Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tour of Coffee: Seattle Style

Last Friday was our first full day in Seattle and Reid decided that we were going to do a tour of coffee in order to see all the great neighborhoods. This "tour" was an incredibly sweet gesture by my husband considering that he absolutely despises coffee. On the other hand, I LOVE coffee--I drink it quite often. It keeps my creative juices flowing, and sometimes helps me get over the random creative-block that comes my way. Needless to say, when I woke up on Friday I was thrilled about the day to come, especially when I looked out our hotel window and could see the space needle! Sure, it was gray and rainy, but at least it was warmer than Chicago. I tried to take pictures of each of our stops to catalog our journey:

7:30am – Stop #1 – Top Pot Doughnuts – Downtown Seattle
Top Pot is my absolute favorite place in Seattle. I am normally not a huge doughnut fan, but these are spectacular. My mouth starts watering just thinking about them. It was a great way to start the day and to start the trip. Plus, I love the old neon sign outside the door. It's a classic. The funny part is that the sign has a bucking bronco on it!? I am not sure why that is the logo, but it is quite distinctive.

Approximately 8:30am – Stop #2 – 15th Ave Coffee – Capitol Hill
So at the second stop we were still drinking coffee with the best of them, but I was beginning to feel overly jittery from all the caffeine (did I mention that I had a cup of coffee at the hotel right when I woke up?). 15th Ave Coffee and Tea has a great visual vibe. It is dark, filled with folk style decorations (e.g. book pages on the wall and a laundry pin lamp--yes, you read that right--a laundry pin chandelier). It instantly felt homey, kinda like a mom and pop shop. Except, we soon found out, that it was owned and operated by Starbucks. Delicious coffee nonetheless. After about 30 minutes of enjoying the place, we headed down the street...

9am-ish – Stop #3 – Victrola – Capital Hill
Now completely hopped up on caffeine, we walked down the block to Victrola. The most inspiring part of Victrola was the awesome neon sign, and 1950s style lawn chairs. Nobody was sitting outside because it was raining, but I bet it is a really neat spot to hang out on a warm spring morning. When we walked inside it was packed, and so I decided I needed a quick break from coffee. Instead of drinking more 'joe we went for a walk and toured the neighborhood.

11am – Stop #4 – Solstice – University District
After our brief hiatus from coffee and a nice drive through some residential areas, we stopped at Solstice, a popular and trendy coffee shop/bar near the University of Washington. This place made a great latte, but you could tell it would be a great place to study at night with a cold brew next to you and your books because they serve beer if you don't want coffee! It was also super trendy in a college kind of way. I was really drawn to the huge lime green wall with the black paper cut outs on it.

1pm – Stop #4– Theo – Fremont
Solstice had such a great feeling about it and was hands-down the best cup of coffee I had all morning, so we decided that it should be our last official stop on the tour. There were about 8 more coffee shops on our list, but they will have to wait until next time. We drove away from U-District craving food that would help counter balance our caffeine high. In Fremont we grabbed a quick salad and a beer at Brouwers, a cool Belgian bar, then stopped by Theo Chocolate Factory to do a fee chocolate tasting (yeah for more caffeine) and then did a little window shopping. The chili-chocolate was my favorite. Reid liked the coconut curry chocolate.

All in all our tour was a great way to see the neighborhoods of Seattle, gave Reid and me some good, quality time together that we normally take for granted, and made me realize that there is a limit to how much coffee I can drink.

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