Welcome to Part Three of our Pacific Northwest tour – The Best of Seattle. Delilah and I had so much fun in Portland, as you know, if you’ve been keeping up with our posts about the trip. Here’s the best of Portland Part One and Part Two. It was hard to hit the road and drive to Seattle after the awesomeness of Portland but totally worth it. I was pretty unfamiliar with Portland since I hadn’t been there for 20 years but luckily we had the best tour guide and host, Kari Chapin. On the other hand, during a trip to Seattle with some high school friends a few years I’d gotten to know Seattle fairly well and I couldn’t wait to share all the rad spots I’d found with Delilah. Luckily the amazing house we rented on Airbnb from a guy named Adam was close to one of the neighborhoods (Capitol Hill) that I’d fallen in love with on my previous trip.
Our time in Seattle started off at Adam’s house. “How did you find this place!?! It’s perfect!” Delilah exclaimed when we arrived and both saw the radness of Adam’s house. I’ve had great luck renting ideal Airbnb place because I diligently research not only the house and comments by previous renters but the neighborhood and transportation situation. Adam’s house exceeded our expectations in so many ways. It wasn’t only clean, which my OCD nature appreciated greatly but it was also well-decorated and fully equipped with appliances that were way fancier than mine at home. A glance at his bookshelf revealed that he had a lot in common with my husband. Stephen King, Lord of the Rings and Noam Chomsky titles filled his shelves. I feared that when my husband arrived he’d forgo exploring the city in lieu of staying home and reading the afternoon away on Adam’s patio that had not only had a fire pit but also a waterfall that cleverly doubled a wine chiller!
The first thing Delilah and I do when we’re on a trip is seek out the nearest grocery store and stock up on snacks and drink fixings. There was a Trader Joes around the corner, and when we returned to the house with our provisions we almost didn’t want to leave but I dragged us out to one of my favorite Capitol Hill restaurants, Oddfellows.
I’d been to Oddfellows on my last trip and loved their rustic-modern décor, locally-sourced food, simple yet inventive and a-little-too-easy-to-get-down cocktails. Delilah and I were lucky enough to make it there just in time for happy hour. A few of the most amazing deviled eggs with fried capers and cocktails from Oddfellows later we headed a few doors down to Molly Moon’s.
I was a Molly Moons fan way before I ever tasted their ice cream. When I started exploring ways to make ice cream for those of us that don’t do so well with dairy, I ordered their book and fell in love with the way they can take a classic ice cream flavor like mint chip to the next level. Instead of trying to blow your mind with out-of-the-ordinary combinations (which I love too), Molly Moon’s takes on the task of making simply the best ice cream you’ve ever had…and they kill it! Their vegan coconut chunk is the hands-down the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever tasted including my own batches that I toiled over for hours. After our Molly Moon’s we were ready to call it a night and wake up early for our first day of the Schoolhouse Craft Conference.
Delilah and I had been wanting to attend the Schoolhouse Craft Conference for years. Schoolhouse has gone through a series of changes since it first started as the Conference for Creative Entrepreneurs in 2011. Kristen Rask of Schmancy and Urban Craft Uprising and Marlo Miyashiro (Craftcation presenter) of I Make Cute Stuff moved on and Andrea Porter took over. Delilah and I had a great time getting to know Seattle makers as well as hanging out with some people we knew or wanted to meet like Blair Stocker, Issac Watson, Adrienne L. Wiley, Kaitlin Goodey and Jessica Angel. After the first day we headed out to explore Ballard (the Seattle suburb where Schoolhouse took place) and found the Sexton.
The Sexton is everything I hope for in a neighborhood bar. Good drinks. Good food. Good music. Unpretentious bartender. When we walked in Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home To Me was playing on the stereo and the place was empty. It’s worth going just so you can set your perfectly shaken craft cocktail on their bar which is made out of cassette tapes encased in resin. If you want to avoid a crowd, get there right when they open.
The happy hour at King’s Hardware is the perfect spot when you’re low on funds and have a hankering for some cheap beer and chicken wings. You can get your fill of a glass of Olympia beer for only $2 and chicken wings for only 99 cents and not even break a $20 dollar bill. Aside from that they have skee-ball in the back and an open door to Rudy’s Barbershop. The décor at King’s makes you feel like you’re in a cabin in the mountains in the 1970s. Red plaid wallpaper, animal busts galore, distressed wood and kitschy vintage oil paintings of nature scenes are just part of the reason it’s my favorite bar in Ballard.
Kristen Rask’s brick and mortar shop, Schmancy is on a “mission to provide quirky toys, collectibles and original art work to the world.” I’ve been to the shop before but sadly when we got there on this trip it was closed. (That’s why Delilah’s peeking through the window.) We also hit up another closed store called Fancy, you can see Delilah peeking in the window there as well!
Delilah and I were SUPER excited to finally check out Ugly Baby and La Ru. Ugly baby and La Ru is owned by Craftcation presenters Rosalie Gale of Unanimous Craft and Ugly Baby and Lauren Rudeck of La Ru. Ugly Baby and La Ru is a tiny shop in Pike Place featuring “handmade local art for grownups” including a huge assortment of Rosalie’s Ugly Baby shower art. It’s a bit hard to find but if you’re close you’ll be able to follow the chalk arrows and robots on the sidewalk and relish in the awesomeness in store for you.
On the second floor of the building where Oddfellows is there is great secret spot called the Tin Table which Delilah and I hit up later in our trip for a killer charcuterie plate, burgers and craft cocktails. There are also some dance studios on the second floor and I loved peeking in and catching a glimpse of dancers of all ages spinning into swing steps and pulling close during tangos.
Below are some photographs some of our other stops.
Toulouse Petit: The best brunch on the planet.
West 5 Lounge + Restaurant: Great drinks and food in West Seattle.
The Seattle airport has a program that pays musicians to play at the airport! I loved seeing this great support of the arts!
That’s it for our Pacific Northwest tour. Hope you found out about some new spots to hit up next time you’re in the area. If you have any suggestions for us in Portland or Seattle (we’re already planning a 2015 trip) please let us know in the comments section.