Restaurateur Linda Derschang has lived in Seattle since 1987. Founder and CEO of The Derschang Group, she’s a fixture in the Seattle hospitality scene as the force behind staple restaurant such as Smith, Linda’s Tavern, Oddfellows, King’s Hardware, and the recently opened Queen City in Belltown.
“The Seattle restaurant scene has really grown in the last decade,” says Derschang, which complements other wonderful things about Seattle, like the city’s mountain and water views as well as the thriving arts and culture scene. Here, Derschang gives us the scoop on the best places to eat and her favorite things to do in one of the coolest Pacific Northwest cities.
Do you have a soft spot for one of your restaurants? Which one and why?
Oddfellows Cafe+Bar is possibly my favorite because it’s such a popular neighborhood spot both day and night so I run into friends every time I walk in. But Linda’s Tavern is right down the street and since it’s my first place and much of the staff has been there for years, I’d say it’s my other favorite.
What dishes epitomize Seattle, and where are the best places to try them?
Best place in Seattle to get coffee?
Vif or Oddfellows are my go-to spots.
Where do you go to see art in Seattle?
Winston Wachter Gallery is a favorite. Roq la Rue has reopened which is exciting. They feature mainly pop surrealist artists and have been one of the top galleries in the country for that style of art.
Best place to shop in Seattle?
When you want to escape the city, where do you go?
I love to take a ferry and visit friends on Vashon Island. There are beaches, a few shops and some charming cafes and restaurants to visit.
What’s the one thing a visitor should do in Seattle?
Visit Elliott Bay Books if they are book lovers. It’s a wonderful store and the Pike/Pine neighborhood is a great area to roam around for an afternoon.
Where do you take out-of-town guests for dinner?
I love Canlis. It’s a classic with great food, service an an amazing view.
What’s your favorite neighborhood in Seattle and why?
Capitol Hill has been my favorite neighborhood for years but there’s so much happening downtown that I can’t pick just one!
Favorite stall at Pike Place market?
All the flower vendors are my main reason for visiting the market. There is usually a great selection of local flowers are very reasonable prices.