Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegan Eats in Washington State

Today’s post is long over-due but it’s one I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  So here we go!

Last summer Brian and I went to Washington State for our vacation.  Brian is really into the outdoors – hiking, backpacking, and exploring the wilderness – and with the mountains, beaches, rainforests, and wildlife, there are ample opportunities for outdoor activities.  I enjoy the fresh air and hiking, too (as long as I can come home to a bed and indoor plumbing at the end of the day) so I was looking forward to those things, as well. 

An even bigger draw for me, however, is that Seattle is well known for its vegan scene and I had a long list of places I wanted to check out while we were there.  Sadly, I don’t have too many pictures of the great food I ate.  This was before I started this blog so I wasn’t really into that yet.  

It was unbelievably foggy in at Olympic National Park near Port Angeles - but I was on vacation and determined to wear my sunglasses!

Port Angeles

Before Seattle, we actually drove up to Port Angeles to stay for a few days.  While there we wanted to drive up Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park, go to a rainforest, and see some beaches.  Oh yeah, and visit Forks – the hometown of the fictional characters from Twilight (my favorite series after Harry Potter).  Incidentally, we saw the just-released Eclipse in Port Angeles at the only movie theater within 40 miles of Forks...but I’ll spare you details.  (You can let me know if you want to hear more about the "Twi-hards" in Forks, WA.)  

I can’t go into much detail about vegan food in Port Angeles – mostly because there isn’t a whole lot of it.  I only have one picture.  And it's fruit.

First Street Haven – We went to First Street Haven for breakfast the three days we were in town.  I got the only vegan item on the menu all three days – a fresh fruit bowl and plain bagel with jam.  I will say that it was a pretty darn tasty fruit salad and their coffee was good and strong.

Fresh fruit bowl from First Street Haven

Thai Peppers – We had dinner here the first night.  They have a TON of vegetarian menu items!  I had the Veggie Green Curry, which is bamboo, bell peppers, green peas, Thai basil, and pineapple mixed with a curry/coconut milk sauce.  I also added fresh tofu and a side of jasmine rice.  Everything was so fresh and not at all greasy (like most Thai places around here).

Bushwhacker – I think the name says it all.  I had the salad bar.  Let’s leave it at that.

Domino's Pizza – It was just about the only place open on the 4th of July.  I had their thin crust veggie pizza.  Some pizzas are awesome sauce without cheese but this one would have benefited from a sprinkling of Daiya or at lease some nutritional yeast.  Ah well.  It was vegan and they delivered.

Country Aire Natural Foods - A great little health food store just down the block from First Street Haven, I was able to restock my Lara Bar supply and get some fresh apples and bananas for lunch.  


Pike Place Market - Pike Place is an open-air market with fresh produce at every turn.  It's a great place to walk through every day because there's always different things and people to see.  A downside is that it's very crowded and smells like fish. 

Plum Bistro – Located in the Capitol Hill section of town, Plum Bistro is a beautiful, airy, slightly upscale yet relaxed gem of a restaurant.  The menu is completely vegan and offers inventive and unique dishes.  They serve you water with cucumber, orange, and lemon slices – so simple yet so refreshing!  Their alcohol is also vegan, which is a bonus.

I can't remember exactly but I think this was a pineapple mojito.  Whatever it was it was awesome!  You can see the cucumber and citrus water in the background.

Avocado sushi roll

The Mama Africa Burger - a millet and quinoa burger with grilled onions and salsa, served with sweet potato fries.  Brian had the Crazy Jamaican Burger.  Both were incredible!

Mighty-O Donuts – Although I ate my weight in Boston Cream donuts when I was a kid, I haven’t so much as had a craving for a donut in many years.  Yet when we decided to go to Seattle, the first thing that popped into my head was “Mighty-O!”  There was something about an all-vegan and organic donut shop that was very intriguing.  We didn’t go until the last day of our vacation and it was late in the afternoon, so many of their donuts were sold out.  No worries, though – there were still plenty of options.  I ordered a chocolate peanut butter donut.  It was dense and cake-like and absolutely delicious.  I was tempted to order a few more for the road but I exercised restraint.  Instead I bought a really cool Mighty-O shirt.

