The Wedgwood location of QFC is smaller than some among this grocery chain’s portfolio, but with friendly staff and late hours it fulfills shoppers needs for organics, staples and healthy foods. Everything is in its place at this well-designed store, with long aisles that stock the basics, though a full-service bakery, deli with prepared meals, butcher department, coffee bar, and an extensive beer and wine department all hug the exterior walls, making for next-level shopping that supplies more than just the usual canned goods and prepackaged breads. A colorful floral department offers seasonal features like seeds and plants for the yard in summer and festive plants for the winter holidays. And if you’re picking up a bottle of wine and premade meal for dinner with a loved one, grab a DVD from the Redbox inside to complete the night.
Meet the Owner: Rod Neldam is a third-generation baker. His grandfather ran a bakery in Oakland called Neldam’s Danish Bakery for many years, beginning in 1929.
While You’re Waiting: Take a look around. The walls sport the work of local artists, and management swaps in a new batch of pictures, paintings, and photographs at the beginning of every month.
When to Go: Grateful Bread hosts open mic nights every second Tuesday of the month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Inside Tip: If you’re in the market for something specific, make sure to time your visit correctly. Challah is only made on Thursdays and Fridays, and wild rice and onion breads only emerge from the ovens on Saturdays.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: Take a stroll through the four acres of native plants, orchards, and nurseries at the Magnuson Community Garden (7400 Sand Point Way NE).
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Grateful Bread hits the farmers’ market circuit Wednesday through Sunday, making stops at Wallingford, Queen Anne, and Shoreline Farmers’ Markets. Check the website for a current schedule.
A Bit About Bagel Dawgs: One of the more popular items is the Bagel Dawg, which is exactly what it sounds like: a hot dog in a bagel. To create this unique mashup between two universally beloved items, cooks wind bagel dough into a corkscrew shape around a juicy hot dog. Once in the oven, the dough achieve a grooved, bun-like texture for a hot and hearty handheld meal.
While You’re Waiting
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Prime your appetite by going for an early morning stroll through Ravenna Park, just two blocks to the north.
After: Visit the hippos, penguins, cheetahs, and lemurs at Woodland Park Zoo (601 N. 59th Street).
What to Drink Caffe Vita espressos lord over the caffeinated beverage options, while draft and bottled beer stock the nighttime bar.
The Vibe The space exudes a laid-back atmosphere with mismatched furniture, chatty patrons, and entertaining perks, including free Wi-Fi and board games.
While You're Waiting Peruse the admittedly less-than-stellar artwork adorning the walls—they’re part of the café's in-house Official Bad Art Museum of Art.
When to Go: whenever the café's hosting what The Stranger deems "strange and generally wonderful" live music. Café Racer's live jazz sessions have even earned raves from The New York Times. Usually held several nights a week, concerts are free and restricted to patrons who are 21 and older.
Inside Tip If you purchase a $10 Café Racer mug, you get a free cup of coffee. The café frequently shares photos on its Facebook and Twitter of travelling patrons posing with their mug.
You could call brothers George and Marcos Trejo artists. They make their small-batch, handcrafted chocolate bars and truffles right in their Green Lake storefront and transform their tasty treats into edible works of the imagination. What makes their chocolates unique is partly the high quality of the cocoa they use and partly the creative flavor combinations they come up with. On any given day, they might be infusing heavy dark chocolate blends with the citrusy tang of orange oil or mixing their truffles with the flavor of bourbon pecan or Mexican mango. In their store, they complement their cocoa-rich wares with other artful treats, such as small-batch ice cream—coincidentally, da Vinci’s first medium for the Mona Lisa.
Formed from about 17,000 islands that stretch from the coast of Thailand to the border of Papua New Guinea, the nation of Indonesia encompasses many climates and cultures. Recognizing that diversity, Indo Cafe's chefs strive to serve up an authentic sampling of the country's eclectic cuisine. The smartly curated menu ranges from daging tuturuga?a curry beef stew from Manado, on the northern island of Sulawesi?to bakmi goreng jawa?a Javanese-style egg-noodle stir-fry. If you're stopping by for the first time or have had your memory wiped since the last time, Seattle Weekly's 2012 Voracious Dining Guide recommends the ayam goreng fried chicken, a pan-Indonesian specialty which Seattle Weekly calls "extra-crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and best topped with fiery chili paste and paired with cooling, slightly sweet coconut rice." Indonesian produce stars in the desserts; the chefs fill whole coconuts with their savory-sweet pudding and make their own avocado- and durian-flavored ice creams.
Framed Indonesian art accents Indo Cafe's main dining space as well as three private rooms that can each host a party of up to 30 people or two giants on a romantic dinner date. Strengthening the restaurant's international ties, its owners are also active supporters of the Children's Foundation of Southeast Asia, which rallies local business owners to help build children's homes and schools in Southeast Asia.