Best of 2018 – Restaurants, Shops, Views in Washington

In today’s post, I am going to share with you my best of the best list of restaurants, shops, and places to go in not only in Seattle but also in the entire state of Washington. It has been such a great joy in the past year and a half of living and getting myself immersed in the PNW culture. I have gone to a handful numbers of restaurants, hiked a lot of trails, and road tripped to almost all of the big areas here in the state of Washington (and Oregon, read my Oregon Travel Guide here).

I feel so fortunate to have had this living experience as West coast has been amazing so far. There are so many things to do within just a short drive. My rule for restaurants and most places in Seattle is that we don’t go back to the same place twice unless it is really good. And that is the only way that I can check off the list here! So feel free to screenshot this list if you read it from your phone or take some notes as I’m sure it will come in handy one day.

RESTAURANTS

Thai food: Insarn Soul Kitchen in Lynnwood

Tacos: Taco Chuki’s in Capitol Hill

Hawaiian food: Kona Kitchen

Good deal for pizza: Humble Pie (3-6 pm daily, $6 for a large pizza, toppings are extra!)

Best pizza: Serious Pie

Clam chowder: Pike Place Chowder (get the New England chowder)

Korean fried chicken, beer, & karaoke all in one: Stars In The Sky in Edmonds (they source local chicken!)

Unique chicken wings: Maono (I call this place is ‘adult chicken wings!’ since they’re not your average wings. inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer at University Village)

Brunch (croissants, egg baked dish, & the interior/vibe overall): The London Plane in Pioneer Square

Breakfast toasts: Mr. West Cafe

Ramen: Betsutenjin

Soba: Kamonegi (soba made in-house. kamonegi means duck holding a leek, so expect really good duck dishes! Try the duck meatballs!)

Omakase: Nishino (if you’d prefer more cooked sushi options) or Shiro’s (if you’d prefer more sashimi and raw fish sushi!)

Traditional Korean food: Hae-nam Kalbi & Calamari in Shoreline

Indian food: Taste of India

Japanese food with unique menus rotating every month: Adana

Oysters & seafood, tapas: The Walrus and the Carpenter

Korean fusion: Revel & Joule (same chef owner)

Malaysian food: Kedai Makan in Capitol Hill

French & Vietnamese fusion: Stateside in Capitol Hill

Vietnamese food: Tamarind Tree (best sweet & sour fish sauce aka nuoc cham!)

Bun Bo Hue: Pho So 1

Freshly made tofu: Thanh Son Tofu

Cheapest & tastiest Banh mi: Sai Gon Deli

Pho (my personal favorite, cheapest & fastest service): Pho Than’s Brothers (UW)

Pho (many people’s favorite): Pho Bac Sup Shop (get their oxtail beef pho)

Duck noodle soup (braised or regular duck): Hue Ky Mi Gia (in the same plaza as Pho So 1)

Fancier Viet food: Ba Bar (also lots of people’s favorite)

Dim Sum: Jade Garden in China town

Burgers: Uneeda

Anniversary restaurant: Palisade (Elliot Bay, view of the Space Needle, boats and water)

Live seafood: Lucky or Lam’s seafood (they have razor clams and Dungeness crabs)

Seafood: Wally’s Chowder House & Broiler in Des Moines

Trinidad & Carribean food: Pam’s Kitchen

Carribean food: Bongos Cafe (get their rice platters. I love their yuca fries!)

Cuban sandwiches: Paseo or Unbien (sorry can’t choose which one.)

Never failed restaurant to take anyone to: Din Tai Fung (University Village)

Cheaper alternative to Din Tai Fung, also local in Seattle: Dough Zone

Winery: Chateau Ste Michelle

Coffee shop: Storyville, Queen Anne (great coffee & good free hot chocolate cake slices offered around 2pm daily!)

Donuts: Top Pot Doughnut

Boba tea: Happy Lemon, Bellevue Square mall or Coco in Bellevue (my favorite is the 3 Guys, has grass jelly, pudding, & boba), or Kungfu tea. Runner-ups: Rain Cafe, Pochi Lifestyle in Lynnwood

Taiwanese dessert: Black Ball (if you’re into grass jelly, huge mochi balls, pudding type of dessert!)

Bakery & coffee: Macrina Bakery

Shaved ice & che (Vietnamese dessert drinks): Bambu in Chinatown

Nana’s Green Tea: get their parfait (I love the giant mochi balls and green tea jellies in the bottom. Their katsu curry is also really good!)

Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Cakes: Bakery Nouveau

Pies: Pie Bar (Capitol Hill)

Starbucks: Starbuck Reserve

Desserts: Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery (get the Black Decadence)

Plant-based ice cream: Frankie & Jo’s

Other famous ice cream places: Molly Moon or Salt & Straw

SHOPS

Art objects & luxury designer fashion: Totokaelo, Capitol Hill

Plants, hip fashion, and art: Glasswing (must visit! they’ve just opened a plant separate plant shop just a block away from Glasswing)

Plants only: Plant Shop Seattle (Olive St. and Pine St.)

Indoor mall: Bellevue Square (I love Uniqlo and Aritzia!)

Outdoor mall: University Village (free parking and so many shops that you can spend an entire day there!)

Area with cool local shops: Chophouse Row

Furniture: West Elm (downtown and Bellevue location) & CB2 (new store opened at U Village)

Nordstrom downtown is the best Nordstrom! (love their pop-up shop section ft. seasonal picks and up-and-coming brands! They also do pretty fun Nordy club events with free food and drinks!)

Outdoors: REI Coop & Patagonia downtown

Sandal shop: Luna Sandals

Camera store (my bf’s favorite store!): Glazer’s

Stationary (pens & notebooks): Uwajimaya gift shop in Chinatown

Men’s clothing shop: Blue Owl Workshop & Wayward

Starbucks: Starbucks Reserve in Capitol Hill (watch they make coffee using a siphon – boiling glass apparatus. There are a bakery, a gift shop, and a roastery all in one. Very busy!)

Cute IG worthy-a-visit shop: Prism Seattle

Cool gift shop inside a museum: Frye Art Museum (it’s free!)

PLACES

Park with iconic Seattle view: Gas Work

Japanese garden: Kubota Garden (it’s free!)

Kids’ park: Yesler Terrace Playfield

Best place to people watch and look at stuff: Pike Place Market

Have a few hours to kill? Go to Olympic Sculpture Park & walk the waterfront to Seattle Great Wheel

Day trip: Leavenworth (it’s a German town located in the valley, East of Seattle. It’s really fun in the summer and perfect for a winter getaway as well)

Conservatory: Volunteer Park

Endless photo opportunities: Seattle Center (there are the MOPOP, Science center, and cool art installations.)

UNIQUE COOL VIEWS:

Grand water and sky view: Browns Point lighthouse

Downtown Seattle: on the ferry to Bainbridge or Bremerton

Hiking:

Mountains and breathtaking fall colors: Mt. Baker (start from the Artist Point and hike the Chain Lake loop)

My personal favorite & the most challenging yet fun hike: Hidden Lake Lookout

Iconic Mt. Rainier hike: Sunrise or Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park

Green blue lake (with the actual hiking involved): Lake Colchuck

Green blue lake (without hiking): Diablo Lake

Best & most challenging hike: Hidden Lake Lookout

Photogenic beach with driftwood and haystack rocks: La Push (short 0.5 mi hike to Second Beach)

Amazing view of the Olympic mountain range: Hurrican Ridge

Feed cool animals & drive-in zoo: Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, Olympic National Park area

Fun group activities: Flat stick pub, Escape Room, movies (of course!), bars and pubs, and endless hiking trails in Washington

SEASONALS:

Cherry blossoms at University of Washington

Tulips at Roozengaarde, Mt. Vernon

Lavender in Sequim

Feed cool animals: Animal Game Farm in Sequim

Blue Angels, watch on I-90

SODO flea market in the summer

Fruit farms:

Cherry farm: Stutzman Ranch

Apple farm: Apple Creek Orchards in Ferndale

Strawberry farm: Harvold Berry farm in Carnation

Farmer’s Market: Ballard Farmer’s Market (every Sunday)

Store event: CB2 (reserved and free seasonal events, good catered food and free drinks)

I hope you’ve enjoyed going through my list, and I hope it’s helpful as well! Have a fantastic new year, and I cannot wait for what 2019 will bring!

Want more similar list like this? Read more:

Seattle City Guide part 1

Oregon Coast travel

New York in 4 daysstyle and senses signature stay inspired

All photos by Toan Chu Photography

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2 responses to “Best of 2018 – Restaurants, Shops, Views in Washington”

  1. Marcie says:

    Awesome list! I used to eat at Kona Kitchen almost weekly and love it when they have live Hawaiian music!

An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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