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The Seattle Summer 25

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The Seattle Summer 25

Simply being alive during summer in Seattle comes with a lot of pressure. Sure, we're so "lucky" to finally have consistent sunshine, but we also better hurry up and have fun immediately before the dark, drippy backdrop returns. Use the slipping sands of good weather wisely (and urgently) with these 25 hacks for making the most of the season. Some highlights include fried chicken at a secret beach, coconut curry under a pergola, tapas at a Spanish dive, and more.

Simply being alive during summer in Seattle comes with a lot of pressure. Sure, we're so "lucky" to finally have consistent sunshine, but we also better hurry up and have fun immediately before the dark, drippy backdrop returns. Use the slipping sands of good weather wisely (and urgently) with these 25 hacks for making the most of the season. Some highlights include fried chicken at a secret beach, coconut curry under a pergola, tapas at a Spanish dive, and more.

photo credit: Nate Watters

We're not suggesting that you skip deep-fried butter, Krusty Pups, turkey legs, strawberry soft serve, and curly fry bricks at the Washington State Fair. But don’t you dare leave Puyallup city limits without a double cheeseburger from this drive-thru. Clearly duplicating a certain California-based chain, Out & About assembles charred patties, crisp iceberg, grilled onions, thick-cut tomato, and gooey american all between special sauce-smeared buns. - Kayla Sager-Riley

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The Puyallup Burger That’s Better Than The Fried Stuff At The State Fair image

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photo credit: Nate Watters

Leave the brining, smoking, and basting to the experts. At Wood Shop, you’ll find crackly pork rib tips, tender brisket, and jalapeño mac and cheese. The noisy joy on the patio can be heard from the street—there’s plenty of picnic tables, occasional live music playing, and a vibe easily mistakable for your own summer BBQ, so give those tongs and hickory pellets the day off. - Kayla Sager-Riley

photo credit: Nate Watters

Sure, you could load up a wicker basket with brie and figs, but the best kind of picnic involves fried chicken. The colossal wings at this mini-mart are perfectly golden, and taste even better doused in Frank’s Red Hot. Grab a sack and head north to Pritchard Beach, where you can get chicken greased up at the only topographic type of beach Seattle has—some grass and rocks near water. - Kayla Sager-Riley

photo credit: Nate Watters

If you pull up to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal and see a mile-long car back up, it means one thing: you're going to miss the boat. But there’s a silver lining. You have time to pick up a pile of adobada mulitas before the next departure. Stroll to Taquito Feliz and order anything marked with a ferry icon—they know the deal. They’ll make it snappy, and you’ll be starboard, peeling back the foil in no time. - Kayla Sager-Riley

photo credit: Nate Watters

Fun fact: Washington is the top commercial producer of rhubarb in the U.S., so it’s fitting that The Flora Bakehouse’s rhubarb sundae is a winner. It has custardy vanilla soft serve, ribbons of gingery rhubarb compote, and crunched-up meringue. Light enough to eat before a hike and served at a vegetarian bakery that has an urban rooftop garden—it doesn’t get more PNW than that, folks. - Kayla Sager-Riley

The Sundae image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Say what you will about Dante’s Inferno, but the ninth circle of hell is Pike Place Market come summer. When the tourists high on shellfish fumes become too much, duck into nearby Jarrbar. It’s a sexy little Spanish dive where you can cosplay as a carefree Spaniard who snacks on tinned sardines and treats disco like a sport. Why yes, we do want overpriced marcona almonds with that. - Aimee Rizzo

The Escape From Pike Place image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Deception Pass isn’t the only reason to plan a Whidbey day. Do it for the Italian cold cut-stuffed semolina roll, too. And despite being situated on a snoozy island road where Wes Anderson would get some ideas, the sandwiches at this quirky market are well worth the rigamarole. Call to order in advance when you’re in line for the ferry—or prepare to wait an hour for a (phenomenal) prosciutto and mozzarella. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Sidney Carey

When you feel trapped in an infinite time loop of sipping IPA tasters at your usual five places in Ballard, head to Bale Breaker for a change of pace. Keeping things interesting is an enormous gravel patio with fire pits, multiple cider options from Yonder (hello, pineapple-lime-cardamom), slushies, and the Dough Joy donuts trailer on Saturdays. - Aimee Rizzo

The Ballard Brewery To Visit When You’re Sick Of Ballard Breweries image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Aside from being our preferred partytime HQ this summer fueled by drag brunches, a stupendous burger, and strawberry-watermelon margaritas served in disco balls, Dreamland makes a damn fine Jell-O shot. Sticky and sweet, the texture is like fresh fruit jam, and never gloops out in one gelatinous glob. Gourmet. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Nate Watters

Yes, technically outside food is allowed, but it still feels rebellious to stuff a burrito into your bag and march past T-Mobile Park security. Pick up a vegan al pastor burrito from Rojo’s in Pioneer Square, loaded with grilled pineapple, cashew sour cream, and guacamole. Without it, spending hours watching the Mariners lose won’t be worth it. - Kayla Sager-Riley

photo credit: Nate Watters

It doesn't get more Seattle than a pizzeria with solar panels, a chicken coop, and pies topped with Washington apples and Beecher’s. At Humble Pie, you can orchestrate a last-minute pizza party on a patio that’s one wind chime away from being someone's Queen Anne backyard garden. - Kayla Sager-Riley

photo credit: Nate Watters

While the entire Puget Sound freaks out about Copper River sockeye season, calmly achieve your summer salmon quota by way of poke from Ono in Edmonds. Lunching on perfect, miso-marinated fish from a waterfront vantage point is so much better than scrambling to find a seafood restaurant with a Copper River special that hasn’t completely sold out. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Westward

