The Amateur Gourmet is going to Seattle next week and asked for food recommendations. What I wrote is below, but I’ve added hyperlinks.
Definitely go to Salumi. It’s only open for lunch and pick up a couple of salami’s to go. It’s not really Mario Batali’s dad’s place as much as it is Armandino Batali’s place. If you can’t make it there, make sure that you get his meats at any number of restaurants around Seattle.
Harvest Vine is a great traditional tapas place in Madison Park. Lark is a great northwestern tapas place in Capitol Hill. Both places are fun to go with a lot of people. Make reservations if you can.
I just went to Zoë last week and thought it was amazing. It’s located in Belltown with nice modern cuisine in a contemporary setting. I can echo the comment on Macrina. Get there for brunch if you can. Another great breakfast place is Coastal Kitchen on Capitol Hill.
Le Pichet is one of my favorite places in Seattle. They have around 25-35 affordable French wines by the glass, and a very nice bistro menu. It’s also in Belltown very close to Pike Place Market.
Pike Place Market is a lot of fun to walk around. There are any number of places to see there:
- Check out the truffle oil place, La Buona Tavola. Taste the truffle oils and buy several bottles.
- The Tasting Room is a really cool wine tasting store on Post Alley; a friend of mine is the manager. It is a co-op of several different Washington wineries.
- I don’t love the cheeses at Beecher’s Cheese, but it is fun to see them make cheese. And their cheddars are very nice, if simple.
- Get freshly made tiny donuts from the donut shop. (On the top level near Pike Place Fish.) They are very good for snacking on as you walk around.
- Pike Place Fish is where they throw the fish if you buy one. They were on the Megan Mullally show trying to break the fish throwing record. The local wild salmon is not in season right now. This is a great time of year to buy oysters and other shellfish. Also, the smoked salmon is not like the smoked salmon we get here. It’s worth picking up a few pounds.
- The Spanish Table is on the lower level on Western Ave. It has one of the best selections of Spanish and Portuguese wines in the country. I have never seen a wider selection of ports.
- Across the street from The Spanish Table is World Spice Merchants. It’s a great store with any number of spices and teas. They supply many restaurants in Seattle, but their shop is very retail friendly. Each spice has a sample jar with one ounce of spices. You can open the jar to smell the spices.
- The first Starbucks is in Pike Place market. It is not like every other Starbucks–it feels a lot less corporate. There are better places to get coffee in Seattle, but it is a fun touristy thing to do.
I could go on and on–I love the food in Seattle. There are definitely many foodie things to check out there.
You might not realize it, but Seattle is also a great place for cocktails and “mocktails.” The majority of places in Seattle can make a better drink than 90+% of places in New York City. They take a lot of pride in their cocktail abilities, and it is worth drinking there. At the same time, they value non-drinkers and have extensive mocktail menus.
Enjoy your stay in Seattle!