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Sep 21, 2012 10:26 AM

Help me get to know my new neighbourhood (Belltown)

Greetings all -

I'm just moving to Seattle from Vancouver and will be living in Belltown (at least to start). From my research I know it's not Capitol Hill for dining options, and mostly is known for its happy hours, but I'd still like to get to know best spots for coffee, casual lunch, decent brunch, etc. Thus far my list includes Holy Cannoli and Spur.

How would you prioritise nearby places to check out? And where should I have my first coffee?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Casual lunch: There are a couple Cherry St Coffee House locations in Belltown. They do a nice job with sandwiches and salads. I'm not personally crazy about their coffee, though. Also, Macrina for brunch, lunch, baked goods. Pike Place Market shouldn't be too far from you, and there are tons of good lunch options there (Market Grill, Il Corvo, Los Agaves, Mee Sum, Pike Place Chowder...)

    You don't sound excited about happy hours, but Tavolata is excellent if you did want one. You get dinner sized portions so it can sub as dinner.

    2 Replies
    1. re: christy319

      Haha, sorry, coming from Canada and the land of the $8 draft me, I'm *very* excited about happy hours. I've lived outside of the US for so long I'm always shocked at their prevalence and price. And I've been known to wander the aisles at a mega liquor store with the awe of a child at Christmas.

      I'll hit up Tavolata for sure :)

      1. re: reiney

        If you're a beer fan, check out Bambinos. They also have excellent salads and tasty pizza, but their beer list is impressive and they have a really good "growler" happy hour.

    2. The 5 Point is a Seattle institution. Open 24 hours, great diner/bar style food, and top notch people watching. You also have Bambinos right there (the best pizza/beer lineup in town) and Tilikum Place Cafe is a good brunch spot. Two Bells has the best burger (IMO) in that neighborhood.

      1. Petra is excellent - both for a casual lunch or a nice dinner.

        1. welcome, new neighbor! another belltown denizen here. i suggest:

          -casual lunch: pagliacci pizza, blue water taco grill, and seconded on cherry street, macrina, and new york deli for sandwiches/salads. the blt on ciabatta at cherry street is pretty nice. over by pike, check out pear delicatessen and le pichet (they also do dinner). a lot of people swear by dick's burgers (queen anne), but personally it's never been my thing. if you like no muss no fuss no bells no whistles americana ny-inspired diner fare, check out cj's eatery on the corner of 1st and cedar. i also usually enjoy grabbing a bite at cyclops; nice sweet potato fries, and usually a creative flatbread on the menu, scope daily specials. sisters european snacks and/or 3 girls bakery in pike market also has great sandwich/soup offerings, and is right next to pike place market creamery, which sells a variety of dairy and egg products (including a selection of local, raw, vat-pasteurized, non-homogenized, cow, goat, etc options). at 3 girls you'll also be right by don & joe's meats and a cheese counter i forget the name of, but they have a great price on my FAVORITE roqueforte of all time (papillon).

          -for dinner, brunch or a more sit-down lunch at a couple places: tavolata, la vita e bella, shiro's, toulouse petit (queen anne), tup tim thai (queen anne), where ya at matt (parks at the chase bank near cj's once a week), mee sum pastry (pike place market), il bistro (pike place market), cafe campagne (pike place market), el gaucho, aqua, black bottle, local 360, tilikum place cafe.... there are a ton of options. i haven't tried list, bisato, buckley's, branzino, and a bunch more, but they get good reviews. my go-to takeout thai place in the neighborhood is golden singha, right by 5 point and tilikum. it's a letdown after living in thailand, but it's not bad for american thai and beats the pants off the other stuff walking distance from my place.

          AVOID AVOID AVOID ohana, the frontier room, sushi wave, and a couple others i'm forgetting right now but will post later.

          for coffee, check out street bean on 3rd and cedar. great coffee, AND a great cause! they provide job training and educational opportunities to street youth and focus on at-risk and troubled teens/twenty-somethings. the ambience, coffee and service are ace, some of the best in town, AND it's coffee for a good cause. barring that, scope out caffe d'arte by pike market for an awesome cup of coffee. if pastry is what you're chasing and coffee plays second fiddle, try hitting le panier in the market.

          1. You of course have a number of Tom Douglas restaurants in the neighborhood, my favorite of which is the Greek-themed Lola. They are great at all hours, but I especially like them for lively weekend breakfasts.

            Also investigate Local 360, which puts the focus on fresh ingredients drawn from within a circle with a radius of 360 miles (with the restaurant at the center). They also do a nice job at breakfast, and have a rather unique bar utilizing a huge array of spirits from craft distilleries in the Northwest.