If eating traditional fresh food were more convenient, everyone would choose to eat the freshest food. The benefits are obvious. Mass produced, processed foods require pesticides, hormones and fertilizers to grow them, and preservatives to extend their shelf life. When consumers ingest processed foods, all of these chemicals have to be broken down and digested and our bodies’ struggles with that can cause health problems.
So eating fresh alleviates that extra step for our digestive systems and we feel better for it. It would seem logical that living out in the country, near farms would make it easier to find fresh foods, but that’s not always the case. The farm-to-table distribution systems favor trucking fresh produce into a central hub, in a city, where these fresh foods can find their ways to kitchen tables more quickly.
The same is true for fresh fish. Logic would seem to favor living near a fishing boat harbor for garnering the freshest catch every day. But like produce, most fishermen feed a distribution system that is based centrally in a city, where the fish can be separated, categorized and treated accordingly.
Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market is world-famous not only for having the freshest fish on the West Coast, but also for its fishmongers who expertly throw the fresh fish around the market, between the stalls, without ever allowing les poissons to touch ground.
The Market is centrally located in the heart of downtown and has spawned not only a fresh fish upsurge, but also a desire for the very finest quality in other areas, as well. Whether you’re talking computer-operating systems with Microsoft, online retailing with Amazon, or everyday things like coffee, music or choosing a storage provider in Seattle, the citizens there won’t settle for second best.
Here’s a list of some of the best sources for the freshest and most eclectic culinary delights that this fascinating city has to offer.
Taylor Shellfish Farms
This seafood restaurant is located in the Capitol Hill district, an entertainment and nightlife center just east of downtown. “The Hill” is where you go to hear some of Seattle’s best live music from its large number of extraordinary local musicians. And Taylor’s is a perfect complement to an evening of searching for that unknown, new grunge band.
The restaurant has been under the same ownership for five generations, since 1890, and it even has its very own oyster farm out off Elliot Bay, so you won’t find fresher or more succulent oysters anywhere else. The service is superb and all of the fish on the menu is fresh out of the Puget Sound. Taylor’s is reported to have the most popular happy hour in the entire city.
Il Corvo Italian Restaurant
If you like perfectly cooked pasta made from the freshest ingredients, made in house daily, then Il Corvo is the place for you. All of the pastas and the breads are produced, on sight, right at the restaurant.
The vegetables, fruits, eggs and practically every ingredient served here are all farm fresh. The pasta is produced by a time-honored process, with traditional bronze dies and handmade tools, and is an al dente delight.
Il Corvo is a lunch-only restaurant located just off Pioneer Square in the southern section of downtown and is worth the usual long wait to get in.
Ballard Farmer’s Market
This farmers market has been open, year round since 2000. Its food comes exclusively from local Washington state farms. It is in Ballard, a district northwest of downtown and runs along the cobblestone stretch of Ballard Ave. for a couple of blocks.
There is every type of fresh produce imaginable in the booths and stores of this meandering marketplace. And the fresh meats are all locally produced, and often dressed right at the location where you purchase them.
You can get your fill by simply walking around this market and tasting the incredible samples that are readily proffered from the friendly vendors. A day spent at the Ballard Farmer’s Market will reward not only your taste buds, but fulfill your culinary dreams, as well.
The FOB Poke Bar
The ‘FOB’ in the name of this Hawaiian fresh fish poke bar stands for “Fresh Off the Boat”, and is it ever. Just a few blocks north of the Pike Place Market on the route to the Space Needle, FOB is fast and casual, but there is nothing casual about the rigid attention to delivering the absolute freshest ingredients possible in every bowl.
The proteins available to drop in the incredible salad/rice mixtures range from the standard tuna and salmon to mashed spicy tuna, octopus, tofu, and even beef tataki. You’ll have a tough time deciding which one order.