Tentative Plan for Seven Hour Layover: comments welcome
Light rail to Pike Place (arriving around 12pm): small chowder at Pike Place Chowder
Walk to Dahlia. Buy pastries and sweets for later (and on the plane)
Walk to Sitka and Spruce: light lunch (2 courses)
Walk to Victrola coffee
Walk to Vivace Espresso
Bus to Walrus and Carpenter: a cocktail and a few courses
Bus to Essex Bar: cocktail and a few bits (if I can manage)
Car service to Sea Tac at 7:20 arriving at 8pm.
Aside from restaurant choices, (1) coffee selection (where else should I go? Particularly in Ballard), (2) feasibility of getting to Sea-Tac in a car in 30-40 min at that time of day, (3) additional suggestions for pastry-bakery-pie would be appreciated and (4)a place to buy NW berries (Marion, Tay, Boysen) if it would be better outside the market.
Depends on the day of the week, but if you are on Capitol Hill you could check out Crumble & Flake, which is just a few blocks North of Sitka & Spruce. Bakery Nouveau just opened a branch there too, a bit farther up the hill, but if you are going to walk to Victrola it would be on the way. Can't really vouch for the Wandering Goose, but it is another bakery/cafe on the same block as Victrola. I think C&F is closed Mon/Tues, but Nouveau should be open every day. Get the twice-baked almond croissant.
In Ballard, Cafe Besalu is amazing and walk-able from Walrus & C., but closes at 3 and closed Mon/Tues. Honore is another great Ballard bakery, close to Essex, but also closed Mon/Tues and closes at 4. Cafe Fiore is nice for coffee, and there is one in Ballard.
40 minutes from Ballard to Sea-Tac is certainly possible, I wouldn't think there would be much rush hour traffic that late, but if there is a Mariners game or something there could be slow spots.
Berries aren't going to travel well.
If you can get to one or more of the other bakeries, I'd skip Dahlia.
re: babette feasts
I go to QA market every week and rarely see berries beyond the usual blue/straw/rasp variety. Not sure I recall seeing them at Pike Place or Met Market either. Am I missing something?
I second Crumble and Flake, though by that time of day they might be sold out of a lot.
I too would not rely on buses in Ballard with that tight of a schedule. The other day it took me 15 minutes just to travel by car 1.5 mile on Market Street in the middle of a weekday! That itinerary just sounds a little too ambitious. I love W&C and Essex, but you could sub in Taylor Shellfish and some of Cap Hill's fantastic bars and have a more relaxing experience.
Thanks for the input. I am drawn to Essex because it seems out of the way and is experimental. I am partial to it because I have a friend who (against heavy odds) is trying the same thing in Jakarta of all places.
Is there a good place like Essex on Cap Hill? Less interested in vibe (want low key), more the experimentation.
My plan on the bus was to use the D corridor services which run every 10-15 min. but at this stage, I am thinking of just renting a car as to pile on taxis and the car service to the airport makes that option much more attractive. My next question would be, outside of downtown, is it feasible to park near W&C, Essex and Milstead Coffee for example fairly easily? Or will it be 10-15 min exercise just to find parking?
The bus to Ballard portion would make me nervous about timing. Not to sully the name of our transit system as I use it every day, but I wouldn't depend on it to get me anywhere in a timely fashion, especially with the deadline of a scheduled airline departure looming. A cab to Ballard would probably be less than $20 from downtown. My Uber this morning (I was running a bit late, what) was $15 to my office.