A Librarian’s Guide to Seattle by Two Bada$$ Librarians
So I know these two librarians (Stephanie Chase and Alene Moroni) who never seem to sleep, and on top of it all they herd husbands, cats, vendors, ebooks, and children. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m happy to be awed by them over and over again—and aspire to carve out as luscious a life for myself.
They wrote this handy Tumblr cheat sheet to where Midwinter ALA attendees should eat and drink in Seattle, plus what they should see in their free moments. It’s as insider as it gets, trust me. They haven’t told me, however, if the 1990s are still raging there as they are rumored to be in Portland, OR. Hmmmm…
Thank you, ladies, and one love. Now, Tumblarians, spread the word!
Best Bars for Meeting
- Oliver’s Lounge at the Mayflower Park Hotel, 405 Olive Way: “old school class” in our favorite Seattle Hotel.
- The Hunt Club in the Sorrento Hotel, 900 Madison St.: $2, $3, $4, and $5 happy hour plates, with an uphill hike to 10th Ave. to get you ready for eating and drinking. We like the Fireplace Lounge best.
- The Polar Bar at the Arctic Club, 700 3rd Ave.: beautiful old-school setting in a large space. Will take reservations for groups of 20 or more.
Best Coffee Close to the Convention Center (courtesy the lovely folks from Seattle Public’s Readers Services Department)
- Café Ladro in the tall round building on 8th and Pine.
Best Coffee Between the Convention Center and Seattle’s Central Library (courtesy the lovely folks from Seattle Public’s Readers Services Department)
- Café Migliore, 1215 4th Ave.
- Joelle’s Espresso Café, 1001 4th Ave. (across from the Central Library)
Places To Eat
- Any of Tom Douglas’ restaurants, e.g., Dahlia, Etta’s, Serious Pie.
- Belle Epicurean, 1206 4th Ave.: good coffee, delicious pastry, and other quick-to-grab treats and sandwiches.
- Dick’s Drive In, 500 Queen Anne Ave. N. (and other locations): You might not be blown away, unless you get a milkshake, too. And, no, you can’t have it your way. But it IS a Seattle classic. The easiest one to get to from downtown is probably at 500 Queen Anne Ave. N., a 15-minute bus ride away (from the Convention Center, go down to 3rd Ave and take the 1 or 2 bus towards Kinnear/Seattle Center W/Queen Anne).
- Fonte Café & Wine Bar, 1321 First Ave.: great coffee, great breakfast, great pastries, great happy hour, great food (even if they did take our favorite item off the brunch menu). Right across the street from the Seattle Art Museum.
- Fusion on the Run, in front of the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library at 1000 Fourth Ave.: this food truck is a favorite with staff (SC is a fan of the short-rib tacos and the short-rib bahn mi). Open at lunch only.
- Il Corvo Pasta, 217 James St.: cash only, and lunch only. Amazing homemade pasta; they moved from near the Pike Place Market to this new space, and hopefully it will be open by the time Midwinter begins. Come early!
- Lecosho, 89 University St. (the Harbor Steps): an excellent deal at lunch; for meat-lovers only.
- Lunchbox Laboratory, 1253 Thomas St.: come hungry, and with friends, because between the huge burgers, multiple fry choices, and (optionally boozy) milkshakes, you will need to share. To get there, walk north from the Convention Center 2 blocks or to so 6 th Ave & Olive Way, and take the 70 bus towards Downtown Seattle/Fairview. Get off at Eastlake Ave E. & Stewart St., walk north one block, and turn left on Thomas St. If you want to avoid the bus, it’s only about a 15-minute walk.
- Wild Ginger, 1401 Third Ave.: where folks go to have a business lunch, with a wide variety of Asian-inspired dishes. Lots of room for big groups. Make reservations.
For Vegetarians and Vegans (from Seattle Weekly’s “Best of…” Lists)
Places You Should Go Whilst in Seattle
- Elliott Bay Books, 1521 10th Ave. (between Pike and Pine): the classic Seattle bookstore, a one-mile walk up Pike (away from the water) or a five- to ten-minute bus ride away (from the Convention Center, go up Pike a block or so to 9th and take the 10 or 11 bus towards Capitol Hill/Madison Park; get off at 10th Ave. & Pine St.).
- Neukom Vivarium and the Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave.: both free; part of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) permanent collections. The Neukom Vivarium is a beautifully designed “nurse log” featuring PNW plants; the Olympic Sculpture Park has a lovely view of Puget Sound. It’s a 1.25-mile walk or a five- to ten-minute bus ride away (from the Convention Center, go down to 3rd Ave. and take the 1 or 2 bus towards Kinnear/Seattle Center W/Queen Anne; get off at 1st Ave & Broad St.).
- Pike Place Market, First Ave. and Pike St.: you can’t miss this staple. Yes, you can see the fellows throw the fish, but there is also plenty of small shops to explore and food to eat. We like Matt’s in the Market, located in the Corner Market Building, as a great place to grab a cocktail at the bar; the bar is directly across from the famous neon market sign.
- Uwajimaya, 600 5th Ave. (at S. Dearborn St.): you cannot miss this amazing Japanese supermarket (New Yorkers, think old Pearl River Mart). In addition to wonderful groceries and household items, they have meals in the deli to pick up—sushi, pork buns, and SC’s favorite, Vietnamese bun noodles. Go out the front door and cross the street to visit Daiso, the Japanese $1.50 store. You can hop on the light rail towards SeaTac at the Westlake or University Street Transit Tunnels (entrances on 3rd Ave.) and get off about five minutes later at the International District/Chinatown stop. Come up out of the tunnel and turn right to face the street (the Bolt Bus stop and a decrepit hotel will be in front of you). Cross the street, turn right, and walk about two blocks, and you will be at the back door.