*See Also Seattle Weekly's Snackdown Returns
Sonja Groset is charmed by Lynnwood, Edmonds and Shoreline.
Cheap eats and ethnic eateries define dining in the North end. Often referred to as "Korea North," Edmonds and Lynnwood are home to Korean favorites like Hoosoonyi, Traditional Korean Beef Soup and Ka Won Korean BBQ.
There is Vietnamese food to be found as well. The second only outpost of Seattle Deli isn't in Seattle at all--it's in Edmonds. For banh mi, however it's worth heading further north into Lynnwood, to Yeh-Yeh's, where the $4 sandwiches overflow with meat and pickled vegetables. Taquerias and taco trucks pop up every few miles, as you head from Shoreline to Lynnwood on Aurora Ave, best among them is Taqueria El Sabor, with its self-serve salsa bar and homemade tortillas.
The original San Fernando chicken sits back from highway, but attracts crowds for its Peruvian-style, crispy-skinned roast chicken, pollo a la brasa. There's no lack of All-American food in SnohCo however. When Dick's Drive-In opened their first new location in 37 years, they didn't open it in West Seattle or Beacon Hill. They opened it in Edmonds.
East Coast-style meaty sandwiches overflow the plate at Grinders Hot Sands in Shoreline. And if you want to get your drink on in the 425, head to The Cabin, a cozy tavern located on a residential street off Richmond Beach. Or fill your growler at American Brewing or Gallagher's Where-U-Brew in Edmonds, or The Big E in Lynnwood.
And Hanna Raskin says Bainbridge, Vashon and the Kitsap Penninsula float her boat.
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.