I admit that this post was a lofty goal. There are simply far too many places to choose just a few to highlight as “must visit” Seattle stops. Instead, I’m narrowing my list by choosing finds close to my neighborhood of Queen Anne. So…Seattlites and tourists alike, take note that this is not an exhaustive list of places to visit while in Seattle. And, I apologize in advance if I fail to mention your favorite spot. If so inspired, I will write subsequent installments featuring other neighborhood highlights (you can influence this by leaving me feedback!)
I must also beg your forgiveness for the delinquency in this post…or any post for that matter! I have gotten so many requests (probably weekly) asking where to shop and eat while in Seattle. You may have noticed that I took a small hiatus from blogging over the summer months. Not to fear, I’m back at it after taking time off to enjoy spending Seattle’s finest months (in my sun-loving opinion) with my family. I have a blog post prepped for later this month sharing our Pacific Northwest adventures!
Queen Anne & Fremont
Where to Eat:
There are just so many good choices in these two adjoining neighborhoods! Seattle has quite a food scene and this area will not disappoint. There are several excellent restaurants on Stone Way in Fremont alone. Manolin (pronounced “maan-o-lee”) is a restaurant indicative of the Seattle food scene – deliciously fresh and interesting seafood dishes, shareable plates, and instagram worthy, mouth-watering cocktails. I also love Joule (said “jewel”) which has amazingly unique dishes that are characteristic of Korean fusion cuisine. Start with the sticky rice cakes but be sure to leave room for the short ribs. Side note on Joule, I also love Trouvé noodle bar in Capitol Hill and Revel, now found in South Lake Union – all of these restaurants are from Seattle chef, Rachel Yang. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention The Whale Wins, another Seattle dining institution know for creative and amazingly fresh seafood preparation and do not pass up on the bread and butter service…salted, whipped butter is definitely not to be missed!
Heading up the hill to Queen Anne, my favorite haunts include Bounty Kitchen for delectable yet healthy fare. I’m obsessed with the veggie tacos which, sadly, are seasonal. If you make it in before they exit the menu, add a poached egg! I also love the Spicy Southern Not-Fried chicken salad, which is full of fresh, crispy veggies and made even better with the addition of maple roasted pecans. I also love the toasts; avocado is a staple but look to the daily menu for unique additions, and the fresh juices are a must too! Head further south down Queen Anne Avenue to Betty for dinner. The menu is classic American comfort food; the burger is one of the best in Seattle (not to mention those fries?!) and the roasted chicken is a crowd favorite. I also love the mussels and their pours are amazing – I always order a glass of bubbly here…and it’s filled to the very top!
I have two favorites in Queen Anne (Seattlites love their coffee, after all). The first is Storyville – their house made cashew/coconut milk is amazing and, if you’re lucky, you may just be there for the daily free-cake offering. Daily. And free. All of their homemade pastries are also amazing. If you find yourself at Pike Market, that Storyville location has stunning views from an old exposed brick space above the vendors. The other Queen Anne haunt you can find me frequenting is El Diablo Coffee Company. While I miss their original location, their new spot on Queen Anne Avenue is beautiful and their cuban-inspired coffee offerings are such a treat! However, I usually stick with my almond milk latte (always done just right). Finally, I like Milstead & Co. in Fremont. If you are a true coffee connoisseur, this is the place to go for really great coffee knowledge and craftsmanship. These baristas take coffee very seriously, and the proof is in your cup!
Where to Shop:
Oh, so many to choose from but for the sake of keeping your attention, and fitting this into one post, I am narrowing my list down to three tried-and-true favorites. Up in Queen Anne, be sure to stop in to Queen Anne Frame and Gift. Aside from custom framing, the gift shop is definitely worth a browse for unique and often locally-made home accessories, not-to-mention a stellar jewelry selection made by various Pacific Northwest designers. Very well-curated; if you’re looking for one of a kind, handcrafted accessories this is a great shop (I may be a bit biased!). Head further north up “the ave” and pop-in to Foundation for of-the-moment, yet classic and sophisticated women’s apparel. It’s amazing the finds in this small boutique; in particular, I love discovering small indy brands here that you can’t seem to find elsewhere. If you’re thirsty, pop-in to Diablo for a pick-me-up (just next door).
