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50 Things to Eat in Seattle Before You Die

A few years ago, Thrillist posted an article about a Seattle Food Bucket List calling out 50 things you must try in the Seattle food scene. We like the list, but thought it was missing some lesser known spots so we decided to take a stab at the list from our point of view. I mean you can never really have too many lists of food to consult on nights when the fridge is running low.

After making our own list three things are apparent. 1. We have a sweet tooth, 2. We love carbs, and 3. We have a (justifiable) truffle addiction. 

FYI: The list is not in any particular order.

1. Cha Ca La Vong at Stateside - The Cha Ca La Vong at Stateside is actually way better than the real dish in Vietnam...maybe because they use black cod, which is so fresh it melts like butter in your mouth? That plus the turmeric and dill? Just trust us. 

2. Hashbrowns at Seatown Seabar - Tom Douglas can do no wrong. The thought in our mind is, "How do you take the average hashbrown and make it SO GOOD!?" It has this crispy top layer that simply turns them from ordinary to extraordinary. 

Pimento Cheeeeeeeese

Pimento Cheeeeeeeese

3. Pimento Cheese at Honest Biscuit - Everything on Honest Biscuit's menu is fantastic, but the pimento cheese, which is technically a side dish, makes our hearts swoon. Smear it on a buttermilk biscuit and go to town!

4. Anchovy Pasta at How to Cook a Wolf - After eating anchovy pasta in Italy, we have been on the hunt for something as perfect. How to Cook a Wolf is the closest thing we have found to that simple Italian dish. It's delicious. Oh, and get the burrata while you're at it.

5. Molton Lava cake at Saltoro - You have to wait around 30 minutes for this dessert, but one bite of this oozy, chocolaty goodness and you would happily wait longer.

6. Pizza at Northlake Tavern - The opinions on "best pizza" are vastly different, but the pizza at Northlake Tavern is an old favorite. It has been around since 1954 (!) and serves pizza with an "old Italian recipe." Not only is it incredible, but it's also a dive bar with cheap pitchers and a laid back attitude.

7. Everything at Bongos - Bongos has amazing Caribbean cuisine with an outdoor patio perfect for warm weather. We thought and thought about what item to suggest and finally decided you should just get everything.

The many flavors of Sweet Lo's

The many flavors of Sweet Lo's

8. Cookies and Cream from  Sweet Lo's Ice Cream - We interviewed the owner of Sweet Lo's (here) and had the opportunity to sample all of her flavors. We aren't biased, though. It simply is the best ice cream we have ever tasted.

9. Meatball sub at Dot's Delicatessen - We love a good meatball sub, and this one is top notch, with large, grass-fed meatballs and homemade marinara. 

10. Portabella sandwich at DeLaurenti - You'll have to catch this sandwich when it's in rotation, but if you do you'll feel like you've won the sandwich lottery. Grilled portabella mushrooms with cheese melted down into almost a spread makes this sandwich unique and savory. If it's not on the menu the day you go choosing the Grinder is a nice second choice.

11. Twice baked almond croissant at Bakery Nouveau - The chef, William Leaman, has won 1 million awards for his baked goods, and the almond croissants are over-the-top. He dips them in simple syrup, fills them with almond cream and tops them with slivered almonds and powdered sugar. And if that isn't enough, he also does it with chocolate. 

12. Sauball at Grinders Hot Sands - We told you we had a thing for meatball sandwiches, but the Sauball at Grinders combines both our beloved meatballs WITH a sausage grinder, and, to us, that is just genius.

13. Chicken Pho at Than Brothers - Simple pho with quality ingredients! This soup hits the spot every time (they also give you a cream puff for dessert, so A+ for that).

Dumplings with Garlic Dipping Sauce at Fu Man 

Dumplings with Garlic Dipping Sauce at Fu Man 

14. Dumplings (and garlic dipping sauce!) at Fu Man Dumpling House - There is only one kind of dumping here (pork and veggie) but the real star is the garlic dipping sauce that we would eat with a spoon if it wasn't frowned upon (luckily, they do sell the sauce by the bottle).

15. Shrimp and grits at Restaurant Roux - People from the South might throw shade since these might not be considered "traditional" shrimp and grits, but the fresh shrimp in a spicy, creole sauce is simply too good to care. 

16. Chorizo gravy at CJ's Eatery - You might walk right past this diner and never go in, but on the weekends something magical happens. Chorizo gravy can be ordered over biscuits or chicken fried chicken. We have never tried anything else here because we can't NOT order the chorizo gravy. Get a Rose Mimosa while you're at it.

