A Foodie’s Tour of Seattle, the Real Emerald City
Seattle is appropriately nicknamed the “Emerald City,” due to it being surrounded by soaring pines and dotted with lush year-round greenery throughout its many parks and public spaces. All made possible due to Seattle’s famous rainy season.
From the perspective of a traveling foodie, I can assure you this Emerald City has the one from “The Wizard of Oz” beat in every way. The food scene is vibrant and unique, boasting some of the best restaurants and markets in the country. Most importantly, there are absolutely no flying monkeys circling overhead waiting to kidnap you. I call that a pretty big benefit.
During my three days in this beautiful oceanfront city, I stayed at the Hyatt House Seattle in a convenient tourist location. Not only it the Hyatt right across the street from the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Seattle Center Monorail, but it was also walking distance to Pike Place Market. My room had a gorgeous view of the Space Needle, a living room, and a kitchen with a refrigerator and small freezer that's perfect for extended stays.
The historic Pike Place Market has been on my bucket list for years, so it was the first place I wanted to visit. Established in 1907, this waterfront public market is a popular tourist destination and is made up of a community of farmers markets, crafts market, and specialty food shops. From meats and cheeses, fresh produce, breads, pastries, and seafood to hand crafted clothes, jewelry, soaps, and huge bouquets of beautiful flowers, this iconic landmark is one site that cannot be missed. Our favorite food stops included: Le Panier (French bakery with the best macarons), Pure Food Fish Market (in-house smoked salmon), Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt (the real deal Greek yogurt), Beecher's Handmade Cheese (handmade cheese...enough said), and Piroshky Piroshky (Russian hand held pies).
When in Seattle, drink coffee! The coffee here is famous for a reason. It’s bold, complex and simply amazing and there's no better way to experience it than to go on the Seattle Coffee Tour with Road Dog Tours. We visited Conduit Coffee, Caffè Appassionato, and Caffè Umbria to learn about the history of coffee, while sipping on expertly roasted and brewed cups of liquid gold.
Get out of the city one day and head North to Edmonds, Washington to watch for whales while eating freshly baked Blueberry Buckle aboard the Puget Sound Express. During this half day tour, we were lucky enough to have a Humpback whale (named Two Spot by the crew) entertain us by swimming back and forth underneath our boat. Smaller minke whales, sea lions, and various shorebirds all made an appearance on the relaxing ride that also included homemade sandwiches by Red Twig Bakery & Cafe. It's nice to know one doesn't have to sacrifice good food when out on a boat in the middle of the ocean.
Walking around Seattle burns a lot of calories, so we fueled ourselves by feasting on carbs. Pastries in the morning, pizza in the afternoon, and homemade tacos at night. The savoy feuilletés (puff pastry tarts) at Le Panier and the chocolate almond croissant were both crisp, delicate, and moist with each bite. We had the most heavenly chocolate mousse cake for breakfast too (don't judge). For lunch, we heard a place called Serious Pie had some serious pizza, so we hiked up the steepest hill outside of San Francisco to reach the intended destination. Their light textured wood fired thin crust pizzas, in-house smoked prosciutto, and house made sodas are just a few things that make this place so special. Serious Pie is owned by local celebrated chef, Tom Douglas, so don't forget to get a slice of his world famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie for a sweet ending.
Dinner consisted of plates of homemade tacos with rice and beans at Chávez . This authentic Mexican restaurant makes everything from family recipes and left this taco loving girl completely satisfied.
One of our most memorable meals out was on our last night at Opus Co. A tiny, one room restaurant with imitate seating and an open kitchen producing some of the most flavorful eats in the Northwest. Using meats and seasonal produce from local NW farmers which are served family style, the quality of the ingredients is showcased through the applewood fired grill and through time-honored techniques like pickling, fermentation, or souring. You can clearly see and taste the care, passion, and thoughtfulness that goes into every plate. It's also reflected in their small, yet impressive list of regional beers, ciders, and wines that would please the even the most discerning palate.
Three action-packed days in Seattle was certainly not enough to experience everything this inspiring city has to offer. I imagine if Dorothy came to this Emerald City, instead of the Land of Oz, she wouldn’t be clicking the heels of those ruby slippers quite so fast.
All expenses for this article were provided by Hyatt Place by Hyatt. Opinions are the writer’s own.