An Expat's Advice For Dats Looking For Deliciousness In Seattle

Written by The Homesick Gourmet September 21, 2019 20:10 in Road trips

Eating in Seattle 

Who Dats visiting Seattle will quickly realize that people in Seattle love to eat out.  There are restaurants everywhere you go in Seattle, each block in every neighborhood has one, two, even three unique places to grab a tasty meal, and no matter what neighborhood you’re in here in Seattle, you're likely to find at least one five-star restaurant.   

Seattle, like New Orleans, is a city close to an abundant source of fresh seafood. Chef Andrea’s mantra ‘the fish swims to my door’ can be said by every chef in the Pacific Northwest.  I prefer the fresh fish and seafood specials when I go out to eat, but the places I recommend here are eateries with a variety of dishes that should please everyone.  Most of my favorite places are downtown and within walking distance of the major sports arenas.  A couple of others are in popular neighborhoods worth visiting if you have the time to take public transportation, which is actually great here. Or maybe you’re adventurous enough to commute via the thousands of electric bikes and scooters you’ll readily find on every block in this city. 

Steelhead Diner, 95 Pine Street        

This place is less than a block away from Pike Place Market which you’ll want to visit anyway. I love Steelhead Diner and always take friends here who come to visit. I always order the Dungeness crab & shrimp tater tots (awesome!) as soon as we’re seated.  If it’s just the two of us, one order is plenty even though I’m always tempted to order more.  My wife and I share a bowl of Steelhead’s clam chowder which features Pacific razor clams and apple smoked bacon, topped with a dash of truffle oil. For entrees, we get the fried Alaskan Ling Cod fish and chips, a solid choice, or the seafood cioppino filled with mussels, clams, GULF shrimp (yes, gulf shrimp because it’s the best), and cod, simmered in a perfectly seasoned tomato broth. I choose the chicken andouille sausage gumbo prepared with a true dark brown roux. It’s served with steamed rice which I request served on the side...I don’t need much since the gumbo is perfect.  The first time I tasted the gumbo, I immediately went into the kitchen demanding to meet the person responsible for producing such an authentic gumbo.  That’s when I was directed to the chef...Kevin Davis, who was Arnaud’s Executive Chef for six years in the early Nineties. Chef Davis is also responsible for introducing chargrilled oysters to Seattle, which he features in his latest endeavor, Restaurant ORFEO.  Haven’t tried it yet but will very soon. For those craving a hamburger, the Wagyu Beef Burger is amazing! The Wagyu cut of beef comes from the tenderloin area of the cow which is not worked very hard, making it a very tender and lean cut of beef.  

Elliott’s Oyster House, Pier 56, 1201 Alaskan Way 

I love Elliott’s! It’s a waterfront restaurant with outside seating on a pier, weather permitting, and spacious inside seating allowing for a wonderful view of the Puget Sound. Elliott’s has a great selection of oysters and sustainable local seafood. This place is a constant for simple preparations highlighting the natural flavors of fresh seafood in the Pacific Northwest. They have an excellent menu and wine list. Elliott's specializes in serving local Dungeness crab, wild Northwest salmon, Alaskan halibut, fresh Pacific finfish, Northwest shellfish, and their specialty, fresh oysters. I typically order an assortment platter of highlighted raw oysters with the helpful suggestions from my waiter; my wife Jina loves their grilled halibut. We love eating on the pier during Seattle’s beautiful summer evenings at sunset and enjoy the view and sea-air. 

Etta’s Restaurant, 2020 Western Ave 

Etta's 'Rub with Love' salmon! Grilled Alaskan Coho salmon served with cornbread pudding, shiitake relish, and sautéed Brussels sprouts. The salmon is always on point, perfectly prepared and seasoned. I’m not big on desserts, but here I’ve discovered their triple coconut cream pie with chocolate curls and toasted coconut.  Share that with a friend but order your own Turkish coffee ice cream! 

The Walrus and the Carpenter, 4743 Ballard Avenue NW 

In old Ballard, Bon Appetit has called The Walrus and the Carpenter one of the 20 most important restaurants in America. Only the freshest local oysters are served here, along with regional clams and mussels, house smoked fish, specialty meats (including a killer steak tartare), and fresh vegetable sides prepared to perfection. Since Ballard isn’t too far from where I work, I often stop here on my way home for a quick fix of a raw half dozen and a pint. Jina can tell when I do this, she says I come home in a happy mood. The Walrus and the Carpenter has the friendly feel and casual charm of an old neighborhood fishing pub. This popular spot is walk-in only, so line up before opening or be prepared for a wait. Save room for dessert, but not here; take a stroll to D’Ambrosio Gelato just around the corner.   

Flintcreek Cattle Co., 8421 Greenwood Ave North 

This is a jewel in Greenwood and even though Jina and I aren’t big on steaks, we had to give this place a try... (plus, it’s only a block from our home). Flintcreek focuses more on responsibly raised game meats (such as bison hanger steak and wild boar shoulder) than on beef. Even more surprising is the quality of the vegetable dishes, like the pickled vegetables with blue cheese-tahini sauce, which make even vegetarians feel well taken care of. This place is chic, housed in one of Greenwood's oldest buildings. Incredible cocktails, we often meet after work to have one, or two, while sitting by one of the floor-to-ceiling windows.  

Questions about Seattle Food & Dining?  Please allow a day or so for responses.

Geaux Saints!