While I am probably short of being a “regular” at these restaurants, any opportunity to grab a table at one of them is always welcome. These are the places I crave the food and the atmosphere. On evenings when I simply do not want to cook or those times when a nice meal out with friends is in order, I can always count on my Top 5 Go-Tos for Seattle Dining. The following restaurants are great for dates, small groups or even a meal by one’s self-Txori in particular is that kind of relaxed establishment where it’s never awkward eating alone. I included the number one dish or combination that gets me in the door. The next time you find yourself in Seattle, give these a try.
12th & Madison
Just minutes walk from my apartment, Café Presse is the sister restaurant to a downtown favorite, Le Pichet. Authentic French food in a modern yet comfortable neighborhood setting. I love seeing the sign as I round the corner on 12th—the logo is taken directly from a chain of newspaper stores in France called Maison de la Presse. Reminds me of home.
Pan roasted Oregon Natural Beef hanger steak, piperade, and fried potatoes
1st & Pine
My introduction to Steelhead Diner came through an invitation to dine with the owner and head PR agent. My friend and I partook of a filling spread of contemporary Pacific Northwest cuisine. My extended review here.
A Slice of Caviar Pie with Traditional Garniture 12.95
Jumbo Lump Dungeness Crab Cake with Crispy Parsley & Sauce Louis 14.95
10th & E Pike
Sister restaurant to the Belltown must, Restaurant Zoë. Best fries in Seattle, hands down. The drinks are excellent as well and the concept of the restaurant, a “gastro-pub,” is a welcome addition to the trendy Capitol Hill area. Try the oxtail too. Warm, nostalgic, and rustic atmosphere.
Fries with demi glacé sauce 8.00
2nd & Blanchard
An authentic Spanish and Basque tapas restaurant with small plates called pinxtos ranging from $2-$6. High tables in an elongated, intimate space. Everything I have tried on this menu is heaven-in-your-mouth-good.
tortilla española 1.75
potato onion omelet, alioli
pork and veal meatballs
45th & University
Another cozy establishment, this one in the University District. This is the best Thai food in Seattle and the most inexpensive. Watch Tom himself prepare your meal in a cast iron skillet just a few feet away from you with flames licking the stainless steel range above. Shoulder to shoulder, line out the door, you can’t beat it and Seattle knows.
Swimming Rama 7.00
Chicken simmered in coconut milk, surrounded by blanched spinach,covered in a citrus spiked peanut sauce
Next Top 5: Drinks