3 nights / 4 days in SEATTLE

My wife just found out that she’ll be attending a conference in Seattle next month, which means we get a free vacation! :smile:

We already booked a Thurs. night dinner at Canlis.

I need 3 more dinners: 2 as a couple + 1 solo while the missus is at a work-related event

I’m presently looking at the following:

  • Ray’s Boathouse - (we love old fashioned waterfront dining and this seems to be an institution)

  • The Walrus and The Carpenter - (we love raw bars + classic atmosphere)

  • 3rd Option?? Is Pike Pl. Market more daytime/nighttime destination??

Questions: How’s the seafood at Ray’s? Fresh and sustainable catch? Well-prepared and not overcooked? Does the food measure up to the setting or is it really more about the timewarp waterfront dining scene than the actual meal? Would you recommend?

I also need 4 lunches - currently looking at the following though really not attached to any of them:

  • Ivar’s Fish Bar - (same reason as Ray’s, est. 1938 - classic waterfront dining. this place looks super touristy though. all fried food. are fish n chips made fresh or is it frozen crap? is this Seattle’s version of SF Fisherman’s Wharf? quintessential tourist experience or to be avoided?)

  • Merchants Café - (looks like standard pub fare but i love the atmosphere and it’s 3 blocks from our hotel- Arctic Club. is it worth ordering a burger or should we skip this for lunch and just swing by for a draft? yelp photos look kind of shitty. lunch or drinks only?)

  • Bastille Café & Bar - (no clue about this one. we like bistros. interior looks nice enough. food looks decent if nothing special. is it worth a lunch stop?)

  • Bakeman’s Restaurant - (this one’s a must for me! i might visit solo while the missus is at work, since it looks to be closed weekend. i’ll have to consult her.)

Other considerations: afternoon tea @ Fireside Room, Sorrento Hotel

We’re not that big on morning foods (breakfasts/brunches) but we definitely want to visit Pike Place Public Market; would morning be the best time?

Finally, on return to airport, I was considering a brunch stop at either 13 Coins (SeaTec) which is 24hrs -or- Pancake Chef. Thoughts on either? We fly out at 1:30 pm, so we’d be looking at brunchy hour for pre-flight meal.

Last but certainly not least - drinks!

A glass of bubbles at Sky City in the Space Needle??

Cocktails at Needle & Thread and/or Tavern Law?

We definitely want to stop Oliver’s Lounge at the Mayflower Park Hotel… should we stick to drinks or eat as well?

Both Sun Liquor and Rumba look interesting to me.

Aperitifs at Artusi also seems appealing.

And the historic pubs, as already mentioned - Merchants Café + Artusi Triangle. I’m guessing aim for mid-afternoon and avoid on game day?

I would love some feedback and thoughts on all of the above + any additional suggestions! I realize our meals aren’t very interesting/chef driven (save Canlis perhaps?) so I’d welcome any alternatives. We’re on a narrower budget than usual for this trip, since it’s somewhat last minute and unplanned. Canlis will have to be our one fancy wine and dine meal. I’d especially like feedback on Walrus + Carpenter and the classic restaurant/lounge in the Mayflower.

Thanks very much!

Oops, one more question!

Should we simply eat at Tavern Law one evening? How’s the food and is it geared to an actual meal (I’m orig. from Montreal so I’d offer Vin Papillon wine bar for comparison) or is it really intended to compliment the drinks rather than satiate appetites? It might be nice to kill 2 birds with 1 stone since we have limited time and budget.

PS - What about Bar Melusine / Beateau?

Ray’s, Ivar’s and Bakeman’s were on our circuit when we were frequenting Seattle.

I’m not a local, but Pike Place market is a daytime thing. The stores inside close at night, but some restaurants around the market stay open. I really liked my piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky in the market. I wrote about that and some other places in and around the market here: https://www.hungryonion.org/t/seattle-wa-pike-place-market-report

The Walrus & Carpenter was on my list but didn’t get around to going. I did have some excellent and expertly shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish in Queen Anne though. I was very impressed with the oyster shucker - she opened them up like it was nothing.

If you have a weekday lunch free, are in the mood for handmade pasta, and don’t mind waiting in line, another place I thought was great was Il Corvo, in Pioneer Square. It’s also very reasonably priced.


Thanks so much!

I was just about to post a follow-up re. Pikes Pl.

Piroshky Piroshky is definitely on my radar!


  • Pike Place Chowder
  • Three Girls Bakery
  • Bavarian Meats
  • Uli’s Famous Sausage
  • Mee Sum Pastry
  • Oriental Mart
  • Jack’s Fish Spot
  • Market Grill

Le Pichet looks like a really fun spot (sort of reminds me of Prune in NYC inside). Anyone have experience with it and would you recommend for lunch or dinner?

