The owners of the much-loved Le Pichet café in the Pike Place Market opened this ultracool Capitol Hill offshoot in 2007. The dining room, with its soaring, beamed ceiling and antiquey blue-and-white wallpaper, draws an indie crowd—which clearly appreciates Presse’s delicious and affordable French comfort food. At lunch, you can grab a gooey croque monsieur, a plate of pommes frites, and a pint of Stella, and while away the afternoon reading a foreign newspaper or art mag from the huge media rack near the door. Or book a dinner table at the back of the house for a slightly more sophisticated meal: Penn Cove clams sautéed with chorizo, white wine, parsley, and roasted pepper broth, along with a glass of white from the well-edited wine list.
Tip: If the scene at Presse feels a little too self-consciously hip, Le Pichet (corner of 1st Avenue and Stewart Street, Belltown) has a similar menu and a more traditional bistro setting.