In a region growing and changing as much as the Pacific Northwest, discovering the best places to grab a little R&R is one of our favorite ways to spend our down time. Check out some of our favorite spots below.
Flintcreek Cattle Co., Greenwood
It seems like it took forever for this restaurant to open, but it was well worth the wait! FlintCreek prides themselves on serving responsibly sourced, grass-fed animals, raised on small-scale farms without use of hormones or antibiotics. Located in the hub of Greenwood, this once antique store has floor-to-ceiling windows, making the ambience is truly fantastic.
Adam’s Tip: slow braised bison short ribs…comfort food yum!
The Electric Boat Company, Lake Union
These simple-to-drive and gently paced watercraft are essentially a floating sofa wrapped around a center table with room for up to 10 adults. One person captains from the back while the rest of you lounge about, enjoying the music, food and beverages you bring aboard. These fully-covered boats feature leather seating, cupholders, a jack for your music (or a CD--yes, a CD!), blankets, heaters for cool days and plastic windows if it gets really gross. You can even rent a cooler and buy ice at the dock. The rate is the same regardless of the number of passengers, so rent a boat for a romantic date, a birthday party or an easy way to entertain out-of-towners.
Todd's Tip: The two hour minimum is just enough time to circle the whole lake and Portage Bay, plus go down the ship canal to the Ballard Bridge and back.
An oldie but a goodie, Monsoon serves up Vietnamese fusion dishes in the quaint northeast corner of Capitol Hill. Expanded and remodeled to include a rooftop deck, drop in for a glass of wine, the best bowl of pho you'll ever have or their signature 'Drunken Chicken' (left). Atmosphere is smart casual and free street parking!
Ian's Tip: Sunday brunch offers dim sum options and the Bo La Lot appetizer is a fave!
The Nest at Thompson Seattle
Lets face it, rooftop weather is coming to a quick close in Seattle but The Nest is still a hot spot for hanging out with a view that cant be beat. Fall still offers some sunshine and deck heaters bring the warmth which will be well worth it once you are up here. Gorgeous sunsets, crafty nibbles and the ideal space for impressing company in the best way.
Ian's Tip: Make a reservation if there are more than two of you. The roof fills quickly and you don't want to miss it.
Come Fly With Me
As anyone who has ever flown into SeaTac can tell you, there's nothing like the beauty of Seattle from air. The next level up is to see it from lower down! Chartering an aerial tour with Helicopter's Northwest takes you around the city and beyond in 20, 30, 40 minute tours from an elevation from 500-1,000 feet above the ground. These private flights make an exciting date, easy way to entertaining out-of-towners, or a crash course on how all the neighborhoods connect together.
Todd's Tip: Be sure to check online first for Groupon offers and substantial discounts.
Thai Street Eats
When on the hill and craving something quick but desperate to escape fast food, pop into Manao Thai on 14th and Pine. Located in the 1st floor retail space of Collins on Pine Apartments, this small walk-up eatery features rotating specials with a menu heavy on rolls and noodle dishes. In my photo on the left is the herbal crispy chicken (or tofu!) with kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, cilantro and crispy chili in a tamarind sauce. I went with the yellow turmeric rice, but white jasmine or brown rice are also options and included with the entrees.
Todd's Tip: Call ahead with your order then slip into one of the two free 30 minute zones on the east side of the building.
BBQ with Swagger
Hankering for amazing BBQ that serves organic, hormone free meat from sustainable Northwest farms that even Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein feel good about eating? Head on into Drunky’s Two Shoe BBQ in Fallard (Fremont/Ballard) for tasty treats, friendly service, and kitschy artwork in a shack-style restaurant that leaves you feeling like you’re getting your eat on somewhere in Texas.
Adam’s Tip: Live Honky Tonk music on Wednesday nights from 8-10.
The south end of Seattle along the shores of Lake Washington is full of surprises, including many delicious locally-owned restaurants. Included among them is Pizzeria Pulcinella in Rainier Beach. While the menu is filled with delicious cast of salads, desserts and pasta, the pizzas are the stars.
Pulcinella is one of only a few wood-fired pizza makers in Washington to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), a special designation given "to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making". They come in only one size and the smaller pieces make it particularly delightful so sample and share.
Todd's Tip: Refresh yourself after stuffing yourself with a Dolce Fine espresso shot.
When Dogs Dream
Hot dogs aren't just kids play! In fact at The Red Hot, located along a trendy section of 6th Ave in Tacoma, only the 21 and over set is allowed. 1/2 hot dog stand, 1/2 tap room, it's a laid back environ where patrons enjoy affordable eats (including dogs, sausages, sides and a vegan menu) and over two dozen beers on tap. Crowded on the weekends you might wait for a table, but lunch it an easy and quick affair. Regardless, the friendly staff will make sure you enjoy yourself.
Todd's Tip: Ignore your better senses and indulge in The Hound Dog with creamy peanut butter and two slices of bacon.