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Things To Do in Seattle

when were planning our trip to seattle, we were googling and emailing our friends for recommendations on what to do, where to stay and what to eat.  thought i would share the wealth.

hotel / location:  we chose to stay at the renaissance hotel in downtown seattle since it was less than a mile away from the stadium.  anything closer was a lot more expensive around game day.  it ended up being a great location because it was approx. 15-20 minutes walking distance from everywhere we wanted to go (pikes place, stadium, happy hour, space needle, etc).  the only downside was that the hotel was on 6th and madison…up on a hill.  so every night (after long, long days), we had to walk uphill.  we didn’t mind this too much since we were trying to get a lot of steps in with our new fitbits! the hotel looks older on the the outside but relatively renovated on the inside.  great lobby.  one thing to note is that the concierge lounge has very different hours and is not open on certain days.  overall, really liked this hotel and would definitely recommend this. on the tail leg of our trip (after we got back from vancouver), we stayed at the courtyard marriott because it was less than a mile away from the train station.  we ended up walking from the train station with our luggage since the cab line was horrendous. this hotel is older… a lot older and undergoing renovations.  rooms were on the smaller side.  no concierge lounge.

things to do:

  • centurylink field – go see a seahawks game! we loved it.
  • gasworks park – beautiful view of lake union and all of downtown from the top of the hill (grassy hills reminded us of lord of the rings.  but the old gas plant reminded the guys of a map in call of duty). it was suggested that we go to paseo, get a sandwich and walk to this park to enjoy it on the hill.  better idea is take a cab/uber/lyft to paseo ($12-15), eat it there or close by and then walk to gasworks park since it is a good 17-20 min walk from the sandwich shop.  you will run into the troll under the bridge!
  • troll – under bridge in fremont. ask any taxi, uber, or lyft driver.  fyi – on our way from paseo to gasworks park, we passed the troll! since we didnt know this, we got to see it 2x.
  • pike place market – where we got chowder and a piroshky.  fish market where they throw the fish.
  • seattle center/space needle – we went to see this but when we saw the lines… we opted not to go up.  instead, we just took photos of it.
  • chihuly exhibit – $18 admission.  glass art (featured in the lobby of bellagio) small exhibit.
  • r.e.i. flagship store – it was a little bit of a trek but worth it!
  • seattle art museum (SAM) – we wanted to go here but did not make it.
  • ballard farmer’s market (on sundays only) – if you like donuts, find the vendor who makes fresh mini donuts at the north end of the market
  • olympic sculpture garden
  • discovery park – if the weather is nice, take a long walk on the loop trail and see awesome views of puget sound
  • tons of beautiful hikes as close as 45 minutes outside of the city.  since we did not have a car, we couldn’t do this easily.  next time!

gaswords park:

Gasworks Park | Seattle Gasworks Park | SeattleGasworks Park | SeattleGasworks Park | Seattle Gasworks Park | SeattleFremont TrollSeattle3Pike Market Place Pike Market Place Pike Market PlacePike Market PlaceIMG_3329a1 IMG_3394a1 IMG_3401a1 IMG_3408a1 IMG_3413a1Pike Market Place Pike Market Place

space needle.  there is a $2 monorail that takes you from westlake center (where the malls are) to space needle!

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rei flagship store! beautiful and rugged.  we ended up buying some rain jackets for the game.

rei rei

here are recommendations on what/where to eat (combination of our list with our friend, ezra’s list!).  we were only here for 5 days and knocked out 26 places (only 16 photographed and blogged)… pretty good, we think. can’t wait to go back to seattle and polish this list off!

places to eat for brunch:

  • top pot doughnuts: famous
  • dahlia bakery: donuts! get them here!
  • skillet diner: modernized take on american diner food …started out as a food truck, known for their bacon jam
  • café presse: french… this was ezra’s fav breakfast place.  the croquet madam in very good
  • barrio: mexican, big portions
  • tilth: local, organic food (kinda pricey for brunch but good…)
  • monsoon: vietnamese brunch (only on sundays)
  • tilicum place café: american brunch

places to eat for lunch:

  • paseo (cuban/carribbean sandwiches):  one of the most popular places in seattle…there are 2 locations in ballard and fremont and it’s cash only. there’s always a line so be prepared to wait… agreed that this was our favorite place in downtown seattle (ezra’s favorite place in all of seattle).
  • pike place market: mac & cheese at beecher’s, clam chowder at pike place chowder, pastries at le panier, piroshky at piroshky piroshky
  • tat’s deli: delicious sandwiches! kyle and i loved the pastrami sandwich.  amazing sauce.
  • salumi: famous italian cured sandwiches… long line… you must get here before they open… hole in the wall… thought this was just ok although very popular.
  • honeyhole: hot sandwiches
  • rain shadow meats: sandwiches in pioneer square
  • woody’s: wide selection of burgers… ezra’s fav burger place in seattle
  • marination ma kai: korean-hawaiian food with a nice view in west seattle
  • international district: this area has a lot of amazing hole in the wall asian places… thai food, vietnamese food, chinese dumplings, chinese bbq (bbq pork is amazing…. kau kau bbq)

places to eat for dinner (casual):

  • serious pie: good pizza! if you can, go to the one in south lake union (on westlake) since the downtown one is small.
  • skillet diner: same place mentioned above…good for dinner too
  • ezell’s fried chicken: really good fried chicken, take-out only.
  • maneki: 100 year old sushi place…really good and affordable. you have to make reservations though. always packed
  • tsukushinbo: small japanese place in international district… ezra’s favorite japanese place in seattle
  • samurai noodle: good japanese ramen. the one in capitol hill (on broadway) is much more spacious than the others.

not-so-casual (but not super-fancy)

  • dahlia lounge: delicious dinner!  one of our favorites.
  • walrus and the carpenter: great local oysters and small plates. located in ballard. doesn’t take reservations and there is usually a wait.
  • the whale wins: same owner as walrus .. good food
  • revel: korean fusion.. not bad
  • lark: small plates for sharing. lots of local, organic ingredients.
  • momiji: good sushi in capitol hill.
  • how to cook a wolf: italian located in queen anne…same owner/chef as tavolata and staple and fancy, which are also good.
  • tavolata: one of ezra’s favorite italian places. they have a good happy hour every day until 7pm…
  • sitka and spruce: small plates in capitol hill

ice cream:

  • molly moons: multiple locations

drinks/happy hour

  • rob roy: spicy mango drink is amazing!
  • elliot’s oyster house: go early!
  • tavern law
  • zig zag café
  • canon
  • artusi
  • list
  • hardrock café: roof top bar
  • yardhouse: the only place we could find who had thursday night football on!  relatively new location! awesome tvs!

coffee

  • starbucks – find one with a clover!
  • espresso vivace
  • caffe vita
  • stumptown

Seattle

late night

  • hot dog stands in capitol hill: these hot dogs were amazing!! they had cream cheese in it! i repeat. uh-mazing!
  • dick’s (multiple locations): old fashioned drive-in burger stand

bakeries

  • dahlia bakery: good bakery in belltown. good coconut cream pie, donuts, and éclair.
  • honore: if you’re in ballard, you should definitely go…best macarons in seattle.
  • fresh flours bakery: nice place to sit and take a tea/pastry break if you’re at the ballard farmer’s market.

honestly, i know this is a huge list and you probably will not be able to do everything on this list.  but still a good guide if you are spending some time in this beautiful city.  my main suggestion is just to walk everywhere you can.  this city is so charming!

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thanks seattle, for being awesome!

By |December 1st, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel|0 Comments

Tat’s Delicatessen

on the last day of our seattle trip, it poured.  a torrential pour, which posed a dilemma.  tat’s deli had been on kyle’s list of places he had to try in seattle.  and, it just happened to be a block and a half from where we were staying. …but nobody wants to get soaked #1 before going to the airport and #2 after feeling clean after a hot shower.  plus, it just seemed ridiculous to get a cab for a block (trust us, we were only contemplating this because we didn’t have umbrellas and our rain jackets were only going to keep the top half of our bodies dry).

we went anyway.  best decision ever. (since it was pouring, i decided only to take my iphone instead of my dslr.  apologies for the mediocre photos)

Tats Seattleget ready to be overwhelmed by the giant menu as you walk in.  if you were a first-timer like us, all you really need to know is the tat’strami.  we ordered one sandwich and split it between the two of us (one sandwich $8.50).  um, yeah.  next time, i would order one sandwich per person.  i can probably put down one by myself. easy.

Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | SeattleTat's Deli | Seattle

this sandwich is amazing.  pastrami, great.  coleslaw, delicious. bread, perfect.  even better: tat’s steak sauce! make sure you get some of this stuff! (i could eat it all day)

Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | SeattleTat's Deli | Seattle

  • ambience:  very casual. lots of football posters.  quite a number of tables.  if you role in deeper than 4, you may just need to pull some tables together.  people come in here, eat and leave so i don’t think finding tables is a problem.
  • service:  at tat’s, you order at the counter (which is fast if you know what you want) and then you pick up your sandwich and take it to your table when it’s ready.  sandwich came out fast.
  • food:  amazing sandwich with a side of hot fries?  i would do that any day. any day (even a rainy day).  you will not be disappointed by this place!

Tat’s Delicatessen
159 Yesler Way
(between S Occidental Ave & James St)
Seattle, WA 98104
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square

Tat's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

By |November 28th, 2013|Food, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel|1 Comment

Dahlia Lounge | Downtown Seattle, WA

dahlia lounge was kyle’s choice.  it sits in between dahlia bakery and serious pie…so we walked passed it several times.  not one of those times did i even think to dine here.  truth is, it looked dark and old…and not my thing.  also, i figured the two things i want (coconut cream pie and donuts) can be purchased at dahlia bakery. so why go to a moderate to highly priced restaurant to get those things?  i was so wrong.  so very, very wrong.  good thing kyle felt like having a nice dinner after gorging on bar/stadium food.

based on solid recommendations from our waitress, we ordered:

  • five spiced duck ($29)
  • dungeness crab cakes ($32)
  • crème caramel with rice puff krispie ($10)

the main entrees are definitely on the expensive side.  when i saw the prices, i was contemplating possibly just ordering an appetizer but kyle pushed me to get a full meal.  both dishes were excellent!  the duck was moist and packed with flavor.  freaking amazing.  mushrooms and cranberry jam were a perfect combo.  crab cakes…dungeness crab cakes?  even better!

Dahlia Lounge | Seattle. WA Dahlia Lounge | Seattle. WA Dahlia Lounge | Seattle. WA

the crab cakes sat on top of potatoes and topped with a fennel remoulade.  perfect crab cakes.

Dahlia Lounge | Seattle, WA

i came here thinking…actually determined to get the donuts or coconut pie.  but our waitress suggested that we try tom douglas’ famous crème caramel.  when i heard caramel… i thought extremely sweet.  well, holy crap! it was delicious!  think flan/panna cotta.  delicious.  easily one of my favorite desserts.

  • atmosphere:  dark wood, red walls… older feel.
  • service:  this place usually has a long wait.  even when we strolled in at 10pm, there was a 15 minute wait to get seated.  our waitress gave us some awesome recommendations and was patient despite our indecision at times.  it was appreciated.
  • overall:  the food was an amazing experience from beginning to end.  i would recommend this any day.

Dahlia Lounge
2001 4th Ave
(between Lenora St & Virginia St)
Seattle, WA 98121

Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon

By |November 19th, 2013|Dessert, Food, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel|1 Comment

Seahawks @ CenturyLink Field | Seattle, WA

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ah, centurylink field… the whole reason the four of us were in seattle.  the stadium… was amazing and everything we had hoped for.  yes, it was loud. yes, seahawks fans are pretty awesome… makes you want to be a…marshawn lynch fan?

not going to lie, the neon green grew on me the more and more i saw fans with jerseys.  i almost bought a beastmode jersey myself. i’m crazy. i have too many favorite teams.  hence i had to be neutral and wear an NFL shirt.

(note that all these pictures are taken with my iphone since there were limitations on what you could bring into the stadium…)

i will say…spending sunday watching football with your friends is amazing.  going to a football game with friends…even better.

