Leah Explores … Capitol Hill and Ballad

Last weekend, I went of my first trip of the year, with three of my best friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. We went to Seattle to explore Capitol Hill and Ballad, and I had a fantastic time. It was so nice to go to somewhere familiar like Seattle, but avoid doing all the cliche tourist things that I have done so many times before. The main purpose of our trip was to eat, drink and be merry,whilst doing some exploring and boy did we succeed!

We rented an Air B&B apartment in Capitol Hill, which is the trendy residential area to the east of the main downtown core, where there are restaurants, coffee shops and bars aplenty. After a painless trip across the boarder on the Boltbus we headed out to explore.

The water tower in Volunteer Park

First up was Unicorn, a carnival themed bar just a short stroll from our apartment. It was here that I had one of the most delicious and outrageous meals I have ever eaten; a cornbread waffle pulled pork sandwich. Believe me when I say it was as a good as it sounds. I paired this beast of a dish with a ‘Unicorn Jizz’ coacktail (I couldn’t resist the name) which was ridiculously sweet and yummy! We then headed over to Elysian Brewing, to start on the craft beer portion of the weekend. I have a confession to make here, I’m no beer aficionado, but I was promised by my friend that by the end of the weekend I would be one step closer to being so. I started off with the Day Glow IPA followed by a glass of the Splitshot which was a milk stout and absolutely delightful. From here we wandered over to Rhein Haus which is a cavernous bar that was very lively and offered drinks by the litre. Our final stop of the night was decided to keep it classy and went just a few doors down to Cannon, a fancy bar that describes itself as a “whiskey and bitters emporium” where I had a very yummy, but very strong gin based cocktail called a Hotel Georgia.

Saturday saw the peak of our exploring. We started out late morning when we headed for brunch in a lovely little spot in Capitol Hill called Witness. Once again I indulged in another over the top decadent meal (treat yo’ self, am I right?) called a Croque’d Toad, it was described to us by our waiter as being like a toad in the hole, a croque monsieur and eggs Benedict having a baby. He wasn’t far off with the description and it was every bit as good as I imagined it would be. We then walked over to Volunteer Park, where there were some stunning views of the city from the top of the water tower (which also helped burn some calories!) From here we headed back to our apartment for a quick rest to recharge our batteries before he headed out for round two.

The Croque’d Toad at Witness

The first stop on Saturday take two was Poquito’s, also in Capitol Hill, to make the most of their happy hour and enjoy some yummy margarita’s and guacamole. From here we Uber’d (is that a verb?) over to Ballad which is another neighbourhood located to the North West of the city, for the craft beer section of our day. We began in Stoup Brewing, where I tried the Pale Ale and the American sour.We then walked around the corner (literally) to Reuben’s Brews where I had my favourite craft beers of the weekend; the Seattle Milk Stout and the Cherry Weisse. Both were absolutely delicious and I would definitely have both again. Our final stop of the craft beer tour was Populuxe Brewing, which was by far the smallest venue tucked away in a tiny little house. Here I tried the Ballad Blonde and American Stout, rounding out my attempts to become a craft beer connoisseur. By this point, some of us (no names mentioned) had had our fill of craft beer. We headed west to the historic district of Ballad Avenue, which is full of bars, restaurants, and shops. We had dinner at Bitterroot BBQ a trendy rustic style restaurant where we shared ‘The Cowboy Killer” platter, which was yummy.

Flights of craft beer at Stoup Brewing

By Sunday, it was safe to say we were all a bit tired, so we had a nice relaxing morning in our apartment before we had to be out at noon. Our first port of call was Porchlight Coffee and Records just a short walk away. We enjoyed some delicious coffee and relaxed in this lovely little coffee shop for a while. Afterwards we stopped in at The Elliot Bay Book Company, somewhere I was particularly excited to go to. I can’t resist a good independent book store, and this one was particularly dreamy. Next, we stopped by the Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room on Pike Street (when in Seattle…) for a quick look around. Across the street was Six Arms, a pub that had a great beer selection, where two of my friends had been before, here I had the Terminator Stout and the very yummy Pomegranate Cider. Our final stop for our time in Seattle was the Cheesecake Factory. As a bunch of Brit’s living in Canada, we were all pretty excited to get our fix of enormous portions and of course,  decadent cheesecake.

Our journey back to Canada on the Bolt Bus was as pain free as our journey down, and we arrived back to some classic Vancouver weather; rain. All in all, I had a fantastic weekend, and I loved exploring a different side of Seattle that I hadn’t seen before,  I felt like it was a great way to reinvigorate a city where I felt I had seen it all before. I would highly recommend Capitol Hill as a great way to see a different side of the city.

Sneaky Space Needle views from Capitol Hill



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