Making the most of two days in downtown Seattle
June 8, 2009 10:21 PM   Subscribe

TravelFilter! A friend and I will be spending two days in downtown Seattle without a car. Any recommendations for cheap yet delicious eats? Aside from Pike Place Market, what should we make sure we see or do?
posted by 2oh1 to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (20 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
first, get outside of downtown seattle. Any of the adjacent neighborhoods will do.

Pioneer Square and the ID have decent cheap food, as does Capitol Hill. Belltown is more expensive, and Queen Anne doesn't have much food.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:59 PM on June 8, 2009


Some of my regular lunch spots: Mae Phim has cheap and delicious Thai food. Be prepared for a line out the door if you go during the lunch hour. Even cheaper is the little sandwich shop around the block, up on the walkway to the ferry terminal. You can get a good sized portion of chicken or beef curry (warmed up in the microwave for your dining pleasure!) and rice for $4.00. It's right next door to Thai 65/Ferry Noodle House, which also has good, but not as inexpensive Thai food. Bakeman's Deli makes delicious and relatively inexpensive sandwiches. Just be prepared to order when it's your turn or you might get an earful from the owner. The Tat'strami at Tat's Delicatessen is not exactly cheap, but it is heavenly. Likewise, Salumi is good for a fantastic, though not really inexpensive lunch. There are lots of good food options in and around Uwajimaya in the International District.

As for things to do, there is the Pike Place Market, which you mentioned. Maybe take a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and back (there's not a lot to do when you get there, but it's a neat experience and the view of Seattle from the ferry is worth the ride), visit the Olympic Sculpture Park, walk down Broadway Avenue on Capitol Hill, visit the Conservatory and/or the Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park, and visit Bruce & Brandon Lee's gravesites in the cemetery next to the park.
posted by Balonious Assault at 11:21 PM on June 8, 2009


Seconding Salumi. You'll pay $9 for a sandwich, but it'll be worth it.
For dessert, consider Macrina, which is a ten-minute walk from downtown.
Lately, I've been taking out-of-town guests to the new library on 4th and Seneca. Sounds boring, but it's a really interesting building with great views of the city. Walk up to the 11th floor to the enormous reading room and just look out the window.
posted by molybdenum at 11:43 PM on June 8, 2009


Definitely head up to Capitol Hill - it's very walkable, with plenty to see and do. My top vote for "cheap yet delicious" would be Hana Restaurant on Broadway. If you decide you don't mind splurging a bit for dessert, check out B&O Espresso, which is only a few blocks from Hana.
posted by velvet winter at 11:46 PM on June 8, 2009


Copper River Salmon is in town, make sure you get some!
posted by Raichle at 12:05 AM on June 9, 2009


Oh my god, Mediterranean Mix in the Pioneer Square area has the best falafel sandwich in the universe for like 4 bucks.
posted by scose at 12:32 AM on June 9, 2009


My parents really enjoyed the Underground Tour.
posted by transporter accident amy at 2:04 AM on June 9, 2009


Nthing Macrina Bakery. In addition to the delicious sweets I consumed, I also had a life-changing breakfast sandwich there: bialy with two eggs, thick bacon, lightly fried tomato, basil, and red onion, chevre, and dijon mustard. The bialy bore little textural resemblance to a New York bialy, but whatever it was, it was tasty
posted by HeroZero at 4:36 AM on June 9, 2009


Also, in Pike Place there's a greasy spoon near the flower stands with a neon sign shaped like a salmon. I think it's called Market Grill or something similarly generic. I had a very tasty fresh-grilled salmon sandwich there.
posted by HeroZero at 4:39 AM on June 9, 2009


The cheapest eats in Seattle are to be had if you have the nerve to help yourself to someone else's food!

A really irritating -trust-fund-type - hippie grabbed my plate with a half-eaten portion of carrot cake on it - yes, I'm a slow eater -when we were at an outdoor cafe near the Pike Place market - and went to take it to his table.