CenturyLink

the seahawks vs. jags game started at 1pm. that meant that we had to search for a place to watch football.  first stop: fuel.  the negative thing about this place is that good seats required a minimum of 6 or more.  even if you were a party of 4… you couldn’t sit there and let a party of 2 sit with you.  so even when we came early, there weren’t too many options for us since we were rolling only 4 deep. we decided to leave since the seats that were available to us…sucked.

Fuel Sports Eats & Beats
164 Washington St
(between S Occidental Ave & S 2nd Avenue Extended)
Seattle, WA 98104
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square

Fuel Sports Eats and Beats on Urbanspoon

onto the next place: 88 keys dueling piano & sports bar!  as we were walking toward the stadium, someone on a microphone told us to come in…and a good choice it was! get ready though…for a sea of seahawks.

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loved it here.  big open space with lots of tables and lots of tvs mounted high so that you can see it from most of the seats.  we chose our seats closest to the teams we were rooting for (in life and in fantasy).  obviously lions game (for kyle) and the chargers game (for bryan).

food & drinks were a rather good deal.  i think a bucket of beers were around $15.  breakfast burritos were good and cheap.  we also ordered bloody marys and nachos.  all good sports bar food.

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if you do go to a seahawks game, i would say this is one of the better places to watch football closer to the stadium.

88 Keys Dueling Piano & Sports Bar
315 2nd Ave S
(between Main St & Jackson St)
Seattle, WA 98104
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square

88 Keys Dueling Piano and Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

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off to the game! it started to pour… stella and i left for the stadium before the guys since the lions game had not finished yet. we headed out early because from past experience (candlestick – niners game)…it took forever to get passed the gate (it took 30 minutes to jus get tickets scanned and bags searched).  we just didnt want to miss the beginning of the game.

lines are intimidating but super efficient.  we got in within 5 minutes.  (1 point centurylink. 0 points candlestick)

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we had an amazing time in seattle.  yes, the game was a blowout (seahawks vs. jaguars)…but it was still fun (lots of screaming and chanting).  thanks seattle, for the awesome stadium experience.  we loved you. oh, and yes, i will remember not to wear red to your game. i dont know what i was thinking.

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can’t wait to plan next year’s trip!

By |November 11th, 2013|Food, Seattle, Travel|0 Comments

Happy Hour @ List | Downtown Seattle, WA

List | Seattle

after hard rock café, we decided to mosey to another happy hour spot.  we ended up at list.  we heard/read that they had decent happy hour.

despite the weather being less than perfect (pretty chilly and about to rain), we decided to sit outside in the patio area for the natural light.  the dining/bar area is extremely dark.  lit mostly by candle light.  pretty romantic.  too bad none of us were feeling romantic at 5pm.

List | SeattleList | Seattle

so here is the deal with happy hour at list:  all items under their food list at 50%.  bottle of wine – $14.  pretty darn good.  happy hour for fridays are 4pm – 6:30pm.

we ordered a bottle of the red wine…because it was named “stella” it was obviously meant to be.  for small bites, we went with the calamari ($5) and the broccoli ($4) (oh you know, we light to keep a relatively balance diet. ha. ha.).

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  • happy hour food:  both calamari and broccoli dishes were ok.  nothing crazy gourmet about these two items.  the happy hour size is on the smaller side.  still, tastes pretty good when you’re drinking.  we enjoyed our wine… and for $14 a bottle? we enjoyed it even more.
  • ambience:  this place was pretty packed when we got there.  good thing we were the only crazy people who wanted to sit outside in the drizzle and freezing cold.
  • service: friendly staff.  attentive despite the crowds, which is always a plus.
  • overall: i’d come back here for happy hour for sure. to enjoy a bottle of wine.  we actually didn’t stay here very long since we were icicles after 45 minutes.  we asked our awesome waitress for other happy hour recommendations.  she guided us to a speakeasy close by (the speakeasy is called bathtub gin & co.  it’s in a pretty tight space.  drinks were just ok and expensive.  we thought it was eh).  i would recommend list as one many bars you should bar hop during happy hour in downtown seattle. $14 bottles of wine?  i would do that any day. fo sho.

List
2226 1st Ave
(between Bell St & Blanchard St)
Seattle, WA 98121
Neighborhood: Belltown

List on Urbanspoon

By |November 11th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel|1 Comment