This past week I was in Seattle for the first time in my life! Washington is a pretty big state, but I tried my best to see as much of Seattle + surrounding area as I could. There were so many cool little neighborhoods to explore within walking distance of my hotel- and THEN there were so many ‘hoods outside of city proper, just a stone’s throw away, that were equally as cool and beautiful and fun. Will and I thought about driving down to Portland or up to Vancouver while we were in Seattle… but I’m so glad we didn’t! There was so much to do in Seattle/Washington- let alone trying to cram in another new city/state/place. It was hard enough trying to feel like we saw everything in the main place we were visiting!
I felt pretty well prepared for handling Seattle thanks to one of my best friends, Sara. She’s from there and she’s the reason I was actually visiting Seattle- she married the love of her life on Saturday and I was lucky enough to be invited to be there! As soon as Will and I knew we were being invited to their wedding, we started figuring out a way to make a vacation out of the trip. And Sara did a good job of telling me all about her favorite things to see, do, and eat in the area.
So how did I like it? I loved it! It was unlike anywhere I had ever been. The weather was nice- kind Fall-y but warm in the sun and only cloudy sometimes. I did wish I had brought warmer clothes with me though! I ended up caving and buying a cardigan while I was there.
It was relatively easy to warm up though… all you had to do was start walking around this city of HILLS. Man, no one warned me about how hilly Seattle is! You don’t see hills on a regular street view google map so those were a fun surprise. They weren’t bad at all once we got used to them but there definitely was initial shock- you mean in order to get to dinner we have to walk one mile straight uphill? Will and I tried to walk everywhere we could- and unlike L.A., Seattle IS a walkable city and everyone walks/bikes around. So we were in good company. When we tried to walk places in LA people looked at us like we were savages.
I also loved being near the ocean. It had more of a New England vibe than the coast in California had. AND there was a view of beautiful mountains! I’m always so impressed by mountains because I didn’t grow up near them.
It would be impossible for me to tell you about my entire trip in one blog post- that would be WAY too long. So let me tell you about the food in this post and my adventures later. Food is the most important thing always, right? Right.
These are all the places we went that I would recommend to anyone else visiting:
Portage Bay Cafe | Evolution Juice | Lowell’s | Homegrown | Agua Verde | Stika and Spruce | Serious Pie | Poquitos | Local 360 | Molly Moon’s
If you want to learn more about each place- keep reading!
SO I figured I’d be eating well on this vacation. From what I understood about the pacific northwest before going was that people are very into the farm to table concept and fresh- whole- real food. It definitely lived up to this idea of the place that I had in my head. All of the food I ate was awesome!
We only went to three different places for breakfast. The first, and the one I was MOST excited for was Portage Bay Cafe. Sara had told me about this place many times and how great it was. Mainly because they have a “toppings bar” for anyone getting pancakes, french toast, or oatmeal. If you get one of those items, you get unlimited trips to a bar featuring all different kinds of bowls of fruit, fresh whipped cream, nuts, syrup, and dried fruit.
Uhhhhh. I could of dove head first into the bowl of whipped cream. I sort of did. I let myself go a little crazy on our first trip there and then contained myself a little better the next couple of times. Because even though the toppings bar is da bomb, Portage Bay also has really good savory food as well. And five tons of pancakes + sugar + fruit doesn’t sit in the stomach too well day after day 😉 One of the things I loved about Portage Bay was that all of their food was made really well and they had a lot of options to fit different dietary restrictions (gluten free, vegetarian, etc). Also… their portions are GINORMOUS. You could easily split a plate of anything with someone and still be stuffed when you leave.
After a weird late night when we didn’t wake up super hungry, we decided to get a more simple breakfast at Evolution Juice. I was so excited when I saw they had a storefront in Seattle! Whole Foods sells their juices, but the store front has more meal-like options and smoothies! Om nom nom. I got a delicious green smoothie in a bowl container so I could add some granola I had brought with me on the trip.
We also had breakfast at Lowell’s in Pike Place Market. You can either order food at their counter and seat yourself on the first or third floor- OR sit down on the second floor and have table service. We ordered breakfast food at the counter and sat up on the third floor for killer views of the water. I got their crab omelette, which I read was one of Mario Batali’s favorite breakfasts… so obviously I had to get that. It was good comfort- dinerish breakfast food.
