Where to eat in Seattle?
October 3, 2006 12:10 AM   Subscribe

Where to eat in Seattle?

Alright, so I just moved to town and I'm trying to get to know this incredible city as much as possible. I want to know about the (amazing) food here. Your suggestions on anything edible within King County... err, the city of Seattle and a few "must eats" in Bellevue and beyond.

YES, I'd could search Yelp and CitySearch... but I'd rather hear it from the fingertips of Seattleites. Besides... both those sides hve already proven to be extremely unreliable.

I live on Queen Anne but I'd love suggestions from all over the city. We can't live in our own little boxes all the time. Also... I moved from Alabama/Mississippi, so bonus points to whoever can point out the best Southern Cuisine (BBQ, Fried Chicken, etc) in the area.

- Best Burger
- Best Steak
- Best Seafood
- Best Cheap Eats
- A Great Place for a First Date
- Late Night Food
- Pizza
- Chineese
- Sushi
- Japanese
- Donuts, Cakes, Cookies
- Thai
- Must-Eat Classic Seattle Restaurant
- Vietnamese
- Greek
- Etc, etc, etc

posted by bamassippi to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Italian: Try Machiavelli on Capitol Hill. Casual, intimate, noisy, but good stuff.

Pizza: My wife and I enjoy Madame K's in Ballard but it gets mixed reviews. Their absolute ban of cell phones is worth eating there for alone. Leave room for the "Orgasm" dessert.

Chinese: Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon in Mapleleaf is worth the trip. Perhaps the best Chinese in Seattle.
posted by maxwelton at 12:22 AM on October 3, 2006

For Thai food, you can pretty much eat at a different place on University Way each night (aka "The Ave"; it runs N-S alongside campus of UW) and go for at least a week or two. Thai Tom is the famous one, but I'm also partial to Thai 65, AppeThai (stupid name, good food), and Thaiger Room.

Also, don't eat at the restauraunt at the top of the Space Needle.
posted by rossination at 12:22 AM on October 3, 2006

Buffalo Deli - great deli sanwiches, near Roq la Rue gallery so you can pop in and enjoy both

Jasmine Thai - hole in the wall thai place in the market with IMO the best Thai in Seattle

The Pink Door - tasty italian just off of Post Alley

Can you tell I work in Belltown?

Also? La Carta De Oaxaca in Ballard.
posted by freshgroundpepper at 12:24 AM on October 3, 2006

I don't eat out much, but here are a few choices for

burger: Red Mill
doughnuts: Top Pot
Chinese: Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon
Thai: Jai Thai

As a Southern transplant myself, I can confidently say that the best fried chicken is from Ezell's, though I've yet to have good BBQ.

I also recommend The Five Spot, which is in Queen Anne and features regional menus, including some Southern food that's pretty good.
posted by camcgee at 12:30 AM on October 3, 2006

Seafood: Ivar's Salmon House.

Alderwood smoked salmon for your mouth hole. I recommend the sampler which has nice slabs of King, Sockeye, and Coho. So. F'ing. Good.

And a nice view to boot.
posted by symphonik at 12:47 AM on October 3, 2006

Second on The Five Spot -- it's all about the deep fried mac 'n cheese.

I'm in Cap Hill, so I mostly know about places around here, but:

Bimbo's Bitchin' Burrito Kitchen -- best burritos I've found in town so far.
The Honeyhole -- best sandwiches.
Ipanema's -- Brazilian, which is a very meaty experience.
Sunshine Cafe -- best veggie I've had out here.
En -- OK, so we've sort of adopted this place. It still rocks :)
posted by effugas at 1:31 AM on October 3, 2006

Queen Sheeba: Great Ethiopian food on Capitol Hill.
Shiro's: Excellent (but expensive) sushi in Belltown.
posted by Tenuki at 1:31 AM on October 3, 2006

First, congratulations on making a good choice in places to live (I remember your question from some time ago soliciting advice). Thank the gods you aren't living on the east side! :)

- Fried Chicken
Ezell's fried chicken, as noted before, is apparently quite famous- isn't it the chicken Oprah alleged had flown out to Chicago to eat?

-Best Burger
Red Mill is a consistent winner in this category. The Capitol Club on Pine and Bellevue has a Kobe burger that's pretty tasty as well.

