Olympia for a week
Downtown, I like Bread Peddlar a lot. It's French, with real-deal artisinal breads. Coming from Montreal, you might find it merely good and comparable what you like most at home, though.
So maybe you're best off looking into the Asian and Mexican scene. I favor Narai Thai (best Thai downtown, IMO, including the much-liked and enjoyable Lemon Grass).
If you have a car, consider trekking to La Tarasca in Centralia for special Mexican cuisine (make sure they're not on vacation yet).
IN Olympia but out toward Lacey, try Jimmy Restaurant for Pho or Vietnamese:
Not to be confused with Jimmy's in Lacey, which I've not tried, but its reviews suck.
Tofu Hut in Lacey proper is very worthy. Pan-Asian. Lots of "healthy" dishes:
Thank you both for your suggestions! We ended up having some really great meals in Olympia. I was pleasantly surprised, especially after reading other reviews about the Olympia food scene.
For lunch on the first day, I had a great simple salad at Bread Peddler, and returned there another three times for breakfast. Their chausson with spinach, bacon and cheese was fantastic, as were their other pastries I tried (and very good, even by Montreal standards!). Another lunch was had at 5th Avenue Sandwich Shop, where I had the thanksgiving sandwich. Really nice fresh bread, and simple fillings. Three other lunches were had at Mammy's on Capitol Way (I think that's what it was called, I can't remember). It was closest to our office, and their banh mi's were to die for, along with their egg rolls.
As for dinner, we hit up The Reef, Fuji, Gardner's, Quality Burrito and Waterstreet Cafe (for a work organized party). All meals were excellent, with Quality Burrito and Gardner's probably in the top two. What stood out everywhere we went in Olympia was the service, everyone was so warm and welcoming. I look forward to coming back and trying more places!
I was in Olympia earlier this month for 5 days. I had some really great food and some only ok food.
The really great food included the edamame from Brew City Pub. The fry them in garlic oil and some red powder, spicy but not too hot. Totally addicting! The chicken sandwich I had was also very good.
I had a turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich from the 5th Ave Sandwich Shop. EXCELLENT! But eat all your sandwich at 1 sitting because the leftover bread was hard the next day.
I had a great cheeseburger at Eastside Big Tom's Drive In. Very good and very messy..the way a good cheeseburger should be!
The only thing I would not bother with again was the fish and chips from Dingey's Puget Sound Cuisine at the Farmer's Market. 2 very small pieces of previously frozen fish, ok fries, and ok coleslaw.
If you're ever back around this a-way, and if it's rebuilt by then, hit up the Oyster House--I will confess I'm not a huge oyster fan, but their fried calamari with an aioli dip? Oh, my. I also love their cod and chips and my father-in-law swears by their oyster stew (not for me--I love their clam chowder, though).
For burgers, I prefer Eagan's (it's in Tumwater)--same family as the Big Tom's folks or O'Blarney's where I can get a freshly-pulled, delicious pint of Guinness to go with the burger.
Or if you don't know what you're in the mood for, hit up food truck corner at 4th and Plum. You'll find Venezuelan food, Assyrian and who-knows-what-else. I've only hit up Nineveh Assyrian and Arepa (Venezuelan), but both were very good. There's also a little cupcake shop there on the corner, so you can get your sugar fix after lunch. :)
Thank you for the recommendations! I am actually moving to Olympia this summer and am so excited about the move. I love food trucks and am glad to know there are some there.
I will be working in Tumwater, so hitting up Eagan's will be a sure thing!
I am not a big oyster fan, either, but love calamari and most other seafood, so the fish and chips recommendation is most welcomed.
Well, let me give you an early, "Welcome!" :) Don't hesitate to holler if I can help with anything.
For your own cooking needs, there's a Trader Joe's over on the west side, near the mall. Not to mention, a Total Wines and More over next to the mall. And the Farmer's Market downtown on the waterfront is in session. As for the Oyster House, last update I saw on their FB page said they were hoping to reopen mid-summer, so my fingers are crossed.