We love visiting Seattle to see family (and for the occasional hike), but also for the diverse food options! See our last Seattle travel diary during blossom season. This time of year, the foliage and scenes were gorgeous despite rain every single day of our trip. I know, I know it is Seattle but even the locals said it was more rainy than usual. Luckily it gave me the chance to get several raincoat recommendations (brands I saw the most around town were Patagonia, Lululemon, Arctyrex, North Face, Marmot) and I’ll be writing about the ones I tried in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!
Where we Ate & ViSited
1. Seattle Fish Guys
This fish market is a little outside of downtown, but worth the detour if you like poke as it was by far my FAVE meal of the trip. It’s reminiscent of some of the markets in Hawaii we visited. Their poke was very fresh, their sashimi platters looked divine on other diners’ tables, and I could hardly believe the deal on their fresh, buttery uni – 3 whole uni in the shell for $10 (seasonal)! Bonus: their Hawaiian mac salad had smoked salmon in it which was surprising but delicious touch.
2. Taco Chukis (high chairs available)
We were in the neighborhood so decided to check out this local favorite which has expanded into a few newer locations. They’re known for their street-style tacos, and the house tacos with adobada is the specialty, which was really good if you like pork and pineapple!
3. Hood Famous Bakeshop
This little Filipino-inspired dessert shop has been on Nick’s must-visit list for over a year now (we didn’t make it last time we were out here), and so we might’ve overindulged juuuuust a little as we tried basically everything. They’re known for the ube (purple yam) cheesecake which has subtle ube flavor. We also enjoyed the calamansi bar (like a lemon bar), ube cookies, and if that wasn’t enough, the next day we stopped by their new Hood Famous Cafe + Bar location in Chinatown/ID, where we sat down and had a delicious longanisa quiche and pandan latte in their small but cute space.
Note the original bakeshop location is just a grab & go window. We stopped by en route to Ballard Farmers Market!
4. A La Mode Pies
Didn’t realize pies were such a thing in Seattle. No complaining here (although our waistlines may have something to say about it). The popular Pie Bar was closed when we were in the area, so we walked to A La Mode after the zoo and got a slice of French apple (a la mode of course) which was delightful and chock full of buttery crumble topping. I might have to bring this tradition of coffee and pie on a rainy afternoon back with me to the east coast.
5. Ramen Danbo (high chairs available)
We’re not experts in the different styles of ramen, but what drew us to this spot in particular was that you could customize all aspects of your ramen: noodle width, texture, salt, spice and fat levels. We both got thick noodles (per the photo above, these would be considered thin at some other places) and loved the chew of those as well as the flavorful broth!
6. Cafe O’Dessert
There’s a shortage of good Asian dessert places in New England, so we always try to hit up a few whenever we travel. This mom and pop shop had a wide range of everything from dessert soups to shaved ice to grass jelly and sago. But the real item of interest was their homemade milk tea jelly, which we had never tried before and tasted just like milk tea (they said they make all their grass jellies and puddings in house).
7. Dough Zone Dumpling House (high chairs available)
People have such strong opinions about their local food scenes, and this Seattle/Bellevue chain always gets a polarizing response when I story it. For us, it’s usually a solid spot for a casual family meal with less of a wait than at Din Tai Fung (we did a little comparison between the two in this post!).
8. Woodland Park Zoo
Maybe it was due to the rain, but it felt like we had the zoo to ourselves and saw all the animals with no crowds! We caught feeding time with the grizzly bears, but the penguins and gorillas were Nori’s favorite. We appreciated how it felt less commercial than some other zoos, and more just like a nice, sprawled out park.
9. Local Playgrounds
We love searching for local playgrounds when traveling, and our favorites this trip were the Tot Lot in Kirkland (wonderful, serene and enclosed neighborhood park scaled down for toddlers!) and the more expansive Imagination Park near the well stocked Bellevue Square Mall.
Added from our January 2020 visit:
10. Japonessa (2 locations)
Popular happy hour spot, but we went specifically to get the omakase platter to share with our family and really loved it. The platters are different every time depending on which chefs make it and the ingredients of the day, and you can ask for your nigiri either with or without toppings and to be made for the number of diners (for example, the above platter was the $100 one made in sets for 3 diners at their Bellevue location). We went back to get the “Lucky 7” omakase during their happy hour and that assortment (again, different each time) was yummy as well!
Where we stayed
If you’re new to Airbnb, here’s a referral code to save on a first stay. We got lucky and loved our clean, family-friendly home rental! It was also very easy to Uber around the region.
Seattle Apartment Rental (sleeps 8 adults with sofa bed; ideal for 6 adults or less)
A super family-friendly townhouse rental on a quiet residential street that’s still close to downtown Seattle. We never had to see the host but he was SUPER responsive and helpful. He had baby safety gates set up prior to arrival, a pack n play, both a high chair and booster chair (which we brought to restaurants that didn’t have high chairs), toddler dishware, as well as other safety gadgets like cabinet locks and outlet plugs. We took Nori to the nearby children’s museum and space needle playground (both walkable). Multiple grocery stores, cafes, and restaurants are also all in walking distance. But the area does feel a little more spread out and the streets felt a little too quiet/dark at night for walking alone.
Seattle-ites – what’s your favorite neighborhood in the area? Any ones especially good for young families with tots?