Any Tips For Vacation To Seattle?

Hey All:

We’re all set. Spring break vacation this year is going to be a short one to Seattle. We’ll be there for 6 days and we’ll want to do the normal touristy places and especially also check out eating places. Here are some ideas we have shortlisted so far:

  • Argosy Cruise
  • Museum of Flight
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Woodland Park Zoo
  • Boeing tour
  • Microsoft tour
  • Pike Place Market
  • Pioneer Square

For food, we are a bit lost. So far we can only think of:

  • The Crab Pot
  • Starbucks

Soooo … any advice, suggestions?

Ben and Suanne

Update 20-Apr-2009

Here are the links to our vacations and trips to Seattle:

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  1. sandra

    please go to the cheesecake factory, please……
    really wanna see…..

  2. Jennifer

    Ivar’s on the waterfront for amazing clam chowder. (It’s near the Argosy Cruise).
    Huong Binh in Little Saigon (it’s in Chinatown) for some delicious Vietnamese food.
    Jade Garden and Hong Kong Restaurant in Chinatown for some good ol’ dimsum and the regular Chinese fare.
    Cedar’s on Brooklyn (near the UW district) for super good Indian food. Watch out for parking though. It gets a little crazy since they don’t really have their own parking lot. Park by the assigned spaces near the Jack in the Box or in the gated parking lot across from the restaurant.
    Sushiland (in Queen Anne, Bellevue, or Southcenter) or Blue C Sushi (in U. Village) for fresh sushi delivered to you on conveyor belts!

    As you can tell, I live here. Do feel free to ask any questions about the places I named. 🙂 Enjoy your spring break here!

  3. frankandjodi

    Ooohh…have you considered Savor Seattle Food Tours? It would hit two birds, one stone. They do these fabulous (and tasty!) food and cultural tours through Pike Place Market. My husband and I went over Valentine’s Day weekend and it was amazing! I can’t stop telling people how much fun we had. Tickets are around $37, and well worth every penny. Check out reviews on Trip Advisor. I think they’re rated the #1 attraction in Seattle.

  4. Meghan

    I think you guys would really enjoy this place called Freshchoice in Tukwila (south of seattle but not too far, worth the drive) I have read your blog for awhile now and enjoy it, and I know you are not opposed to a buffet-this place is great fro families and you can get coupons online if you sign up for their club (a free meal!) Its a soup/ salad buffet but wayyyyy better than Izzy’s or any other US chian buffet- really fresh, healthy stuff, like 7 soups, fruit, dessert, pizza, pasta, tons of different salads. i think your boys would like it! Also, the 5 spot cafe, dick’s drive in for fun, and if you want to splurge, one of the Tom Douglas places (my fave is Dalia Lounge) Have fun!

  5. cissy

    We had the Sunday Brunch at Ivar’s on the waterfront once, not bad.

  6. patty

    Years ago we went to a neat place called the Melting Pot. They don’t have these kinds of chains in Vancouver, its a fondue place. Like hotpot, but American? European? It was quite tasty if you like cheese.

  7. LotusRapper

    Seattle was our home away from home for 4 years while my wife was doing her grad studies at “U-Dub”. While there are simply LOTS of places to go and see (and eat at), as already noted by folks above, I’ll simply suggest neighborhoods and POI’s for you guys to check out and enjoy:

    – Fremont
    – Queen Anne
    – UW District (University Way)
    – Saturday morning farmers’ market on Univ. Way near NE 52nd St ? …… not sure if it’s still around or only during summer ?
    – UW Village Shopping Center, east of UW ( a very fun mall !
    – Wallingford
    – Lake Union/Ship Canal area
    – Vashon Island (short ferry ride away from Fontleroy ferry terminal) – for a quiet day on a scenic, quaint oasis in the middle of the city
    – Gas Works Park
    – Warren Magnuson Park

    If you venture outside of Seattle proper, a sunny afternoon in “downtown” Kirkland (Juanita Village, Carillon Point) is a lot of fun.

    Also if you’ve never had Krispy Kreme donuts, go to the outlet in Issaquah for the unique KK experience. If you don’t make it, you can still drop into KK at their Burlington outlet just off I-5.

    We still go down to Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia area to visit friends regularly these days.

