If you're going to Ballard, and like craft beer, consider stopping in at the Maritime Pacific Taproom, or the new-ish Hilliards. Also, there's Elysian Fields near the stadium (brewery) that's huge, and I like the beer. I dislike Pyramid, but the beer garden before baseball games can be fun.

                      ETA: Bambinos downtown seems to have one of the best beer selection in the area. I know you said no Pizza, but consider hitting it up for a unique selection of beer. Or if you want the biggest selection, hit up Brouwer's (64 taps! A good amount of them are local! Millions of bottles!) And then you could eat at Revel because it is the best and they'll tell you the name of the pig you're eating bits of just like you're in an episode of Portlandia.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Brunhilde

                        It's really going to be a toss up between Spur and Quinn's! Both menus look really good.
                        Crumpet Shop is on my list for sure. A friend has been raving about it for a year! Is Dahlia Workshop the same thing as Serious Biscuit? I'm having trouble locating it - is 401 Westlake Ave N. the right address?
                        Haha, I should have said where can we get great coffee in Ballard, but like you, I am not a coffee drinker, so it all tastes the same to me. :)
                        I found a couple addresses for Elysian Fields and wasn't sure which was right. That is on my list for Safeco now. Thanks!

                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          Fyi: Spur's is owned by the same folks who own tavern law.

                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                            Serious Biscuit is right. I didn't realize they had started going by that name. Another great place for breakfast would be Skillet Diner (chicken & waffles!)

                            There's 3 Elysian locations, the one you want is directly across the street from the CLink (Century Link Field), about a block up from Safeco field.

                            1. re: Brunhilde

                              The "Is it local" skit from Portlandia is the funniest thing ever and I would love to know the name of the pig I'm eating. :)

                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                Ours was Henrietta, and we got a piece of her belly, a piece of her flap, and a sausage made from her and it was all delicious.

                            2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                              I'd recommend Spur for its innovative menu. Quinn's is ok but closer to bar food.

                          2. I haven't been yet this year, but in the past Ballard farmer's market doesn't have much if any prepared food. It's a nice component to a walk, but don't expect food trucks and nibbles.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: sweetpotater

                              Thanks! I figured, but I'm a farmers' market fanatic-- I guess is this is not so weird for Chowhound, but I really love going to farmers' markets in other cities to browse, even if I can't buy produce to cook with. My fondest memory of San Francisco is eating a perfectly ripe peach at the Ferry Market... and on our last day there we stuffed our carry on with precious fruits and veggies to cart back to NY.

                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                Oh, yum; Frog Hollow Farms peaches. I remember one time at Chez Pannise the dessert of the night was "One Perfectly Ripe Frog Hollow Farms Peach". They served it whole on a plate with a knife. But, they are just that good.

                              2. re: sweetpotater

                                Veraci's Pizza oven is still there, I think, and all of Ballard Avenue's fancy joints, too.

                              3. You’ve got a fantastic bakery in the Fairmont called Belle Epicurean. I work across the street and am there as often as I can. Shuckers Oyster Bar is also in the hotel and, if you like oysters, they have a fabulous Happy Hour.

                                Spinasse opened a bar next door called Artusi, which I’ve heard great things about. You could go there before dinner and then Needle and Thread and/or Canon after. If you were going to only one of those places, I would recommend Canon.

                                If you’re feeling hungry when you’re at the Farmer’s Market, you could always have breakfast outside at Bastille. It’s great for people watching.

                                I’m not a fan of Etta’s. Are you looking for seafood or is there another reason it’s on the list? I’m sure we can come up with someplace better for you.

                                There’s not much near the Fairmont for a beer crawl. It’s in the financial district and the area is pretty quiet at night.

                                Have you checked out The Corson Building? It’s owned by the guy from S&S and might appeal to you more.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Lauren

                                  Great to hear that there are a couple things near our hotel. We chose it based on the low rate my husband was able to get, not so much on location, but I'm not too worried about that since we like to move around and explore.

                                  Thank you for the drink recommendations. The Needle and Thread concept sounds really fun so I'm drawn to that.

