This is it. Seventeen worthy competitors have been winnowed down to two, with Capitol Hill representing the whole of urban Seattle and Bainbridge/Bremerton/Vashon standing for the suburbs. With so much on the line (in addition to the tremendous sense of pride that accompanies the Snackdown crown, the winner gets a Seattle Weekly-hosted victory party), we've extended our standard voting period. Remember, this isn't just a fight between two neighborhoods: It's a philosophical battle between two very different concepts of what it means to live and eat in Seattle. Which side are you on? Tell us with your vote. Polls close Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
*See Also Seattle Weekly's Snackdown Returns
You'll find Ma'Chell Duma LaVassar's noshing her way through Capitol Hill.
Capitol Hill alone makes Seattle one of America's great food cities. Not only does the Hill have any type of cuisine you are craving, you can get it in both lowbrow and highbrow varieties, sometimes within steps of each other.
You only have to cross the street, from Pike Street Fish Fry to Quinn's Pub to experience two equally delicious takes on greasily good seafood. Fans of fresher fish can get their fix via a conveyor belt at Genki Sushi, the chain that gets you bust-a-gut full for the cost of half a roll at the sublimely posh Momiji - which reside within a reasonable, high-heeled walk of each other.
C.H. also has a concentration of quality Mexi/Latin fare. Feeling upscale? Hit Poquito's for uber-fresh and fabulous, or the Saint, a seemingly jinxed space that's become a premier locale, or Barrio, where the food is thoughtful -- and a single flight of unbelievable tequila could pay four diner's tabs at low end haunts like Bimbo's Bitchin' Burrito Kitchen or Taco Gringos.
Burgers worth the big bucks can be found at Lil' Woody's and 8oz. Burger Bar, but for cheap eats, other locations be damned; the Mix-immortalized Dick's is the best. Awash with local color, they have provided tourists the unique experience of being berated for offering a homeless vegan a cheeseburger, since 1955. And though its gone from Grungeville, USA to Yipsterburg over the years, as long as that marquee stands over Broadway, the Hill is still "the Hill."
While Hanna Raskin says smart eaters will board a ferry when they're hungry.
As cruise directors know, a boat voyage can sharpen the appetite. But the outstanding restaurants that await beyond the ferry terminals on Bainbridge, Vashon and Bremerton are so good that they could thrive on the mainland (which is a fancy way of saying that Seattle wouldn't mind if the restaurants listed here opened in-city locations.)
Vashon has always been a food community, but it's long been hard for visitors to appreciate it. Since the island's rich with farmed fruits, vegetables and meats and foraged berries, mushrooms and sea creatures, the best dinners have always been served in private homes. But non-Vashonites can now appreciate the island's bounty without filling their tote bags at the excellent Saturday farmers' market, thanks to a recent surge of quality restaurants. La Boucherie, the sit-down offshoot of Sea Breeze Farm, serves extraordinary charcuterie in a wonderfully romantic dining room attached to a butcher shop. It's nearly impossible to score a reservation at the new May Kitchen + Bar, but its curries are so good that diners shouldn't mind eating at 4:30 p.m. Zamorana, which earned accolades for its tacos and tortas while operating as a truck, recently opened a permanent location, and Zombiez has lately won over burger fans.
Music editor Chris Kornelis, a Bremerton resident, swears by Hi-Lo's 15th Street Cafe and Toro Lounge, a satisfyingly trendy tapas bar serving lamb sliders and grilled pear salads. Toro also offers a smart line-up of cocktails in a town that's better known for the ales poured at Silver City Brewing Co.'s newest taproom and Der Blokken in Manette. While Manette is rapidly turning hip, Bremerton is still a reliable source of old-school sweets, including the pink champagne cake at McGavin's and the cream pies at the Airport Diner, also renowned for its fish and chips.
Over in Bainbridge, a farm-to-table philosophy reigns at the acclaimed Hitchcock, where the name-your-price, chef's choice menu is one of the best and most affordable ways to experience high-end cooking in the county. Since island jaunts are synonymous with picnics, Bainbridge has also cultivated a few great bakeries and sandwich shops, including Blackbird and Fork & Spoon. But the island's defining dining experience right now is a meal at Greg Atkinson's lovely Marche, where the vegetables are prepared with grace and skill, followed by dessert across the lane at the always terrific Mora Iced Creamery and a ferry ride home.