Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, light or gut-busting, here are seven treats you can’t miss when visiting the Queen City.
Avocado Toast with Chicken Skin at Slab Sandwiches + Pie
A good argument that we haven’t reached peak avocado toast quite yet, this version strays just enough from the standard lemon juice and salt routine to really stand out. The base is a hearty, toasted faro bread. Then, smashed avocado, frisée, and parsley layered on top. A healthy dollop of tomato-ginger jam lends a touch of spice and sweetness. But wait, it gets better. Request some crispy chicken skin as a topping. You won’t be disappointed.
Cheeseburger at Dick's Drive-In
Before chefs started fussing around with burgers every which way, there was Dick's Drive-In, a local fast food joint that opened in 1954. A fine example of how less is more, the cheeseburger tucks 1/8 pound of fresh (not frozen) ground beef, a slice of melted cheese, ketchup, and mustard between a squishy white bun. It costs just $1.75, so add an order of fries and a shake for a total of $5 (not a typo). No wonder locals are feverishly loyal.
The Gooch at Honey Hole Sandwiches
Since 1999, this casual spot’s been serving some of the city’s most satisfying sandwiches at forgiving prices, to boot. And their claim to fame? The Gooch. Roasted tri-tip is sliced thin and piled high, then topped with red onions, cheddar, and horseradish mayo with a side of jus for dipping. But as with all of the best sandwiches, the bread is key. The demi baguette is warm and toasty, so it’s sturdy enough to keep the fillings together, but soft enough to easily chew.
Pork XiaoLongBao at Din Tai Fung
Even though there are now several offshoots of this popular Taiwanese dumpling restaurant in Seattle, expect to wait at all of them because the XiaoLongBao (perhaps better known to you as “soup dumplings”) are that good. Each one is meticulously made by hand: weighed, rolled thin, filled, and perfectly pleated. The result is a small, tender, and translucent purse bursting with broth and tender meat. You won’t be able to stop at one. Nor should you.
Molten Chocolate Cake at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
Founded in 2008 by pastry chef Autumn Martin, the house specialty of this dessert spot is warm, gooey, individually-sized chocolate cakes. Each one packs a wallop of intense chocolate flavor, thanks to Theo's 70% dark chocolate. (In fact, Martin uses almost an entire bar for each Hot Cake.) And in case you’re wondering, they’re gluten and dairy free, and the vegan version is as indulgent as the original.
Cream Cheese Dog at Dog in the Park
Also referred to as a Seattle-style dog, this one features, yes, cream cheese. Though you can find them at carts strewn throughout the city – they’re especially helpful after a bar crawl – this location in Westlake Park is a slightly more civilized affair. The Polish sausage is grilled and split in half, and topped with cream cheese, cabbage, and whatever else you want to throw on. It may look a little strange to the uninitiated, but it’s a Seattle specialty for good reason.
The Zack at Serious Pie and Biscuit
As you already know: grease is great for hangovers. That is exactly why The Zack is so popular with the local brunching community. Imagine a giant buttermilk biscuit sliced in half, stuffed with fried chicken, thick cut bacon, and a fried egg. It arrives piping hot and practically swimming in a pool of black pepper gravy. A Food coma is inevitable.