- Best Steak
I like El Gaucho on 1st in belltown. Maybe that makes me a philistine, I don't know. :) Daniel's Broiler is supposedly quite good, but I've never actually been.

- Best Cheap Eats
Dick's drive-in. :) It's 1:40a, you're drunk off your ass, and there's the alluring glow of a Dick's to stuff your face with a Deluxe and a chocolate shake. The Dick's chocolate shake is a guaranteed hangover prevention. :)

- A Great Place for a First Date
Bleu Bistro. It's actually been voted that in the Weekly I think. I go there so much I'm gonna have to start paying rent.

- Late Night Food
Not many places to get something late at night, but for those post-drinking pit stops, Dick's is good times as noted above. Otherwise, the infamous 13 coins is 24/7, and maintains airs of 'fine dining' even at 4am. You can't complete your Seattle experience without a stop at 13 Coins at an ungodly hour. I've shown up there at 4am and had to wait for a table. :) Avoid Cafe Minnie's like the plague.

- Pizza
Pagliacci's pretty much owns the pizza category.

- Sushi
Umi's Sake House on 1st avenue in belltown has some great, great sushi. I don't even like sushi, and I loved this stuff.

- Donuts, Cakes, Cookies
Top Pot for donuts, has a couple of locations now.

- Thai
Uh... take your pick. There are a few rare places to eat Thai in seattle. :)

- Etc, etc, etc
Espresso Vivace for the latte experience. Tango Tapas is very good- but the must-have is their dessert, El Diablo. Bring a friend... or more. Bricco up atop Queen Anne, just across the street from the Five Spot, has some really good cheese platters and an excellent wine selection- ask for their help, they won't steer you wrong. Marrakesh in belltown is a great group-eat place, with Moroccan food and belly dancers. Icon Grill is simple and straightforward american grill dining, but oh-so-tasty. Bring a few friends and tackle their immense sundae. Feeds... many. :)
posted by hincandenza at 2:11 AM on October 3, 2006

Personal fav veggie: Bamboo Garden (if you like Chinese food).

I'd never had fake meat that could have fooled me before or since.
posted by Ryvar at 5:31 AM on October 3, 2006

For Chinese food, explore the international district. There is a lot of excellent, reasonably priced food down there. I liked Shanghai Garden's hand shaven noodles a lot, and have heard good things about many, many places down there. Sichuan Cuisine is another excellent place. Don't forget to look at Chowhound and eGullet forums, where people are constantly discussing good meals in Seattle (among other places).
posted by Schismatic at 6:10 AM on October 3, 2006

Salumi has some of the best cured meats in America, but I go for the amazing meatball sandwich with gorgonzola.
posted by jefftang at 6:17 AM on October 3, 2006

I just visited while at a conference and we went to Salty's on the water. Great seafood (I had the Saffron Salt Dusted Alaskan Halibut and it was fantastic) and the view is just as good!
posted by Ekim Neems at 6:21 AM on October 3, 2006

Pizza: Sure pagliacci is okay if you want something cheap and quick; same goes for Piecora's. But my money's on Il Forno for the best pizza in town; it's a little pricey ($16 or so, if I remember, for a pizza that'll feed two with decent appetites) and you'll have to wait for the pie to bake, but the crust is perfectly thin and the finished pizza is one of the most flavorful you'll ever have had. The place is dark and moody with not too many seats, you'll probably have a decent conversation with the cook, and it's in a triangle-shaped building.

For a soul food sort of restaurant, I love Thompson's Point of View and the Catfish Corner; on Friday on Saturday nights at Thompson's, they probably still have a motown cover band (last time I was there was a couple of years ago, and the restaurant's patrons like to sing along and dance real loud. Oprah Winfrey apparently gets Ezell's Fried Chicken flown in to her show sometimes, The Stranger seems to think it's the best in the country; it's good, but I've never had it fresh and it was good cold, but I can't properly attest....
posted by msbrauer at 6:45 AM on October 3, 2006

Excuse me while I go all low-brow here...

Burgers: Dick's (Queen Anne, or Wallingford on 45th just west of I-5, or several other places). Some people will tell you Kidd Valley is better, and yes, the burgers are good, but way overpriced for me.

