One of the best feelings ever is knowing that your friends will do anything to chase their dream careers. I've never met such hard-working and motivated creatives in the blogging industry until I traveled with Jillian and Sharon for the very first time in Seattle this past December. Being constantly surrounded by their positive energy and go-getter attitudes, I felt comfortable knowing that these women made me feel at home, even when not at home. Looking back on this trip, I've gained so much respect and admiration for these two girl bosses and I just know that we are going to kick ass in 2017. Down below, you'll find a bunch of the places (hotels, restaurants, tourist hot spots) that we visited throughout our Seattle trip and I hope that these recommendations help you out if you're ever planning to visit Seattle!
Biscuit Bitch (Downtown Seattle):
When a business name carries that much sass, it must be a restaurant checking out! Jillian and I checked into Biscuit Bitch on our first official morning of exploring Downtown Seattle. The male employee at the register was very funny and down-to-earth, already making me feel at home in a city so unfamiliar to me. He helped me select the Bitchwich with Spam over another option with grits based on my food preferences and starvation level at the time, haha. Along with my entree, I also grabbed a Warm Vanilla Latte because baby, it's cold outside! Also, he went above and beyond his normal duties by providing me a list of written recommendations of nearby coffee shops. Shoutout to the delicious and satisfying food and customer service at Biscuit Bitch! :)
*Highlights: Bitchwich with Spam, Warm Vanilla Latte
Espresso Vivace Roasteria (Capitol Hill):
Espresso Vivace was the coffee shop that allowed my latte art dreams to come to life. On Yelp, I discovered a cute latte art photo with whip cream aesthetically placed on the side and the barista replicated it perfectly! I can vouch that their lattes taste as good as they look too ;)
*Highlights: Warm Caramel Latte with a drop of Vanilla. Feel free to request a specific latte art if you'd like!
Homegrown (Capitol Hill):
If you're looking for healthy gains and a business that warms your heart with its environmentally friendly practices, Homegrown is the place to dine at. Homegrown carries delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, and drinks that won't make you feel guilty about calorie counting. I love how Homegrown carries many different types of bread for their sandwiches as well as offers a various combination of sandwich choices.
*Highlights: Quinoa, Spinach, & Sweet Potato Bowl, Tomato Bisque Soup, Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (bottles)
*Photo 1 by @comfycitychic & Photo Collage by @sharon.litz.art.
Japonessa (Downtown Seattle):
Apparently, dining at Japonessa once was not satisfying enough. We had SUCH a great experience at Japonessa the first time around that Jillian and I didn't think twice about dining here a second time. We absolutely love dropping by during Happy Hour, also the prime time when Japonessa features some of their amazing sushi rolls at a discounted price. Our go-to orders include the Mexican Ninja Roll and Takoyaki appetizer. Happy Hour goes from opening time (either 11:30AM or 12:00PM) to 6:30PM, at the bar from 6:30PM - 8:00PM, and near closing time from 10:00PM to either 11:00PM or 1:00AM - happy hour times vary per day. Also, be sure to always get here 45 minutes to 1 hour before your desired meal time because we have always waited before dining at Japonessa.
*Highlights: Mexican Ninja Roll, Takoyaki
*Check-in on the Yelp mobile app to claim one Free Edamame appetizer.
Looking for a quick bite to eat as soon as Sharon joined the party on Day 2, we walked into a 45-minute wait at Lola's. However, every single minute of our wait was worth it. I can confidently say that Lola features such mouthwatering options that will satisfy your taste buds for the remainder of your night. Jillian and I selected the Braised Beef Shortribs, which were extremely tender and flavorful with every bite. Also, Sharon ordered the delicious Smashed Garlic Fried Potatoes - so delicious that I ended up finishing her dish too! Unfortunately, it was pitch dark outside and the restaurant lighting was dim, so we weren't able to capture the beauty of these entrees on camera. You're just going to have to trust me that Lola is definitely a gem worth dining at. While we're at it, I also highly recommend that you order their Made-To-Order Donuts for dessert. We were stuffed silly before dessert time, but countless recommendations from Yelpers AND our waitress led us to believe that these were donuts worth having - and they were right.
