I Know a Place: @by_lakeisha
There is a Seattle beneath the surface that is just waiting to be discovered. It’s hidden, sometimes in plain sight, sometimes two flights up in the Market. It’s the best kept secrets, insider tips, secret menus and local favorites that make people love this city, even if you can never entirely know it.
We invited DIY designer and mom extraordinaire Lakeisha Drayton-Sharpe to share some of her favorite spots and insider tips with us. Tag along on his Seattle adventure and discover more at iknowaplace.org. Then be sure to share your own Seattle favorites by tagging #IKnowSeattle.
Manao Thai Street Eats
Manao is located in Capitol Hill and has some of the best street Thai food I have ever had. We ordered the crispy rolls, herbal crispy chicken, and Phad Ba Mee, which were all delicious. They also have beer or sake should you want something other than soft drinks.
South Lake Union Saturday Market
If you visit Downtown Seattle this summer, you have to check out the South Lake Union Saturday Market. It is a street full of local vendors selling a variety of things from fresh produce to practical goods. You can also find a line of food trucks. It was warm outside when we visited, so we tried a delicious Frozen Sunrise at Boba Bar, which also has a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Chinatown-International District. We also grabbed some Rainier Cherries from Amador Farms and they were the best I have ever had.
Nana’s Green Tea
If you love Matchta you have to go to Nana’s Green Tea. The parfaits are the most popular, specifically the Matcha Mochi flavor, so we had to try them. The cashier also recommended the Black Sesame Mochi Parfait. They do not have indoor seating currently, but there are a few tables in front to sit at should you choose to eat there.
Fat’s Chicken and Waffles
If you are looking for some good southern eating, you have to check out Fat’s Chicken and Waffles. They are currently serving food to go and are looking forward to offering indoor dining again in July. They are known for waffles, but they started offering a Honey Butter Biscuit about two years ago and it’s just as popular. I tried the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit and I can see why. They don’t have fried green tomatoes on the menu, but they are available to order and are so worth it. While you wait for your food you can take a photo in front of the huge MLK mural outside the front door.
Central Café and Juice Bar
Central Juice Cafe opened in January 2020 and has some amazing juices. The Mango Berry blast is the most popular, so I tried that along with the Heartbeat which was the cashier’s favorite. They were both delicious. They aren’t offering indoor dining but have seating in the front of the juice bar as well as a covered patio on the side of the building that has a variety of cozy seating.
Simply Soulful Seattle
Simply Soulful is a Black-owned restaurant serving southern favorites. From fried catfish to candied yams, they have it all. It’s located in a historically Black neighborhood and is run by the original owners’ daughter and granddaughter. They serve breakfast all day and are known for their homemade pie which you can watch them make from the counter.
Myrtle Edwards Park
Half mile from the Space Needle, we found a small intimate beach, called Myrtle Edwards Park. It’s located by the Olympic Sculpture Park and has a lot of driftwood for you to sit and soak in views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. Thursday-Sunday, you’ll find Ice on Mars, an ice cream vendor that serves organic gluten free popsicles. My daughter had the Martian Sunrise and one of the main ingredients is glitter.
For the best view of the city, head to Bayview-Kinnear Park. Just below Kerry Park, you’ll find a trail that takes you down to Bayview-Kinnear Park where you’ll have an unobstructed view of the city, including the Space Needle and Puget Sound. Head here in the evening and you can catch a sunset that you’ll never forget.
Pike Place Market
If you want to get a beautiful flower arrangement with seasonal flowers, head to the Pike Place Market where there are several flower vendors. It’s currently peony season so I was able to get a large bouquet full of peonies for twenty dollars. If you have a little one, some of the vendors will make a mini bouquet for them.
Pan Pacific Seattle Hotel
The Pan Pacific Seattle Hotel screams luxury and is a hidden gem right in the heart of Downtown Seattle. We stayed in the Denny Suite and our room had the most amazing panoramic view of the city. Bath time was a hit for my daughter as she got to enjoy a soaker tub full of bubbles with a skyline view. There is a restaurant in the hotel, but there’s also a ton of shops and restaurants within walking distance, as well as a Whole Foods below the hotel.