Chocolate PB donut from Mighty-O

Wayward Vegan Café – I read the most amazing reviews about Wayward so this was another place on my “must eat” list and I ended up being a little let down.  It’s basically a vegan greasy spoon.  I left feeling full but not quite satisfied.  I’m glad we went but I probably wouldn’t go back if we find ourselves in Seattle again.

The Griddle Combo - french toast, tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, and a sausage patty (my order)
Biscuits Maximus - 2 herb biscuits smothered in mushroom gravy with a side of garlic steamed greens (Brian's order - he regrets not choosing the Biscuits Minimus instead) 

Wild Ginger – One night for dinner we ate at Wild Ginger.  It’s sort of like P.F. Chang’s but way nicer.  They have a separate vegetarian menu and nearly all of the items on it are vegan.  For an appetizer, Brian and I shared the Vietnamese Buddha Vegetable Rolls with pineapple dipping sauce.  I can’t remember what I had for my entrée (something with tofu) but it was really good.  We also shared an order of Sichuan Green Beans.  We had to specify vegan preparation on those because they are also on the regular menu.  There were also a few vegan desserts but I was too full to try one.

Cinnamon Works – Cinnamon Works is a little bakery at Pike Place Market.  A lot of their items are vegan but some are not.  Brian and I each bought a HUGE cookie that ended up being our (highly unhealthy) lunch.  Mine was snicker doodle and was the first vegan snicker doodle that is as good as my grandma’s.  Super delish!  Brian had an oatmeal raisin that was pretty darn tasty, too.

Pike Place Bar and Grill – Honestly, I can’t even remember what I ordered here.  After looking at the menu just now online, I think it was the grilled vegetables sandwich minus the cheese.  But I can’t be sure.  Anyway, the bar is located in Pike Place Market and looks really cool inside. 

Brian enjoyed his beer sampler.

Sidecar for Pigs Peace – According to their website, they are the state’s only 100% vegan store.  Sidecar for Pigs Peace is owned by PigsPeace Sanctuary, another place I wanted to go to but didn’t have a chance.  Next time.  Anyway, the store is located in the University District, practically right across the street from The Wayward Café.  I didn’t really see anything new that Vegan Essentials or Cosmo’s doesn’t carry but it was fun to look around.  I bought a cute little piggy shirt for my goddaughter and some Glad Corn for myself.

Starbucks – Nothing unusual to report here and actually, I only had regular coffee there. Actually, one day I tried a cup of coffee from their Clover Brewing System, which is only found in select locations (none in Michigan).  Honestly, the taste wasn't all that different from their regularly brewed coffee.  Maybe if I did a side-by-side comparison I could tell.  

Most mornings on our way to Starbucks, we’d stop at the grocery store so I could buy a soy yogurt and fresh fruit cup to have with my grande iced brewed coffee.  The cool thing about Starbucks in Seattle (and actually all restaurants and on the street) is that you don’t have to throw anything away.  You either recycle or compost just about everything.  And the employees were way friendlier there than they are here (I'm talking to you Ms. "Rephrase my Coffee Order in a Condescending Tone"). 

Even with all the vegan options, I am still quite, um, particular about what I eat so most lunches were Larabars and fruit.  With my unpredictable stomach, sometimes I need to stick with what's safe.  And I was saving myself for dinner.  I know there are tons more vegan restaurants in Seattle.  I can't wait to go back someday!

Temps in the 80's and 4 feet of snow on Mt. Ranier...in July!


  1. What an inviting review of vegan Seattle!

  2. Wouldn't it be nice to find a resteraunt that sold brown rice veggies and a bottle of braggs!

    1. Seriously! I am so disappointed by the lack of places that offer brown rice as an option! And Braggs? HA! :)

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