                                  Yes, definitely looking for seafood,which is why Etta's is on there. I looked at the Matt's menu too and I was more interested in Etta's, plus the price for Matt's seemed high for a menu I wasn't excited by. So... any alternatives for menus featuring seafood?

                                  I will look at the Corson Building. Also. I noticed that S&S has a Mexican Monday menu, which looks amazing. Can anyone comment on that?

                                2. +1 on replacing Etta's on your list. Tom is a good guy, and I will still occasional eat at Palace Kitchen especially late night, when it is full of industry people.

                                  Matt's in the Market should replace that dinner!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                    Would you say Matt's is known for their fish, etc.? I noticed Palace Kitchen in my searches and the goat cheese and lavender fondue caught my eye.

                                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                      Matt's menu is heavily fish; they are really known for the fish and view combo. Although I still occasionally pop in for lunch I'm not their biggest fan. I don't always find the menu appealing and the service is so/so. I haven't done Mexican Monday at S&S but I'd chose that or the Corson Bldg over Matt's any day. I also love Lecosho (although not a fish heavy menu) which is the restaurant where Matt now resides.

                                      1. re: cburnsi

                                        I would say opposite of cburnsi, IMO; Matt's is fish/shellfish heavy and I would pick it ANY day over regular menu at Lecosho, which I find just Meh. Tho Lecocosho late happy hour is quite good; you might check that out. All the good stuff seems to be on the bar menu there.

                                        As for Matt's - they have lot's of daily specials, which you won't see on website. I think it is great for shared plates meal, as much or as little food as you want, and good local seafood and veggies. We each have our favorites around here, of course...

                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                          Thank you. I've decided against both Matt's and Etta's, actually. After much deliberation I decided to eliminate our dinner out the first night so we can just crash at the hotel and get up at a reasonable hour on Saturday. I will post an updated itinerary soon.

                                  2. On game day, also consider lunch at Safeco Field. The Pen http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/sea/b... has pretty good ballpark food, at least from what I hear. Ethan Stowell had a hand in designing it, and operates two of the stands. They open the nearest gate a half-hour before the rest, so you can come in, get your food and beverages (they have a full bar, too), and watch batting practice.

                                    (Of course, I can't report on The Pen from personal experience. Our usual seats are on the far side of the field and a couple of levels up, so I never seem to make it over there. I don't get past the cart selling the Uli's Sausage cheddar brats, and the Shishkaberry stand, both right behind our section!


                                    I've had both Molly Moon's salted caramel ice cream and Full Tilt's, and I give the edge to Molly Moon. After the first time I had it, I woke up in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling, and wondering what time they opened up in the morning so I could go back and get more. I swear to god, they put crack in that stuff.

                                    I would recommend Toulouse Petit for one of those open breakfasts--I think it's their best meal, and one of the best brunches in town. I haven't tried it on a weekend but I'm betting it will be crowded, so unless you go early (they open at 8 am), Monday might be best. If you go Monday, too, they do a breakfast happy hour that can be a heck of a deal.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: MsMaryMc

                                      Thanks for the suggestions! I will mention the Pen to my husband. It's going to be hard to decide. Damn my limited stomach space!

                                      I've never had salted caramel ice cream so I am very intrigued!!

                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                        Of course it's all a matter of personal taste but I WAY prefer Full Tilt's salted caramel over Molly Moon's. For me, MM's was far too salty -- one bite was good, but a whole serving just got to be overwhelmingly salty. I find Full Tilt's to have a much better balance of sweet-to-salt (I prefer the texture of FT's too -- a little softer/creamier). The only reason we ever choose MM's over FT is just proximity to home.

                                        Also -- be sure to try some Beecher's Flagship cheese while you're here (down at Pike Place Market). Tasty.

                                        1. re: Bax

                                          All I can tell you is, I do like Full Tilt ice cream. I get a different flavor almost every time I go there, and they're all very tasty. I go to Molly Moon, I ask for a taste of something new, I say, mmmm, wow, that's good! and I order salted caramel. Every. Single. Time.

