Welcome to Sarah’s trail for eating and marketing across Seattle! Sarah writes an engaging and delicious blog cook.can.read, and is dedicated to all things local. Here’s her rundown of where she’d take you if you came to visit!
LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them?
Sarah: I am lucky to have frequent out of town visitors, and usually take them to some or all of these spots.
Macrina Bakery: homemade baked goods with an emphasis on using local fruits and grains. Such a treat!
Theo Chocolate Factory: the only chocolate-maker in the US (at last check) to make chocolate starting with raw cocoa beans. Their emphasis is on fair-trade, fair-wage, organic, responsibly-sourced ingredients from start to finish. Theo chocolate is worth seeking out for so many reasons!
Espresso Vivace—well, we are in Seattle, so coffee has to come into play. Vivace is my favorite because they roast in-house. My husband and I sometimes buy green beans from them and roast at home, but labor-wise, I much prefer sinking into a comfy chair with a Vivace latte and the Sunday paper. It’s also conveniently located across from REI, a terrific outdoor gear outfitter.
Golden Beetle—Maria Hines is the chef/owner of this Ballard restaurant serving seasonal, organic Mediterranean food made from primarily locally-sourced ingredients. From brunch to dinner and including happy hour, GB has some of my favorite food in the city. Don’t miss the muhammara!
Lola—Tom Douglas is Seattle’s resident celebrity chef, with more than a dozen restaurants around the city. My favorite is Lola, another Mediterranean restaurant with a heavy lean toward Greek food. The atmosphere is wonderful, the buzz is exciting, the location is convenient, in the middle of downtown, and the food is my favorite in the city. I learned to love roast lamb and squid kebabs with chermoula at Lola.
In addition to these spots, everyone gets a trip to the farmers’ market!
LS: Hidden local gem?
Sarah: The Walrus & the Carpenter, a tiny, hard-to-find, expect-a-wait, bright and beautiful space in the old fishing district area of Ballard with a menu centered on local seafood, particularly oysters. The food is stunning, like you have never had, fresh and surprising and exciting. The staff is friendly and engaging, knowledgeable and just cool. The best meal I ever had was at W&C with my husband and my mother-in-law. We ate and ate and ate: 6 varieties of raw oysters with fresh horseradish; fried oysters; the best tomato soup you can imagine; cured salmon with pickled tomatoes; grilled fresh white sardines, house-cured bresaola; cold and strong Moscow mules; pudding with espresso butter sauce for dessert. I smile and groan remembering that meal, every time.
LS: Local person, cultural or food experience Local Sprouts should seek out?
Sarah: Go to one of the neighborhood markets—Pike Place is fun, but going to the Ballard Market, or West Seattle, or University District, or Columbia City will allow you to see the heart(s) of my beloved city. The range of available products makes me giddy with excitement, sometimes to the point where I am overwhelmed. You will see local chefs choosing fish and greens for tonight’s dinner service, moms buying fresh, just-picked apples for their kids, crazy ladies like me buying *another* case of apricots to make jam, folks out to see and be seen, friends meeting to grab a crepe and a bike-powered smoothie for a strolling breakfast… It’s the truest snapshot of the city I know.