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Seattle: Where to Eat

September 16, 2013
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Cappuccino, toast with chevre and cornichons, and a seasonal salad at Le Pichet, my favorite Seattle restaurant.

Before it is all forgotten, I wanted to recap my favorite things to do and places to eat in Seattle. It is truly a wonderful city to visit and live in, and there are many unique aspects to be missed. There are a lot of options, so this post is all eats and I will do another with activities!

Breakfast & Lunch:
Homegrown (Fremont, South Lake Union, Cap Hill) – Breakfast all day and lunch sandwiches. This is the only place in Seattle I ate at with obsessive regularity. Their food is simple, perfectly executed, and consistent. The service is always fantastic. The sandwiches may seen pricey, but they are so worth it (and you can buy half sandwiches).  I regretfully never had the bacon, peanut butter, and fluff sandwich, but tried every other sandwich on the menu. If you are overwhelmed with the options start with the avocado, egg, and cheese.
Portage Bay Cafe (U District, Ballard) – This was the first place I ate when I had first moved to Seattle and was still living in a hotel. There will be a wait at either location, but they serve coffee outside and there is a store with chickens next to the U District location. They are local, organic, and seasonal, and have creative menu items. And each sweet breakfast (like pancakes or french toast) comes with a trip to the fruit bar, which is the most amazing assortment of fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream, maple syrup, and other topping delights (or you can order a trip to the fruit bar on its own).
Serious Biscuit (South Lake Union) – Great name, great biscuits. Don’t wait to be seated (there’s always a line), just order at the counter and one of the cafe tables will open up (or just go outside). The ham, egg, Beecher’s cheese, and apple mustard was my favorite.
Paseo (North Fremont, Ballard) – The place to get Cuban sandwiches in Seattle. There’s usually a line, but you can call ahead and then just pick them up. Seating is nonexistent, but Fremont Peak Park is an awesome place to sit and eat with a view of the Olympics.
Happy Hour:
List (Belltown) – Italian small plates. Happy hour 4-6:30. It’s right downtown and the happy hour menu is extensive and cheap. Gnocchi and eggplant parm are always good choices.
Alibi Room (Belltown) – A weird little place tucked across from the gum wall. It’s a stone’s throw from Pike’s Place Market, but hidden enough to not be touristy. Good pizza and small plates, great cocktails. Happy Hour 12-6pm (including weekends).
9 Million in Unmarked Bills (Fremont) – The happy hour is late (4-7pm daily), the servers are always nice, and there is a lot of outdoor seating. Get the diablo shrimp on ricotta pancakes and the grilled Caesar.
Awesome decor at the entrance of Bizzarro.

Awesome decor at the entrance of Bizzarro.

Dinner:
Le Pichet (Belltown) – Very traditional, French small plates. They are open for breakfast and lunch as well, but dinner is the best. Reasonably priced and my favorite restaurant in Seattle. I brought my mom here every time she visited (thanks for feeding the habit, Mom!), and it really was like stepping into a cafe in Paris.
Oddfellows (Cap Hill) – They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and they have happy hour from 4-6pm. Quintessential hipster Seattle, next to my favorite bookstore and across from a huge record store. The falafel salad! Croquettes! Brussels sprouts!
The Walrus and The Carpenter (Ballard) – I’m wary to suggest this, because it is small, doesn’t accept reservations, and was a Bon Appetit Restaurant of the year so there is always a wait. Plus it is expensive. BUT, the food, atmosphere, and cocktails are all phenomenal. My best advice is to go for happy hour which starts at 4, but arrive by at least 3:30 to get in line (or earlier to be extra safe). Then you only have to wait 30 minutes, you are guaranteed a table, and the prices are slightly cheaper.
Jhanjay (Ballard, Wallingford) – Vegetarian Thai food and my favorite Thai restaurant in Seattle. Both locations are great and have speedy, friendly service and fresh, delicious food.
Bizzarro Italian Cafe (Wallingford) – This appropriately named restaurant is weird through and through. It is charmingly decorated with artful junk on every surface. They have great specials, fresh pasta, and traditional dishes.
Drinks & Dessert:
Hazelwood (Ballard) – So hipster they don’t even have a real website. This place may take the title of my Favorite Cocktail Bar Ever. Their cocktails are unique, the bartenders are quirky, and there is a weird, intimate seating area upstairs (look into the peep hole on the back wall. I dare you.). Best cocktail: Birds Feet and Rain.
Fremont Brewing Company (Fremont) – Most importantly: delicious beer. Other great things: lots of indoor and outdoor seats in their new urban beer garden, free pretzels, and you can bring your own food in.
Fainting Goat (Wallingford) – Awesome name, awesome gelato. Their salted caramel is perfect. It is even better than Molly Moon’s Ice Cream  down the street, and the lines are way shorter (though many may disagree, I’ll fight for the goat).
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