USA: Seattle field notes

Seattle: TravelEater’s Field Notes

Updated June 9, 2011

Seattle is a great food town.  There is the Pike Place Market of course, but also lots of other great spots nearby.  Here is a small sampling.

Seattle Library

Downtownish

  • Le Pichet: 1933 First @ Virginia.  French.  Fav of Seattle foodies.  Fine enough prices.  May not be worth it if you can get French food easily at home (e.g. Ottawa or Montreal).
  • Wild Ginger: 1401 3rd Ave.  206-623-4450.  Awesome Asian fusion.  Don’t miss it.  (However, lately very hard to get in without a reservation, since it has caught the eye of Hilary Clinton, movie stars and the like).
  • Tamarind Tree. 1036 S Jackson St.  7 courses of Asian beef (for $16.95 for 2!)
  • Dilettante Chocolates.  First Ave.
  • City Kitchens: 1527 4th Ave.  Good kitchen tools & stuff, incredible cookie cutter selection.
  • The public library.  Fabulous architecture.

Pike Place (technically in the market, or very close)

Inside Pike Place Market (photo by Eric Hunt)

  • Generally: lots of great fruit, veggies, etc here.  In the summer, go out of your way to find the look the “oh my god peaches”.  The name speaks for itself!  Cherries, especially Rainier, are also not to be missed.
  • Pike Place Chowder.  1530 Post Alley, suite 11.  Fab chowder (has won national awards).  They have a 6 bowl sampler, which is probably best split between 2 people.  Place next door makes good fresh squeezed lemonade.  There is a Thai/Jamaican (really) place around back that is really good too.
  • Pike Place Pub and Brewery: 1415 1st Ave, 1 under.  The brewing company was named “one of the world’s top 10 breweries” at the World Beer Championships (R would agree).  Good food too.
  • Michou. 1904 Pike Pl.  @WindstarCruises recommendation (thanks!). Take out sandwiches, soups, salads — good ingredients at good prices.
  • Salumi: 309 3rd Ave S.  Salami.  Mario Battali’s dad’s shop.
  • Beecher’s for handmade mac and cheese, near Pike Place.  Thanks to Chris and Tawny (@CaptainandClark) for the tip!
  • Matt’s on the Market: Corner Market Building, top floor.  Only 23 seats, so go mid-morning to put your name on the wait list. Uses what’s best from the market stalls in an ever-changing menu. Foodies love it.  Open only for lunch, I think.
  • 3 Girls Bakery: 1514 Pike Pl.  Cookies, scones, bars.
  • Corner store / deli: I forget the name, but it is a couple doors down from the original Starbucks.  Lots of great gourmet jar food to take back for you or for gifts.
  • Sur La Table.  Pine St very near the Market.  Excellent kitchen stuff.  Unique items.  Have huge store in Manhattan too.
  • Le Panier.  1902 Pike Pl.  Ok kitchen stuff.

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square (photo by Joe Mabel)

  • Grand Central Bakery.  214 1st Ave S.  Excellent for lunch or snacks.
  • Elliott Bay Books: 101 S. Main.  Fab bookstore with staff reviews.  The best book store for browsing and finding new authors.
  • Underground Tour:   a humourous and informative tour of Seattle’s underground, once its street level….  I hate tours of almost all kinds, but would recommend that everyone give this one a try.

Driving from Vancouver

Peace Arch at the Canada US border

  • High end outlet stores are on the west side of the highway about half way down (skip the boring ones on the east side of the highway, closer to the border).
  • For Canadians who have never tried a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut: My Vancouver friend say “The KK location is the same exit as Cascade Mall in Burlington (there’s a VERY small sign on your right on the I5).  Get off and head towards all the gas stations (there’s an ARCO and another one).  Turn right at those lights and carry on north until you see the KK on the left (it’s past the mall).  To get back on the highway, carry on along that road, north, and follow the signs back on the I5.  If you miss the exit and see the mall on your right, get off at the next right and go south on the same road (it’s the first road that’s East of the highway that runs North-South).  The KK is closer to the next exit north, but I don’t know what that exit is called.”    Yah, these directions confused us too – we have no idea where this is.

Hotels

  • Seattle’s hotels tend to be on the expensive side, especially for what you get.
  • The Moore.  1926 2nd Ave.  If you’d rather spend your $ on food and shopping, than a place you’ll hardly see ….   Good prices  ($86-97, incl own bathroom; cheaper if you want to share the bathroom).  Super close to Pike Place, and reasonably sized rooms. Has all the basics, and marble bathroom floors, claw foot tubs, fantastic showerheads; but no AC (not that you need it in Seattle) and the smallest towels you’ve ever seen.  If you write to the Seattle tourist people, they’ll send you a package that includes a 10% of coupon for this hotel. Great deal on parking across the street for $12/for 24h.

Codes

  • Bold, italic: been, loved it, would go back
  • Italic: been there, stays on the list, may or may not go back depending on mood, time, etc
  • Plain text: heard about it, not actually been there, but looks interesting.

Please let me know of corrections and new finds!

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