There’s no way we can pretend Beacon Hill’s a little-known food destination in Seattle at this point, seeing as neighborhood joint Musang has been cleaning up awards since opening in 2020. But we still think it’s worth exploring more. One of the city’s most racially diverse areas, Beacon is a boomtown of new development, a ton of it edible — good news, since a reservation at Musang can be a little tricky to snag.
For our Beacon food crawl (like a bar crawl but longer and more… ambitious), we’ll take you through a whole delicious day of slightly deeper cuts: world-class coffee, Filipino pastries, lamb ragu, miso caramel-drenched toffee pudding, and the best fried catfish you’ve ever had at a gas station of your life. And we’re not even covering all of Beacon Hill here; for the sake of keeping things walkable, we’re sticking to North Beacon Hill.
9 a.m.: Coffee
The Station is a coffee shop with a mission. A Black- and Latinx-owned business with a dedication to employing its POC and LGBTQ neighbors, this vibrant cafe also doubles (quadruples?) as a community organizing space, an art gallery, and a wine bar. Portions of adult beverage purchases go toward educational and community outreach causes, and features like a book drop and community garden drive the point home. In addition to being real nice folks, its sexy espresso drinks made with Fulcrum beans have a citywide rep for being smooth as all hell. We like the D’angelo, a brown sugar latte (get it?) that’s rich but not too sweet.
Once you’re caffeinated, cross the street (kind of) to Despi Delite. At first glance, you might clock this O.G. Beacon Hill spot as a regular old house o’ doughnuts, but look closer: It’s a Filipino bakery that turns out ube bread and malasadas alongside the maple bars and old fashioneds. The pastry selection here includes both sweet and savory, and your options are manifold: Try the cheese-topped ensaymada, buttery mamon, bean-filled hopia, or turon, a banana-flavored egg roll (sometimes called banana lumpia). You can’t go wrong here. That said, everyone’s favorite at Despi Delite, including ours, is the siapao, a steamed pleated bun available stuffed with chicken or pork, so make sure to at least pocket one for the road.
It’s not like you can go to Beacon Hill and NOT get a piece of catfish at the Shell gas station at 2424 Beacon Avenue. A single piece of catfish isn’t that big, and at only $2.99, you can file it away in your brain as a snack. The Beacon Hill Shell does a killer job at fryer fare in general (second only to the catfish are the gizzards) but the thin-sliced, deep-fried catfish is just so light and crispy and perfectly portable. Per local brain genius Charles Mudede, it’s well established as the best catfish in town. Make it peek halfway out of the little cellophane baggie, then munch it while you walk around and look at all the cool stickers on light poles on Beacon Avenue South. It’s just like eating an elephant ear at the fair. Made of fish.
2 p.m.: Late lunch
Get ready for a schlep, because we’re gonna make you walk two blocks. It’s time for more Filipino food — when in Rome, friends. CheBogz started out as a food truck owned by the former owners of beloved Beacon Hill icon Kusina Filipina, after they got assed out of their lease in 2017. After a few bumpy years on wheels, CheBogz moved into the ground floor of the new-construction Colina Apartments in 2023, and they seemingly haven’t dumped the food truck price. Crackly pork belly sisig, chicken inahaw with a massive thigh dropped right in the middle, sweet-n-fatty longganisa, beef kare kare in rich peanut sauce… you get the idea. The inihaw and sisig both come in tofu versions and the lumpia’s on point too. This is luxurious stuff, strewn with chopped chiles and vinegar and green onions and pickly bits, and you’ll come away rejoicing that the Kusina FIlipina folks are back in the neighborhood.
6 p.m.: Dinner
Okay, you need to prep for this next round. Do a lap around the Red Apple to aid digestion, or maybe zip over to the 12th Avenue viewpoint and git yerself dazzled by the cityscape. Then follow your nose back to Homer, where the wood-fired oven is cranking out Mediterranean mezze and char-crisp pitas all night. You may know chef Logan Cox from his old job running the show at Sitka and Spruce; now he and his wife, Sara (and golden retriever, Homer) are serving up the same brand of sheer opulence over on Beacon. It’s stuff like lamb ragu over tahini, grilled parsnips in crab bisque, and anchovies with harissa butter — all to be mopped up by that fresh-as-possible bread. Even the whipped garlic starter is delirious-making. We’d tell you not to miss the soft serve at Homer, in cool rotating flavors like vanilla-marigold and fig leaf, but…
8 p.m.: Dessert
…you need to catch the miso caramel-soaked sticky toffee pudding next door at Coupe and Flute. It’s about priorities. Fundamentally, this is a pretty classic British sticky toffee pudding, with a cake made from brown sugar and Medjool dates underneath a lake of caramelized cream sauce, but the change-up here is the miso in the toffee, a perfect tinge of umami. If you have a friend with you, expect to share, because even the staunchest dessert-disliker won’t be able to keep away from this extravagant scene once they catch sight of it.
10 p.m.: Drinks
It’s been a long day! You ate like 3.75 meals and walked at least six blocks! Time to unwind with a fancy drink in a down-to-earth bar. Oak is somehow equal parts gritty dive and swanky cocktail lounge, with cinder-block decor balancing out a pretty spectacular cocktail list. Our go-to Oaktail is the Last Splash: That’s coconut-washed Dark Plantation rum, mint-lime syrup, Allspice Dram, pineapple, lime, and Ango bitters, served up. Also try the Food Forest, made from Brovo Gin, muddled lemon and lime, fresh mint, fresh basil, and CommuniTea kombucha, which is named for Beacon Hill’s best park. That’s where you start your next trip to Beacon, by the way.