destination: downtown, seattle

home sweet home! the holiday spirit makes everyone giddy, and i’m no exception. for this thanksgiving (i know this post is much past due), i went back home to the emerald city. i picked a day to go downtown and explore the seattle goodies. coincidentally, it did not rain (yes this does happen in seattle).

roasteria vivace

of course, being the snobby seattleite that i am, i started the day with a cup of macchiato at my favorite coffee joint (sorry intelligentsiaespresso vivace roasteria. this place, similar to starbucks, started as a sidewalk coffee stand on broadway street (which still exists today) and garnered international fame. it is a seattle exclusive.

espresso vivace roasteria 
532 broadway e
seattle, wa 98102

the retro italian coffee bar at vivace

located in the center of the hipster scene in capitol hill, espresso vivace maintains its coffee-snobbery status well. the owner of vivace roasteria, david schomer, is known to have developed and popularized the latte art in the united states as well as for having developed better espresso machines and grinders.

barista at work

although the motto of this roasteria is una bella tazza di caffe which means “a beautiful cup of coffee” in italian, my macchiato was rather bland. bad barista day i guess. excellent quality nevertheless.

caffè latte

a quick trivia: the caffè latte was popularized in seattle in the early 80’s and was spread more widely in the following decade. coffee-snobbery means coffee snobs occupying the shop, and this one’s no exception.

grumpy seattleite

next on the agenda was visiting the pike place market. this market is more than a hundred-years old (opened in 1907) and is home to farmers, crafts-persons, and merchants. along with the flagship starbucks store, pike place market harbors a variety of family owned restaurants and shops.

pike place market

it is literally a few blocks from the main shopping area in downtown. seattle is known to be one of the most walk-able cities in the united states. with free ground transportation within downtown, i whole-heatedly agree with the statement.

post alley

within the market is the post alley that akin to the alleyways in european countries, surrounded by street performers, small markets, shops, restaurants, and cafès. the seattle version offers similar experience.

brian and david at the gum wall

my best buddies from junior high school brian and david tagged along in this day-journey. the gum wall is also in the post alley by the speakeasy bar.

early evening at the pike place market

david really wanted me to try the japanese-style hotdogs from dog japon, so i got the matsuri, which is virtually okonomiyaki toppings dropped on top of the sausage. it was fantastic.

matsutri dog (祭りドッグ)

david wanted fried donut holes from dahlia bakery. i’ve always wanted to try the bakery but never had the chance to. thanks to david, i was able to find the fragel-alternative in seattle. fried bagel or simply fragel is an ann arbor specialty that i’ve craved since i left the ace deuce.

autumn in the rain city

even though it was late in the season, i was still able to see fall colors in the city. a quick seattle trivia: city buses run completely on electricity within the immediate city area using power struts that connect to the electricity grid above the buses.

serious pie

being far up north in the country has its pros and cons. one of them would be the length of the day. in the winter, the sun sets at around 4pm (10pm in the summer) in the pacific northwest. so there were more people in the restaurant than there would’ve been in the summer.

serious pie
316 virginia st
seattle, wa 98121

yukon gold potato pizza

serious pie is one of tom douglas’ many restaurants. this one in particular is an american pizzeria with beer and wine. you’d be surprised how well wine goes with a pizza. we ordered the yukon gold potato pizza with rosemary and pecorino. what i really like about serious pie is that it offers rotating taps from local breweries. on this specific visit, i ordered the evolutionary i.p.a. from the two beer brewery.

evolutonary ipa
two beers brewing company, washington
american ipa, 6.20% abv 

the clean, hoppy american ipa went well with the potato-stuffed pizza.

stumptown coffee roasters

after our meal, we headed to the newly opened milstead coffee & co. in fremont, but unfortunately it was closed (it was only 6pm), so we highfived the troll and left for the portland-based coffee roaster: stumptown coffee.

stumptown coffee roasters
1115 12th ave

seattle, wa 98122

original logo decal on the entrance door

located in the edge of capitol hill and near seattle university, stumptown coffee has a more edgy vibe  than the vivace. which makes perfect sense for this 13-year-old coffee business.

shop interior

founded by duane sorenson in 1999, stumptown is a huge proponent of the fair-trade coffee, developing personal relationships with farm owners. following the portland location, this is one of the two shops that opened in seattle in 2007, the second location outside of portland. the third location of this roasteria is in ace hotel, a boutique hotel in the new york city.

modest bar area

the shop itself isn’t huge, but the floor-plan is well thought out as there are plenty of places to sit or stand around. the lower level is dedicated for roasters and tasting bars.

stumptown caffè latte

too full to drink the latte, i ordered a macchiato again. my macchiato art was not worth posting, so the photo above is of david’s latte. surprisingly, the drink was better than that of vivace, which differs from my previous experience.

capitol hill natives

adjacent to this roaster is cafè presse, a french restaurant bar serving coffee and brunch by the morning and drinks and small plates by the night. this place is definitely on my list for christmas visit.

molly moon's ice cream

i was truly prepared to hit every corner of the town. our last destination was at molly moon’s ice cream.

molly moon’s ice cream
917 e pine st
seattle, wa 98122

molly moon’s is known to source its ingredients within the 100-mile radius of the greater seattle area. the best seller is the salted caramel, but i opted for earl grey, brian balsamic strawberry, and david theo chocolate. all fantastic choices. the waffle cones are hand-made using the wooden cones to shape the waffles once they’re baked.

molly's dog licking the ice cream is the logo for this ice cream parlor

the store also has vivace coffee flavor that uses fresh-roasted beans from the roasteria i mentioned in this post. speaking of coffee, caffè vita was just around the corner, so i just dropped by.

caffè vita coffee roasting co.

no i did not drink my third doppio here, but just snapped a photo of the shop. caffè vita, like stumptown coffee, is part of the third wave coffee movement. founded by mike mcconnell in 1995, it is one of the top ten places to get best coffee in america. they source coffee directly from farms in the south american coffee regions.

i have a bucket-list of places to go in seattle. but until i go back for christmas, i will have to find a way to cope with the miserable air and water quality here in the barren land of southern california. until next time seattle.

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