Seattle – I walked, ate, drank, walked some more and caught a good show. Yes, it was a very good weekend indeed.
Living in Portland, we know tourism during the rainy season can just simply SUCK. The thing about the soggy Northwest is that the weather can pummel the spirit out of even the most determined traveler. Seattle is no exception. We just didn’t want to brave the zoo or a harbor cruise with the high, freezing wind and persistent rain on Friday. Saturday the wind died down, but it was still raining and the sky was an impenetrable wall of gray cloud. What would have been the point of going to the Space Needle when there is no visibility? The Chihuly Garden would have been beautiful, but we ran out of time. For this reason, I think you should go and just be in the rain for a bit before committing to buying a CityPASS, for example.
We did go to the Seattle Aquarium, and that was cool, but because everyone else had the same idea, it was unbelievably crowded.
Much of the shops at the Pike Place Market are actually covered, making that another good rainy day destination.
Another note: The Experience Music Project (EMP) became the MoPop (Museum of Pop Culture), but it’s NOT about pop culture. Pop culture is the Monkees, the Beatles, the Spice Girls. It’s Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chapman. But it apparently just has stuff like Star Trek. I’m glad someone told me about this gross misnomer before I dropped a lot of money for something I’m not interested in. Definitely check out the exhibitions before you go, you’ve been warned. It’s a pity, the EMP was fun when I went years ago.
We stayed in the Belltown Inn (2301 3rd Ave.) which was reasonably priced, nice enough and near downtown and Pike Place. The Belltown neighborhood itself has quite a few cool drinking and dining establishments, though it’s a short .5 to 1 mile walk to most places downtown. We were in town to see a show at the Benaroya Concert Hall, and that was a short walk from our hotel. If I were to go back, I would probably want to stay closer to Capitol Hill, as that’s where many of the more hipster cafes and bars are, but Belltown was pretty quiet and low key.
Meatless (But Not Drinkless) in Seattle
As the Happy Cow app will reveal to you, there are many vegan dining options in Seattle, including excellent chain staples Veggie Grill and Café Yumm, but we try to seek out unique places we’ve never been.
Any vegan going to Seattle should make Plum Bistro (1429 12th Ave.) a destination. I had the buffalo Portobello burger, my husband had the Veggie Monster pizza and both were fabulous. We almost had dessert, too, but the menu didn’t have anything chocolate and that’s what we go for. Afterwards, the rain was coming down and it was very windy, so we did not want to walk far for some after dinner cocktails. We headed just down the block to Tavern Law (1406 12th Ave.) for inventive, vintage-inspired drinks.
Bamboo Garden (364 Roy St.) has a vegan menu, as some faux meats contain dairy or egg. Amazing selection and sauces are flavorful without being too heavy or salty. The steamed potstickers were delightful. We would’ve gone back the next day if we’d had more time!
After the concert on Saturday, we wanted to have a nightcap and were looking for a dim, quiet bar near our hotel. The Wakefield Bar (2381 2nd Ave.) was perfect. I had wanted to try Clever Bottle, but when I go there I discovered it had closed. I wasn’t disappointed in the Wakefield, though.
Sunday morning we went to the 24-hour dive bar 5-Point Café (415 Cedar St.) and they had very limited vegan options, but quite a few vegetarian options. We had the No Huevos Rancheros with tofu and soyrizo and it was very tasty. I’ll take a humble hole blaring 80s metal over a sterile fancy spot with linens any day!
I had also wanted to try the Revolution Wine Bar and Store (518 E. Pike St.) and The White Horse Trading Company (1908 Post Alley), but time didn’t allow.
We didn’t get to visit 701 Coffee (701 23rd Ave.), but it looks quite amazing. Vegan biscuit sandwiches, I’d say that’s worth checking out.
One thing I did try that missed the mark was the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. There are three in the downtown Seattle area, we went to the one at 1124 Pike St. We both had 12 ounce pour overs that were about $6 a piece. We also both had bagels, and before we knew it, there went $23. The coffees were unusual and interesting, but if you’re not a fan of Starbucks anyway, I’m not sure how much you’ll like it. I would’ve rather had a beer for that price. But the building itself is beautiful with concrete walls and copper pipes everywhere, so the atmosphere is the real draw of this place.