August 26, 2011

Savor Seattle Food Tour: Craving Capitol Hill

My mom loves her Groupons. She recently bought two for a food tour in the vibrant Capitol Hill section of Seattle with Savor Seattle. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to go once I pushed back my flight a few days.

(The tour took us to 7 different locations so this is going to be a long post. I'll try to keep the words to a minimum)

We all met up at Victrola Coffee Roasters. Our time was spent in the coffee tasting room that was tucked away in the back of the shop. We tried 3 coffees from various regions all over the world. We started smelling the beans, wafting the freshly broken coffee crust, and finally 'slurping' the final products back. This activity, known as coffee cupping, was very similar to wine tasting.

We ended our time at the coffee shop with chocolates from Fran's Chocolates. My favorite was the sea salt caramel because it was so soft. I hate caramel that makes me worry about my fillings falling out of my mouth.

After acquiring a necessary caffeine buzz, it was time for a slice of pesto NY-style pizza from Hot Mama's Pizza. Our guide pointed out the history between NY and Seattle (there is actually quite a lot) as we savored our sample. I love love love pesto so I was stoked about this stop.

Next, we headed to Traveler's Tea Company. The owner took the time to explain the processes behind their tea and food. We got to sample a delicious iced chai tea, sweet condensed milk fudge, and (very) spicy cashews. I was pleasantly surprised by this shop. It didn't look like much from the outside but the flavors in our samples were memorable.

Fun fact (from our guide): the best way to cool down your mouth after eating something super spicy is to suck on a Jolly Rancher candy! Who knew!

Afterwards, we walked to Kiki Tap & Eatery. The owner apparently used to work at Burger King and Jack in the Box before becoming a civil engineer. He then decided to open this restaurant and I am really glad he did. The shake shake beef was my favorite part of the tour! It was so flavorful and the beef practically melted in my mouth.

Ok, are you still with me? I know I probably should have split this up into multiple posts, oh well. Three more stops!

A few blocks away, we headed up to Marination Station on top the QFC market. They apparently have the #1 food truck. I forget according to who but it was someone legit. Anyways, we all tried the spam sliders. Now, I was really nervous about this. Something about it being meat from a can and/or its shelf-life really bugs me. I channeled my inner Andrew Zimmern and took 2 bites before deciding it wasn't for me. Everyone else seemed to really like it though.

Spam? No. Bagels? YES. The semi-new Eltana Bagel Cafe is home to the only hand-rolled Montreal style bagels in all of Seattle. They are denser than NY bagels and are each boiled in honey water before being wood fired. We learned about the bagel making process from the co-owner who was very friendly. Afterwards, we all sampled the salt, poppyseed, and sesame bagels with caramelized onion-hummus, spicy garlic, and date walnut cream cheese spreads.

Lastly (if you are still reading all of this, I commend you!), we walked up to Old School Frozen Custard. The owner tried Andy's and wanted to recreate it on the West Coast. He then opened up this shop where all of the recipes are original. There is always chocolate and vanilla custard, plus a special flavor that changes daily. We tried the chocolate, vanilla, and caramel salted pecan.

And with that, our 2 1/2 hour tour was over. Our guide, Ezra, was super friendly, approachable, and knowledgable. I would really recommend his tour because he is a Capitol Hill local. It is a hipster neighborhood that I had never been to/heard about before. He knew all of the good spots, most of which I probably would never have tried.

{Our guide, proudly with his pink umbrella and kilt}

Overall the tour was superb. There was not a lot of walking, it kept a great pace, and we never had to wait in line! Definitely a great way to savor Seattle!

Savor Seattle Tours


  1. After reading this I was looking at several food tours. This is a neat idea to add the tour with to a regularly planned visit. Great pictures-thanks for sharing.

  2. I LOVE this tour! I haven't checked how much it would cost, but I'm totally interested!!! Tea bar and bagel shop. Thank you for sharing lots of pictures and it wasn't boring at all! In fact, I totally wished that I could join this tour. I think it's so much fun doing "food tour" - such an innovative idea. SF should have one like this!!

  3. This was awesome! What a fun day you had with your mom. Lots of memories. The tea shop looked delightful and ending with those fabulous ice creams. Yummy!

  4. I would have definitely picked up the slack on those spam sliders. :)

  5. Thanks for the reminder about how wonderful Seattle can be. I live here so it's easy to forget all the terrific places to eat!

  6. Claire, I always enjoy your food tours. Just wondering when will I ever get to try them. Right now, I just enjoy feasting with my eyes. Have a great week! xoxo

  7. Oh my goodness, what an amazing food tour! I think I need to go and visit Seattle one day. :)

  8. agree with the direction in which we take this country but they want us to get on with the journey and live up to the expectations invested in us.

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