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first time to Seattle

Making trip to Seattle 24- 29. Staying downtown and would like to have 5 must sees and 5 must eats to check out while we are there. Adult couple mid 50's and like all good chow....

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  1. I'd nominate either Revel or their sister restaurant Joule as must-eats. They aren't downtown but transit to either of them is pretty straight-forward, and they offer food you don't find often in other places.


    1. Tim, could you give us a few more details? Price range, will you have a car/willing to bus/taxi/walk, types of food you like, where you're coming from?

      2 Replies
      1. re: dagoose

        Will not have car. Willing to taxi/bus or walk. We are traveling from Tulsa. Our favorite food city is New Orleans.

        Open to all kinds of foods. Price range. Not going for elegant but fun, trendy and or local.

        1. re: tldmblack

          Go to Quinn's for fun and trendy. We did it for a late dinner after watching the sunset from the space needle and getting stuck there for a couple hours due to an event taking up the elevator space.

      2. Take a ferry boat to Bainbridge Island and go to Greg Atkinson's Marche or Brendan McGill's Hitchcock. Ferry boat ride leaves from downtown Seattle regularly. Takes about 35 minutes. Both restaurants are an easy walk from the ferry terminal. Spend a half day exploring Bainbridge Island, or at least downtown Bainbridge where both of these restaurants are located. Takes care of a "must see" and a "must eat" at the same time. If the weather is good, views from the boat are fantastic.

          1. While neither are walkable from downtown, my "must eat"s in Seattle are Walrus & Carpenter and Paseo.

            I'll second the vote for Long Provincial, which IS walkable. Tasty and affordable.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Bax

              Is the bread at Paseo at all special, or would a solo diner be better served to order a few "Loners"?


              1. re: uhockey

                The bread is the weak point of Paseo (and why I think it's an overrated sandwich...). It's too tough and crusty for what it should be and you end up not being able to eat it like a basic sandwich. That's not the worst thing in the world since the fillings are all delicious and you could eat those straight up, but still.

                (Their lettuce choice is also weak.)

                1. re: GreenYoshi

                  Excellent - will focus capacity on the protein choices.


                  1. re: uhockey

                    I like the bread a lot. Its the sum of the whole that makes that sandwich good not just the individual meats.

                    1. re: dagrassroots

                      Agreed. I love the pork sandwich with onions and aioli on the bread. I also love the smoking thighs dinner.

                2. re: uhockey

                  I've gotta disagree -- for the most part -- with GreenYoshi. I LIKE the bread. I'm a fairly light eater and a lot of times when I get a sandwich somewhere I am likely to abandon the last 1/3 or so of the bread and just eat sandwich innards. I don't think I have ever done that at Paseo. It's all crusty and delicious and slathered with aioli and soaked with pork-juicy-goodness...YUM.

                  I will agree that it's a little too much on the "tough & crusty" side so that it makes for slightly difficult sandwich eating. But that has never stopped me. So things slip out -- you pick 'em up with your fingers and eat 'em anyway. And if you're left with a little bit of filling-less roll at the end it's ok because like I said, it's delicious on its own.

                  Now I want Paseo. :(

                  1. re: Bax

                    Come on... That's just buying into the Paseo hype a little bit, isn't it? You agree that it's tough & crusty.

                    If your corner sandwich shop, not named Paseo, used that same bread for the same kind of sandwich, you'd say "Yeah, it's a good sandwich, but I wish they used a softer, chewier bread that allowed me to fully enjoy bread and meat in the same bite."

                    (Actually, the bread itself is fine. It you took a slice of nice cheese and prosciutto, or something else that wasn't going to fall out, that would make for a pretty good sandwich.)

                    1. re: GreenYoshi

                      The sandwich would be messy no matter what kind of bread it's on. In any event, that's the only bread you can get at Paseo, so the choice is: (1) sandwich on that bread, or (2) no sandwich. I'd go for the sandwich because whole is greater than the sum of its parts. :)

                      1. re: GreenYoshi

                        Uh...I'm telling you how I feel; hype has nothing to do with it. I think the bread is really delicious. The first time I went there I remember commenting to my boyfriend that I loved it and would eat it even if it wasn't part of a Paseo sandwich. So I'm guessing even if "my corner sandwich shop" used it I'd still enjoy it.

