EDMONDS — If you want to get into the holiday spirit — and feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie — head to downtown Edmonds. Call it a dining destination, an amazing date night spot, a haven for shopping and good eats and gorgeous views of the snow-capped Olympic mountains across Puget Sound. Whatever you make of it, Edmonds has something for everyone.
We rounded up a list of edible (and drinkable) must-stops, but I encourage you to explore, because in Edmonds, it’s a sure bet you’ll discover something delicious just around the corner.
The Cottage, Community Bakery
7530 Olympic View Drive, Suite 101
More information: cottagecommunitybakery.com
Make this your first morning stop on the weekend (before they sell out of everything). With fresh sourdough breads, chocolate chunk blondies and cloudlike pretzel knots (and everything pretzel bagels!), The Cottage is truly a community bakery, focusing on seasonal ingredients and locally milled flour made from Washington-grown grains.
Their seasonal maple pecan darling, a flaky, square-shaped pastry, is filled with a pecan paste not unlike frangipane. The Cottage infuses just about every component with maple, from the filling to the icing and shower of candied pecans on top. How fast did I eat this? I’m too embarrassed to say.
Maize & Barley
525 Main St.
More information: maizebarley.com
I have three words for Maize & Barley: Cozy, bright and sandwich-forward. This small Caribbean-inspired alehouse is tucked between a jewelry store and a yogurt shop on Main. It is the perfect spot for a quick lunch, happy hour bites or a casual date night. They make just about everything in house, from the ciabatta roll that is thin and sturdy enough for fat chunks of roasted, juicy, garlic-and-oregano rubbed pork, to their brilliant housemade pickles and hot sauces (ask for the curry one and thank me later). You can also order your sandwich on a gluten-free arepa.
The flavors are robust, dazzling and deep. Nothing lacks acidity or richness. The only thing Maize & Barley doesn’t make in-house is the cheese, which is understandable considering their tiny alehouse likely can’t fit a whole cow. Don’t miss M&B’s impressive drinks list, which includes Delille Cellars, a winery/producer that my lunch date commented was among the best in Washington.
If you go anywhere for lunch in Edmonds, make it Maize & Barley.
508 Main St.
More information: marketfreshfish.com
If you’re looking for a fast, seafood-forward stop, head to Market in Edmonds. Take a group here (if you can snag a spot on their small heated patio) and order plates of Taylor Shellfish Farms oysters, chowder fries, crab-in-a-bag and other classic (and inventive) dishes. You will find influences of both coastal Maine (the lobster roll) and the PNW (the crab roll), locally harvested seafood and the lasting creative direction of the late Hans Korompis.
If you’re in the mood for something different, try the crab doughnut. Yes, crab and doughnut together. The Dungeness crab salad brings briny and subtle lemon zest notes while the glazed doughnut provides sweet heft, and finally, bits of salty, smoky bacon cut through this Strangely Tasty dish in the best way. A gentleman sitting nearby commented, “Doughnuts and crab are two of my favorite things, but together? I just couldn’t bring myself to order it.” If you’re the same way, you can instead have the Dungeness crab on a brioche bun with a more classic flavor combo of Old Bay, brown butter and aioli.
Salt & Iron
321 Main St.
More information: saltniron.com
Salt & Iron is for lovers of what the ocean and land provide. Oysters on the half shell, bone-in ribeye, scallops and braised pork belly. Order Salt & Iron’s namesake for a taste of both, with jumbo prawns and your choice of a premium cut. The downtown Edmonds steakhouse is where you take a date — or indulge as a party of one — and really, you don’t even need to scroll past the small bites menu: Slurp up buttery bone marrow, cut into creamy burrata, enjoy Spanish octopus and steak tartare.
Or be like me and order the salmon main. This was a calculated risk, as in my experience, restaurants tend to overcook this fatty fish. But not Salt & Iron. They achieved the dream balance of a tender-flaky interior with crispy skin all over (even as the salmon sat on couscous with a light Brussels sprout pesto). I enjoyed it with one of their drink specials, a deliciously sweet and zippy lavender cocktail.
Reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends. Treating yourself is required.
Rory’s of Edmonds
105 Main St.
More information: rorysofedmonds.com
The only thing I know about Rory’s is they’re close to the ferry and, according to an Edmonds local, this pub makes a legendary tartar sauce.
Stop here for a beer and standard pub fare before you head to Kingston.
Walnut Street Coffee
410 Walnut St.
More information: walnutstreetcoffee.com
Visit this beloved mainstay of downtown Edmonds for your coffee fix (they use Seattle-based Espresso Vivace roasted coffee). Walnut Street Coffee offers locally made baked goods and other cozy products from several area businesses. They also regularly uplift local artists and support a variety of causes. Order a latte for the beautiful foam art, look up at the walls for the current artist spotlight, and linger in this bright and spacious shop for a moment of peace.
415½ Main St.
Contact: No phone
More information: drinkatdaphnesbar.com
You will meet someone new every time you step inside this downtown gem. Daphnes offers new friends, lots of cheer and expertly crafted cocktails in an intimate space. It may only seat 15, but Daphnes gives off a welcoming energy, as if to say, “There’s always room for one more.”
A friend of mine had a first date here. They’re married now.
Dusted Valley Wine Bar
201 Main St., Suite 102
More information: dustedvalley.com
Down toward the waterfront, Dusted Valley offers a taste of the Walla Walla Valley and other estate vineyards in Washington through their sustainably crafted wines. A heated outdoor patio makes for a cozy gathering space to enjoy a glass of syrah or a tasting of their various wine offerings with a few small bites. I can’t think of a more perfect accompaniment to adult grape juice than warm brie with fig jam, prosciutto and The Cottage’s baguette.
Brigid’s Bottle Shop
188 Sunset Ave. S.
More information: brigidsbottleshop.com
Come for the amazing selection of canned and bottled beers, rotating wines, bitters and non-alcoholic drinks (sodas, CBD drinks, lemonade). Stay for the Cheers-type atmosphere, with a bar, spacious lounge area and outdoor seating. Brigid’s is a place to warm your cheeks and meet friendly locals. Don’t miss their lushees when the weather warms.
If you sit at the bar, you may or may not be required to participate in a round of bitters shots.
113 5th Ave. S.
More information: facebook.com/engelspub
Head to Engel’s as your last stop of the night, for a beer and a good time. The downtown watering hole will compel you to sing karaoke and dance to live music, which is offered most nights, without abandon. Engel’s is a melting pot comprising characters of all professions and vices. Anyone brave enough to take the mic will be greeted with enthusiastic support. Even the bartenders belt out a tune in between pouring drinks. Order crispy tater tots, chicken tenders and other pub grub to soak up all the booze.
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