Mrs. CaliforniaIPA and I recently took a long weekend in Seattle. Seattle was an obvious choice for a weekend getaway, considering it is (a) a quick flight, and (b) full of breweries. Weather be damned, if there are breweries, it should be a good weekend.
The trip ended up being everything we could have asked for. A ton of great beer, great food, and not too much rain.
Pike Place and Downtown
We stayed downtown, so every day included a trip to Pike Place Market. Pike Place seems like a tourist trap I would actually go to if I lived in Seattle. Whereas Fisherman’s Wharf here in SF is a living nightmare, Pike Place was fun, had great food, and unbelievable prices on produce, flowers and crafty-goods.
Our personal favorite spots by Pike Place:
Pike Place Chowder: total tourist trap, but the chowder was bomb. We got a sampler of 6 different chowders, all of which were delicious.
Le Panier: Good coffee, amazing savory pastries.
Daily Dozen Doughnuts: Super fresh, mini-doughnuts.
Cruising the Market: Every day we did take a lap through the market. It was fun to check out the local vendors, fresh food, and flowers.
There were some breweries downtown, but we did not hit any of them. I had specific breweries I wanted to visit, and none of the downtown ones were that appealing to me (although we did visit the Yardhouse downtown when we first arrived and were figuring out our bearings. Yes, I would have much preferred to go to a local spot, but we had just landed, and I needed a beer to get the trip started!).
We tried to visit several neighborhoods, but spent the most time in Ballard. Ballard seems to be the hipster-esque part of Seattle, with a slew of breweries, good restaurants and bars, and shops.
Ballard is home to the famous Walrus and Carpenter (we swing by just as they opened to check it out, but didn’t eat) and several breweries.
My favorite spot was Reuben’s Brews. Reuben’s had 24 of their own beers on tap, and although I wanted to try all 24, I limited myself to 8. They were genuinely all very solid beers. I was extremely impressed.
The location was a bit off the beaten path, but once you arrive it is clearly a beer-lover’s haven. Packed, a large outdoor dog-friendly patio, and a clear focus on the liquid bread (http://www.reubensbrews.com/#on-draft).
We also had an awesome dinner at Stoneburner, with great pizza and a unique and killer brussel sprout caesar salad (https://www.stoneburnerseattle.com/home).
Bramling Cross had just opened, which was a very cool gastropub with some solid local beers on tap and good oysters (http://www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com/locations/bramling-cross/).
Ballard was where I would see myself if I lived in Seattle, if nothing else for the beer and food.
Fremont was probably my second favorite neighborhood we visited. We did not spend much time there, but it was scenic and had a cute “downtown” area. Oh, and Fremont Brewing.
Fremont Brewing (http://www.fremontbrewing.com/) is in a cool location close by a marina and the Fremont Troll. It had a huge patio, but it was raining pretty good that day so we sat inside. Beers were all solid. I again went with a flight, and enjoyed the beers (especially the Hop Lab). Cool atmosphere, a bunch of kids (not sure if that is because of the neighborhood or just the particular day we were there).
After the brewery, we walked up to the Fremont Troll, then down to the main street, grabbed a drink at a wine bar and checked out a few stores. Overall, a cute little neighborhood topped off with a brewery, so all good in my book.
One of our most memorable stops was brunch at Tolouse Petite (http://toulousepetit.com/). We made it there in time for brunch happy hour (!!), and I went for a few solid whiskey cocktails. The atmosphere was awesome, and the crab cake benedict was insane.
Beer in general: I had a ton of great beers. Elysian Space Dust, a few different Populuxe beers, a few Manny’s beers, Hale’s Ales, and Outer Planet. That said, we need another trip back to hit the breweries I missed.
One thing that really stood out were the people. Everyone from the bartenders, uber drivers, and residents were just plain nice. Welcoming and full of great recommendations.
Overall, a very successful trip and look forward to heading back.