The West's best food towns

Whose food scene reigns supreme? Check out the winners of our 4 regional food town smackdowns

Portland vs. Seattle food fight

Two Northwest titans duke it out for the title of best food city

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4 more reasons why it won
Photo by Thomas J. Story

4 more reasons why it won

4. Green Leaf. Make sure you show up hungry to this tiny International District joint, where you can taste authentic, low-cost Vietnamese at its best. $; 481 Eighth Ave. S.; 206/340-1388.

5. Oddfellows Cafe (pictured). If there’s a single restaurant that epitomizes Seattle’s food-and-drink scene, this is it. In a giant, high-ceilinged room, you’ll see morning meetings over cups of bottomless (good) coffee and sizzling baked eggs, tattooed freelancers tapping away at their laptops during lunch, and a lineup of creative cocktails and locally sourced dishes for dinner. $$; 1525 10th Ave.; 206/325-0807.

6. Espresso Vivace. Think of Seattle as a body, and coffee as its blood. Espresso Vivace, which opened in 1988, embodies the city’s longtime devotion to perfecting how to roast a bean. Multiple locations; espressovivace.com

7. Staple & Fancy Mercantile. At Ethan Stowell’s latest restaurant in Ballard, you can order the Northwest-inspired Italian food off a straightforward à la carte “staples” menu, but the adventurous go for the prix fixe “fancy” menu, which means the kitchen creates a family-style supper at its whim. If you’re torn, regard the note at the bottom of the fancy menu: We would also like to inform you that you really should do this. $$$$; 4739 Ballard Ave. N.W.; 206/789-1200.

 

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