Seattle Summer Guide 2017: Food and Drink

Don't waste a precious weekend with our summer guide.
Sink into a chair at Westward and watch the boats go by.

Check out the rest of our Seattle summer guide here.

Drink and Dine Outside

The New Benchmark
We dare you to spend a warm evening on Westward’s popular patio, slurping oysters while marveling at Lake Union and the city skyline beyond, and not be gobsmacked by the beauty of this city. The best seats are around the oystershell fire pit, but the rows of Adirondack chairs facing the water accommodate a crowd. Wallingford, 2501 N Northlake Way; 206.552.8215;

The Latest Perch
The sky-high terrace at Mbar, from the owners of Mamnoon, puts you nearly at eye level with the Space Needle, and Lake Union twinkles behind a sea of construction. Grab a drink and a bite from chef Jason Stratton (we recommend the fried potatoes with chiles and cilantro) and enjoy it on the colorful, contemporary patio. South Lake Union, 400 Fairview Ave. N; 206.457.8287;

Pack a Picnic

The Gourmet Goldmine
Pick up excellent bread, fresh poke, local cheeses and wines, beautiful berries, and even compostable plates, napkins and forks at a Metropolitan Market location. Each store is stocked with everything you need for al fresco dining. Multiple locations; 

The Wee Gem
Cone & Steiner is possibly Pioneer Square’s most charming market, the sort of corner store we all wish was within walking distance. Fill your growler with local beer, pick up an assortment of sausages and premade salads, and if warm weather causes you to forgo melting pints of ice cream for dessert, make a grab bag of sweets from the old-school candy jars. Pioneer Square, 135 S King St. (also on Capitol Hill); 206.402.3682;

Lick It

The Cool Scoop
A scoop of salted caramel from Molly Moon’s is a Seattle rite of passage—be warned that it’s saltier than you’re expecting—and we like it best in Molly’s Favorite Sundae: alongside a scoop of chocolate, topped with hot fudge, candied hazelnuts, whipped cream and a Chukar cherry. Eight locations, including the original in Wallingford, 1622 ½ N 45th St.; 206.547.5105;

The Sweet Spot
A ferry trip to Bainbridge Island followed by a cone filled with one of Mora Ice Cream’s 48 flavors is a worthy day trip that longtime Seattleites love to recommend. But Husky Deli is a diamond in the rough, an old-school ice cream counter where you can pick up a cone of rocky road or pralines and cream. Family-run Husky has been making its own ice cream since its start in 1932. West Seattle, 4721 California Ave. SW; 206.937.2810;

Food Trucks

The Standard
Among Seattle’s food truck pioneers was Big Blue, the navy-hued Marination Mobile truck. Now, you can try the signature Hawaiian-Korean sliders and tacos from the truck when it’s out and about, or at one of four brick-and-mortar locations. (We recommend Marination Ma Kai in West Seattle, with its unparalleled view of the city and Hawaiian shave ice.) Multiple locations;

The New Classics
After you’ve finished perusing the vintage Levi’s and handmade bookshelves at the Fremont Sunday Market, try some of the city’s finest street food all in one place: Nosh’s fantastic fish and chips, gooey raclette from Fire and Scrape (see page 99), BeanFish’s stuffed waffles, plus ice cream, frozen pops and all manner of sweet treats. Fremont, 3410 Evanston Ave. N;

Cold Brew

The Big Brand Boost
Skip Starbucks’ original Pike Place Market location—the line is ridiculously long—and head nine blocks up Pike Street to the beautiful Starbuck’s Reserve Roastery, a veritable shrine to the coffee bean. You can have your coffee brewed any which way, but summer days call for a frothy glass of the Reserve Nitro Cold Brew. Capitol Hill, 1124 Pike St.; 206.624.0173;

The Indie Find
One of our favorite cafés is Mr. West, a stunning coffee shop and wine bar in the lobby of an office building, of all places. The plentiful plants and neutral tones lend it a retro vibe, but the menu is modern to the core. Get your avocado toast alongside a coffee soda: espresso, tonic and lime, a drink so effervescent and light that you won’t miss the cream and sugar. Downtown, 720 Olive Way; 206.900.9378;

Photo by AJ Ragasa. When late-night cravings hit, a Sunset Fried Chicken sandwich hits the spot.

Late Night Snack

The Greasy Spoon
A classic must-visit, 24-hour Beth’s Cafe—home of the 12-egg omelet that you’ll surely regret—has breakfast options that are as greasily delicious at midnight as at noon. There’s diner-style lunch fare, too, but if it’s your first time, we recommend sticking with some variation on eggs and all-you-can-eat hash browns. Green Lake, 7311 Aurora Ave. N; 206.782.5588;

The Niche Nosh
Chef Monica Dimas has built a reputation on satiating your late-night cravings. Her partnership with Rachel Marshall of Rachel’s Ginger Beer has led to Neon Taco, Tortas Condesa and, our personal favorite, Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches—all places where you can get a quick, tasty bite to soak up that Moscow mule. Capitol Hill, 1610 12th Ave., inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer;

Farmers Markets

Go Big
Sure, it’s a tourist mecca, but Pike Place Market is also a gem for locals, where the city’s best chefs shop for seasonal, regional ingredients. Avoid the crowds vying for a camera angle during the iconic flying fish antics by going early in the morning or on weekdays. Downtown, Pike Place between Pike and Virginia streets;

Go Home
Venture over to a neighborhood Farmers’ Market, like the one in Wallingford’s Meridian Park on Wednesdays (through September 27), and be rewarded with farm-fresh produce and protein, families picnicking on the shaded tree-lined lawn and children bouncing around the excellent playground. Wallingford, Meridian Avenue N and N 50th Street;

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