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Downtown Seattle- what to see, eat, and do?

I will be in downtown Seattle for a week. In addition to Pike Market and the Needle what else I should see and do?

How and where do I take a boat ride to St. John Island ?

Do you recommend any restaurants specializing in fresh fish and seafood?

5 Answers

answered first by
Spencer from Los Angeles

Contrary to a lot of downtown metros, Seattle has some great food/drink options. You can catch the ferry right below to a bunch of the islands. Are you referring to the San Juans? They are a bit further north. A fun ferry ride is the 30-min ride to Bainbridge Island. Great waterfront pub, Harbour Public House, which has a great craft beer selection and awesome poutine (gravy fries).

Some other stand outs:

Matt's in The Market: Nice restaurant above Pike Place that you'll need a reservation for.

Radiator Whiskey: Awesome bbq/beer spot above Pike Place. 

Elliott's Oyster House: Oysters and seafood on the bay.

Japonessa/Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill for sushi (Seattle has some of the best sushi).

The Zig Zag Café. One of my favorite cocktail spots in the city. Can be a little hard to find, but it's a great bar for craft cocktails.

White Horse Trading Co.. Another one of my favorites in the entire city. Dive-ish and just a great atmosphere and good drinks down an alley.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bainbridge Island (attraction)
  2. Harbour Public House (restaurant)
  3. Matt's in The Market (restaurant)
  4. Radiator Whiskey (attraction)
  5. Elliott's Oyster House (restaurant)
  6. Japonessa (restaurant)
  7. Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill (restaurant)
  8. The Zig Zag Café (restaurant)
  9. White Horse Trading Co. (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Richard from Fitchburg, Ma

WHAT TO SEE - Take a ferry ride across to Bainbridge Island. There is a quaint little town right off the ferry dock worth exploring. There is also a great place for lunch there called Doc's Marina Grill. Take a drive. You can take Hwy 5 north or Hwy 90 east and hit some fantastic scenery. Get off the highway and explore. About an hour east on 90, you can get off at Clellum (I am sure I have spelled that wrong) and see the town where they filmed "Northern Exposure". Go to the bar used for the show and order a burger. They are very good.

WHERE TO EAT - Everyone has to go to Ivar's Salmon House. The seafood is very good. Order a full appetizer of snow crab claws only. Go to Wild Ginger. It is pacific rim cooking and I would recommend it above any restaurant in Seattle. They also have a very good pizza place there called Serious Pie. This is thin crispy crust with some unusual topping choices. Get a pie and a bottle of Dom. I know that sounds weird. But it is very good. Lastly, for breakfast go to Cafe Campagne. It is right across from Pike Place. Serious French breakfast.

MUSIC - If you like jazz, go to Dimitriou's Jazz Alley. They draw some very good talent from across the country.

Have fun.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bainbridge Island (attraction)
  2. Doc's Marina Grill (restaurant)
  3. Ivar's Salmon House (restaurant)
  4. Wild Ginger (restaurant)
  5. Serious Pie (restaurant)
  6. Cafe Campagne (restaurant)
  7. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Michael from Chicago

I would head to Pioneer Square and do the Underground Tour..( BTW Take the public transportation to get from SeaTac to Downtown and vice versa. Cheap clean efficient).  I would also wake up early take the Bainbridge Ferry and go for breakfast at the Streamliner Diner. Perfectly timed to get the Ferry Back if you get seated at the diner and eat right away. The Diner is a three minute walk from the Ferry on Bainbridge. In Seattle, Vons has the best Martini's.  Starbucks HUGE flagship store/ roaster is a 15 min walk. If you want to drive Salty's on Alki  has incredible seafood with wonderful view. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pioneer Square (attraction)
  2. Streamliner Diner (restaurant)
  3. Salty's on Alki (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
S. from Vancouver

Seafood? Etta's, just north of the Market, is Beard award-winning Tom Douglas' seafood venue, and is great. Also good, but not right downtown, is Ponti Seafood Grill - that's on the Queen Anne side of the ship canal. Probably the most famous is Ray's Boathouse - which is two venues in the same building - out near Shilshole Bay Marina - some might say that they cruise on their reputation more than on current quality, but I've not had a bad meal there. Ivar's Acres of Clams is down on the waterfront, and is both venerable and reputable. There are various other Ivar's locations around town - Ivar's Salmon House is great, but again not right downtown. RockCreek Seafood & Spirits in Fremont is newer and also not right downtown, but it's great. Best of all is Westward Little Gull Grocery, which, like Ivar's Salmon House, is on Northlake. You can also do well out in West Seattle - Salty's on Alki and Duke's Chowder House (also a location near Greenlake).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Etta's (restaurant)
  2. Ponti Seafood Grill (restaurant)
  3. Ray's Boathouse (restaurant)
  4. Shilshole Bay Marina (attraction)
  5. Ivar's Acres of Clams (restaurant)
  6. Ivar's Salmon House (restaurant)
  7. RockCreek Seafood & Spirits (restaurant)
  8. Westward Little Gull Grocery (restaurant)
  9. Salty's on Alki (restaurant)
  10. Duke's Chowder House (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
S. from Vancouver

Do? There are pretty good museums. Seattle Art Museum always has interesting temporary exhibits, as do the Henry Art Gallery in the University District ("U district") and Frye Art Museum in Capitol Hill Neighborhood. The Museum of Flight is fantastic. Seattle has a great theater scene - you don't say what week you'll be there but there is always something great going on, for example at ACT Theatre or Intiman.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seattle Art Museum (attraction)
  2. Henry Art Gallery (attraction)
  3. University District (attraction)
  4. Frye Art Museum (attraction)
  5. Capitol Hill Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  6. Museum of Flight (attraction)
  7. ACT Theatre (attraction)
1 thanks

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