*Highlights: Braised Beef Shortribs, Smashed Garlic Fried Potatoes, Made-To-Order Donuts
Molly Moon's Ice Cream (Capitol Hill):
When you can smell a sweet aroma a block away, you know that Molly Moon's Ice Cream is within the vicinity. Molly Moon's is a cute little ice cream shop located in Capitol Hill, although they have other Seattle locations as well. Although my original intent was to browse through the menu, I couldn't help looking through their adorable crewneck sweaters! Sharon, Jillian, and I ordered our own unique flavors of ice cream and you already know that we did it for the gram ;) I ordered a double scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream drizzled with cajeta (caramelized goat milk) and a chocolate hard shell. Honestly, I'm always scared when it comes to trying new food (this includes toppings), but I was convinced by an employee to try their cajeta. The cajeta topping tasted similarly to a liquefied version of condensed milk so I was a happy camper! Lastly, I wanted to thank Sharon for capturing my favorite ice cream shot! :)
*Highlights: Double Scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Cajeta & Chocolate Hard Shell on a Freshly Baked Waffle Cone
*Photography by @sharon.litz.art.
Pike Place Chowder (Downtown Seattle in Pike Place Market):
Man, when Yelp says that this place has over 4,000 reviews, Yelp wasn't kidding! We arrived at Pike Place Chowder a little before lunch time to a huge line and fully occupied tables. Our only choice was to dine in a little corner outside, but at least the chowders kept us warm! We ordered the Vegetarian Chowder, the Salmon Chowder, the New England Clam Chowder, the Lobster Roll, and Fresh Lemonade. Out of all of the chowders, the Salmon Chowder dominated in creaminess and taste.
*Highlights: Salmon Chowder, Lobster Roll, Fresh Lemonade
Piroshky, Piroshky (Downtown Seattle in Pike Place Market):
The pastries here were SO good that I wanted to take a huge batch home on my flight just to show my family just how bomb they really are! But, these pastries are better off eaten when fresh! Piroshky, Piroshky serves both savory and sweet pastries, but I opted for savory. I ordered two pastries - the Beef & Onion and the Ham, Cheese, & Spinach. Although I preferred the latter choice, both selections were delicious in their very own way. The Ham, Cheese, & Spinach option was the perfect breakfast option to keep my belly full, while the Beef & Onion was a tad saltier than I would have liked. All in all, I would strongly recommend getting your pastry fix here, as it is right next door to the first Starbucks coffee shop.
*Highlights: Ham, Cheese, & Spinach Piroshky
Serious Pie (Capitol Hill):
If you're a lover of all kinds of pizza, you'll love Serious Pie. I absolutely adore the aesthetic interior of Serious Pie, as it lies adjacent to the brightly lit and populated Starbucks Tasting Room in Capitol Hill. Their pizzas carry a lot more unique ingredients and combinations so we were able to try pizzas that you can't get at your local pizza chain! Since I am not a huge fan of pizza, I wouldn't say this is my number one pizza place, but it's a place worth trying if you are a pizza-obsessed foodie.
*Highlights: Special of the Day - Vegetarian Pizza with Olives & Squash
*Photography by @sharon.litz.art.
Starbucks Coffee [First] (Downtown Seattle in Pike Place Market):
I'm not going to lie - the coffee here was much better than I expected! I ordered my usual Hot White Chocolate Mocha and it tasted a lot more authentic than your typical Starbucks chain. Also, I commend the customer service at this shop, as one cheerful female employee politely welcomed guests while directing traffic within this tiny shop. A lot of people also browsed through the Starbucks mugs on shelves while I waited for my drink to be made. What better place than to get your caffeine fix and souvenir shopping done in one go? Besides, Seattle Starbucks mugs serve as wonderful souvenirs for Starbucks lovers back at home!
*Highlights: Hot White Chocolate Mocha (with non-fat milk)
Tourist Hot Spots:
Chihuly Museum (Lower Queen Anne):
We did not have the chance to visit this popular museum, but at least we had the opportunity to walk by it. From outside, I thought it was cool how you could see the floral decor hanging from the ceiling through the transparent glass windows. This museum is definitely a popular tourist site and if we had spent more time in Seattle, we probably would have visited the Chihuly Museum as well.
Gum Wall (Downtown Seattle in Pike Place Market):
We were so excited to take photos in front of the Gum Wall that Sharon even bought a pack of Bubble Yum Bubble Gum before we headed there! Luckily, we discovered a small stand nearby with a sign that said "Selling Gum" - now that's a smart marketing strategy right there ;) Just behind the stand, my group and I walked downhill towards a dark tunnel that eventually led to the iconic gum wall. I don't know how to explain it, but this textured and colorful wall was simultaneously intriguing and nasty to look at, LOL. We occupied a certain section of the wall, attempting to blow huge bubbles for the perfect DSLR shot. The funniest part of this visit had to be the fact that other people were doing the same exact thing as us just a frame away!
