In this week’s guest post, we explore the restaurants of Seattle with Fletcher Findley, a recent graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. Fletcher is a Seattle-based blogger-to-be, an avid traveler and a self-proclaimed foodie. Read on to discover Fletcher’s restaurant favorites…
ON THE FOOD TRAIL IN SEATTLE
I’ve been living in Seattle for four years now. In that time I’ve learned two important things. She’s a city with a great deal to offer but she makes you work for it. You can read the tourist guidebooks and check out Yelp or Citysearch but if those are the only resources for finding your way around Seattle, the sad truth is – you aren’t going to discover anything you wouldn’t expect to see in any other city in the United States.
With that in mind, I’d recommend you give the traditional destinations like Pike Place Market a miss and spend a few hours and and a lot less money doing something that the locals take very seriously: eating! Pound for pound, pun intended, Seattle has chefs working hard to innovate and transform what going to a restaurant means.
Two of my favorite restaurants anywhere can be found in Seattle: Sitka and Spruce and Elemental. Both change their menus on a weekly basis, emphasize local products, and scour the earth for the perfect wines to match their dishes. Neither takes reservations. To be more precise, Sitka and Spruce takes one reservation per night for a party of six or larger but you should place it a few months ahead. This first-come first-serve style doesn’t make it impossible to get a table, largely because most people are so terrified by the prospect of not getting in that they never bother to try. I’ve found that if you arrive 15-30 minutes before seating times, you will have no trouble. Once you are in, you’re best off just handing the reigns to the chefs who actually own and operate the restaurants, sitting back, and experiencing the Seattle-style foodie bliss.
If you aren’t lucky enough to get in, or you are looking for a more low-key dining experience, Seattle’s got you covered. Avoid any restaurant that you may have heard of. Instead, check out one of Seattle’s many local hangouts. The Northlake Tavern near the University of Washington serves some of the best pizza on either coast, and has enough beers on tap to satisfy almost any thirst. Alternatively, the Pacific Inn Pub – a late-night destination of choice for hipsters of all ages – serves some of the largest and tastiest fish tacos I’ve ever encountered and features one of the worst pool tables I’ve ever played on.
If you find yourself lost in the middle of the night with no destination and an empty stomach, you can count on Beth’s Cafe. A 24-hour establishment that has repeatedly won the ‘best greasy spoon’ award on the strength of its 12-egg omelets, Beth’s offers sanctuary from the rain and a sure treatment for your hangover.
Finally, if you’re in Seattle and unsure of where to go, I recommend yelling at the first bearded kid who rides by you on a fixed gear bike and asking for a recommendation. Those guys pride themselves on at least thinking they know where to find the best of everything. Try them.