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Bar & nibble/Coffee & pastry in Cap Hill, Ballrd or Fremnt?

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Hello Seattle Hounds. First, thank you to everyone who responded to my initial query ("SF 'hound requests info"). Very much appreciate your advice/opinions!

I think we'll be at the Asian Art Museum Friday afternoon, and perhaps walking around Ballard/Fremont the next day--thus my new question above.

Also, please chime in with pros/cons of brunch downtown (maybe 94 Stewart, Cafe Campagne, Etta's or elsewhere?) or neighborhoods? Rec's?

Also, I don't see Boat Street Cafe mentioned by many. Past it's time?

Many thanks!

PS We've reserved for lunch at Matt's and dinner at Tilth. I'd like to take my chances at Sitka and Spruce with the wait tomorrow night (Fri) because it sounds delicious, cozy and happening.

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  1. Sounds like a fun itinerary. For pastry in Ballard, or all of Seattle, is Cafe Besalu. Best croissant I have ever had, and out of state reviewers have concurred.

    In Cap Hill Cafe Presse is supposed to be great, but I have not been.

    For brunch, I like both Campagne and Etta's. Etta's is more Northwestern, the other more French.

    1. If you are really up for taking chances, try elemental. We loved it, though getting a seat may mean arriving mondo early and hanging out like a vulture by the door. This is easy in good weather, because the view and the neighborhood are fun, but a drag in the rain.

      1. For coffee/pastry in Ballard, I second the previous post for Cafe Besalu. They have excellent ginger scones and pain au chocolate. For drinks/nibbles in Ballard, I vote for La Carta de Oaxaca (really good Mexican). And, SamBar is also great for cocktails and small plates. It's a bit away from the main Ballard downtown area, but is definitely worth seeking out -- it's on Market Street, but East of the central area.

        Cafe Press is great in Capitol Hill; really good food and not expensive.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MaggieSue

          The first answer to the question of coffee on Capitol Hill is always Caffe Vivace, (Denny at Broadway), which has been setting the coffee standard in Seattle for years. Closer to the Asian Art Museum is Victrola, on 15th, even more funky and studenty than Vivace, with coffee that's drinkable.

          As for Ballard, Besalu again, but note that they close early, I think 3PM.

          Fremont has a lot of coffee and pastry, but finding quality in both at the same place can be a challenge. I frequent Peet's because their drip is consistent and a good value (and as a visitor, you may want the view of the Fremont bridge as it goes up and down), but I avoid their food. The Fremont Coffee Co. has nice coffee, but it's too cold to sit on the lovely veranda, and inside you'll be surrounded by laptops. The best choice, though up the hill a bit, may be Icon Coffee, 4301 Fremont. Coffee is tasty, pastry choice is good if you're not too late in the day, and they sell the New York Times.

          1. re: Barry Foy

            Oops--update: The sign in front of Icon now says Caffe Vita. Same outfit, as far as I know.

            1. re: Barry Foy

              Icon is gone, replaced by Caffe Vita, but I have not visited them yet