PORTAGE BAY CAFE: Organic and local, best known for their "toppings bar" of giant bowls filled with a variety of nuts, whipped cream, and local berries. (It can get crowded, reservations are a must.)
ODDFELLOWS CAFE & LOUNGE: Hip, casual. Get the bulls-eye biscuit (they have one that's GF!), divine. Open early morning to late night. The only bummer is they don't take reservations and the wait can be so long on the weekends.
THE LONDON PLANE: I love this spot. Fancy and beautiful, perfect for celebrating a birthday or a hosting a small shower. Floor to ceiling windows, an amazing menu, and a flower shop in house make it perfect for photos.
PHINNEY MARKET PUB & EATERY: Small, neighborhoody, casual. Very family friendly with a little play train area set up just for kids. Delicious egg scrambles, and roasted and smashed potatoes.
LUNCH & CASUAL DATES
UNEEDA BURGER: Excellent, $5 artisanal burgers. A GF bun option and outside seating. Really fun on a sunny day.
PCC: a local grocery co-op. Amazing salads in the deli, the grass-fed thai steak salad is our favorite. We like to grab a few different things and picnic nearby at Greenlake.
SHELTER LOUNGE: Greenlake, casual. Very cool glass ceiling with great lighting.
GROWLER GUYS: This is such a unique bar. It has dive-bar-y feel, but amazingly very kid friendly. Lots of outdoor seating and games, and everything is on tap, including a rotating selection of local kombuchas and ciders (GF).
TEDDY'S: Dive bar near Greenlake, the highlight is the back patio complete with a ping-pong table. They don't serve food but they partner with Rain City Burgers next door, and you can order burgers and sweet potato fries to be delivered to you.
RACHEL'S GINGER BEER: At Pike Place Market, made locally and so good. You can purchase a big glass growler and have it refilled at a discount.
LITTLE WATER CANTINA: Upscale Mexican, really fun in the summer when you can sit outside over the water, but fun anytime for a margarita.
AGUA VERDE: A little less fancy Mexican overlooking the water. The salsa bar is amazing.
WESTWARD: Another seaside favorite, and amazing in the summer. This darling restaurant & bar has striped umbrellas that are almost european-vacation-like, and you can sit on the beach in adiorndack chairs and sip cocktails.
THE SEXTON: Southern, rustic and casual. Small plates, love the shrimp and grits.
BLACK BOTTLE: Small plates in Belltown. Romantic and both the food and cocktails are perfect. Love their white sangria in the summer. One of our favorite fancier dates in the city.
PLUM BISTRO: In the hip capitol hill neighborhood, this is not what I expected at all, in a good way. It's upscale vegan, and almost everything on the menu is gluten-free, and delicious.
CACTUS: A few locations, the Alki one is fun to walk the beach afterwards, good Mexican.
THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER: Possibly the longest wait for a table in Seattle, but really fun for the experience. Tiny and charming. Mostly oysters on the menu. Excellent drinks and fun atmosphere.
THE WHALE WINS: With the same owner as The Walrus and the Carpenter (Renee Erickson), this spot is similar in that it boasts lots of fresh seafood, but there are more tables and the atmosphere is more approachable.
MANOLIN: In the same neighborhood as Whale Wins. Lots of small plates and creative dishes. Everything we've had has been delicious.
FRANK'S OYSTER HOUSE: Tiny little neighborhood spot in Bryant. Amazing rosé.
BALLARD ANNEX: More oysters, in Ballard. More casual.
KISAKU: Sushi, in a neighborhood location with easy and free parking (rare in Seattle!)
KOZUE: Happy hour sushi, with a variety of rolls for $2.99.
THE GOOD BAR: In pioneer square, perfect before a Mariner's game, concert, or other event at Century Link Field. A great selection of cheap eats on happy hour, with a fancier-feeling location, marble counter top at the bar, and big windows.
THE MATADOR: Best giant $5 nachos on happy hour. We always choose steak.
PERCY & CO: In Ballard, great food and a lengthy cocktail menu. Fun in the summer when you can sit out back on long tables and benches.
PURPLE: An amazing wine selection, and great food as well. Downtown, dark, romantic.
REVOLUTION WINE: Rosé slushies. Enough said.
SITKA AND SPRUCE: Fancy, upscale. Tiny, artisanal, and delicious.
EPULO: In Edmonds, a nice selection of food and drinks on happy hour including a $6 Moscow Mule.
MUSASHI’S: Cash only, tiny and good sushi bar in Wallingford. Often a long wait at peak times.
MOJITO: In the Maple Leaf neighborhood, tiny, casual, and so summery. The best crushed ice (and mojitos, obviously). Love the ceviche.
PAIR: We went here for Valentine’s one year and a birthday another, it’s dark, tiny, small plates in a french farmhouse on a neighborhood street in Bryant. So cute. (Sister restaurant to Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Bar).
SALISH SEA BREWING CO: In Edmonds, family friendly, causal bar. Get the Pub Nachos on HH.
FRANKIE & JO’S: My favorite Seattle ice cream. Plant based, GF waffle cones, an Instagramable wall, what more could you ask for? Rotating menu of unique and delicious flavors. The Ballard location is much easier to park at than Capitol Hill.
THE COOKIE COUNTER: This just opened (Summer 2016) and it's vegan ice cream and they have GF cones! Such a win.
LADY YUM: Macarons in Kirkland.
COYLES BAKESHOP: In Greenwood. I love their giant berry meringues (GF).
MOLLY MOONS: A local favorite, and locally sourced as well. The smell of freshly baked waffle cones greets you at all locations. Lots of unique classics as well as a few rotating flavors, I love the Stumptown Coffee.
HOT CAKES: The most amazing dense, rich, (flourless!) chocolate cakes with ice cream and toffee bits. Located in Ballard, and open very late. A line is constantly wrapped around the door but it moves fast. Rich enough to share one serving between two people.
CHOCOLATI: Handmade chocolate truffles in Greenlake. Great selection.
MACRINA BAKERY: This bakery has a few locations, but they make a GF biscuit with jam that is to-die-for, and is carried in a few other local retailers (Cupcake Royale and Anchored Ship being two of them). They posted their recipe online for this divine creation here.
CUPCAKE ROYALE: Multiple locations and a selection of gluten free cupcakes available, as well as ice cream. Delicious.
HONORE: Tiny and not much seating, but they have great coffee and macarons.
LE PANIER: In Pike Place, they also have a wide selection of macarons. Often packed because of the location, but if you're already visiting Pike Place it's worth a stop.
WHOLE FOODS: I love the gummies in the bulk candy section.
What Seattle is known for. Just a small selection of favorites.
STORYVILLE: Queen Anne and Pike Place locations. Dark and cozy.
STUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS: A few locations, all as hip as can be.
ANCHORED SHIP: A tiny coffee shop in Ballard. Limited seating but very cute.
CAFFE UMBRIA: Charming Italian roaster next to London Plane, they serve this at London Plane and the coffee is so crazy good.
ELM COFFEE ROASTERS: In pioneer square, modern and minimal (where the headliner photo on this page is from).
ZOKA: Great for getting work done, tons of tables and lots of college students at the Bryant and Greenlake locations.
For picnic dates
PCC: A local, mostly organic grocery store. They have tons of great pre-made salads and two locations near Greenlake. We love: the grass-fed thai steak salad, the edamame salad, Moroccan apricot salad, hearty greens, so many.
TRADER JOES. My weekly grocery trip since college. The Ballard and Shoreline locations have the best parking options.