                        Does it make the sandwich difficult to eat because of its texture? Yeah. Does that bother me? No. Because it's yummy. And it's not like every single bit of the fillings fall out leaving you with bread sans fillings. It's a full sandwich. You lose a little stuff, so what? There's still plenty.

                        Whatever, I don't know why you're arguing with me about MY OPINION about the bread. I think it's an important part of the whole experience and vote in support of the bread.

                        1. re: GreenYoshi

                          Tough and crusty? How can it be tough or crusty when they are so wet with mayo and pork drippings?

                          OMG I love this sandwich so much.

                          1. re: GreenYoshi

                            I agree with Yoshi, the Paseo bread is "tough and crusty," and prone to excessive and premature ejection of onions and meat, which makes for a sub-optimal sandwich experience. It seems odd to me that a diner would actually *want* to have their sandwich fillings slipping away from them and splattering on surfaces below.

                            Beyond this ingredient extrusion, IMO crusty tough bread also is suboptimal for most sandwiches to the extent it requires one to clamp down with the jaw and use tension or flexion of the neck to free a bite. Such an effort is understandable for a pack of hyenas upon a felled ungulate, but really, as 21st century sandwich conniseurs we can do better.

                            This problem of excessively tough bread actually affects several renowned local sandwhich makers (though not to the same degree as Paseo). It's a shame, because the makers otherwise put a lot of thought and attention to their sandwichcraft. It's like one sees a lovely baguette and assumes because it's fantastic when torn by the hand and dipped in mussel broth or clam chowder it must be the best choice for a sandwich. Not so.

                            On the East Coast, the best deli sandwiches are typically using some variant of the thin-crusted, internally forgiving rolls produced by local Italian bakers. Maybe the absence of that supply chain in SEA accounts for the overutilization of the crusty, baguette style roll.

                    2. My standards (some of which have already been mentioned here):
                      -Revel (bus/taxi)
                      -Hitchcock (Ferry/walk)
                      -Staple and Fancy (bus/taxi)
                      -Il Corvo (lunch/walk)

                      Adding that coming from Tulsa any Vietnamese (Long, Tamarind Tree, Green Leaf) would be a good way to go, also something like Sea Garden for great Chinese style seafood (black bean crab, salt and pepper prawns).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dagoose

                        I love Green Leaf! Sea Garden is good too.

                      2. Tim,

                        Telling you to visit the Pike Market and come hungry is almost cliche, but it's still very true. Be prepared for an off-putting crowd if you're there with a cruise ship full of folks, but don't miss it. Some of my personal faves there: Piroshky Piroshky, Market Grill for a simple but delicious grilled fish sandwich, Beechers Cheese, much excellent fresh fruit and produce, plus the obligatory fish-hurling. Tea and crumpets, chowder, oysters, and more also on offer, and also good bets.

                        Try Walrus and Carpenter for drinks and oysters or light appetizers before diving through the intervening window (or walking around the block) to Staple and Fancy for dinner one night.

                        Try the fresh pickled vegetables and outstanding French bistro offerings at Boat Street Cafe (hard to find, but very worth it!)

                        If the weather is pleasant, lunch and people watching from the patio at the Pink Door.

                        Schedule a tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory, and then enjoy an afternoon exploring Fremont, one of Seattles most interesting neighborhoods.

                        Enjoy your visit!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Booklegger451

                          Beware of Theo - they have FAR too many free samples and if you lack restraint it catches up to you about 6 hours later. :-)

                          Really though, Piroshky, Beechers, and Crumpet Shoppe are awesome and Walrus and the Carpenter is a gem.


                          1. re: Booklegger451


                            I just thought of another, often overlooked (pardon the pun) must-see: Ride to the top of the Columbia Center building, to the observation lounge, and get the best possible view of Seattle.

                            It's an arguably better view (much higher) than the Space Needle, for less than half the cost, and much less known, so less crowded as well.

                          2. Longtime DT fave: Wild Ginger. Delicious oriental; multi-level; great hospitality, nut-case, fun bartender, who will recommend appetizers, dishes; took us into kitchen to meet cooks. Restaurant biz is World's Toughest Business, so since I haven't been to Seattle in couple years, ask around; places can suddenly tank.

