Milstead & Co.
754 N. 34th St., Fremont
Seattle has a reputation for seriously good coffee, in no small part due to the existence of connoisseurs like Andrew Milstead. His little spot in Fremont is a multi-roaster café, meaning the different roasts are switched out multiple times a day (folks in the coffee industry will tell you this is an art that’s difficult to master). Rest assured: While this spot is definitely a pilgrimage for coffee tourists, it’s equally welcoming to beginners—Milstead and his baristas are big on education and happy to answer questions.
Theo Chocolate Factory Tour
3400 Phinney Ave. N, Fremont
Kids, unsurprisingly, go crazy for the factory tour of Theo’s Chocolate. The tour itself is just an hour—you'll spend the first half in a short lecture about the biology and history of cocoa, and the processes required to turn the bean into a chocolate bar. For the second half, you'll walk the factory floor (and experience a sampling of several of their exotic flavors). Note: While tours are available seven-days-a-week, the weekday tours—when the production can be viewed live—are a bit more exciting.
3504 Fremont Pl. N, Fremont
Staffed with patient and knowledgeable fit experts and stocked almost exclusively with boutique European brands, this jewel box of a lingerie shop is a far cry from get-in-get-out department stores. While by no means cheap, you’ll feel good knowing that whether you go for a complete overhaul of your panty drawer or a single, barely-there, super-sexy set, it will be worth the investment.
4252 Fremont Ave. N, Fremont
It goes without saying that a bookstore devoted entirely to the culinary arts is a bookstore after our own hearts. This is where you want to go to find every cookbook imaginable (both current and out of print) and it’s worth checking the calendar of events beforehand, too, as the cozy space often plays host to chef demos, signings, and cooking classes.
615 N. 35th St., Fremont
Much like sister store Les Amis, Essenza takes a decidedly editorial approach to its selection of home décor, bedding, fragrances, skincare, and jewelry: The plush bedding, Diptyque candles, Megan Thorne jewelry, Santa Maria Novella lotions and potions, and more are all thoughtfully handpicked (oftentimes from overseas) and merchandised in a way that feels both approachable and special. It’s the kind of place husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and friends can turn to for gifts when striking out isn’t an option.
3420 Evanston Ave. N, Fremont
In a city famous for its temperamental weather, a chunky knit is indispensable, and Les Amis, the most apparel-focused of Becky Buford’s three local shops, is the place to get the perfect one—plus, Ulla Johnson dresses, edgy Isabel Marant separates, and layering basics from Vince, Nili Lotan, and Steven Alan. With its rustic hardwood floors and vintage knick-knacks throughout, the lived-in aesthetic of the shop itself is also distinctly Seattle.
1050 N. 34th St., Fremont
The folks behind this Fremont craft brewery have beer down to a science: with a startup-like approach, they merge automated technology with a DIY ethos, ensuring excellent quality control over their brews made from hand-picked, locally sourced ingredients. This so-called "urban beer garden" is serviced by a really friendly bar staff—and, with their beer-hall-style communal tables and free snacks (pretzels, apples), a comfortably laissez-faire attitude. Their sizeable outdoor seating is covered in case of the compulsory Seattle drizzle.
3621 Stone Way N, Fremont
Nautically designed Manolin (named after the Ernest Hemingway character) is awash in cool blues, and centered around a U-shape bar that provides front-row seats to the bustle of the restaurant's talented bartenders and the chefs manning its wood-fire grill. The menu is updated often (the plantain chips stay), with different, refreshing takes on ceviche rotating in among vegetable mains and grilled fish and meats.
Tarsan I Jane
4012 Leary Way NW, Fremont
Tarsan I Jane approaches the entire dining experience from start to finish as the chef’s choice. Everything from the day’s menu to the selection of seasonings available on the table are pre-established, and no changes can be made, so experience is, in the owner's words, about trust. Chef Perfecte Rocher tailors the daily menu to include the freshest seafood and seasonal produce, while staying close to his Catalan roots.
Bluebird Ice Cream
3515 Fremont Ave. N, Fremont
What makes Bluebird more than your typical ice cream shop? They also make craft sodas and beers in-house, which means you can order things like a ginger beer float or stout-inspired scoops. Of course, there are still plenty of kid-friendly options, too. You can visit Bluebird here in Fremont, or in Pike/Pine, or Phinney Ridge.