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