Quick Bites and Lunches
One of my favorite things to do in a new city is to find the nearest Whole Foods and check it out. Because outside of work, I spend my time at Whole Foods of course. There was one in the South Lake Union neighborhood near our hotel that Will and I frequented for snacks, to go lunch on a day we went hiking, and kombucha.
After a cloudy, chilly day of standup paddleboarding in Lake Union, nothing could have been more comforting than food at Homegrown. They offer sandwiches, salads, and locally produced coffee and dranks. Before leaving Seattle, I got a salad to go from Homegrown to eat on the plane ride home. Such a good call. This salad had chicken, bacon, avocado, cherries, cucumbers, and a balsamic dressing on the side. Simple but such quality ingredients.
We also got a late lunch at Lowell’s one day (same place where we got breakfast). It was more expensive than I would have liked, but you can’t beat Copper River salmon. They served it with jasmine rice, asparagus, and mango salsa. Worth every penny. We sat facing inside the market and it was fun to creep on everyone from above.
There also were occasional blackberry snacks out and about! Sara had told me about how wild blackberries grow all over the place and are very commonplace there… she wasn’t kidding! They were everywhere! I loved it.
I had a surprisingly good little salad at a taco/burrito/other Mexican place near the University of Washington called Agua Verde. My belly was feeling kind of funky that day so I got a simple salad + salmon that hit the spot. Their other stuff looked really good too. Plus, its right on the water so its really pretty. It reminded me of a quick lunch spot on a pier in Florida or something.
We had some GOOD dinners let me tell you. Well, one was more simple when we went to the Mariner’s Game Thursday night- but it was still good! I got tacos from Edgar’s and we shared some garlic fries. Will and I noticed A LOT of garlic centered menu items while we were in Seattle. Is it a thing there? It seemed like it. Those garlic fries though? They were TOO GOOD.
Our first dinner in Seattle was at Stika and Spruce. We hiked up their version of Capitol Hill (so strange that they have a neighborhood with that namesake) and walked into what would be one of the loveliest dining experiences. It reminded me of Rose’s Luxury in DC a little bit- but more laidback and quiet. Very good food- ridiculously good sourdough bread. We also saw a lot of sourdough bread in Seattle. Is that also a thing there? Blackberries, garlic, and sourdough? Seattle things? Anyway, the rest of our meal was well curated and balanced flavor wise. But I still think the sourdough bread was my favorite part. The space itself was super cozy, quaint, welcoming, and comforting.
My second favorite dinner was at Poquitos– another joint up in Capitol Hill. It was simple, easy Mexican food. Will and I split some guac and both got a trio of tacos. It was fairly inexpensive and we were full + happy when the meal was over. I decided the Capitol Hill neighborhood was my favorite and where I’d want to live if I were permanently based out of Seattle. It was a diverse neighborhood- reminded me of Logan Circle in DC- had lots of good restaurants, lots of neat little stores and places to go, and cool views at the top of all their damn hills.
My favorite dinner was at Local 360. It was the last dinner we had out in the city and it was SO. GOOD. The concept is that all of the food is sourced from less than 360 miles from the restaurant. Will and I split some small plates: root beer glazed pork belly, beet and beef carpaccio, ribs and rhubarb mop, green salad, and sauteed mushrooms. We ended the meal with their little famous PB&J bon bons. Yup. Bon bons that are filled with warm peanut butter.
Another place that we went while we were there was in the South Lake Union area- Serious Pie. They’re one of the best pizza places in Seattle so obviously we had to go! It was so good! We shared two pizzas- one with sausage, the other with mushrooms- alongside a beer and a cherry based cider. Mmmmm. They also make “Serious Biscuits” during breakfast time if you’re looking for a breakfast sandwich. I apologize for the blurry pizza picture below.
The only dessert place I actively sought out was Molly Moon’s. They make regular ice cream AND vegan ice cream aka ice cream made with coconut milk! They also have vegan chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I tried both the regular and the vegan cherry chunk ice cream… the vegan was better believe it or not! Coconut milk makes really good ice cream. And this place was so on point. Will and I both got way too much ice cream (their servings are pretty big) but it was great. Of course both of our phones died before we could take a picture of my epic ice cream! Nooooo!
Stay tuned for my post about the adventures and touristy things I did while in Seattle… in the meantime keep salivating over those PB&J bon bons.