Skip to content
May 2 16

Seattle Restaurant and Neighborhood Guide

by Karen

Where to stay when visiting Seattle ……a guide to our unique neighborhoods near restaurants, cycling, kayaking and all the sights.

IMG_5150_2_1

airbnb neighborhoods we like– north of downtown seattle.

 

Do you want to be in the center of all the action…..or would you rather stay in a lovely, quiet old neighborhood….or maybe you prefer a place close to public transportation so you don’t need a car…in any case this guide can help you figure out the right choice.

Accommodation tip:
There are so many accommodations in Seattle–  Tripadvisor, Airbnb, and VRBO all use hot maps to pinpoint what’s available. Be sure to use Google Street View to see the actual area you are considering.

While downtown offers quite a bit, the neighborhoods close to downtown are important to visit for nightlife, walks, bike rides, and shopping and it allows you to see the real Seattle.  Airbnb neighborhoods offer flexibility to make the most of your visit along with views of water, mountains, the city, and our maritime industry.

 

from the dock at agua verde paddle club on portage bay

from the dock at agua verde paddle club on portage bay

 

 

Top 5 Airbnb Seattle Neighborhoods for Cyclists:

Old Ballard, Fremont, Queen Anne, Interbay,  and Magnolia Neighborhoods

If you like to cycle on a bike path or in a bike lane without too many cars around, the maps in this post show a few easy, scenic routes (in blue ink on the maps)–most routes have water views.  I am partial to these areas because of the easy access to bike trails that allow you to travel quite a distance with gorgeous views and fun places to stop along the way.

Queen Anne is a little less accessible due to its’ steep hills.
Bicycle rentals are available in most neighborhoods.

 

Seattle Area Cycling Map Links:

Here are a few maps to help you plan your ride.

30-mile Burke Gilman Trail from Ballard all the way to Marymoor Park in Redmond (home of Microsoft). Here is a link for the trail map that allows you to select beginning and ending points to calculate mileage.  Travel just a few miles or do the whole trail.

Magnolia Loop  the western and southern portion offers a scenic bike ride of the sound, mountains, and downtown skyline while the eastern portion allows you to connect with:

Magnolia/Interbay to Myrtle Edwards Park and Downtown

and the north portion connects to Discovery Park.

Discovery Park Map–hike the loop trail or ride your bike in the park (see pictures below in Magnolia section). You can also quickly access Ballard by riding out of the park from the north parking lot down W. Commodore Way and crossing the Ballard Locks.

Seattle Bike Map

Lake Union–Start by parking your car at the north end of the lake so you can end here and sit on the deck at Westward afterwards.

 

Seattle Restaurants by Neighborhood

Here are our top restaurants and neighborhood picks for your visit to Seattle………..just scroll on down to find the 411 on each neighborhood.

Or click onto each of these hotlinks to go straight to a neighborhood listing:

Ballard   Fremont   Wallingford  Greenlake  Queen Anne  Interbay  Magnolia  Beacon Hill  Downtown  West Seattle Capitol Hill  Madison Park

Kayak info

Restaurant notation:   Seattle has a lot of “gluten free” people– so restaurants understand the diet to some degree– but to clarify your risk of possible cross contamination you should ask questions because every place seems to have their own definition.  We have successfully dined at most of these places without issue, those we haven’t tried are so noted.

Old Ballard

Night life, lots of restaurants, a year round farmers market, and rich in our maritime culture, Ballard offers travelers a complete Seattle experience.

Walk to restaurants, craft cocktail bars, the beach at Golden Gardens, and the Botanical Garden/Ballard Locks.  Many of the homes in Ballard are older, small craftsmen or bungalow homes. Some have been replaced with new construction, modern homes and there are many new condos.  The area attracts young professionals and is home to people who have lived there for decades who feel they can’t afford to move. If you stay in an Airbnb near Market St. you will be very close to nightlife.

Aerial view of Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Photo Courtesy of Civil Air Patrol)

aerial view:  Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Photo Courtesy of Civil Air Patrol)

As you stand on the bridge span at the Locks you can see huge commercial vessels and pleasure boats going through and watch as the water level adjusts between the two bodies of water–fresh and saltwater.  There is also a salmon fish ladder. Many cyclists use the locks to make the connection from Magnolia to Ballard for the many bike rides you can take from either neighborhood.

Farmers Market

Every Sunday 10am-3pm, year round rain or shine.  Check their website to see which GF vendors attend.

 

a look at old ballard

Ballard Restaurants

Veraci Pizza-offers a gluten free crust and will cook your pizza on a pan if you don’t want direct contact with the wood fired pizza oven (they cook wheat crusts directly on the oven floor).  In addition to the care they take with GF pizzas, their toppings and sauce are top-quality with great flavor.  Probably the best pizza in the city. You will want to eat your pizza there, thin crust pizzas are best when consumed immediately.  Their dining area is quite small so plan to go during off-peak times.

La Carta de Oaxaca-all corn tortillas are made by hand and everything is made fresh so you should be able to navigate the menu easily.  It has been awhile since we asked all the GF questions but we successfully dine here all the time.  You may want to call ahead during slow times to clarify their methods because during peak times….they are very busy!  Excellent Mexican food from Oaxaca.

