Parker and I hopped on a plane and headed to Seattle after Colorado and the sun was just setting by the time we checked in to our hotel, dropped our bags, and walked down to the Pike Place Market. It was just after 6 and everything was shutting down so we knew we would have to come back the next day to experience it. But what shocked us the most is that all the restaurants anywhere walking distance from the market were closed too! We walked and walked looking for a place to eat dinner and everything was either closed or about to be. We laughed about it and decided that the entire city of Seattle must shut down at 5pm.
We finally found a place open and it ended up being awesome. It was called Steelhead Diner and they had a patio out back looking over an alley. I didn’t get any pictures of our dinner so I can’t remember exactly what we had, but I remember it was awesome. Afterward, we just went back to the hotel and crashed since we were tired and nothing was really open anyway. Click through to see the rest!
The next morning we were up bright and early, excited to explore Seattle. When we’re in a new city for a short period of time, Parker and I like to “food crawl”, kind of like a bar crawl but with restaurants instead. Meaning, you don’t commit to just one place for a meal, but hop around to different places, trying lots of things. You get something small from a few different places so you can experience different menus, atmospheres and maximize your experience.
Downtown Seattle is perfect for food crawling! We got really good lattes at a little shop called Caffe Senso Unico near our hotel and then shared a couple of crumpets (one sweet, one savory) at The Crumpet Shop for breakfast. The Crumpet Shop is just a little shop with a few seats in Pike Place Market. They’ve been there since 1977 and the place feels old, but charming. We got a seat by the window and watched passerby outside.
The food in the market was so fresh and beautiful. If I lived close to a market like this, I would be in heaven! I would come a few times a week to get fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meats – and for the fun experience! It was unlike any other farmer’s market I’ve ever been to. Also, one of the vendors (Socio’s) was slicing fresh peaches for samples and I couldn’t believe it, but that was the best peach I’ve ever tasted. Being from Georgia, I never thought I would say that but it was the truth. They sell all sorts of fresh produce (also tasted the sweetest and juciest pear ever) and ship too. I’m temped to have them ship me some peaches, they were so good!
The real show stoppers at the market though were the flowers (in my opinion). Everywhere you turned, dozens upon dozens of fresh flowers were set up in overflowing buckets – and so many peonies! Oh, peonies as far as the eye could see! And for cheap too! $2 a stem or 6 for $10 – what?! I wanted to buy them all – all the flowers! – but seeing as we were leaving the next day, it didn’t make much sense.
When we got tired of walking around, we walked across the street to La Penier to share some french macarons and – oh my. This place was magical. I’ve never been to Paris, but I imagine something very similar to this experience. The most beautiful and artfully made pastries. And the macarons we had were the most perfectly baked ones I think I’ve ever had.
French macarons made a perfect mid-morning snack and when we were done, we walked around some more – found this AWESOME shop called Old Seattle Paperworks full of vintage magazines, advertisements and posters. I was in heaven – we spent probably an hour just wandering around, flipping through all the neat images. I’m cursing myself for not getting any photos, but it is definitely worth mentioning.
Lunch was one of the best meals of our entire trip. What you’re looking at is four different kinds of chowder and a dungness crab roll – all made from fresh seafood right from the market. The food came from Pike Place Chowder and we found some seats outside, under an awning to shield us from the Seattle drizzle that had just started up. The four chowders we sampled were the Market Chowder, the Seafood Bisque, the New England Chowder and the Chicken and Corn Chowder. Holy cow – amazing!
And I have to say that Parker is the best travel companion when it comes to dining – he’s always down to order a variety of of dishes and share everything. I think every meal we would look at the menu and say to each other “tapas style”? Meaning, “let’s get what looks good and share?” My favorite way to eat out by far :)
After lunch, we hopped on the monorail and went over to the Experience Music Project – I was really interested in seeing the Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix exhibits and Parker wanted to see some special Sci-Fi movie exhibit they had. I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures inside! It was neat though, just trust me :) We didn’t go up in to the Space Needle because we were short on time and the line was really long, but we got a good view of it, especially since the clouds cleared and the sun was shining.
We spent a long time at the EMP museum, and it was dinner time by the time we left. We wanted to food crawl some more so our first stop was Beechers where we split their “World’s Best Mac & Cheese” – and it truly is the world’s best. No really – I dare you to find a better mac & cheese. You can order some online and they’ll deliver it to your house if you’re curious enough to try it :)
We only went to one other place for our food crawl because we weren’t really hungry anymore and also, the city shuts down at 5! :) We found a cute little place though with seating outside, with views of the water and shared some champagne and talked about our favorite places we had visited so far. We had already seen so much and it had only been a few days in our two week trip!This was our view from the hotel room that night (we stayed at Hotel Max). It was beautiful and we had such a fun time in Seattle – the next morning we would wake up early for a short 4 mile training run (our half marathon in San Francisco was less than a week away!) up to Kerry Park to take in the gorgeous views and see a bit more of Seattle in our short visit before hopping on a train bound for Portland.
Seattle was the only place we visited where we didn’t rent a car and for the short two days that we were there, we didn’t need one. The city had plenty to keep us entertained, all within walking distance to our hotel, but we would love to go back and explore the beautiful surrounding beaches and Mt. Rainier one day.