• Stephanie Joy

Grabbing a bite to eat in Seattle

From expensive dinners to breakfast at Starbucks, there are a wide variety of dining options in Seattle. One thing I know now, is that you don't have to spend a fortune for a great meal!

Here are a few of the places we've eaten around Seattle with our honest opinions.

Clam Chowder, Seafood Bisque, Lobster Rolls and a Dungeness Crab Roll

When I first started looking for places to eat everyone started recommending seafood restaurant after seafood restaurant, and although I know that they are probably some great restaurants, they were just too much. Not a price issue, but rather just total seafood overload and honestly we prefer the smaller, places where the food is just as good, if not better, less crowded and touristy, where you don't have to wait forever and a day for a table and well....just something that is simpler and basic. So when we came across this first gem, our mad craving for seafood was totally satisfied. Yes, their locations are in two touristy areas, but it had that casual feel we wanted and the food...oh, the food!!!

Pike Place Chowder

2 locations in Downtown Seattle: Pacific Place and Pike Place Market


We first came across Pike Place Chowder when we came back from a cruise to Alaska in May of 2016 and had an extra day in Seattle. The Pacific Place Center was located across from our hotel (Hotel Theodore) at 600 Pine Street on the 4th floor, it came up highly recommended on a Yelp.com search for places near by us, so we looked at the menu online and honestly, the Lobster Rolls looked delicious, so we gave it a try. Best. Decision. Ever.

What can I say about the Lobster Rolls that you can't see just from looking at the picture. They do NOT skimp on the lobster and it's not all overwhelmingly coated with a crap-ton of mayonnaise. With just a little bit of celery, lemon juice and seasonings added in with the mayo, it is a perfectly balanced tasting roll. You won't regret getting one for even a single moment. They also offer the option of ordering a traditional Connecticut which is a warm roll of lobster, coated in warm melted butter and dusted with a special seasoning. We didn't try one of those, because, well....too much butter can wreak havoc on my digestive system and the last thing I wanted was to get a serious case of the trots on vacation due to butter overload!

Jason ordered the traditional Dungeness Crab Roll which is something we've never had before. In Florida, Blue Crabs are the common crab you get in local restaurants, so we really haven't had the exposure to Dungeness crab before. Always looking to try something new, he thought it was a nice change from lobster rolls, as they are similar in their preparation, with sweet tasting crab meat and it complimented the Seafood Bisque beautifully.

I can't sing the praises loud enough about the Seafood Bisque. Simply put, it is freakin' awesome and just writing this review makes me want to go to their website and order some online (yes, they do deliver!!!) Per the company website, the bisque is chock full of a "delectable medley of Pacific Cod, Northwest Salmon, Oregon Bay Shrimp, flavored with fresh basil, and simmered in a creamy tomato-based broth" . And when I say chock full, I'm not exaggerating. I'm not a huge fan of salmon, but the chunks of fresh salmon just worked so well with shrimp and cod. Unlike a bisque found at some other restaurant that tend to be a smooth soup, this was hearty & chunky, so this to me was more like a seafood chowder.

This New England Clam chowder is heaven sent. Straight up, the best New England Clam Chowder I've had outside of Maine (and the stuff I make at home, if I can brag for a moment!) this award winning chowder is "made with meaty clams, flavored with bacon, cream and a secret blend of herbs and spices" and after just one cup, you will understand why it is award winning. The hardest decision you might make all day is trying to decide which one you want, but if you're anything like Sarah, you'll beg to get some to-go for later on when "the schnecken beckons"!

While it's not a cheap restaurant, it is so very much worth it....

MOD Pizza

1302 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101


Mod Pizza...Simply Delicious!

We had never heard of MOD Pizza before, since they don't currently have any locations here in Florida, so we had no clue it was a chain pizza place, but honestly it is unlike your regular cookie cutter pizza place. It was recommended to us by one of the guys at the hotel and on our way back from the MoPop, we stopped by and took a look over the menu. MOD stands for "Made On Demand" and although they have a series of set pizzas, you can build your own individual pizza, choosing from over 30 toppings. After reading more about this company, I really hope they expand into Florida, because they really seem to care about more than just making money slinging pizzas:

"MOD was founded in 2008 by husband and wife, Scott and Ally Svenson, in their hometown of Seattle. Inspired by their own search for quick, affordable, wholesome restaurant options for their growing family, they started to wonder if there were a better way of doing pizza – and business. The last thing the world needed was another pizza place, but maybe this one could be different. What if everyone could get exactly what they wanted, made fresh on demand, for as little as possible? And what if employees were paid as much as possible and given real opportunities for growth, even second chances? It all started sounding pretty great, and soon Scott and Ally were opening the first MOD Pizza in downtown Seattle"