Marine Hardware–this is the small plate and cocktail prelude to either Walrus & Carpenter or Staple & Fancy. This is a new Ethan Stowell restaurant with only small plates and craft cocktails.  It is also where Ethan is found most these days.  We happened to be their first customers for the chef tasting menu with wine pairings and it was spectacular, however, there were some non-GF items that my husband gobbled up.  I am sure they can probably accommodate any dietary needs though.

Walrus & Carpenter–we refuse to wait for a table, and there is always a wait,  this is the hot spot for oysters in Ballard.

Staple & Fancy–right next door to Walrus but they take reservations.  Good consistent food, most of their menu can be made GF and since this is one of Ethan Stowell’s restaurants they will take pains to get it right.

Portage Bay Cafe–has GF pancakes and french toast — top them with seasonal fruit, nuts, maple syrup and whipped cream from their help yourself breakfast bar.  They have lots of other egg dishes as well.  It’s a short walk to the Ballard Locks which connects our fresh water lakes to Puget Sound (pictured up above in an aerial view).

Skillet Diner–features home cooked meals. They started out as a food truck and have several locations serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with GF marked on the menu.

Blue Moon Burgers–a favorite for my 6′ 9″ son–we have eaten here a lot and enjoyed! Very filling.  The one area that is a real stand out:   their deep fryer is dedicated GF !  There are lots of options here.  I need to try the tots ….they are supposed to be incredible.

Cupcake Royale–has several locations around Seattle.  I have heard they have a great GF chocolate cupcake but we have not tried it and I am curious how they avoid cross contamination in such a gluten-full bakery– definitely inquire with them.

Fremont

Just east of Ballard is the quirky neighborhood of Fremont—- Center of the Universe and home to Adobe, Google, and Tableau.  Similar to Ballard, there are restaurants and craft cocktail bars, breweries, and easy access to bike trails.  There is even a huge troll under the Aurora Bridge.  The homes in this area are similar to Ballard but not as many new condos.  In the past homes in this area were more affordable and more accessible to a wider variety of people.  There are lots of breweries and distilleries located here that offer tastings.

the fremont bridge frequently is up to allow large vessels to pass thru

the fremont bridge frequently is up to allow large vessels to pass thru

Fremont Farmers Market

Every Sunday  year round rain or shine.  Check their website to see which GF vendors attend.  This one is unique in that in addition to food, up to 200 vendors attend with antiques, collectibles, vintage items, and estate sale treasures.

Fremont Restaurants

Eve–I was excited to find this place with healthy and creative food including bone broth. I hope to try it this week.

Caffe Lladro–I believe they started out as part of Uptown Espresso and now they have quite a number of locations all over the Puget Sound area.  A rich cup of coffee to start your day.  Be sure you have a stash of your own GF items to bring along.

Agrodolce–Chef Maria Hines has been on Iron Chef and Martha Stewart and she offers a gluten free menu here.

Blue Moon Burgers-see notes above in Ballard section.

Flying Apron — a gluten free bakery with an emphasis on vegan. Baked goods have a heavier texture.

There are many restaurants in this area that likely can accommodate special diets.

fremont vintage mall offers midcentury modern furniture and collectibles in an underground location

fremont vintage mall offers midcentury modern furniture and collectibles in an underground location

Wallingford

Greenlake sits at the north end of Wallingford.  Gas Works Park sits at the southern end with gorgeous views of Lake Union and Downtown Seattle.  It has a decent sized parking lot so it’s a good place to park your car for a bike ride on the Burke Gilman Trail.  Some homes are in easy walking distance to 45th or the newly developed area on Stoneway near 34th.  Most of the homes are older bungalows and this area appeals to families.

from gas works parks you have a great view of the city and lake union (a the 4th of July fireworks) and a huge grassy space a favorite for kite flying

from gas works parks you have a great view of the city and lake union (and the 4th of July fireworks) and a huge grassy space a favorite for kite flying

view of city from gas works park, girls with hula hoops

view of city from gas works park

Wallingford Farmers Market

Wednesdays, May-Sept, this one is smaller but it is midweek which comes in handy.

Wallingford Restaurants

Tilth–a Maria Hines restaurant where almost everything on the menu is marked GF. Not only is she a James Beard award winner but in 2008 the NY Times noted Tilth as one of the best new restaurants in the country.

Manolin–I hope to try this week.

Uptown Espresso— for a great cup of coffee and Home of the Velvet Foam.  If you like a perfect espresso pull this is the place!

The following two places have a similar view to Gas Works Park:

Westward–is a unique place at the north end of Lake Union with an outdoor fire pit, adirondack chairs,  the Little Gull Grocery, and a full service restaurant with outdoor summer seating.  I recommend sitting outside at the fire pit for drinks and small plates or fresh oysters at the Little Gull counter. Much of their food is not GF but you can’t go wrong with fresh oysters.  Boaters like to stop in to stock up on picnic items.  It’s a fun place to watch the boating traffic and enjoy the view of the Seattle skyline.

 

the firepit and dock at westward

the firepit and dock at westward

the view from the adirondeck chairs at westward

the view from the adirondeck chairs at westward

 

easy access from the burke gilman trail to westward

easy access from the burke gilman trail to westward

Ivars Salmon House–one of the most overlooked waterfront deck dining destinations around.  Ivars has been a Seattle institution since 1938, the Salmon House is fast food in the front and fine dining in the back with their deck an often sunny place to watch the boats on Lake Union.  There menu is marked with gluten free items.  A salad with a piece of salmon on top should be a good bet.  They have a similar view to Westward but it is much easier to get a table here.  We have lunch here after a bike ride on the Burke Gilman Trail.

the view from ivars salmon house on lake union, early in the day before the umbrellas are up

the view from ivars salmon house on lake union, early in the day before the umbrellas are up, you can also see downtown from the deck

Greenlake

Just north of Wallingford, enjoy the 2.8 mile walk around the lake.  Lots of runners, bikers, skaters and walkers use the path and you will often find people playing volleyball or soccer or rugby in the nearby field. Homes are bungalows and new construction for young professionals and families.  A number of restaurants ring the lake on the north and east side:

Restaurants

Greenlake Bar and Grill is a favorite due to its’ location and outdoor seating.  They understand gluten free well–my daughter used to work there and says the kitchen does it right.

Dukes–the owner has a daughter with gluten intolerance so they have a GF menu, let them know you are sensitive to gluten.

Nell’s –is fine dining and should be able to handle any dietary restrictions.  Nell’s has been a part of the Greenlake neighborhood since 1999.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is the closest neighborhood to downtown Seattle.  There are two distinct areas: upper and lower Queen Anne.

View from Kerry Park, Upper Queen Anne

view of city, mt rainier, from highland drive, kerry park on upper q anne

 

Upper Queen Anne Neighborhood

Upper Queen Anne street view

upper queen anne street view

 

Upper Queen Anne has a main street of restaurants, grocers, and shops (don’t miss B & E Meats- an old-fashioned butcher shop).  Lots of residential homes are on upper Queen Anne, many with territorial views and neighborhood walks.  The view homes are typically bigger and many are quite grand. Upper Queen Anne is mostly families.  One section of 8th Ave W. is particularly nice for walking with pretty street lamps and a view-packed boulevard (see photos below).  You can sit on the grass  across from Parsons Gardens at Marshall Park with gorgeous views of the Sound, walk a little further down Highland Drive for a photo op with the city as your backdrop at Kerry Park.

Farmers Market

Upper Queen Anne is home to a farmers market every Thursday  3-7:30 pm, June to mid-October.  Check their website for vendors, last year there was a fresh baked goods gluten free vendor you may want to check out.

Upper Queen Anne Restaurants

Bounty Kitchen-gluten free items listed on the menu, they use Nu Flours bread which I had on an open faced sandwich and it held up well. Lots of healthy ingredients and an easy place for either breakfast or lunch.

Homegrown-is able to serve sandwiches on gluten free bread.  It’s good for lunch, they have other locations around Seattle too.  Be sure to ask about their GF methods.

Eat Local— we have not tried them but…. this link shows their gluten free offerings of fresh made food to pick up and take home or take on a picnic.

How to Cook a Wolf–Ethan Stowell restaurants are good and they should be able to accommodate your diet needs.  Most of their small plates should be able to accommodate a GF diet.

Eden Hill–a new small plates restaurant with some excellent items but also some kitchen delays along with some very small servings. Good for drinks and appetizers.

Canlis–a Seattle institution for fine dining and a gorgeous view. Dinner jacket required excellent food and service, reservations generally need to be made far in advance.

Caffe Lladro a great cup of coffee ….bring your own gluten free treat. There is a Metropolitan Market on Lower Queen Anne and a Whole Foods in Interbay so you can stock up on GF breakfast and lunch items. Or check out the farmers market for baked goods.

Storyville Coffee –If you like a deep roasted coffee then try this out.  Actually at the corner of Boston and Queen Anne Ave N. you have a coffee choice on most every corner: Storyville, Starbucks, and close to the corner Caffe Lladro.  But there are some extra enticements at Storyville. You will want to ask your own questions but they use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats in their oatmeal and granola.  They said that they are conscientious about cross contamination as well.  For treats they bake off in-store a flourless Chocolate Cake Round and a Macaron almond cookie (the dough is made in a central facility for consistency).  For lunch a few items looked good to me and are inherently GF:  kale salad, Thai salad (both sound delicious) and tomato soup.  There are comfy leather couches and chairs, a fireplace, a nice environment, and quality employees!

Cupcake Royale–see notes above in Ballard section .

All over the hill you will find beautiful old buildings.

all over the hill you will find beautiful old buildings

8th Ave W walk

8th ave west walk

8th Ave W looking towards Elliott Bay

8th ave west looking towards elliott bay

Territorial view from 8th Ave W looking towards Magnolia neighborhood and Puget Sound

territorial view from 8th ave west looking towards magnolia neighborhood, snow capped olympic mtns, and puget sound

Lower Queen Anne Neighborhood

The lower part of Queen Anne has lots of apartments and condos with city views.  More restaurants and Seattle Center are here as well.  Seattle Center is home to the Space Needle, EMP, Seattle Opera, Pacific NW Ballet, Key Arena, Pacific Science Center, Childrens Museum, Chihuly Garden & Glass, and Seattle Rep– and it’s across the street from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lower Queen Anne Restaurants

Crow–our favorite, excellent food and value. Consistent every time and great selections for wines by the glass. Most of their menu can be made gluten free.

Peso’s Kitchen and Lounge–a lot of their items are naturally gluten free and even though there are many items on the menu they cook their food fresh and don’t seem to rely on pre-made elements (but ask). They also have a great happy hour and stay busy.

Toulouse Petit–next door to Peso’s and under same ownership so all of the above applies here as well.

Uptown Espresso— for a great cup of coffee and Home of the Velvet Foam.  If you like a perfect espresso pull… this is the place!

Melting Pot–this chain has gluten free certification so you can be assured of their policies.  We haven’t tried them yet.

Taylor Shellfish–If you love oysters this is a must stop.  A huge selection of fresh oysters!

 

Interbay-a great Airbnb value

This area includes the far west side of Queen Anne to the far east side of Magnolia.  The homes on both hills face the train yard. The trains can be noisy at times but it is also an area where you can find some of the best Air bnb values due to it’s proximity to downtown, Ballard, Fremont, and ease of public transit use.  The area is filled with apartments/condos and home to many young professionals. There are a variety of breweries and distilleries located here that offer tastings along Elliot Ave West.

I live in this area right now while our house is being remodeled.  It’s a bit grittier than the other surrounding areas but the access to public transportation is a huge plus and the whole area offers free parking. (Many people never seem to move their cars from their on street parking, they just take the bus.) The Metro Bus Trip Planner allows you to plug in your starting point and destination to see the best bus routes to use.

Restaurants

Time for Pho–we like their chicken pho and also their fresh tofu or shrimp spring rolls.

There is also a Whole Foods store in Interbay so you can stock up on gluten free items there.

 

Magnolia

many cruise ships visit seattle (photo from estately.com)

Magnolia feels more like the suburbs than nearby Queen Anne. The lot sizes are bigger and there is a small village with coffee shops, small retail, and a few restaurants. It’s a great area to explore by bike and the neighborhood is very walkable. It’s also home to Discovery Park which used to be a working naval base.  The loop trail inside the park is a great walk–it feels like you are miles from the city as you walk along the wooded paths or out to the beach. Check out the link for park maps and more info.  If you are on a bike you can head over the locks to Ballard from Discovery Park or you can ride the loop along Magnolia Blvd for views of the sound and downtown Seattle and Mt Rainier.  You can even link up to the waterfront trail that goes along the train yard and out to Myrtle Edwards Park and into Seattle.

magnolia village

magnolia village

Farmers Market

Saturdays 10am-2pm, early June to early October.  Check their website for vendors.

Restaurants

Rogo’s–our little neighborhood restaurant – it’s about a year old now and they have settled into consistent offerings.  A good place to go for a weekend brunch.

Chinook’s–outdoor dining at Fisherman’s Terminal allows you to see Seattle’s fishing boats up close. Take a walk along the dock after dinner, this working dock is an important part of our local fishing industry. Even though GF is not noted on the menu this restaurant is part of the Anthony’s group and they can make your food GF.

Buy some fresh fish at next door Wild Salmon and send it home to yourself with their shipping program. I have shopped here forever and it is the freshest Seattle has to offer.

Uptown Espresso— for a great cup of coffee and Home of the Velvet Foam.  If you like a perfect espresso pull …this is the place!

Nikos Gyros for their horiatiki salad, unfortunately they are so small that since they grill pita along with all their meats you are limited to their fresh salads only.  Tell them your needs and they will carefully make your salad. I list this as an option if you are travelling with other non-GF people.  Their food is fresh and quality.

 

fishermans terminal

the view from Chinook’s, fishermans terminal

Discovery Park in Magnolia

Discovery Park  is 534 acres of woodland, beaches, meadow, it used to be a working naval base and up until recently had officer housing with spectacular views (those homes are now for sale to the public).  The loop trail inside the park is a great walk/hike–it feels like you are miles from the city as you walk along the wooded paths or out to the beach. Check out the link for park maps and more info.

the lighthouse at discovery park

the lighthouse at discovery park

 

beach near discovery park lighthouse

beach near discovery park lighthouse

 

loop trail at discovery park

loop trail at discovery park

 

the old church at discovery park

the old church at discovery park

 

officer housing at discovery park

officer housing at discovery park

 

 

Beacon Hill, Downtown, West Seattle, and Madison Park

IMG_5153_2_1

two bike rides shown in blue ink: west seattle on the left and madison park to seward park on the right side of map. (madison park is just north of leschi on the map.)

Beacon Hill

I am not familiar with the neighborhood but there are probably some very good airbnb values in this changing area. Some new restaurants are opening here to great acclaim, I haven’t had the chance to investigate much but if you pull up a google map of the area you will be able to see the restaurants in the area. One that is particularly good:

Bar Del Corso–you will need to call ahead and ask GF questions (we did not have our celiac children with us when we ate there) but there are many small plates and salads, charcuterie, and soft cheeses that seem naturally GF–along with a nice wine selection and craft cocktails–all that should be plenty without even thinking about the pizza on a wheat crust.  The pizza prep area is completely separate from where the small plates and salads are prepared.

Downtown Seattle

Seattle has a vibrant downtown though it seems many new restaurants are choosing to open in surrounding neighborhoods.

There are a lot of condos downtown and staying downtown offers the convenience of being close to all that it offers such as Pike Place Market, South Lake Union (home to Amazon etc.) Belltown, ferries, our two sports stadiums, the international district, the Seattle Art Museum and shopping. But in the summer the tall buildings block out a lot of the sun whereas staying in a nearby neighborhood may allow you to soak in the sun a bit more.

Restaurants

 

Coffee and Specialty Bakery Seattle

coffee and specialty bakery in pike place market, seattle

Coffee and Specialty Bakery –You must not miss this  little dedicated GF bakery in the Pike Place Market. Owner Tanya is the only one I have met who can bake gluten free eclairs, palmiers, and cinnamon rolls.  Plan to visit them early in your visit to stock up on a few things. The only seating is outside, and on a sunny day that is perfect.

Storyville Coffee –upstairs in the market is a great Seattle experience–The coffee is deep roasted and they have breakfast and lunch items.  Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats are in their oatmeal and granola, they are conscientious about cross contamination as well.  For treats they bake off in-store a flourless Chocolate Cake Round and a Macaron almond cookie (the dough is made in a central facility for consistency).  For lunch a few items looked good to me and are inherently GF:  kale salad, Thai salad (both sound delicious) and tomato soup.  There are comfy leather couches and chairs, a fireplace, a nice environment, and quality employees!
Since 1907 our Pike Place Market has allowed farmers to bring their food directly to the people. It now features produce, flowers, seafood, a wide variety of craftspeople, and surrounding business includes an incredible kitchen store Sur La Table, DeLaurenti’s Specialty Food & Wine and many others.    From Pike Place Market you can also easily walk to the Seattle Art Museum.

pike place market (photo from Seattleite.com)

pike place market
(photo from seattleite.com)

If you are shopping downtown here are two places we really enjoy:

Il Fornaio–Italian–The link goes to their gluten free menu….we have had great experiences here, it’s a place that feels like fine dining but kids are welcome and they have GF pasta.

Café Nordstrom–several items are noted on menu as gluten free and others are if croutons etc are omitted.  Ask when ordering. Easy, quick and quality food.

 

And near the Seattle Art Museum:

Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant–they have a variety of GF menu items and all of their food is very good… spanning the eastern Pacific Rim: China to Indonesia and Malaysia to Vietnam.

West Seattle

Across Elliott Bay you can see the entire Seattle skyline, it’s best when approaching from a ferry, but you can get this view from Harbor Ave SW in West Seattle.

edited skyline

seattle skyline from west seattle

 

If you are visiting Seattle and want to stay near a beach then West Seattle is for you. However a few warnings are in order.

I love the old beach houses along Alki Beach but many are disappearing as new high rise condos go in. On the weekends during good weather days the cars are cruisin’ Harbor Ave SW and Alki Ave SW, it can take awhile in bumper to bumper traffic to get from the West Seattle Bridge to the restaurants on the west end of Alki. If you stay in an Airbnb in the Alki Beach area parking can be a problem, sometimes a parking spot comes with your rental–be sure to ask.  There is a definite party vibe to this area but realize that the commute into Seattle can take a half hour or more on some days.

But it could be a fun experience and it’s the only place you can stay where the homes feel like a little beach community. Just a lot of driving back and forth to Seattle.

There are other Airbnb locations “up top” in West Seattle with city views or closer to the businesses near the Junction (Alaska and California street intersection)  you still have to drive into Seattle but it’s easier than being down on Alki on a busy weekend day.  And all along the far west side of West Seattle there are cute, quieter neighborhoods with beach access too.

Beach on the quiet west side of West Seattle

beach on the quiet west side of west seattle on beach drive sw, snow capped olympic mountains in the background

 

 

Beach Drive SW on the west side of West Seattle

beach drive sw on the west side of west seattle

 

Plan a bike ride or walk in West Seattle

If you don’t stay in West Seattle plan a bike ride or walk there.  Lots of Sound, beach, mountain views, and people watching.

Here’s the best way:

From Hwy 99 take the West Seattle Bridge exit and staying in the right lane take the Harbor Ave SW exit turning right on Harbor Ave SW (there is a bike rental place on the corner).

Park your car along Harbor Ave SW and start walking/biking north and then west on Alki Ave SW. This then turns into Beach Drive SW to take you along the entire west side of West Seattle. If you are on a bike you can travel all the way to Lincoln Park where there is an outdoor salt water pool that’s open during the summer and a big park full of huge trees.  You can also ride your bike all the way to the ferry dock that serves Vashon Island and Southworth.  (this whole route is shown in blue on the map above)

 

Water Taxi from Downtown to West Seattle

Or take a water taxi over to West Seattle which drops you off very close to Salty’s shown below. This map shows the route from Pier 50 to Seacrest Dock in West Seattle.

 

salty's on alki, best view of seattle

 

 

Alki Beach West Seattle Restaurants

Salty’s–the deck is pictured above–this is the place to sit on the deck for a full Seattle skyline view while you breathe in the salt air. Gluten free items are noted on the menu.

Cactus–gluten free menu. I enjoyed my food more at the Madison Park location but this one has outdoor seating that opens at 12:30pm.

Dukes–the owner has a daughter with gluten intolerance so they have a GF menu, let them know you are sensitive to gluten.

Blue Moon Burgers–see notes above in Ballard section .

 

Near the Junction West Seattle Restaurants

 

Chaco Canyon–a gluten free menu full of healthy food, with several locations.

Jak’s Grill–featuring aged, corn-fed Nebraska beef. We have heard it’s good but we didn’t have a reservation and couldn’t get in. They also have a good brunch.  The menu states that those with food sensitivities inform the wait staff, I am sure they can accommodate you.

Cupcake Royale–see notes above in Ballard section.

Farmers market

Every Sunday, yearround 10am-2pm

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill has many old stately homes, it’s fun to drive through the neighborhoods on the north end of the hill.  It used to be that the two floating bridges 520 and I-90 did not exist and ferries took the wealthy owners of these homes to their summer homes across the water (now Medina and Hunts Point).

IMG_4303_3

There are also a lot of apartments and condos. The main drag Broadway attracts a young population and has a strong LGBT representation too.  Pill Hill is also a part of Capitol Hill–many of our hospitals are located there off Madison. Our gorgeous St James Cathedral and the Frye Art Museum are near all the hospitals as well.

Farmers Market

Every Sunday 11am-3pm, year round.  Check their website for vendors.

nuflours bakery

nuflours bakery

 

 

nuflours quiche

nuflours quiche

 

Nuflours Bakery–a dedicated gluten free bakery. Visit them early in your visit so you can stock up on a few items.  They also bake bread, we had a jalapeno cheddar quiche that was very good.  They’re also at seven area farmers markets and sell wholesale to various restaurants.

Restaurants

This area is fast becoming restaurant heaven, it seems like every new hot spot is opening here. Eater did a post using their restaurant heat map showing the hottest 38 restaurants in Seattle and so many of them are on Capitol Hill.  They have sprung up so quickly I just haven’t had a chance to try them out so definitely look at the link–most places do a good job of showing their GF offerings on their website.

Capitol Cider–a place I have heard much about and need to try soon with their dedicated GF kitchen and ability to help folks with other food sensitivities.  They are located in the heart of the nightlife on Capitol Hill a great place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

Chavez–I haven’t been here yet but look forward to it, their whole menu says it is gluten free.  Brunch begins May 1st, 2016.

Blue Moon Burgers–see notes above in Ballard section.

Taylor Shellfish–If you love oysters this is a must stop.  A huge selection of fresh oysters! in the Melrose Market.

Cupcake Royale–see notes above in Ballard section.

Caffe Lladro a great cup of coffee ….bring your own gluten free treat.

Madison Park

This quiet neighborhood is a great starting point for a bike ride along Lake Washington Blvd to Seward Park. the road goes along the lake and you ride along with the car traffic so if that doesn’t bother you it’s a pretty ride.  Or plan to ride on Bicycle Sundays through the summer –they close the street to car traffic from Mt Baker Beach to Seward Park.

Madison Park is also close to the Arboretum, the Japanese Botanical Gardens, and is an easy area to walk for coffee in the morning.  If you stay in Madison Park you are a short drive to some of the great new restaurants for dinner on Capitol Hill.

Restaurants

Not many GF options overall but they have a cute little grocery store and places for coffee plus:

Cactus–gluten free menu and lots of locals love this place. They have a great spicy Caesar salad (without the croutons) and the side of grilled chicken is really good.

Café Flora–a vegetarian restaurant near the arboretum that understands gluten free.  All items are marked on the menu

 

University District/Montlake

If you are visiting the University of Washington you might want to stay in an Airbnb near campus to get a feel for the community. Montlake is a bit south of the U district but you could easily walk from a house there to Husky Stadium for a football game and save yourself the headache of trying to park for the game. People generally walk quite a ways to get to the stadium.

IMG_5340_1

Farmers Market

Saturdays 9am-2pm, year round. Check their website for vendors.  This is the granddaddy of them all with the greatest variety of vendors and the longest history.

from aquaverde.com

from aguaverde.com

Restaurants

Aguaverde Café and Paddle Club –plan to eat lunch here either before or after you rent kayaks to explore Lake Union. Their deck is situated on the water and their food is fresh (their menu has GF notations).  Their kayaks are either singles or doubles and super lightweight and easy!!  Don’t miss this.

kayaks awaiting the day at agua verde paddle club

kayaks awaiting the day at agua verde paddle club

agua verde cafe and paddle club

agua verde cafe and paddle club

sit outside in the nearby picnic tables or up on agua verde's deck

sit outside in the nearby picnic tables or up on agua verde’s deck

 

Well that’s all…..I hope you are now able to decide where to stay in Seattle!

Mar 26 16

Cooking Gluten Free to continue on…….

by Karen

vintage ceramic rabbit

 

Happy Spring!

In this time of renewal I have spent a lot of time deciding ……..should I stay or should I go?

After sixteen years of providing gluten free recipes I thought I was ready to pull the plug but found I couldn’t actually do it.

So I have decided to stay.

I hope you will continue to find inspiration in our posts.

IMG_4988_1 crop

We have a new generation in our household, a sweet 9-month old boy, to inspire us.  The process of feeding him is taking me to new discoveries that will undoubtedly be featured here as well.

Enjoy the beautiful spring blossoms and warm days ahead……and check in to see us from time to time!

Feb 11 16

Naan Bread

by Karen

Gluten Free Naan Bread great with Indian cooking or soup n salad

 

A great bread with soup and salad or any meal where you’d like to have tasty bread to soak up a delicious sauce on your plate.

Naan is an East Indian bread that traditionally uses a yeast starter developed from airborne yeasts.  Our recipe is adapted from Prena’s blog Indian Simmer and uses baking powder instead.  Naan is traditionally baked in a tandoor oven where in 60 seconds the dough puffs slightly and browns when it is thrown against the oven wall of this high heat oven.
This recipe requires an open flame to finish the naan, you will need a gas cook top or grill.

Naan Bread

You can flavor your naan with various herbs, try adding in a little cumin or garlic into the dough.

Serves 4
1 cup millet flour
1 cup Multi Blend GF Flour Mix
2 teaspoons guar gum or xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup of warm milk
1/2 cup of yogurt
1/2 tbsp oil

Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well in the flour.

Mix milk, yogurt, and oil together and pour about half of it into the well and slowly combine it together until a soft dough forms. (There’s not an exact amount of liquid that should be added to the exact amount of flour to make a perfect dough.) The dough should be soft enough for you to be able to dig your finger into it without applying any pressure. If dough sticks to hand too much then use little bit of oil on hand and then punch into the dough.
Cover with damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Place dough in between two large pieces of plastic wrap on the counter.  Using the plastic wrap allows you to manipulate the dough without it sticking to the counter top. Shape the dough into a large rectangle and fold it into thirds, pick up the dough and turn it so you can fold it into thirds again. Throughout this process you will be removing the plastic wrap so you can fold the dough and placing it back on top as needed to manipulate the dough.

Divide the dough into 8 small balls and flatten the balls between the plastic wrap to make 8 naan shaped rectangles about 1/4 inch thick.

Sprinkle one side of the bread with a little seasoning of your choice: cumin, garlic, butter, cilantro etc. Place seasoned side down on plastic wrap.  Brush the other side with water.

Heat a  heavy skillet (one with a lid). When skillet is very hot place the naan wet side down and cover it with a lid. Let it cook for about one minute.  When it is cooked it will release from the pan with a spatula. Cook the other side of the naan over the direct flame of the burner using tongs. When you see some charred brown spots then you know that the naan is done.  It helps to support the naan between the tongs as in the photo above.

 

The side you see was cooked on one side in pan, it helps to hold it lengthwise in the tongs at first so it cooks evenly over the flame.

The side you see was cooked on one side in pan, it helps to hold it lengthwise in the tongs at first so it cooks evenly over the flame.

 

Boy, is it ever good!

Boy, is it ever good!

Dec 19 15

Sour Cream Coffee Cake, A Holiday Tradition

by Karen

 

gluten free sour cream coffee cake

Walnuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar top this coffee cake and provide a sweet layer within.  Years ago we took a three-generation-old family recipe and converted it to gluten free.  The key to its’ success is mostly due to adding in an extra teaspoon of non-aluminum baking powder (like Rumford).

Here is a link to the recipe

I will be making two of these this year on Christmas Eve morning…..one for us to have the following morning with coffee, orange juice, eggs and bacon for a mid-morning break….and one for our good friends.

The funny thing is no one in their family is on a gluten free diet but they LOVE this coffee cake.

 

Link for more holiday recipes.

Link for every day meals and sweets (along with recipes contributed by James Beard Award Winning Chefs)

Dec 14 15

Recipes to Share With Family and Friends

by Karen

Did you know our books are instantly shareable with friends and family?

One cookbook purchase allows you to share with 2 others.

Make last minute purchases and give the best gluten free recipes for family meals and unbeatable sweets and breads.

For $19.99 you get a gift and you can share it with 2 more.

Here’s a look at some of our recipes:

gluten free nanaimo bars

 

karen robertson's gluten free pizza crust

 

pound cake

 

HolidayBookMolasses_450

 

 

Karen Robertson's bread

 

Chipotle Chili with Cilantro Lime Cream

 

Old Timed Raisin Filled Cookie

 

gluten free lemon bars

Seasonal recipes link

Holiday recipes link

Nov 25 15

Pie Shop Tip #6–Glazing for DF Crust Made with Leaf Lard

by Karen
pie on the left- eggs and butter, pie on the right -lard and water

pie on the right -made with leaf lard

 

Many of you know that I worked a Seattle area pie shop and also operated my own farmers market booth.  With all that baking I learned a lot and the long lines at our booth was all the proof I needed to know we were doing things right. Here are some tips to help you with your pie baking…..the sixth tip in our series.  The first five tips addressed our method for making the dough, prep for easy roll out,  avoiding sticky dough,  pie sugar, and Glazing for Crust Made with Eggs and Butter.