I’d love to get some quick feedback on the Pikes Place list; particularly what you most enjoy at each of the above spots. Is PP Chowder really up to par with New England? I see it won some awards but that was like 10 years ago. Is it worth stopping by for a cup? Three Girls looks like a fantastic nosh option. Oriental Mart + Mee Sum also look like great lunch choices. Would love your thoughts!

Re. Il Corvo - I stumbled upon it this morning and it looks really good but it’s a very similar concept to what we have in SF at places like Italian Homemade Co. and Barzotto. I’m sure it would be a regular lunch option if I lived in Seattle though.

Thanks again!

Oh and this looks wonderful!

Can anyone tell me more about Il Bistro?

First, there is only one Pike, not plural. Pike Place Market.

It does mostly close up at 6pm. My personal suggestions are Procopio on the hillclimb for gelato, DeLaurenti if you need any meats or cheeses for picnics, the patio at the Pink Door for a drink with a view, and Le Pichet for good, nicely priced French bistro.

Second the Il Corvo in Pioneer Square rec for lunch.

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And what did you think? How long ago was that?

Been to all more than once, though recently enough to give you a good report. Ivar’s and Bakeman’s are likely unchanged; neither is trendy and it’s often worth trying local institutions instead ritually seeking the latest and greatest. Ray’s is now showing three preparations of sablefish (black cod), and that would be enough to prompt a return tomorrow.

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Good to know Pink Door is still pleasing.

Thanks and great to hear!

I’m all about local institutions over flavors of the week. Is the seafood fresh and well prepared at Ray’s? If so, I’ll reserve asap for dinner number 2!

What about the Alaskan halibut at Ivar’s Fish Bar; do you know if it’s fresh or do they use frozen fillets? I’m a bit weary about that one as we generally tend to avoid chains and I see that this has 20+ franchises throughout the PacNW, although it is locally rooted…

I haven’t been, but since they just remodeled I’m assuming it’s a safe bet. Better for a touristy drink than the Space Needle, at least?

Thanks again for all the great tips!

Last question concerning Le Pichet - both my wife and I really like the look of this quaint little bistro, but we’re planning on covering a lot of ground at Pike Pl Market and we’ll likely be visiting more than once for lunch. Lunches are more or less accounted for at this point. Would Le Pichet work just as well for an evening meal?

I normally wouldn’t ask such a redundant question when I can clearly see that they offer a dinner service, but since it was mentioned several times in this thread that Pike Pl. Market is primarily a lunch destination, I thought I’d inquire whether that is also true of this restaurant as well?

Lastly, like most good French bistros, the menu seems to be pretty short and focused and looks fixed (i.e. not impacted by seasons, etc). Given that there are only 6 entrees listed under the “Specialites de Maison”, I wonder if anyone has any strong recommendations? The roast chicken seems to be a popular dish… Babette, have you tried this?

Thanks again!!

Our local hosts proudly recommended to us or accompanied us to all these meals. The advice on Ray’s was “if you want to treat yourself well”. The ingredients were fresh and it’s a well-run large operation. Another lunch possibility: http://www.salumicuredmeats.com/index.html#home

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Perfect! Thanks so much!!

I’m adding Salumi to the lunch list too; it looks great!

Does anyone have experience with any of the following:

  • Brimmer and Heeltap - (very curious about this place for a possible dinner addition)

  • Salare ?

  • Spinasse - (also looks very good; food & ambiance)

  • Porkchop & Co - (this one doesn’t excite me too much but may as well ask)

  • Kedai Makan - (very curious about this too!)

  • Stateside - (also not terribly exciting but doesn’t hurt to ask)

  • Wandering Goose - (any experience + comparison w/ actual southern food?)

  • Un Bien for Cubanos - is this a waste of time for visitors? we have pretty good Cubanos at Cholita Linda in Oakland and Sol Food in San Rafael. My folks also have an apt. in So. Miami, so… just wondering if it’s anything special or just a benefit to locals?

Lastly Matt’s in the Market - it’s been mentioned several times here and CH; what do you like about it? The menu looks a bit boring to me, to be perfectly honest. Lots of sandwiches, burgers, basic protein/meat dishes. Is it just a reliable lunch spot or something more?

Thanks again!

Interesting video about Un Bien and Paseo from Eater:

Un Bien was on my list when I was visiting Seattle, but I didn’t get around to trying it. FWIW the sandwiches they are known for don’t look very much like Cubanos.

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Holy smokes, that looks deadly!

Go the the mall a few blocks from Pike Place Market. On the top floor food court is the second location of Pike Place Chowder. Best New England Clam Chowder without the two hour line at their market location.

My advice - skip the market entirely. Also I was told to skip Iver’s.

Thanks but why skip the market entirely??

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr