In this section, we’ll cover a few of our favorite eateries in Seattle from our recent visit (Collections Cafe pictured above):
Specialty’s Cafe (Downtown): If you’re downtown and looking for a great little coffee place, check out the Specialties Cafe at the edge of the City Centre – a cute, casual place with outdoor seating for people watching.
Caffe Ladro (Capitol Hill): Up on 15th on the back side of Capitol Hill, not far from Volunteer Park, you’ll find a cute little cafe – Caffe Ladro.
It’s a small local chain, and this one was really friendly, with good coffee and a nice selection of pastries. They were also featuring the works of a local artist that fascinated me – Javier S. Ortega. You can see his work at http://www.ortega.net.
Vivace (Capitol Hill): In the heart of Capitol Hill, on Broadway (the main north-south thoroughfare), you’ll find another great cafe – Vivace (“lively” in Italian) – another cute, casual cafe with a great selection of pastries, including gluten free and vegan.
Collections Cafe (Seattle Center): On the grounds of the Seattle Center, just steps from the Space Needle, this cute little cafe has two outdoor patios, one with partial views of the glass gardens, and eclectic collections of accordions (suspended from the ceiling) and old-time radios (stacked neatly in a shelf inside).
The food here (burgers and fries) was unexpectedly good, if a little pricey, making this a decent lunch option when you’re exploring the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Museum, and the EMP.
Vino Volo (Airport): Surprisingly good (and affordable) small plates and gourmet cuisine inside SeaTac’s center court. Although the service was a little slow, the food was great – including a brie and prosciutto sandwich with fig marmalade, a green salad with chicken, and salmon rolls. If you have the time, grab a bite to eat here on your way out of town.
Via Tribunali (Capitol Hill): Our first night out, we checked out this little pizzeria in the hotbed of new places along Pike and Pine. It’s a cute little place with a great kinda Gothic atmosphere, and the pizzas were very good. Only downside – REALLY slow service.
Poquitos (Capitol Hill): Our second night out – also in the Pike/Pine zone – this time Mexican food. The food here was also really good, and we met one of the community outreach directors for the R74 effort – trying to get voters to confirm the new marriage equality law in Washington state. Literally, I was at the urinal in the bathroom when I see this guy come in with a marriage equality shirt. We start talking, and I realize it’s incredibly awkward to be carrying on a conversation over my shoulder with my fly down, so I’m like, screw it – I can finish this later. It ended up ok – it was great to make this contact! The restaurant is a bit loud, not great for quiet conversations.
Ruth’s Chris (Downtown): Our third (and final) night out. OK, yes, it’s a chain, but it’s still one of the best steakhouses around. Especially the filet mignon – melts in your mouth like butter. And the onion rings are divine.
Terra Plata (Capitol Hill – Pike/Pine): Ok, technically we didn’t have dinner here, but this cute triangle-shaped restaurant ended up being our favorite new find this trip.
Our favorite thing about Terra Plata is the brand-new rooftop bar – opened just a month before our visit. We came here after dinner at Ruth’s Chris, and were lucky they could find a place for us upstairs – the restaurant was packed.
We followed our host up the stairs at the back, and emerged onto a charming rooftop scene – a long, narrow triangle-shaped bar with a fireplace at the pointy end, an urban herb garden along the edges, and an outdoor grill where chef and co-owner Tamara prepared food for the upstairs crowd.
We sat at a long table, where I ordered a rosemary lemonade (fantastic) and we split a pistachio torte and chocolate gelato. The night was beautiful – clear and warm, but there are overhead heaters to keep you comfortable even on cool nights.
There was a large LGBT presence at the bar, and some cute waiters! A woman stopped by and asked us how we were doing, and Mark mentioned that they didn’t have his usual sweetener… she offered to go to another restaurant down the street to get some for us, and we declined, not wanting to put them to the trouble. Turned out she was one of the owners!
It was the perfect ending to our last night in Seattle – and a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
Poco Wine Room (Capitol Hill): In the Pike/Pine area, this cute little two story wine bar was very quiet all three nights when we walked by. On the second night, we stopped by for a nightcap – since I don’t drink, I tried the ginger beer – like root beer, but made from ginger – it was really good. Perfect for drinks with friends after dinner or clubbing.
Bobachine (Downtown): A cute little Bubble Tea place. For those who have been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know bubble tea is one of my favorite things. You get a sweetened tea (often with milk) filled with “bubbles” – tapioca pieces that you suck up through an oversized straw while you drink the tea. This one’s along Westlake Park i the heart of downtown.
Caffe Umbria (Pioneer Square): For a quick gelato, try Caffè Umbria, just a block off Pioneer Square. They serve Gelatiamo Gelato – you’ll find one of those too in Downtown