About 50% of traveling is about the food. Unless you are traveling with, or are, a foodie. Then it’s 100% about the food. If you haven’t thoroughly planned out what kind of cuisines you are going to taste, seek out, or avoid, chances are- you’re gunna have a bad time.
All right, I’m exaggerating once again. But actually, I’ll be the first to admit: I’ve thrown a temper tantrum or two when I don’t get fed in time, or when I can’t find something that I’m willing to eat. There’s nothing worse than filling your belly with a meal you don’t enjoy, especially when you are sure that there are gems nearby.
Let me do the research for you. Are you headed to Seattle any time soon? If not, book your tickets, foodies! There are tons of hole-in-the-wall shops with tasty morsels waiting for you.
Extra-hungry? We know nothing of portion control. 24-hour eateries? We got you, boo. Dietary restrictions? No problem!
The only thing you should be warned against is Seattle’s addiction to caffeine. Having such a plethora of delicious java-shops has it’s pitfalls. Don’t try talking to a local early in the morning- and don’t drink too much of our joe, else you end up as addicted as the rest of us!
Top hole-in-the-wall eateries in Seattle
When I first moved to Seattle, I discovered this cafe. I couldn’t find their hours listed anywhere, so of course I called to make sure they were open so late. The conversation went a little like this:
*brrrrrring* “Beth’s Cafe, How can I help you?”
“Yes, How late are you open?”
“UNTIL THE END OF TIME!”
The staff are a little eclectic. And the cafe is open 24 hours, if you didn’t catch that. Beths is also famous for never-ending hash browns, a 12-egg omelet, house-made cinnamon rolls that are potentially artery clogging, and for providing coloring materials to patrols to decorate the walls. The entire inside of Beth’s cafe is filled to the brim with customer artwork. Drawings cover the walls, and line the menus.
Another anecdote about Beths: I once had a server there who meowed every time she walked by. I counted an astonishing 32 meows. That is dedication.
My sister turned me on to this Mexican restaurant. They have $3.50 margaritas, and the vegan (squash) tacos are killer. Most of the restaurant is actually outside. It’s a great summertime lunch spot. They have a salsa bar complete with 5 different types of sauces, including a mango salsa that I’m extremely fond of.
Don’t forget about the nacho-libre artwork they feature on one of their walls.
You haven’t been to Seattle if you haven’t sunk your teeth into a Paseos sandwich. Paseos is without a doubt one of the best sandwich places in the whole state.
Their caribbean roast and the pulled pork sandwiches are my friend’s favorites, but if you are feeling a little adventurous, opt for the spicy seared scallops. (Get it extra spicy!) They also have a few vegetarian friendly options including a “tofu delight” and an “onion obsession”.
Did I mention that the restaurant is pink? You can’t miss it!
Seattle is such a diverse community, it would be wrong not to check out some of the best eastern cuisine we have here in the area. T and T Seafood serves Chinese breakfast, called dim-sum, everyday until 3:30pm.
Dim sum consists of ala carte dishes served with your choice of sauces to add on. They have sweet pork steamed into a fluffy roll, giant prawns wrapped with spinach into rice dumplings, chinese broccoli (bok choy) as well as a whole cart full of sweet desserts. Make sure you try the mango puddings or egg tarts.
After I left Seattle, I was on the hunt of a good bowl of Pho in South Carolina for the better part of the year! The rest of the country hasn’t caught up to this amazing dish.
Have you ever tried “pho”? (Pronounced ff-uh) If you take a drive around Seattle, you will find hundreds of these restaurants. Pho is a simple clear-broth soup that is served a dozen ways. Pick your meat, tofu or veggies, and in about 5 minutes a piping-hot bowl of rice-noodle soup will be coming your way. Add in sriracha or hoison sauce and all the veggie additive at your table to taste, and enjoy. You can’t go wrong with this Vietnamese classic.
The best pizza joint in Seattle. Enough said.
This early-morning cafe is a hit. Voulas boasts a breakfast burrito the size of a baby. No kidding. They have photos to prove it. Make sure you get in line early if you want to get a taste of brekkie perfection, because I’ve seen the line stretch out the door as early as 6am.
Don’t touch any other fast food (except Dick’s, Seattle’s rival to Inn-n-Out burgers!). Hands down, you won’t find a better burger or shake. I love the raspberry shake (with fresh berries!) and a order of those delicious fries.
Photos courtesy of: Selena N. B. H. , Alan Levine, and