When I made a pathetic squawking noise - ["excuse me - that's mine, thankyouverymuch!!"], he put the plate back, tossed his dreadlocks and said loftily, and very loudly, for the benefit of his droopy girlfriend; "I just can't stand to see rich slumming tourists wasting food..."

That was five years ago and I'm still steaming!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 5:41 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seconding Outdoor Sculpture Garden (free, I think), taking a ferry (to Bainbridge Island or wherever--you can walk off the ferry and have lunch and wander a little then take it back), the main library building (one of the strangest building I've been in) and getting the heck of downtown. You can easily take the bus to Fremont for instance where there are some funkier shops and such. Also in downtown: Seattle Art Museum.
posted by fieldtrip at 6:32 AM on June 9, 2009


Oh and for touristy, kitschy heaven on the Waterfront try: Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
posted by fieldtrip at 6:34 AM on June 9, 2009


I asked this similar question last year. Can't give much guidance as to sights, but there are some good suggestions in answers to that question about things to do while wandering around.

My favorite parts of the city were Fremont and Ballard, both of which are a close bus or cab ride (or a slightly longer walk) from downtown.
posted by goingonit at 7:45 AM on June 9, 2009


I work downtown, the inexpensive dining options could be better, but there are a few good choices. Besides the fact that you absolutely have to eat at Salumi (unless you never eat meat), there is Long is a very good, fairly inexpensive, Vietnamese restaurant a few blocks from Pike Place Market. I haven't been to the new Mae Phim, yet, but the old location was great.
posted by Good Brain at 7:54 AM on June 9, 2009


All easily accessible from downtown on foot or by bus:

Discovery Park, Two Bells Tavern, Ravenna Third Place Books (and their bar), Ravenna Park, the University District Farmers' Market, the Asian Art Museum (and Volunteer Park), Wayward Cafe, Lake View Cemetery, the Egyptian Theater, Lake Union and the Center for Wooden Boats, Monorail Espresso, Stumbling Monk, Left Bank Books.

Get up early and watch the sun rise over the Sound from Pike Place, then have breakfast at Three Girls Bakery.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:10 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you thank you thank you thank you, thank you so much for the ideas and links!!!
posted by 2oh1 at 9:44 AM on June 9, 2009


I second the recommendation for Three Girls Bakery. Here is my recent chowhound post with some Pike Place favorites. And I like Michou, also on Pike Place.

A great way to get out on the Bay at very low cost.... the King County water taxi. Very nice on a weekend evening. Only $3 one way. If you have a bus pass, it may be free, depending.

Enjoy your stay!
posted by valannc at 1:47 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seattle is an awesome city. My favorite spots:

-Elliot Bay Book Company, First and Main streets (around pioneer square) -- it's a huge wonderful bookstore, reminiscent of Powell's (though not THAT huge). Also, there are a bunch of other good bookstores within a couple of blocks on first.

- Zeitgeist coffee, also around pioneer square. It's Seattle. You have to go to an independent coffeeshop.

- What the hell, one more place in that neighborhood (I really LIKE that neighborhood): Magic Mouse Toys. Trust me on this. Get a flying screaming monkey. Yes, I said flying screaming monkey.
posted by paultopia at 1:51 PM on June 9, 2009


I'm biased, but I recommend taking the King County Water Taxi from Pier 55 (on the waterfront) over to West Seattle/Alki Beach. Awesome place to walk around with great views of the bay and city. There's also restaurants along Alki or you could hop on one of the free water taxi shuttles (they arrive as the water taxi docks) up to the West Seattle junction (intersection of California and Alaska). Great shops, restaurants, etc. Easy to get around on foot and affordable - to do all this would only cost the $3 water taxi fare (or buy a multi-day transit pass downtown for a price break).

Have fun!
posted by karizma at 3:36 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am definitely going to print these suggestions. The water taxi suggestions are superb! I'm really excited to wander around Pioneer Square. I passed through that neighborhood once before, and I made a mental note at the time to come back when I had time to explore. I don't know what a flying screaming monkey is, but I look forward to finding out!
posted by 2oh1 at 4:41 PM on June 9, 2009


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