Fish & Chips: Spud, for sure. One on Alki, one on Green Lake. Ivar's Fish & Chips are no more than OK.

On the upper end, I like Sazerac, downtown, for southern comfort food with a Northwest twist.
posted by lhauser at 6:51 AM on October 3, 2006

Sorry kids, but the best pizza in town comes from Milano's on 45th.

And for excellent food and even better cocktails, check out Zig Zag.
posted by Jawn at 7:16 AM on October 3, 2006

Look on Chowhound or eGullet.
posted by mkultra at 7:33 AM on October 3, 2006

I'm a vegetarian, so I can't suggest a good steakhouse, but the best restaurants my carnivorous bf and I have been to are:

Chinese: Bamboo Garden; General Tso's faux Chicken rocks. It's not healthy by any means, but if you're craving Chinese junk food, this is your place.

Vietnamese: Moonlight Cafe; they have complete menus for both veg*ns and meat eaters. The lemongrass faux chicken is outstanding.

Pizza: I'm a Zeek's girl. Their tree hugger is orgasmic.

Thai: Second (third?) Jai Thai. Ballet in Cap Hill has fabulous fresh spring rolls for $1.25 a pop. Thai One On on Lake City Way is just all around good. Vegetarian Bistro in the International District is worth checking out, too.

Etc: The Elysian Brewing Company in Cap Hill has both meat and veg*n entrees. And beer. And a skeleton hanging on the wall. They're pretty popular.

Postmark Gelato in Fremont makes excellent, excellent gelatos and sorbettos. They also have paninis, soups (I think) and great, hard-to-find postcards. (Hence the "Postmark.")

Cafe Vita'll get ya going in the morning. Eye-opening stuff, that. Cafe Solstice on the Ave makes the best soy lattes I've ever had. Mr. Spot's Chai House has the best chai barnone.
posted by hercatalyst at 8:01 AM on October 3, 2006

I'm new to Seattle as well. Are there any decent bagel shops in this city? I'm in the Fremont/Phinney/Wallingford area.
posted by trey at 8:46 AM on October 3, 2006

Bagel Oasis. Not sure if Roxy's in Fremont still carries their stuff.
posted by fatllama at 9:42 AM on October 3, 2006

I've been happiest with the bagles I've had from Bagel Oasis. The one in Freemont has changed hands and been remade as a sort of Jewish deli, but the last time I got bagles there, they were still good. I think it's called Roxy's. It's next to a video store.

Paseo has great, messy, grilled chicken and pork sandwiches
Seattle Deli in the international district has great & incredibly cheap Bahn Mi (vietnamese sandwiches).

Sichuanese Cuisine in the ID is good and cheap.
Jade Garden, also in the ID, has great dim sum.

Hana on Broadway has good, relatively, inexpensive sushi and japanese food.
Chiso in Freemont has great sushi.

Shalimar in the U District is an old favorite

Cedars in the U District makes the only Chai I like. Not too sweet, and not overwhelmingly cinnamony. Their butter chicken is also delicious.

Try each of the half dozen Thai restaurants in Fremont and let us know which is best, please.

I like Taqueria La Fondita II in White Center. (It's a catering truck)

Saigon Perl on Capitol Hill is my long time favorite, but pretty much all I get there is the spring rolls and the grilled pork skewers with rice vermicelli and fresh veg (Bun Bo Xao?)

I don't know where I'd suggest for Pho. I think I went to one of the Than Bros places last. It was good + they give you cream pufs.

I usually go with the ubiquitous Pagliacci for delivery, but there are plenty of other options, especially for pickup or to sit down. I generally like the pies at Big Time Brewpub (I like thin crispy crust), who also make excellent beer.

Salumi is awsome. I don't go there enough
I've never regretted a meal at the Dahlia Lounge, which is saying something, since I get very critical at that price point. (The only thing I can fault is a too sweet Mojito).
Brouwers makes a good (though spendy) Steak Frites and has a great selection of Belgian brews.
posted by Good Brain at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2006

Oh. Cafe Besalu in Ballard has fantastic morning pastries, but I find the lines harder and harder to take.

