Earlier this month I spent a long weekend in Seattle—a place generally known for its rainy, grey days and (directly related) good coffee. However, North Carolina has been hogging that weather this winter and so when I went it was all sunshine and blue skies, which made for a beautiful weekend in one of my favorite cities.
I’ve visited Seattle quite a bit in the past. You can find my recommendations for favorite spots here and here. But I went to a few new places on this trip, so I thought I’d share.
Eat & Drink
I’d been wanting to go to Il Corvo ever since Aziz Ansari mentioned it in his Modern Romance book. He described it as having amazing housemade pasta and a long line. Both proved to be true. It’s only open for lunch on week days and you’ll want to be in line by 10:45 for when it opens at 11. Go hungry—it’s worth the wait.
We just happened to drive past this Starbucks Reserve Roastery on our way to Melrose Market (another fun destination for food and drink in Capitol Hill) when I was in some serious need of caffeine. I could not have been happier that we stopped in. Apparently, there are only a few of these in the world and they are AMAZING. I’m not even that into coffee, but I am into cool places that serve tasty things and are full of passionate people. This checked all those boxes. You can do coffee flights and exclusive tastings. Or, if you’re a coffee novice like me, you can just order the Undertow—an espresso, half and half, and vanilla bean syrup mixture that was like melted coffee ice cream.
Just as I began making dinner reservations for the trip, James Beard announced their semi-finalists and Sawyer made the list for best new restaurant. The fact that it was in one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods—Ballard—was just icing on the cake. It lived up to its nomination with a bright and cheery atmosphere, creative (but remarkably low priced) dishes, and a steamed buns appetizer that is making my mouth water at the memory.
I feel like Taylor Shellfish doesn’t need any more publicity from me, but I’m going to recommend it as a snack time spot. There are several locations around town and it’s the perfect place to pop in during an afternoon of sightseeing for a briny, plump oyster and a chilled glass of wine.
Finally, everyone who goes to Seattle goes to Pike Market. It’s a must. I’ve been to Seattle nine times in five years. I’ve been to Pike Market nine times in five years. Personally, I think the best way to do it is to get there just before it opens. First, go to Le Panier, a cozy and fragrant French bakery, grab a warm Almondine and a creamy latte and snag a seat at the window-side bar to watch the market wake up before you go explore.
This trip was my first visit to the San Juan Islands and now I see what all the fuss is about. We did it in a fun way—taking a ferry to Whidbey Island, driving all the way up the island to see Deception Pass, and then taking another ferry to Orcas Island. It was the most charming place with a little waterside town full of classic Americana shops and restaurants, a fun brewery, and gorgeous scenery. This was a full-day trip (and could easily be overnight), but totally worth it.