What’s Good in the Hood: Tangletown

Mighty O's Donuts feature award-winning, 100% vegan, organic donuts.

Desserts reign supreme in Tangletown.

Between the roar of the Woodland Park Zoo and the hum of I-5 lies the quiet town of Tangletown.  Never heard of it?  Probably because some call it “Green Lake,” others might say “Wallingford,” while some punks might try to convince you that it’s the outskirts of the U-District.  (Don’t believe them.  They’re punks.)

Though the neighborhood’s “downtown” area only stretches a few blocks, Tangletown is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets in satiating the sweet-toothed, coffee-fiend.  Three local, award winning shops in particular have a track record of having successfully satisfied Seattleite’s sugary, caffeine-laced needs.

Mighty-O Donuts

Mighty O’s Donuts feature award-winning, 100% vegan, organic donuts.

Egg aficionados, milk guzzlers, fish lovers, carnivores of Seattle – don’t run the other way when I tell you that Mighty O’s donuts are 100% vegan.  Just because these confectionary creations happen to be dairy-and egg-free doesn’t mean they’re yummy-free, too.  In fact, magazines like Bon Appetit and shows like the Food Network Challenge have recognized Tangletown’s own Mighty O’s organic donuts as one of the best donut joints in the nation.

And how can we blame them?  Their lineup of soft, unique, confectionary creations (each $1.35 + tax) include staff favorites like the French Toast, Chocolate Raspberry or Lemon Poppy, while locals also go nuts for the seasonal treats like the current fall feature, Apple Spice.

Unlike many other donuts, Mighty O’s treats won’t leave you feeling like you just downed five Splendas, but are sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.  The Don King (a light, chocolate cake donut with a vanilla glaze, covered in coconut flakes) is a must try and may make you start calling it “my precious” as you shamelessly (but understandably) stuff every last crumb into your mouth.  It’s that good.

Zoka Coffee Roasters and Tea Company

Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company

Seattleites, let’s admit it.  We’re a cuckoo-for-coffee city with a Starbucks problem.  To satiate that caffeine addiction without trudging to a Starbucks for a same-as-usual caramel macchiato, visit Zoka and their expert baristas will take the time to help you find a new and delicious drink that will give you that much-needed caffeine kick and something new for your taste-buds to hallelujah about.

Zoka boasts some of Seattle’s best coffee and their baristas even go so far as to say that they make “the best cappuccino in town.”  Well-versed in coffee, Zoka baristas  are known for personalizing the coffee experience and will also pour-over upon request, hand-making each cup of coffee to guarantee freshness.

But if you’re looking for something beyond their extensive coffee and tea selection, try one of their new Zoka Blades ($4), their own “answer to the frappe.”

Zoka baristas pour-over for customers

If you’re lucky, Anjuli may even make you her personal favorite, the Peppermint Tea Blade with Chocolate – a not-too-sweet iced drink with light peppermint notes that will make you look forward to the winter.

But If you don’t come for the coffee, nibble at one of their cranberry orange, mixed berry, or apple cinnamon scones.  After having taken a brief hiatus, these scones are back to being made from scratch, in –house!  But if you’re dying for a homemade scone, be sure to stop by before noon when they usually sell out so you don’t have to plead for the crumbs.

Hiroki’s Specialty Desserts

Don’t let this bakery’s quiet, run-of-the-mill exterior fool you.  The shop may look small and ordinary but their desserts are bold and bursting with flavor.  Baked all in-house with (mostly) locally sourced ingredients and fresh, seasonal fruits, Hiroki’s desserts marry French-style pastries with a unique, Japanese twist.

Hiroki's Specialty Bakery

On weekdays, Seattleites can relax into a slice of scrumptiously light, sweet treats like the curiously satisfying Green Tea Tiramisu ($5.95) or the rich, fluffy Gateau au Chocolate ($6.00); or settle into a soft, mmm-mmm- good Double Chocolate Peanut Butter or a giant Chocolate Orange Cookie ($2.50).  Or join Tangletown locals on weekends and head to Hiroki’s for brunch to munch on an array of unique options ranging from the pear ginger biscuit ($3) to orange currant scones ($3.50).

Just think of Hiroki’s as the best blend of homemade foods and refined taste: sophisticated desserts that you can enjoy while wearing footie pajamas.

So who said dessert can’t come first? Get lost in Tangletown and treat yourself to a sweet treat.  You deserve it.