Try several treats on this walking tour of downtown Seattle

One foot in front of the other

Although I mainly reside in Paris, where you can find cakes and pastries on almost every street, I often dream of the sweet treats of Seattle.

Because I never learned to drive and my parents don’t live in Seattle proper, when I visit family I need to make the most of my time when I’m in town. This walking route will guide you through some of Seattle’s sweet spots, packing treats together for a sugar day.

As I like to say, a sweet tooth reflects a sweet personality.

Nice walk through downtown Seattle

Round trip distance: 4.3 miles

This walk starts in Belltown, where I like to start any Seattle adventure because of the architecture and Fulcrum Cafe (590 Bell Street). Fulcrum belongs to Blas Alfaro, fifth generation Costa Rican coffee producerwhich also has its own roastery, Fulcrum Coffee Roaster, in Sodo.

The cafe is tucked away in an elegant condominium building; the interior is both inviting and chic. The pours are always great, but I’m drooling over Fulcrum’s signature seasonal drinks. The menu rotates but the Snuggle Me, Sesame drink is still there, waiting like a warm embrace. The richness of toasted black sesame, the sweetness of brown sugar and the nutty taste of oat milk pair incredibly well with Fulcrum’s espresso.

Stay and enjoy the café’s high ceilings and modern light fixtures – or if you’re like me, walk and sip marveling at the buildings as you continue down Sixth Avenue towards downtown. Look for the Amazon Spheres in a high-rise setting across the street. At Stewart Street, turn right to continue southwest until you reach Pike Place Market.

Pike Place Market is filled with so many gems, but for the purposes of this walk, we will only highlight three. Feel free to change orders – and you can choose just one or two!

The popular Ellenos brand yogurt can be found in grocery stores across the Pacific Northwest (or delivered to your door), but a visit to Yogurt Ellenos booth (1500 Pike Place) at the front of the main market entrance is always a high priority for me. You can find special concoctions that can’t be found anywhere else in addition to classic flavors, like lemon curd and passion fruit. Flavors often rotate; I usually count close to two dozen offers on each visit. On my last trip, I enjoyed an olive oil collaboration with DeLaurenti (an Italian food and wine store inside the market) and the white chocolate raspberry flavor.

If dairy isn’t your thing, don’t worry – the other two stops at Pike Place offer dairy-free options.

Soft drinks are a great palate cleanser, so head to Rachel’s Ginger Beer (1530 Post Alley). The flagship store is spacious, a great place to sit back, relax and enjoy the buzzing sounds of the market. Rachel’s Ginger Beers start with ginger root, lemon juice, organic sugar, and sparkling water, but here you can experience a bunch of flavors that grow from there.

Continue to Joe Chocolate Co. (1606 Pike Place), which began as an undergraduate project by two students from the University of Washington. They have a little coffee and candy stand right next to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. You’ll find dark chocolate espresso barks in a handful of flavors, including seasonal offerings, as well as baked goodies and espresso drinks. Some of the bark flavors come in 1 ounce bars if you just want to taste.

I like to space out my treats, so I like to walk around the market and snack on the patio to avoid the crowds and enjoy the view of Elliott Bay. There are plenty of uncovered seats, but I always walk to the edge to really get it all figured out.

When you’re ready, exit the market on Pine Street and walk up three blocks to Royal Cupcake (106 Pine Street), Seattle’s first cupcake bakery. It’s been around for nearly two decades and I still crave its cupcakes – it’s mastered the perfect balance of flavors. Her cakes have a hint of sour cream which helps with the texture and cuts the sweetness of the buttercreams. The indoor seating area is closed for now, but grab your cupcake to go as you continue 1.6 miles through downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill. The most graceful way to eat a cupcake while walking is to remove the base (the part reserved for the cake in the cupcake liner) and place it on top of the frosting to make a sandwich. Remove the liner and enjoy.

This walk to Capitol Hill may seem long, but due to the interesting setting and changing neighborhoods, time flies and you’ll be there in no time. The walk will also help you digest, as there are still some goodies to devour.

The next stop is Batch Baking Co. (808 12th Ave.), a primarily a cookie destination opened in 2019. When you walk in, chances are you’ll be greeted by Scot and Jared, the owners and self-taught bakers who spread out their creations in small batches on a wooden table. I had this bakery bookmarked since it first appeared on my Instagram feed, so I grabbed a few goodies. Peanut butter cookie sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies transported me back to my childhood.

With pastries in hand, head north on 12th Avenue. Take a left onto East Union Street to reach general porpoise (1020 E. Union St.), the cozy donut shop of fan-favorite chef Renee Erickson. Donuts are handmade with fresh eggs and filled with creams, flans and jams. The shop is tastefully designed, helping us escape into a dream world. I like to enjoy my donut(s) near the store window, which brings in all the natural light and also allows me to slow down and watch life go by on the streets.

For the last stop on this route, continue two blocks north on 10th Avenue until still busy Molly Moon’s homemade ice cream (917 E. Pine St.), just around the corner from the beloved Elliott Bay Book Co., where it’s worth stopping to browse the rows. Molly Moon’s has the creamiest texture that feels nice and isn’t heavy. Between a social mission to “do good whenever possible,” unique monthly flavors, and mouth-watering classics, the ice cream experience at this Seattle favorite is always uplifting. Salted caramel is my favorite flavor because it’s actually salty, but you can never go wrong here. The candied hazelnut filling takes the already delicious treats to the next level.

Returning to Fulcrum takes this road for 4.3 miles – rest well knowing you’ve earned those sweets!