What started as a 25-truck gathering in a small parking lot, the Mobile Food Rodeo has grown into an annual, multi-day celebration of small business and on-the-move eateries. Since that first powwow, the Rodeo has become one of the country's largest festivals of its kind, roping in up to 40 food trucks per event. In 2013 alone, more than 87,000 people dispersed through Seattle's neighborhoods?Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, and Fremont?to experience new flavors, all while avoiding having to thumb wrestle for a table at a restaurant. The Mobile Food Rodeo does more than just fill bellies, though, since it acts as a showcase for new culinary talents and creates a vibrant marketplace for small businesses to share their talents.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
In the Medicine Man parking lot, holiday tunes fill the air as Alpine Tree & Wreath’s friendly, full-service staffers help guests select festive holiday decorations. Their stock includes a wealth of wreaths, garlands available by the foot, and noble firs that range from a compact two feet to an eagle-enticing eight. As they browse greenery, patrons can sip on complementary cider and hot chocolate.
Although the ambiance at Delancey is striking—the New York Times described it as feeling "as if you’ve walked into your hipster neighbor’s dining room midmeal"—the place is as much about the menu as about the atmosphere. Read on for more about one of the city's most celebrated pizzerias:
"Seattle’s best pizza … comes with fantastic toppings like grana, housemade sausage, preserved meyer lemon, and crimini mushrooms." — Seattle Weekly
"A favorite is the deceptively simple combination of crimini mushrooms, thyme-infused olive oil and house-made pork/fennel sausage." — Gayot
"The waits are long and the spare-chic interior gets loud, but the pizza is worth it." — The Stranger
"Beyond-spectacular cocktails are supplied to the 40-seat dining room by attached sister bar Essex." — Eater Seattle
"[Owner] Brandon Pettit's dedication and craft ranks among that of the greatest pizzaioli in the country." — Serious Eats
It?s hard to miss Columbia Center. Completed in 1985, the structure demands to be noticed?its three massive, interlocked concave facades stretch to a mighty 943 feet, making it the tallest building in Seattle and the 20th tallest building in the United States. The landmark occupies an entire city block, just like the Great Pyramid of Giza, and houses offices and a public observatory that treats eyes to views of the surrounding mountains and Puget Sound, where food and drinks are available for purchase. Inside, the behemoth building contains a panoramic 360 degree view, and the Columbia Tower Club, a private business and fine dining club located on the 76th floor.
Frame Central, where the upbeat, fun-loving staff works alongside customers preserving their artwork and keepsakes. Frame Central prides itself on its expedient one-day framing. Staffers have devoted years to learning how to craft custom frames fast without sacrificing quality. For one thing, they keep all their materials on hand, saving on time spent sending off for special orders. For another, customers can design and make the frames themselves or meet staffers halfway by allowing them to professionally cut the materials for easy home assembly.