Seattle Summer Guide 2017: Food and Drink

Don't waste a precious weekend with our summer guide.

By Seattle Magazine Staff


June 7, 2017

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

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;

Photography by Peachy Juban-Notter

Pastry: An Affair to Remember

Chef Ewald Notter of Dote Coffee Bar makes it easy to fall in love with pastry and chocolate

Most romances unfold in predictable ways. An invitation for lunch, where you share sandwiches in a loud café, silently wishing your bread was crisper, but never giving up on the idea that one day it might be. An awkward laugh as your fingers touch while you both reach across the table for sugar in that…

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Mix It Up. Try old-school cocktails this holiday season

These 10 drinks may not be on the menu at your local bar, but all pack a punch as well as some colorful history

Editor’s note: A version of this story previously appeared in “Seattle” magazine. Impress your guests this holiday season with these 10 concoctions from a vintage bar guide from Glenn Shaw Creations – supposedly from the 1950s – found in an antique shop in Olympia a few years back. Keep in mind that these drinks may…

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Sip, Slurp, Celebrate at Frank’s Oyster House

Let’s be Frank about Champagne

The best bubbles in Washington state may very well be found at an East Coast-style restaurant in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood. That, at least, is the opinion of The Champagne Bureau, USA, which has named Frank’s Oyster House and Champagne Parlor as one of the top 10 bars and restaurants in the nation for the quality…

The apiary at The Lodge at St. Edward State Park.

Seattle Buildings Just Let It Bee

There’s a buzz happening throughout the region

You know the Smith Tower as Seattle’s original skyscraper. You know that the 108-year-old, 38-floor tower was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi.   You may not be aware that the 22nd floor is now home to an apiary containing a thriving colony of thousands of honeybees. It is one of several apiaries located…

Diners have several outdoor options on Ballard Avenue Northwest, including at The Ballard Cut.

Dining In, Dining Outdoors in Ballard

Ballard restaurateur Tommy Patrick helped reimagine Ballard’s outdoor dining scene at the start of the pandemic, sparking a trend that’s likely here to stay

In a past reality that seems almost like a dream, Seattle’s outdoor dining existed only in the summer months, when we were all just happy to be in actual sunshine, even if it disappeared as quickly as the tables and umbrellas. Then, during the early days of the pandemic, dining stopped. Everything stopped. From a…

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First Paris Baguette in Washington set to open in 2023

The quick-service restaurant is coming the the Pacific Northwest

Washington state’s first Paris Baguette quick-service restaurant is set to open in early 2023, courtesy of a local businessman and restaurateur hoping to recapture some of his past. Paul Liu, who immigrated to the Seattle area with his family from South Korea when he was 10, developed a fondness for the internationally recognized neighborhood bakery-café…