The always-there-when-you-need-it market, Cone and Steiner is like a best friend who’s well-stocked with fresh flowers, really good beer, and those local snacks you love so much. Like its downtown and Capitol Hill siblings, the Pioneer Square outpost sells the same mix of pantry items, beer and wine, and grab-and-go items like roast chicken, mac and cheese, whole grain salads, or baguette sandwiches. And it houses a growler station with five beers and a hard cider on tap.
DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine, located in Pike Place Market, provides everything a culinary entrepreneur might need: artisan breads, cheese, a whole wall of olive oil, deli foods, chocolates, and wines. Periodic chocolate and wine tastings can’t hurt either. So familiar are those Sicilian-style pizza slices and cured egg yolk–topped salads, it's easy to take them for granted, especially when the wine crew picks out the most on-point party drinks. DeLaurenti is more than just reliably excellent. It will still surprise you, too.
At Cafe Lago’s new spin-off Italian market in Portage Bay, the deli case bursts with meat, cheese, and soon owner Carla Leonardi’s pasta, while shelves offer groceries both aspirational (fancy pasta) and functional (chips, carrots, toothpaste). Meanwhile, at the long butcher block counter, a gleaming espresso machine does its thing by day, couples perch on tall stools near the open kitchen to drink wine and await their pizza or rotisserie chicken by night. Families vie for the handful of larger tables by the window. Little Lago definitely isn’t a restaurant, but the neighborhood can’t get enough of the food.
The owners of Bottlehouse in Madrona turned a sterile office building space downtown into that rare breed, a truly all-day cafe. By day, it’s a sleek, spacious destination for impeccable coffee, Instagram-pretty sandwiches, and pastries. Evening brings an impressive wine list and a happy hour crowd. There’s even a patio—at the Olive location and up north in University Village too. The clutch part: a wine fridge bearing rosé, bubbles, and anything in a wine bottle that's bound to make you the party hero.
On the surface, and it's a deli where you can pick up food (by weight) for lunch or dinner or a potluck—a pre-party lifesaver in a pinch. Because it's not just potato salad and steamed green beans (though that have punched up version of both), but the pastas and entrees are something you truly want to eat not simply for convenience. That's the beauty of Pasta and Co. It's an easy choice, but by no means are you phoning it in flavor-wise. And if nothing—not even decadent chocolate cake!—draws you to the deli case, there's plenty of crackers, fancy olive oils, cheeses, and other charcuterie accoutrement that's ready to go to a shindig.
This is not your typical apothecary; it’s also the place to satisfy a sweet tooth and hunt down pink Himalayan salt. Still looking to soothe that cold? Check out the Northwest Herbal Cold and Flu house blend, made from ingredients like elderberry, marshmallow leaf, mullein, and more. For those with nothing to cure, SugarPill also stocks wrapped soaps, perfumes, upmarket pantry goods, and greeting cards. Fancy chocolate, local honey, jars of spices, bottles of olive oil? Yes, all of that too.
Part coffee shop and cafe, part corner store—okay, also part community hub where a burgeoning babysitter’s club might post a glittery flyer for its childcare services—Wildwood Market is essential to a little stretch located deep in West Seattle’s microhood of Fauntleroy. The menu mostly comprises salads and sandwiches (plus hearty burritos for weekend breakfast), and is way better than one might expect: A purple kale caesar salad comes lightly dressed with a serious shower of parmesan cheese shavings and a flat iron steak sandwich on toasted Grand Central Bakery bread with a mild horseradish aioli would satisfy any carnivore. But should you just require a cup of Broadcast Coffee and some pantry staples for home, they have a discerning selection of that too.
Don’t get Bryn Lumsden twisted: His Interbay restaurant isn’t the hipsterification of the classic American diner, though the long, marble-esque bar, modern light fixtures, and list of natural wines could suggest otherwise. The man whose Damn the Weather bar in Pioneer Square is one of the coolest place to eat and drink has preserved the romantic elements that make diners great—proletarian menu mainstays like burgers, melts, meatloaf, even rib eye steak—and folded in a contemporary drink program with funky Spanish ciders, a calvados old-fashioned, and, yes, bubbles, too. And speaking of that list of natural wines, there's a handy bottle shop inside the diner, so it's an easy pre-gathering pit stop. Plus, you just brought cool, pet-nat to a party instead of whatever Safeway had in the wine fridge.
The next-door sibling to Italian restaurant Vendemmia, this seafood market sells fresh local trout and salmon and halibut, sure. But also a small but stellar menu of seafood snacks, grab-and-go lunch and dinner items made next door at Vendemmia, and platters of freshly shucked oysters (not to mention a few glasses of wine to go with them).