Spending two days/nights in Seattle.
January 27, 2013 10:07 PM   Subscribe

Spending two days/nights in Seattle. Hotels, restaurants, activities? Please advise.

Mr. Sadtomato and I are thinking of driving down to Seattle for a couple of nights in March. We need some advice on hotels and restaurants (and please throw in any other advice or suggestions of things we must see!) All restaurant suggestions must have a vegetarian option and bonus points for a vegan option.

We need a hotel for a couple of nights. We don't want to go super fancy/expensive, but we want it to be clean and comfortable. We are not sure what the best area would be to stay. We will have a car but we love to walk.

Our only plans so far are to go to Daniel Smith art supplies, Dick Blicks, Mighty-O Donuts and someone recommended we go to the Kuan Yin Teahouse (1911 N 45th Street, Seattle)

Things we like: art galleries, museums, we love things like the Victoria Bug Zoo, good food, coffee.
posted by sadtomato to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I love staying in Capitol Hill, which is one of the best places in the city for people-watching, wandering around, walking and food.

We have stayed in the cheaper rooms ($135-$145/night) at the Foxglove Guesthouse, which is right in that area- very clean, very comfortable, conveniently located, and the breakfasts were great and the hosts were lovely. Looks like they may be offering some kind of off-season special on Trip Advisor right now.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:22 PM on January 27, 2013

I recently stayed at Hotel Max and loved it. Request an upper floor room, northeast corner.
Any Tom Douglas restaurant is worth trying. I am hooked on Serious Biscuit, upstairs is better than downstairs. il Corvo is a fabulous pasta place, newly relocated on James street. As always, do not jaywalk in Seattle. =)
posted by jennstra at 10:23 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Portage Bay Cafe has great vegetarian Breakfast options.
Molly Moon ice cream has vegan options!
posted by jennstra at 10:25 PM on January 27, 2013

Ak! Almost forgot! What are the best wool shops in Seattle?
posted by sadtomato at 10:29 PM on January 27, 2013

Seattle does Vietnamese particularly well and Long Provincial is fantastic. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options. Any Thai restaurant in Seattle will have vegetarian and vegan options and you're rarely a stone's throw from one. While you're in the Dick Blick neighborhood, walk a couple blocks to sample an ale or two from Quinn's, a gastropub with a brew menu as thick as my wrist. Great food, too, but not so veggie friendly, other than a starter or two. Two more blocks east is Plum Bistro, a dedicated vegetarian restaurant with a number of vegan options. The Pike/Pine corridor is a good spot for nightlife, should you want to grab a drink, dance or take in a show at Neumos. If you're feeling tired, Caffe Vita is a choice option for espresso.

While you're in SODO at Daniel Smith, consider stopping in at Esquin Wine, if you have wine interests. Also in the area, Big John's is great for Italian and Greek imports, particularly for olive oil and cheeses.

Consider not staying downtown if you have a car. Parking is expensive in the garages and impossible on the street. Consider Ballard Inn in Ballard, a vibrant and walkable neighborhood just north of downtown. If you stay in Ballard, The Tea Cozy Yarn Shop has a small but high quality selection of fibers. On Millionaire's Row in north Capitol Hill, the Shafer Baillie Mansion is a beautiful B&B. Even staying as far north as Northgate at Hotel Nexus will allow for parking and a 15 minute express bus ride to the center of downtown on the 41 bus from Northgate Transit Center. This is not, however, a touristy neighborhood at all.
posted by weeyin at 10:33 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Within Capitol Hill, I have had good vegetarian (and vegan, since I am inevitably eating with a vegan relative) meals at Annapurna (Indian), Honey Hole (great sandwiches) and Plum and Sage (sister restaurants, all vegan I think, carnivorous fiance was happy at both), Wedgwood Thai, the Elysian Brewhouse (good for a mixed group of carnivores and veggies, they always have a vegan option), Cafe Presse (French, no vegan option and only good for vegetarians if you like a cheese-based breakfast, I do) and...a bunch of others I can't remember. I love coffee from Top Pot, Stumptown and Vivace up there. If you want an all-vegetarian Chinese meal Bamboo Garden down in Lower Queen Anne? is one of those all-vegetarian "meat" places, and I have had a good meal there.

Molly Moon's is right next to the incredibly fantastic Elliot Bay bookstore and you should visit both. I will second the always-packed-for-a-reason Portage Bay (they always have a vegan option or two as well), which is a little bit down the hill.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:39 PM on January 27, 2013

If you want quality vegetarian/vegan/gluten free food, you really can't do much better in Seattle than Cafe Flora in Madison Valley, a bit east of Capitol Hill.

