Things To Do in Seattle

when were planning our trip to seattle, we were googling and emailing our friends for recommendations on what to do, where to stay and what to eat. thought i would share the wealth.

hotel / location: we chose to stay at the renaissance hotel in downtown seattle since it was less than a mile away from the stadium. anything closer was a lot more expensive around game day. it ended up being a great location because it was approx. 15-20 minutes walking distance from everywhere we wanted to go (pikes place, stadium, happy hour, space needle, etc). the only downside was that the hotel was on 6th and madison…up on a hill. so every night (after long, long days), we had to walk uphill. we didn’t mind this too much since we were trying to get a lot of steps in with our new fitbits! the hotel looks older on the the outside but relatively renovated on the inside. great lobby. one thing to note is that the concierge lounge has very different hours and is not open on certain days. overall, really liked this hotel and would definitely recommend this. on the tail leg of our trip (after we got back from vancouver), we stayed at the courtyard marriott because it was less than a mile away from the train station. we ended up walking from the train station with our luggage since the cab line was horrendous. this hotel is older… a lot older and undergoing renovations. rooms were on the smaller side. no concierge lounge.

things to do:

  • centurylink field – go see a seahawks game! we loved it.
  • gasworks park – beautiful view of lake union and all of downtown from the top of the hill (grassy hills reminded us of lord of the rings. but the old gas plant reminded the guys of a map in call of duty). it was suggested that we go to paseo, get a sandwich and walk to this park to enjoy it on the hill. better idea is take a cab/uber/lyft to paseo ($12-15), eat it there or close by and then walk to gasworks park since it is a good 17-20 min walk from the sandwich shop. you will run into the troll under the bridge!
  • troll – under bridge in fremont. ask any taxi, uber, or lyft driver. fyi – on our way from paseo to gasworks park, we passed the troll! since we didnt know this, we got to see it 2x.
  • pike place market – where we got chowder and a piroshky. fish market where they throw the fish.
  • seattle center/space needle – we went to see this but when we saw the lines… we opted not to go up. instead, we just took photos of it.
  • chihuly exhibit – $18 admission. glass art (featured in the lobby of bellagio) small exhibit.
  • r.e.i. flagship store – it was a little bit of a trek but worth it!
  • seattle art museum (SAM) – we wanted to go here but did not make it.
  • ballard farmer’s market (on sundays only) – if you like donuts, find the vendor who makes fresh mini donuts at the north end of the market
  • olympic sculpture garden
  • discovery park – if the weather is nice, take a long walk on the loop trail and see awesome views of puget sound
  • tons of beautiful hikes as close as 45 minutes outside of the city. since we did not have a car, we couldn’t do this easily. next time!

gaswords park:

Gasworks Park | Seattle Gasworks Park | Seattle Gasworks Park | Seattle Gasworks Park | Seattle Gasworks Park | Seattle Fremont Troll Seattle3 Pike Market Place Pike Market Place Pike Market Place Pike Market Place IMG_3329a1 IMG_3394a1 IMG_3401a1 IMG_3408a1 IMG_3413a1 Pike Market Place Pike Market Place

space needle. there is a $2 monorail that takes you from westlake center (where the malls are) to space needle!

Seattle4 Space Needle | Seattle chihuly exhibit: Chihuly Exhibit | Seattle Chihuly Exhibit | Seattle Chihuly Exhibit | Seattle Seattle-6 Chihuly Exhibit | Seattle Seattle5 Chihuly Exhibit | Seattle Chihuly Exhibit | Seattle Chihuly Exhibit | Seattle

rei flagship store! beautiful and rugged. we ended up buying some rain jackets for the game.

rei rei

here are recommendations on what/where to eat (combination of our list with our friend, ezra’s list!). we were only here for 5 days and knocked out 26 places (only 16 photographed and blogged)… pretty good, we think. can’t wait to go back to seattle and polish this list off!

places to eat for brunch:

  • top pot doughnuts: famous
  • dahlia bakery: donuts! get them here!
  • skillet diner: modernized take on american diner food …started out as a food truck, known for their bacon jam
  • café presse: french… this was ezra’s fav breakfast place. the croquet madam in very good
  • barrio: mexican, big portions
  • tilth: local, organic food (kinda pricey for brunch but good…)
  • monsoon: vietnamese brunch (only on sundays)
  • tilicum place café: american brunch

places to eat for lunch:

  • paseo (cuban/carribbean sandwiches): one of the most popular places in seattle…there are 2 locations in ballard and fremont and it’s cash only. there’s always a line so be prepared to wait… agreed that this was our favorite place in downtown seattle (ezra’s favorite place in all of seattle).
  • pike place market: mac & cheese at beecher’s, clam chowder at pike place chowder, pastries at le panier, piroshky at piroshky piroshky
  • tat’s deli: delicious sandwiches! kyle and i loved the pastrami sandwich. amazing sauce.
  • salumi: famous italian cured sandwiches… long line… you must get here before they open… hole in the wall… thought this was just ok although very popular.
  • honeyhole: hot sandwiches
  • rain shadow meats: sandwiches in pioneer square
  • woody’s: wide selection of burgers… ezra’s fav burger place in seattle
  • marination ma kai: korean-hawaiian food with a nice view in west seattle
  • international district: this area has a lot of amazing hole in the wall asian places… thai food, vietnamese food, chinese dumplings, chinese bbq (bbq pork is amazing…. kau kau bbq)

places to eat for dinner (casual):

  • serious pie: good pizza! if you can, go to the one in south lake union (on westlake) since the downtown one is small.
  • skillet diner: same place mentioned above…good for dinner too
  • ezell’s fried chicken: really good fried chicken, take-out only.
  • maneki: 100 year old sushi place…really good and affordable. you have to make reservations though. always packed
  • tsukushinbo: small japanese place in international district… ezra’s favorite japanese place in seattle
  • samurai noodle: good japanese ramen. the one in capitol hill (on broadway) is much more spacious than the others.

not-so-casual (but not super-fancy)

  • dahlia lounge: delicious dinner! one of our favorites.
  • walrus and the carpenter: great local oysters and small plates. located in ballard. doesn’t take reservations and there is usually a wait.
  • the whale wins: same owner as walrus .. good food
  • revel: korean fusion.. not bad
  • lark: small plates for sharing. lots of local, organic ingredients.
  • momiji: good sushi in capitol hill.
  • how to cook a wolf: italian located in queen anne…same owner/chef as tavolata and staple and fancy, which are also good.
  • tavolata: one of ezra’s favorite italian places. they have a good happy hour every day until 7pm…
  • sitka and spruce: small plates in capitol hill

ice cream :

  • molly moons: multiple locations

drinks/happy hour

  • rob roy: spicy mango drink is amazing!
  • elliot’s oyster house: go early!
  • tavern law
  • zig zag café
  • canon
  • artusi
  • list
  • hardrock café: roof top bar
  • yardhouse: the only place we could find who had thursday night football on! relatively new location! awesome tvs!


  • starbucks – find one with a clover!
  • espresso vivace
  • caffe vita
  • stumptown


late night

  • hot dog stands in capitol hill: these hot dogs were amazing!! they had cream cheese in it! i repeat. uh-mazing!
  • dick’s (multiple locations): old fashioned drive-in burger stand


  • dahlia bakery: good bakery in belltown. good coconut cream pie, donuts, and éclair.
  • honore: if you’re in ballard, you should definitely go…best macarons in seattle.
  • fresh flours bakery: nice place to sit and take a tea/pastry break if you’re at the ballard farmer’s market.

honestly, i know this is a huge list and you probably will not be able to do everything on this list. but still a good guide if you are spending some time in this beautiful city. my main suggestion is just to walk everywhere you can. this city is so charming!

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thanks seattle, for being awesome!

By | December 1st, 2013 | Food, Photography, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel | 0 Comments

Tat’s Delicatessen

on the last day of our seattle trip, it poured. a torrential pour, which posed a dilemma. tat’s deli had been on kyle’s list of places he had to try in seattle. and, it just happened to be a block and a half from where we were staying. …but nobody wants to get soaked #1 before going to the airport and #2 after feeling clean after a hot shower. plus, it just seemed ridiculous to get a cab for a block (trust us, we were only contemplating this because we didn’t have umbrellas and our rain jackets were only going to keep the top half of our bodies dry).

we went anyway. best decision ever. (since it was pouring, i decided only to take my iphone instead of my dslr. apologies for the mediocre photos)

Tats Seattleget ready to be overwhelmed by the giant menu as you walk in. if you were a first-timer like us, all you really need to know is the tat’strami. we ordered one sandwich and split it between the two of us (one sandwich $8.50). um, yeah. next time, i would order one sandwich per person. i can probably put down one by myself. easy.

Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | Seattle

this sandwich is amazing. pastrami, great. coleslaw, delicious. bread, perfect. even better: tat’s steak sauce! make sure you get some of this stuff! (i could eat it all day)

Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | Seattle Tat's Deli | Seattle

  • ambience: very casual. lots of football posters. quite a number of tables. if you role in deeper than 4, you may just need to pull some tables together. people come in here, eat and leave so i don’t think finding tables is a problem.
  • service: at tat’s, you order at the counter (which is fast if you know what you want) and then you pick up your sandwich and take it to your table when it’s ready. sandwich came out fast.
  • food: amazing sandwich with a side of hot fries? i would do that any day. any day (even a rainy day). you will not be disappointed by this place!

Tat’s Delicatessen
159 Yesler Way
(between S Occidental Ave & James St)
Seattle, WA 98104
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square

Tat's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

By | November 28th, 2013 | Food, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel | 1 Comment

Dahlia Lounge | Downtown Seattle, WA

dahlia lounge was kyle’s choice. it sits in between dahlia bakery and serious pie…so we walked passed it several times. not one of those times did i even think to dine here. truth is, it looked dark and old…and not my thing. also, i figured the two things i want (coconut cream pie and donuts) can be purchased at dahlia bakery. so why go to a moderate to highly priced restaurant to get those things? i was so wrong. so very, very wrong. good thing kyle felt like having a nice dinner after gorging on bar/stadium food.

based on solid recommendations from our waitress, we ordered:

  • five spiced duck ($29)
  • dungeness crab cakes ($32)
  • crème caramel with rice puff krispie ($10)

the main entrees are definitely on the expensive side. when i saw the prices, i was contemplating possibly just ordering an appetizer but kyle pushed me to get a full meal. both dishes were excellent! the duck was moist and packed with flavor. freaking amazing. mushrooms and cranberry jam were a perfect combo. crab cakes…dungeness crab cakes? even better!

Dahlia Lounge | Seattle. WA Dahlia Lounge | Seattle. WA Dahlia Lounge | Seattle. WA

the crab cakes sat on top of potatoes and topped with a fennel remoulade. perfect crab cakes.

Dahlia Lounge | Seattle, WA

i came here thinking…actually determined to get the donuts or coconut pie. but our waitress suggested that we try tom douglas’ famous crème caramel. when i heard caramel… i thought extremely sweet. well, holy crap! it was delicious! think flan/panna cotta. delicious. easily one of my favorite desserts.

  • atmosphere: dark wood, red walls… older feel.
  • service: this place usually has a long wait. even when we strolled in at 10pm, there was a 15 minute wait to get seated. our waitress gave us some awesome recommendations and was patient despite our indecision at times. it was appreciated.
  • overall: the food was an amazing experience from beginning to end. i would recommend this any day.

Dahlia Lounge
2001 4th Ave
(between Lenora St & Virginia St)
Seattle, WA 98121

Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon

By | November 19th, 2013 | Dessert, Food, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel | 1 Comment

LA’s Best Sandwiches That Will Change Your Life

who doesn’t love a solid sandwich? it could be the perfect bun, bold sauce, delicious meat… or a combination of all three? i think la has some pretty phenomenal sandwiches. here are 5 of my favorites:

  1. mendocino farms – “mendo” has the best sandwiches. huge menu. favorites are pork belly banh mi, not-so-fried chicken sandwich, and prosciutto chicken!
  2. son of a gun – fried chicken sandwich
  3. porto’s bakery – delicious cuban sandwiches
  4. dan’s super subs – amazing sub sandwiches
  5. urth cafe – amazing curry chicken sandwich

Son of a Gun

son of a gun – fried chicken sandwich

Porto's Bakery

porto’s bakery

Bay Cities

bay cities – god mother sandwich

feel free to click here to see more amazing sandwich spots! i am always on the search more sandwiches so would love any recommendations!

happy thursday!

By | November 14th, 2013 | Food, Restaurants | 0 Comments

Best Desserts: Los Angeles

i am a huge dessert person (i usually hold back on dinner in order to make room for something sweet). however, being a non-chocolate lover limits me when it comes to desserts… lucky me! my husband usually researches restaurants who have non-chocolate desserts! (he rocks, i know)

i decided to make a list of my favorite in los angeles! here are the top 5:

  1. sara j – strawberry shortcake
  2. firefly – banana bread pudding
  3. green street tavern – white chocolate croissant bread pudding, blueberry and white chocolate sauce
  4. salju dessert – best shaved snow
  5. prosecco trattoria – best panna cotta

Green Street Tavern

green street tavern – white chocolate croissant bread pudding.

prosecco trattoria – panna cotta

prosecco trattoria – panna cotta.

for a complete list of my favorite desserts, please click here!

By | November 13th, 2013 | Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food, Restaurants | 1 Comment