  8. LotusRapper

    Reading Meghan’s suggestion of Freshchoice buffet, that reminds of me a very good vegetarian buffet at a restaurant called Flowers Bar & Restaurant on University Drive/NE 43rd St. It’s an all-u-can-eat Indian/Asian/Mediterranean fare and the quality is very good IMO. I know you guys are somewhat “carnivorous” but trust me, you won’t likely be disappointed nor walk away hungry from this place.

    And Cedar’s (Jennifer’s post) is VERY good Indian food. Love their “bottomless” chai 🙂

  9. fresh_one

    Whenever I head down to Seattle, I always go to the Tamarind Tree Vietnamese Restaurant. They have a lot of different items that you wouldn’t find at any typical Vietnamese restaurant here in Vancouver. You can check out their website

  10. Jessica

    The restaraunt at the top of the Space Needle is cool for kids because it revolves. It’s kind of expensive though.

    There’s a tiny place in Blaine that we always went to. Harbourside Cafe (i think) its right on the pier and they have the best clam chowder.

  11. Jessica

    Forgot….if you like tools:

    There is a Boeing Surplus store where they sell Snap On tools for very very cheap. They sell them cheap because the FAA only allows the mechanics to use each tool a certain amount of time for safety reasons but everything else is brand new.

    Got an awesome office chair for $5 there too!

  12. col

    I love The Melting Pot! Great fondue there, but it’s expensive.

    I also highly recommend Coastal Kitchen in the Capitol Hill area for brunch or dinner. Fantastic.

    Also Portage Bay Cafe in the U-District. They’ve got a fruit/nut bar that you go up and add whatever toppings you want to your pancakes or french toast. Totally delicious! I’d recommend making a reservation as they are always jam packed there.

  13. ryeo-burnaby

    Check out:
    lake union (Ivar’s restaurant)
    green lake
    north ben outlet mall
    someone mentioned U Village Mall go there…

    Thai – mae phim on Columbia!!!
    BBQ – Dixie’s, Meet the Man in Bellevue
    Trini Roti – Pam’s Kitchen
    Breakfast – Louisa’s Bakery & Cafe

  14. LotusRapper

    More on Univ Village Mall …..

    Check out:

    – Johnny Rocket (50’s style diner complete with requisite burgers, fries and real milkshakes)

    – Pallino (casual cheap family place with good pasta made to order in front of you)

    – some extra calories for the road ? Hit Ben & Jerry’s ……

  15. LotusRapper

    OK one last one (I think):

    Dick’s burgers (authentic 50’s/60’s style burger shack on NE 45th in Wallingford with low prices to match. Located just west of I-5 interchange). Caution about the lunchtime long lines !

    I’m gettin’ hungry ……..

  16. Jenn.

    Hi, I go to Seattle 2-3 times a year. These are some interesting restaurants that you can google on:

    Claim Jumper – large portions (always need to pack the leftovers after)

    Bucca di Beppo – family style Italian restaurant and they give you a tour of their restaurant

    Red Lobster – they give you free unlimited warm cheddar cheese biscuits

    Baja Fresh – fast food Mexican food but really good cuz ingredients are very fresh.

    Enjoy and have a good trip!

  17. jrome

    If you like seafood like Skippers and Ivars you have try Steamers Seafood Cafe on the Wharf by the Aquarium, they are the best Awesome beer battered fish and chips and Great clam chowder.

    Bucca di Beppo has great Italian food in huge portions well worth it. But is often very busy

    If you like Fried Chicken you must stop at a Popeye’s Chicken either in the Seattle area or on the way down in Bellingham and Burlington.

    Cheesecake Factory also has good food in large portions, Love their appetizer deep fried Mac and Cheese Balls

  18. Hélène

    Going there during spring break as well so waiting to hear the comments.

  19. LotusRapper

    On your way to/from Seattle, stop by Bellingham and go to the Fairhaven Historic District (quaint lil’ village) . Goto the Colophon Cafe and order their famous Peanut Butter Pie ….. MMMMMMM

    Then spend the afternoon chilling out on the Village Green 😀

  20. LotusRapper

    BTW Ben, technically, my last post was not about Seattle [grin]

    Also worth checking out in Fairhaven, Avenue Bread on 11th St. Magnificent breads and baked goods !

  21. Lee Ping

    Great time to be spending money in the US. We like Seattle’s Famous Dave. It is a BBQ place.

    p/s Will you have time to visit Portland? It is tax free in Portland.

