Seattle Trip #2
May 2, 2005 9:32 AM   Subscribe

You all were a great help last week. My trip to the Pacific Northwest has been bumped up to next week (Sun-Sun). I am looking for three things listed after the jump.

1. The best places to eat in Seattle. Sushi, burgers, seafood, etc. Please give a cost estimate as well (I'm so demanding.

2. Places to see/eat at in Vancouver or on the way to/from Vancouver from Seattle in 2 days.

3. A good place to eat and a good thing to see in 3 hours in Portland, Oregon.
posted by bamassippi to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Will you be around for the meetup?

Best burgers in town are Red Mill in Phinney Ridge.

Portland: Powell's bookstore.
posted by matildaben at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2005

As far as Seattle food goes...

You can get good seafood at Pike Place Market. I like going to Jack's Fish Spot, which is right across the aisle from Three Girls Bakery. They'll fry up fish, shrimp, crab, whatever. The halibut is to die for, IMO. $10 gets you fish, fries, and a drink.

Cutters is north of the market, and is a good medium to high scale seafood restaurant. It's been a while, but lunch for two is going to be ~$50. If you want high class, then go for Oceanaire, which is just north of the Pacific Place mall downtown. Expect $100 for dinner if you get appetizers, entrees and wine. But very good food.

If you like French lunches, La Panier (also in the market) has awesome baguette sandwiches with dijionaisse and different fillings. Try their palmier and pistachio macaroons too. I've sampled a good portion of their lunch menu, it's all great. Sandwiches are $5, treats are $1-3 each.

Sushi is a whole category of its own. Fuji Sushi in the International District is relatively inexpensive and incredibly tasty. Try the Fuji Bento, it's a $12 bento box with rice, salad, chicken and salmon teriyaki, sashimi assortment, tempura, and a california roll. I used to work near Fuji, and would go there 3x a week. The salmon teriyaki is to die for, but they don't seem to offer it as a separate dish anymore. For the longest time, my favorite lunch was the salmon teriyaki plus a spicy tuna hand roll. Fuji's prices are nigiri $4-5, maki $4-6. Very affordable for the quality you get.

Saito's in Belltown is my favorite upscale sushi place in Seattle. Try the grilled salmon cheeks, which are grilled with rock salt and a very light miso sauce. Everyone I've taken there has raved about the salmon cheeks. Four pieces of nigiri and a couple rolls will run you $25 with tax/tip, but it's really worth it if you appreciate good fish. Their yellowtail is like butter. It's one of my favorite date spots, although Belltown can be a tad sketchy at night (but this is Seattle, so that isn't saying much).

If you like classic '50s drive-in burgers, try one of the Dick's franchises, there's four in town. Cheap (two burgers, fries and a soda costs $5), and very, very tasty. If you're into upscale burgers, then try Red Mill up in Greenwood (~$10 burgers).

If you like Chinese, try Shanghai Garden in the International District, and get their hand-shaved noodles. The texture is very interesting. I love their vegetarian dishes (try schezuan tofu in red sauce), and their carnivore stuff is great too. I used to work across the street from them, and when I wasn't eating at Fuji Sushi, I was eating at Shanghai Garden. $8-10 for entrees, and there's a $6 lunch special where you get hot/sour soup, rice, and the entree of your choice.

The ID in general is great if you're adventurous, it's nothing like Vancouver, BC, New York, or San Francisco, but pretty respectable all the same. I had a consistent stable of a dozen lunch spots I went to when I worked down there.

Any visit to Seattle has to include a visit to Salumi, an italian deli near pioneer square. Sandwiches are ~$8, but awesomely awesome. I don't have the adjectives for them. Chewy bread, garlic and marinated pepper spreads, great smoked meats and cheese (try the spicy copa with mozzarella). You'll have to eat elsewhere, and the space itself is pretty cramped, but great, great food.

If you like mediterranean food, Zaina is great. There's one in Pioneer Square, but it gets like a sauna in the summertime. Try the one downtown underneath Bon/Macy's parking garage. Lots of space. Try the falafel supreme (you have to eat it there, since it's a pita with mounds of falafel and eggplant), or the gyro plate. I like their baklava too.

The only Portland place I know is Montage, a cajun joint that's open late. Best cajun food I've ever had, but I've never been to Louisiana, so take that with a grain of salt.

If you tell us more specifics on cuisine and price range, I bet the local Seattleites could come up with even better recommendations. I'm a huge fan of Seattle food, I've been in town for eight years and have favorite restaurants and lunch spots in just about every neighborhood.
posted by beaverd at 10:01 AM on May 2, 2005 [1 favorite]

Mashiko in West Seattle has great sushi and an extensive selection of sake. The prices are reasonable, and the menu is here.
posted by jeffmshaw at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2005

Shiro's is far and away my favorite sushi restaurant in the puget sound area.
posted by udeups at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2005

Sushi: Toyoda on the north side, Maneki in the international district (downtown-ish, a little pricier), and Blue C in Fremont- a lot of fun because they do the conveyor belt thing.
posted by xmutex at 11:00 AM on May 2, 2005

I'll vouch for Fuji being quite good - I used to live near it and ate there a few times a month. I think I usually spent -$15/person or so. Tsukushinbo is right across the street (on S. Main, between 5th and 6th) - it's a little more intimidating, but I think it might be the best value for sushi in Seattle. Recently, my favorite sushi restaurants has been Shiki in Lower Queen Anne since it's just close to home. It's small and out of the way for most people, but it's very very good. I've noticed a lot of foodies in the crowd there.