Both Shaved Ice versions win at Bambu

Both Shaved Ice versions win at Bambu

17. Korean Shaved Ice at Bambu - Who knew Korean shaved ice was a thing? It is and it's delicious! We can't decide between the strawberry or the chocolate, so you should probably try them both.

18. Pork or Chicken Adobo at Oriental Mart - Joy and Leila make the best Filipino food in the city! If you are new to this cuisine, start with the adobo, which is perfectly tangy and tender.

19. Tacos from El Camion - There are a few El Camion locations, but we like the food truck in the Home Depot parking lot. This little truck serves up meat with a lot of flavor and the salsa bar is legit. It's quick, affordable, and authentic. Just the way we like it.

20. Chin-up Donuts - With flavors like Sriracha Cha-Cha (Sriracha glaze in cinnamon and sugar) and A'hoy Captain (Vanilla with Captain Crunch cereal) there is some weird and unique flavor for everyone. They are fun, different, and delicious!

Iberico ham at Jarrbar

Iberico ham at Jarrbar

21. Iberico Ham at JarrBar - JarrBar is one of the few places in the city you can get Iberico ham, which is made from Spanish pigs who feast on acorns and olives. It is expensive but 100% worth it.

22. Ramen at Aloha Ramen - Japanese ramen with a Hawaiian twist? Why not! This tiny spot in Lake City is always packed, but it's worth the wait. The broth has lots of flavor depth and the noodles are perfect. We like the spicy garlic miso which is packed full of garlic flavor.

23. Spicy Ponzu Albacore at Pokeworks - It kinda feels weird to include this place since it's a chain, but we looove their uber fresh poke bowls. The spicy ponzu albacore is that perfect mix of sweet and savory with a touch of spice!

24. The Fig and the Pig at Lil' Woody's - We are always on the search for a perfect burger, and Lil' Woody's is it. They serve only NW grass-fed beef, and we love the sweet/savory combination of the Fig and the Pig, which adds pickled figs, blue cheese, and bacon. Maybe get the house-made onion rings, too.

25. Chili ver jalapeno mac n' cheese at Slim's Last Chance - Slim's has four chilis to choose from, but we love all the additions you can get such as having it over jalapeno mac n' cheese or white cheddar grits (both which seem to take it to the next level).

26. Chorizo tacos at TNT Taqueria - Because tacos are SO good it needs to be on this list twice. TNT is a cute little taqueria in Wallingford that has their street tacos down pat. The chorizo has enough flavor to leave you wanting another order. Add the avocado salsa to it and enjoy!

27. Lunch from Il Corvo - The owner studied in Florence. He makes the pasta by hand every day. We know a REAL Italian and she says this place is legit and she is fairly outspoken about how crappy she thinks the Italian offerings are in Seattle. Just go. It's amazing.

28. Cheeseburger and a shake from Dick's Drive In - You can't live in Seattle without knowing the taste of a Dick's cheeseburger and chocolate shake. You just can't, ask Macklemore.

29. Salted Caramel Cupcake Ice Cream Cone from Cupcake Royale - They might have a name that says cupcakes, but the cupcakes IN ice cream is where the real magic happens. 

30. Coconut Cream Pie from Dahlia Lounge - This is Kristina's favorite dessert in all of Seattle. And we eat a lot of dessert. They sprinkle it with sugar spiked with crack or something because even with the $10/slice price we keep going back over and over again. 

31. The Big Moses from Ballard Pizza Company - You have to trust the pizza chef when you order The Big Moses (because it is a mystery pizza), but lucky for us the chef at Ballard Pizza Company has never made a bad decision when it comes to pizza. 

32. Omakase Course Menu from Shiro's Sushi - No one in Seattle knows sushi better than Shiro. So why would you get anything other than the Chef's choice when you visit his restaurant? Trust that they know best, sit back, and enjoy piece after piece of delicious sushi as it appears in front of you.

33. Clam Chowder from Steelhead Diner - On a cold, rainy day nothing hits the spot better than a warm bowl of chowder from Steelhead. They put amazing truffle oil on the top that really makes it the best. 

34. Risotto from The Pink Door - The Pink Door usually has a seasonal risotto on the menu. Our all time favorite is the sweet corn and dungeness crab risotto. Everything except the corn melts in your mouth and then the corn pops that sweetness in! 

35. Churro Ice Cream at Chavez - Chavez is semi-new to the restaurant scene in Seattle, but they have already become a staple in our dining rotation because of their churro + salted caramel ice cream dessert. Full disclosure we are usually full of tequila by the time dessert hits, but MAN it tastes good!

