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SMX Advanced – A Portlander’s Guide of Where to Eat and Drink in Seattle

Scenic Seattle

Seattle - It's Not Portland

I’ve got to be honest. I don’t LOVE Seattle.

Yeah, I know…weird, huh? I mean who doesn’t love Seattle?

Well, this guy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I “like” our big brother up North, but growing up in Portland, over the years you kind of get tired of being that “other city” in the Pacific Northwest.

Yeah, yeah…Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Space Needle, Nirvana. Seattle this, Seattle that. Blah, blah, blah.

Sour grapes? Sure, but it doesn’t help matters that the local Portland TV stations force feed us Mariners baseball in the summer and make us watch Sea Squawk football instead of giving us the better national match up on Sundays. I’m sorry, my allegiance is with the Blazers and the Timbers.

And besides, at least we still have an NBA team. (Ok, that was a bit harsh)

Well things have kind of changed over the last decade and Portland seems to have established its own identity and we are no longer in the shadow of the Emerald City. Portland is consistently rated as the most bike friendly city in the nation, we have a great music scene, more brew pubs per capita, incredible food carts everywhere and we even have our very own critically lauded TV show that’s all about us (that would be “Portlandia” for those in the Red States that don’t get the Independent Film Channel).

Put a bird on that, Seattle!

We also seem to have developed an infestation of hipsters with our recent notoriety, but hey you can’t win them all.

So with new found confidence in our great city, I guess I’m actually looking forward to my trip up North for SMX Advanced. If nothing else, Seattle has a renowned food and cocktail scene that I’m excited to explore…although it could be argued that Portland is now the reigning culinary darling of the Northwest (see: Gabriel Rucker & Andy Ricker – 2011 James Beard Foundation Award winners).

All kidding aside, before heading up for the conference I wanted to put together a list of some restaurants, lounges and bars to possibly check out. So being an Elite Yelper I did what I normally do. I turned to Yelp. But not Seattle’s Yelp…Portland’s Yelp.

Why? I wanted the perspective from someone that doesn’t live there, the perspective of a visitor, and as most Portlanders make that 3 hour drive up the I-5 corridor on a semi regular basis I knew they probably had a favorite places or two they could recommend.

And as always, they didn’t let me down.

So instead of keeping these all to myself, I thought I’d share with you some of the places in Seattle that you just might want to check out while at SMX Advanced, thanks to the personal recommendations of the great Yelpers of Portland.


Umi Sake House (Sushi Bar)
Wasabi Bistro (Sushi Bar)
Local 360 (American)
Lola (Greek)

Seatown Seabar & Rotisserie (American)
The Pink Door (Italian)
Mee Sum (Bakery)
Piroshky Piroshky (Bakery)
Salumi (Deli)
Café Zum Zum (Indian)
Mae Phim Thai (Thai)
Market Grill (Seafood)
Le Pichet (French)

Pioneer Square
Zaina (Greek)

Queen Ann
Peso’s Kitchen & Lounge (Mexican)

West Seattle
Mashiko (Japanese, Sushi Bar)

Kisaku (Sushi Bar)

International District
Maneki Restaurant (Japanese)
Tamarind Tree (Vietnamese)

Bars & Lounges:

Bathtub Gin
Mistral Kitchen
Lava Lounge
The Rob Roy

Capitol Hill
Knee High Stocking Co
Sun Liquor
Summit Public House
The Chapel Bar

Zig Zag Café
Whiskey Bar
The Alibi Room
Tavern Law
Needle and Thread
Nitelite Lounge

We are looking forward to seeing our search marketing colleagues in Seattle for SMX Advanced. It is always a great opportunity to learn, meet new people and explore the fantastic city of Seattle! And at the end of the day if Seattle isn’t your thing, remember Portland is only a 3 ½ hour drive away…

Share your thoughts on our restaurant and bar recommendationsDo you have any great recommendations of where to eat and drink in Seattle? Feel free to leave a comment.

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Reader Comments

  • Paul.K | June 14, 2011

    Wait…..Seattle is not Portland?

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