Welcome back to Eater Seattle's Something for the Weekend column. Every Friday, you probably ask the same question: Where should I eat and drink this weekend? Covering brunch, dinner, and everything in between, here, now, three places to try.
April 29, 2016
Pioneer Square's Nirmal's is boldly going where no Indian restaurant in Seattle has gone before: high-end. (Oh, except maybe Shanik, but look how well that turned out.) Nirmal's is still a cult favorite, but the critics are starting to catch on. It's usually fairly crowded, but go now before the place positively explodes.
In the humid back reaches of Nacho Borracho is a window from which Monica Dimas' outstanding tacos are served. Tacos are $3 each and include classic "old school" picks like lengua and carnitas, as well as inventive "new school" options like crispy pork belly. Look out for the General Tso's on special — and for the sake of all things good and true in this world, order several if it's available.
BaLLARD BEER COMPANY
Someone has to do the good work of bringing all of Ballard's outstanding breweries under one roof. It's a community service, really. The friendly folks at Ballard Beer Company offer pours and bottles from the neighborhood as well as other Washington breweries and cideries. And there are free pretzels.
April 22, 2016
The Noble Fir
This Ballard bar centers around two things Seattleites love: beer and the outdoors. Settle in with a pint and a snack and make use of the library in the back, which stocks tons of guidebooks and Green Trails maps. It's the perfect place to spend a few hours on a rainy weekend planning your next sunny day adventure.
A few Cupcake Royale bakers got together and created Rodeo Donut, which is sold through the Capitol Hill and Ballard Cupcake Royale locations. Each day brings a different set of rings and filled donuts, which involve fun—but not preposterous—flavor combinations and uber-indulgent brioche dough.
Standard Brewing in the Central District has been one of the city's best breweries since it opened as a nanobrewery a little over three years ago. Now that the space is growing, the team is spreading its wings a bit and offering a wider range of great beers—though you'll notice hops, and their incredible variety, are still largely the focus. Now, there's more seating too, so it's worth revisiting if you haven't been in a while.
April 15, 2016
There's lots to love about Pioneer Square's Good Bar, whether you're hitting it up before or after a Mariner's game or just stopping by for a drink and a snack. The cocktails here are excellent and the beer list is loaded with strong choices. And on the food side, bites like fingerling potatoes with aioli and the signature sloppy joe combine for a satisfying meal. Good Bar is even cooler because it's set in a lovingly restored historic Japanese bank.
Chester Gerl's sexy new Gracia in Ballard is centered around tortillas using masa sourced from Oaxacan farms. Try it right now in dishes like the queso fundido with green chorizo, beer-battered fish or carnitas tacos, carne asada, and more. The cocktails are strong, too, and feature lots of tequila and mezcal versions of classics.
fat's chicken and waffles
Delightful Fat's is serving Southern- and New Orleans-style dishes for brunch and dinner. Though the name seems to indicate it's all about the fried chicken and waffles here, the small menu covers a range of great standards like red beans and rice, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes. The sandwiches are excellent, too, featuring shrimp, catfish, chicken, or oysters—all fried—in a po' boy-esque set-up that trades crunchy French bread for a more chewy option that works very well in this take.
April 8, 2016
Great State burger
Does Seattle need more burger joints? Josh Henderson seems to be betting on it. His Great State Burger has two locations open, with many more in the works. Here's the deal: The burgers are constructed from grass-fed beef, and overall it's a study in simplicity. The menu is small, offering little variation, which allows the whole operation to be perfectly executed. You won't find crazy toppings or sides other than crinkle fries and a few milkshakes, but it's all fast, affordable, and very tasty.
Classic dive bar Twilight Exit has long been a go-to for Central District residents. The business is still doing great things in its dimly lit space on Cherry Street, with a nice selection of beer on tap, burgers, and snacks. You can't go wrong with that patio on a sunny day, either.
Seoul Kitchen food truck is turning out fun twists on Korean classics like bibimbap and kimchi fries. Oh, and there are mochi beignets, which to this New Orleans native were a fantastic rendition that also happen to be gluten-free—as long as you don't mind the inherent chewiness/squishiness of the mochi. Follow the truck on Twitter for its latest weekend locations.
April 1, 2016
volunteer park cafe
Volunteer Park Cafe in North Capitol Hill is one of those places made even more magical by the sunshine and the bright spring foliage and flowers. Whether you score a coveted outdoor table or sit inside, you can't go wrong. Breakfast, baked goods, lunch, and dinner are reliably great, with an eye towards simplicity. It's one of Seattle's best restaurants, masquerading as a neighborhood cafe.
Did you notice the sun is out? Chances are everyone and their mother are going to be at Westward this weekend, and perhaps you should join them. Go in knowing you're going to have to wait for a table, especially if you want to sit outside. When you do order, there are excellent cocktails aplenty and food that has remained outstanding despite the fact that chef Zoi Antonitsas has moved on.
Unpretentious Hopvine serves a rotating selection of local beer and cider, all well curated. A friendly staff doesn't come off as overly beer-snobby, and the food is straightforward yet always done well, whether you're going for the classic hummus plate or pizza garlic knots or a Reuben. Every neighborhood deserves one of these pubs.