Could there be a city with more natural beauty? Seattle gets top marks for its expectation-surpassing trademarks: coffee, music everywhere, enduring 90's culture. But Seattle also surprised us with its excellent public transportation, forward-thinking and sort of esoteric in a good way cocktail culture, craft beer everywhere and delicious variety in vegan dining. Here are our picks for the best of:
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2901 E Madison Way, Madison Park
A leisurely cab or bus ride, or more adventurous excursion by bike (do not forget your sweater), Cafe Flora is a bit of a hike from downtown Seattle, in the charming, suburb-y feeling enclave of Madison Park. This is a local favorite, so do expect a wait, but once your table's ready the vegan, gluten-free friendly and always seasonal breakfast/brunch menu is divine.
Georgetown Liquor Company
5501 Airport Way, Georgetown
Yes, it's way out there. Sort of how south-south Williamsburg was pre-2010. The trek to Georgetown Liquor Company just makes the geek-chic brunch menu (yes, brunch - only open on Saturdays and Sundays) that much more satisfying. Our favorites include the Darth Ruben, hold the cheese, and the Vegan Eggs Benedict with light sauce. Old-school Apple computers, and whatever one plays Atari on, are available to play throwback video games. It's divey and delicious and a great way to ease into a weekend morning.
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717 4th Avenue, Downtown
Compassionate Crossfit in the heart of downtown Seattle makes Oxbox the perfect workout to check out if you're staying downtown and want maximum sweat for your buck. This 'box' trains using the traditional Crossfit WOD method, but with more personal attention and technique focus, and multiple levels of workout tailored to accommodate different strength abilities in each class.
606 Broadway East, Capitol Hill
Lab5's primo location in the cultural hub of Capitol Hill means no excuses to not add a little cardio to your itinerary of exploring the best in shopping and famous Seattle coffee tasting. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer passersby a chance to watch you sweat it out in any of a number of modern fitness modalities including TRX, barre, yoga and Pilates.
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1404 12th Ave, Capitol Hill
Conveniently located to not one but two excellent, influential cocktail destinations (Tavern Law and the upstairs Needle and Thread) Barre 3 offers a challenging barre workout for those who want to sneak in a quick class before rehydrating with some of Seattle's best libations.
224 Westlake Ave N, South Lake Union
Perhaps better known for FlyWheel, the super awesome spin counterpart to FlyBarre, we just love the approach to barre that is perfect for those with tight hips from cycling and running. Originally from New York, FlyBarre/Wheel knows how to get maximum burn in the allotted class time.
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1429 12th Ave, Capitol Hill
Monster salads and gluten-free bread options for sandwiches. And I'm pretty sure we spotted some legit power lunching happening at this vegan hotspot. Big, beautiful space with high ceilings, a stone's throw from everything in Capitol Hill, Plum Bistro is an excellent place to park it for a leisurely lunch.
4757 12th Ave, U-District
A casual vegan eatery for those who don't mind being reminded of the crunchy side of the vegan lifestyle, Chaco Canyon may appear to be a simple lunch spot with traditional fare, but the food here is fierce. The menu offers a number of raw and cooked entrees, and seasonal specials feature specially foraged gems like chanterelles, Oh, and the the teas are not to be missed. If you're feeling frisky, grab a cowboy cookie for the road.
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2121 6th Ave, Assembly Hall
After searching high and low, we found an actually super lovely little juice bar semi-hidden in the new Assembly Hall marketplace. Get your juice fix here, but Seattle's claim to fame in a cup is really coffee. Which, of course, Home Remedy serves, too. Along with a couple of vegan treats on a mostly non-veg pastry menu.
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Breathe Hot Yoga
1818 Madison E, Capitol Hill (+Downtown, West Seattle)
Located just next door to Chaco Canyon, Breathe is a local's favorite. There are a few locations of this hot Vinyasa studio located throughout town, and classes run for either 60 or 90 minutes. In case you've forgotten any yoga gear, each location does have a small but totally cute retail section for some new leggings or tops.
Shakti Vinyasa Yoga
2238 NW Market St, Ballard
In the middle of Seattle's hipster haven, Ballard, Shakti is another hot yoga destination. We think it's something about the chilliness of Seattle after dark that makes the town want to sweat it out on the mat. Slightly devotional, and inspiring classes are a great way to start a day exploring this up-and-coming new neighb.
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1605 N 46th St, Wallingford
Make reservations in advance, and if you're lucky you might snag the chef's table. Sutra is the best deal west of Chicago when it comes to superb fine vegan dining. For $40, this prix fixe menu is beyond. And not only can you try a supplemental wine pairing, they offer a non-alcoholic and brilliant juice pairing as well. The portions are on the larger side, the staff is ridiculously nice, the ingredients are so, so fresh.
2576 N Aurora, Lake Union
A Michelin-starred, James Beard beloved restaurant that offers a vegan tasting menu? Done. It's been around since 1950 (!) and handed down from generation to generation. With 180-degree views of Seattle, it might be the only restaurant we know of whose gorgeously prepared food is as good as a jaw-dropping city-wide view.
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4743 Ballard Ave, Ballard
The Walrus and the Carpenter's new, tiny, sister bar located about six feet from the restaurant serves creative craft cocktails with a side of Lay's original potato chips. Full of quirk, cheery bartenders, and a super nautical theme paying homage to Ballard's history as a former fisherman town, it's a blast.
928 12th Ave, Capitol Hill
This is 1,000% what cocktail heaven looks like. Canon has it all: the full-on throwback-styled bartenders, bottles of beautiful and small batch liquors and tinctures everywhere, and the kind of dim, atmospheric lighting that makes everyone look their best. Drinks are on the pricey side, but those guys behind the bar are experts' experts.
A few tips to keep in mind
- When we said try coffee instead of juice when you're in Seattle, we meant it. Embrace the fantastic caffeine culture and get back into a green juice routine when you get home. There is an Evolution Juice downtown, in addition to Home Remedy, but the juice storm hasn't quite taken Seattle quite yet.
- While we think we've chosen the best vegan options in town, Seattle is amazingly veg-friendly. Most places offer vegan (or at the very least vegetarian options.
- In Seattle on some sort of game day for whatever reason? The most vegan-friendly sports bar/restaurant ever is in downtown Seattle: Yard House.
- Atomic Cosmetics in Capitol Hill is THE place for organic, vegan cosmetics. Dr. Jen as she's known is a former biochemist turned costmetics maven. You're welcome.