36. Truffle popcorn from Big Picture - Again, truffle. It's amazing. We go to Big Picture not for the movies, but for the truffle popcorn. The movies are just icing on the cake. Oh, and the wine. 

37. Pumpkin Pie Yogurt from Ellenos - This is only around in the fall, but when it is everyone MUST eat it. It takes the guilt out of eating pumpkin pie. Even though it shouldn't because it's literally pumpkin pie smashed into greek yogurt. If you're here other times of year you can't go wrong with the Marionberry or Passionfruit either.

38. Cauliflower Fritters at Black Bottle - This appetizer combines our love of asian cuisine with our love of cauliflower. This trendy spot in Belltown takes cauliflower flourets, deep fries them, and then covers them in a spicy Asian sauce. This is one of those sharable dishes that you won't want to share. 

39. Fish & Chips from Nosh - This giant, perfectly coated piece of cod is what British dreams are made of. The breading will melt in your mouth with the buttery fish and you find yourself thinking how great tea and corgis are. God save The Queen. 

40. Handmade Gnocchi with Black Truffle Cream from List - The only thing this dish is missing is about 30 more gnocchi. The pillowly potato pasta is drenched in truffle cream sauce. You'll have to fight to keep from licking the plate clean. Go on Sunday or Monday for their half price all day happy hour and you can justify getting two plates!

Storyville cinnamon roll

41. Cinnamon Roll from Storyville Coffee - You can taste the sugar crystals when you bite into this cinnamon roll. They even make it fairly small because I think if it was the size of a "normal" cinnamon roll you would go into a sugar coma. 

42. Oysters on the Half Shell from Elliott's Oyster House - If you want fresh, seasonal oysters Elliott's is a great place to go. They have an amazing patio on the water and their oyster wine pairs incredibly with those slimey, delicious little guys! 

43. Burrata at Tavolata - Burrata literally translates to butter in Italian and this dish from Seattle chef Ethan Stowell's Tavolata will make you realize why. This soft cheese is served on a board with salty or sweet pairings. 

44. Smoked Salmon Pate from Pirosky Piroshky - There is always a line wrapped around the premise of Piroshky Piroshky and there is a pretty obvious reason why -- their stuffed pastries are worth standing in the cold, rain, heat, or hurricane for. Get a little mix of Russian and PNW cuisine with the Smoked Salmon Pate! 

45. Fried Chicken from Ma'ono - This Hawaiian spot in West Seattle serves up the best fried chicken in town. Make a reservation and let them know you want to reserve your bird because they can run out on busy nights. When you arrive, wait anxiously for your entire chicken to come out. It will be golden, crunchy, and delicious. We love the chili sauce as an added punch of flavor.

BLTGA from Napkin Friends

46. B.L.T.G.A. from Napkin Friends - This food truck is getting its own brick and mortar restaurant. Want to know how they can afford it? Well they thought to switch out buns for latkes and then shoved bacon, lettuce, tomato, gouda cheese, and aioli in the middle. That stuff sells. 

47. Chocolate Marshmallow Donut from General Porpoise - Renee Erickson gained traction as a restauranteur in Seattle who knew good Northwest cuisine. Who knew she had some seriously amazing donuts in her arsenal too. General Porpoise serves stuffed donuts with creams, custards, and jams inside. 

48. Rub with Love Salmon from Etta's - This salmon is covered in a yummy rub and then perfectly grilled and served over a cornbread pudding with a shitake relish. Sounds fancy, but the basics are all there -- it's the best salmon in the city.

49. Aloha Sliders from Marination Ma Kai - Yes, they have SPAM in them. BUT, Hawaii knows how to do SPAM. So just trust the list and order these guys. Because they are delicious. Promise.

50. S'mores Sundae from Shug's Soda Fountain and Ice Cream - They toast the marshmallows right in front of you and then drizzle the whole thing with syrup. Need we say more?

10 Awesome Seattle Dates Under $20

Seattle Dates

1. Play a round of mini golf at Flatstick Pub. This fun indoor mini golf pub only costs $7/person and is a great place for a night of fun. 

Flatstick Pub

2 .Watch the sunset and roast s'mores at Golden Gardens. This is hands down one of the best waterfront parks in Seattle. They have fire pits, so bring a picnic bag with some wood, matches, and all the fixings for your perfect s'more. 

3. Get your karaoke on at Rock Box. Because who doesn't want to belt out to Celine Dion with their BAE? Full price at Rock Box is $7/hour, but during happy hour you can get the amazing price of $4/hour. 

