SEATTLE BLUES

Every year I make a list of the places I want to travel to.  We have been traveling abroad a lot lately, and sometimes it's easy to forget about all the amazing cities in the United States that are just a short flight away.

We decided for my birthday in January we would check at least one city off of the list: Seattle.  Seattle in January?  Sounds cold, wet, and miserable right?  Wrong.  It didn't rain once while we were there, and the day we landed was actually sunny and unseasonably warm.  Apparently the city was experiencing some unusual weather patterns, but I am not going to complain about that!

Our first stop off the plane was a "true Seattle" type restaurant (according to locals) called Elliot's Oyster House.  It is a massive waterfront restaurant with beautiful views of  Elliot Bay, the Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains.  They have a huge selection of oysters, amazing cocktails, local beers, and super tasty food.  Our server was very friendly and gave us suggestions of what to do.  He even called his friend that worked at the Colombia Center (the tallest building in Seattle) to get us free tickets to the observation deck.  He also suggested we ride a ferry to one of the nearby islands to get some killer views. 

Image courtesy of TJ.

Image courtesy of TJ.

Top of the Colombia Center.

Top of the Colombia Center.

One thing we quickly discovered about Seattle is that the people are super friendly.  We would talk to people (servers, bartenders, locals) and they would jump on any chance to give us suggestions of where to eat, drink, and what to see.  We received more than one hand written note full of great bars and restaurants.  One time, it was almost a competition between two men trying to give us the better suggestions; nevertheless, we had a kick-ass list after leaving that place.  The people of Seattle take great pride in their city and there is definitely many reasons for them to do so. 

Being it was our first time in Seattle we chose to stay at a hotel downtown.  It seemed like a good central location as could walk to Capitol Hill, Pikes Place, Pioneer Square, pretty much anywhere we wanted to go.

Hotel room view from W Seattle Hotel.

Hotel room view from W Seattle Hotel.

Our favorite neighborhood was Capitol Hill.  It is a younger, hip crowd, with a cool vibe.   Our first stop in Capitol Hill was a bar (naturally) called The Comet Tavern.  It is a great space with pool, ski ball, and a photo booth.  We sipped on local IPAs and got down with the local beer Rainier, which kind of tastes something like a PBR.  The bartender Max, saved us from ordering any food at the tavern and said he liked us enough to not let TJ order the pickled eggs.  

We befriended a local at The Comet Tavern named Anthony, who let me ride his 1940s bicycle, then escorted us to a hidden restaurant called the Tin Table.  Delicious food and cocktails with another friendly bartender named Logan.  We ordered a mountain of truffle shoestring fries, chicken wings, and buffalo tempura cauliflower (super healthy I know).  We finished the night off with a nightcap a rum bar that Logan had suggested called Rumba.  Mouth watering drinks and the perfect way to end our night.

Pikes Place was also a pretty cool neighborhood.  It is home to the world famous Pike Place Fish Market, where they throw around a bunch of fish and you can buy fresh oyster shooters (don't mind if I do).  

From the market it is a short walk to the ferry station where we bought tickets to ride over to nearby Bainbride Island.  The views of the city are amazing and it was just a short ride.   They even have a restaurant, bar, and cafe on the ferry.  There is not much to do on Bainbridge Island so we ate lunch at a (not so good) Mexican Cantina and went back to Seattle.  Worth the trip for the views alone!

For dinner we ate at Matt's In The Market, which is a really nice restaurant (make reservations) with beautiful big windows and a nice view of the market lit up at night.  Across the hall is a poppin' bar called Radiator Whiskey.  Their whiskey selection is amazing and they serve you a bowl of salty popcorn when you sit down.  We finished off the night at a bar/venue called The Triple Door where they had a live band playing.

In Pioneer Square we had a beer at The Central Saloon, which is the oldest bar in Seattle.  TJ thought it smelled funny, but what do you expect?  We also did the underground tour which was also smelly but something cool and different to do.  Pioneer Square has a lot of great old buildings, big trees, and a cozy, yet somewhat seedy feel to it.

The Central Saloon

The Central Saloon

The Underground Tour

The Underground Tour

Other noteworthy spots:
* Taylor's Shellfish (Capitol Hill)- good happy hour, delicious oysters, yummy seaweed salad
* Starbucks Reserve (Capitol Hill)- massive Starbucks where they roast coffee
* Tallulah's (Capitol Hill)- good neighborhood brunch spot, good bloody marys
*Cone & Steiner General Store (Capitol Hill)- found vintage perfume bottle, cute gifts
* Hello Robin (Capitol Hill)- cute bakery with delicious fresh cookies
* Bathtub Gin (Belltown)- huge gin selection, friendly staff, weird layout
* Copperworks Distilling Co- distillery tour & tasting (had their gin at Elliott's Oyster House)

Seattle is a cozy city, with a super friendly people who love their city and love to drink.  Needless to say we will be back! Til next time...