How to Visit Seattle, Washington, Like a Local

I don't have that spidey-sense that goes off when a hidden gem is nearby.   

It's not for lack of trying.  If I pass something that looks just off the cusp enough, I'll give it a whirl. Sometimes it works out, but sometimes it doesn't.  

Until I pin down the gift of uncovering hidden hotspots, I know a shortcut: a local guide.  A local guide can - in one day - change a trip from a cookie-cutter, Lonely Planet experience to actually feeling like you got the sense of a place.  

Without the local, it would take a lot of blogs and newspapers to find these spots.

For my brief visit to Seattle I had the best local guide on the planet - my best friend, Jane.  

As a life long Seattler (is that the word?), she was able to show me quite a few spots in my 2.5 days. 



If I say this is the quintessential weekend brunch spot, do I need to go into more detail?  

The food was delicious, the staff was friendly, and the atmosphere was lively.  Regardless of the last factor, the wait was not too long, even for 11am on a Saturday morning.

 The best tip came from Annika, who suggested we order the Sourdough French Toast.  Holy crap. I don't even like French Toast, and my world was rocked. 

geraldines counter, seattle, washington - m.quigley

geraldines counter, seattle, washington - m.quigley

I think the neighborhood is called "Columbia City," but I could be wrong.


Across the street form Geraldine's Counter was cutest shop I've been to in a long time. We spent a lot of time here, and I easily could have stayed longer.

This is a great spot for local trinkets, cards, and hand crafted Seattle goods.  If you live in Seattle, I am sure you know about this place, but I am just saying..... if I lived in Seattle I would buy 100% of my gifts here. 

columbia city bouquet, seattle, washington - m.quigley

columbia city bouquet, seattle, washington - m.quigley


When I came to Seattle there were 3 things I wanted to do:
 1: To spend a lot of time with my best friend.
2: To go to Dicks.
3: To go to Capitol Cider. 

I stopped through Capitol Cider on my first trip to Seattle I have quite literally been thinking about it ever since.

I love cider a lot.

Even though Pittsburgh is hip and up-and-coming, we certainly don't have a cider bar. (UPDATE: I am wrong - we have two). Capitol Cider probably has 20 ciders on draft, and good/bad news, they rotate often.  That means the lavender cider I have been dreaming about every day since I had it in 2015 was not on the menu. Oh well,  they certainly had others to take its place. 

hot mama's pizza, seattle, washington - m.quigley

hot mama's pizza, seattle, washington - m.quigley


After all that cider you may want to carb up.... especially if you have more bars in your future.

 I visited Hot Mama's Pizza on both of my trips to Seattle and I can say this: what a solid piece of pie.  I give this my "Maddie Quigley Pizza Seal of Approval."  Jane loves the pesto. I love all pizza. Go forth, and eat pie. 


Alright, small story time: 

The scene is St. Patricks Day, 2015. I'm in a bar in NYC, drunk, and ordering "another round! another round!" over and over again all afternoon, without bothering to change the drink.

What was the drink? A Moscow Mule. I think I had close to 500 of them that day. 

Needless to say, I suffered the worst hangover on earth the next day, I have been adverse to ginger beer since.

Rachel's changed that.  They have 10(!!) flavors of ginger beer and entire bar with suggested cocktails OR "make your own mules."   

As it turns out, a cucumber/tarragon ginger beer with gin mule is my ideal drink. Cheers! 

rachel's ginger beer, seattle, washington - m.quigley

rachel's ginger beer, seattle, washington - m.quigley


dick's, seattle, washington - m.quigley

dick's, seattle, washington - m.quigley

Dicks is just that fast food place in Seattle.... and only Seattle.  

It was what you want: cheap burgers, fries, and shakes.... but what was really entertaining is the hoards of people in line.  It is prime late night watching, and that is what you really pay for.

From drunk girls in formal dresses eating fries, to hipsters in Seahawks gear, at 11pm, all roads seem to lead to Dicks. 

late night crowd at dick's, seattle, washington - m.quigley

late night crowd at dick's, seattle, washington - m.quigley


Just, dream with me here, folks: customizable ice cream sandwiches. No, that is not a fantasy.  It is a reality at Hello Robin in Seattle.  

11 types of cookies, 6 types of ice cream... I am no math major, but that’s a lot of combinations. 

hello robin, seattle, washington - m.quigley

hello robin, seattle, washington - m.quigley

There you have it.  Pretty much an outline of my 48 hours in Seattle.


Olympic Sculpture Park - to see great art and wonderful views of the water

Il Corvo Pasta - some of the best pasta I've ever had. They make three types each day, and you order from those. Also, great bread and wine. 

The moral of the story here is to always get a local guide. 

Special thanks to Jane and Annika for showing me around and letting me exploit that kindness! LYLAS!! 

Follow BurghGal on Instagram because you actually won't regret it: