Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Seattle >
Sep 2, 2012 05:02 PM

October Seattle Visit - itinerary tips

Myself and husband are visiting the northwest for 12 days, done tons of research, would like some tips on my itinerary.

We're staying at the W Seattle downtown near Pike Place Market.

Arrive 11:30am
Late lunch: Serious Pie vs Salumi? -- both close to our hotel. Sounds like Salumi may be winning out.

Pre-dinner: The Walrus & the Carpenter for oysters etc. QUESTION, would fitting in the Ballard Locks before or after our meal here make any sense? And if yes, before vs after? Was thinking after so we can place something in between our meals, but I definitely don't want to get to W&C too late and have to wait.

Full Tilt sometime while we're in Ballard

Dinner: Book bindery vs Canlis vs Sitka/Spruce vs other. Wanted to try Tilth b/c of Maria Hines but seems out of the way. Also Corson Building but again a bit out of the way. Thoughts?

After dinner drink options in area?? Perhaps head back to hotel for Spur

Breakfast: Pike place market - Beechers cheese (M&C), Mee Sum Pastries, Pike Place Chowder, Crumpet shop, Uli’s (sausage)

Late lunch: Revel. Anything interesting to check out in Fremont neighborhood before or after lunch?

Dinner: Spinasse
After dinner drink options in the area?? Thinking Needle & Thread or Quinn's

Crumble & Flake before we get on the road
Maybe Sitka & Spruce brunch before we head to Lummi Island. Was thinking of stopping by Taylors shellfish farm, what is everyone's opinion on availability and even the fun of sitting outside shucking oysters at the end of Oct up north??

thanks for everyone's help ahead of time!! we can't wait.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I wouldn't consider Tilth "out of the way". Wallingford is just as easy to get to from downtown as Fremont and Ballard. Another option, since you seem Ballard inclined, is Maria Hines' other enterprise, Golden Beetle.

    1. PLZ PLZ don't limit yourselves in Seattle. There are SO many great places to eat and snack. I love Beechers but, Mac and cheese is heavy. Share one so you can go across and enjoy whats inside Pike Place. The fish mongers are now offering oyster shooters, cups stuffed with crab or shrimp and the yummiest smoked salmon skewers. All for take away. Great to accompany w/the Mac and cheese. Pike Place chowder is yummy but also heavy. Get the sampler and share with some incredible breads/pastries from Piroshky's and cookies from Three Girls bakery. Or that sammy from Salumi. Take time to go to the International District too. We LOVE Green Leaf Vietnamese.

      If you have time for a drive, go through the Olympic Peninsula and drive to Shelton, a cute little logging town with one very amazing restaurant called Xinh's Clam and Oyster House. THE best oysters/clams ever. esp the oysters in Hoisin. Xinh cooks all herself.

      I NEVER go to Starbucks for coffee. There's so many other options.

      Cafe Besalu is nice in Ballard. Great pastries! Another is HIGHLIFE in Ballard. Go for Happy Hour. Located in a historic Firehouse.

      Serious Pie is all about pizza and I think for pizza, it's expensive. Salumi is all about meats , salami/cheeses etc. Go early cuz it gets really crowded and they run out of stuff. I also found that when they are busy, the staff has a bit of an attitude. We'll get sammy's to eat on the plane when we fly to/from LA.
      Another nice drive not too far from SEA: Snoqualmie Falls and the beautiful Salish Lodge. Take your Salumi sammy on a drive like this and picnic at the falls. Take the log train ride too!

      Too much to share. Have a great time. We're going beg of Oct.!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        thanks for your recommendations... seattle is only 2/11 day trip so we won't be staying in seattle for too long.. have been before many years ago and excited to revisit :)

        1. re: Kitchen Queen

          Agreed with Kitchen Queen. I lived in Seattle for eight years, and there are so many vendors in the Market that have wonderful samples, little bites and small plates of things that are better than Beecher's. I do love the Mee Sum at the Market location, though.

          I've been to Salumi only twice, but I admit I was disappointed both times after long waits in line. The sandwiches I've had there are good, but not wait-in-line good, imo.

          You're awfully close to the International District, too. Do you like Asian cuisines? Why not explore the ID instead of committing to Salumi? Walk and eat your way through Uwajimaya ( at 600 5th Avenue South. You can park there if you have a car, and get it validated with a purchase in store which should NOT be a difficult task -- the hard part will be walking away with less than another suitcase worth of purchases. If you like Vietnamese food, Tamarind Tree has two locations in Seattle, one in the ID and one walking distance from the Market (depending on your mobility, of course):

          ETA: It appears Tamarind Tree's downtown location is no more. No mention of it on their website. However, the one on S. Jackson in Little Saigon/ International District is still open for business -- as it should be.

