Yep. I’m still thinking and dreaming of Seattle. When it comes to good places to eat gluten-free, it’s just top notch. Seriously. I mean, I found all of these great places the first full day we were there, but the second day was pretty epic. In fact, if you told me the day before that Ryan and I would spend a leisurely day of doing basically ALL THE THINGS in Seattle, I’d have said, “No way. It’s torture to cram that much into a day.” But yet we did. And it was actually pretty darn relaxing.
Up first, we got up early and hit Pike Place Fish Company in the Pike Place Market. Because when a place is known for fresh flying fish, you check that out. Hard.
I was beyond geeked to be there (and I recommend going early and on a weekday to forgo any big crowds) and the fish. Oh, the fish. And the crabs. The size!
This nice fellow even let us sample various kinds of smoked salmon.
Heaven. They might as well call it heaven.
Of course we bought some — and then they threw it. And I geeked out even harder. Smoked salmon for breakfast!
We perused the market a bit more. You could easily spend an entire day there — there are so many nooks and crannies and shops that are just fascinating. Definitely a place to get lost in, but we stuck to the foodie finds. Fresh flowers …
And farm-fresh fruits and veggies everywhere. Cherries were in season so I bought some of those. And then Ryan had to restrain me from buying EVERYTHING else. (We were leaving the next day so just not practical, but ah! I really wanted to hoard all the healthy things.)
If the trip ended there, I would have been happy. But, we pushed on, getting a cup of Joe at the original Starbucks.
It’s small, understated and quaint (although a bit of a tourist trap at this point with the line and souvenirs). But a cup of Pike Place roast there? Well, Ryan and I both swear it was the best we’d ever tasted.
We took it to go and continued on with our adventure. To the Seattle Aquarium!
While it’s not the largest aquarium I’ve been to or anything, it’s really well done and educational. We got to touch starfish!
And although I didn’t get any good photos of them, we saw some adorable river and sea otters. After the aquarium, lunch was in order. And I’d heard amazing things about Pike Place Chowder. We stood in line for 15 minutes and was told it was a “light day” crowd-wise.
They only had one gluten-free chowder on the menu, but that was okay with me. Ryan stocked up on a sampler pack of four small cups of varying kinds of chowder, and I had a big ol’ bowl of the Manhattan Chowder. We got our chowder to go and ate al fresco on our condo’s rooftop patio.
Paired with some of those fresh cherries from the market and a side salad, it was lunchtime perfection. Spicy, chock full of tomatoes ocean-fresh seafood, it made this usually landlocked gal very, very happy. (Plus, the weather was 70 degrees, sunny and glorious.)
Bellies full, our Seattle adventures continued on. We hopped on the Spirit of Seattle for a super touristy but fun Seattle Waterfront Harbor Cruise.
Learned a little about the city and had some fabulous views. We’d been walking around most of the day, so it was nice to just sit down and be out on the water.
Seeing that the Ferris Wheel was just a short walk down from the boat tour, well, we kind of had to … and so we did.
After the hard-core touristy stuff, we were in need of refreshment. Which lead us back into Pike Place to check out the flagship store of Rachel’s Ginger Beer.
This was a little gem we just kind of stumbled upon, but I’m glad we did! I love me some ginger beer — and I loved the foodie flavors they were mixing with the ginger. Hibiscus, White Peach, Blueberry? YES. But I ended up going with a Cherry Ginger Beer Float. It was a solid decision.
After that, we were in the mood for just continuing to chill it on out for the rest of the afternoon. So we hit up what the owners of our condo said was the best happy hour with the best view in town: The Four Seasons.
Over a couple drinks …
And this potatoes-three-ways app that was so tasty I cried … (You’ve got spicy mustard, smoked salt, creme fraiche, sea salt and homemade ketchup there for dipping. Yes.)
We had a nice time just hanging out and enjoying a view of the Seattle harbor. Plus, we got to recount our trip a bit. (I love swapping favorite adventures when traveling — I’m a cornball like that.)
Then, it was time to get ready for dinner! We enjoyed a little more time relaxing on the rooftop patio and then headed on down to Place Pigalle, a French restaurant I picked after scoping out the interwebs. Situated in Pike Place Market but towards the back with a killer view, I knew I’d chosen well. (Side note: How did people pick restaurants before the internet? I mean, really.)
It was cozy and romantic and friendly — really captured the European feel. And the food was amazing — high-end but not snooty in the least. Just darn good. We started by splitting half of a crab. When in Seattle!
Next, Ryan got French onion soup, which was the best I’ve EVER had.
I had sauteed greens with steamed green beans.
Then, since we already had a decent amount of food and didn’t have anywhere to put leftovers, we decided to split the bouillabaisse. Best decision ever. This was one amazingly good dish with potatoes, a spicy savory tomato broth and tons of fresh seafood piled high — salmon, clams, mussels, crab and shrimp. You might as well call this heaven, too.
Oh, yes, Ryan and I were having a damn good time — and one of our best meals together, ever.
We ended our evening at Place Pigalle with a double shot of espresso …
And this dessert — pot de creme — which blew my mind. It was like a mix of the best parts of creme brulee, ganache and fudge. So rich and chocolaty and amazing — and, yes, gluten-free. (I’ve since tried to make it at home, but failed. Once I nail it, I’ll tell you the secret to making it!)
And the view as the sun went down? Just the icing on the cake. Or, I guess, the creme fraiche on the pot de creme.
So, the foodie adventure for that day ended that night, but I have to, have to, have to tell you about one more gluten-free place we tried that was out-of-this-world good: Coffee & A Specialty Bakery. Tucked in on the west side of Pike Place (down below the market), we sneaked in for a quick breakfast before our flight, and it was everything.
This place has cracked the code on gluten-free baking, too. Using what an employee said was a mix of tapioca and rice flours mainly, this bakery created some AMAZING gluten-free pastries that were buttery, airy and insanely tasty. (In fact, these would go head to head with any awesome pastry, gluten-free or not.) I mean, just look at this. A savory pastry with an egg and bacon, alongside a beef pot pie. Good morning to us!
And, yes, I got angry it was so good. Especially when I tried the cinnamon roll. DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT’S BEEN SINCE I HAD A GOOD, REAL-TASTING CINNAMON ROLL THAT DIDN’T RESEMBLE A QUEST BAR?
Too long, clearly. This place needs to make a cookbook, stat.
I’m still in foodie heaven over my Seattle trip. Ever had a trip that was all about the food and totally awesome because of it?! Where are your fave gluten-free Seattle spots? —Jenn