My best friend just recently moved to Seattle. You can understand how exciting this is when she is your BEST FRIEND, and she now lives in a new place to explore. Why not take on the city together, right? Well, we only had a weekend, but a weekend was just enough to do some exploring on land and sea, try some ridiculously potent weed edibles from their now legal dispensaries, drink some seriously good coffee, and eat our way through this awesome city. I understand why their widely accepted expression is, “beautiful, caffeinated, and culture rich.”
Being in the heart of the music scene, surrounded by edgy grassroots melodies and indie rock beats, we made our first stop at a Seattle staple, 13 coins. A 24-hour dining experience, their dark and sultry lounge is filled with community tables, and comfortable booths where you can enjoy your libation and some expert eats with your companions.
We had listened to some bluesy tunes before we called it a night, went back to the house and smoked some authentic Seattle marijuana.
We woke up bright eyed, and bushy tailed on Saturday morning and headed to Woodinville, which is exactly as it sounds, in the woods. Of course, we stopped for coffee at a local joint where the ceiling was filled wth chandeliers and the walls covered in chalkboard menus.
There is always traffic in Seattle, one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the U.S., which gave us an extra hour of gabbing and looking at the city’s silhouette. Once you get past the traffic, though, into this town of Woodinville, the windy roads lined with Oak and Cherry Plum trees, you feel you have time traveled to an entirely different part of the world. It goes from Big City to Woodsy in no time.
We stopped at a lunch joint called The Commons for a quick nosh before we headed to DeLille Winery for some grape juice tasting. The Commons starts serving pastries and coffee (only) at 7 am, with their full kitchen opening at 8 am. Their menu has everything from snacks to sandwiches, salads to burgers, an egg and bacon burrito, and of course, fish ‘n chips (the Seattle menu staple).
Their drinks are on point, and they give you so many options when it comes to the mimosa.
After filling our bellies, we headed to DeLille, a tasting room walking distance from the restaurant with delicious wines to boot. I love wine tasting wherever I go. We walked out with a D2 bottle to have with dinner that night.
One of the most beautiful things about Seattle is that it rains, obviously, but while it rains, the sun still shines. We stood under the transparent tent, sipping wine in the sunshine, and watching the rain pour down on top of us.
That night, my best friend planned a surprise trip to a secret location in Capitol Hill. We took an Uber to a restaurant called Tavern Law, and when we stepped inside she said, “Okay, figure it out.”
There were tables filled with people, servers walking around, and bartenders tending bar. In the far corner from where you arrived, there was a phone and a steel door. “Hello?” I had no idea what I was doing, I just picked up the phone and hoped someone would help me. “Do you have a reservation?” A voice responded.
“I think so?”
“Come on up.”
The steel door unlocked, and we made our way up dark wood stairs to a room that made you feeling like Hemmingway was drinking here.
The speakeasy was called Needle and Thread. We were greeted by our waitress/bartender that asked us each what our preferred flavors were for cocktails. She went through vodka, bourbon, bitter, earthy, sweet, and herbal. After memorizing what, each of our preferences were, she returned to the bar to create our very own cocktail. We sat in this haunting lounge for a couple of hours, tasting each others cocktails and praising how amazing this place was.
We opted for late night Italian food at a favorite joint called Ristorante Machiavelli that had a two-hour wait. Willing to hold on, we put our name down and headed to a bar in an old mortuary called The Pine Box (because dead people are buried in Pine.. creepy).
The Pine Box was slammed, from wall to wall, and the bar was, at least, three deep. You have to be a little patient while the bartenders do their thing because they are good. However, they only have two arms and one brain to deal with us crazy drinkers.
We found a few seats at the bar and opted for beers from their extensive selection of drafts and whiskey; it was a great way to let the time go by!
Italian is always a good idea, and at this cozy family-style Italian Ristorante, we had some of the best Italian we have ever had. Living the big city life, locals eat late, especially on the weekends. Once they get a solid base in, they head out to take over the town.
Seattle has a bustling music scene and a serious indie-rock obsession. The scene is filled with local bands, up and coming as well as established, Helloooo Macklemore! Check out one of their awesome venues and see a show at their famous venue, The Crocodile, where little-known bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam have played. Other music venues to check out are Club Q, Kremwerk, Neumos, and the Showbox. Other notable music venues that promote up and coming local bands and get in touch with their edgy grassroots vibes are Comet Tavern and Chop Suey. Stop in for a drink, and stay for the tunes.
