Last week at Seattle magazine's Beauty Insiders Event, dining and lifestyle editor Chelsea Lin was stopped and asked for a selfie by a fan of her Instagram Food Q&A. It may be a little while before she's forced to wear sunglasses and use back alleys to avoid paparazzi, but Seattleites are definitely taking note of her weekly live videos full of helpful tips and insider secrets about dining in Seattle. Below, find her most recent advice about top spots for foodie vacations, the Impossible Burger, ramen and more.
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Most affordable crab dishes?
I don’t think it gets much more affordable than the grab-and-go crab cocktails from Pike Place Market. But if you’re looking for a dish where the crab really sings, head to this new restaurant called Samara north of Ballard and try the crab and rice cake dish. It’s delightful (but about $24).
Best place for breakfast burritos?
I love a good breakfast burrito, but I usually don’t want it at breakfast, so I love places where it’s available all day. Gordito’s in Greenwood has all-day breakfast burritos that are pretty good, and I love the ones at Bang Bang as well. Oh, and Taco Street—go there for great all-day breakfast burritos and tacos!
Best seafood Sunday brunch buffet in Seattle?
It’s been years since I’ve gone to Salty’s brunch buffet, but I took my mom and we both marveled at how delightfully over the top it was. It’s not exclusively seafood, but there are just piles of shrimp and crab legs and oysters, and you can definitely get your money’s worth if you’re going for that.
Favorite foodie weekend trips from Seattle?
It depends on what you’re looking for… if you’re just looking to spend a lazy afternoon on a short road trip, go up to Chuckanut Drive off I-5 before Bellingham, and wander through Bow-Edison before ending up at Taylor Shellfish for oysters and wine on the water. If you’re looking for spending a whole weekend and really going gluttonous, I can’t get enough of Vancouver, particularly the suburb of Richmond, that has just the best Chinese food.
Best cake for a birthday?
The cakes at Deep Sea Sugar & Salt are just the best, but I know how busy they are and you can’t always get on the books for a whole cake. The cakes there are more sophisticated, grown up. If you’re looking for sweet and fluffy and brightly colored, go to Cakes of Paradise, which does these gorgeous Hawaiian cakes in a bunch of tropical flavors.
Anyone in town serving the Impossible Burger yet?
Yes! I’ve had it at the Carlile Room, but there are a bunch of places around town offering it now, including the locations of Li’l Woody’s. If you go to the Impossible Foods website, they have a full list there.
Best natural wine program?
Click here for a story freelancer Dylan Joffe wrote about the natural wine scene here in Seattle. I love Vif, for a lot of reasons, but they have a great selection, and Left Bank in South Park is also amazing.
Best plant-based dessert places?
This is another one I recently wrote about—click here if you want to check out a dining guide I wrote a couple months ago about plant-based sweets. Frankie & Jo’s is the obvious choice, and their ice cream is delightful, whether you’re vegan or not. But the surprise hit from researching that story was Pure Pies, which are raw and vegan and gluten-free and soooo good.
Best brewery in North Seattle?
Do you mean further north than Ballard? Because obviously Ballard has a ton of great breweries. I like Hellbent in Lake City, though it’s worth noting that the taproom is 21 and over. Check out, too, Lantern Brewing off Aurora around 95th—they specialize in Belgian and French style ales.
Last year we wrote about ramen as part of our best restaurants issue, and Betsutenjin came out on top… Their ramen is super good, and the atmosphere very traditional. I love Ooink too, which is a little more modern and unique; both of those are in Capitol Hill. A new ramen place called Menya Musashi just opened where Tentenyu used to be, and I’ve heard great things so far.