Your Seattle Restaurant Questions Answered: First Date Spots, Best Bakeries and Bagels

Plus: Wineries, Central American food and quintessential Seattle spots
| Updated: July 3, 2019
Bakery Nouveau's delicious treats

If you have ever found yourself wondering where on earth you are going to bring a huge group for brunch, whether Seattle has any good wineries in the city, or where to take friends and guests looking for a quintessential food experience, we have answers for you. Each week, our readers take to Instagram to get the scoop on the secrets of Seattle's dining scene as our Dining and Lifestyle Editor, Chelsea Lin, shares her knowledge. Those answers are compiled here and shared biweekly, so you don't have to miss a thing. 

Have a question for Chelsea? Submit here. 

Best brunch for gatherings? 
If you’ve got a group, especially if that group involves little kids, you need a place that takes reservations. Portage Bay does great with this, as their menu is so focused around brunch and all the locations take reservations. Stoneburner might be fun, too, as the menu has options like breakfast pizza and carbonara, and you could easily share dishes. 

Any places serving Guatemalan food or authentic Central American fare?
Our writer Naomi Tomky recently wrote about La Cabaña in Greenwood—the owners are Honduran, but they have a menu full of Central American dishes and it’s really a delightful spot. 

Where can I get good bagels in Seattle? 
There will be people that message me, surely, and tell me there simply aren’t good bagels in Seattle. But, I like the ones at Westman’s, and I’ve heard great things about the new Pinehurst deli Zylberschtein’s. And if you’re fine with chasing down pop ups, check out Loxsmith and Beep Boop Bagel

Best happy hour place for a first date? 
I love Foreign National, and it’s super dark in there, which may be a good thing on a first date. The drinks are wonderful, the bartenders super knowledgeable. In fact, last time I was there, I sat next to a couple on a first date (it didn’t go well).

Top five French bakeries?
Last November, we wrote a whole cover package on our favorite bakeries… You can read the top 5 here. For French-style pastries, I really love Coyle’s Bakeshop and Bakery Nouveau, though Belle Epicurean is a delightful little spot that feels very French. 

Best place for a strawberry shortcake?
Modern, this Japanese café in Phinney Ridge, makes excellent strawberry shortcakes—really light and fluffy and not terribly sweet. And I just saw that Hot Cakes is doing a seasonal strawberry shortcake, so best get in there and try it before the berries disappear! 

Where can I find pasta made in those cheese wheels? 
Mercato Stellina down by Pike Place Market does their cacio e pepe in one of those big wheels, which is really fun to watch (and eat!). Also, if you go to Tulalip, Tula Bene restaurant there does cacio e pepe and prepares it in that giant wheel tableside.

Wineries near or in Seattle? 
We have our WA wine awards issue coming out in August—stay tuned. Last year, one of our freelancers wrote a great piece about all the wine tasting rooms in SoDo. Check it out to read about places like Efeste, Elsom Cellars and Full Pull Wines. 

New to Seattle—what’s the one quintessential, must-have Seattle food experience? 
You guys set me up with so many opportunities to talk about stuff we’ve written about in the magazine this week! In February, we outlined the 100 dishes you should eat, but there are 16 quintessential foods to try here.

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