          1. re: team_cake

            We love, love, love Uwajimaya and think it's a must stop and agree that buying things is a must-do. But I've not seen samples there. We're always there on a week day. Is that it?

            1. re: c oliver

              I've seen food samples there for special events like Chinese New Year or Korean Foods Week. However, I meant you can eat your way through the food court, the deli and all the ready-made food items. Thank you for asking so I could clarify! :)

              1. re: team_cake

                Ah, gotcha! The food court IS drool worthy, isn't it? THE most wonderful store :)

            2. re: team_cake

              Tamarind Tree's downtown location is still open. It's called Long Provincial so it's confusing.

              1. re: Lauren

                Thanks! I thought maybe it had a different name, but when I was on the TT website, I didn't see a link to a sister restaurant of any kind, even by another name. Now that you've said the name of LP, it sounds familiar. Thanks again!

          2. Revel is right near the Theo chocolate factory, so if you're a chocolate fan you can schedule a tour. Also, if you're a microbrew/beer fan, Brouwer's has 64 taps and an insane bottle list. There's also the Fremont Troll and the Statue of Lenin.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Brunhilde

              the chocolate factory sounds awesome, going there! thanks a bunch :)

              1. re: celstrial

                Revel is wonderful, as is Paseo (also in Fremont) for the best roast pork sandwich I have ever had. To me, the best way to experience Serious Pie is during happy hour - they have smaller pizzas so you can try a few. Love the Bookbindery for atmosphere and great chicken - make sure you get the chicken. I also always go somewhere for pho when I am in Seattle and there are lots of great places.

                1. re: SFLisa

                  We got the chicken at Book Bindery a few weeks ago and one of the pieces was very undercooked. I like a medium-rare steak but not so much with chicken. They took it back to the kitchen and heated the whole thing up again so the undercooked piece was now cooked but the other piece that had been properly cooked was now dried out.

                  Long story short: go for the chicken if you'd like but make sure it's cooked.

                  1. re: SFLisa

                    Revel was on our short list for our last trip but it didn't work out. The menu looks AMAZING. The ultimate 'fusion' food. And Paseo? Love, love, love. Our kids bought a house and moved north of Ballard so it's not as convenient as it once was. Both great recs.

              2. I would suggest the locks before W&C unless you want to get to W&C at 4. 4 would be a good idea as the place is tiny, fills quickly, and is extremely popular. It takes about an hour to walk through the locks and check out everything.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BallardFoodie

                  On the other hand, last time i was there I arrived a little after 5 and watched the place empty out as everyone who started happy hour at 4 finished and moved on. By 6 there were several open seats.

                  On weeknights most 9-5ers can't get out to dinner before 6:30-7, so sometimes you can get lucky and sneak in before them.

                2. Seeing the locks and the fish ladder can take an hour. but then I love just watching the boats for a while. And you need daylight.

                  Neither Tilth nor Corson is at all out of the way. nothing you have suggested is more than 5 miles from the W. Of your Friday dinner possibilities, I would pick Corson, Tilth, Sitka in that order. I woul add Staple & Fancy and probably put it second. I didn't love my Book Bindery meal, and Canlis is very white tablecloth and formal. both Corson and Staple & Fancy have chef's menus that I really enjoy with interesting food and variety. Tilth I have eaten at several times and I like what they do with food and the atmosphere. Sitka and Spruce I like less at the new location, but it's still fun. small plates so lots of variety.

                  for after dinner drinks, you could walk to a bunch of different places from Sitka, but the rest you might as well drive to your hotel. I like the lobby bar for post work drinks, but have not been at night. Spur I always want to try the food, which makes post meal drinks tricky!

                  Sat. both good choices for drinks.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cocktailhour

                    We loved the chefs menu (or whatever they call it) at Staple and Fancy. It was a lot of food, our Seattle daughter took the leftovers home. I still look back on that dinner fondly.

                    1. re: cocktailhour

                      I'm getting so much response about which restaurant to go to, I can't decide! The menu at Book Bindery looks really great and there have been many responses about how people have had a great experience there. The Corson Building appears to be a very great experience, almost reminiscent of Ad Hoc type of cuisine in Napa. Staple & Fancy menu looks italian inspired and we're going to Spinasse so gonna pass there. Have been interested in Chef Hine's food, so Tilth perhaps would be a good option but not much is mentioned in the forums about it being a place to try. Thanks again for your thoughts!!