  22. slif

    FOOD: go to the Belltown district. It’s their version of Yaletown, complete with restos everywhere.

    I HIGHLY recommend brunch at Macrina’s (get there VERY early – few seats, lots of patrons). Pastries at Dahlia Bakery.

    As for dinner, start walking and stare at menus – if the room looks interesting, and the menu tantalizing – go in.

    as mentioned previously, check out the Queen Anne district – lots of nightlife and bars. At some point, go to Kerry Park after sundown (we’re talking 10pm+). I’ll only say that it’s very safe, and you won’t regret the trek.

    Fremont, esp. on Sunday is an amazing place – like a more diverse and kitschy Denman St. Paseo’s is a small shack that offers some of the most tender pieces of pork I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Line ups get to be Anton’s-sized, but absolutely worth it. It’s a takeout place, so the line goes fast – and there are some tables available. Bring wetnaps.

    Google names for directions.

  23. LotusRapper


    Is that Mexican place at the north end of the Fremont Bridge still there ? I recall some pretty good salsas and food there. Can’t recall name of the restaurant.

    Ben & Suanne, the kids might actually like the food s at Mad Pizza on Fremont Ave. Fun family place.

    The food at Dad Watson’s Brew Pub is very good value for the money. And the chicken fried steak at The Red Door Ale House is my favorite. All within a couple blocks of each other.

    Yes, hippies are alive and well in Fremont 🙂

  24. Ben

    Hi All:
    Suanne and I were so overwhelmed with all the suggestions. It just took us 2 hours(!) going over your suggestions — they were wonderful. I wish we have more days in Seattle.

    Hi Lee Ping:
    We’ll not go that far south to Oregon but we definitely will go there again some day. Oregon is such a beautiful state.

    Ben and Suanne

  25. frank

    Hey there…I am planning a trip to Seattle this summer for the “Bite of Seattle” festival…my oldest son is heading to culinary school in the Fall and he would like to do some “research”…

    Here are a couple of places we plan to visit…

    Salumi, Seattle

    The daily fresh-pulled mozzarella runs out before the line of customers at Salumi, started by Armandino Batali (Mario’s dad). Don’t let the curing bats of fennel-studded finocchiona dangling from meat hooks distract: You want the porchetta — braised-until-melting pork shoulder with peppers, carrots, and onions on a stout roll to soak up the profligate juices. (309 Third Avenue South; 206-621-8772)

    Paseo, Seattle

    No place in Seattle could care less whether you come in than Paseo. The shoe-box shack has no sign, takes no credit. Has so few seats that devotees eat outside on the trunks of their cars. What keeps them returning? The milagro that is the Cuban meat sandwich: marinated, slow-cooked pork ganged into a baguette slathered with garlicky mayonnaise, then mounded again with cilantro, jalapeños, and fat O’s of caramelized onions. Seattle’s a long way from Cuba, but this sandwich erases every mile. (4225 Fremont Avenue North; 206-545-7440)


    PS…love your blog…especially your NY visit has inspired me to plan for a trip in the fall

  26. Ben

    Hey Frank. Thanks for the tips. We had shortlisted Paseo for the Seattle vacation. We have no clue about cured meat but will check it out if we are in the neighborhood. Oh, you like the series in NYC. For summer this year, Suanne and I are thinking of doing Washington DC, Philadelphia and NYC (again!).

  27. twinkienic

    I recently went on a 3 day trip into Seattle. I made a map of some of the tourist spots and good food spots that sound interesting at the time (Feb ’08). You can find it here:

    We ended up going to Restaurant Zoe and Txori (basque tapas) for our dinners and both were excellent. I would also really recommend Salumi for a lunch but they’re only open Tu-Fri, I believe. Baguette box was also fun for a sandwich.

    I really enjoyed the Savor Seattle Food Tours. The guide was really knowledgeable about the Market and seemed to have a great relationship with the vendors. Yummy samples, too.

  28. Ben

    Hi Twinkienic: That was very creative of you to use Google Maps to plan places of interests. I am just going to do the same too!

  29. LotusRapper

    We’ve been to Monsoon (on Twinkienic’s list) and it was great. Very reasonable prices for beautifully crafted dishes. Highly recommended.

