I Know A Place: @seattlemaven
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 have invited Ann Peavey, food & travel blogger, PNW wanderer, and self-proclaimed Seattle Maven to share some of her favorite spots and insider tips with us. Tag along on her Seattle adventure and discover more at iknowaplace.org. Then be sure to share your own Seattle favorites by tagging #IKnowSeattle.
I’m so excited that MOHAI has safely reopened to bring the story of Seattle beginnings to life. Stand in an interactive sculpture within the planks of the 65’ Wawona sculpture and imagine what life was like when this 1890s schooner once floated in Lake Union. Gawk at the original Starbuck’s sign or watch the uber-kitchy Great Fire operetta on the second floor. Local tip: MOHAI’s stellar collection of locally-curated items in their gift shop is always the perfect spot to find future gifts for special friends.
Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats ran their ‘Cast Away’ program for more years than I can remember. Locals and visitors lined up early every Sunday morning to get coveted spots for their free 1-hour sail. Pandemic times have called for new ideas, thus the CWB now offers 1-hour rowing trips for free (by reservation) any day they’re open!
Craving crab? Taylor Shellfish features a delicious Dungeness crab roll (our PNW version of the east coast lobster roll) and is one of my favorites! It’s packed with fresh lump Dungie meat, mayo, a smidge of jalapeno, green onions and is served on a delicate brioche roll. Pair this with a cold rose or a hoppy, local Seapine IPA, and you’ve got the perfect lunch! Local tip: Pop next door to Glasswing Shop and peruse their plants, household goods and gorgeous clothing and accessories in Melrose Market.
Herb and Bitter
Herb and Bitter sits right off Broadway on Capitol Hill and not only has some of the city’s best people-watching, but also boasts one of the city’s top-notch bar programs. Not sure what you feel like? Ask about their ‘Bartender’s Whimsey’—they’ll match your craving and create a perfect cocktail. Hungry? Their charcuterie plate is one of the best I’ve found!
Brimmer & Heeltap
Brimmer & Heeltap has been a favorite of mine since I first stepped in their door nearly 8 years ago. Their inviting garden patio is a beautiful Ballard-neighborhood respite—serving breakfast and lunch daily, or dinner Thursdays through Sundays. My tip: Order their bread! It’s one enormously-thick slice that’s toasted-to-order, served with butter, salt and pepper. Simple, but crazy-delicious! Have extra time? Pair this gem with a stopover after an afternoon at Ballard’s Stoup or Aslan brewing!
Anchorhead Coffee’s spicy chai is something that brings me through their doors again and again. Coupled with their “quaffle” (essentially a croissant married with a waffle iron served with fresh maple syrup), you simply can’t go wrong with one of the city’s quickest pick-me-up breakfasts!
For shopping and people-watching at its best, it’s hard to go wrong with Ballard Avenue. With dozens of unique shops and restaurants, you’re sure to find that “special something” you didn’t even know you were missing. Stop at The Gerald for fabulous craft cocktails and inventive Korean menu. Their gooey, unctuous Tteokbokki is sweet, spicy, and loaded with white cheddar and pepperjack—the epitome of Korean street food!
Best known for their stellar SLU views, mbar’s middle eastern fare—enjoyed from a perch high above the south end of Lake Union—is the perfect spot for shareable mezze plates with friends or their ‘Big Sexy’s’ menu for a full-on dinner. Tip: Call or book rezzies online—these spots are highly coveted!
Jack’s BBQ has a handful of locations in the Seattle area, but their SLU spot is the best when you’re in the city. Grab ‘The Picnic’ to go and enjoy Jack’s famous low-and-slow smoked brisket, chicken, jalapeno/cheddar sausage (from Texas!) and wander down to South Lake Union park to enjoy it with one of the city’s best views. Local’s tip: Grab a cocktail to-go, or head down to their SODO location for a full-on cocktail kit to enjoy with others.
Love a morning walk for your coffee? Take an adventure to Pill Hill’s Tougo Coffee! Grab a picture-perfect cortado (and a loaf of chef Brian’s fresh sourdough for later in the day). Savory sips mix nicely with the whimsical public art just outside on Yesler Way
citizenM Seattle South Lake Union
The new citizenM Seattle South Lake Union is just perfect for a quick overnight! Rooms are super-modern and extra-cozy with everything needed for comfort, and a techie app that does everything from setting up your room key and adjusting curtains to finding a great movie and adjusting the heat. Bonus points for their huge living room (which I practically had to myself) with all the comforts of home. Their team is genuinely welcoming and more than willing to jump in if you need anything.