4. Volunteer together. Seattle is a tightknit community, which means there are a ton of places to get involved and give back! This is a great way to grow closer and get to know new people as well. Some of our favorite nonprofits include Treehouse, EarthCorps, and Solid Ground

Volunteering at Pike Place Market Food Bank

Volunteering at Pike Place Market Food Bank

5. Rent pedal boats at Greenlake. Green Lake is a beautiful place to get out on the calm water for some 1-on-1 time. Pedal boats are $20/hour and are perfect for a leisurely jaunt out on the lake!

6. Grab some ice cream at Molly Moons in Queen Anne and head down to Kerry Park to soak up the views. Just a few blocks away from the best views in Seattle is some of the best ice cream! Check what time the sun is setting and go grab a bench, enjoy your waffle cone, and watch the sun go down.

Kerry Park

7. Take advantage of Seattle's awesome music scene and see some live music at Conor Byrne. This bar in Ballard hosts amazing local talent for a very low cover charge! You can't go wrong with any of the artists, they are always great! 

8. Take a hike - There are tons of great hikes of varying difficulty to do around the city ( is a great resource). You don't even need to leave the city for Discovery Park. A hike to the lighthouse on the water is a perfect date for an afternoon! 

Take a Hike

9. Play some games! Seattle has so many fun places to go if you like arcade games (we will 100% destroy on any skee ball set-up in our presence). Full Tilt Ice Cream Parlor, Kings Hardware, Unicorn and Shorty's are our favorite picks in the city! 

Skee ball at the Unicorn

Skee ball at the Unicorn

10. Go place some bets at Emerald Downs. There aren't many people who don't enjoy the thrill of placing a bet at the races! Head over and see if you can win big. You can bet for as low as $2 a race!

Emerald Downs

What are some of your favorite cheap date spots? We would love to hear about them! 

The Tallest Drinks in Seattle

The Smith Tower's Temperance

The Smith Tower got a facelift this year! For those of you who haven't been to the new and improved Observation Deck yet, we highly recommend it. Along with the all-time favorites like the lever-operated elevator, The Wishing Chair, and the incredible views at the top, the experience now includes a much higher amount of educational content and a speakeasy style bar! Seems so obvious now that the space was always missing a bar, how did we not figure this out sooner?!

The staff was incredibly friendly and helped us land on a delicious cocktail named Serenity for our drinking pleasure. In true speakeasy fashion it was strong, but good. And you can sip it in comfy chairs as the sun sets on Seattle. It really is a beautiful space with a wonderful view.

The Smith Tower is 35 stories tall (462 ft.), placing it in 3rd place on the list. It might not be the tallest, but something about standing amid all the buildings that have sprung up since 1914 is pretty magical. 

cocktail at Temperance Bar Smith Tower
view from the Smith Tower with Space Needle

Space Needle's SkyCity

SkyCity is the high-end, rotating restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. The restaurant is the shape of a donut, wrapped around the Space Needle right beneath the observation deck. When you exit the elevator you are led to a table along the outer edge; definitely try to get a table against the window -- watching the city circle below you is a ton of fun! When you eat/drink at SkyCity you also get complimentary access to the Space Needle's observation deck, so make sure to factor in time to head up before or after dining.

At over 500 ft. tall, SkyCity sits in second place on our list of tallest drinks in Seattle! 

Insider Tip: Going to SkyCity does comes with a food and beverage minimum. Dinner is a tad pricey at $35/person, but they have a promotion right now for Sunset Hour with a lower minumum of $25. For comparison a ticket to just the observation deck is $22, so we think this is the way to visit the Space Needle! From 2:30 - 5:30, Monday - Friday, you can go to the top, have a drink while the sun goes down over the city, and visit the observation deck. It ends December 16, 2016 though so hurry on over! 

Columbia Center's Sky View Observatory

Columbia Tower is the tallest building in our skyline and also has the highest observation deck in Seattle (we covered it here). Your ears will pop as you ride the elevator up to the 73rd floor. When you arrive, you will be granted beautiful 360-degree views of the entire area and this is the only observation deck that includes unobstructed views of the Space Needle and the floating 520 bridge. On clear days you can see as far as Mount Hood in Oregon. 

Their cafe/bar is a bit lacking compared to the other places on this list. It's the Panera Bread to the Space Needle's McCormick and Schmick's. But, they have local beer and wine and happy hour, which is exactly what we were looking for when we visited after work at 5:00 PM. We sipped on a Naughty Nellie from Pike Brewing Company and a red blend from Chateau Ste. Michelle.

At 900 ft. this is the tallest you can be in the city while sipping on an adult beverage! 

