With Seattle’s diverse population and access to such rich ingredients, it’s no wonder that Anthony Bourdain says that Seattle has “one of the best and most interesting food scenes in America.”
There are certain foods that Washington simply does better than just about anywhere else in the United States. Here are 21 foods that Seattleites and other Washingtonians specifically miss when they’re out-of-state:
Washington is known for its crisp and juicy apples. I can’t even begin to compare how much better the apples are in Washington than those produced in any other state. In fact, Washington apples constitute about 70% of apple production in the United States.
2. Artisanal Chocolate
The chocolate scene in Seattle has been growing so much that it has become a sort of artisanal chocolate Mecca. One renowned local favorite is Fran’s Chocolate which has President Obama’s favorite candy: Fran’s Smoked Salt Caramels – delectable caramels coated with milk chocolate and sprinkled with smoked sea salt. He even reportedly keeps the White House stocked with these treats for visitors.
On a normal Saturday, the line for Beecher’s Handmade Cheese wraps around its little shop in Pike Place Market. If you haven’t had their mac and cheese made with their signature Flagship cheese sauce, then you are seriously missing out.
4. Bubble Tea
A photo posted by Oasis Tea Zone (@oasisteazone) on Apr 21, 2015 at 5:17pm PDT
Bubble tea shops are a popular hangout spot for millennials in the Seattle-area with local favorites like Oasis in Chinatown and massive international chains like Sharetea. And yes, we call it “bubble tea,” and not “boba.”
A photo posted by Starbucks Reserve Roastery (@starbucksroastery) on Sep 7, 2015 at 9:55am PDT
In addition to the fact that Starbucks is from Seattle, there are also a number of coffee shops spread throughout the city and the Seattle area. Coffee is so special to us that we even have a Starbucks Reserve Roastery.
6. Craft Beer
A photo posted by Elysian Brewing Company (@elysianbrewing) on Oct 21, 2015 at 7:52pm PDT
Adding to its well-known hipster status, the Seattle area, even the Pacific Northwest in general, has an abundance of microbreweries. It’s all in the high-quality hops, which thrive just two hours east of Seattle in the Yakima Valley. If you’re really that into beer, Seattle is definitely the place to be.
Because of the local craft beer scene, there are a bunch of amazing breweries in Seattle. Some local favorites include: Elysian Brewing, Fremont Brewing, and Maritime Pacific Brewing. There’s even a guide for all the true beer-lovers out there.
Almost every Seattleite takes great pride in Dick’s burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Think of what In-N-Out means to Californians and then triple that for what Dick’s means to Seattleites. It’s open until 2 am and satisfies any late-night junk food craving. Plus, it’s super cheap – fries are only $1.75 and a deluxe burger is just $3.10.
8. Fried Chicken from Ezell’s
Ezell’s fried chicken is so good that Oprah supposedly has it flown to her from Seattle to Chicago. She called it her favorite fried chicken and you can’t doubt Oprah.
9. Garlic Fries from Safeco Field
Baseball may be the all-American sport, but the true stars of Safeco Field are the delicious garlic fries. Sorry, not sorry, Mariners.
Okay, I’ll admit, their shape is pretty phallic. They’re native to Washington and probably aren’t eaten anywhere else in the United States. Geoduck is full of flavor and has a unique texture. It’s particularly popular in East Asian cuisine. For more information, check out this in-depth article from Serious Eats.
11. Ginger Beer from Rachel’s Ginger Beer
Ginger beer just warms you up. In addition to just plain old ginger beer, Rachel’s Ginger Beer has flavors ranging from white peach to prickly pear, and they’re all equally refreshing.
12. Ice Cream from Molly Moon’s
Molly Moon’s is a gift sent straight from the heavens in the form of Earl Grey ice cream in a freshly made waffle cone. They also have other unique and scrumptious flavors: balsamic strawberry, scout mint (as in Girl Scout Thin Mints), honey lavender, and more.
Ivar’s is a local fish and chip favorite. Their clam chowder is also to die for, and is definitely a satisfying meal for a day at Alki or any other beach in the Greater Seattle Area.
Paseo has been a Seattle favorite for over 20 years, serving up authentic Caribbean sandwiches that make your mouth water. Thank god they reopened, am I right?
15. Organic anything
“Portlandia” doesn’t even begin to describe the Pacific Northwest’s obsession with organic food. For the most part, we have amazing access to fresh, local foods and it is marvelous.
16. Piroshkies from Piroshky Piroshky
These handmade Russian pastries from heaven have been a staple in Seattle for more than 20 years. With varieties like beef and cheese, potato and mushroom, and smoked salmon pate, Piroshky Piroshky is truly a gift to us all.
17. Rainier Cherries
I asked my friends at school if they knew what these were and to my surprise, they hadn’t even heard of Rainier cherries. This was really weird to me, especially since my family grows Rainier cherries in our backyard. Also, these are my favorite kind of cherries.
They’re named after Mount Rainier, which is an active volcano (one of five in Washington state) so watch out.
Salmon in Seattle is delicious in all forms: raw, smoked, baked, grilled, you name it. In my head, Seattle and fresh salmon are synonymous. The Pike Place Fish Market (pictured above) is particularly known for throwing fish around, notably salmon.
19. Scones from the Puyallup Fair
September rolls around and you know what that means? The Washington State Fair, commonly known as the Puyallup Fair, and those delicious warm scones with butter and raspberry jam.
Surprisingly enough, other metropolitan areas in the United States just don’t seem to have as many teriyaki joints as Seattle does. It actually has become a fast-food phenomenon in Seattle.
This is largely the result of the huge influx of Asian immigrants, especially Koreans, in the 1980s and 90s. Koreans in the Seattle area actually popularized Japanese teriyaki by experimenting with the sauce and adding Korean flavors to make it more appealing to American tastes.
Dunkin’ doesn’t even compare to this Seattle legend. There really is no argument here. All doughnuts/donuts/however you choose to spell them are inferior to Top Pot.
Basically, Seattle > everywhere else.