The Pizza is fresh as can be with the dough made fresh and pressed out to order...They roast their veggies fresh on site, and they take the approach that if they wouldn't serve it to their own kids they wouldn't serve it to their customers. How awesome is that? Their pizza has a light, thin crust and doesn't taste like it just came off a Papa John's assembly line. This is a pizza with substance, flavor and one 11" pizza can easily feed 2 people. When I was looking up the address for the location when I was writing up this blog post, I saw there was a location in Phoenix, AZ near the airport...it just so happens we are headed there on an upcoming family vacation to Sedona, so guess where we will be stopping for lunch? ;)

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Grand Hyatt Hotel Seattle

727 Pine Street, Downtown


On Christmas Eve, our options for a nice dinner were somewhat limited and since we had made reservations at Margaux for dinner at the Warwick Hotel for Christmas Dinner (which we later cancelled), we thought that a nice dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse would be a nice way to celebrate the holiday. We new it would be costly, but it was within close proximity to our hotel, literally a 3 minute walk, and since I'd heard nothing but good things about their food, I figured "Why not?"

I'll say this... $375 for dinner for the three of us was a crime. Yes, I know it's not a cheap restaurant and no, it's not because we are cheap. It is just a simple fact that it wasn't anything special. At All. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad meal. It just wasn't one of those meals that you look back and say "oh, do you remember that time when we had the (insert food item here) and ___________? Wasn't that amazing?"

Yes, I know....it us USDA Prime Beef, so it's not like the cuts you can just get on sale at your local market, but come on people, it just isn't worth it. The steaks are broiled at high heat and coated (and served) on a plate still sizzling with browned butter (see photo below), so it is a meal that definitely isn't low in calories. Truth be told, I've had better steaks grilled at home by Jason and just as good of a steak at Outback, as the one I was served that night at Ruth's Chris. My daughter and husband both had an appetizer of traditional ship cocktail, while I had the fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil Caprese salad. The a la carte side dishes, asparagus and masked potatoes, were nothing to write home about and while the service was professional, well timed and friendly, this is not a place I would go back to unless I was having dinner on a business expense account.

I apologize for the darkness of the photos, but the lighting inside the restaurant was very dim and I didn't want to use a flash and disrupt other diners.

The next day when we were at the shelter serving dinner to those in need, it really was a wake-up call. The money we spent could have fed a family of four for a few weeks that holiday season. This is an expense account restaurant in an expense account hotel. Trust me, you can do better...

NYC Deli & Market

1520 7th Ave, next to the Grand Hyatt Downtown


Looking for a place to pop in for a sandwich to take back to the hotel after a day of seeing the city, but you're not in the mood to go to a generic Subway? If you're in the neighborhood of 7th Avenue and Pine Street, stop in to the NYC Deli and Market. They make sandwiches on site, using Boars-Head meats and they really are pretty decent. Not anything to write home about, but their Ruben was quite tasty. They have a full selection of craft beers, unique sodas and snack foods, along with some read made salads and fresh fruit. The reason I'm not giving them a higher rating is that speed isn't exactly their strong suit. They're friendly, but not really in a hurry to get your order to you. We stood around for a while waiting.

It's located right by the Starbucks connected to the Grand Hyatt. You can't miss it!

Oh and trust me, with the "I could care less" attitude we got from one employee at the Subway on Lenora Street, you're not missing much from them. The only reason we went there was it was open late and we were staying at the Warwick Hotel for a night after we returned from Vancouver.

Ohana Belltown

2207 First Ave Seattle, WA 98121 (located in the Belltown District of downtown)


Atmosphere is tiki bar to the extreme, but they do have some really good food. Prior to visiting Seattle, I found a Groupon for Ohana and seeing that my family loves Hawaiian/Pacific Rim food, we decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised, as sometimes places that are on Groupon can be hit or miss with their food or service. Sarah and I both had the teriyaki steak, and let me tell you, it was super tender, the Shanghai Lumpia were great and my husband liked the Poke Roll. It was reasonably priced and not crowded. We'd definitely go back for another visit if we were in the area!

About the Joy Family

We're not a normal family. In fact, we're downright goofy, with just a touch of nerdy (well, maybe a lot of nerdy at times)...but we're fun, we care very much for one another and we LOVE to travel.

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