Food & Culture

Fave Five: Falling for Fall


By Heather Lowenthal September 18, 2023

Oxbow Farm Stand

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2023 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Can you feel it? Fall is here.

The air has a cool mood, the red leaves surrender in piles along the street, and sweaters feel like a good idea. Fall in Seattle is a special weather blend that should be enjoyed and savored, before the dark and wet are upon us, like a perfect cup of coffee with just the right mix of bitter, sweet, heat, and cream. Here are five of my favorite rituals when it comes to embracing fall in Seattle.

1 First, go to Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center in Carnation and walk the open landscape while you breathe in the scent of green things. You can pick the seasonal vegetables through the month of November or buy them at their stand. This is a magical place. It’s become a tradition to go to the outdoor family dinner and farm fundraiser at the start of October each year. Whether you live in the urban or suburban terrain, it’s a good way to connect with the season in its purest form.

2 I find myself putting on my beloved flight jacket I bought years ago at Federal Army & Navy Surplus in Belltown. The store still carries the same sage green nylon jacket with a faux fur trimmed hood, long and short styles, men’s and women’s, with pockets suitable for your phone, wallet, or chilly hands. Yes, this shop sells survival gear — a range of knives, binoculars, and even a pen that writes underwater, but Federal also sells authentic woolen nautical peacoats, jumpsuits, Navy SEAL sweaters with elbow patches, camouflage pants, and more. I go for the fall fashion. The website is out of commission. Stop by or call at 206-443-1818.

3 Increasing the coziness of my “nest” helps me to endure the shorter days. I enjoy a visit to Modeles Home Furnishings in Magnolia, where I can find soft, colorful throw blankets, modern Iittala (Finnish) tableware, and I have a chance to survey the furnishings that change weekly. The owner is known for curating modern design and quality consignment pieces. It’s full of treasures. But don’t judge by the website. All efforts are spent on the in-person experience. Stop by the shop on McGraw Street or, if you’re looking for something specific, give Deb or Rob a call. 206-287-9942

Iittala dishware found at Modele’s Home Furnishings

Photo courtesy of Modele's

4 When Saturdays become brisk, I head with my family to Mike’s Noodle House in the International District, a tiny spot where we expect to wait for a table. I order the regular size, special fish ball noodle soup. This is a steamy satisfying broth filled with thin noodles and fat spheres made of white fish. I’m convinced it’s a cure for whatever ails me. The menu includes a long list of soup options including wonton, varied meats, fish, and vegetables. You’ll be warmed from the inside out, ready to face the day or just curl up on the couch for a Netflix afternoon. Make sure to take cash. If you forget, as I have, there’s an ATM at the Bank of America up the block and around the corner on Jackson Street. My husband knows where it is.


5 It could be the wet climate or the indoor life that blossoms here as a result, but for some reason we have a robust board game community in Seattle. Mox Boarding House in Ballard has become an indoor family destination where we find ourselves spending a Sunday afternoon. I explore the trivia games while my son and husband observe large scale Magic: The Gathering card games in progress, or discuss the latest Warhammer figures. You can test games before you buy while you have lunch in the Café Mox. There’s a friendly, community vibe of “nice” in both the staff and customers here.

Game play at Mox Boarding House in Ballard

Photo courtesy of Mox Boarding House

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