                                        2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                          If you decide to continue the salted caramel theme, you might also want to pick up some Fran's Salted Caramels. The Obamas are among their well-publicized fans, since they received some in a welcome basket on a campaign stop here back in 2008. You can find them in most good chocolate shops and other local stores that carry fancy food items, or at Fran's stores (there's one just south of the Market on First Avenue).

                                          1. re: MsMaryMc

                                            Fran's salted caramels are on sale this week at Metropolitan Markets for 6.99 per package of 7.

                                      2. It seems that coffee has not been seriously addressed yet. While I don't frequent Ballard coffee shops, Caffe Fiore has always been good.
                                        In your list you have Vivace and Victrola and I would probably add Stumptown to the list for completeness. My personal preference is for Victrola, and especially if you want to take beans with you, this is the best place. They roast the coffee at their Pike location and you can see the whole operation which is pretty neat. You can just get the french press here if you'd like a simple cup of coffee, but I'd recommend exploring their pour over selection. The baristas are very friendly and will guide you in the right direction. If you are in the mood for an espresso, ask them if they have a single-origin espresso available (they almost always do) and try that out either on its own or in a drink. It usually has a much more interesting flavor profile than their blend. Also, if for some reason it is warm in Seattle when you visit, they have a toddy that is pretty excellent (which may or may not be on the menu, but it is always available) and is better than the prebottled stuff at Stumptown.

                                        A note about your post-Spinasse drinks: the food at Artusi (the addendum to Spinasse) is fantastic since they share a kitchen at Spinasse, but unfortunately their drinks were less exciting than at Canon or even Needle and Thread. They do offer an alcoholic slushy, which is a pretty cool idea, but the execution is lacking - last time I was there it included tequila, cynar and a beer... I would highly recommend going straight to canon.

                                        For your last night, if you are in the mood for more cocktails, I would head down to Zig Zag for drinks, it is near your hotel (right behing Pike Place market) and the drinks there are fantastic. You could also grab a beer before heading to Zig Zag at White Horse Trading Co in Post Alley (in the market). It is an assuming English pub that serves Sam Smith beers and a housemade Mead. If you are craving a more serious beer night, you could make your way up to Cap Hill to the Stumbling Monk - it has a smaller selection than Brouwer's but it also doesn't have the fratty atmosphere and there is always something delicious on tap. Note that since they don't serve liquor, they also don't serve food.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: foodnstats

                                          Thanks for all the coffee suggestions. I have Vivace, Victrola, and Stumptown bookmarked and I will pass your ordering tips onto my husband, since he is the coffee drinker.

                                          Those seem like solid options around our hotel!

                                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                            If you do want coffee when in Ballard, Aster probably has the best in terms of beans and brewing (they have a Clover); for atmosphere, especially on a Sunday/market day, try Fresh Flours on Ballard Ave. Fresh Flours also has wonderful pastries!

                                        2. I agree about Etta's. Matt's in the Market is a better choice if you want something downtown/Pike Place - I think it's much better than Etta's and has a much more authentic sense of place. Definitely go to Revel rather than Brouwer's (which is great for a beer but for food... eh).

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: mcstubbs

                                            Thanks. I have an 11 AM tour at Theo booked, after which we will eat at Revel and then have some drinks at Brouwer's. Very excited for that day, and all thanks to you Chowhounds for helping shape it (and the other days) with your suggestions!

                                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                              I think, in summer, a prix fixe dinner at Corson can be spectacular. If I had just two dinners in SEA right now it would be that and Spinasse. As others have noted alot of not just good but excellent places for drinks nearby the latter.

                                              Have not tried Bambino's, and am intrigued that it has Pliny at times. But the OP is from NY and wants no pizza. Others have covered the many beers available at places like Brouwer's and Stumbling Monk; there is also Hop Vine in C. Hill and The Dray in Ballard, and Schooner Exact, a very solid local brewer that can usually be worked into a game-day experience in SODO.

