Seattle's Best Burgers, Ice Cream and Oysters

Bucket list-worthy burgers and bites you need to try at least once

This article appears in print in the June 2019 issue, as part of the 150 Must-Do Summer Experiences cover story. Click here to subscribe.

> Grab a bowl of chili ($5‒$20) from Mike’s Chili Parlor and load it up with cheese and onions (50 cents each) while you soak in the classically Seattle dive-bar vibe. Ballard; Facebook, “Mikes Chili Parlor”

> Eat a Dick’s Deluxe burger ($3.40) in the parking lot of the original location of Dick’s Drive-In, just the way people did when it opened in 1954. Wallingford,

> Taste Seattle-style chicken teriyaki ($8.15) at Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill, where the dish’s originator still serves his charbroiled, sweet-sauced culinary masterpiece with rice and salad. Mill Creek,

Molly Moon’s blackberry ice cream made with homemade blackberry jam. Courtesy of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream

> Taste your way through Capitol Hill: Start with a coffee flight ($8‒$17) at the Starbucks Roastery (, move on to oysters and charcuterie at artisan food hall Melrose Market ( and finish with something sweet from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream ( or Cupcake Royale (

> Visit a farmers market. Good times to go? Wednesdays at the diverse Columbia City market; Saturdays at the serious, food-only U-District market; or Sundays at the street-fair-style Ballard market, where cool crafts and clothes hold court with cauliflower. Various locations,

> Sip an Almost Perfect cocktail—Plantation pineapple rum, Averna, Cocchi Americano and other ingredients—($22) and nibble on chicken liver mousse ($12) in the Canlis bar while listening to eclectic adaptations, from top 40 to Pink Floyd, performed live by the bar’s pianist. This is Seattle’s most iconic restaurant, where mid-century style meets modern cuisine alongside a view to die for. Queen Anne,

> Slurp down happy-hour oysters ($2) sitting in Adirondack chairs around the oyster-shell firepit on the shore of Lake Union at Westward. Wallingford,

Deep Dive’s version of the Seattle Dog, complete with cocktail. Photo by Alex Crook

> Enjoy a Final Ward cocktail ($17)—Michter’s rye, maraschino liqueur, Chartreuse and citrus—at the Amazon Spheres’ Deep Dive bar. And for a mind-warping spin on a local specialty, try the Seattle dog ($18), served on a silver platter and topped with pink salmon caviar. South Lake Union,

> Eat geoduck (market price) and learn how to pronounce it (“gooey-duck”) as you enjoy a sustainable, local sushi experience created by the warm and hilarious chef Taichi Kitamura at Sushi Kappo Tamura. Eastlake,

> Pull dim sum from the cart at Hong Kong Dim Sum, where classics such as har gow (shrimp dumplings, $3.90) come out alongside specialties like fresh doughnut-stuffed rice rolls ($6.95). Bitter Lake,

> Grab a growler of Seattle’s beloved craft beer Manny’s pale ale ($7.30) at Georgetown Brewing Company’s tasting room—but not before you sample from all the taps (free). Georgetown,

> Watch planes land at Boeing Field while sipping a glass of Syrah ($13) at the Jet City Winery tasting room as you double down on two of the state’s most successful industries: wine and aviation. Georgetown,

> Cure what ails you with a quintessentially Seattle comfort food: a steaming bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup ($11) at Pho Bac Sup Shop, operated by the second generation of the family that brought pho to Seattle. Chinatown–International

Pike Place Market
Stroll along Seattle's Cobblestoned Cornucopia

You could spend days walking among the food and drink vendors at Pike Place Market—and in an hour on a tourist-friendly summer Saturday, it will feel like you did. Just be sure to pace yourself and come hungry. Start with colorful clouds of yogurt ($4 for a “walkaround,” a cup of yogurt meant to be consumed immediately) at Ellenos and grab a dozen doughnuts (from $6/dozen) at the Daily Dozen Doughnut Company to share. Then, sample the Market’s abundant seafood with a crab cocktail ($6.89) at Jack’s Fish Spot. As you stroll, accept all the free fruit samples from Sosio’s Produce and Frank’s Quality Produce, watch the cheese-making process at Beecher’s (then sample that cheese in a serving of the “World’s Best Mac and Cheese,” $6.49/$10.99) and steady your stomach with a ginger beer float ($8) from Rachel’s. Nab a dinner reservation at The Pink Door to savor its famous bechamel-based lasagna ($19) and amazing deck dining, and end the day with a nightcap in the form of a craft cocktail ($12) at Zig Zag Cafe. Oh, don’t forget the flowers!

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