Earlier this summer, I got an email from a reader politely asking me to “show West Seattle some love.”
“We are literally stranded in West Seattle and that means our focus on food and drink must be necessarily close by,” this reader wrote.
West Seattleites, I hear you loud and clear. And after traveling to what feels like a new island three times in the past week, I understand the desire to stay there and never leave. Add in all those wonderful city parks, trails and the options for beautiful views, and the thought of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Marginal Way just to run an errand or grab dinner in another neighborhood sounds terrible.
Luckily you’ve got wonderful restaurants scattered throughout Alki, Admiral, Delridge and Fauntleroy. More than I could ever dream of getting to in a few days — even with a questionable amount of stomach space. Still, I had to try.
One morning I ventured over and grabbed a coffee at Sound & Fog (4735 40th Ave. S.W., Seattle; soundandfog.com) a sleek, modern shop serving coffee from Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters. There’s also a rotating calendar of featured roasters: one domestic, one international, that changes each month. Denver’s Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters and Manhattan Coffee Roasters from Rotterdam, Netherlands, is on tap for September. There’s also a fairly robust wine selection with an emphasis placed on natural wines and small producers.
My cafe au lait was just how I liked it; with just the right amount of steamed whole milk and a friendly barista calling out a joyous “Olé!” when my drink was finished. Shoutout to C&P Coffee and Olympia Coffee Roasters for keeping me caffeinated on previous visits.
Here are the other things I have had and loved in West Seattle over the past week:
Fried Bologna Sandwich and Cornmeal Crusted Prawns at Lady Jaye
I was one of those kids who ate bologna and mustard sandwiches for lunch all the time. Seeing the fried bologna sandwich ($15) was like seeing an old friend all grown up. The bologna was crispy, the mustard spicy and there was a tangy dill pickle slaw and even a few kettle chips all tucked into a hefty bun. What’s not to love? I also really enjoyed the cornmeal crusted prawns ($15) for their shellac coating of crisp cornmeal, which helped insulate the prawns, ensuring they were still snappy.
4-8:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 4:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday; 4523 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-457-4029, ladyjaye.com
The California Ave sandwich at Wildwood Market
Is it just me or is it harder than it should be to get a really good sandwich? The California Ave at this cute little Fauntleroy deli/bakery/market comes layered with roasted turkey, tomato, lettuce, avocado spread, Swiss cheese and a chive mayo — all on a soft white hoagie ($9). It’s so simple, and they’ve totally nailed the ratio of toppings to bread. There’s nothing worse than having your sandwich innards evade you, sliding farther and farther down the bread, and you end up either eating the sandwich from both ends like a weirdo or finishing with a pile of sandwich filling you clumsily eat with your fingers, like a missile discharged from an actual sub.
11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily; 9214 45th Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-257-1196, wildwoodwestseattle.com
Double Pepperoni pizza from Supreme
A friend of mine named Tan Vinh told me that this New York-style pizza joint makes what he thinks is the best slice of pepperoni in the city. It’s in the pepperoni — they’re thin little slices that shrivel up into little cups when baked, creating perfect repositories for grease, red pepper flakes and nubbly bits of Parmesan cheese. I ordered a pie ($26.50) online — you can choose your pickup time and they’ll text you confirmation and again when it’s ready to be picked up. Is it the best? I have no idea, but here’s the thing: This is a really good pepperoni pizza. It was even good cold, and when it comes to greasy pepperoni, that’s saying something.
4-9 p.m. daily; 4521 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-257-4767, supreme.bar
Ice cream from Husky Deli
It’s impossible to go to West Seattle and not visit the iconic Husky Deli in the Junction for ice cream. I love the old-school flavors like rocky road and maple walnut; I love the friendly scoopers; and I love that I can randomly get boxes of my favorite tea (PG Tips). I went for a scoop of butter toasted pecan ($5) and am still kicking myself that I didn’t leave with a half gallon of Husky flake.
7 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4721 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-937-2810, huskydeli.com
Sitting in the sun with a cold beer is a rite of summer. I was early for my pizza so I stopped in at The Beer Junction (4511 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-938-2337, thebeerjunction.com). There were signs reminding you to sanitize your hands as you walked in, and bottles of sanitizer strewn throughout. I loved that I could get a familiar can of Cloudburst, a new-to-me Boston beer, and a can of June Shine hard kombucha.
I also grabbed a couple of crowler cans from Ounces Taproom & Beer Garden (3809 Delridge Way S.W., Seattle; 206-420-1837, ounceswestseattle.com). The Youngstown taproom rotates 30 Washington-only taps and offers crowler and glass growler fills in sizes ranging from 19.2 to 64 ounces. My favorite thing was the menu board. It wasn’t organized with just names and stats like it typically is at beer shops. Instead, owner Laurel Trujillo fills in fun categories and descriptions that go beyond beer speak. I grabbed a 19.2 crowler of the Backwoods Dreamsicle Blonde ($8), which was listed as a “summer beer.” There’s also a large outdoor patio with a schedule of regular food trucks.