Far from a small hometown with nothing to do…..I often forget that Seattle is a tourist epicenter. And for good reason, despite my lack of appreciation for it. Sometimes I have to step down from my internationally-fueled-pedestal and appreciate the unique culture that I am surrounded with. These left-wing liberals with their vegan diets, tight pants and flannels surely have helped create a distinctive city full of oxymorons.
A big city of little companies: microbrews or micro-bikinis?
Yes, Seattlites spawned the mega-corporation Amazon, but did you know there are dozens, if not hundreds, of unique used/mixed bookstores that are filled to the brim with dusty novels, stickers that read “KEEP SEATTLE HOSTILE” or ‘zines written by imprisoned citizens? Head over to Third Place Books, or down to Pike’s Place to Check out Lamplight Books, Lion Heart, or BLMF “literary saloon”. And grab a cup of joe while you’re at it.
Speaking of coffee! Yes, we also are home to the infamous Starbucks coffee company, but I’ll bet you my britches that you won’t find better coffee than in one of our thousands of independently-owned cafe’s and drive through espresso stands. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to go a half-mile in Seattle without coming across a drive-through coffee stand. Yep. We’re a bunch of caffeine addicts.
Even more interesting is the diversity of these coffee institutions. You have 24-hr funky-fresh Sureshot Espresso with it’s dread-headed baristas slangin’ beans in their ultra-hipster lounge. Then there are your sweet-as-sugar girls at Gourmet Latte or Big Foot Java (don’t forget Seattle is home to the Sasquatch!), who own the drive-through espresso game.
Well, almost…… Seattle does have an interesting coffee-counter-culture. What’s that, you ask? Prudes beware! Just over 15 years ago, the first lingerie-coffee stands popped up. Cowgirls Espresso and Baristas are drive-through coffee companies dedicated to serving your lattes a little more scandalously. Yeah, you read that right…..naked coffee. But here’s an even bigger scoop:
While you are safe trying out a Cowgirls’ or Baristas’ white-chocolate-white-coffee-coconut-milk-cappuccino (or whatever your heart desires) there are multiple other “knock off” bikini baristas that are known for serving a little more than their beverages, if you catch my drift. Here’s an article about a recent chain, aptly named “Java Juggs” whose owner/madam was fined and shut down for running a prostitution ring out of her latte company: Java Juggs DRAMA. So Seattle-newbies beware: if you are headed up to an unknown drive-through coffee stand, your friendly neighborhood barista just might be naked.
The good news is, if you need a cold beer to settle your nerves….Seattle is also microbrew central. The biggest debate is whether your bar serves up Manny’s or Mac N Jack’s as their Seattle staple. Most Seattle-chain restaurants are also microbreweries (think The Ram or BJ’s), but you will find the best hops here:
I’ll be updating everyone with more of “Seattle’s best” this month. I think it took leaving for a year in order to appreciate all that this city has to offer. What are your favorite parts of Seattle? Or better yet, your home town? I’m headed on a 2-week-long road trip around the USA and would love tip and hints from locals, you yokals!
Don’t forget to subscribe to Away We Stray so I can keep in contact with you. Much love:
Join in the Adventure!