If you had a Japanese visitor, what are the most classically American-style places you would take them to in Seattle?
Our story: I just moved to Seattle this week (originally from Portland), so I haven't had much time to explore. My Japanese boyfriend, a professional Italian chef back in Osaka where we've been living, is hoping to follow and possibly work in Seattle before too long. So when he comes to visit next week, I'm hoping to give him a good taste mainly of American-style cafes/sandwiches/casual lunch/diners & happy hour places and of Northwest-y-esque Italian or French influenced restaurants. We probably won't want Asian food this time around, although I'd like to introduce him to a couple of foods that are hard to find in Japan, like Lebanese and Mexican.
We'll be staying at my place in the Wallingford/Greenlake area and won't have a car (yay urban biking Japanese-style!), so we won't want to go too far out. Also, he's not broke but I sure am (yay grad school!), so we can't eat at expensive places every night.
We've been to Seattle together once before for one day and went to Pike Place Chowder, which was a huge hit, and Steelhead Diner, which was less of a hit (I loved it, but I'm not the chef).
This is what I'm thinking so far, based on other Chowhound posts:
Day 1 (Sat): Dick's on 45th for lunch (it's American!) or Rancho Bravo tacos, Tangletown Brewery for happy-hour/dinner.
Day 2: U-District farmer's market for breakfast, Mariners game so whatever for lunch at the stadium, Pink Door for drinks after.
Day 3: Agua Verde for lunch and kayaking, Art of the Table for Monday happy hour.
It gets more vague after that but at some point....
3-4 dinners: Spinasse, Poppy, Tilth, Spud Fish & Chips (Alki), Palace Kitchen, Corson Building, Cafe Campagne, or Crush. Plus Uwajimaya (if you tell your roommates your boyfriend is a Japanese chef, they'll expect some home cooking...)
Most of these places seem like special event spots ... I'm not sure we'll want to maintain that level for all 9 days of his trip. Some more casual places would be good...
Ugly Mug Cafe for sandwiches, Ray's Cafe, Le Pichet, Serious Pie, Baguette Box
breakfast (we'll see...):
Portage Bay Cafe, Cafe Besalu
and: Puyallup Fair (super American!), Fremont Oktoberfest
Does that seem like a pretty representative combination of good American/Northwest stuff? Are there any particularly good Lebanese/Greek/Middle Eastern places in the U-District, Fremont or Wallingford? Any fun, retro experiences? (And if anyone has advice for getting a work visa, we'd love to hear that too....)
Thanks so much for any advice & for reading! This ended up being kind of long.
2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA
1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA
95 Pine Street, Suite 17, Seattle, WA 98101
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA
316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101
5909 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Portage Bay Cafe
4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Spud Fish & Chips
9702 NE Juanita Dr, Kirkland, WA 98034
Ugly Mug Cafe
1309 NE 43rd St, Seattle, WA 98105
1203 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101
Pike Place Chowder
600 Pine St Ste 404, Seattle, WA 98101
Art of the Table
1054 N 39th St, Seattle, WA 98103