Seattle deserves a lot more time than we allowed ourselves there, but with a Kamikaze agenda, we hit enough bars and restaurants to give us a good taste of the seaside city. For me, downtown Seattle means Pike’s Market on the waterfront. You could spend a whole day wandering through the dozens of shops in buildings on both sides of the street, and not see it all.
The fresh-cut flower stands steal your eyes away from the original Starbucks across the street. When you stop to smell the roses, the faint aroma of fresh fish is also in the air. There is always a crowd around one of the seafood vendors, where employees take orders from the floor, then toss fish through the air to each other. The commotion is a tourist attraction in itself.
The market now supports its own craft brewery, but unfortunately, it was closed for a private event. No problem. We found an Irish pub across the street where the bartender was more than happy to pour us a couple of local brews, and share our smoked salmon we purchased from the market.
To walk off our beer, we made our way to the waterfront via the “Gum Alley,” where thousands of pieces of colorful gum have been stuck to the walls on both sides of the alley. Smells of mint and Hubba Bubba hung heavy in the air.
We strolled the boardwalk near the Aquarium, enjoying the seaside views. Boats offering cruises and a ginormous Ferris wheel gave the boardwalk a carnival atmosphere. To stay hydrated in the scorching heat, we took refuge in a Red Robin, where we shared a mini onion ring tower and a couple more craft beers.
The stage was set. The afternoon turned into evening and we continued our search for the perfect craft beer and distinctive watering holes. We journeyed into the oldest section of downtown where bars like The Triangle can be found. We started a spirited discussion with a couple locals there to find out which bar in the area was the oldest.
The contested bars were J & M and Central, which sported a sign in the window saying 1892. We tried them both, having some awesome wings at J & M. We returned there later for the live entertainment. There was a German bar in between the two, where we shared a soft pretzel and listened to a street guitarist, playing the blues. He even did his own rendition of an old Robin Trower tune for me.
The Mariners were playing at home, so the area was alive with baseball fans as well. I guess you could say we saw more bars and restaurants in Seattle then anything else. Who cares? We had a blast.