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Seattle Center Steps Up as Dining Destination
With so much to do at the Seattle Center, it’s hard to think about cramming in time for lunch. But when you're visiting Seattle and the hunger pangs do hit, you can pursue instant gratification at the Seattle Center Armory, formerly The Center House, where some mainstays of the local restaurant scene have joined forces to turn this once ho-hum food court into a storied dining destination. Designed with families in mind, it includes kid-size tables and chairs, a play area, and menu options that appeal to even the most finicky pint-size palate.
Skillet helped launch the mobile food trend in Seattle back in 2007, while Skillet:Counter led the charge that put the Armory on trend. Signature favorites, such as the burger with bacon jam, draw long-time loyalists to the new location and continually inspire new fans. Items such as cornmeal waffles, fried pork belly and caramelized grapefruit put upscale flavor in down-home cooking.
The Blue Water Taco Grill & Cantina serves Mexican food in the Coastal tradition, with fresh salsas, Baja fish tacos, pork carnitas and beef barbacoa on the menu. You can stick around to enjoy a fresh-squeezed margarita on the expansive patio, or ask the staff to pack your lunch to go for a picnic at International Fountain.
At the Plum Pantry a 100 percent vegan menu proves that business and social responsibility can go hand-in-hand. Even if you’re not a vegan, you can do your part to help save the planet one delicious plate at a time. With jerk tofu, seitan “steak” and even a spicy mock chorizo on the menu, the most committed carnivore can find something to love here.
For a convenient lunch while you tour EMP Museum, pop into the Culture Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. The full-service café and bar offers an array of delicious and seasonal foods made with local ingredients including hearth-baked sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, soups, artisan baked goods, and a $6 kids menu. At the bar, a selection of distinctive specialty cocktails, wine, and micro-brewed beers gives visitors a taste of local favorites.
No need to put the sightseeing on hold while you eat. Head over to Tilikum Place, just to the southeast of Seattle Center, where a life-size statue of Chief Seattle greets modern visitors with the raised arm he used to welcome the region’s first white settlers. You can then pop into the Tilikum Place Café for a weekday lunch or weekend brunch. Order one of the famous Dutch baby stuffed pancakes, which come in both sweet and savory versions.
For a splurge lunch on a clear day, try the SkyCity Restaurant on the revolving deck at the top of the Space Needle. At 500 feet up, the 360-degree views take in Mt. Rainier, the Elliott Bay waterfront and downtown Seattle. The menu features seasonal local ingredients, and every meal comes with a complimentary visit to the observation deck 20 feet above.