Sweetness in Seattle

One of my favorite travel situations: a new city to explore.
My first time in the Pac Northwest and I had 8 whole days. I had to play Business Barbie for a few days and then REALLY got to dig into the city when my bf came to town for the long weekend. While we’re still not sure how humans can survive in perpetual cloudiness, we enjoyed our time in the city. And the food .. there was a lot of food.
We played tourist and took a cruise around Elliott Bay with Argosy Cruises. We took in views of the skyline at Kerry Park both day and night – note: not sure this is possible without a rental car as the park is tucked into a residential area. Maybe a friendly Uber driver would add it in!
We swapped the Space Needle for Smith Tower in Pioneer Square and were pleased with the choice. The Observatory at the top of the Tower doubles as bar, observation deck, and social hour hot spot. “In 1914, Smith Tower became the first skyscraper in Seattle and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River,” and now they’re serving up cocktails and views.
Yes, I did see The First Starbucks @ Pike Place Market – Established 1971, I gave into the hype with a good friend who survived the Midwest with me, in a place without a Starbucks. When we would meet up at conferences we would get ourselves “big city coffee,” so this was naturally a must do.
We also kept our eye on the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Since we were on the opposite coast from our own DC blooms, we opted for a trip to the UW campus. Holy HYPE. There were so many people taking photos with such intensity that it was a bit overwhelming. Ok, a LOT.

Breakfast highlights:

Piroshky Piroshky @ Pike Place Market – if you’re headed to the first Starbucks, follow your nose and that beautiful yeasty smell will lead you right in.
Lola – 2000 4th Avenue – Spring scramble full of vegetables and beignet-style donuts featured on the Food Network

Let’s have a snack:

Dahlia Bakery – 2001 4th Avenue – for a breakfast picnic at Volunteer Park, and later their famed triple coconut custard cake. In truth: the breakfast sammie trumped the cake.
The Confectional @ Pike Place Market – Confess your love for cheesecake, they say. Shut up and take my money, I say. We were over the moon with chocolate & pb.
Top Pot Donuts – More locations that I can count – I opted for the cherry blossom donut, tis the season after all.
The Crumpet Shop – 1503 1st Avenue – Have you ever had a crumpet? Me either. A cross between a scone and an English muffin, these little gems are made on site. Choose your topping, and take my advice: Ricotta and lemon curd.
Molly Moon’s homemade ice cream – 8 locations – I could live here. Dark chocolate hot fudge, a Girl Scouts collaboration, Earl Grey & honey lavender scoops with lemon curd topping.. you get the idea. Sample everything!

Lunch & Dinner highlights:

TanakaSan – We wandered into it while starving and tired, and it was a tremendously pleasant surprise. The veggie crunch balls were peculiar enough to be delicious but the dumplings were out of this world.
Pike Brewing Co -1415 1st Ave – Fun for lunch with friends, near Pike Place Market. A riot of color and a legit salmon BLT, and DIY flights of beer.
Dick’s Drive-In – Six locations – Cheap, greasy, late night love affair. Simple menu and a pretty decent chocolate shake.
Pacific Inn Pub -3501 Stone Way N – Ah yes, local pub grub. We needed a place to watch the NCAA MBB game and really wanted fish & chips. Hate to blow up a local spot that clearly intends to stay local and quiet but damn, that was some good fish & chips.
Chinook’s at Salmon Bay – An Anthony’s Restaurant with a view on the water. Perfect casual stop after some wandering in Golden Gardens park.

Other notables:

– The Ballard Farmers Market in Old Ballard. Well stocked, and delightful.
– Nearby store Venue @ 5408 22nd Ave NW is devoted to Seattle artists and has been curated with a keen eye. Unique souvenirs (my personal favorite, jewelry.)
– Consider an Air B&B for your time in Seattle. I was at the Westin downtown (loved it) for the work week but we moved north into Ballard for the weekend and it was a totally different experience.
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