Dine and Sip Your Way Through Fall Delights in the Emerald City

Warm up to fall in Seattle at these cozy restaurants, coffeehouses and bars.

Seattle is no stranger to sweater weather, with the month of November generally accompanied by crisp air, the crunch of fallen leaves and the occasional hailstorm. From comfort food to coffeehouses to the coziest bars (and drinks), we’ve compiled a list of our favorite indoor ways to revel in the beauty of fall in the Pacific Northwest.


Comfort Food

If you’re looking to pair your brisk, scenic walk with a meal, Volunteer Park Café serves up a variety of casual, homey fare such as brioche French toast for breakfast and chicken pot pie in the afternoon. The queen of comfort food, however, might be The Fat Hen—a popular breakfast spot in Ballard offering baked egg skillets and Dungeness crab benedict with house-made hollandaise.

Pasta lovers should consider a date at Il Corvo Pasta—a Pioneer Square lunch spot that is known for its fresh-made noodles. If you’re on the hunt for the city’s best mac and cheese, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is an obvious pick. For a more formal, sit-down experience, Purple Café and Wine Bar’s Maine Lobster Baked Mac & Cheese is to die for, as well as Smith’s gouda version of mac and cheese.

For dinner, Nathan Lockwood’s Altura and Ethan Stowell’s Tavolata are both noteworthy restaurants for upscale Italian fare, serving everything from seasonal pasta dishes to pork chops and smoked fish bruschetta. On the Korean side, Revel in South Lake Union offers a relatively casual atmosphere with street-style comfort food such as dumplings, rice bowls and savory pancakes. Ba Bar is another favorite, specializing in South Asian dishes such as roast chicken, rice tamales and beef stew.


Coffee Houses

A crowd favorite among the Capitol Hill crowd, Victrola Coffee Roasters’ Pike location is not only convenient for those working downtown, but serves up some of the best coffee in the city. Make sure to swing by on a rainy Wednesday for a free, public coffee cupping to learn about the different brews and the coffee roasting process.

Lighthouse Roasters and Broadcast Coffee are a couple of small, artisan roasteries that are also noteworthy for their brews in addition to their friendly atmospheres and community events. Zoka and Caffe Ladro are a couple of other local favorites with multiple locations in and around the city. The University Village Zoka’s dim-lit atmosphere and creaky wooden floors provide the perfect cozy vibes for fall while the expansive windows at the Kirkland and Greenlake locations are great for soaking up rays on a sunny November day. Caffe Ladro also serves its acclaimed cup of Joe in 16 locations throughout the city, from Queen Anne to Edmonds and the Issaquah Highlands.

For something a little different, Callus is a coffee shop-retail store hybrid in Pioneer Square, offering local art and vintage goods alongside its brews. From workshops to pop-up shops, there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied on a chilly day.

For bookworms, Little Oddfellows in Elliott Bay Book Company is the perfect spot to cozy up with a new release. Much like its sister café, Little Oddfellows serves baked goods, sandwiches and—of course— Caffe Vita coffee.


Seasonal Drinks

Epic views of Mt. Rainier are complemented by tasty seasonal offerings at Mountaineering Club— Graduate Seattle’s cozy rooftop bar in the University District. The current menu includes options such as the “Palouse Is Loose”—a cognac and campfire whiskey concoction with toasted pecan bitters—as well as “Looking Under Logs,” a cocktail with whiskey, sherry and black trumpet mushrooms. The bar also offers hot options on the coldest of days, including “Winter in Walla Walla” and the “Hot Grasshopper.”

For beer and cider drinkers, the new Skål Beer Hall in Ballard not only has its usual drafts on tap, but also has cold-weather offerings including local mead and an Old Fashioned made with cardamom aquavit.

Percy’s and Co. is another neighborhood favorite, offering rotating specials while supplies last, such as the “Neon Desert” with prickly pear rum and allspice. Quinn’s Pub in Capitol Hill has a variety of seasonal drinks on the menu, including “Beat the Devil,” “Frida’s Imbibe” and the spiced old fashioned known as “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” Zig Zag Café is another must while downtown for its famous hot buttered rum.

Maggy Lehmicke
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