First some backstory... "We" is my wife and I (thirtysomethings) and our 3 year old and 9 month old daughters. We always do lots of research before we go anywhere (combination of Chowhound and Yelp usually) and a few years ago we used to steer more towards finer dining but now we've realized that fantastic less expensive places offer just as amazing experiences.
We just spent 6 weeks in Portland (and loved it!) and are now in Seattle for 6 more weeks. We're sort of in vacation mode, because we're in new places, but it's different... I work from home part of the day, and we balance differing nap schedules with going out and at least doing something every day for a few hours. Different than the normal tourist thing. We try to cook at home a bunch to balance out all the eating out!
For some more backstory, in PDX we lived two blocks from the middle of Alberta and had an amazing time. Here's where we hit, in no particular order:
Tasty & Sons
The Big Egg
Salt & Straw
Year of the Fish
Viking Soul Food
That should give you a good idea of what we like. It was the four of us at all these places except Ned Ludd which was our one "date night". Not once did we have any issues having the girls with us but there are a lot of carts on the list so of course that wasn't a problem!
In Seattle we're living in Capitol Hill at the north end of Broadway (around the corner from Roy). We have a car and don't need to stay in Capitol Hill but looking in the general area from West Seattle/Beacon Hill/Columbia City in the south to Ballard/Greenlake/Northeast Seattle in the north. We like to go wander around different neighborhood commercial districts so we're flexible with location.
From our research so far, here's our Seattle list so far:
Where ya at Matt?
Marination Station or Ma Kai
Fusion on the Run
Crumble & Flake and/or Bakery Noveau
Pike Place Chowder
Jack's Fish Spot - salmon candy
We like good happy hours because the timing works well and we like a good value. We're still researching this but are open to suggestions. So far: Meiji; Quinn's
We're not huge fans of line-up places (unless we can line up just before they're opening to get seats) especially with two little kids and the weather turning.
We obviously need to add some more seafood to this list. Sort of the easiest and also the trickiest!
We're still researching (and probably will be until the day we depart Seattle!) but any suggestions on additions or replacements (or just comments) is appreciated.