Cherry Street Coffee House displays local art, hosts live music, and holds events at each of its locations. Steam rises from blends of house coffees, forming the shape of perfume bottles that spritz the cafes with the aromas of Brazil nuts and dark cocoa. A medley of coffee beans from Papua New Guinea and Central and South America flavor the signature espresso, which guests can enjoy in between bites of house-made breakfast bagels, quiche, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Cherry Street's kitchen staff supplies a list of ingredients, highlighting which vibrant dishes are vegan, contain dairy and nuts, or plan to transform into dairy and nuts.
A sidewalk patio with shaded seating flanks Cafe Bengodi's corner façade, appealing to passersby with promises of authentic Italian cuisine and al fresco dining. Chefs deliver on this promise by doling out antipasti rich with cheeses and salamis, then cooking mounds of homemade pastas and fresh Neapolitan pizzas. Espresso, beer, and wine accent the meal and allow patrons to propose toasts as a subtle way to drop a hint that they need a new toaster.
Healeo is Seattle’s austere and vaguely futuristic healthy-foodstuff outpost, providing natural supplements and organic extracts to Washingtonians sick of subsisting on fast food and NASA-developed freeze-dried horsemeat. Their extensive, eclectic selection of eco-friendly, organic edibles includes precisely packaged superfoods ($6.99-$17.99)—such as goji berries and mesquite powder—and a colorful clan of loose teas ($8.25-$27.00). Enlist the services of a knowledgeable team member while you decide how to best vitaminize your body for the grueling trials of your next uphill sled race with an array of juices, smoothies, and local coffee.
B&O Espresso infuses a little Arabic into its complete dining menu, full-service espresso bar, and decadent desserts. Start your day early or a little less early with a breakfast or brunch of shakshuka (two poached eggs in house-made marinara sauce with peppers, potatoes, and pita bread; $9.75) paired with a macchiato ($2.15) off the drink menu. Mid-day matchmakers can also set up a lunch date with a noontime chicken schwarma sandwich (pita bread with garlic aioli; $10) and a Turkish coffee ($3.75).
Meet the Chef: David Varley came to locally focused cooking quite organically—when he was a child, his mother grew vegetables for their family and local restaurants, and he contributed to the family table by hunting and fishing.
While You Wait: Keep an eye on the Last Bottle board—modeled after arrival–departure boards posted in European train stations, it displays wines that are just about out of stock and their considerably discounted prices. Groups have been known to order from it just for the fun of watching the letter tiles clack as their chosen bottle is removed from the board.
Mortadella: a large Italian sausage made from minced pork interspersed with cubes of fat, pistachios, and black pepper.
Sunchokes: also known as Jerusalem artichokes despite being a member of the sunflower family, these crunchy tubers taste similar to water chestnuts.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Get slowly and deliberately caffeinated with a coffee tasting at Seattle Coffee Works (107 Pike Street).
After: Stop for a scoop of gelato or sorbetto at Gelatiamo (1400 Third Avenue), open until 10 p.m. weekend nights.