Seattle very quickly beat out several destinations I’ve been to in the last few years. Delicious food, some of the best coffee I’ve ever had, accompanied by the impressively warm demeanor of the locals and the salty sea air. What’s not to like?
Seattle offers the relaxed feeling of many other Pacific Northwest cities. With seemingly endless possibilities to nosh on and wet your whistle (there are 55 pho locations in Seattle alone), I was eager to hit the ground running! it was tough to narrow down my list of favorites. But here they are! Below you’ll find the best of the best from coffee to clam chowder, pastries to pasta.
| Best Coffee: Monorail Coffee | If you’re looking for a cup on the go while you head to explore Pike Place, there is no better option than Monorail Coffee, Seattle’s oldest coffee stand. It was stiff competition, but in the end, this was hands down my favorite latte in the city. And I sampled over 20 different options in 5 days (ssshh, don’t tell).
| Best Brunch & Mid-Morning Cocktail: Citizen Coffee | This hidden gem in the South Lake Union district, quickly rose to the top of the pile. So much that I had to make a second trip back. My pick? Citizen’s insanely delicious breakfast sandwich. Crispy bacon, egg, arugula, tomato, locally sourced cheddar cheese AND chipotle mayo on the most delicious cheddar biscuit you’ve ever had. You will return home with visions of this sandwich still on the brain.
| Best Bakery: Le Panier | In case I haven’t been completely clear, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Consequently, I’ve had pastries from Paris to Amsterdam and these babies are the real deal. An authentic French bakery, Le Panier bakes every morsel from scratch each day. With the allure of croissants that melt in your mouth and macaroons the size of hockey pucks, don’t let the long line prevent you from indulging.
| Ice Cream : Gelatiamo | With a relaxed yet slightly upscale feel, Gelatiamo is reminiscent of many of the gelato shops I’ve hung out in in Italy. Offering a range of flavors from the classic strawberry and chocolate to more adventurous options like rice and salted almond chocolate, there really isn’t any way to go wrong when stopping in for a bite.
| Best Clam Chowder: Pike Place Chowder | It’s Seattle, so clam chowder is a given. And Pike Place Chowder seems to have won all the awards. Be prepared for a wait..but trust me, it’s worth it.
| Date Night Eatery : List | Cozy and dimly lit, List offered the perfect date night ambiance. This Belltown establishment serves delicious cocktails and flavorful Italian fare in small plate form that is easy to share. The grilled Caesar and the handmade gnocci in truffle cream.. I die.
SIGHTS & ADVENTURES
| Sunset Views – Smith Tower Observation Deck | With some of the best views of the city – at less than half the cost of scaling the Space Needle – I was quickly told that this spot is where to locals go to scope out the views.
| Pike Place Market | When I’m off adventuring in a new city, the last thing I want to do is stay cooped up in my hotel room. I spent plenty of time taking in the sights and smells of Pike Place Market. The people watching alone is reason enough to head this way, but couple that with the blooms and the fascinating history (ghost tour anyone?) and you’ll be down here for hours.
| Bubblegum Alley | There are others, but the charm of this alleyway is leaps and bounds above the rest. Hop over to First and Pike News to grab a pack of gum and leave your mark.
| Best Coffee and Beer Tour : Seattle by Foot Tours | If you’re the touring sort, Seattle by Foot has an incredible coffee tour (or beer tour if you’re in need of a few libations!). These guys are simply the best and you’ll walk away feeling as if you’ve really seen the city through a local’s eyes.