Seattle quick recommendations

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 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.


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.


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!

3 thoughts on “Seattle quick recommendations”

  1. Since you requested, a few off the top of my head. Some of these are a little farther afield than downtown, so if you’re at the mercy of public transit may be a little tougher to get to.

    More sammiches:

    Paseo (North/West of Downtown. I’d recommend going to the one in Ballard, just because the one in Fremont is almost always busier.)

    Small plates and fancy drinks:

    Seconding Bathtub Gin (above). I really like that place

    Oliver’s Twist (North of downtown) – Fun small plates and amazing cocktails

    Fancy-ish dining:
    Any of the Ethan Stowell restaurants (various locations, including downtown) – focus on locally sourced, seasonal foods, for the most part. If you want a really fun adventure, go to Staple & Fancy Mercantile in Ballard and try the Chef’s Choice…


    Mashiko (West Seattle, which may not be super convenient) – focus on sustainable/ethical seafood. High quality seafood and decent sake selection. “Attitude” may not be for everyone.

    Miyabi Bistro & Miyabi on 45th (Tukwila) decent Japanese food, within a quick bus ride of the airport (University District – small plates, sake, fresh soba

    Salvadorean food

    Mi Chalateca (Federal Way, about 20-25 minutes south of the airport) – wonderful pupusas and other traditional food in a family-run restaurant. Can be a little slow sometimes.

    1. Ahhhh, i forgot Miyabi on 45th, thanks for adding that!! I loved that place. We should do it again!

      (PS: It’s in Wallingford, which i point out because a U-District bus will not get you there.)

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