Rainier Avenue is Renton’s major commercial byway, lined with big chain restaurants. The best comestibles on this strip are found at Royal Orchid Thai Cuisine (104 Rainier Ave. S, 425/271-4219, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), which serves authentic Southeast Asian fare with a smile. The dining room is full of real orchids. Try one of the complex curry dishes.
Right across from the downtown train station, Whistle Stop Ale House (340 Burnett Ave. S, 425/277-3039, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) is a friendly little bar and eatery with microbrews on tap and good sandwiches. You can also get good Italian food at Armondo’s Café Italiano (919 South 3rd St., 425/255-5001, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri., 4–10 p.m. Sat., 4–9 p.m. Sun.).
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition