By Helen Anne Travis
Come for the incredible natural beauty. Stay for the food.
Located smack dab in the middle of the country's most stunning mountain ranges, you're never far from an incredible view in Seattle. You're also never far from an incredible meal. New restaurants pop up every day, bringing fresh flavors to the table and consistently raising the bar of the Emerald City food scene as a whole.
"The chefs in Seattle are truly in it to create incredible food," said Ashley Rodriguez, a Seattle-based food writer, stylist and photographer. "It's not about the latest trends; it's about using the best of what Seattle and the surrounding area has to offer - seafood, fresh produce, wine, beer and coffee - and turning it into an incredible meal."
Global Yodel sat down with some of Seattle's top food and lifestyle photographers to talk about the city's food scene and where to go when you're craving smoked trout roe and radishes.
Best Breakfast In Seattle
Serious Biscuit. "Order 'The Zach'," said Brandon Hill, a Seattle-based commercial and editorial photographer. "It's bacon, fried chicken thigh and fried egg on a massive biscuit covered in country gravy, all made from scratch." Round off your breakfast with a Bloody Mary featuring the Serious Biscuit's house-infused chili vodka.
The London Plane. This hybrid cafe, grocery, and floral workshop is the most popular spot in downtown to grab a special occasion weekday lunch. Fans rave about the beet hummus with harissa oil, and the avocado and albacore toast.
The London Plane by Aran Goyoaga.
Best Place To Make Friends Over A Meal
Oddfellows. Communal seating, closely-placed tables, and a menu stocked with small plates designed for sharing - think chorizo mussels and risotto fries - make this the spot to bond with a new friend, or meet someone new at the next table! You know your new mates will be environmentally-friendly folks. The menu at Oddfellows is locally sourced, using organic and humanely-raised ingredients whenever possible. Even the tables and chairs are made from upcycled materials.
Best Place To Dine With Your Dogs
Another point for Oddfellows. "They only have a small section of sidewalk dining, but they went out of their way to make space for our big dogs. We had a great dinner there," said Seattle photographer Stasha Becker, who often brings her two large Newfoundlands, Max and Bruce, along on family excursions. "It's located right opposite Cal Anderson park so it's convenient to have fun with the dogs there, and then stop off for a meal at Oddfellows afterward."
Photographer Stasha Becker's pups were more than welcome at Oddfellows.
Best Late Night Burger In Seattle
Dick's Drive-In has been serving burgers and fries to the good people of Seattle since 1954. Open until 2 a.m. everyday, our sources say it's the best spot to sober up with a cheeseburger and salty fries after a night at the bar.
Best Place To Grab A Coffee
"You have to start the day by going to Milstead Coffee for an incredible Americano," said photographer Jon Sweet. But don't stop there. Seattle's brew scene is top notch, with most shops' baristas blending, grinding and dripping their customers into states of caffeinated bliss. "You've never seen a coffee culture like Seattle's," said Sweet.
Photo by Ashley Rodriguez.
Best Pizza In Seattle
The thin crust wood-fired pizzas at Delancey were a favorite among all our photographers. "They serve the best pizza you'll ever taste," said photographer Ben Schuyler. Try the fennel salami and crimini mushroom pies.
Best Place To Dine With The Kids
Japonessa's downtown location makes it a convenient stop before a concert at Benaroya Hall, after an afternoon in the Seattle Art Museum, or during a day of city exploration. Especially if you're traveling with the kids. "Their menu is Asian-fusion. It's traditional enough for kids to enjoy, but it has a twist to it that will please even the fanciest of the foodies," said Stasha Becker.
Check out photographer Brandon Hill's great shots of his son performing "stunts" throughout Seattle.Best Local Celebrity Chef
If it was up to photographer Ben Schuyler, he would eat all day at Matt Dillon's restaurants, starting with brunch at Sitka & Spruce, and ending with dinner at Bar Sajor. Critics say Dillon, the 2012 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest, has shaped the city's palate with his adventurous-but-accessible dishes, like radishes with smoked trout roe or rabbit loin and pear.
Best Place To Celebrate Your Birthday With Friends
Bastille. This French restaurant got high marks for its vibrant atmosphere and happy-hour specials. Everyone loved the French 75, a mix of gin, lemon and sparkling wine.
Cafe Bastille by Aran Goyoaga.