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About three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to show my mom around Seattle for her 60th birthday. My sisters and I pitched in to send my mom on a trip and I was given the honor and task to take her. I'm not a "Seattleite" but I had gone last summer and fell in love with the city. We had SO much fun but most importantly, my mom enjoyed it so much she even considered moving there. It was a great weekend and thank God my mom is 60; she needed a nap every so often and so did I.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I had a small case of "LA Pride" but the more and more I venture out from my home, I'm finding that maybe we aren't the best city out there (oops). Here's a recap of some of the amazing places I had a chance to visit:
1. Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101
If you're visiting Seattle, you need to make a stop here regardless of how you feel about Starbucks. This is no ordinary Starbucks because this is like the Willy Wonka Factory Starbucks. You can watch their coffee roasting process and try special drinks and pastries you can't find anywhere else. I know Starbucks seems extremely ubiquitous and therefore seems to lack quality but there is no other like this. I only posted pictures of the drinks and the exterior of the building because what's inside is something that you need to see and experience for yourself. Photography helps us capture many great moments but sometimes, pictures just don't do it justice.
2. Paseo Caribbean Food
4225 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
If 4.5 stars and 4,302 raving reviews aren't enough to convince you to try this place, I'm not sure what will but I just have to say that this might be the best sandwich I ever had. I got the "Caribbean Roast" which is Paseo marinated pork shoulder on lightly toasted baguette with aioli, fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeños, romaine lettuce, and caramelized onions. My mistake was not ordering extra caramelized onions and sharing my sandwich with my mom.
It's a pretty small space so I can imagine that it can get crowded; we went around 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon and thankfully, there was no wait. But seriously, YOU NEED TO TRY THIS PLACE. It is worth it, I promise.
3. The Walrus and the Carpenter
4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
If you're in the Ballard area and want some fresh oysters, try The Walrus and the Carpenter. Beware, it is $$$ so if you're looking for happy hour, this is not the place. But we were celebrating my mom's birthday so this was a great place to celebrate a special occasion. We ordered a dozen oysters, spot prawn crudo (which is like fancy raw? shrimp), and fried oysters. I loved the fresh oysters, my mom preferred the fried, and we shared the spot prawn crudo. We were still pretty full from Paseo but all the things we ordered were amazing.
Helpful Tip: The Walrus and the Carpenter opens at 4PM; we got there at 3:55 and there was already a line. We got the last two seats and everyone after us was at at least an hour wait so plan accordingly!
4. The London Plane
300 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
The London Plane was the loveliest place to have brunch on a Sunday morning. It's a little cafe that's also a flower shop located right across the street from Occidental Park. My mom ordered the sourdough toast with labneh, cucumber, watermelon radish, and mint; the combination of the cucumber and watermelon radish with the labneh was unlike anything I've ever tried and the mint topped off the flavors and textures so well. I ordered the crispy farro, roasted salmon, archara, shaobing, and fried egg. I honestly can't identify half the things in my dish but it was so. freaking. good. You need to get every thing in one bite to get the full experience.
Afterwards, we took a look around Occidental Park and it's not a far walk to Pioneer Square. On the way, you should stop by Elm Coffee Roasters, which is another great coffee shop.
5. Pike Place Chowder
1530 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101
Last but not least, the famous Pike Place Chowder located in the Pike Place Market. It certainly lives up to it's hype but I personally don't think it's necessary to wait more than 30 minutes for a bowl of clam chowder. Maybe 45 minutes if you REALLY love clam chowder but I've got to love you a whole lot if I'm going to wait with you for that long. If you get there early enough, about 15 minutes before it opens, you don't have to wait too long. I absolutely love clam chowder but I wanted to try something different so I ordered the seafood bisque; it was great but I'm honestly a creature of habit and I kind of regretted not getting the clam chowder. Thankfully, I got to steal some of my mom's but both are great and it certainly is a Seattle must.
Seattle is an amazing city and I can't wait to go back again. If you're a Seattleite or have suggestions from your own trip to Seattle, please share!