There are a lot of enticing elements at work in Washington’s culinary scene. The entire state embraces the farm (or boat) to table philosophy, and excels in the areas of seafood, salmon, wine, craft beer, and coffee. Seattle, in particular, is a gold mine of superb eating. But you’re likely to find memorable meals based around fish, crabs, mussels, and oysters anywhere on the western side of the Cascades. The eastern slope towns of Yakima and Walla Walla are wine growing country, while craft breweries can be found in virtually every town in the state.
Bars and Pubbing in Washington State
Most of Washington State is pretty mellow after dark. The folks on both sides of the Cascades enjoy sipping pints of locally-brewed beer or glasses of local wine in casual, friendly bars. Live music is a common occurrence in the large towns, but the real nightlife is centered almost entirely in Seattle.
This city has a solid pedigree of producing talented bands, and the bars around Pioneer Square still rock every night. If this area is too rowdy, try the sophisticated drinking scene in Seattle Center, Ballard, Belltown, or Capitol Hill. For live music, check out The Triple Door (216 Union St, Seattle) or Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley (2033 Sixth Ave, Seattle), both well-established, quality venues.
Seattle’s Pike Place Market is as good for drinking as it is for edibles. Slick little bars like The Tasting Room (1924 Post Alley, Seattle) serve local wines by the glass, while The Zig Zag Café (1501 Western Ave, Seattle) is renowned for its cocktails and ambiance.
You can always find a brewpub in Washington, and most of them are great places to eat and drink in a cozy, pub-style atmosphere. The Elysian Brewing Company (1221 E. Pike St, Seattle) and the Mill Creek Brewpub (11 S. Palouse St, Walla Walla) are two of the more impressive pubs. Bars in Washington must stop serving alcohol at 2:00 a.m., and usually close shortly thereafter.
Dining and Cuisine in Washington State
Everywhere you go in Washington, there are tempting cafés and coffee houses. Seattle is overflowing with options in every neighborhood, from Belltown to Ballard. But the epicenter of the scene is the Pike Place Market, a veritable village of bakeries, produce stalls, gourmet food shops, and cafés. Whether you eat here or not, exploring Pike Place is a top travel attraction in Seattle. A lot of the dining in Washington is very reasonably priced considering the quality and creativity of the dishes, even in Seattle.
For a special dinner, try The Georgian (411 University St, Seattle), an incredible downtown institution featuring Pacific Northwest creations. Canlis (2576 Aurora Ave, Seattle) is a Seattle institution serving sublime Northwest cuisine since 1950. Walla Walla also has some exquisite dining centered around its wineries and rich agricultural sector. Try the Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen (125 W. Alder St, Walla Walla) or 26Brix (207 W. Main St, Walla Walla) for gourmet delights starring the local produce. Even the rustic San Juan Islands have amazing restaurants like 120 Nichols (120 Nichols St, Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands) and The Backdoor Kitchen (400 A Street, Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands).