Seattle is home to a really good cup of coffee. It has some of the best coffee shops and coffee roasters in North America. Starbucks Coffee, also first originated in Seattle, Pike Place Market. Aside from big corporate giants, there are plenty of independent coffee roasters to choose from. Anyone bleeding espresso will know the importance of a fine cup of coffee. It can either make or break your day. The following is a coffee guide of the best coffee shops in the Emerald City. We hope it will make your mornings (or whether time of the day) more enjoyable!
Who says summer drinks have to be sickly sweet? Certainly not the bartenders at Artusi
—their slushy, crimson-hued take on a mojito stays sophisticated and balanced, thanks to a heavy dose of Campari. The bitter Italian aperitivo—a creative edition to the classic rum, lime, and mint cocktail—almost overwhelms the other flavors…almost
. But that’s where the icy character of the drink goes from gimicky to genius, helping numb the tongue to the Campari’s intensity. You can thank the rich Smith & Cross rum too; it warms the rest of the flavors, tearing some of the emphasis away from the bitter roots. The result: fruity and spicy, with the perfect amount of bite.
Ice-cream lovers and slushie connoisseurs, steel your nerves: Seattle has been hit by an ice-cold wave of childhood delights taken up a notch for adults. But as more and more boozy milk shakes and spiked floats find their way onto dessert menus across town, an obvious problem emerges: how to choose? Easy—just match your favorite chilly childhood treat with its new and improved grown-up version using our handy guide.
Bastille Day—also known as French National Day—commemorates the French Revolution and is typically marked by military parades, picnics, dances, and fireworks … in France. In the United States, however, it’s just a great excuse to enjoy some French food and wine. But just in case your high-school French is a bit rusty, we put together this cheat sheet—complete with a pronunciation guide!—highlighting popular French delicacies and the Seattle restaurants that serve them.
The Japanese population of Seattle is about what it was in the early 1930s, even though the overall population has almost doubled. Segregationist policies forced immigrant enclaves, and—before the Depression chased away immigrant jobs, and deportations to wartime internment camps, emptied the neighborhood—this was the heyday of Seattle’s first Nihonmachi, or Japantown.
The Pacific Northwest boasts a thriving cheese industry featuring a wide variety of artisan and farmstead cheeses just ripe for you to fall in love with. Cheese makers in Washington State are hard at work bringing home the taste of local with an assortment of uses, from cheese plates and grilled cheese sandwiches to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.
A series of posters serves as wall decoration at Biang! in Edmonds. “The Eight Weirdies in Shanxi Province,” the title reads. The first poster, and perhaps most pertinent here in a Shanxi noodle shop, is captioned “noodle is in the shape of a waist belt.” Those are the biang biang noodles for which the restaurant is named, and they are the source of the background noise there, too: thump, thump, thump, as the onomatopoeic noodles biang, biang, biang against the countertop, stretching longer and wider each time they make contact with the surface. In China, the Shanxi province has earned a reputation for being a little strange, and these posters are a tongue in cheek allusion to that quirkiness--their version of “Keep Austin Weird.”
According to Paris-trained chef Jim Drohman, French cooking isn’t hard to do in an American home. All you need is nutmeg, good cheese, and a lot of cream.
Raw beef has a silky texture and a deeply savory meat flavor, both of which go up in smoke, quite literally, when heated. There’s no denying the thrill of charred crust on a steak or a juicy burger, but sometimes a more delicate and luxurious flavor can come from well-chopped uncooked beef that finds the perfect complementing ingredients. Many cultures around the world have a version of this, and while, sadly, soft Lebanese kibbe naya (raw lamb) or fiery Thai koi soi (raw beef salad) aren’t on any menus in Seattle, there are a few places serving up a variety of excellent raw beef dishes.
Seattle’s Scandinavian heritage hasn’t really translated into a wide selection of Scandinavian restaurants, but there are still many ways to enjoy the cuisine of these Northern European countries right here in town.
Leading a healthy (or healthier) lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to say farewell to social interaction altogether. We are lucky enough to live in beautiful, health-conscious Seattle, which means you can catch up with friends over good food and good drinks at many of the city’s finest restaurants and bars and not dread zipping up your jeans the next day. Check out this list of healthy happy hour alternatives for some healthy inspiration.
Seattle is home to some fantastic professional cheese-makers. But we’re also a very DIY town, and so there also are many venues for classes and resources for supplies for those who aspire to take up cheese-making at home.
Waterfront dining options in the Emerald City are as deep as Elliott Bay: the scenic body of water with knockout views of Bainbridge Island and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the distance. This is the postcard-perfect vista visitors come to drink in, and to dine alongside.
No doubt, Seattle is a shellfish town. It’s brimming with Dungeness crab, dozens of varieties of oysters, and a type of giant clam (the geoduck) whose pronunciation doubles as a test of one’s ability to pass as a local. Those who come to visit are confused, at times, by the fact that there’s not a lot of the sort of sea-shack, nautically-themed restaurants that dot the Jersey and Maine shores. Seattle’s a different kind of town, though, the kind where people set early alarms to beat the rush to the crab dock, or stay out late in the dark jigging for squid in the shadow of cruise ships. Maybe it’s a selfish town and the population wants to keep the crustacean bounty for themselves. Or perhaps it’s that they think they can cook it better than any restaurant can (likely true, as simple is often better with high-quality seafood). But the most likely answer is that it’s just more fun to pluck oysters from the shore, drop crab nets from the pier, or yank clams from the depths of their sand-filled hidey-holes.
Price might be an inescapable limiting factor for wine purchases, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be for wine education. Through careful study at any of the many Seattle-area free wine tastings, one can start to become familiar with the nuances of varietal and vintage before shelling out the big bucks for a bottle.
Sleepless in Seattle was a classic case of romance complicated by geography: Sam (played by Tom Hanks) lived in Seattle, and Annie (played by Meg Ryan) lived in Baltimore. Despite the obvious complications, Annie writes Sam a letter, suggesting they meet on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day, which (spoiler alert), they eventually do. Though inspired by the climactic scene in An Affair to Remember, it’s really quite unfortunate that this part occurs in New York, because Seattle is replete with places romantic enough to be immortalized on film.
Amid what can only be called a brewery renaissance, Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood—original home of one of the first microbreweries to get big, Redhook—is spilling over (pun intended) with brand-new beers. Between the tiny (like nano-brewery NW Peaks) and the relatively large (old-hand Hale’s Ales), there’s a world of IPAs, stouts, and sessions, all within walking distance. Walk one need not, though, as the neighborhood’s nest of taps has spawned a Cycle Saloon, where drinkers can pedal a 16-seat wagon from brewery to bar and back again. Options abound for both transportation and tippling, so here are a few suggestions about which suds to swallow first:
Seattle’s most famous landmark is a buzzing hive of farmers and fish mongers, old world delis and nouveaux bars like Rachel’s Ginger Beer, where craft cocktails show off the artisan brew. Throughout the rambling three blocks of the Pike Place Market, there’s a world of flavors, dozens of cafes, bakeries, clam chowder shops, seafood counters and restaurants that showcase the diverse bounty of the Pacific Northwest.
Washington’s artisan cheese movement has been slowly growing for decades, as small producers find an appreciative audience for European-style fromage made from goat, sheep and cow’s milk. Once considered an aberration on menus, cheese plates are now de rigueur at restaurants around Seattle, where farm-to-table eating is serious business.
If you subscribe to a dessert-first dining ethos, Seattle may be the perfect city for you. Whether you’re craving a Danish Kringle, a homey chocolate chip cookie or an elegant French pastry, there’s a venue sure to please every palate.
Wine bars abound in Seattle. Some are bustling and swank, others small and intimate, providing casual sippers with a place to trade confidences or find tranquility after a long day. Whether you’re launching the night downtown with a splash, or keeping calm to carry on, there are multiple ways to enjoy classic sips in Seattle.
What makes for a nice ‘cuppa’ tea? A pleasing tea shop, to begin with. Here are some of Seattle’s best places to warm up in blustery weather, or to relax in the summer – no coffee needed.
The Pacific Northwest is rightly famous for its seafood. This is especially true of the pristine shellfish, which is carefully tended to in the chilly waters around the Puget Sound. In Seattle, the love-’em or hate-’em oysters are given superstar treatment at restaurants and raw bars, served chilled on crushed ice and shucked to order.
Seattle’s adventurous diners and growing Indian population can break naan together at an ever-broadening list of Indian restaurants. Old standbys include Cedars, where diners enjoy curries and traditional Indian specialties from the tandoor, plus a selection of Mediterranean choices like falafel and kabobs. Capitol Hill’s Nepalese-influenced Annapurna, with its thali plate (an Indian bento box of multiple dishes) and saffron-infused cocktails, is another longstanding Seattle Indian food tradition.
If done right, brunch can be the best meal of the week. There’s no pressure, gallons of coffee, cocktails galore and scads of food you wouldn’t make for yourself. What’s not to like? Here are some of Seattle’s best weekend brunch options.