Blowing your rainy day fund on Hama Hamas and Champagne at Westward might not be financially responsible. But it sure is fun to lounge on Adirondack chairs, take in the Lake Union view, and slurp shellfish. And if raw isn't your style, we’re fans of the baked, breadcrumbed oysters with dungeness crab butter—especially with beef lardo from Bateau added on top. - Kayla Sager-Riley

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photo credit: Nate Watters

Well, someone had to take a stand against sad rooftop food. At this total SLU scene, not only do you get an unobstructed view of Seattle and its many construction cranes, but you get great Lebanese snacks, too—like green pea falafel, salmon kebabs, grilled corn slathered in za’atar mayo, and other stuff that hits just right underneath the sun with a complicated cocktail. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Nate Watters

This classic fish and chips shop decided to rebrand itself and subsequently get really into natty wine. (Face it, we all have that friend.) And now, it’s the best thing to happen to Green Lake. Do your obligatory loop, order up some panko-crusted cod and hand-cut fries, and then wash it all down with a bottle of funky-floral Slovenian skin contact. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Nate Watters

If “going to the farmer’s market” is code for carrying a graphic tote and looking at produce you likely won’t buy, we have a game changer for you. Follow the scent of cumin-dusted vegetables sizzling at the Patty Pan stand. This Seattle farmers market staple makes a legendary quesadilla that we just can’t quit. The homemade tortilla overflows with chard, carrots, zucchini, purple beets, and lots of melty cheddar. - Kayla Sager-Riley

The Snack That’ll Sustain You At The Farmers Market image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Freeway overpasses and the whir of low-flying planes don't make Georgetown a summer destination. Voi Cà Phê does. This walk-up window serves an exceptional pork sausage bánh mì, with tart pickled radish, caramelized patty edges, and plenty of herbs to remind you that it’s the rain’s off-season. Between the iced coconut phin lattes and the bright yellow sidewalk seating, you might as well be somewhere tropical. - Kayla Sager-Riley

photo credit: Ray's Cafe

There’s some kind of chemical reaction that happens when you’re on Ray’s Shilshole Bay balcony deck with an ice-cold goblet of white wine, free bread, and a good-ass crab cake. Yeah, we’re pretty sure that’s dopamine releasing in the brain. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Aimee Rizzo

Taste Of India’s outdoor dining situation covers half of an entire city block, with a massive pergola and a dorm room’s worth of string lights—perfect for an impromptu group dinner on a warm night. Don’t miss the mini samosas, tandoori wings, or coconut curry with fish so tender that you could enjoy it without teeth. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Nate Watters

Treat your Subaru’s cupholder to Ghost Note’s espresso float—a.k.a. root beer spiked with a double-shot. Sarsparilla spice has a field day alongside non-alcoholic rum, while vegan cream bridges the gap between soda and latte. Finally, there’s a dash of root beer bitters, because why not? Roll those windows down and blast some Rubblebucket. - Aimee Rizzo

The Over-The-Top Iced Coffee image

photo credit: Foundry Vineyards

Sometimes you just need to slither around like a slug outside of your own home and say things like, “Is that a hint of lime zest I detect?” For an activity that’s low-key, sample some natural sparkling chenin blanc at Foundry’s chill Pioneer Square tasting room. The space also houses Fruitsuper—shop afterward for main-character homewares like incense cones and ceramic utensil crocks. There, you did something today. - Aimee Rizzo

The Lazy-Day Wine Tasting image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Sure, the gum wall is cool, but if you really want to impress out-of-town visitors with a view that could only happen in this region, take them to Marination Ma Kai on Alki for Hawaiian food. And while you’re blissfully face-first in miso slaw-topped fish sandwiches and rum-spiked P.O.G., they will gasp at the exceptional landscape. - Kayla Sager-Riley

photo credit: Nate Watters

We have two summer modes—twirling saffron spaghetti while seated on San Fermo’s rickety porch, and daydreaming about twirling saffron spaghetti while seated on San Fermo’s rickety porch. It’s a nice-weather starter kit: a shiplap-covered historic home, homemade pasta, and coupes of pink bubbles. - Aimee Rizzo

photo credit: Nate Watters

Summer Fridays are like Rumspringa or Bravo reunion specials: there are no rules. Say you want to post up at Ridgewood Bottle & Tap with your laptop and a sake-spiked prickly pear slushie while the parade of cute Phinney Ridge puppies prance along North 67th. That is your right. It’s only fair to tack on some cornmeal-battered onion rings from Red Mill next door. Want another slushie? Choose from five different kinds. - Aimee Rizzo

The Sneaky Friday Slushie image

photo credit: Nate Watters

That third-tier friend’s party went from a tame pint of Manny’s to a shot-fueled sh*tshow. Now, it's after 9pm, the sun has barely set, and hunger is kicking in. The burger at Loretta’s can resuscitate even someone who has fallen victim to experiencing a birthday celebration after the age of 25. And if you're not feeling like a complete zombie, bring said burger across the street to Good Voyage for a pét-nat curtain call. - Kayla Sager-Riley

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