Essential food and wine experiences: Seattle

This article represents the personal favourites of Foodtourist’s editors Sue Dyson and Roger McShane. These are the places they haunt on their regular visits to Seattle.

Seattle has some of the best restaurants in the United States - it certainly has one of the best Spanish restaurants, one of the best Vietnamese noodle houses and one of the best French bistros.

When we arrive in Seattle our first meal is always at the fabulous Le Pichet. This tiny restaurant close to the Pike Place Market in 1st Avenue is so French that you will think you are on the Left Bank in Paris. The food is simple but authentically French, the wine selection comes from all over France and is fairly priced and the service is generally good.

In the past if we wanted a more up-market French experience then we would have at least one meal at Campagne however this has now sadly closed.

There are a number of restaurants that provide relaxed, laid-back dining experiences such as Lark in 12th Avenue with their small plate format, the tiny Matt's in the Market in Pike Place and Nishino in East Madison where the sashimi is always very good.

There is also a delightful little gem of a cafe that has become one of our regular haunts. Armandino Batali's tiny Salumi is where we line up to sample excellent salamis and lardo at the shared table.

For lunch we also are very keen on the Vietnamese pho and the Banh Xeo at the Green Leaf in the International District or their Belltown outlet. Another Vietnamese restaurant in the International District we have enjoyed is Tamarind Tree which we go to for their special beef pho. And then there is Monsoon on Capitol Hill where the food is authentic and interesting and the wine list staggering!

If you love good Italian food then it is worth heading over the lake to Holly Smith's gastro temple Cafe Juanita. The food here is exemplary as is the wine list.

For breakfast and coffee Macrina Bakery is always a safe option and Victrola is reliable for coffee.


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Our book recommendation

We thoroughly recommend the excellent book by Marco Canora, a chef whose food we admire having eaten his food at Hearth and Terroir.