West Seattle-based illustrator Lori Bailey offers a food-focused tour of her stomping grounds, with suggestions for a day (or two) of gluttony.
Separated from the rest of the city by a little water and a few industrial yards, West Seattle feels almost like an island with its close-knit community, family-friendliness, and laid-back demeanor — plus, the neighborhood’s about as easy to reach by water taxi from downtown as it is by land.
California Avenue, West Seattle's main drag, runs north-south and provides the backbone for clusters of shops and restaurants. On the northern end, Alki Avenue hugs the waterfront, boasting incredible views of downtown and of the Olympics across the Sound. There's plenty to see and explore, and, these days, plenty of delicious bites to be had along the way. Here are some of the best.
2600 California Ave SW
Warm, crispy, golden waffles are served in a cute little cafe nestled alongside a flower shop. Options abound: Go sweet or savory, garnish with an array of toppings (fruit compote! bacon! lemon curd!), or even make it gluten-free with sweet potato or cornmeal batter.
P.S. The breakfast sandwiches are also bonkers.
Easy Street Records and Cafe
4559 California Ave SW
Slinging records since 1988 and cafe fare since 2001, Easy Street serves up classic, diner-esque dishes from breakfast through lunch. Albums, coffee, breakfast burritos, sandwiches — everything here, well, rocks.
4480 Fauntleroy Way SW
Pop in for a latte, americano, or espresso con panna featuring beans from local roaster Herkimer. Take a drink to go, or stay a while and knock out a bit of work while hanging with the friendly baristas.
Marination Ma Kai
1660 Harbor Ave SW
Marination may have set up shop all over town, but this is the real deal: Kalua pork tacos, fries, and margaritas on the patio, set against a backdrop of glimmering water, mountains, and the city skyline. It. Doesn't. Get. Better.
Ma'ono Fried Chicken and Whisky
4437 California Ave SW
Mix and match a few shareable plates before diving into the addictively crispy, spicy, savory fried chicken paired with fluffy white rice and zingy kimchee. Don’t forget to cleanse your palate with a cocktail or a shot of whiskey (or two).
4725 California Ave SW
The rock star of sushi joints in Seattle. Chef Hajime Sato bravely sources only sustainable seafood to craft some of the finest sushi in the city. Piece together your own food adventure, or let the chef drive with one of the omakase set courses.
New Luck Toy
5905 California Ave SW
An elevated dive bar with a tongue-in-cheek Chinese-takeout theme, this 21-and-up newcomer plays by its own rules. Wash down the tantalizing riff on General Tso's chicken with a slushy Singapore Sling before sauntering off to play some Skee-ball.
Beveridge Place Pub
6413 California Ave SW
Top off a day in West Seattle with a nice layer of foam afloat an expertly poured beer. Beveridge Place is a pub for the people, a place where beer geeks can huddle and locals can gather for a Sounders soccer game. Rotating taps feature a variety of styles and sources, with plenty of Washington-made brews.