Nestled downtown, just south of Seattle's city center, CenturyLink Field remains a prized possession for Seattle's sports fans (and, oh, they are a loyal bunch). The stadium boasts the capacity for 72,000 spectators–67,000 fixed seats and 7,000 club seats (with an additional 5,000 seats for special events and roof protection over 70 percent of the seated sections). For football, the field is 55.3 yards wide and 120 yards long; for soccer, it's 70 yards wide and 110 yards long (meeting National Football League, Major League Soccer and World Cup Soccer field and sight-line requirements). There's no question: This city takes its love for its athletic clubs seriously.
So what does this mean for the loyal fans of Seattle's successful sports squads? Game-watching is a festive and pleasant experience–one that often turns into a full day of celebrations. Appetites (and thirsts) need to be sated before and often after the game, and thankfully, plenty of restaurants near the field make this an easy problem to solve. Whether your crew seeks something casual and quick (think deli sandwiches or BBQ platters) or fancy and filling (think hefty entrees at steakhouses, Italian eateries and high-end gastropubs), Seattle's downtown culinary scene doesn't disappoint. Also try thnic options (many in the International District) that feature authentic foods from cultures around the globe. When it comes to winning on the field and at mealtime, it's game on here!
With the tagline "We celebrate sport," Quality Athletics proves that it's the perfect addition to Pioneer Square. Located near Seattle's stadiums loved by enthusiasts of football, baseball and soccer, this full-service sports bar and restaurant proves a swankier twist on the traditional pub. The vibe is bright, festive and fun, and flat screens abound. Chef Seth Richardson and his talented team have developed a menu around rich world flavors, introudcing surprising takes on expected sports bar fare. Think jerk spice duck wings, tuna salad tartine, New England clam chowder, pork broth ramen, burgers, grilled sausages, steak frites and more. Guests emjoy features like a large wood-fired grill, a slushy and sno-cone machine, a rooftop garden, an AstroTurf back bar, outdoor fire pits, a private event space plus indoor and outdoor seating. (206-420-3015)
Phnom Penh Noodle House
Head to the International District to immerse yourself in Cambodian culture at Phnom Penh Noodle House, a bamboo-themed restaurant that features a water fountain, metal figurine artwork and paintings by Cambodian artists. The owners immigrated as refugees to the United States in 1980 after fleeing the Khmer Rouge. The atmosphere they've created in this restaurant is no doubt welcoming, but the food truly steals the spotlight. Dishes incorporate fresh flavors, closely related to those from neighboring Southeast Asia countries like Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. The Khmer diet counts as staples noodles, jasmine rice, curries, salty fish and soups, and common herbs include galangal, ginger, turmeric, paprika, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. ((206) 748-9825)
A business-friendly steak house in the heart of the financial district, Metropolitan Grill has been a Seattle favorite for years. Its downtown location makes it the ideal spot to diner after a day of sightseeing, wandering Pike Place Market or taking a day trip across the waters to a nearby island. Dry-aged, prime-grade beef is a steak-lover's dream, although a good selection of pastas and salads rounds out the menu as well. The wine list is exemplary, focusing on reds that go with the beef-laden menu. Service is helpful but unobtrusive, and the dessert tray is too good to pass up. (206-624-3287)
Keep your eyes peeled, or you may just drive past this unassuming, little Cuban eatery, which offers a terrific change of pace from standard burger-and-fries meals at fast food joints. Indeed, Paseo does a healthy amount of take-out business, and regulars swear by the kitchen's grilled pork sandwiches, dinner-sized orders of spicy black beans and rice, plus the jerk chicken. (Seasonal seafood dishes are also available.) A brand-new location in SoDo now brings beloved Paseo fare to the center of Seattle's sports core near CenturyLink and Safeco Fields, in a former diner space (Donna's Diner & Mac's Smokehouse). The SoDO location features some new menu items as well as beer, wine and sangria. ((206) 420-7781)
Pecos Pit Barbecue
Trying to figure out where to find the best barbecue on your world travels? This casual eatery (open Monday through Friday) should climb its way to the top of your list, as it has that of folks in Seattle. Have them pile a bun full of pork, beef or ham, and top it off with a drizzle of sauce for the best eating. If you like "hot" foods, just be careful – their hot sauce makes others pale in comparison. Along with everthing else, make sure to try the yummy baked beans too. The eatery is essentially an order window with outdoor tables, so don't expect sit-down service. This is barbecue, after all. Near the baseball stadium. (206-623-0629)
