Seattle has a vibrant downtown though it seems many new restaurants are choosing to open in surrounding neighborhoods.
There are a lot of condos downtown and staying downtown offers the convenience of being close to all that it offers such as Pike Place Market, South Lake Union (home to Amazon etc.) Belltown, ferries, our two sports stadiums, the international district, the Seattle Art Museum and shopping. But in the summer the tall buildings block out a lot of the sun whereas staying in a nearby neighborhood may allow you to soak in the sun a bit more.
Coffee and Specialty Bakery –You must not miss this little dedicated GF bakery in the Pike Place Market. Owner Tanya is the only one I have met who can bake gluten free eclairs, palmiers, and cinnamon rolls. Plan to visit them early in your visit to stock up on a few things. The only seating is outside, and on a sunny day that is perfect.
Storyville Coffee –upstairs in the market is a great Seattle experience–The coffee is deep roasted and they have breakfast and lunch items. Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats are in their oatmeal and granola, they are conscientious about cross contamination as well. For treats they bake off in-store a flourless Chocolate Cake Round and a Macaron almond cookie (the dough is made in a central facility for consistency). For lunch a few items looked good to me and are inherently GF: kale salad, Thai salad (both sound delicious) and tomato soup. There are comfy leather couches and chairs, a fireplace, a nice environment, and quality employees!
Since 1907 our Pike Place Market has allowed farmers to bring their food directly to the people. It now features produce, flowers, seafood, a wide variety of craftspeople, and surrounding business includes an incredible kitchen store Sur La Table, DeLaurenti’s Specialty Food & Wine and many others. From Pike Place Market you can also easily walk to the Seattle Art Museum.
If you are shopping downtown here are two places we really enjoy:
Il Fornaio–Italian–The link goes to their gluten free menu….we have had great experiences here, it’s a place that feels like fine dining but kids are welcome and they have GF pasta.
Café Nordstrom–several items are noted on menu as gluten free and others are if croutons etc are omitted. Ask when ordering. Easy, quick and quality food.
And near the Seattle Art Museum:
Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant–they have a variety of GF menu items and all of their food is very good… spanning the eastern Pacific Rim: China to Indonesia and Malaysia to Vietnam.
Seattle has a lot of “gluten free” people– so restaurants understand the diet to some degree– but to clarify your risk of possible cross contamination you should ask questions because every place seems to have their own definition. We have successfully dined at most of these places without issue, those we haven’t tried are so noted.