I like Vera's, also in Ballards, for a good short order breakfast.
posted by Good Brain at 10:15 AM on October 3, 2006

Pizza - I'm a fan of Delfino's in the U Village - great deep dish

Sushi - Hands down, Kisaku - west of I-5 off 50th - its not a bad date spot either. Its not extremely expensive but the staff is amazing the food is great and don't be surprised if you run into a couple ball players while you're there. Give Rain a go on 45th as well. Its casual and they do some innovative stuff. The owner was the former head chef at Wasabi Bistro, I believe he setup their entire menu.

Burger - Redmill

Late night - There’s Dick's which was mentioned a few times but that’s only open until 3am I believe. Of course there’s 13 Coins but for LATE night cheap eats there’s Pizza Ragazzi on the Ave (U Dist). I'm pretty sure they're open as late as people are still there. I've been there at 4:30am before. I'm not saying its great, but if you're wasted at 4 in the morning pizza is pizza. If you're in the U Dist late you can check out the Gyrocery for Gyros they're usually open until 3 or 4am. Also, a personal favorite of mine late night is Beth's Cafe on Aurora. (sorry for the U Dist-centric recommendations, just reliving a bit of my college days)

Seafood - Oceanaire downtown. It's spendy and definitely a dateish kind of spot but its amazing.

Chinese - You can't beat Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon.

Mexican - Cactus in Madison Park (there’s one in Kirkland too). Its one of my favorite restaurants in town. Also, give Agua Verde a shot. Its next to the UW Med Center on the water. The food is great and its very reasonably priced. Also, its a an awesome spot when the suns out because it has outdoor seating and its on the water.

Sub style sandwich - Tub's Subs on Lake City. GREAT sub style sandwiches. The only downside is they're not open Sundays.

Cheap eats - While the late night recs mostly fit under here make sure to check out Gordito's - their burritos are the size of a new born, I'm not kidding, they have a pic up to prove it. I believe its off of 85th.

Vietnamese - Again, another cheap eat but its awesome - Than Brother's Pho. I think they do more than pho but I wouldn't recommend anything but the pho there. Theres one on the Ave and one on Capital Hill - actually there maybe a couple more. Google them.

Italian - Assiago - downtown. The food is amazing and its a great date spot. In fact, I took my girlfriend there for her birthday a few months ago. Also make sure to check out the Pink Door.

Thanks, for asking the question...it was a great way to procrastinate my day. Hope it helps!
posted by ASM at 10:49 AM on October 3, 2006

I don't like to stray too far from salt water.

The Bay Cafe at Fisherman's Terminal has great big fattening breakfasts and lovely views of the fishing fleet. It's spacious, clean, fast, and unpretentious. They have great seafood breakfasts like smoked salmon benedict. The eggs are robust and fresh. They'll serve three of them with grilled snapper and thick nine-grain toast.

Maggie Bluffs at Elliot Bay Marina has great views of the marina, the city, and Mount Rainier. They make a good open-faced Dungeness crab sandwich and a nice bbq pork heart stopper. I like their burgers better than Red Mill and think they have the best iced tea. Their patio is big and in a sunny south-facing spot.

I'm partial to Ray's Boathouse. It's expensive, but serves the finest seafood in Seattle.
posted by laptop_lizard at 11:08 AM on October 3, 2006

You simply must try out the Queen Anne Cafe for breakfast. Their chicken-fried steak is a weekend staple. It's on upper Queen Anne on your left as you head up the hill.

I think the food at Snappy Dragon is weird and a little gross. You want Shanghai Garden for the best Chinese food in town. Don't miss the barley green noodles.

After you eat at Kisaku (please don't miss the Kisaku roll), head across the street to Hiroki, a dessert place where you must try the green tea tiramisu. It is heavenly.

Welcome to town!
posted by macinchik at 11:45 AM on October 3, 2006

Oh and the best BBQ in town is surely the R & L Home of Good Barbeque on upper Yesler. Bring cash and go crazy.
posted by macinchik at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2006

Burger- Dick’s Drive In is good and cheap. Fatburger for your huge burger with chili and a fried egg needs.

Seafood/Steak/Date – Very rarely I will go to Salty’s on Alki or the one in Redondo (which is north of Fed Way) They have a really big buffet on Sundays but they are a bit pricier than I normally like to spend.

