Seattle, Washington is only a 3 hour drive from where I live, Vancouver. I love escaping there for day trips, long weekends, or even a week long getaway. With so much to offer: Pike Place Market, the space needle, shopping, underground tours and a cool science centre to name a few, it’s one of my favourite American cities!
These are all great attractions, but when I go to Seattle, food is on my mind. Getting to experience the best food at every destination is important for me. So, I do hours of research online reading reviews, scanning and scrutinizing menus, and planning where and when I’ll be satisfied gastronomically. Before I get to Seattle, I have mapped out my culinary path.
Food in Seattle is synonymous with Tom Douglas. He defeated Masaharu Morimoto in an episode of Iron Chef America, hosts a talk show on KIRO radio, and has visited Emeril Live. His first restaurant, Dahlia Lounge opened in 1989. Etta’s Seafood and Palace Kitchen followed. The latter was nominated for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation in 1996. More recently, Douglas opened a Greek restaurant, Lola and a pizzeria, Serious Pie.
Lola is attached to Hotel Andrea, a boutique hotel in the Belltown neighbourhood. It serves up Northern Mediterranean and North African cuisine with local ingredients.
I like to visit Lola for brunch – it’s one of the best spots in the city with the best Bloody Mary ($9) I’ve had.
Brunch costs about $14-$18 (and up) and dinner entrees range from $15-$35. You can also order from the Mezze (small plates) menu in the $8-$16 mark.
Whether you go for brunch or dinner, make reservations in advance. Lola is also about the experience so make sure you take your time and enjoy.
Right across the street is Serious Pie, tucked away on Virginia St. There’s almost always a line to get in. Expect to wait 30 mins to 1.5 hours. This pizza place is like no other – it’s worth the wait.
Once you’re in, you’ll be seated at one of the long narrow tables, likely right next to a stranger. It’s all part of the fun. The pizzas are cooked in a 600F stone-encase applewood oven preserving the homemade charcuterie and artesian cheeses from around the world.
Prices for the pizza’s range from about $13 – $17. tomdouglas.com
I visit Specialties Deli about 3-5 times on a given weekend trip. You can’t miss it because there are a few locations that sprinkle the city.
I always find myself at the one located on 5th Ave at Union St. I can’t get enough of the wheat-germ, oat bran, chocolate chip cookie ($2). It’s one of my favourite treats (sometimes right out of the oven) and I always find myself wanting to go back for more – I’ve even asked my taxi driver to stop there before I even got to my hotel! Among the amazing treats are cinnamon buns and peanut butter cup brownies. They also serve fresh sandwiches. Fresh ingredients plus baked daily breads; that’s very hard to mess up. I always get the turkey with avocado, and sprouts on Focaccia bread. ($7). www.specialtys.com
On my last weekend trip to Seattle, I discovered Toulouse Petite in the Queen Ann neighbourhood. Loved it so much, went there twice. It’s currently the #2 spot for brunch in Seattle and #3 for Casual Dining on Urbanspoon.com. They have happy hour specials and they take reservations (we waited 20 minutes for a table without reservations). It’s known for French and Cajun inspired cuisine. You’ll find Creole breakfast classics to an extensive eggs benedict menu. I decided on the special of the day: chorizo sausage ($13). It was spiced to perfection and delicious. The second time around, I had eggs with bacon and hashbrowns. One word: amazing. www.toulousepetit.com
I could go on forever, but more will have to wait for another post. My final words of advice: Make reservations when possible, try as many dishes as you can, look at the menu beforehand so you have an idea of what to expect and most importantly, when in doubt, always get dessert. Bon Appetit!Raychel Pender
Cruise and Insurance Specialist
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