Whether you are looking to brush up your cooking skills so that you can dine more often at home and save some cash, seeking to make the perfect pie crust for that holiday gathering, or just want a tasty outing with friends, food related classes are a great way to explore your culinary interests. From dedicated cooking schools to the grocery store down the block, these local venues can help new cooks learning the basics, as well as those cooking at a more advanced level, find confidence in the kitchen.
Indulging one’s creativity in the kitchen can be a pricey hobby. For the careful shopper, however, it’s possible to get a wide array of high quality and global ingredients without blowing the budget.
From Turkish manti to Korean mandoo, Polish pierogi to any number of Italian stuffed pastas, dumplings are basically just meat or vegetables plopped into a pocket of dough. But Seattle’s diverse restaurant scene offers plenty of opportunities to learn the difference between your xiao long bao and your bánh bột lọc chay.
Seattle has a noodle problem. The city’s standards are too low: a half-million people willing to accept as lunch bowls teeming with strands of limp dough lazily floating, the sins of a thousand factory noodles covered in a murky pond of sauce.
Seattle has a variety of excellent restaurant options for lovers of French cuisine and culture, but to take it to the next level, one can learn how to cook the flavors of France at home. (And, as added bonus for the true Francophile, there are a couple options for those who’d like to practice the language, too.)
There’s a tremendous satisfaction in learning to make something, and with beer brewing, the added bonus is being able to toast that newfound knowledge with one’s own DIY beer. Here are some resources around Seattle to help the beginning brewer.
Seattle loves food and Seattle also loves books. This intersection of culinary and literary passion has resulted in a somewhat high per capita rate of cookbook authorship (or at least it feels that way).
When the weather in Seattle is good, it’s the best. But for nine months out of the year, we really make the most out of our Goretex. But a true Seattlite knows that bad weather has a glorious upside - there’s no better time to cozy up with a stiff drink than when it’s raining outside. Here are some of the best spots in the city to warm up on a cold winters’ night.
There are many reasons to shop local: environmental, economic, civic. Here in Seattle, there is the added incentive that so very many of our local products are just absolutely delicious.
Food trucks, as a genre, have stopped being the “new thing” in Seattle. Trucks are still popping up like corn in an Indiana field, though, and many are serving up what could be the next “new thing” in food. With the advantage of mobility and slightly lower start-up costs, it’s easier for trucks to serve up and spread innovative or unique foods that can’t be found anywhere else in town. So what truck might be serving up the next Cronuttm?
A fun and educational way to learn more about the local food scene is to take a food tour. One will be guaranteed to eat well, and possibly make a few new friends who share a love for good food. And even a long-time Seattleite, who thinks they well know their city’s gourmet offerings, may discover some new places that have been right under their nose the whole time. All of these tours are rain or shine.
Thanksgiving dinner is one of life’s great treasures - not only do you get to celebrate everything you’re thankful for with friends and family, but you get to top it all off with stuffing and gravy and a big piece of pumpkin pie. If you wish Thanksgiving happened more than just once a year, then you’re in luck. Here’s a list of Seattle eateries where I get my turkey dinner fix any time of year:
From circus and burlesque, to dinner cruises and murder mystery, dinner and a show promises double the fun for a night out in Seattle. I recently shared a behind-the-scenes look
at the unique, local venue, Teatro ZinZanni, and Chef Erik Carlson’s formula for bringing food and art together. Here are a few more options available to Seattleites craving a one-of-a-kind experience that blends dining and entertainment.
For people who love the outdoors, the appeal of foraging is clear: spend a day in the woods or on the shore, and come home with a delicious bounty. Wild food can keep the industrious forager busy in every season, with razor clams in winter, wild greens in spring, berries all summer, and mushrooms in fall.
An evening rich in food and frivolity is never far from one’s grasp with the combination of dinner and theatre. I recently interviewed the chef of one of the premiere dinner theatre spots in Seattle and was honored when I was invited to visit the kitchen during dinner service and see the staff in action!
Recent studies have shown that love of spicy food is linked an adventurous personality. Well, this list is one for the risk takers, the adrenaline junkies, and the hotheads. For this type of person, the only thing that can make a good meal even better is the addition of just the right type of hot sauce. Every cuisine calls for its own style, from thin and watery with a shock of spice for Lebanese food, to rich and creamy to mellow out a high-octane pepper in Jamaican food. Here’s where to find Seattle’s treasure trove of hidden hot sauces, at high-end pizza joints and hole-in-the-wall African restaurants alike.
