We ate out a lot on our NW trip this year which is not always the case; we usually do a lot more cooking. Don’t know why it was different this time around, but since I’ve received emails from readers in the past asking about places to go in Seattle, I thought I would put together a list of places we ate. I’m not listing all the places we grabbed food at Pike Place Market or any of the other food trucks and farmer’s markets because I just can’t remember them all, but the joy in that is really just walking around and discovering what grabs you anyway.
Oh, and coffee. Yes, lots and lots of coffee. Not surprisingly being from the NW, Mark is really particular about his coffee and we horde bags of coffee beans to bring back home with us in our suitcases. We don’t ever really buy coffee when we’re out back home, but we were constantly running in to get coffee everywhere we were. Hey, it’s vacation.
Mashiko – 4725 California Ave SW., West Seattle
I’ve mentioned this sushi restaurant in a prior post. Worth dealing with the traffic to West Seattle. Seriously.
Lighthouse Coffee Roasters – 400 North 43rd St., Phinney Ridge
We’d walk over here in the mornings from Mark’s sister’s apartment and get a cup. Without the kids. How civilized (excellent coffee btw. But man, they need a new website. Call me!)
Top Pot Doughnuts – various locations around Seattle
I’ll admit it, I’m not much of a doughnut fan, but Mark is, so of course he had to try the doughnuts at Top Pot. It was good, but really, the only doughnuts I ever got excited about was Dynamo in San Francisco. Sure, it’s owned by a friend of ours, but it really is the best in my humble doughnut opinion.
Local 360 – 1st Ave and Bell St., Belltown
Food was really great, but my dinner company was better. Just don’t buy into the hype of these PB&J Bon Bons. If you don’t believe me, just ask Uncle Beefy.
Thai Tom – 4543 University Way NE., U District
If there are 2 cuisines that are just better in the NW than in NY, it just might be Thai and Vietnamese (although SriPraPhai in Queens and Long Island is truly outstanding and might very well be the best Thai I’ve ever had). Thai Tom is a tiny, hole in the wall restaurant in the U District. We got there super early before they opened so we can get a seat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mia enjoy Thai food so much (Miss C, on the other hand as you can see, was not interested in the food one bit and read her book all through lunch).
Oddfellows Cafe – 1525 10th Ave., Capitol Hill
Oddfellows was already mentioned in a post about Capitol Hill – I just love the interior of this place so much.
Jules Mae Tavern – 5919 Airport Way S., Georgetown
Georgetown is one of those neighborhoods that seemed to just suddenly appear one day, but has really been around forever. It’s kind of out of the way and still really industrial looking, being surrounded by Boeing and Rainier Brewing Company. I guess back in the turn of the century it was a saloon town and Jules Mae is kind of like stepping back in time to that era. Perfect place to hang out with old high school friends and catch up. Also, I have never been to Georgetown except late at night so I imagine that it’s always this dark, gritty, industrial night time place.
Caffe Vita – various locations in Seattle, Portland, Olympia and even one on the Lower East Side, Manhattan.
Some of the best coffee in Seattle, I think. But I’m not a picky coffee drinker like Mark so what do I know.
Theo Chocolate – 3400 Phinney Ave., N Seattle.
Theo Chocolate is right by the Fremont Sunday Market, where we grabbed lunch one Sunday from booths and food trucks. Even if we don’t intend to buy any chocolate (you can now find Theo at many retail locations around the country) we always go in because um, free “almost all you can eat” chocolate samples! So uh, yeah.
* A few places worth noting from prior visits, but not this year are Delancey for really good pizza in Ballard and Cafe Besalu for really good pastries, also in Ballard. And ok, if you’re from Seattle you’ll probably laugh, but I can’t help but love 13 Coins. Other than the fact that there aren’t that many 24 hour restaurants in Seattle let alone any restaurant kitchen open past 10pm (this is true of most anywhere outside of NY I guess), I love the cocktail lounge cheesiness, the dark interior, all the leather and brass, and the super high leather back booths that make you feel like you’re in your own private room. The food is meh but there’s dancing! People actually dancing.
Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen – 835 SW 2nd Ave.
When my friend Jen started tweeting about the food at Luc Lac, I knew that this was at the top of our list of places to go in Portland. The pho is huge. I think we spent less than $30 total for our family of 4 and we still had leftovers.
Smallwares – 4605 NE Fremont St.
Smallwares is a new place up in NE Fremont which I think still has yet to catch its groove. They serve small plates of “inauthentic Asian” (their words, haha) that are meant to be shared. For the most part, our dinner was really good (I think my favorite of everything was the fried kale), but it can quickly get pricey (ok, it didn’t help that we kept adding dishes as the meal went on). The kids’ dinner, however, only ended up being a few dollars which is just crazy cheap these days. The thing that I’ll remember about this place other than the fact that we had a nice meal with our old roommate, is that the Pee Wee Herman movie was playing on a wall (we sat in the back bar room area) and we didn’t hear a peep out of the kids for 2 hours. Eventually they wandered over to the couch in front of the movie after they finished eating, where they plopped themselves for the rest of the evening.
Screen Door – 2337 East Burnside St.
Another place where we had to line up half an hour early just to make sure we got seated for dinner. It’s Southern cuisine in Portland. HUGE portions! Good old comfort food in the way of Mac and Cheese, fried chicken, excellent salads and hushpuppies (which I still don’t really know what they are).
Woodsman Tavern – 4537 SE Division St.
We didn’t eat dinner here, but I did go out for a ladies night at this place. I don’t usually drink, but the cocktails sounded too good to pass up and my friends and I shared a dessert. The restaurant has a big bar/ tavern scene, though loud, and the interior is dark walls, tea lights, rustic hipster blah blah with many of the waitstaff in long, full beards a la Mast Brothers Chocolate. Oh,
Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery – 1800 NE Alberta St.
What is up with the lines out the door for ice cream on the West Coast? Well, after a late night ice cream run where we decided to skip the ridiculous line down the block at 10pm, we opted for pies instead at Random Order. I got the Oregon Cherry. This was good pie.
Stumptown at Ace Hotel – 1022 SW Stark Ave.
Mark’s not a huge Stumptown fan (I told you, the guy is picky!). Stumptown is all over NYC now, but we made our way over to the Ace Hotel while we were briefly in downtown Portland only because we had never been.
Petite Provence – 1824 NE Alberta St.
We hit Petite Provence on the way out to our drive back up to Washington on our last day in Portland. As soon as we walked in, the girls went nuts. The pastries were so pretty and baked in flower and pinwheel shapes I had never seen before.
The Bread Peddler – 222 N. Capitol Way.
Ok, so most of you will probably never find yourselves in Olympia, Wa., but if you do (for example, as a pit stop on your drive between Portland and Seattle), make sure you stop by the Bread Peddler for breakfast and fantastic pastries. Also, do the Farmer’s Market. And for being a small town, Olympia always had it’s decent share of good restaurants, even way back when I first moved there in ’91.
Olympia Coffee Roasters – 108 Cherry St.
So what coffee does a discerning coffee drinker like Mark drink? Our favorite roasters are these guys. We bring back bags when we leave the NW and we have family bring bags too when they come visit. They’re small and we like to support them any chance we can.
Ramirez Mexican Store & Tortilla Factory – 5105 Capitol Boulevard Southeast.
Ok, so this is technically in nearby Tumwater and not Olympia, and this combination grocery store/restaurant really does make you feel like you’re eating in a grocery store so it’s seriously no frills, but geez, the food is really good. I got the “wet burrito” and it’s the single most biggest (or as Claudine likes to call things that are big “hughnormous”) burrito I have ever laid eyes on in my life, like seriously twice the normal size burrito you’d get at any other place and I ATE THE WHOLE FREAKING THING.