SEA - Bite of Seattle - pick or pan?

Has anyone gone in the past year or two, and have thoughts on whether this is an awesome and fun place for a foodie to explore, or a fast food wasteland that a foodie should avoid at all costs?

I love the idea of sampling small tastes from a lot of local restaurants. I do not love a long line of bloomin onions, gyros, and bad chinese food passing as a food festival.

The last food festival I went to, and it was AMAZING, was Carmel’s tomato fest, 16 years ago.


I haven’t been in years, but I suspect there is more of the “fair food” type stuff than the nicer restaurants offering bites. Food trucks and the people who do street fairs and farmers markets - which can be fun and tasty but …

The website has a digital program guide with all the vendors and their dishes.

I did see their website, but often, someone’s own experience is worth more.

For me its avoid at all costs. I suppose there is a price for everything and in theory you could pay me to go. But for me, I hate crowds and lines, don’t drink so the beer garden is out, already worked as Thierry’s pastry chef so don’t need to rub elbows with him. The demos might be fun and Food Lifeline is a fantastic organization, so I recommend supporting them if you go. But the food menu looks quite meh - I can barely pick out three things I’d want to eat. Maybe the Eastern European dumplings and some adobo or poke. But poke isn’t hard to find, you can get it by the pound at Met Market across the street.

I grew up here and went to the Bite the first several years. It used to be more high end restaurants so it was a nice chance to get a preview before bringing the whole family in or try something from a place you couldn’t normally afford. Now … I’m sure all the restaurants are offering perfectly edible food, the question is whether you get excited enough about pad thai and stuff on a stick to bother. It’s not like Canlis is there with foie gras bites or the Herbfarm with wild tree sap ice cream. And I’ll also point out that the vendor list looks longer than it should be because a lot of the ‘specialty food vendors’ are also listed under ‘artisan foods’ and ‘desserts’. It looks like more variety than it is - Seattle Pops is great and all, but they are not going to have two booths offering two different selections.

But if you love festivals, don’t mind hot sweaty crowds and want to see the chef demos, catch a buzz and compare mac & cheese or poke dishes with friends, it could be fun.

If you do go, let us know what you ate and whether you’d do it again.

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I’ll probably pass. I had a suspicion it would be like that, and your intuitions, based on some past experience, even if long ago, are weighing pretty heavily in the direction of stay away.