The next morning was Football morning. Seattle was playing, and I swear you can hear that stadium from outside the city. Their fans are serious and know how to tailgate, setting up camp in parking lots all around the town with campers, big screen TVs, BBQ’s, and handles of Fireball. Their game faces are on, literally painted on, jerseys are pulled over their hoodies, and they are chanting, singing, yelling, and screaming. You can’t help but feel their energy!
The Seahawks won, and as the fans come pouring out of the stadium, a marching band joins them, beating their drums, entertaining the city. Everybody gets involved; dancing starts, crowds form, and before you know it you are in the middle of a party in the midst of the city.
The after party was spent wandering through Pikes Place Market, purchasing teas, selecting your favorite flowers and watching the fish mongers toss their fish from person to person, again, more entertainment.
The market is so alive and filled with tourists, but ran by locals, get lost for a little bit and explore the array of spices, fresh produce, local fish, and locally ran shops.
We continued our adventure down Post Alley; making a quick tequila stop at a local Mexican food joint, San Patricio Cantina.
Margaritas went around and around again, and we were ready to continue our adventure.
*If you are looking for coffee in Seattle, don’t opt for a well-known chain. Seattlites know how to do coffee right, let them show you the ropes, and what coffee should be tasting like!*
What would a trip to Seattle be if you didn’t experience the astounding, famous Gum Wall? Yes, Gum Wall.
An entire alleyway filled top to bottom, of gum.
As you turn the corner to get down there, you know you are in the right spot when the smell of juicy fruit hits your nose.
It’s awkwardly fragrant, and you can’t help but stare at all the hard work put into filling these walls with gum over the years.
Kind of disgusting but kind of beautiful.
We stumbled into a bar, right next to the Gum Wall, and I can’t even remember the name at this point. We had stopped for a glass of wine before we figured out what to make for dinner. You can’t go wrong “stumbling” into a place in Seattle. That’s the beauty of this big city, wherever you go you are bound to fall in love.
Dinner was at a pizza joint that served karaoke, or maybe it was a karaoke joint that served pizza. Whatever it was, we stopped into Talarico’s after stopping by the marijuana dispensary (sorry mom). It’s legal in Seattle, so why not investigate? We listened to a young guy rap his way to applause, and an older gentlemen sing his sorrows away. You never know what you will run into, that’s the beauty of it.
Our final day in this magical place started out on a boat to Bainbridge. Slightly hungover, we stumbled to get ready and, of course, missed our ferry. Of course. We were heading to the island to check out something about flowers and a florist for my best friends wedding, being late wasn’t really an option, but we had to work with it. We caught the next ferry, and as we got further and further away from Emerald City, the wind sobered us up, and the allure of the breathtaking cityscape captured our attention. Looking over the side of the boat, you see why they call it Emerald City. The water is a beautiful green, and the reflection onto the horizon is astonishing.
Bainbridge Island is a small town place, much different from the MegaTown we just came from. We walked about 15 minutes to our destination and sat in a cottage surrounded by flowery inspiration. Chatting with the locals, they move at a slower pace, they aren’t in the hustle and bustle of the city, or on the city’s schedule. Nestled in the evergreens, everything seems calm, and a bit more beautiful than before; I didn’t even know that was possible.
We headed back to the ferry and made our way back to the Big City. A day spent in nature on Bainbridge is a must. Local restaurants, coffee shops, and small town vibes are a great temporary change.
Our last meal in Seattle was spent at an incredible restaurant called Staple and Fancy, a chef-driven restaurant, lit by candle light, with thick oak tables, and servers that know what they are doing. We had to do the wine pairing dinner (duh) and with each dish that came out, and each wine that was poured, we were in heaven. From the charcuterie to the guten free noodles, steak, seafood, dessert, I mean, wow. What a way to spend your last night in an incredible city, with a food scene that is out of this world.
With only one long weekend in Emerald City, I experienced so many new things that are a part of the Seattle culture. As you can see, we only skimmed the surface for adventure. Sure Seattle is known for its fleece, legal weed, Space Needle, and coffee, but if you dig a little deeper you will find that this city produces so much magic, you will need to book a return ticket as soon as you touchdown in your hometown.