My Favorite Things

Robin Wehl Martin of Hello Robin Shares Her Favorite Seattle Spots

Where do Seattle’s most well-known tastemakers go? We asked.

By Angela Cabotaje February 3, 2023

Image: Jane Sherman

“I’m not actually 60,” Robin Wehl Martin says, gesturing to her glitter-pink ballcap with the words “60 Never Looked So Good” stitched across the front.  Misnomer aside, the hat projects the same kind of vibrant, mildly zany, energy as the (52-year-old) business owner wearing it.

Martin’s eponymous bakery, Hello Robin, burst onto Seattle’s food scene on Capitol Hill with Mackles’mores and cookie sandwiches made with Molly Moon ice cream. Ten years and two locations later, Martin sat down one Friday afternoon to reflect on her sweetest memories from the past decade—and her favorite things about the city that embraced her cookies.

Hello Robin cookie flavor

The habanero orange chocolate chip, for sure. I love to give it to people and have them try it. And it’s my barometer for if I’m gonna like them or not. If you’re like, “Oh, I do not like this cookie. This cookie is way too spicy.” Then I’m like, OK, we may not be good friends. But then if you love it, I’m like, OK, I can see where this is gonna go.

Place to get a drink

Bar Vacilando on 15th or La Caviste.

Bar bathroom

The one at La Dive.

Place to take kids

I think a really great place to take kids is Due’ [Cucina]. It’s these two best friends who are Italian and opened this pasta place, and they make their own pasta, they make their own sauces. It’s locally owned, locally made, really good ingredients, and the prices are very fair.

Dessert spot (other than cookies)

Deep Sea Sugar and Salt. I recommend it to people all the time. It is just a really fancy, good piece of cake.

Coffee shop

I go to [Caffe] Ladro every single day. An eight-ounce latte with simple syrup and orange zest. They know, and they just make it. They see me across the street with my dog, and they’ll just start making it. I know all the baristas by name. It’s been, like, eight years I’ve gone every day.


Twist at U Village.

Place to go when hungover

Barry’s boot camp. Sweat it out, and take a class from Ives or Evan.

Cheap eat

Carmelo’s Tacos. It’s shocking how good it is, and a family can have a really good, quick meal.

Hidden gem

The pizza at Little Market on Portage Bay. And Watson’s Counter in Ballard—they have the best food. It’s so unexpected.


I love Elliott Bay Book Company. I also want to go to Nook and Cranny to check it out.

Place to buy houseplants

Ravenna Gardens.

Tourist attraction

I think it’s really fun to ride a ferry over to Bainbridge and go to the pizza place, Bruciato.

Seattle hot take

All businesses should take cash. [Hello Robin] reaches, I think, a broad demographic of people. It can be little kids, and this is their very first outing on their own. Or it could be elderly people going to Country Doctor, or it’s people from the neighborhood. Not everybody has a credit card or a debit card, and there’s very different reasons why. I feel like it’s not equitable to not take cash.

For, like, 10 minutes we didn’t take cash because, you know, it was the beginning of Covid and everyone didn’t know how it spread, right? This little kid came down, read the sign that said “no cash,” and went home and cried. And then his dad called the shop, and he’s like, “You’re making a really big mistake,” and so I was like, “You’re right.” The little boy did come back. 

Place to kill time

There’s a place called Central Cafe and Juice Bar near Garfield—[two of] my kids go to Garfield—and my grandma’s best friend, like, 50 years ago had a deli in that space. It’s a juice, smoothie, soups place. I like getting juices there or smoothies after I drop my kids off.

Way to get inspired

A lot of the time, it’s when I’m reading. Many years ago, when my son was napping in the back of the car, and I was kind of stuck there, I was reading Bon Appétit—an article about making coconut curry soup. And then I’m like, What if I made a coconut curry cookie? And so I just flipped over the magazine, I had a Sharpie, and I wrote out a coconut curry cookie recipe—the spices, what would go in it, and all the measurements. Then I made it, and it was so good.

Bakery (other than Hello Robin)

The Flora Bakehouse on Beacon Hill is really good.

University Village spot (where Hello Robin has a second location)

I love Elemental Pizza, because I used to work there, and I used to make their cookies.

Place to enjoy the arts

There’s a new place, Club Comedy Seattle, and it’s for real. It’s legit. I have always been fearful of comedy shows, like it’d be really awkward…but we went, and it was totally packed and incredibly funny.

Capitol Hill spot 

Taurus Ox. It’s really good, and the owner is often there cooking.

Date night 

Oliver’s Lounge at the Mayflower Park Hotel. It’s a great date night place, really fun to sit at the bar and have a caesar salad and a cocktail.

Way to get outside

I like an urban hike. If you just set out and you don’t have a time frame, you kind of just meander, and you don’t know where you’re going to pop out.

Place to celebrate

It used to be Kingfish Cafe. When my husband and I bought [our] house, it was right behind Kingfish Cafe…. And then they made our wedding cake. Then the night before our first son was born, I had dinner there. And then we opened up Hello Robin, and they were our new neighbors. We loved them so much. Now I feel like we celebrate at our dining room table. We bought a really big table from Tirto, which is the store next door. It’s this family-owned Indonesian business, and we bought the biggest table our dining room could accommodate.

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