Pizza – I adore Pagliacci’s Pizza (but I can’t seem to spell it). Their delivery was some of the best service I got while living on cap hill.

Chinese – Shanghai Café is some of the best Chinese food I have had in Seattle. It is located across the street from the Factoria Mall. They have a sister restaurant (The Shanghai Grill I think) in the ID, and I hear they are just as good but a bit more expensive. For cheap, filling, and freaking awesome food, I can’t say enough about this place. Try the Garlic Rice Wine Chicken and the Chicken Chow Mein with hand shaved noodles.

Thai – Simply Thai in Southcenter (shares the parking area with Wamu in the strip mall next to the Target) Seriously though, Seattle has a TON of Thai places.

Asian/Dateish – Wild Ginger You may have to call ahead to get my favorite, which is the chicken in the young coconut thing. (Yeah, real specific I know) A bit pricier, but pretty good.

Expensive – The Waterfront on Pier 70 My company picked up a meal here and I must say it was nice. I had the seared Ahi Tuna. It was great!

Fried Chicken – Ezel’s Chicken is good, but being from the south, I can’t really see what all the fuss is about. I guess this just coming from a guy who grew up on his 80 year old southern grandma’s fried chicken.

Mexican – I like Tacos Guyamas. It’s cheap, filling, and relatively authentic. I also like a burrito from Taco Del Mar on occasion. It’s a big ol’ burrito, what more can you ask?

Etc. – Gelatiamo on Third and Union
posted by Chickenjack at 11:52 AM on October 3, 2006

Best Cheap (Happy Hour) food: McCormick and Schmicks on First Ave - can't beat $1.95 for an 8 oz burger, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, hand-cut fries and a pickle! Their happy hour is 3-6 everyday, and also from 10-12 at night except Sunday.
Espresso: Zietgeist, on Jackson and S 3rd (Pioneer Sq), same folks that own Top Pot donuts, so you can get a yummy treat with your coffee. They do it all so right, and with free wi-fi.
Date-nite: Serafina on Eastlake; intimate, romantic, and wonderful (mostly) Italian food.
Date-nite 2: For a huge splurge, but an evening you will never forget, Chez Shea in the Pike Market is astounding. Make reservations, there are only about 8 tables, and you get your table for the evening. Wow, that's all I can say - wow.
posted by dbmcd at 12:18 PM on October 3, 2006

During my last trip to Seattle, I discovered one heck of an authentic feeling non-sushi Japanese restaurant upstairs from Pink Godzilla. On Googling, I believe it was Takohashi. Gah. Now I'm hungry. Wait a second. WAIT WAIT a second: It was Maekawa Bar that I found. Think: Japanese Dim Sum or Tapas or [insert small, cheap, yummy dishes here]. Okay, I'm going to have to see if the SO will finally try The Takahashi Restaurant with me tonight in Portland...

I also try to lunch at least once a trip at FareStart, because it's an awesome idea that they fulfill handsomely. The FareStart cart at the library is kind of lacking, though.
posted by Skwirl at 12:18 PM on October 3, 2006

Chinese: Mandarin Chef, which I think is better than Snappy Dragon any day. Try their homemade noodles.

Mexican: Tacos Guaymas. There are some good taco trucks in town, too.

Thai: I like Thaiku. The Meing Kahm is worth a trip all on its own.

Late night/classic/cheap: Beth's Cafe. Greasy diner food done right. It catches fire every few years, but that doesn't seem to have slowed it down any.

Sushi: Mashiko. I thought I didn't like sushi until a friend took me here.

Italian: Marcello's.

Etc: Pies & Pints. Noodle Ranch.

Burgers: I'm partial to Six Arms, but Red Mill is also a good choice.
posted by hades at 3:16 PM on October 3, 2006

Shanghai Garden (mentioned above) is absolutely the best Chinese food. Don't miss their hot and sour soup.

Machiavelli, likewise excellent.

There's a "secret" restaurant called Chez Gaudy on Bellevue, between Denny and Olive, that serves quirky rustic Italian food, and is highly reccomended. I've only been once but the food and service were both excellent.