                                              I am prone to suggest lunch from a simple place like Huong Binh or Hoang Lan over a dinner at Green Leaf or Tamarind Tree these days, for the Viet flavor. I have thought long about cuisines that are better in SEA than NYC--which is a tall order--and in addition to Viet I think Eritrean or Ethiopian makes the grade. If you are will to go deep down Rainier, try Altaye for its housemade injera and warm service.
                                              Spur vs. Quinn's: Quinn's is meatier and the drinks are second rate, but the beer is good. Spur is lighter fare, more composed. They are different, both worthwhile in their own way.

                                              1. re: equinoise

                                                I want to step in to defend Quinn's, which I much prefer to Spur...I honestly don't get the big deal about Spur, but will admit that I am apparently in the minority. However - if you are staying downtown, go with Spur, since you can walk there, Quinn's would be a hike (a nice walk during the day, though) and there will be zero parking in the vicinity on a weekend night. If Spur is too busy, you might also try Black Bottle in the same neighborhood and with similar (though less upscale) food, or Local 360 which is decidely less fancy but might be easier late at night after a long flight.

                                          2. Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I am beyond excited!
                                            How far in advance do I need to reserve a spot at Needle and Thread? We'll just be doing drinks since we'll have eaten at Spinasse.
                                            Here's my revised itinerary. It doesn't account for flights of fancy, which will abound, based on the number of stars I have pinned on my google map. I also realize this is fairly ambitious for me personally given my stomach space and the limited amount of time we have. Plus, we have things other than eating we'd like to do (gasp!). :) I added Walrus and Carpenter after much deliberation. Do we really have to get there at opening time on a Monday?
                                            Again, thanks for all your help. I will post a full report!

                                            Day 1 (Friday)
                                            Possible late night snack at our hotel, but no dinner since we won't be arriving at the hotel till 10ish, which will be past our bedtime NY time, especially if we want to be up early on Saturday!

                                            Day 2 (Saturday)
                                            Breakfast- Coffee sampling, treats at Dahlia Bakery
                                            Lunch- Pike Place Market
                                            Dinner- Spinasse
                                            Drinks- Needle and Thread
                                            Dessert (this is very ambitious since I fully intend on eating panna cotta at Spinasse)- Molly Moon

                                            Day 3 (Sunday)
                                            Breakfast- Cafe Besalu; Honore Bakery; Ballard Farmers' market
                                            Snack- Full Tilt ice cream
                                            Lunch- (en route to Safeco) Green Leaf
                                            Drinks- Pyramid, Triangle Pub, Hooverville, Schooner exact, etc
                                            Dinner- Spur

                                            Day 4 (Monday)
                                            Breakfast- Serious Biscuit? Sweet Iron Waffles? Toulouse Petit? back to the market? Play it by ear probably.
                                            Snacks- Theo factory tour
                                            Lunch- Revel
                                            Drinks- Brouwer's
                                            Snacks/light dinner- Walrus and Carpenter
                                            Drinks/late snacks- Quinn's

                                            10 Replies
                                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                On a recent Monday at 6:15, the wait was 35-40 minutes (quoted 35, think it was closer to 45) but it's totally worth the wait. Just know that it will happen going in. Or have a glass of wine and some snacks at the bar at staple and fancy--the food at Walrus is pretty light/small plates, so you could do a half and half meal.

                                                  1. re: dagoose

                                                    Good info Dagoose - Ieatalotoficecream; just DON'T miss those oysters at W&C. That would be a shame. Oh, and read the poem before you go, it will improve your appreciation for the place:)


                                                  2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                    Well done 'I-eat"; get to bed night 1, get some rest, and get up early for your foodie tour!

                                                    Day 2: excellent, but I would head to the market as early as possible, and leave Dahlia and extra coffee tastings for when you get sick of the market crowd. From the market, which is most Western on your days itinerary, you can wander East and get to dahlia, etc. Plan some time for walking on Capitol Hill before/ after dinner. Walking up the pike/pine road is a fun experience in nifty shops to stop in, plus ice cream and coffee found on the walk on your way to dinner at Spinasse, and your 'afters'.

                                                    Day 3: All good. At Green Leaf - be sure to order a Bahn Xeao; Turmeric egg crepe with veggies, shrimp and a pile of goodies to load into it like thai basil, sprouts, and a sweet/tart drizzle sauce. They make THE BEST in SEA! Light, crispy and flavorful.

