In town for 2 days before leaving for WisCon and looking for food/drink suggestions?  Here are the handful of places downtown i can vouch for.

sake

Sake Nomi [Pioneer Square]  The place to go for sake in Seattle.  Johnnie doesn’t serve food (“nomi” means “only”), but he’s really cool about people bringing in food from outside (because who wants to drink on an empty stomach?).  There are daily tastings, which cost $5 — the cost is then waived if you make another purchase.  Bottles for sale.  Johnnie is happy to guide you thru’ the sake to help you find one that suits your tastes.

Umi Sake House [Belltown]  For when you want a good sake selection with a nice meal.  I had a nice birthday dinner here the other year.  Sushi was good (tho’ i won’t again get the shrimp wrapped in ramen noodles and fried, ’cause that’s just weird) and the sake list is extensive.

Japanese

Maneki [Chinatown/ID]  Maneki is a Seattle institution — serving “traditional family-style Japanese food” for more than 100 years.  Reservations recommended.

Maekawa [Chinatown/ID]  Maekawa is an izakaya — what some call a Japanese “pub”.  Food is served small-plate style.  Order a few things, take your time enjoying them, maybe order something else, have another sake, get one last skewer of bacon-wrapped tomatoes.  If you want the incredible cheese-filled pork football (“Pork Cutlet Served w/ Cheese and Garlic”), order that 1st because it takes 20 minutes to prepare.

sammich

Delicatus [Pioneer Square]  If you need a sandwich to take to Sake Nomi, go here.

fancy drinks

Bathtub Gin & Co. [Belltown]  I’m taking Andy’s word on this one.  He had a great time here ordering fancy drinks.  Technically not a speakeasy, but it is down an alley!

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