Vegan Seattle Travel: Emerald City is awash with vegan options and tasty treats. Check out these highlights from Drizzle & Shine, Plum Bistro, Vegan Haven, Araya’s Place, Olympic Sculpture Park, and the best view of the Space Needle at Kerry Park.
In the weeks leading up to our Seattle getaway, David and I put ourselves in a Washington state of mind by watching Frasier. Seeing the Space Needle from Frasier’s balcony and rain beating against his window whetted our palates (and wetted their umbrellas) for the adventure to come.
(It also reminded me of why I had SUCH a crush on Niles when I was in high school. Smart and funny has always been my type.)
So after weeks of 20-minute episodes, it was time to see the Emerald City for ourselves. We hadn’t been there since our one-year wedding anniversary back in ’07.
(My wedding anniversary with David, not Niles. That love affair wasn’t meant to be. Alas.)
After an outgoing flight in the wee hours of morning and a long layover with LAX airport food, we touched down in Seattle in the early afternoon. We picked up a rental car and headed to lunch.
(Tip: Did you know that if you get your rental car away from the airport in Seattle the taxes/fees are significantly lower? We saved $200 on our rental car by taking a short cab ride and getting it off site. Your results may vary, but it’s worth checking out.)
Plum Bistro is on the fancier end of the dining spectrum. It’s an intimate dining space with large windows along one wall. It was during a very busy lunch rush. So we grabbed a couple of stools at the bar.
I ordered the reuben.
The reuben is only on Plum’s weekday lunch menu. It’s topped with a tofu pastrami, pickled cabbage, and thousand island dressing. I especially liked the layering of melted vegan cheese inside. On the side, a mixed green salad with lemon vinaigrette.
(I put this sandwich on my list of 10 vegan reubens you don’t want to miss!)
My dining companion ordered the Chipotle Grill. It typically comes as a sandwich, but there’s the option to order any of their sandwiches as a salad instead for a couple dollars more.
She said that the tempeh was perfect and reminiscent of teriyaki. She told me that the chipotle sauce was delicious as well, and the arugula and chives added a really nice flavor.
Drizzle & Shine
After lunch, we headed to nearby Drizzle and Shine, a vegan clothing and accessory store. They have clothes for women and men, shoes, and jewelry.
Owner Jean White was working when we were there. She was very friendly and happy to tell us about her store.
Drizzle and Shine is such a cute space and definitely somewhere I’d recommend visiting if you’re in the market for pretty things.
Araya’s Place has a quiet dining area with lots of seating and a nice wine list.
We started with an appetizer of tofu satay. The pan-fried tofu was crisp and sticky with a marinade of curry powder and coconut milk. It was served on skewers with peanut sauce for dipping and a vinegary cucumber salad.
One bite and I felt confident we’d chosen wisely with our restaurant choice.
Then we ordered two entrees to share.
We chose a stir-fry called Araya’s asparagus that was a mixture of seitan, ginger, Portobello and shiitake mushrooms, along with asparagus.
The presentation was beautiful and the spices were just right. The stir-fry was topped with basil leaves that were fried until crisp. It was an elegant touch.
We also split this avocado curry. Somehow I’d never had avocado in a warm curry application before, but what a brilliant idea!
Creamy avocado is always welcome, and each bite was a revelation. The green curry broth was also filled with seitan, soft and fried tofu, bell pepper, and basil.
One place high up on our list of where to go in Seattle was Vegan Haven in the University District.
It used to be called Sidecar for Pigs Peace, and proceeds from the store go to support Pigs Peace Sanctuary. It is volunteer-run and the only 100% vegan store in the state of Washington.
The store isn’t huge, but it is incredibly well stocked. If there’s some vegan product that you’ve been looking for high and low, chances are they have it.
I couldn’t believe their wall of Miyoko’s cheeses, Parmela, and Vtopian cheeses from Portland. We were heading out of town the next day and wouldn’t have access to a refrigerator for most of the time, sadly. It was so hard not to pile endless non-dairy cheeses in my cart.
In the chocolate area, though, I made up for it. I stocked up on the amazing hazelnut chocolate bars that I’d been dreaming about ever since I got one in my swag bag at Vida Vegan Con in Austin last year.
I also grabbed some coconut bacon and several Eli’s Earth Bars. The Dream Big flavor is my favorite, and it’s surprisingly hard to find, outside of online ordering.
Butter Home in Melrose Market
Melrose Market had an airy feeling like a farmers market, but the set up had cooking classes, restaurants, and little shops sharing a loft space. It reminded me of East End Market in Orlando.
I perused the wares at Butter Home and picked up a couple of porcelain bowls by Heirloom Home & Studio that were molds of a cauliflower and an artichoke. I especially liked that they were bright white, which made their kitsch factor a little more muted. They will be great dip holders at parties.
Coming from a landlocked state, I was eager to get to the water. So we headed towards Pike Place Market. The market had closed for the day, but a few of the adjacent shops were still open. We did some quick milling and continued our trek to the bay.
There was a lot of construction in the area, but we were still able to see some of the calm water and boats going out with the islands in the distance. So picturesque.
Karen Blixen said, “The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea.” That definitely rang true when I breathed in this view. It made everything feel still and right again.
Olympic Sculpture Park
I’d asked for suggestions on Instagram of things to see and do in Seattle. Jeanette Zeis suggested Olympic Sculpture Park. I had never been there before.
It was getting close to sunset, and I knew that would be a beautiful place to watch the sun melt into the ocean.
As opposed to the construction and crowds from earlier in the day by the water, this was the perfect antidote. There were people reading books, walking with their dogs, and strolling along the pathway.
The beauty of human-made sculptures played against the natural beauty of the water and mountains.
To cap the day, I wanted to get a vantage point of the city that included the Space Needle and skyline.
When we visited Seattle in 2007, we went up the Space Needle to the top. It was a lovely view, but when you’re on the Space Needle, you can’t see it yourself. And it is one of the most iconic parts of the Seattle skyline.
So this time we searched where we should go for the best view in the city. That took us to Kerry Park.
If a person had at least two nights to spend in the city, I’d recommend spending one watching the sun set from Olympic Sculpture Park and then spend the second at Kerry Park. Seeing the city darken across the water and then light up again as it turns on its lights was a stream of beauty.
The park had a festive atmosphere as families gathered around, couples posed for pictures, and photographers with cameras on tripods took long exposures of the twinkling lights.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I spent a lot of time “preparing” for our Seattle adventure by watching old episodes of Frasier. It ends up that there’s no apartment in Seattle that would actually have his view from the window.
However, most people think that the view was actually from Kerry Park. So there couldn’t have been a more appropriate way to finish our time in the Emerald City.
“Hey, baby. I hear the blues a callin’. Tossed salads and scrambled tofu…”