Kind of on what beaverd said, there's a vegetarian Chinese restaurant in Queen Anne - Bamboo Garden. It's cheap ($10-12 or so for dinner?) and really good. I do eat meat and it's easily my favorite Chinese restaurant in the city.

Elliott's Oyster House is ground zero for oysters, and makes a very strong case for being the best seafood restaurant in town - but it will set you back. For something cheaper, Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar in Pike Place Mkt is a kind of fun place to get your fish n' chips or oyster fix.
posted by milkrate at 11:04 AM on May 2, 2005

Best answer: I have to go with xmutex and respectfully disagree with udeups re: Shiro's and Toyoda (obnoxious page with music). I recently went to Shiro's for the first time, and while it was delicious, of course, the sashimi plate was more expensive and had less variety than the one at Toyoda, which seems to have exactly the same quality (excellent) of fish.
If you're downtown and don't want to travel, Shiro's is great, but if you're willing to go to the sushi, I recommend Toyoda, specifically the sashimi plate, which is $22-$25 ish and includes 7 different kinds of fish (and feeds two hungry people).
Blue C is super fun, of course, but not of the same caliber. But they have a great happy hour - I think avocado and cucumber rolls are $1, tuna and salmon rolls are $1.50, or possibly $1.50 and $2, but still. You can get a full meal of sushi + beer for $10.

Good burgers can be had at the Blue Star Cafe & Pub in Wallingford, among other places.

The U-District/Roosevelt-ish area has the amazing Pies and Pints: pot pies and beer and the best fries in town. I love this place.

My bar in the U-District is Kai's Bistro, which has $3 specials and yummy and cheap happy hour snacks (mac & cheese, calamari, garlic cheese bread) as well as a full menu. Also good burgers ($4 during happy hour, 4-7) and the second-best fries in town. Their margaritas (specials on Wednesday, I think) are delicious.

Hattie's Hat in Ballard is awesome for breakfast (on weekends) and dinner all the time. Ballard is also a fun place to hang out; there are lots of other good restaurants (Oaxaca, Dandelion [spendier, yet awesome], ...) and hipster-watching is an entertaining pastime.

As for Portland, I like Montage, which beaverd mentioned; I also adore the Queen Of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant and go there every time I'm in town. If you haven't had Ethiopian food before, it will be an interesting experience, but they're very nice there and will teach you how to do it.
The Hawthorne area (Southeast) has a bunch of good restaurants - there's a delicious crepe place, a couple of McMenaminses, several good Asian restaurants, etc.
Portland in and of itself is fun to see; just walking around downtown or in Hawthorne or whatever is nice. Of course, Powell's is amazing. There's also the Rose Gardens.
posted by librarina at 1:13 PM on May 2, 2005

There are two good discussion boards for food in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest:

Chowhound (I prefer this, because of its format)

(both of these have discussion boards for other areas of the county; I've provided links only to the relevant ones).
posted by WestCoaster at 2:40 PM on May 2, 2005

Ditto on Portland suggestions, and I'll add the Chinese Gardens.
posted by Specklet at 3:16 PM on May 2, 2005

Check out the main Powells store if you want. But what you really should make sure not to miss is the Powells Technical Bookstore down the street a flew blocks. If you're looking for some good soul food and some drinks. Check out The Delta near Reed College.
posted by pwb503 at 4:37 PM on May 2, 2005

The best places to eat in Seattle. Sushi, burgers, seafood, etc. Please give a cost estimate as well (I'm so demanding.

The Agua Verde Paddle Club and Cafe is amazingly delicious. I also second librarina's recommendation of Pies and Pints, and will add to the recommendation of the Blue Star that they are great for breakfast.
posted by j.edwards at 5:30 PM on May 2, 2005

If you go to Powell's, do not try to park in their garage if you drive anything bigger than, oh, a moped. Just don't.
posted by kindall at 5:40 PM on May 2, 2005

Best answer: Another vote for Powell's. You can't go to Portland and not go to Powell's. From Powell's, walk south along Broadway and see everything downtown, stop for coffee at Pioneer Courthourse Square, etc etc. If you can, try and make it over to Hawthorne across the river.

For food, Thai Peacock, about a block from Powell's, is the best Thai in town. If you want something a little more upscale, try Southpark on Park and Salmon, or Papa Hyden on NW 23rd (in Nob Hill, another cool area to blow some time, if you like Yuppie shopping stuff).

And yea, don't even attempt to go into the Powell's parking Volvo and I got stuck until closing once....
posted by MostHolyPorcine at 10:13 AM on May 3, 2005

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