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This morning's battle features the Pioneer Square-Belltown-SoDo trio taking on the neighboring International District.

*See Also Seattle Weekly's Snackdown Returns

Southeast Wins Big in First

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Snackdown! Downtown vs. International District

snackdown_logo2012 (1).jpg
This morning's battle features the Pioneer Square-Belltown-SoDo trio taking on the neighboring International District.

*See Also Seattle Weekly's Snackdown Returns

Southeast Wins Big in First Snackdown Contest

Mike Seely is a fan of Seattle's greater downtown.

The Greater Downtown Area--which, for the purposes of this contest, includes Pioneer Square, Belltown and SoDo (but not the International District, which is its own beast entirely)--is both Seattle's biggest and smallest neighborhood, depending on how you look at it. By day, when hundreds of thousands of workers swarm its streets, its eateries are indispensable, and far from merely utilitarian. By night, what dwellers are left often ascend high-rises, leaving the streets to the urchins.

If readers are to assess Greater Downtown's culinary scene objectively (a tall order, mind you, in a contest predicated on neighborhood pride), however, then a simple truth emerges: No neighborhood can touch downtown in terms of quality, diversity and sheer volume of eating options. The Coterie Room, Shiro's, Spur, Two Bells, Il Terrazzo Carmine, the bulk of Tom Douglas' empire, Queen City Grill, The Metropolitan Grill (among a cavalcade of high-end steakhouses), Mistral Kitchen, Tat's, the Collins Pub (best Reuben in Seattle, hands down), Bakeman's, multiple carts serving cream-cheese hot dogs, and Pike Place Fucking Market (which, as a standalone, could give any neighborhood a run for its money)--and that's barely scratching the surface.

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Downtown Seattle is the New York Yankees, while everywhere else is just...everywhere else--including SoDo, which is tacked on to this entry. For those at Starbucks headquarteers, there's the daily gathering of food trucks on Utah Avenue, affordable pho, SoDo Pizza (whose standard-issue pies can also be found at Hooverville and Two Beers Brewing), SoDo Deli and another outpost of Macrina Bakery, which also runs a shop up in Belltown. For those living hand to mouth, 4th Ave. S. contains virtually every national fast food chain imaginable. And for beat cops and David Lynch fans, there's the stiff-pouring Orient Express and its humungous bowls of Henry Liebman's Noodle Soup.

And Tiffany Ran is backing the nearby International District.

The International District boasts dining options that surpass geographic borders. From the International District gate to the borders of Rainier, hungry patrons can start at the gate, where Ping's Dumplings are hand made every day, and Henry's Taiwan Plus brings the best of the small island country to the Northwest. A few steps down, Fuji Bakery adds European flair to the corner of King Street and 6th, where late night dining options are a stone's throw away.

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At 1 a.m., restaurants like Hong Kong Bistro, Purple Dot Café, and Honey Court Seafood, which provide the wide gamut of late night eats from the therapeutic soup noodles to claypot rice and lobster. Local watering holes, Maekawa and Fort St. George, keep up the late-night dining standard, offering drink-friendly food that surpasses the usual pizza and burgers.

Those willing to go deep will be rewarded with the ultimate weekend brunch, the duck noodles and offal congee at Huong Binh. By day, Saigon Deli's Vietnamese sandwiches do not skimp on the duck liver mousse. Maneki, possibly the oldest Japanese restaurant in the country, keeps tradition going strong. Though, it's clear that the restaurants in the ID do not have a problem with that at all.

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