Two days in Seattle: Any must-sees or must-eats?
December 9, 2014 10:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm visiting my brother in Seattle this weekend, flying up Saturday morning and back down Sunday night. I'm already doing Theo Chocolate tour and I've done Seattle underground but he's never been to Seattle at all and I haven't been in a few years.

I'm looking for a great place to eat dinner on Saturday (somewhere fun/unique, not like, $50/plate steak, but more like $20-$30/person high quality meal, or just something with a clever twist to it/hidden gems) and a lovely place to eat brunch on Sunday.

We're staying at the Motif Seattle on 5th Ave & Pike, so we're right in downtown. Willing to Uber pretty much anywhere in the primary metro area.

Anything we simply can't miss? (I've done Space Needle, but haven't done the Music Experience.)

posted by disillusioned to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite dinner restaurant is Poppy.
posted by oxisos at 11:00 AM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Seconding Portage Bay Cafe for brunch. Go to the South Lake Union one and reserve a table. (Why am I only learning today they take reservations? For God's sake make a reservation.)

It's not clear to me if your brother lives here. If he does he can get a library card and get free tickets to the EMP. Otherwise I'm not sure if it's worth it.

I personally find the Pike Place Market at Christmas-time pretty fun to visit, but I might be the only one. However, do go to Rachel's Ginger Beer in the Post Alley for a drink (with or without alcohol). Maybe after brunch--you can walk over after and walk off the pancakes.
posted by sevenless at 11:23 AM on December 9, 2014

You could always drop in on the Archie McPhee store for stocking stuffers.
posted by nickggully at 11:35 AM on December 9, 2014

Salumi is a great place for a sandwich. Owned by Mario Batali's father, they cure their own meats. When I went a while ago, you could wait in line to order, but their site says you have to call ahead to place a lunch order now. It may not be practical, but it's a damn fine sandwich.
posted by cmerrill at 11:46 AM on December 9, 2014

The Crumpet Shoppe is one of my very favorite things about Seattle. I went there every Saturday when I lived in that city, and I go there every time I visit. Super tasty crumpets and tea, a nice place to sit and people-watch, and the same family has been running the place since 1976 (which I think is pretty cool). If you go there, tell Rob (the son of the original owners) that Kele says hello.

And have fun, no matter what you do. Seattle's a great town.
posted by Pecinpah at 11:47 AM on December 9, 2014

Mamnoon on Capitol Hill is very nice for dinner and within walking distance of 5th and Pike. Afterwards, you can go over to Molly Moon's for ice cream.
posted by mhum at 12:13 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Card Kingdom is a neat game store/ bar & cafe, if you're into that kind of thing...
posted by mdn at 12:21 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for a really unique breakfast/brunch experience, Silence Heart Nest in Fremont is great. You can also hit up Add-A-Ball (cool barcade) and Gasworks (public waterfront park) while in Fremont too. Buses 26/131 and 28/132 go right there from downtown.

If you want to head down to the International District/Chinatown (walkable), there's several wonderful places to shop and eat. Maneki Sushi is a great treat if you're into sushi - though you may need a reservation. Tofully Tofu House is good for tasty, cheap Korean food. While in ID, you can also hit up the Wing Luke Museum (they have a cool exhibit on Bruce Lee), Uwajimaya (giant asian grocery store worth walking around in) and check out the little nearby local parks (there's 3). If you're into coffee, Cafe Umbria is a nice place to sit and read - they have delicious hot Italian sipping chocolate if coffee/tea isn't your thing.

If you want to head up to Cap Hill, there's Rock Box (very fun private-room karaoke), Volunteer Park (very pretty park with a tower that has a great view) and tons of bars (I've celiacs so I don't really go to these - Capitol Cider is great if you're gluten free though). Some great food options I'd recommend on the hill are Taco Chukis (tacos), The Saint (mexican), Patio Thai (thai), Bamboo Pho (vietnamese/pho), Than Brothers (vietnamese/pho) and Queen Sheba (ethiopian).
posted by stubbehtail at 12:39 PM on December 9, 2014

He's being flown out for an interview, so he doesn't live there yet. These are definitely exactly the recommendations I had in mind! Thank you so much, all!
posted by disillusioned at 1:47 PM on December 9, 2014

The Seattle Underground tour is reeeeeeeally cool. I really enjoyed it. You get to go in and under a lot of neat buildings in the old part of town and learn some very interesting things about Seattle's history in a fun way.
posted by urbanlenny at 5:11 PM on December 9, 2014

Quinns is the first interesting dinner place that comes to mind. Revel in fremont would also be a really good call for dinner.

Voulas for amazing greasy diner food with unexpectedly good house roaster/barbequed/made meats and other bits for the setting. Portage Bay was a good suggestion, but i'd also consider Hatties hat and patties eggnest for breakfast. Portage Bay is pretty haughty, and while it's super good sometimes you really just want a big greasy diner breakfast made with good ingredients.

Quinns also has really good drinks, and if you were thinking of cocktails with dinner i'd also toss in witness on broadway for good food AND drinks.

I'm gonna ask my partner, she goes out with her mom to a new restaurant basically every week and has the scoop on what off the path/etc places rule. I'll make another post later.
posted by emptythought at 5:55 PM on December 9, 2014

So the last time we were in Seattle we tried to do dim sum at Harbor City in the ID. We didn't make it (no parking, too hungry) but my local friends all say it's good. If you live some place without good Chinese, you really should try to fit some in.

The EMP is cool if you like Nirvana, sci-fi movies or guitars. If you really want to do it, save a little cash and buy tickets online. We went to the Museum of Flight for the first time this year and it's pretty cool but unless you really dig planes or astronauts it's not a mega must see. The Air and Space Museum in DC is better. (Not spacist).
posted by fiercekitten at 6:23 PM on December 9, 2014

I spent a few days in Seattle last fall, occupying myself while partner was at a conference. Agree on Mamnoon being very good (I was there for a lunch). If you're a seriously serious carnivore and also like to drink, Radiator Whiskey is an interesting place. Good cajuny breakfast / brunch at Toulouse Petit. Expensive but very good meal at Spinasse. Expensive but shockingly mediocre meal at Rockcreek (I am dumbfounded by all the 5* Yelpers on that one). Good pizza at Serious Pie. (The core takeaway from eating for a week in Seattle: they sure do like their pork products there.)

If you like books, there are many very good used bookstores around the city to explore (several just in the Pike Market alone -- Lion Heart, Left Bank, and Lamplight). I also enjoyed Magus Books near the university, Ophelia Books in the Fremont, and Elliot Bay Books in Capitol Hill. (I worked the heck out of an Orca card taking buses all over the city that week, which is an option if Uber doesn't work out for you.)

For touristy attractions, someone who hasn't been to Seattle should probably experience a stroll through Pike Market. I also really enjoyed the Chihuly Museum (wild glass art) and the Asian Art Museum, but I was underwhelmed by the EMP, and liked it better when it was just the Sci Fi museum years and years ago. Taking a free ferry ride across the sound to Bainbridge Is. and back is fun if the weather is decent.
posted by aught at 7:18 AM on December 10, 2014

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