I just spent a weekend in Seattle at the International Food Bloggers Conference and had so much fun hanging out with some great people. One huge bonus of a conference is getting the chance to finally meet those online friends from social media land, and of course make completely new friends!Pike Place Market

It was my first visit to Seattle and I wish I could have explored more. I managed to pull myself away from some of the sessions and spent some time at the famous Pike Place Market. Pike Place is packed with people who mostly like to watch the seafood booths and the fishermen throw giant fresh fish around. It actually happens. Samples of food are everywhere and I found an awesome pasta vendor, Pappardelles Pasta, with some amazing choices. I picked up some sweet red onion linguine and chocolate raspberry gimmeli, and can’t wait to cook them! I’m thinking some balsamic mushrooms to go along with the linguine. 

Pike Place fruit market

The conference was held at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle, but I didn’t stay there. I ended up at another place, the Mediterranean Hotel in the Queen Ann district. It was considerably cheaper than the W, but still really comfortable and very close to the Space Needle. The downside was the 2 mile walk – 30 minutes each way – which I actually started to enjoy. Major points for this hotel is the rooftop balcony, which is where I took the pictures below.  After all the fantastic food we had, walking was a good choice! I did get a cab at night, which was $10 including tip from downtown to Queen Ann. Don’t forget the Light Link rail system from Seattle Airport, a one way trip is $2.75 and a fast and easy way to get downtown. It takes about 30 minutes.

The very first Starbucks in Seattle

Many thanks to the sponsors for being so generous and providing some amazing eats! It was great to see California Strawberries, Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs and Blue C Sushi, to name only a few.  The Alaska Seafood buffet was outstanding with a display of halibut corn dogs, mini sliders and some seriously juicy bacon-wrapped scallops. If I had to pick a favorite moment from the conference, it’d be tough. But meeting New York Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani and multi-published cookbook author Dorie Greenspan done it for me. These are two people who ooze talent from every pore but remain so helpful and down to earth. 

Registration is open now for next year’s conference which will be in Seattle again!

Space Needle SeattleSeattle Bay