July 22, 2014
So, you’ve made it to Pioneer Square to visit us, or for a sporting event, or to tour the underground. Great! Are you aware of all the other amazing businesses and public spaces in the area?
Too often people leave the Square because they are unsure what to do next. Of course, we recommend visiting our shop for a free truffle tasting, don’t miss out on that, but then likely you’ll ask us, “What do you recommend next”. We have a lot of recommendations, so we’ll tackle Pioneer Square’s goodness in multiple posts.
Let's start with the flavor tasting experiences. This is different than lunch options, of which there are many and we will write about later. If you are starting from Intrigue Chocolate Co, it is likely that you are what we call a “flavor explorer”, those who enjoy experimentation and discovery of new ingredients, creative uses, and interesting flavors. Here are places we recommend in Pioneer Square that do tastings and/or just have really cool stuff to discover in the same theme.
1) Sake Nomi
A perfect place for beginners to learn sake, or for connoisseur to talk to an expert. The owner, Johnny, is knowledgeable and approachable. There is a $5 fee for tasting that goes toward a purchase if you choose. Sit at the bar. Watch some Japanese TV. Do not order a sake bomb.
2) Dry Soda
Think of Dry Soda like a wine bar meets a sparkling water fountain. This local NW company makes slightly sweet sodas in a full range of flavors like rhubarb, cucumber, vanilla bean, and blood orange. The tasting is free and the staff is friendly.
3) E Smith Mercantile
Part antique boutique, part apothecary, part cocktail bar, this little shop has it all. They specialize in the unique, like truffle honeys, mustache waxes, old fashioned candies. You won’t be disappointed with a quick stop. After 5pm they open their cocktail bar and we recommend trying some of the prohibition-era cocktails.
4) Trabant Coffee
Coffee is not hard to find in this city. It seems like every corner has a coffee shop and all of them serve a rare-single-origin bean of some kind. But there are a few coffee roasters and cafés we’d recommend has having something a little extra, and Trabant is one of them. Minimal décor, knowledgeable staff, and a clover machine really put the focus on the coffee. A cup can get a bit pricey, but for you coffee lovers it is well worth it.
5) London Plane
Avocado and albacore toast, freshly baked bread with fruit preserves, flower bouquets, all make this new space quite charming. This is a popular spot for locals to pick up fresh loaves of sourdough bread, kitchen wares, and something interesting for the dinner table.