If you’re anything like me, you love trying out new restaurants on a never-ending quest to find the best spot in town. When someone passes along a recommendation, I pull out my phone and add it to a growing list in my notes. Recently, I’ve noticed more and more suggestions that are fresh, organic, local twists to complement an active lifestyle rather than derailing any healthy habits you might be trying to maintain.
So, whether you’re looking for a delicious kick-start to your day, an afternoon pick me up, or a light summer night out, these newcomers to the Seattle scene have won over the city’s foodies and are worth a visit. Just one more reason to take a trip to the Pacific Northwest!
WHERE: 1923 7th Ave, Seattle
Married couple and business partners Mike and Colleen developed Sweetgrass as an extension of their own lifestyles. Colleen, a lawyer by day, and Mike, a finance professional, had a dream of serving farm-to-table food in a counter-service concept. The pair consistently evolved their thinking around nutrition, especially around real or whole food eating, and launched the first location in 2016. Their motto is “100% Good Food,” and at any time of the day, you can see this philosophy in the restaurant’s thoughtful menu that incorporates options for any diet.
“What I want for Sweetgrass is that once you walk in the door, there are no ‘bad’ choices,” Colleen told us. “We say ‘100% Good Food’ and we mean it—everything should taste good and be good for you so that you don’t have to think twice about what you’re eating. This means every ingredient, recipe and composition is well thought out in a meaningful way.”
Our favorites? Try the Good Morning Brew smoothie for a healthy dose of caffeine or the Five-Color Sweetgrass Rice Pottage, a favorite that is served all day.
WHERE: 1517 12th Ave #100, Seattle
Owner Kari, ballerina-turned-chef-turned-entrepreneur, is passionate about vegetables. Four years ago, after perfecting her own plant-based diet, Kari and her business partner, Brandin, brought their love for juicing to the local Capitol Hill Farmers Market and immediately realized they were onto something.
“Each item is loaded with as much plant magic as possible,” Kari says. “Although we got our start with juice, we offer breakfast, brunch, and lunch, serving about 60 percent food to 40 percent beverages. House-made coconut yogurt, cashew date cocoa nib shakes, seeded sourdough bread with smashed avocado and pickled vegetables, and whole wheat flat breads with scrambled eggs, spinach and cheese are just a few of our favorites.”
Something tells us this is just the beginning for Kari! Stay tuned for her next concept, Frankie & Jo’s, opening Fall 2016 in Seattle that will serve plant-based ice cream with nut or cashew milk for the base, Juicebox juice for sorbets, and gluten-free waffle cones.
Source: Jenna Laedtke
WHERE: 2501 N Northlake Way, Seattle
Westward is a one-stop shop with about five of our favorite things rolled into one—fresh oyster bar, adirondack chairs, a fire pit, a large deck and a grab-and-go grocery store—all perched on the edge of Lake Union with views of the Seattle skyline. They also have a 100-foot dock so that paddle boarders, boaters, and kayakers can arrive on the water and tie up while they have refreshments.
The restaurant serves brunch until 3, and then snack and dinner menus that are always evolving based on the area’s seasonal fare. Our favorite time to visit is during happy hour from 4-6 p.m. on weekdays and from 3-6 p.m. on the weekends when they have discounts on select oysters and beverages. Stop by the Little Gull Grocery on the way out to take some of your favorite Northwest ingredients home with you.
4. JUICY CAFE
Source: The Juicy Cafe
WHERE: 725 Pike St, Seattle
Juicy launched their first location in the Washington Convention Center in 1992 and have since expanded to four locations across Seattle, even selling their products at gyms around town. Abigail and her mother created the menu together starting with juice and then branching out to smoothies. Today, the brand offers breakfast bowls, rice dishes, salads, and a great selection of grab-and-go items, including their famous “Oat Balls” made with gluten-free oats, honey, peanut butter, fruits, and nuts.
Originally from London, Abigail’s goal is to cater to the busy professional working in a large city and looking for fresh, creative meals that won’t break the bank. She changes the café’s menu at least twice a year, drawing inspiration from international travels and favorite restaurants around town. We love their creative twist on classics: The PB&J smoothie is our favorite way to start the day and their lunch bowls are great options (with the choice of zucchini noodles!).
Source: Bounty Kitchen
WHERE: 7 Boston St, Seattle
With almost 20 local partners and a quaint location perched at the top of Queen Anne Hill, Bounty Kitchen has made a quick splash in the community. Whether you’re dining with them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’ll find seasonal options ranging from veggie hash and strawberry ricotta toast to braised beef bowls and the famous brilled bread salad. The team is passionate about becoming part of the Queen Anne community, and welcomes families with an enticing kids menu—house made peanut butter, Beecher’s Flagship cheese, and fresh fruits are among the offerings.
Added bonus: If you’re not in the mood for juice, cold brew, or kombucha, they also serve local beers and wine. Feeling adventurous? Check out the “Bounty Boozy Drinks” menu. Our favorite is the Lemony Whiskey Picnic made with Dry Fly Washington Wheat Whiskey, house-made lemonade, and honey.
WHERE: 1026 NE 65th St Seattle
Thrive won Seattle’s “Best Healthy Lunch” and “Best Gluten Free Menu,” so we figured we should try it out for ourselves! Not only do they serve a full menu, but they also sell elixir shots, Kangen enhanced water, growlers filled with your favorite fresh kombucha, coconut water or almond milk, and specialized kitchen appliances.
And if Thrive’s team didn’t seem busy enough already, they are now offering cooking classes ranging from how to make buddah bowls (with dressing) to how to make the most of your Vitamix and how to dehydrate foods. This summer, the café is rebranding as Heart Beet Organic Superfoods Café, so stay tuned to see what they’re up to next!