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Food and drink in Seattle
How do Seattleites eat? Very well indeed — though they’re more likely to be found in eclectic neighbourhood restaurants than in stuffy fine dining venues. Likewise, follow in-the-know locals to the city’s artisan bakeries, drop by its fabulously fresh farmers markets, and don’t forget to glug down plenty of small-batch, house-roasted coffee, too. Locally sourced, cooked with integrity, and always creative: these tenets guide the city’s food scene to tasty success.
Seattle is perhaps unique in its sheer abundance of artisan bakeries — and you better believe that what’s coming out of the oven goes well beyond your standard chocolate chip cookies. Head to the multi award-winning Bakery Nouveau to try pastry chef William Leaman’s kugelhopfs and pistachio-cassis cakes, venture to Mighty-O for donuts so good you’d never know they were vegan, and scoop up rustic loaves at Macrina Bakery.
Seattle is home to a thrilling food culture, but much of the boundary-pushing culinary innovation isn’t happening in fine-dining establishments. Instead, the city’s eclectic, endearing, and exceptional neighbourhood restaurants are where the best meals in town can be found. From the seasonal pizzas at Delancey to the locally sourced fare at Matt’s in the Market, it’s worth travelling across town to seek out these destination-worthy meals.
Seattle coffee culture
Seattle’s stereotypical java obsession? It isn’t far from the truth. Though serious coffee drinkers have been attempting to shake their city’s association with Starbucks for the past few decades (the coffee behemoth was born in Pike Place Market in 1971), there’s much more to find around town than Frappuccinos. Coffee shops like Caffe Vita meticulously source and roast beans from small farmers around the world, while Caffe Fiore is a fully organic coffee house. Sip up and savour the exceptional joe.
Local farmers markets
Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle is famous for being one of the longest continually operated farmers markets in the country. No Seattle visit is complete without a pilgrimage, but don’t forget about the city’s smaller markets, too. The University District Farmers Market was named one of the nation’s best by Conde Nast Traveller, while markets in Ballard and Capitol Hill also draw crowds. Seattle is home to one of the country’s best growing climates, so you’re in for some fantastically fresh produce.
Washington State wine
On the West Coast, California may draw the lion’s share of wine world buzz, but increasingly, Washington State has proven its vinicultural excellence. Now home to upwards of 800 wineries across 14 growing regions, the state is a must for visiting oenophiles (especially those with a taste for Merlot and Syrah, which grow smashingly here). If you find yourself in Seattle, explore the nearby vineyards of the Puget Sound region, like Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle — or head to Seattle’s many excellent wine bars to save yourself the journey.