                                                    Day 4: Get thee to toulous Petit (if you have an appetite after the night before!), the discounted breakfast menu is a great deal, something different. It's a cool vibe.

                                                    And, since you are not spending any other time on QA area other then possibly this morning, after breakfast and before Theo tour, it is worthwhile to head to the new Chihuly exhibit at the SEA Center between lower QA and Fremont. Please - skip the highly overrated EMP :). If you must, line up and go to the top of the Space Needle for the view, but better to go up QA after breakfast (before heading to Chihully, and let your food digest with the view from Kerry Park over downtown. A photo op if ever there was one:)

                                                    Let us know how it goes!

                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                      Thank you! We may tweak the timing of the market as you suggest so it skews to the earlier side. I know that the Queen Anne neighborhood is somewhat of a hole in our itinerary, but sacrifices were made with only three full days. Toulouse Petit would take care of that, but that is a serious eating day, so I worry we may be too full. We'll see how we feel. Chihuly is on the agenda, and however overrated EMP may be, my husband will not miss seeing Kurt Cobain's yellow sweater there. I will not begrudge him that since much of what we're doing is planned around the meals I want to eat. :)

                                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                        Oh, I know how that can be, ice cream, when someone in your party has to hit their 'holy grail' stop, aka Kurt C's sweater:). Just mentioning for planning purposes, EMP, Chihuly and Toulouse are very close together. QA neighborhood doesn't really demand any further attention from tourists other than it's proximity to Seattle Center, and up the hill - the viewpoint at Kerry Park. I sympathize with having too much to fit in!

                                                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                          Agreed on QA not really requiring a specific stop. The best part of the EMP, imo, is the guitar room. Get the $3 audio tour and you can listen to each of the guitars and hear about any of them that catch your eye. You could catch the monorail over there from Westlake center. The new centerhouse is supposed to have a bunch of local resto outposts, but I am not sure if they are open yet. You might check it out.

                                                          1. re: akq

                                                            The centerhouse seemed to be about half opened when we were there a week ago. there is also a restaurant in the Chilhuly museum - Collections. It is worth seeing even if you don't eat there.

                                                        2. re: gingershelley

                                                          If you find yourself on Capitol Hill, the water-tower in volunteer park gives you a space needle view at no cost but a stair-climb.

                                                      2. Seattle chowhounders, my husband and I left Seattle this morning for Oregon. I will write an extended report when we return to NY but I wanted to post and say we just had a spectacular time eating (and drinking) our way through your fine city. We were surprised at how inexpensive (relative to NY) our favorite meals were, and we were so impressed with the quality of the food we ate. Many thanks for the guidance!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                          Thanks, i_eat_a_lot! It's been a pleasure reading your itinerary and your revisions. So happy you had a good time here. Look forward to your report when you finally get home!

                                                        2. Well, we've returned from our trip, and here's what we ended up doing! We strayed from the itinerary a bit as certain neighborhoods drew us in more than others. Here's the full report!

                                                          We arrived pretty late at the Fairmont but were hungry enough for a snack, so we headed down to Shuckers in the hotel. I liked the sort of swanky atmosphere... it was dim and almost empty. They had a good selection of local beer on tap-- my husband had a Pike Olympic Honey Ale. They split a spinach salad onto two plates for us-- it came with a deviled egg and a delicious bacon vinaigrette. Then we shared wild salmon skewers with green tomato and mozzarella caprese stacks. We capped it off with an over the top Dungeness crab and artichoke gratin that was rich and cheesy. While it wasn't the most thrilling first meal (or the cheapest) it was a great introduction to Seattle's dining scene.