Also, try Carmelita up on Phinney Ridge for some great upscale vegetarian food.

Oh, and the best Pho in town is at any Than Bros. location. University, Capitol Hill, West Seattle, and I think Greenlake.
posted by cathodeheart at 3:58 PM on October 3, 2006

- Best Burger
Ray's (Happy Hour - in Ballard on Seaview Way)

Market Grill - halibut and/or salmon burgers - (inside Pike Place)

- Best Steak
No competition here -- Buenos Aires (2nd/Virginia)

Jak's Grill is good too (3 locations) originally from Issaquah... go to that one if you have time

- Mexican

La Carta de Oaxaco in Ballard - by far the best!

Chupacabra - Phinney Ridge (across from Red Mill)

Mama's - cheap and fun. definitely not the best food but decent enough. good margaritas.

- Pubs
Mcmennamins - several locations. Always good food and beeer

Brouwers - 46th/Phinney across from Free Range Cycle. No signage for the pub. 50 or so beers on tap (many belgian) and awesome food. (pommes frites!)

- Best Seafood

Etta's (Western Ave near Pike Place)

Waterfront Grill (end of Pier 70) - to die for lobster mashed potatoes!

Matt's in the Market - Pike Place

Wild Mountain Cafe - 85th/15th Crown Hill north of Ballard

The Dish - Leary/46th or so. Always a wait on the weekend. Try to go on a weekday if possible

- Best Cheap Eats
Blue C Sushi - it's much better than Sushiland! There's one in UVillage and another on Fremont Ave/35th.

Secret Garden Korean BBQ - a bit of a drive... on Hwy 99 in Lynwood (cross st is 210th) All you can eat Korean BBQ for $15! All the traditional "banchan" included

- Paella
Chez Shea - in the Market - you can enter from 1st Ave.

- A Great Place for a First Date

Pink Door - Pike Place, enter thru Post Alley

- Late Night Food
Haven't found any late night food I can recommend

- Pizza
Pagliacci - I love the goat cheese primo

- Italian
Brad's Swingside - 42nd/Fremont (I think it's a well kept secret that this is the best Italian in Seattle)

Bizarro's - 46th/Stone Way in Wallingford

- Chinese
Black Pearl - 75th/25th or so - in Wedgewood

Maple Garden - Bellevue

- Sandwiches

Paseo - jerk chicken on a baguette - to die for. seriously. 42nd/Fremont

Honey Hole - Pike St./Cap Hill

- Sushi

Kisaku - near Greenlake on 55th/Meridian

I love Sushi - (2 locations Lake Union and Bellevue)

Saitos - 2nd/Lenora

Toyoda's - 125th/Lake City Way

- Japanese

Kisaku - see above

- Donuts, Cakes, Cookies
Top Pot

Mighty-O which is vegan and really tasty

- Thai
Tup Tim Thai - Mercer/2nd Ave W.

- Must-Eat Classic Seattle Restaurant

Madame K's in Ballard (pizza)

- Vietnamese
Pho Viet Anh - lower QA on Roy St.

Kingfish Cafe on 19th Ave E in Cap Hill

Ezells Fried Chicken - the BEST!

- Greek

Niko's in Magnolia!! SO GOOD! (on 32nd Ave)

Taki's Mad Greek - 85th/15th Ballard

- Etc, etc, etc

Endolyne Joe's - comfort food (near the Vashon Ferry dock in West Seattle)

Marcos Supperclub - 1st/Wall
posted by dbk at 5:01 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

The one time I went to Queen Sheba I was sorely disappointed. Go to Caffe Weini (they have an excellent spinach chicken dish, although I don't know how they've fared after the scare) in north Seattle. Lalibela on Cherry is good, and there's another one right across the street from the Catfish Corner.

There is also an excellent barbeque place called Greg's Road House in Lake Forest Park, so it'll be a bit of a trek from QA, but I assure you, it is worth it. Mmmribs...
posted by calistasm at 8:15 PM on October 3, 2006

Baguette Box
1203 Pine St, Seattle, WA

Unbelievable sandwiches. Utterly fun place. They have one beer on tap: Stella. Strangely tucked away despite being on Pine.
posted by Wood at 9:04 AM on October 4, 2006

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