What would you do if you had only two days to spend in Seattle? I was challenged by tourism company Visit Seattle to come up with an itinerary on their site 2DaysinSeattle.comthat filled up a weekend. Amazingly, they would pay for everything — my roundtrip airfare and two-night stay at Belltown’s Hotel Andra and even give me a $500 gift card to do with what I wanted — all I had to do was explore the Northwest city, chaperone free.
Challenge accepted. I immediately set about making a list of all the places I wanted to check out. Unsurprisingly in the end I came up with this, yes, mostly bars. Hey, cocktail pictures are my vacation pictures. Also, usually I’m not into doing touristy things, which tend to be overpriced in taking advantage of visitors.
But when my boyfriend and I arrived in Seattle, we embraced the city, walking everywhere, because that’s always the best way to explore, even though it was raining buckets. (Rainproofing ourselves with slickers and boots helped lots.) Pike Place Market and the Space Needle were instantly added to the itinerary.
Here’s how my 2 Days in Seattle went. Sadly, not as many bars as I had hoped but there weren’t enough hours in the weekend to do them all. Still had an amazing time though.
On the night of our arrival we grabbed dinner at Tom Douglas’ restaurant Lola, located downstairs in Hotel Andra. Of the Mediterranean fare we ordered the standout was the haloumi, Kalamata figs and fig balsamic kebabs.
Afterward it was down to Rob Roy, a bar that esteemed cocktailian David Wondrich named as one of America’s best classic cocktail lounges. On a Friday night, the place was buzzing but I still got to meet owner Anu Apte who was running around tending to all her guests. Her cocktail menu featured drinks made with Earl Grey-infused gin and gunpowder. But after a long day of travel, I went with the potent El Tio Nonillo. Its mix of mezcal, pear liqueur, dry vermouth and Amaro Nonino made the perfect nightcap.
Biscuit Bitch was the perfect answer to the question, “Drink too much last night?” Its hearty offerings based on that fave Southern staple biscuits and gravy will soothe your angry stomach lining. Man, I LOVE vegetarian comfort food! One of the things I miss about being a meat eater is gravy, right up there with bacon. But here they have shitake mushroom gravy. So I ordered up the second largest dish on the menu, second to “Hot Mess Bitch,” the Gritty Scrambled Cheesy Bitch. Each bite was a careful construction of cheese-covered scrambled egg, a dip of gravy and a scoop of grits.
After walking all day in the rain from Pike Place Market to the Space Needle and through the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, the comforting aroma from Serious Pie‘s golden chanterelle and crimini mushrooms truffle cheese pizza was just the thing. Pair that with a glass of Old Rasputin Stout and my reset was complete.
I told Cicchetti‘s bartender that I like aromatic cocktails and he fixed me up this tasty number. Wish we could have stayed for dinner as apparently everything they “pull out of their wood-fired oven is like crack,” according to Visit Seattle.
I was so glad we were able to fit in the** Zig Zag Cafe**. Amazingly on a Saturday night it wasn’t mobbed. Located down the Pike Street Hill Climb right off Pike Place Market, it took some careful negotiating for this California girl to get to on a rainy night but was worth it once we were inside. Described as a “bartender’s bar” where they go on their time off, it definitely had that vibe. Our server was very knowledgeable about which drink off the menu would suit my tastes, which she would have to be if she were grilled by bartenders.
Alas, our last day in Seattle! Top Pot Doughnuts was a must. Even though I’m not big on sweets for breakfast, I figured grabbing a doughnut on the way to Stumptown Coffee a mile a way would be a great start to the morning. And it was. We asked the counterperson what was their signature doughnut and she pointed me toward the maple bars and the Old Fashioneds so I went for the maple Old Fashioned. But I immediately stashed it in my pocket to enjoy at Stumptown. Funny enough…
Stumptown Coffee’s $11 Grand Cru El Salvador Kilimanjaro was soo special, I couldn’t bring myself to have the maple doughnut interfere with the enjoyment of it. And yes, it was $11 but after having not found one decent cup of coffee in Seattle all weekend I was jonesin’. Apparently none of the coffee shops, which consisted mostly of Starbucks in our location, did pourovers. But there were lots of espresso drinks. So yeah, I was treating myself (via that Seattle Visa gift card) to the most expensive cup in the house. The barista said this coffee was such a big deal that all of the Stumptown workers were abuzz about the beans coming in. And that they couldn’t keep them on the shelves.
As the barista poured the Chemexed coffee for us at our table, he told us about the bean’s producer and how this coffee was so unique and rare that we should sip it slowly. So that we did.
Afterward we walked back to our hotel to check out while enjoying our Top Pot doughnuts.