Like so many other cheap eateries in the University District, this restaurant called Himalayan Sherpa appears a little dark and uninviting on the outside, but then, the place doesn't promise haute cuisine. It's got tablecloths and bamboo dividers inside and it caters to the student crowd. But for budget eats with an exotic overtone, this is undoubtedly the best. Most dishes include potatoes, basmati rice and the flavors blend surprisingly well with spices from India. The unusual dishes include beef in cheddar cheese sauce and a Nepali rice pudding called khir.
Just south of the University District post office, this little Japanese restaurant called Inaka Restaurant has traditional curtains over the inner entryway and uninspiring laminated photos of dishes on the outer wall. Take heart and continue all the way to the restaurant's back room, where cozy booths line the walls. The lunch specials here are excellent. Try the spicy tuna roll, the unagi (marinated eel) roll and the kappa (cucumber) roll. The tempura is light, the miso flavorful, the tea plentiful. Prices are low enough to attract students.
This candlelit Belltown restaurant called Marco's Supper club has become one of the area's most popular eateries. The patrons tend to be couples out for romantic evenings or small groups of friends. On warm summer nights, there is outdoor dining, so you can gaze into someone's eyes under the stars. The eclectic, multicultural menu features everything from Thai-spiced seared tuna to luscious gnocchi to a fried sage leaf appetizer-one of the specialties of the house. A full bar is available.
This humble little Queen Anne-area restaurant called Malena's Taco Shop has prices and tacos that cannot be beat. Little is the key word here. There are four small tables and a tiny counter space. That doesn't seem to be much of a problem, however, because most of the patrons get their food to go. The menu is extensive for such a small place, and the food is made with fresh ingredients. Enjoy standards like tacos, tamales and burritos. For very little money, you can have a great meal, but bring cash.
Japanese restaurants in Seattle tend to fall into one of two categories: those that cater to gourmet tastes and those that offer tasty cuisine while going easier on one's budget. This cozy Wallingford eatery called Ai Japanese Restaurant falls into the second category, offering good sushi, sashimi, teriyaki and other Japanese specialties. The lunch and dinner specials can't be beat, as they offer an enormous amount of food for the price. The service is attentive without being intrusive.
Bright colors and large murals grace the walls of this casual Mexican cafe called Burrito Loco bringing in the feel of warm Puerto Vallarta. At Burrito Loco, every dish is exquisitely prepared from the finest ingredients, and the commitment to quality is evident in every bite you take. Portions are so large as to leave you immobile for a time, but after a festive meal here, you'll be perfectly content just to roll down the sidewalk to your car. On hot days, wash it all down with a cool glass of horchata, sangria or a beer.
Unconventional and gourmet describe Zeek's Pizza, a casual pizzeria's menu. Try the Thai one on with peanut sauce, chicken and cilantro, or the Tree Hugger, laden with all sorts of vegetables. Those a little nervous about nouveau pizza need not fret. With more than 28 toppings, there is something to suit every taste. Beer and wine are served.
Perched near upscale University Village, this restaurant isn't exactly the place most people would think to go for a quiet, romantic Italian dinner. But that's exactly what those in the know come for, even in the summertime, when the management serves meals on the noisy deck. The fare is authentically Italian, with antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci, all washed down with Italian wines and sharp espresso. The Tomato Bruschetta bursts with fresh tomato flavor. Inventive specials include a surprisingly spicy chili spaghetti tossed with capers and parmesan. The staff is attentive yet unobtrusive.
Located on colorful Broadway Avenue, this dark restaurant fits nicely into its eclectic surroundings. In this unique, old-fashioned environment; somewhat of a greasy-spoon-you half expect to find Humphrey Bogart at a back table. Dim light is absorbed into the plush red walls and a favorite sport is reciting as much dialogue from "The Thin Man" as you can remember. The standard American fare is served in generous portions and includes steak, prime rib, seafood, pasta and burgers. Hearty American-style breakfasts are also served on Saturdays and Sundays.
2605 California Avenue Southwest Seattle, WA 98116
This cozy corner grill and alehouse located in West Seattle is owned by a husband and wife team who pride themselves on the quality of their food and on the wide variety of domestic and imported beers, wines and ports. Considering the casual atmosphere, the food from the grill is better than you might expect. Entrees include dishes like Grilled Steel head, Dungeness and Sweet Potato Crab Cakes, and Chicken Jambalaya. Starters include Caesar Salad, an Artichoke Hummus Mesa Plate and Fried Calamari. For lunch, relax with a pint of Guinness or Harp over a Smoked Ham and Brie Sandwich. The restaurant serves brunch on weekends.