The amiable bakers at Cow Chip Cookies drop 11 types of dough onto sheets before baking their signature cookies to a golden finish. Fresh ingredients from The Butter Creek Farm are used to craft cookies available in flavors such as classic chocolate chip with Ghirardelli chocolate and Mock Baby Ruth cookies featuring a peanut-butter-and-oatmeal cookie-dough base spotted with chocolate and butterscotch chips. As the cookies drop, each one takes on its own slightly different shape, just like a handmade pillow filled with shredded college rejection letters. Gift boxes delight recipients with heart-shaped treats, seasonal shapes, or custom flavor combinations.
It all began with a chowder competition. Shortly after Larry Mellum and his business partner opened Charlestown Street Cafe, pretty much everyone in the kitchen was convinced they had the ultimate chowder recipe. So they decided to put each version to the test. Every Friday, they let customers sample a different chowder recipe and gave them the final say in which one made it to the menu. The smooth-as-silk winner––a creation of one of the kitchen's line cooks––became so popular, people from all across Seattle would come to wait in line just for a taste. Inspired, the restaurant decided to take the recipe on the road, entering (and winning) chowder competitions up and down the West Coast. But the real victory happened 3,500 miles away in Newport, Road Island. There, Mellum and company's chowder took home the grand prize at the Great Chowder Cook Off––the first non-New England contender to do so in the competition's 20-year history. After taking home the grand prize three years in a row, and being inducted into the chowder hall-of-fame, the recipe officially retired from competition and now spends the majority of its time watching golf. When it's not in the kitchen, that is. Today at Pike Place Chowder, guests can taste that award-winning chowder––made using freshly picked vegetables and herbs from Pike Place Market––or sample one of seven other chowders, including a smoked salmon chowder, seared scallop chowder, and a vegan chowder. For those who hit their chowder limit, there's also dungeness crab rolls flavored with top-secret seasonings and fresh salads topped with Oregon Bay shrimp, while a second location in Pacific Place Center has earned a following for its made-to-order fish 'n chips, made with either Pacific cod or wild salmon.
There’s no penance for confessing a passion for cheesecake at The Confectional, an adorable artisan bakery on the main drag in the bustling Pike Place Market. The rich, not-too-sweet treat is the focus of the shop, where imaginative bakers whip up sensational seasonal flavors such as pumpkin, caramel, apple pie and triple berry. Cocoa fans cheer options like Quadruple Chocolate, and all the individual confections are built on a sturdy foundation crafted from special biscuits sourced from Spain and finished with a sweetened sour cream flourish. The sugar-free New York-style cheesecake is just one chapter of this sweets success story, with other delights like bite-size cheesecake truffles made with Guittard chocolate available for anyone in search of a small treat. In-the-know locals can avoid the Pike Place crowds and swing by one of The Confectional’s three other stylish locations spread throughout Seattle.
Gone are the protestations that a slice of cake is too big "or too wedgey." Instead of making a different cake to suit everyone's tastes, get a dozen different flavors for fickle friends. Voted Seattle's best cupcake by Seattle Magazine and Seattle Weekly, and featured in The Seattle Times, Cupcake Royale bakes each flavor daily from natural and local ingredients, including hormone-free dairy products and locally raised fruit. Finish off a long lunch break with a Royale with cheese, a pillow of dark chocolate cake topped with cream-cheese buttercream and chocolate shavings, or chomp a vanilla coconut bunny, adorably fluffy with hand-frosted buttercream. Experts in things that taste good recommend chocolate peppermint party, while fans of sea spray reach no farther than the salted caramel with fleur de sel.
Open for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and first-half-of-the-day snack time, Boulangerie Nantaise puts pep into patrons' steps by means of healthy, all-organic grub. The French-infused bakery serves up an array of specially prepared goodies to appease even the most ravenous Paul Bunyan clones, including handcrafted artisan breads ($0.85–$5.50), authentic European pastries ($1–$5.20), specialty salads ($3.50–$6.73), soups ($5.27–$7.27), and sandwiches ($6.82), with lots of veggie and vegan options. Start your Francophile day by breaking through the sweet crunch of a twice-baked almond croissant ($3.75) chased with a shot of espresso, vivid and tasty as a skydive through clouds of unearthly mana. Come midday, indulge in a toasty le dinde grillée sandwich stuffed with turkey, havarti, roasted red peppers, Dijon mustard, and butter, or keep your lunch hour light with a petite la vegan salad (roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixed greens; $3.50) topped off with a seasonal fruit tart ($4.50).