first time to Seattle! 3 nights/4 days. where do we eat?
March 7, 2011 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Seattle-restaurant-filter: looking for birthday dinner+3 more nights

the major issue is that we're coming up from Victoria sans car (and won't be renting one) so we're hoping to find some walkable (or bus, or not-crazy-expensive-cab) from downtown.

I'll be with my boyfriend the whole time so nice is good but we're kinda boring eaters (no plates of mussels and goat cheese crusted venison for us!). We'd prefer good steak or chicken. Or just tasty burgers etc.

Also since it's my 21st birthday we are looking for places to get our drink on, but not necessarily clubs (we'd prefer a restaurant with a big drink selection, or a pub/bar).

AND final question:

my boyfriend is addicted to Carls Jr, and we're hoping to get to one on this trip (I haven't been to Seattle or America in general since I lived there when I was 4) and we're hoping it's possible to get to one in Renton or Tacoma by bus. Is there a bus from Seattle to either? Is there other Carls-esque fast food joints we should check out?
posted by addelburgh to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If you want something all -American yet awesome, it is hard to beat Tom Dougas's The Palace Kitchen, which by the way is also about a block from the wonderful Top Pot donut shop and kitty corner to the world's most awesome theatre, Paul Allen's spiffed up Cinerama. Douglas also has an outstanding pizza place downtown, Serious Pie.

Also very wonderful and downtown is Branzino, especially if you like fish/seafood. It is romantic too.

And re eating hamburgers in Seattle, the classic downtown place is the Two Bells tavern. Local outstanding Seattle hamburger chains, none of which has a downtown branch, but most of which can be reached via Metro bus, include Dick's, Kidd Valley and (though this last is sadly really not a good idea unless you are dining in car) Burgermaster.
posted by bearwife at 12:53 PM on March 7, 2011

You must go to Quinn's. Best burger in town, plus Belgian-style frites and a fantastic beer/whiskey selection in a gorgeous space. It's a "gastropub" which means high quality but very approachable food, including roast chicken, pan fried trout, whoopie pies, etc. Bonus is that it's in Capitol Hill which is walkable/busable from downtown and generally a great neighborhood for eating, drinking, reading and hipster-sighting.
posted by joan_holloway at 1:25 PM on March 7, 2011

For good steak and getting your drink on have a look at El Gaucho. Fancy.

While Carls Jr. is tasty, neither the one in Renton nor Tacoma are particularly accessible via transit. I'll second that Dick's is a Seattle fast food staple, if you like cheap burgers - I wouldn't call it Carls Jr-esque. It's not technically downtown but the Queen Anne location is quite close to the Space Needle. You might also try taking the SLUT over to Lunchbox Laboratory. Not fast food, but serious burgers.

For drinking, the downtown core is relatively lacking. Heading north into Belltown along 2nd Ave nets you a long strip of more-or-less reasonable places to hit up. Similarly, if you head east up Pike/Pine towards Broadway you'll have your pick of bars. In general I'd advise avoiding heading south towards Pioneer Square, but there are two worth considering - Collins Pub has a solid beer list, and Elysian Fields has the full suite of great local Elysian brews. There's not much west as it were, but the Pike Pub & Brewery in the market legitimately good place for food and beer.
posted by lantius at 1:26 PM on March 7, 2011

I'm going to disagree with most of bearwife's suggestions, based on my interpretation of "kinda boring goat cheese crusted venison". Everything Tom Douglas does is in that northwest-rare-must-be-better-cuisine-style; for example Serious Pie is NOT a pizza place, it is a crusty-flatbread with fancy non-pizza ingredients on it. There's not a single kind of pie they have that has pepperoni on it, and on pies with mozzarella cheese, it's buffalo not cow, etc. Look at the menu's for his places, see if "oregon country flat iron steak~pickled peppers and feta" sounds like your tastes or not.

You can get some decent BBQ in belltown at the frontier room, Kidd Valley does indeed do a tasty burger, El Gaucho is an amazing restaurant, but very pricey....I would recommend taking the bus from downtown to Capitol Hill, start off with dinner and drinks at Charlies on Broadway, and explore that neighborhood as you drink.
posted by nomisxid at 1:34 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

You might look at Steelhead Diner for your birthday dinner. The menu is comfort food, but a bit more upscale. Comfortable place, and just a little bit swanky. Nice big bar. It's right by Pike Place market. We like to eat a the kitchen counter and watch the chefs work.

For burgers and fries in the city, I like Blue Moon.
posted by valannc at 1:46 PM on March 7, 2011

if you go to Elysian like lantius recommends, right down the block is Bluebird, which is one hell of an ice cream place. everyone likes ice cream.
posted by frankdrebin at 1:53 PM on March 7, 2011

The Taphouse Grill on 6th has 160 beers on tap and is unadventurous foodwise while still tasty.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:54 PM on March 7, 2011

There are nice restaurants and bars around Pike Place Market, which is right downtown. I really like 94 Stewart for a steak dinner (though that website is kind of ridiculous) and the Alibi Room for drinks. Il Bistro is good for dinner, drinks, and dessert, if you want a nice quiet place to chill.

Sonya's is a bar with a great waterfront view in the back room. They don't appear to have a website but they're right around the corner from 94 Stewart, at 1919 1st Ave.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:08 PM on March 7, 2011

Had a wonderful time consuming a late-night meal at the Five Spot.
posted by MeiraV at 3:27 PM on March 7, 2011

Or if you want a really late-night, post-bars-closing meal that includes deep-fried macaroni & cheese wedges served with marinara, try the 5 Point.
posted by lantius at 3:34 PM on March 7, 2011

You might try the LunchBox Laboratory, they just opened a new restaurant in South Lake Union, good burgers and good drinks.
posted by jennstra at 5:39 PM on March 7, 2011

The Zig Zag Cafe in the Pike Place Market is a must. GQ recently named it the best cocktail bar in the country. Very unpretentious, though, and good food too.
posted by sapere aude at 9:12 PM on March 7, 2011

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