Glazing for DF Crust Made with Leaf Lard

There are many methods for creating a golden hue on a pie crust. The pie shop brushed theirs with milk and a sprinkling of sugar.   If you cannot use eggs or dairy then the fat you want to use is leaf lard or shortening to make a good pie crust. The photo above used this method along with a glaze:

  1. Before placing the pie in the oven brush it with a dairy free milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  2. Upon removing the pie from the oven brush it with  a bit of apricot preserves mixed with a little water to thin it.

(Recipes for DF EF GF crust along with our regular crust made with eggs and butter are in our book Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays, see below. )

For more holiday cooking and baking tips and recipes, consider our instant download Holiday ebook Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays with full color photos and everything you need for the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years) for

$ 19.99 (you can easily share the download with two friends)

 

Thank you and stay warm!

Nov 24 15

Pie Shop Tip #5-Glazing for Crust Made with Eggs and Butter

by Karen

gluten free Apple Pie with Eggs and Butter

 

Many of you know that I worked a Seattle area pie shop and also operated my own farmers market booth.  With all that baking I learned a lot and the long lines at our booth was all the proof I needed to know we were doing things right. Here are some tips to help you with your pie baking…..the fifth tip in our series.  The first four tips addressed our method for making the dough, prep for easy roll out,  avoiding sticky dough, and pie sugar.

Glazing for Crust Made with Eggs and Butter

There are many methods for creating a golden hue on a pie crust. The pie shop brushed theirs with milk and a sprinkling of sugar. My preference is to brush on an egg wash of one egg yolk + 1 teaspoon milk and then sprinkle with some sugar.  The photo above used this method.  If you cannot use eggs or dairy our next Pie Shop Tip will address glazing for an egg free, dairy free crust.

More tips to follow in the days to come….

For more holiday cooking and baking tips and recipes, consider our instant download Holiday ebook Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays with full color photos and everything you need for the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years) for

$ 19.99 (you can easily share the download with two friends)

 

Thank you and stay warm!

Karen

Nov 23 15

Pie Shop Tip #4–Pie Sugar for Balanced Sweetness

by Karen

IMG_3389

Many of you know that I worked a Seattle area pie shop and also operated my own farmers market booth.  With all that baking I learned a lot and the long lines at our booth was all the proof I needed to know we were doing things right. Here are some tips to help you with your pie baking…..the fourth tip in our series.  The first three tips addressed our method for making the dough, prep for easy roll out, and avoiding sticky dough.

Pie Sugar for Balanced Sweetness

At the pie shop we had about 6 big tubs of premade pie sugar for every kind of pie we made.  Pie sugar is simply sugar with the appropriate spices for each flavor of pie. The idea is that you scoop up what you need, sprinkle it over the bowl of fruit for your pie then mix the pie sugar by hand into the fruit (carefully) to completely coat the fruit. When you are on a production line this is much more efficient than layering fruit, spice and sugar into the prepared pie plate.  But I think there is a taste difference as well as the sugar coats all the fruit evenly for a balanced sweetness. (Use food prep gloves for easier clean up.)

 

More tips to follow in the days to come….

For more holiday cooking and baking tips and recipes, consider our instant download Holiday ebook Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays with full color photos and everything you need for the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years) for

$ 19.99 (you can easily share the download with two friends)

 

Thank you and stay warm!

Karen

Nov 22 15

Pie Shop Tip #3-Avoid Sticky Dough

by Karen

pie shell

 

 

Many of you know that I worked a Seattle area pie shop and also operated my own farmers market booth.  With all that baking I learned a lot and the long lines at our booth was all the proof I needed to know we were doing things right. Here are some tips to help you with your pie baking…..the third tip in our series.  The first two tips addressed our method for making the dough and prep for easy roll out.

Avoid Sticky Dough

  1. The best way to avoid sticky dough is to make it soft to the touch.  If that means adding in a few more tablespoons of flour after your ingredients are in the mixer then add it right at the end.
  2. Once your dough is made and chilled (for about 20 minutes) the next tip is to roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap.
  3. After rolling out the dough continue to use the plastic wrap for transferring the dough to the pie plate and also keep it on top of the top crust while you crimp the edges.

 

More tips to follow in the days to come….

For more holiday cooking and baking tips and recipes, consider our instant download Holiday ebook Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays with full color photos and everything you need for the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years) for

$ 19.99 (you can easily share the download with two friends)

 

Thank you and stay warm!

Karen

Nov 21 15

Pie Shop Tip #2–Easy Roll Out

by Karen

 

our farmers market pie crust

Many of you know that I worked a Seattle area pie shop and also operated my own farmers market booth.  With all that baking I learned a lot and the long lines at our booth was all the proof I needed to know we were doing things right. Here are some tips to help you with your pie baking…..the second tip in our series.  The first tip addressed our method for making the dough.

Prep Your Dough for Easy Roll Out

  1. Once your dough is made, divide it in half and form two 6-inch rounds, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  2. Your dough is now already in a circle and easier to roll out.

 

More tips to follow in the days to come….

For more holiday cooking and baking tips and recipes, consider our instant download Holiday ebook Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays with full color photos and everything you need for the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years) for

$ 19.99 (you can easily share the download with two friends)

 

Thank you and stay warm!

Karen