Content originally written for the Let’s Go: USA & Canada Guide by our researcher-writer, Graham Bishai.
1621 E Olive Way; (206) 324-2577; www.gloscafe.com; open M-F 7am-3pm, Sa-Su 12am-4pm
When you see its unassuming wooden tables and chairs and diner-style condiments, you’ll realize that people aren’t waiting outside an hour for the decor. They’re there for the food. Every city has a beloved breakfast spot. In Seattle, it’s Glo’s. Go on a weekday, otherwise you can easily wait an hour. The spot is known for its coffee cake, served with strawberries and powdered sugar. But there’s much more you can get, from hearty breakfast plates to omelettes. They’ll come around often to refill your coffee, so drink up, wake up, and eat up. In that order.
Entrées from $6; vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options; wheelchair accessible
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese ($)
1600 Pike Place; (204) 956-1964; www.beechershandmadecheese.com; open daily 9am-7pm
A line extends out of this Pike Place Market corner storefront, where eager customers clamor to get a taste of the one thing this place famous Seattle landmark makes: cheese. There are several different ways to consume their creamy fare. A popular option is their mac n’ cheese, offered both plain and spicy. You can also get a grilled cheese, a tuna melt, or several other lactose-loaded sandwiches. If you’re not hungry or trying to save money, a second, shorter line further back gives out free samples of their several cheeses, and curds fresh from a huge vat in the back where a giant mixer churns them out. There will be a line, but it usually moves pretty quickly.
Entrées from $6.59; wheelchair accessible
Hot Mama’s Pizza ($)
700 E. Pine St.; (206) 322-6444; http://www.hot-mamaspizza.com/; open M-W 11am-12am, Th 11am-2am, F-Sa 11am-2:30am
Need a quick, cheap, tasty pick-me up? I thought so. Hot Mama’s got you covered. In her corner pizzeria, pizza by the slice awaits you, for not too much dough at all. Her place is full of character too. It’s simple, it’s good, and it hits the spot. What more do you want?
Pizza from $2.50; vegetarian options; wheelchair accessible
Kaladi Brothers’ Coffee ($)
517 East Pike St.; (206) 257-1688; www.kaladi.com; open M-F 6:30am-10pm, Sa 8am-10pm, Su 8am-8pm
What’s a trip to Seattle without a little coffee? In this Capitol Hill hangout, it’s served with a smile and neighborly chatter. The place has a laid-back vibe, good music, and good coffee, too. They also serve donuts, pastries, and bagels. There’s usually plenty of seating, and it’s a great place to sit and use Wi-Fi if you need to get a few things done, too.
Coffee from $2; vegan options; wheelchair accessible
Graham left behind the stressed-out chaos of Cambridge for the laid back life on the West Coast. A refreshing change of pace, he assumed, until the line for coffee on his first morning took 2 mins longer than he’s used to, and the Northeast nasty jumped out. Starting in Vancouver, Graham meandered south, toning his calves being a pedestrian on San Francisco’s hills and by navigating the monstrosity that is Los Angeles using just his feet and public transit (only resorting to Uber twice!) Graham’s love for the West Coast life only increased as he sat by the Puget Sound in Seattle, sipped kombucha in the crunchy cafes of Portland, climbed into a waterfall in Yosemite and stayed in an abandoned opera house in Death Valley. By the time he hit upper 80s sun of San Diego, buff calves and sun tanned, the words “West Coast, Best Coast,” almost slipped out of his mouth. Identity crisis looming, he figured it was time to go home.