Pike Place Market/Public Market Center (Downtown Seattle):
Despite our planned attempt to get out of bed, get ready, and arrive at Pike Place Market at 8:00AM sharp, we were already greeted by an overflow of pedestrian traffic in front of the iconic Public Market Center sign! You can just imagine how long it took all of us to get that perfect PMC sign shot for the gram, haha. I officially mark that day as the coldest morning I've ever endured in Seattle (and in life). I remember breathing out puffs of white smoke to take my mind off of the cold as my body shivered furiously, trying to produce a warm body temperature that I was not feeling despite wearing thick gloves and thigh-high socks. Overall, there is so much to see and do at Pike Place Market, from browsing various grocery stores to visiting nearby tourist spots (Pike Place Chowder, Piroshky, Piroshky, First Starbucks, Gum Wall).
Space Needle (Lower Queen Anne):
Call us the laziest tourists ever because we shamelessly took a Lyft to the Space Needle, only to see it from the outside! A bunch of Seattle residents even recommended us to purchase tickets to see the gorgeous city view from the very top, but I think we were happy enough to say that we've "been" here, hah.
*Photography by @sharon.litz.art.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room (Capitol Hill):
The Starbucks Tasting Room carries the most beautiful interior design I've ever seen! This coffee shop is definitely a great place to drop by if you want a nearby coffee fix while regaining your warmth from Seattle's chilly weather. It lies adjacent to the pizza place we dined at called Serious Pie.
Thompson Seattle [Day 1-2] (Downtown Seattle):
Thompson Seattle ensures that you will receive the best customer service ever from start to finish. Upon arriving in front of the hotel entrance, the employees politely opened our Uber doors, assisted us with our luggage, and checked us in quickly with ease. The lobby is warmly heated and radiates such a luxurious vibe with its festive and brightly lit Christmas decor and lights.
Warwick Seattle [Day 3-6] (Belltown):
If you're looking to save a bit of money on our Seattle trip, Warwick Seattle charges a fairly reasonable price for a party of three and offers everything you need in a standard hotel room. Their fitness center was a bit on the smaller side, but provided all of the fitness equipment I needed - treadmill, bicycle, elliptical, etc.
Motif Seattle [Day 6-7]:
Labeled as one of the "hipster" hotels on HotelTonight, this was my absolute favorite hotel to stay at!
Can anybody say #viewsonviewsonviews? The lobby, our hotel room from the 18th floor, and the fitness center all offered breathtaking views of Seattle whether it was day or night! Besides, there's no better way to pass the time at the gym than to see the beauty of Christmas tree lights as you run on the treadmill! The fitness center looked fairly new and there were way more equipment options to choose from besides your standard treadmill, ellipticals, weights station. I was overly impressed with the cleanliness and versatility that the fitness center offered :)
As for our hotel room, the hotel amenities and housecleaning services were on POINT! One time, Jillian and I were working on our laptops when housecleaning knocked on our door. We told them that they could come in to clean while we worked and they finished their work in less than five minutes! Talk about the speed of light. Also, I wanted to give a shoutout to the good ol' Keurig machine in our room - Jillian and I definitely loved you for fulfilling our daily caffeine needs, heh.
For those wine lovers, Motif Seattle also offers complimentary wine tastings from 4-6PM every day in the lobby.
*Use discount code "MICHSUN" to receive $25 off your next HotelTonight booking.
If you're ever traveling to Seattle, I hope that this Seattle Travel Diary has helped you out a bunch! This blog post definitely took me a couple of days to write and polish, but it was definitely worth every moment. With my blog's direction and the new year, I want to focus on quality posts instead of quantity. Even if you don't see published blog content released at a consistent schedule like other bloggers, just know that I'm not your typical blogger. I will always strive to be a unique blogger who wants to stand out from the crowd by addressing topics that not your average blogger will talk about. What I can promise you is that I am always hustling to brainstorm and create new content for you guys! :)
Please don't ever hesitate to contact me through email or Instagram if you have any questions regarding my first Seattle trip. The aim of my blog is to encourage, inspire, and motivate my readers to do more in their everyday lives - and one way to do that is to get out and travel! Lastly, I wanted to thank everybody who tuned into my Instastories to say hi during my trip or provided me with recommendations on places to visit! You guys are the best and are the reasons why I love what I do. Happy New Year everybody!
Photography is taken by Sharon from @sharon.litz.art and Jillian from @comfycitychic unless otherwise stated. If the photo is not labeled, it was taken and edited by me. Also, be sure to check out my food photography account, @notsomisschealthy :)