My favorite shop in Fremont is Pipe & Row. Absolutely do not miss this one! Modern and chic, minimalist lines with just the right attention to detail and tailoring. I get my AGoldeE denim fix here and I’m obsessed with the LACAUSA line (I literally want everything from them). Great jewelry and shoes too!
Where to Eat:
We often skip across the drawbridge to eat in Ballard. Honestly, there are far too many terrific choices for dinner and dessert here to narrow it down to just a handful. I am literally just scratching the surface listing drool-worthy restaurants in this former working-class Seattle neighborhood. And be warned, it is happening on Old Ballard Avenue in the evenings (especially the weekends). Reservations are often recommended and take an Uber to avoid the minimal street parking situation.
The Walrus and the Carpenter is not to be missed. A true Seattle gem hidden in the back of an old hardware store on the south end of Old Ballard Avenue; everything is done just right! Seafood is the star of the show here, with an oyster bar and numerous fresh seafood offerings. The tartar is also amazing and, of course, the drink menu is off the charts! This is a quintessential restaurant showcasing Ballard’s charm and Seattle’s seafood. Further up Ballard Ave, I love Bastille, which has been a neighborhood staple since 2009. French bistro fare with fresh Pacific Northwest ingredients, they even have a rooftop garden that produces much of the herbs and vegetables served in their dishes. Oh, and there’s a back bar worthy of a late night nightcap! The ambiance is totally charming and the food is equally stunning.
Heading further north up 15th Avenue, Delancey is a gem. Their wood-fired pizzas are second-to-none, really. Don’t believe me? Check out all of the people in line in front of you (and no, they don’t take reservations). While you’re up there, stop in to Frankie & Jo’s for vegan ice cream. I know, record-skip…what? You heard right and it is truly amaaaaazing! Their charcoal salted caramel is a menu standard (and is a flavor you must at least sample). All plant-based, I love their Tahini Chocolate but their Chocolate Mint Brownie is a crowd-pleaser for those less adventurous. Really want to try something wild? Their California Cabin flavor combines smoked vanilla with pine needles (and it’s actually good). Looking for more standard yet artisanal ice cream, Portland chain Salt and Straw is on Old Ballard Ave…right across the street from Hot Cakes (mini molten chocolate cakes). I take my desserts seriously.
Need to refuel in Ballard? Then look no further than Anchored Ship Coffee. A charming hole in the wall with equally good coffee; no frills simply great espresso.
Where to Shop:
Again, there are far too many gems to mention in one post. To simply highlight my favorites, I would first mention Horseshoe (in fact, all of the pieces I am wearing in these photos were found there). The women in this shop know what they are doing – aside from selecting great pieces from unique brands, their friendly sales staff can help you choose the perfect attire for any occasion and an update to your fall wardrobe. Mother Denim, Veronica M, Chaser, and Velvet by Graham and Spencer, are a few of my favorite brands found there. Oh, and the owner Jill also sells her handmade jewelry line (little known fact). Further up the street, I’m loving the eclectic mix of hipster-chic pieces found at Tides & Pines. Great moody florals, native-inspired jewelry, and lots of cute jumpsuits and dresses to choose from there. Also a well-curated selection of home decor perfect for your Pacific Northwest-inspired home. Close to the end of Old Ballard Avenue, you will also find Lucky Vintage. Their selection of perfectly worn Levi’s is off the charts. Scouring the racks is also worth your time, you never know what retro gems you may find among their collection! And finally, continue north to stop in at Anders for a fine selection of home accessories, inspiring cook books, organic beauty products, and beautiful jewelry. I am obsessed with all of her baskets…oh, and pillows. And I love the jewelry line Merewif – I have several of her pieces including the signet ring I had engraved with my initial. You can also find these Dutch + Bow earrings there, as I did (this is also another Seattle designer).
Denim, bodysuit, and blazer were all found at Horseshoe in Ballard.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for sticking with me.
Did I miss your favorite spots? Enlighten me. Suggestions for future Seattle posts? Leave me a comment with all of your thoughts and feedback. I listen, truly.
photos by Sarah Wolfe