A simple, light and airy vegan cafe conveniently located a few steps from the Space Needle in uptown Seattle

The larger cities on the west coast of the USA are generally blessed by a great selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants with many regular restaurants increasing the number of vegan and vegetarian options.

I recently had a long layover at Sea-Tac airport and decided to head into downtown Seattle to have a look around and get a bite to eat. Now knowing how awful the traffic can be in the Seattle area I opted to take the light rail from the airport to downtown. It cost $6 and was hassle free – it only took about 40 minutes to get right downtown. I thought I would first take a wonder around Pikes Place Market which is always very lively, full of tourists and stall vendors with the gift of the gab. It is not a very large market, so after about 30 minutes I am pretty much done.

As I was leaving Pike Place Market I passed by the original Starbucks store. It always amazes me how many of people are prepared to wait in a long line to buy their coffee from this store. Especially as there other Starbucks stores within a block or two. I am not a big fan of Starbucks Coffee – perhaps if I were then I might be more up for the wait.

I only had a small amount of time before heading back to the airport to catch my flight so I was on a mission to find somewhere to eat.

Just a short walk from Pikes Place is the light rail stop, so I hopped on for a couple of stops to the Westlake Center station. From here you can catch the monorail to the Seattle Center, which is a bit pricey at $2.50 for the very short journey – but I decided it worth it for the experience.

The Seattle Center is a very popular place for tourists coming to town. Here you’ll find the iconic Space Needle and several museums. The Museum of Popular Culture, is located inside a most unusual building that looks like the aftermath of a road wreck. Close by are the Pacific Science Center, the Children’s Museum and the Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Inside the Museum of Popular Music
The Museum of Popular Music
Chihuly Garden and Glass

The iconic Space Needle

Using the Happy Cow app on my phone I had tracked down Broadfork, a vegan cafe a block or two away from the Seattle Center. They say they a farm-to-fork restaurant offering food that is both and vegan – so I thought I would give them a whirl!

Location: 4757 12th Avenue NE Seattle, WA
Telephone: (206) 522-6966
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-9pm Sat-Sun 9am-9pm
Map: Google Maps
Average Food Price: $11.00 to $16.00
Food: Bowls, sandwiches and smoothies

Broadfork is not a very ostentatious cafe, the decor is very simple and bright. The fact that it has floor to ceiling windows on two sides makes the inside feel very light and airy. There is also nothing very flashy about the seating, with plain wooden tables and chairs. I arrived around 1:00 pm on a Friday and it was quiet – so I would not image this place gets very busy.

In keeping with the simplicity theme food is ordered at the counter. The staff were a bit surly and didn’t seem that interested in serving me – perhaps I caught them on a bad day. I settled for the the Cashew Curry Bowl at $10.95. The ingredients included brown rice, tofu, broccoli, kale, nappa, peppers, white cashew curry sauce and of course cashews. For a drink I fancied trying a smoothie and liked the look of the Berry Bliss Smoothie ($8.50) with strawberry, blueberry in hemp milk.

As things were fairly quiet the food and smoothie arrived promptly – which is just as well as my time to get back to the airport was rapidly clicking down.

The tofu bowl was an relatively small for something with an $11.00 price tag. For a few moments I was a bit confused until I realized what I thought were giant croutons were actually toasted chunks of tofu. Anyway, I tucked in and it was pretty tasty. The curry sauce was delicate and not at all overpowering of the other flavors on offer. Anything with broccoli and cashew nuts always works for me! By the end of the bowl I was quite satisfied but felt that I could have done with a slightly larger helping (I had left my hotel early in the morning so had skipped breakfast). Luckily, the smoothie – which was delicious – did a great job in filling me up.

Overall, I liked the simplicity of Broadfork – it’s basic cafe style and uncomplicated food. Certainly for quick, healthy bite to each at lunchtime it is a great place to visit. If you want somewhere for a romantic meal with lots of pizzazz then Broadfork is not for you. My only real issue is one value for money – but its central location near the Seattle Center means that for the area it is probably par for the course.

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