It doesn’t matter if you’re still using training wheels or if you say things like “chewing the handlebars” in casual conversation - it’s a universal truth that riding a bike for longer than seven minutes makes you hungry. Here in Seattle, we have the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail. It runs for 27 miles across the city, which is a pretty long distance to not have any fuel in your stomach. That’s where we come in. We rode back and forth from Frelard to Kenmore and ate and drank everything along the way to make a guide of all the best spots near the trail.
The Leary Traveler is the westernmost spot on the Burke-Gilman that we endorse. It’s a chill bar that happens to have great food, and they allow pets inside, so it’s a perfect place to hang out if you decided to tether your dog to the bike during your trail ride and somehow it went well. Food here ranges from excellent sliders and fries to a really good entree salad with feta and beer-brined chicken.
There are a lot of biscuits in this town, but few are as good as the ones at Seattle Biscuit Company. The dining room looks like a boxcar diner in the middle of nowhere, which is inexplicably comforting. We could see a pre-ride coffee and biscuit situation happening here, though a post-ride pile of fried chicken and sausage gravy with a Bloody Mary on the side might be nice as well. The choice is yours, but there’s no wrong one.
If you started on the Kenmore end of the trail, there’s really no better incentive to pedal harder than knowing your friends are waiting for you at a picnic table loaded with charcuterie, Italian chopped salads, and giant pizzas at Frelard Pizza Company. The pies here are some of the best around, and you can top them with things like eggs and pancetta. It’s excellent for a big group, but also works if you just want some solo slices and a beer in your bike shorts.
Maybe you’ve been pedaling for the last ten miles chanting “I want tequila” under your breath. This means a stop at Pablo Y Pablo where margaritas and tacos are your main objective, is necessary. Even if you’re keeping things on the healthier side, the salads and vegan hard-shells with soy chorizo and cashew queso taste great, especially chased with a paloma.
Westward is on the more upscale side of things (so you might want to bring a cute top to slip into), but you’re going to want to sit on an Adirondack chair overlooking Lake Union with a glass of sparkling wine after a long ride. Meet some friends here for a special dinner consisting of Mediterranean things like wood-fired gigante beans with feta and braised lamb with tzatziki.
Agua Verde doubles as a paddle club, so you’ll be surrounded by outdoorsy people who just kayaked (or tried to, but somehow fell in the water). It’s our favorite lakeside spot for fish tacos, fun margaritas (get the prickly pear), and taking in the view. Just note that you have to order before grabbing a table, so if there’s a line snaking out the door, don’t freak out. We wish someone told us that the first time, too.
Saint Helens is a nice spot that works for nearly any scenario. They serve brunch, so if your ride starts there, you can have some yogurt and granola to fuel up - but if this is where you end, get a benedict. Dinner-wise, you’ll find things like pasta, steak, burgers, and fish and chips. This restaurant is great for groups, which is good news if you’re riding with your entire family or happen to be leading a bike tour.
So, your bike ride has taken a turn for the worse. Maybe you got stung by a bee and your ankle looks like a honeydew, or maybe this is the first spin after a long hiatus and you’d rather be literally anywhere else. Go to Sand Point. It’s a casual neighborhood restaurant with extremely nice people and a varied menu of delicious things like a cauliflower steak with savory granola or an excellent pork schnitzel sandwich. If nothing else, just grab a beer and a couple of wagyu sliders.
According to our sources, there are “no other good places in Lake Forest Park really” than Briley’s. But in reality, it’s so much more than the least-worst spot in the area - they serve some very tasty barbecue worth biking to from Seattle for (get the brisket), there’s a great patio, and the view of Lake Washington is pretty sweet. We’ll admit, though, that we’d rather just stare at the incredible cornbread all day.
Imagine finding an abandoned cornfield in the suburbs, filling it with random lawn furniture, and sitting down to a cold beer. This is 192 Brewing Company, and it’s our northeasternmost spot we like on the Burke-Gilman. Food here ranges from sandwiches and burgers to soft pretzels with gouda beer cheese (you want this beer cheese), and even their simple chicken club wrap is pretty satisfying after accomplishing some sort of physical activity.