Brooklyn Seafood, Steak, & Oyster House
This classic Seattle steakhouse is a grand destination for diners looking to impress important clients. The saloon-meets-supper club decor features a copper counter with swivel stools and elegant tables dressed in white linens. While cooked-to order steaks, ribs, and chops are well prepared, fish and seafood really earn Brooklyn its many years of high praise – oysters, in particular, are a must-try. Dinner reservations are suggested; this spot is popular, and it can't hurt to call ahead, just in case. Head here to impressive business clients, a significant other, out-of-town visitors or simply to treat yourself with a special outing. (206-224-7000)
Il Terrazzo Carmine
The romantic atmosphere, enhanced by classical guitar music, may be the first thing you notice upon entering this venue. The second will surely be the aroma of perfectly-prepared Italian dishes. Excellent service and wonderful selections hint at the restaurant's popularity, which extends to celebrities and local residents alike. The menu features a range of pastas and antipasti, along with such delectable entrees as roasted duck, rack of lamb, beef tenderloin, fresh fish and even sweetbreads. Go prepared to savor this wonderful dining experience! Complimentary valet parking is available after 5pm. Outdoor seating is also a draw in Seattle's warmer months. (206-467-7797)
Near Seattle's stadiums, find this Korean-themed steakhouse concept (from the owner of Momiji, Umi Sake House and Kushibar), located inside an upscale complex called Stadium District just north of CenturyLink Field. The vibe here feels Zen meets cutting-edge; the overhead music is club lounge mellow-chic; the windows are expansive; and the decor is simple yet stunning. Thanks to a power team of co-owners Cody Burns and Steven Han, along with Chef Brandon Kirksey, Girin brings decadent Korean flavors to a sleek space that manages to be both trendy and inviting at once. Here, diners savor authentic flavors with a modern twist, washed down by refreshing sake drinks and creative cocktails. Show-stoppers on the menu include the sesame-crusted tofu and Ssamjang Marinated Skirt Steak. Other dishes range from grilled baby back ribs to stuffed perilla leaves and kichi jiagge (tofu, potato, poached duck egg). ((206) 257-4259)
F.X. McRory's Steak Chop and Oyster House
Located right next to Qwest Field, F.X. McRory's proves the ideal spot for a pre-game or post-game meal and drink. Whether the Seahawks win or lose, an extensive and impressive menu consisting of aged steaks, Alaskan king crab legs, Pacific Northwest salmon and oysters, among other delicious options, are sure to keep you happy. Also be sure to stop by the whiskey bar; the 135 varieties of American bourbon are impressive, even if you aren't imbibing and simply want to take in the vast selection. In our humble opinion: Sports, steaks and a wee bit of whiskey make for a perfect and enjoyable evening out on the town. (206-623-4800)
Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant
Pyramid is now one of the largest West Coast breweries to arise from the early microbrew pioneers of the Pacific Northwest. Located in the city's stadium district, it is housed in a vintage brick warehouse and features an expansive patio out front for fair-weather imbibing. Inside, you'll find classic Pacific Northwest decor with concrete floors, dark wood and exposed beams. Rows of long, narrow stand-up height tables cross the center of the voluminous space, with low tables and booths around the perimeter and in side rooms. Pyramid boasts a broad range of high-quality beer known for its assertiveness and consistency. Pyramid's brewers take care of all palates. Food ranges from pub fare such as gourmet burgers to regional specialties like wild Alaskan salmon and fish and chips plates, even a pot roast braised in Snow Cap. ((206) 682-3377)
About Corinne Whiting
Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's backpacked around Australia, taught English in Argentina and explored (so far!) countries from Cambodia and Egypt to Turkey and China.
Corinne served as associate editor at Where magazine for five years; as a freelancer, she now writes for publications like National Geographic Traveler and Amtrak's OnTrak. Here in the lovely Northwest, she's attempting to debunk the rain myths, up her coffee and live music quotient and find her Zen near/on the water.
Read more about Corinne Whiting here.
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