If you might be interested in vegan shoes and chocolate, check out The Chocolate Shoebox.

The Frye Museum is free and is in First Hill, just a bit southwest of Capitol Hill.

Stumptown and Victrola make good coffee.

Avoid Capitol Hill's Broadway stretch — not much interesting goes on there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:42 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Favorite yarn shops:

Bad Woman Yarn in Wallingford, very close to Teahouse Kuan Yin! (Which is, yes, pretty awesome.) Bad Woman Yarn has a really nice selection of beautiful colors and weights and a sizable clearance section, and they're really just lovely people.

Weaving Works in the University District, huge selection and a whole section on wool roving and fiber-creation like dyes and spinning tools.

So Much Yarn is right downtown above the World Market (it's a little hard to find, you have to take an elevator up) a bit over from Pike Place. Smaller but very quality selection, and really informed staff. According to the roommate they have the best chair, haha.

If you can manage it, try to go to Serious Pie. (They have another location in Westlake.) Fantastic vegetarian and vegan options, really delicious and carefully composed salads, especially. Fancy food but very casual presentation.

I'm trying to think of anywhere in this town that would require you to be super fancy and I'm not thinking of anywhere worth your time.
posted by Mizu at 11:56 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lunchbox Laboratory has amazing hamburgers. I checked it out on the strength of a recommendation on another Ask awhile back and it was every bit as good as the hype.
posted by jquinby at 3:55 AM on January 28, 2013

Oh shit, missed the vegetarian requirement. Go for the milkshakes, then!
posted by jquinby at 3:57 AM on January 28, 2013

You can get a City Pass for $69, good for admittance to 6 attractions:
Space Needle
Seattle Aquarium
Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
Pacific Science Center
EMP Museum
Woodland Park Zoo or The Museum of Flight
And don't forget the Underground tour if you haven't done it before.
posted by 445supermag at 6:17 AM on January 28, 2013

+ 1 for Serious Pie. That place is great. I have never have had a bad meal in Seattle. Well actually Canlis wasn't that great but every other place was awesome. I would also recommend the Pike Place food tour if you have time.
posted by burlsube at 6:20 AM on January 28, 2013

Kuan Yin Teahouse has an extensive selection of teas, but I don't think it's worth going out of your way to visit. It's pretty much like any other storefront coffee/tea place with a quiet atmosphere and a very modest selection of nibbles. But it's a fine place to grab a cuppa if it's convenient.

I haven't been yet but my friends have been raving about the newly reopened Museum of History and Industry.

You might be in town when the cherry blossoms on the UW campus are in bloom. So you could spend a long morning in the U-district with brunch at Portage Bay Cafe, visit Weaving Works (far superior to the other yarn shops in town, as they cater to all the wool/yarn crafts), and visit the Burke Museum and/or the Henry Art Gallery. (Both are small but may have exhibits that interest you during your visit.)

I like to wander around Volunteer Park and the Arboretum.
posted by stowaway at 7:44 AM on January 28, 2013

Oh! If you decide to go to the EMP Museum and it turns out it's not really your thing, it is attached to a kind of awesome sci-fi museum which I thought was totally entertaining even though I'm not really much of a sci-fi nerd.

Also, you can skip skip the Space Needle if you want, the views from the historic Smith Tower observation deck are just as good and it's way cheaper.
posted by charmedimsure at 9:54 AM on January 28, 2013

Seconding Bamboo Garden.

I'm an avowed carnosaur, but the mrs. is a vegan, and it's one of the few places she loves that I can eat at and not be secretly bummed...
posted by stenseng at 12:10 PM on January 29, 2013

If you like pinball, bangin hot dogs (including veggie dogs,) and beer, Shorty's is a winner.
posted by stenseng at 12:11 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Instead of a hotel, consider a guest cottage or studio. AirBnB and VRBO.com have many properties listed in Wallingford (locale of Mighty O and Kuan Yin), and elsewhere.

FYI... The wonderful Chocolate Shoebox will be closing its store very soon. They will be selling online only.

Everyone recommends Molly Moon for ice cream. They are good, and do really nice sundaes. IMO, Full Tilt sells the best ice cream. Really interesting flavors.
posted by valannc at 3:25 PM on February 9, 2013

Update: We stayed at the Foxglove B&B and loved it! Cafe Flora was excellent so was Victrola Coffee. I can't list everything we did here-- we did a lot! A highlight of our visit was visiting the Seattle Wine Tasting Room (near the market on Post Alley) Our only mistake was that we only went for two nights. We should have done at least 3. Thanks everyone for the great advice, you made our trip wonderful!
posted by sadtomato at 9:56 PM on April 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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