Vancouver to Seattle, Seattle to Vancouver – travelling between these two West-Coast cities is one of the best cross-border road-trips to take! The drive takes about 3-hours each way, which means that you can get to Seattle, frolick about town, and return to Vancouver in the same day!
For Part 2 of our Summer Road-Tripping Series, we’re hoping to put a few of Seattle’s lesser-known treasures on the map. In addition to the Pike Place Market, we’ve got some great local finds for you to explore. So, pack the car and get ready for a deliciously glorious day across the border!
DISCOVER: Storyville Coffee
If you’re anything like us, the day doesn’t begin until we’ve have a good cup of coffee. Here in Vancouver, we love to start the morning at JJ Bean on our Granville Island Public Market Tour. In Seattle, we fell in love with Storyville’s upstairs location, just across from the Pike Place Market. It is an unexpected place of solace – modern, quiet, and mellow – secluded from the traffic of the busy Market. Between the gleaming espresso machines and the chic seating options, we always find Storyville to be a great place to take a breath and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee before embarking on the day’s adventure.
POP BY: Daily Dozen Donuts
For first-time road-trippers to Seattle, visiting the Pike Place Market is an absolute must. It’s iconic to the city, just as the Granville Island Public Market is to Vancouver. Pike Place is fun, lively and filled with fresh seafood, artisan, and other gourmet eats.
Just steps away from our recommended Storyville location is one of out guilty food pleasures: Daily Dozen Donuts in the Pike Place Market. They’re an artisan shop, famous for their powdered sugar donuts that are “basically bite-sized.” The sugary scent that comes from this little stall will make a foodie weak in the knees!
DRIVE TO: Capitol Hill
About 15 minutes East of Downtown Seattle is a residential district called Capitol Hill. Known for nightlife and vibrant festivals, the neighbourhood has also recently become home to some of Seattle’s best food! Some of our favourite eats in the area:
- The Salted Caramel Cupcake from Cupcake Royal
- The Truffle Lobster Mac & Cheese from Manhattan
- The bagels and spreads at Eltana!
To find out more about the best of Capitol Hill, check out this article from the experts! We partnered with our Food Tour friends in the city, Savor Seattle, to tell you why Capitol Hill is Too Hip to Skip!
EXPLORE: Starbucks Reserve Roastery
The cutting-edge, Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood in December of 2014. The infamous Seattle company restored an old 1920’s building in their home city and established a 15,000 sq foot interactive roastery and tasting room. Here, there are unique food and drink options that will not be found in any other Starbucks around the globe. This is what Vancouver Foodie Tours Founder, Michelle, had to say about the “real life Willy Wonka experience” at the Starbucks Roastery…
“This is definitely a destination in itself and next time I am in Seattle, I’ll definitely have to visit again, and this is coming from someone who avoids Starbucks at home. When I was there, I ordered the Iced Sparkling Espresso with Mint – it had espresso, mint & demerara syrup, served over ice and finished with a refreshing sparkling float. The espresso was brewed from the Pantheon Blend #1 – lemon & dark chocolate. It was so so good! I still think about the coffee I had there and wish it was available in Vancouver. Another unexpected highlight at the Starbucks Reserve was the carbonated water they served. After taking just one sip, my tastebuds jumped with joy and I immediately recognized the water as something very different! It tasted so much brighter and fresher than carbonated water anywhere else.”
– Michelle Ng, Founder of Vancouver Foodie Tours
STOP AT: Trader Joes
No trip across the border is complete for a foodie without a stop at Trader Joes! We love this “neighbourhood-like, chain grocery store” for their gourmet selection of household staples (bread, cheese, produce) and fun foods (cookies, frozen goodies, wine). Compared to gourmet food and grocery stores in Vancouver, the prices are relatively inexpensive at Trader Joes. Some of the VFT Foodies’ favourite foods from Trader Joes include:
- Ruggedly Adventuresome Cowboy Bark
- Speculoos Cookie Butter
- New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings
- Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup
- Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce
- Trader Joe’s Brownie Mix
Ready to hit the road? We’ll be back soon with a new destination to add to the list! For more road-trip inspiration, check out Week 1 of our blog series on Calgary, Alberta!