Seattle is well known for its restaurants. Home to celebrity chefs Ethan Stowell and Tom Douglas, this city knows how to eat and eat well. From oysters to macaroni and cheese, we know food. And when the dinner plates have been cleared, Seattlelites have equally strong opinions about dessert. Few subjects are more divisive than the topic of the best cupcake in the city, where to get the most delicious ice cream, and who makes the tastiest pie.
As with all of life’s most pressing questions, you will learn the most if you seek your own answers. To that end, we offer The Sugar Addict’s Guide to Seattle, a road map of our city’s classic and most beloved desserts. Eat a light dinner, wear stretchy pants, and set out on a sweet and sugary quest to choose your own favorites.
When it comes to these minature confections, Seattle is firmly divided into two camps: Trophy Cupcakes and Cupcake Royale.
-Trophy Cupcakes is our city’s go-to for classic flavors like Lemon, Vanilla Chocolate, and Triple Chocolate. We recommend the Red Velvet, a decadently scarlet treat topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting.
-Cupcake Royale pushes the envelope with flavors such as Salted Caramel, Whiskey Maple Bacon, and our favorite, the Dance Party (pictured). Vanilla buttercake is topped with pink vanilla buttercream, making this cupcake a party of butter dipped in sugar and magic.
via Eater Seattle @ Flickr
Seattle’s ice cream scene has exploded in the last five years. 2008 brought us two incredible shops, Full Tilt Ice Cream and Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, followed in 2009 by Bluebird Microcreamery. Each shop offers a unique spin on the world of ice cream.
-Full Tilt boasts flavors from around the world, including Thai Tea and Mexican Chocolate. Be sure to bring quarters for the pinball machines because nothing goes better with ice cream than a rousing game of pinball.
-Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream draws inspiration from local Seattle businesses. Their coffee ice cream features Stumptown Coffee, while their Theo Chocolate ice cream showcases our favorite local and fair-trade chocolate maker. Make your dessert extra-special and order your scoop in a homemade waffle cone.
-Bluebird Microcreamery’s all-natural ice cream highlights local flavors as well. Try the Elysian Stout ice cream and be sure to stop by in the summer for Northwest Strawberry, one of the best strawberry ice creams in existence.
There has been a whisper in the air recently, a rumor that pie is the new cupcake. With local pie shops popping up all over the place, we are inclined to agree. If you would like to explore Seattle’s growing pie culture, head to High 5 Pie and A la Mode Pies.
-High 5 Pie really could be your grandmother’s pie. Made with founder Dori Cone’s grandma Molly’s butter crust, each High 5 pie is delicate yet supple, perfect with a cup of coffee. Try the Lemon Shaker, a tart delight.
-A la Mode Pies opened in Phinney Ridge in November 2011 and has been a neighborhood staple ever since. We recommend the Mexican Chocolate Mousse (pictured). This decadent pie is spiced with a hint of cayenne and topped with silky whipped cream and cinnamon. Bonus: A la Mode delivers right to your doorstep.
If you follow our guide to the letter, we guarantee your Seattle experience will be sweet. Sure, you might need to follow up with a juice fast but once you taste the scrumptious darlings of our city, you’ll agree it was totally worth it.
By: Alida Moore is a freelance writer living in Seattle and the author of Pantsless in Seattle. Raised in Texas, Alida loves football and good barbecue. She is addicted to coffee, sparkly things, running and people.