                                                          We got up early and went to they gym in preparation for our day of eating. Then we walked up the hill to Victrola, where the friendly barista helped my husband get a perfect first cup of coffee. After that we stopped by Dahlia and got a huge, flaky, buttery croissant and a mini coconut cream pie to tide us over before our Pike Place Market excursion. As suggested here, we ended up getting to PPM fairly early but certainly not before the tourist (us included :) rush. It was a bit chaotic but we enjoyed browsing the stalls. We stopped into the Crumpet Shop for fresh squeezed OJ and a crumpet with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and egg, which was done up like a bagel but not so leaden in the stomach! We got to the chowder place a few minutes before they opened at 11 and queued up for their rich seafood chowder and a crab roll. At that point we headed to the Olympic Sculpture Garden (one of many free or close to free attractions we loved in Seattle), the Space Needle (didn't go up), and EMP (which was a huge hit with my husband-- overpriced I think). At that point we took the monorail back towards PPM and stopped by Beecher's (at that point completely mobbed) for a gooey grilled cheese on excellent bread, and at Pike Brewing for a couple of beers. That evening we were glad to get out of the tourist fray and took a cab to Spinasse for our much anticipated Piedmontese dinner! It's totally adorable inside,somehow rustic and trendy at the same time, with very friendly servers (a theme we would be happy to see repeated in almost every food establishment in Seattle and Portland) . We each had a glass of Dolcetto. They served an amuse bouche of rabbit pate, and we ordered tajarin with butter and sage and insalata russa as our starters. Such simple dishes but impeccably prepared with high quality ingredients. Then I ordered quail (you can choose 1 or 2, I chose 1 since we were planning on two desserts), which was just right for me, but the gentleman at the next table was complaining about the diminutive size of the portion. It had crisp skin, juicy inside, and a surprising amount of meat on the tiny bird, and was served atop veggies. My husband had the much more decadent rabbit meatballs wrapped in caul fat, which practically melt in your mouth. Alas, dessert did not live up to our expectations (the panna cotta with sour cherries was a bit ho hum) but with such a spectacular meal up to that point we had absolutely no complaints. This was by far our most expensive meal on our entire trip but at a bit over $100 it far surpassed many many meals I've had in NY at the same price point. Somehow after that we managed to fit Molly Moon's ice cream in-- I had salted caramel and cherry chunk (both of which were stupendous) in a fresh waffle cone. We stopped by Elysian for a quick drink (Elderberry Saison for me, and Pandora's Bock for my husband) and then headed back to the hotel to rest up for another busy day.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                            Sounds like a great start; looking forward to more of your trip report!

                                                            Glad you started early-ish on your market-day At PPM, so to avoid the worst of the crush. Sounds like some highlights were hit without 'the throngs".

                                                            Smart you got a few of your 'must see's' as for SEA sightseeing (isn't the sculpture park great?) done reasonably early too... And that after all that, Spinasse did not disappoint, if not the most crazy-great you imagined. That's alot to live into IMO, so if it was terrific, and on $-point, I find that a reasonable win.

                                                          2. Sunday-
                                                            Still full from the night before, we waited until we got to Ballard to get coffee and breakfast. We stumbled on Aster on our way up to Besalu, and had coffee and tea on a very blustery morning. I was devastated to walk up to Besalu and see that they were closed for summer vacation. Luckily Tall Grass Bakery next door came through with some amazing pastries for us to drown our sorrows in-- a raspberry rhubarb danish, a "birdseed" bran muffin, and a pillowy, gooey cinnamon roll. After becoming engrossed in the Ballard Locks for many more hours than we had anticipated, we realized it was too late to stop for Vietnamese food before the Mariners game, so we hopped on the bus to the stadium and took the 'Pen suggestion. Stadium food usually makes me irate with the high cost and pathetic quality but I felt like I was in an alternate universe. We got a delicious, enormous (big enough for us both) Mexican torta made with local beef, put together as I watched with fresh local veggies, fresh made guacamole on the side served artfully with a SPRIG OF CILANTRO (!??!?!) on top, a local microbrew, and a bottle of water for about $25. I almost passed out with joy. After a brief, relatively unexciting baseball game, we stopped by Hooverville for a couple of IPAs. This was definitely an interesting place unlike the very touristy Pike Brewing and Capitol Hill's Elysian. There were some real characters but also a very creepy guy who they had to keep throwing out so I have to say this was my least favorite Seattle locale. After we returned to the hotel for a nap, we went to Quinn's for a late dinner. This was another one of my favorite meals of the trip, but we definitely overdid it! We found the atmosphere romantic and the service was excellent. I had a glass of Oregon wine and my husband had an amber beer (Odin's Gift) while we nibbled on bacon caramel corn. We ordered a salad and cod fritters to start, and I had probably the best hamburger of my entire life (flavorful beef, perfectly salted, crusty exterior, perfectly pink, juicy interior, loosely packed, pretty much my definition of the PERFECT burger) while my husband gobbled down the Cuban sandwich. We had zero room for dessert after that and even less room for more beer/wine so headed back to the hotel.