                            1. I disagree about Wild Ginger. Vastly overrated.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: PAO

                                Ugh, I knew that was coming! I think "overrated" is kind of a meaningless word, especially here. Do you mean, "too many people like it?". What does overrated mean?
                                I've eaten there dozens of times and have found it to be consistent, reasonably priced, extremely well-run, etc. and the food is generally outstanding. As an overall dining experience I wouldn't have reservations recommending it at all.

                                1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                  In the case of Wild Ginger, to me "overrated" means, in part, that it is touted on the pages of in-flight magazines to a national audience as being one of the best or most essential dining experiences in Seattle. IMHO, it is actually neither.

                                  It is difficult for a resto to pull off authentic or worthwhile representations of three or more distinctive Asian cuisines (just looking at the current WG menu now, it says that it has Cambodian, Cantonese, Sichuan, Thai, Malaysian, Viet and othe items). If one is familiar with these cusines in some depth, he or she will find the flavors of the touted items at WG to be relatively muted and sweetened versions of what is otherwise available at specialized restaurants. One will also find Chinese-American standards like Kung Pao chicken sold for $17 and "Sichuan Green Beans" for $11. That doesn't make much sense, does it?

                                  This is not to say that WG is totally awful. I think they do use some quality raw ingredients, which is not always the case at other Asian restaurants. It was convenient for me to drop in from Benaroya Hall and eat a well-cooked crab served with a host of dippling sauces, one of which was excellent. I did of course pay about a 50-100% premium for this crab over, say, Ho-Ho or Sea Garden in the ID.

                                  1. re: equinoise

                                    Well that's certainly a valid reply. I was careful to use words like "overall dining experience" as a standard though, because I certainly recognize that 'better' and 'more authentic' - and definitely cheaper - places are abundant. I think one goes to Wild Ginger for the food, but also for the ambience, the service, the overall dining experience. And on that level, in my times there, it has always succeeded handily. Just my opinion, of course.

                                  2. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                    I wouldn't say "overrated". How about "expensive PF Changs"?

                                    In order for something to be "overrated", an overwhelming majority of people have to like it in the first place - and that's hardly the case with Wild Ginger. It's more a bar first and foremost, and where food is of a secondary concern. Seattle's hardly a mecca for Asian food, but one can certainly do much better than WG.

                                  3. re: PAO

                                    I've lived in Seattle pretty much my whole life, and my wife and I still love going to the Market once in a while. I personally hate rubes and tourists and crowds, so there's that, but even then it's a really great way to spend some time, just wandering around. Every time I'm there, I feel very fortunate that our city has that resource.

                                  4. Hi Tim:

                                    So glad you're coming to Seattle! I would recommend having a meal in the International District, which is slightly long walk from downtown. I like Maneki a lot - it's the oldest Japanese restaurant in Seattle and is a great experience. It's not expensive, but you must have a reservation.

                                    If you'd like to get off the beaten path a bit, take the Light Rail to Beacon Hill, my neighborhood. From the station it's a few blocks' walk to Bar del Corso, a widely well-regarded pizza place. On your way back to the train you might stop for a drink at The Oak.

                                    I second the suggestion to go to Fremont to eat at Joule or Revel. I haven't been to Joule in it's new space, but it sounds cool. The advantage of Revel (besides the food) is that it's right in the heart of Fremont and would give you a chance to explore that area a bit. You should definitely see the troll statue as well as the statue of Lenin and the "waiting for the interurban" statue - all in Fremont.

                                    It's worth taking a cab to Ballard for a meal and a look-around there. There are lots of good restaurant choices - you might go for the Sunday farmer's market (10am - 3pm all year) and have a cup of coffee and a pastry at one of the local bakeries, then go to the Ballard Locks.

                                    Last but not least, I wouldn't miss a dinner and a walk-around in Capitol Hill, which is closeby to downtown. We like Spinasse, Quinn's, Cafe Presse (a less expensive option), and Artusi (for a very special meal - go with the tasting menu and sit at the bar across from the chef). There are many good brunch options in Capitol Hill too - try Volunteer Park Cafe before or after a walk in Volunteer Park.

                                    Other must-dos: the sculpture park downtown, ferry to Bainbridge Island (walk on), and Pike Place Market (Matt's in the Market is a lovely spot for lunch).