  30. Diane

    I just moved from Seattle having lived there for ten years. I can give you a few places to eat that you shouldnt miss!
    The first place is called Paseos and its located in Fremont. I wouldnt even know about it except an employee of mine had a chef for a boyfriend. He loved to go here and she told me about it. Talk about low key…you could hardly notice that the place was there if you werent looking for it. This is a cuban sandwich shop and this sandwich is to die for! wonderful flavorful slow cooked pork heaped on a baguette with a garlic mayonaise and sides. this is not for the faint of heart or the clean freak…go prepared to get messy Haha!
    4225 Fremont Avenue North; 206-545-7440
    Second place is Mae Phims Thia Restaurant located right off first avenue heading towards pioneer square on Columbia St. If your downtown at Pike Place market its a nice and interesting walk down to this wonderful favorite of mine. The Pad Thia is very good and the Salmon Curry is DIVINE! 94 Columbia St 206-6242979
    THe third place is my favorite place for fish and chips, Little Chinooks…after much searching and taste testing at many of the so called ‘best’ in town…including the ones in the market, I settled on this as the best place of all. They offer a variety of fish and a wonderful poppyseed coleslaw that is so refreshing. Served in a basket with a pile of fries, this is THE place to go for fish and chips. Located at Fishermans Terminal…right before you cross the bridge into Ballard. It is conveniently located next to Chinooks…one of their fine dining alternatives
    I hope this at least helps you find a few enjoyable places to eat. Watching the sunset off of sunset hill in Crown hill is something I truly miss from there. and also Goldan Gardens and Carkeek parks, the former being a nice sandy walking beach, the latter full of tide pools for fun exploring. And last but not least, you really shouldnt miss the troll under the bridge in Fremont…if you go to Paseos its not far from there ttp://
    Hope you enjoy your trip there. Although basking in the sun in the south of France is fun, I do miss my Seattle 🙁

  31. nausicaa

    fine italian dining -> Tavolata in belltown is a MUST

    try smith in captial hill

    joule – korean fusion fine dining

  32. nausicaa

    Please dont go to chain restaurant like cheesecake factory.. it is junk

    TRY DICK’s drive in for some cheap eat

  33. nausicaa

    try beth’s cafe by green lake – this rock punky cafe open 24/7 and i will promise you .. u never try anything like this

    it was featured in teh travel’s channel for its 12 eggs omelet

  34. nausicaa

    Tom Douglas’s restaurants is great.. dahlia lounge/bakery is great.. serious pie for some hand made pizza..

    rest. zoe is great

    i cannot emphasize enough about TAVOLATA. it is a must.
    hand made pasta! you cannot go wrong with Ethan Stowell’s place.. such as union, or how to cook a wolf..

    that’s fine dinning..

    oh another thing.. melting pot + space needing = over-priced food

    i am sorry i was a bit late on the suggestion

    maybe u can try it next time u are in seattle

  35. nausicaa

    oh matt’s in the market is great!

    oh boy i keep on coming up with the idea.. i cant stop!

  36. nausicaa

    oh carmelita is greenwood has the most amazing vegetarian fine dinning

    down a couple block – oliver’s twist can serve u the best cocktail … it is a local’s secret.. i almost dont want to tell u .. since this place is tiny and i dont want ppl to fight for seats with me

  37. nausicaa

    as i was trying home .. i was absolutly horrify that i didn tell u about coffee!!!

    i m a coffee addict therefore i m disgusted at myself for not recommendation a local coffee house.

    think starbucks is good? try cafe ladro.. or caffe vita

    although it is still cool to visit the first starbuck at pike place market… i like to stop by cafe ladro fo thier rich coffee.. it taste a lot better than starbuck!

    have u ever visit bruce lee’ grave in captial hill? or the cherry blosson (in sesaon right now) at UW? what about the seattle library in downtown!? (well the BC vancovuer library is also pretty neat too)

  38. nausicaa

    take the underground tour.. u will apprepriate more about seattle’s rich history

    (and why seattle downtown area is all hilly)

  39. Ben

    Hi Nausicaa:
    Love your comments … and your pix of the Space Needle, especially the last one. We’re back now from Seattle and will probably start blogging about it late next week. FWIW, we did many of your suggestions. Thanks for the … errrr … spam. LOL!

  40. As a former Seattle-ite (moved to Spokane about a year ago) I can tell you that some of the hole-in-the-wall ethnic cuisine joints are amazing. If you happen to be in West Seattle, stop by “Pho White Center” on the south end and order a piping hot bowl of the Pho Brisket (not on the menu, just ask). Amazing!

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