I can recall the exact moment when I fell head over heels in love with Seattle. It was 1988, mid-March, perched on a stool at a long counter tiled with tiny porcelain hexagons in one of Pike Place Market’s many secret-feeling spots, the late lamented (but never, by me, forgotten) Café Counter Intelligence, now Matt’s In The Market.
605 ½ S. Main Street, Seattle
I often wish for a worm hole between my house and the Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House in Seattle’s International District. It’s pretty much the perfect third place: well-lit, calm, music played low enough not to be distracting. Tables are scattered throughout the two-story space. This means there are plenty of cozy corners that feel perfect for visiting or for working on something.
From 1908 until 1957, shoppers at Pike Place Market who smelled the transcendent aroma of freshly roasting coffee knew that the source of that olfactory pleasure was probably Manning’s. For nearly four decades, Manning’s provided market-goers with the beans and beverage that a subsequent and more famous flagship and delicious independent places now supply.
Seven Market & Café, 2007 Ravenna Boulevard, Seattle
The past is present in Seven Market and Café primarily in three ways: the gorgeous hulking vintage glass-front refrigerator, now filled with artisianal soda pop; the simple building’s cozy physical presence nestled on the gentle slope of Ravenna Boulevard near Ravenna Park; and its century-plus function as a neighborhood grocery. This place feels simultaneously hip and old-school, and the large bank of windows facing the street lets in natural light.