A Food-Lover's Guide to Seattle

Eat This Town! Markets, farms, artisans, and best shops for cooks

City: Seattle, WA Population: 3.3 million Local specialties: Seafood, fresh-roasted coffee, cherries and other fruit

It's Escapes Month here at The Kitchn, and we want to give you ideas for things to eat and places to visit while you're away. We want to inspire your inner chef and introduce you to the best spots for food-lovers in a dozen or so major cities. These guides don't deal with restaurants; there are plenty of other guides for that. These are the spots for food-lovers and cooks: the markets, specialty cookshops, and best small-batch artisans. If you're traveling in one of these cities this summer, we hope these guides help you find something inspiring.

First up? Seattle! A homebase for cooks and food-lovers.

We need your help, too, with these guides. Each city's thread will have at least some recommendations, but of course they will be incomplete. So we need your insider help. Tell us where the best markets, food shops, jam-makers, brewers, butchers, independent groceries, bakery supply stores, and quirky, strange, out-of-the-way food experts are.

None of us here at The Kitchn live in Seattle, but we know that we have a lot of readers there. I was recently there for an all-too-brief trip and got just a taste of the absolutely vibrant food culture of this city.

Here are a few spots recommended or experienced.

Foods You Must Try

• Cherries, in cherry season - they were everywhere!
• Salmon, mussels, and other fresh, local seafood.
• Coffee. Seattle is not just the birthplace of Starbucks; it now hosts many, many independent roasters and coffee shops.

Farmers' Markets

Neighborhood Farmers Markets Alliance - A central organization for many of the neighborhood markets around Seattle.
Fremont Market - Another central site for several more neighborhood farmers markets.

Food Halls

Pike Place Market - A landmark of Seattle, Pike Place Market is open year-round and hosts a farmers market at certain points of the year and the week, but it's really a permanent food hall. There are the famous fish sellers, performing for the tourists, and many small shops and vendors. It's always jam-packed with tourists (go in the morning) but there's still plenty of good food to be had.

Specialty Shops of Note

World Spice Merchants
• Market Spice - Great tea and spice shop at Pike Place (review coming soon)
Sur La Table - The very first Sur La Table is located at Pike Place Market.
Cookies - A very fun baking supplies shop.

Independent Food Artisans

Besalu - The very best croissants outside of France, or so we're told.
True North Roasting House - Molly and Brandon of Delancey told us that this is the roasting house that they are using to supply Delancey.

OK folks, obviously this is a tiny, tiny taste of Seattle's main food attractions. What else goes on this list?

Related: Sense of Place: Flavors and Ingredients from the Pacific Northwest

(Images: (Image: Flickr member mahalie licensed for use under Creative Commons); Faith Durand)

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