Look, we’re not saying you shouldn’t go to Pike Place; it’s an essential experience to get some chowder, watch dudes throw fish, and risk being blinded by the wandering selfie sticks of thousands of haphazardly walking tourists. But when you’re done, go chill out at Melrose Market. Yes, it’s still going to be busy, but it’s markedly hipper, so your eyes should be cool. It’s also home to one of the best concentrations of things to eat in Emerald City, all housed, as these things tend to be, in a set of historic buildings from the automotive era, Melrose isn’t as big as some of the older icons on this list, but the eight-year-old market brings impossibly big flavor. As this is Seattle, you’re well advised to start with coffee and oysters, here respectively represented by Honor Society and Taylor Shellfish. Peruse the take-home wares of Butter Home and Rain Shadow Meats -- a butchery that also does naughty things with roast beef sandwiches -- then face a hard choice for bigger meals: This place is home to a trio of legends. Luckily there are no wrong choices between the inventive farm-to-table fare of breakfast kings Homegrown; charcuterie, seafood, and inventive foraged fare at Sitka & Spruce; and the irresistible pull of the rooftop garden of Terra Plata. Naturally, there’s a bar, and a great one, at Still Liquor. Finish there. Or start there. Nobody's judging.
If you can only get one thing: About that rooftop garden at Terra Plata... when the sun doth rear its head in Seattle, there's perhaps no greater joy than a bit of roast pig and a churro with a view.