First time to SEA, with 17 year old chow-son -- downtown and stadium district
My first trip to your lovely looking city, coming from Minneapolis. Traveling with the relatively food adventurous and pretty mature 17 year old son to follow the (very bad) MN Twins play the (very bad) Seattle Mariners in August. Hey, at least we can get seats, and as a bonus we have tickets to the Sounders game on that Saturday against the Whitecaps. No MLS team in MSP, so we are excited.
Staying at the W right downtown on a good rate, no car as you have awesome (though incredibly varied) public transit. I actually love varied public transit to explore with, so I'm excited and if I can find a train/streetcar/ferry to take us to your destination, its all fair game, as are pretty reasonable walks.
Hoping the chow community can give some advice on a couple of areas. Obviously not looking for the romantic settings or the 21+ clubs -- just some place a dad and son can get good but possibly interesting food. We both love fresh seafood, sushi, thai, junky bar food, and regional specialties. We don't need recommendations for your most outstanding hot dish or lutefisk place....got those covered here in the heartland.
1) Obviously any gems in the downtown core, or any tourist traps to avoid. I'm looking at Pike Place skeptically, but happy to have you tell me I'm totally wrong -- though of course we'll go see it regardless. I do need a good place for oysters, as the young lad isn't there yet, but I love Kumamotos and we get them out here but on an irregular basis. So I must have some....maybe more than some.
2) On Saturday we have the Sounders at noon and the Mariners at 6:00. What is the best place to eat in between games? We will be in Sounders jerseys by that point I'm sure, so nothing upscale.
3) Anything that is interesting near the space needle, aquarium, or that we could take a ferry to, since I'm sure we'll do all those things.
Thanks so much chowfolk! Very much appreciated for any advice.
PS -- I foolishly signed up for the Lake Union 10K that weekend as well, since it looked fun. Well, fun before you wake up at 6AM on vacation and actually have to run. If you see a guy in a Twins cap looking lost, happy to say hi! The pancakes afterwards look promising!
Take the ferry to Bainbridge Island for breakfast at Streamliner Diner or dinner at Hitchcock. Hitchcock always has great oysters.
You can actually get some great food at Pike Place Market. They don't permit chains there (Starbucks is grandfathered in because it was their very first store), which helps keep it local and non-homogenized. One of my favorite lunches there is at the Market Grill, a little lunch counter along the main arcade (look for the fish-shaped neon sign overhead). They just have a few stools, but the turnover is relatively quick, so if you hover and move fast you can snag two seats after a reasonable wait. They do grilled fish sandwiches with house-made tartar sauce or rosemary mayo, coleslaw, and chowder--quality, fresh ingredients, well-prepared and damn tasty. And the location offers some of the best people-watching in town, ringside to the madness that is Pike Place Market at high tourist season. VERY Seattle.
Around the aquarium, on the other hand, is where you'll find a high concentration of mediocre tourist traps. I've heard better things about Elliott's Oyster House than most of the restaurants there, but not being an oyster fan myself, I can't verify.
I second Jeffo405's recommendation to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island--it's a beautiful trip. Winslow Way is just a short walk up from the ferry dock, and there are lots of good food choices there. If you're looking for a morning coffee and pastry, Blackbird Bakery is great. Mora Ice Cream also gets raves. For a meal, I recommend the Streamliner Diner or The Harbour Public House.
Nobody else has stepped up to suggest places around the stadiums, so I'll give it a shot. You're close there to the International District, so you may want to walk over there between games. I'm not actually that familiar with a lot of restaurants there, but I hear great things about the Szechuan Crab and hand-shaved noodles at Seven Stars Pepper Szechuan Restaurant. You can get great banh mi sandwiches at any number of places, but my current favorite is the bbq pork ones at Seattle Deli on 12th Avenue. I'm sure other folks can share some of their favorites in the neighborhood.
Or you could just eat at Safeco Field. This past off-season, they hired Ethan Stowell to develop a food court called The Pen which I'm hearing great things about (take a look at this recent visitor's review http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853848 --she loved it). And while you won't see Ichiro here anymore, you can still get an IchiRoll at the sushi place on the main concourse. My usual meal is a Uli's cheddar brat with peppers, followed by a Shishkaberry.
I realized I actually have tickets to that game. If you see a fat redhead in tie-dyed Mariners teal-and-navy overalls, be sure to say hi!
Bless your heart MMM. We actually have a great Vietnamese population in the Twin Cities, and we have some very reasonable bahn mi, but that is the perfect idea between games -- and I've never sampled it any other place. That will be perfect between games. I'm researching now :)
Also, since we are likely to go to all 3 games in the series, I know we will have one meal at the park. Great link and thank you.