                                                            1. Sunday-
                                                              Sunday turned out to be our favorite day in Seattle, with the better part of the day being spent in the funky, cute neighborhood of Fremont. We got a quick breakfast to go from Belle Epicurean in our hotel-- a pear almond brioche and a mini cinnamon roll, both very good. We grabbed a cup of coffee for my husband at (I think) Caffe Ladro, which we took with us to Theo for our tour. The Theo tour was led by a very enthusiastic, charismatic young woman whose excitement about chocolate and their superior product was definitely contagious. We got tons of samples and a short interactive lecture on chocolate making and their philosophy, followed by a brief tour of the working factory, and ended up in their shop, where we sampled probably 3 bars worth of chocolate and bought about 20. (Bread and chocolate, hazelnut crunch, anything with sea salt or cherries, were our favorites, but everything they make is simply exquisite.) After that, we followed up with a fantastic lunch at Revel, where we sat at the counter watching the chefs cook up a storm of innovative cuisine. We shared three plates-- a pork belly pancake (my husband loved this but it was simply too rich for me to eat more than a couple of bites), chickpea and veggie dumplings (with a distinctly Indian flavor), and dungeness crab noodles, which were just amazing, one of my favorite dishes of our entire trip. The creativity at Revel really was unrivaled by any other place we went to in Seattle. Our server was super friendly and it was a budget friendly meal at something like $30-$40 total for way more food than we could possibly eat. (Two plates would be fine for two hungry people.) After Fremont, we took the Bainbridge Island Ferry to see Mt. Rainier and the beautiful Seattle skyline. Exhausted, we passed out back at the hotel, and woke up later than we had anticipated. Used to the all-night-every-night options in NYC, we had to scour the internet for a place open for a late dinner on a Sunday and came up with Serious Pie. As I mentioned in my original query, we weren't really looking for pizza in Seattle, but this place really hit the spot that night. We shared a large salad and their mushroom pie, which had a wonderful thin crust with the right combination of crisp/chew... I think the mushrooms were a bit undercooked for my taste but the flavors were spot on. We shared a great individual Neopolitan ice cream tart for dessert. It was empty when we were there and we liked the atmosphere, but it must be noisy/hectic at peak times!

                                                              1. So we didn't get to every place we had planned-- I was disappointed we missed Full Tilt, Green Leaf, and a number of the bars we had intended on. Walrus and Carpenter ended up not being feasible with our itinerary. I swapped out Spur for Quinn's at the last minute because we wanted more pub type food. However, I really feel like we made the most of our short time in Seattle, with not one meal wasted on mediocre food. The value we felt we got for our dining dollars in Seattle is extremely high-- and we appreciated high quality food and enjoyable dining atmospheres without the snobby service that is sometimes encountered in comparable NYC restaurants. There is a clear pride in product and service in Seattle but also in the overall experience and atmosphere. Thanks for helping make my Seattle dining experience completely unforgettable!

                                                                And because I love lists, here are my top 5 Seattle dining/food moments, in no particular order.
                                                                1) Burger at Quinn's
                                                                2) Dungeness crab noodles at Revel
                                                                3) Tajarin at Spinasse
                                                                4) Molly Moon's ice cream
                                                                5) Theo tour

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                  Thank you for this great recap of your stay in Seattle. I haven't eaten at Revel yet and you've reminded me that I need to rectify that.

                                                                  1. re: Lauren

                                                                    Grill menu last week at revel was lamb and it was delicious.