As we continued down the West Coast of Canada/US we drove into Seattle.
In terms of healthy eats in Seattle, we held high hopes given we were staying around the corner of the famous Pike Place Market. Whilst this was a great place to watch the fish throwing of the morning and grab an organic fresh juice, there wasn’t much else in terms of already prepared whole-foods (we had no kitchen) so we turned to Wholefoods.
Having lived in America for work in the past, I became Wholefoods obsessed and the store on Westlake Ave, was like a knight in shining armor – and it was one of the big guys! It’s fair to say that without this chain in Seattle, we would have been in a little trouble – there wasn’t a whole lot of options and given we were suffering badly from our first night on a food tour (we called it our “Seattle food hangover” I’ll post more about it this this week!), we had no motivation to search any further and we ate here for most of the stay. Veggies get in my belly!
Another great Wholefoods type set up in Seattle was Madison Market Central Co-op in Capitol Hill. It is a similar feel to Wholefoods, just a little smaller. Right around the corner from the co-op is a healthy eats cafe called Healo. We didn’t spend a lot of time there, but Capitol Hill seem to have more healthy eats than anywhere else in the city that we would have loved to have checked out.
We had one night in Portland and regretted it as soon as we arrived – it is a great city and has so many hikes, wineries and national parks to visit only a short drive away (who were all closed whilst we were there because of the US budget drama, really disappointing!). On the food front, the community in Portland is really passionate about local and sustainable produce and we found that 95% of the food on each menu came from Oregon alone. There are LOADS of options if you visit Portland, but we ended up here (and LOVED it):
Wholefoods – Need I say more? We stopped here for lunch once and grabbed ourselves some snacks for the plane.
Fireside – Great dinner spot although it isn’t organic. Food is sourced locally and is light, healthy and tasty.
Salt & Straw – This place is amazing and I don’t even like ice-cream that much! Salt & Straw is Portland’s farm-to-cone ice cream shop. All of their ice-cream is handmade in small-batches using only all-natural local dairy with the best local, sustainable and organic ingredients that Oregon has to offer. The flavours were out of this world amazing. I sampled the Sweet Pepper Jam and Goat’s Cheese (before you screw up your faces.. it was AMAZING). Other flavours included Sweet Potato with Candied Pecans, Almond Brittle with Fresh Figs and Purple Lavender (check out their website for more crazy combinations). The best bit? The team at “Salt and Straw” are happy to offer you as many samples as you like (although this makes choosing just one flavour so much more difficult!). They are passionate about ice-cream, made the old fashioned way. If you visit Portland, this place is a MUST.
We had a kitchen in San Francisco and given that we had missed having a “green” breakfast, we stocked up at Wholefoods and enjoyed organic deliciousness each morning. We spent a lot of time sight-seeing and walking the streets of San Francisco, so Wholefoods yet again was another life-saver on the run. There was one restaurant however that I have to make special mention of (we ate their twice – the menu was that mouth watering!), this was Nopa.
This place had fantastic food and a great bar scene, perfect place to go if you feel like getting amongst it. Nopa serves up wholesome rustic food, specialising in organic wood-fired cuisine. The food is simple, seasonal and sourced locally. In my opinion, it was by far the best place to eat in San Fran. If you haven’t booked, you can take your chances on a walk-in, but you might be waiting awhile. We were really lucky both times and we just grabbed a drink at the bar whilst we waited for a table (an hour tops).
Sister of Nopa, Nopalito is an organic Mexican restaurant in San Fran. Food was great and this place is really popular amongst the locals (always a good sign!). Whilst food was delicious and I would definitely go back there, if I had to choose between the two, I would pick Nopa! Same situation with bookings/walk in’s here – maybe about an hour wait and we didn’t have the option of grabbing a drink at the bar. If you do check out Nopalito, I would definitely make a reservation or make sure you have a car/cab waiting to check out some other bars nearby.
We ran out of time to to try these restaurants, but we heard good things:
The Plant Cafe – These guys have a juice bar and smoothies as well as salads, pizza and some mouthwatering mains. They don’t serve red meat, but do serve organic chicken, duck, and wild fish. I heard great things about their veggie burger also! They also have a location at the SF airport (terminal 2) which is great if you fly out of here!
Bar Jules – All of their ingredients are organic and they do not use any GMO ingredients. They are committed to organic, local and sustainable produce. They are open for lunch and dinner most days, with brunch on Sundays. Menu changes daily!
Judahlicious – These guys provide juices, smoothies, raw foods, and vegan cuisine where 99% of their food is organic. This looks like a lunch and an early dinner venue.
Getting active in San Francisco is easy, all you have to do is walk the streets! There are lots of hills that will get your heart-rate pumping.
One of the best things we did in San Francisco was hire a bike and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito – it is simply gorgeous and you get great views of the bridge on your way over! We took our own Wholefoods packed lunch and relaxed in the park by the sea – perfect way to spend the day. You can catch the ferry back or ride home, it is completely up to you. Highly recommend!
If you are doing the drive from San Francisco to LA in one day, I recommend taking your own lunch. We stopped off at, yep you guessed it, Wholefoods and set ourselves up for the perfect day on the road.
We stopped in Santa Barbara for dinner where Andrew had been recommended a vegan restaurant worth trying. Now whilst I have nothing against vegan restaurants (I was vegan for around a year so no haters please!), I cringe at the thought of having of having to eat at one only because I no longer touch any soy or any of those vegan substitutes for meat etc. This particular restaurant catered for that so it is worth a mention:
Adama Vegan Cuisine: These guys are completely gluten-free! I had the vegetable curry which was nice and the dessert was delicious if you are looking to spoil.
Another one in Santa Barbara was recommended to me by a friend was the Alchemy Arts Centre. These guys serve breakfast, lunch and dinner some nights where food is local, organic, seasonal vegetarian.
Phew! Tomorrow I post about our last stop: LA. This place is the home of healthy organic eating so it requires it’s own post (I am getting post holiday foodie blues just thinking about it!).
Until then, if you have anything to add, please do! I would love to hear your thoughts.