Lumping all Chinese food into one category is like defining gumbo and cheesesteak both under the label of “American Food.” Sure, they’re all foods from America, but New Orleans’ Creole cuisine is a whole different animal from Philadelphia’s famous sandwich (with Whiz, please). Very few of China’s famous regional cuisines are represented in Seattle’s restaurant scene, but there’s enough to give a whirlwind tour to someone who’s only ever known the Americanized, General Tso’s style of “Chinese” food.
Despite the density of hungry office workers, downtown Seattle is still a difficult place to find a great solo meal. When eating alone, sometimes the best thing is the hustle and bustle of a busy place, where nobody minds the person in the corner, hovering over his or her rice bowl. Other times a salad at the bar of a casual bistro goes well with a good book—or just a few minutes alone with one’s thoughts. On a sunny day, the options expand, with the influx of food trucks that are invading downtown on a daily basis. Great food for eating lunch alone in Downtown Seattle can be hard to find, but it exists, and here’s where to find it.
Food fascinates people. It has so many roles in daily life: as essential for survival, an emotional trigger, and a pleasure (among so many more), meaning that there is an endless world of topics—and thus speakers in Seattle—relating to food. On any given day, one could learn about growing (do GMO’s matter?), distribution (how can every child be fed?), cooking (chef demos), and remembering (food memoirists). Without cloning (anyone for a talk on cloning animals for meat?), it would be hard to get to every single talk about food in the city. To help winnow out some of the best events, here’s a list of places and organizations that consistently host great talks about different facets of the food world.
Traditional music, beer and food set the tone for Munich, Germany’s yearly Oktoberfest celebration that runs for three weeks, from late September to early October. Seattleites not able to make the trip to Munich to celebrate during this narrow window of time have plenty of local, year-round choices available to revel in the unique sights, sounds and flavors of this annual beer festival.
Chinese hot pot is one of the world’s most curative foods. Perhaps not by any scientific measure, but those who have experienced the bug-squashing spice, congestion-clearing steamy broth, and soul-comforting swish of meat through soup, they know. A hot pot meal begins with a tureen of bubbling liquid coming to the table. Most places offer a variety of flavors—with plain traditional and spicy Sichuan being the most common—from which a table selects one or two. Then, depending on the restaurant, servers will either ask for preferences or simply bring a parade of all-you-can-eat meats, noodles, seafood, and vegetables. Diners can simply swish the food through the broth (as with thinly-sliced meats) or leave it to soak in the broth (recommended for heartier green vegetables and offal). As fall cold season comes to town, here’s a list of a few great places to cure any ills.
With such close proximity to saltwater and freshwater; there is no denying that this is a seafood town. And one can’t talk about fish in this town without the mention of the almighty salmon. This highly-revered fish is well represented in our city’s abundant restaurants. Here are five seafood locations that truly showcase the versatility of this Seattle favorite.
Living in a city makes growing much of one’s own food a difficult proposition, but it doesn’t change the fact that food one picks him or herself always tastes better. That’s why it’s practically a Northwest rite of passage to drive out to the surrounding areas for a taste of Skagit Valley apples, Stillaguamish Valley vegetables, and Snohomish Valley pumpkins. Fall can be the perfect season for picking in these parts, as the cool weather makes cozying up in a barn with a cup of hot apple cider while weighing out apples sound like the perfect afternoon. The best farms offer not just the best-tasting produce, but also a terrific farm experience, with directions on the best ways to pick and easy to use containers for picking. Even better are that they offer fun extras, like farm stores full of small-batch local products and even a corn maze.
Locals looking for a relaxing afternoon out, visitors looking for the best views, and wild food enthusiasts alike will find common ground in a day trip to Bainbridge Island. Looking back at the city as the ferry pulls away on its 35 minute journey, even a city snob will find it hard to resist an adventure begun by boat, taken by foot, and finished with blackberry-stained face slurping island-grown oysters at one of the best restaurants in the region.
With a citywide lack of air-conditioning, it is imperative in Seattle to find a way to not just beat the heat, but to embrace and enjoy it. The key to doing this is to find that holy grail of hot-day meals: one that actually sounds better than just having ice cream for dinner for a third straight night (not that there’s anything wrong with that, right?). For those not looking to go on the all-gelato diet quite yet, these are some tempting Seattle dishes that will bring down the body temperature without dulling the taste buds.
The Seattle Center is one of those places that Seattleites are likely to visit infrequently – possibly during one of its annual festivals, special outings at its various sports, concert or cultural arts venues, or when out-of-town guests arrive and want to see some of our most touted tourist attractions. But a revamped food court in the Center House, re-named the Armory, just may entice locals to visit more regularly.