In Seattle for the 2015 Specialty Coffee Association of America Event? We’ve got you covered in a series of food, drink, and coffee guides assembled by Sprudge Seattle contributor Sara Billups. All of her recommendations are within walking distance (or a quick Uber) of the Washington State Convention Center. Many more excellent dining spots can be found elsewhere in the city; see our Seattle Guide Archives at the bottom of this post for more recommendations.
Food || Booze || Coffee
Single Shot — 611 Summit Avenue East — While there’s an espresso machine near the door, the “shot” in the new Capitol Hill restaurant’s name is actually a nod to photography. The former studio and gallery reemerged as a well-received “kitchen and saloon” in October. You’d be lucky to get a table during the dinner rush in the 40-seat space, wise to order duck confit flatbread with hoisin BBQ sauce, and a fool to skip cocktails poured by the illustrious Anna Wallace.
Stateside — 300 East Pike Street — With its palm-tree-printed wallpaper and warm lighting, Stateside feels more tropical than Pacific Northwest. So does its menu. Chef Eric Johnson landed in Seattle after cooking for big name chefs in NYC and overseas, but his French-Vietnamese menu is totally unique and fun. Fat, messy banh mis are served for $9 during lunch, goat curry is twice as much at dinner but just as filling.
Trove — 500 East Pike Street — A 4,000-square-foot project from husband-and-wife chefs Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Trove is split into four moving parts: There’s proper dinner service in back where you can grill Korean BBQ tableside, a bar in the middle for drinking beer-syrup cocktails under a diorama of an erupting Mt. Rainier, a noodle counter in the front, and a parfait window built out of a salvaged ice cream truck by the door. You kind of have to see it…
The London Plane — 300 Occidental Avenue South — A lot of Seattleites credit chef Matt Dillon with sparking the renaissance of historic Pioneer Square when he opened Bar Sajor on Occidental Square in 2013. But with The London Plane—a hybrid restaurant/deli/bakery/flower shop— he’s somehow managed to bottle up the essence of Seattle food and drink. It’s a gorgeous, slightly twee space serving fancy toast, hearty grains, and super-fresh vegetables.
Nacho Borracho/Neon Taco — 209 Broadway East — Nacho Borracho used to be the spot for totchos (tater tot nachos) and spiked slushy drinks. But when chef Monica Dimas took over the kitchen and opened Neon Taco out of a back window inside the bar in February, it became a destination for cheap-o, tasty pork rind and adobada tacos, tortas, and horchata with Caffe Vita cold brew. Nobody panic: the totchos remain.
Pizzeria Gabbiano — 240 2nd Avenue South — The super-hot Pizzeria Gabbiano’s Roman-style pies are baked in a pan and topped with things like blistered cherry tomatoes, squash blossoms, and salt cod. Pizza is cut in squares to order with kitchen shears, served in plastic baskets, and rung up by the kilo. Throw in a pizzelle and a scoop of chick pea salad and you’re set; lunch Monday–Friday.
Mamnoon — 1508 Melrose Avenue — People in Seattle freak out over Mamnoon’s beyond spectacular Middle Eastern menu, and rightly so, since there’s nothing else like it in town. With mana’eesh served warm, beautiful bowls of homemade hummus, kefta (minced beef and lamb, pistachio) and dolmeh packed with sweet and sour rice, overeating is kind of a requisite.
Good Bar — 240 2nd Avenue South — A buzzy new Pioneer Square bar and restaurant in a gorgeous space. A bank in its former life, the more than 100-year-old location (that’s old for Seattle) includes a walk-in safe you can see behind the bar. Eat Old-Bay-boiled peanuts, a Sloppy Joe sandwich, and oysters. It won’t pair perfectly with dinner, but it’s probably a good idea to drink a Breakfast Flips with bourbon, maple syrup, egg, and cornflake cream.
Tallulah’s — 550 19th Avenue East — This Linda Derschang restaurant (Linda’s, Bait Shot, Oddfellows, Smith, King’s Hardware) is her prettiest and serves what’s arguably the best food out of the bunch for weekend brunch and daily dinner. Technically walkable from downtown, the Capitol Hill restaurant is an uphill climb and a little farther afield. If you’re teetering, a gander at the giant painting of a cat by the front door is worth the walk.
Tom Douglasville — If Seattle has a celebrity chef, it’s Tom Douglas. T-Doug’s restaurant empire is centered around a few blocks near where downtown meets Belltown. Best options: “modern American Asian” at TanakaSan inside his mini marketplace Assembly Hall; fine pizza and salads at Serious Pie Virginia (there’s also a Serious Pie at the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery); and Yucatan food, margaritas, and homemade popsicles at new addition Cantina Leña.