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Our Picks for a Seattle Fix

When our second annual Best of the Road Rally culminated with a closing extravaganza in Seattle, our entire crew had a full week to experience the city’s vibrant food scene. After sampling the varied neighborhoods, cuisines, and styles, we chose three must-stops should you only have a weekend in town. (Plus a few bonus recommendations for an extended Emerald City stay.)

  1. Japonessa Sushi Cocina (Downtown): If fusing sushi and Mexican sounds like a disaster, wait ‘til you’ve tried it where two renowned local chefs have seamlessly joined forces. Spicy sushi is putting it lightly, with this combination of fresh local seafood, outright pristine presentation, and a shockingly wide array of options. If you order the same rolls every time, this is the place to try all new sushi you won’t find elsewhere. With a local’s recommendations, we ate family-style sampling at least a dozen dishes, and adored each completely unique offering. We don’t even know which rolls we had, but I highly recommend the white salmon and eel, and I’m a California roll girl.
  2. The Pink Door (Post Alley): Self-described as an Italian-American cabaret lounge, this gem hidden behind a pale pink door in Post Alley had it all: live music, picturesque patio seating, and delectable Italian dishes. They had me at the door alone, and burlesque-style décor with a trapeze and swing in the dining room were enough to leave talking about the place, but rarely does the food stand alone as incentive in a spot with this many draws. A simple ravioli plate blew me away with lemon brown butter I am still raving about weeks later. We didn’t even see the entertainment (having dined on a Thursday night), but this “staple” as one local referred to it, completely exceeds the hype.
  3. Local 360 (Belltown): This rustic, trendy dig serves products entirely originating within a 360-mile radius of its location. Eating local is anything but a trend in Seattle, and as the restaurant is the first to admit, has been a lifestyle in this city for years. From craft beer to locally farmed greens and cheeses, meals here naturally make you feel at home. Ever appreciative of out-of-the-box offerings, I chose the rabbit pot pie, which would easily become my go-to with rich, warm broth and a hearty filling. Everyone else enjoyed brunch offerings, a favorite find for New Yorkers.

If you’re looking for great atmospheres try the homey, welcoming feel of the White Horse Trading Co. or the lodgey, rustic lounge at the Edgewater Hotel. Our favorite spot for a drink, especially if you want to experience Capitol Hill, was Canon: a whiskey and bitters emporium so distinct I don’t want to spoil it. My best and only feedback from Seattle, is that everything we tried was fantastic—this is undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind foodie destination.

What are your favorite Seattle spots?