The Tallest Geographic Point- 35th and Myrtle

Well what do you know? The tallest geographic point in the city is not in Queen Anne, it is in West Seattle in the Delrigde neighborhood at 35th and Myrtle St. We wouldn't recommend drinking here though (do as we say not as we do), as the city frowns upon opening beers on street corners, but we found a really great bar, The Westy, nearby where you can enjoy a nice taplist along with wine and cocktails.

This one is obviously a bit off trend from our previous three, but we thought it would be a fun one to include-- now you know a little piece of Seattle trivia! 

Standing at the tallest geographical point in Seattle!

Standing at the tallest geographical point in Seattle!

Alright folks. That concludes our drinking in tall places post. it was random. It was fun. We raise our glass to you for reading Rain or Shine's recommendations! 


10 Best Kept Secrets of Pike Place Market

Most of us know that when you visit the market on a busy day the main arcade with all the day stalls will be so crowded you can barely walk. Want to escape those crowds? Venture down to the lower levels. That's right, Pike Place Market is huge (nine acres to be exact) and if you don't leave the top floor you'll never discover all the fun that is below. 

We decided to give you a nice teaser of the shops on the lower levels to get you started on your adventure.

Here are our top ten places to shop in the "underbelly" of Pike Place Market:

Chocolate spice and indi chocolate

Chocolate spice and indi chocolate

1. indi chocolate

On the 5th floor of Pike Place Market sits a wonderful little shop selling hand-crafted, small batch chocolate. If you love chocolate and shopping local, well then this is the place for you.

Insider Tip: They are expanding into a larger space in the market in 2017 and visitors will be able to view their whole production process, so keep an eye out for that! 

The cool designs of Slow Loris

The cool designs of Slow Loris

2. Slow Loris

Jessica Lynch is the woman behind almost 100% of what you find in this shop on the 3rd floor. Her talents are diverse and so is her shop. You can get wall prints, t-shirts, hats, bags, and so much more.

Organized chaos at BLMF

Organized chaos at BLMF

3. BLMF literary Saloon

This place is exploding books. Every surface is covered. It is the best kind of organized chaos and we love getting lost in here. The prices are right and the staff is ready to help you find your next book to fall into, just watch out that you don't fall over that stack in the corner trying to get to it!

Movie scripts galore at Golden Age Collectibles

Movie scripts galore at Golden Age Collectibles

4. Golden Age Collectibles

Golden Age Collectibles draws people into their shop in the most genius of ways: life-size cutouts. You can't miss them as you walk around the 4th floor because Han Solo and Daryl Dixon won't let you! Once you're inside you'll find everything you need to feel young again from The Goonies movie script to rare comic books. 

Colorful skull at Cintli

Colorful skull at Cintli

5. Cintli by Beto Yarce

Cintli has everything you need for your Day of the Dead alter as well as unique Mexican jewelry and fun Mexican crafts. It also might be the most colorful shop in Pike Place Market, which always draws us in.  

Paper toys at Chin Music Press

Paper toys at Chin Music Press

6. Chin Music Press

This small publishing house focuses on primarily Japanese authors. Their studio holds not only all of their beautiful books but beautiful artwork as well. It's an incredibly unique and cool space which everyone should check out.

Orange Dracula's pin festish

Orange Dracula's pin festish

7. Orange Dracula

This shop is quirky and amazing. You can play Pac-Man, shop their wide selection of pins, or find great gag-gifts (Squirrel underwear anyone?). We covered Orange Dracula in another post because they have one of the few working film photo booths left in Seattle. 

8. Gem Heaven 

Gem Heaven is like no other place in the market. While it’s a small shop, it doesn’t skimp on variety and sells a wide assortment of beautiful gems, rocks, geodes, fossils, and crystals. We love reading the signs that explain how each gem promotes wellness, and if the signs don’t answer your questions, the lovely shop keepers can. 

Get your fortune told at the Market Magic Shop! Elvis knows best.

Get your fortune told at the Market Magic Shop! Elvis knows best.

9. Market Magic Shop 

We covered this shop for April Fools Day, but honestly it's fun year round. If you have a curious kid inside of you we promise you'll have a blast rummaging through the Market Magic Shop. And if you are wondering if the Elvis Fortune Teller is legit, the answer is yes. Yes he is. 

Lots of gift options at Ventures HandCrafted Gifts

Lots of gift options at Ventures HandCrafted Gifts

10. Ventures HandCrafted Gifts

This is our go-to place for gifts when we need something useful and unique. Our mothers have their dish towels and our friends have their art. The best part is you are not only walking away with a locally-produced item, you can also sleep well knowing you helped support a store that makes it part of its mission to coach the young entrepreneurs that make the goods featured in the store. Two thumbs up, Ventures!