March 20, 2014
Have Fitness, Will Travel: Seattle
By Kevin Daigle

Seattle is home to the headquarters of Amazon and Starbucks. So it stands to reason CrossFit was a natural fit for the Emerald City.

Seattle. Founded on logging. Notoriously overcast and rainy. Famous for coffee and sad music. And CrossFit?

For my generation, Seattle is best known for music. The grunge label might be unfair, though. Many great acts came out of the Seattle area who didn’t fit that genre such as Queensryche, Kenny G., Heart, Harvey Danger, The Foo Fighters and the transcendent Alice in Chains.

Seattle is home to the headquarters of Amazon and Starbucks. So it stands to reason CrossFit was a natural fit for the Emerald City.

In an effort to fill the void left by the grunge movement with material possessions and caffeine, and Starbucks exploded. Seattle was host to throngs of citizens high as fuck on the bean, who no longer had to leave their homes because Amazon drops all their shit off next day. What better to do with all that energy than CrossFit?

Today at 5 p.m. PT, we’ll learn what’s in store for Open Workout 14.4. A horde of caffeinated fitness fanatics sipping on the area’s signature beverage will tremor anxiously through the announcement at CrossFit Bellevue, awaiting the showdown between Josh Bridges and Scott Panchik. Both men have finished above top five at the Games. Bridges took second in 2011. Panchik claimed the fourth spot in both 2012 and 2013. Head-to-head on events the advantage might belong to Bridges, who has six first-place event finishes at the CrossFit Games to Panchik’s one.

Avoid the withdrawals; get plenty of coffee, and log on to for the live stream.

If you’re in town for the event, we’ve got you covered with recommendations yet again. Let’s get down to the details:

Boxes to visit

“Nadia (Shatila) has created a combo of pottery barn, and Williams Sonoma and a CrossFit gym,” said Baker Leavitt of Kill Cliff LLC, about CrossFit Belltown.

There are certainly some exceptional, interesting gyms to visit in Seattle. Here are a few more:

Foundation CrossFit
Lynnwood CrossFit
CrossFit Marysville
CrossFit Deliverance
CrossFit Interbay

Find all the CrossFit gyms in Seattle at

Grubbin’ Down

Most of us think black gold when we think Seattle, but there’s more than coffee to treat your taste buds when it’s cool and cloudy. If you’re looking to keep things fairly clean, here are some ideas:

“Blue Moon Burgers—good gluten-free bread,” said Kyle Moschetto of CrossFit HQ. “Umi Sake House—best (sushi) in Seattle. The Grill From Ipanema—Brazillian steakhouse.”

Rory Zambard, a Seattle resident and member of the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff had the following suggestions: “Local 360—all local and good. Momiji—sushi. Cactus—Mexican food.”

A few more selections:
Ivars Salmon House
Skillet Diner
Kickin’ Boot

If the cloudiness gets the best of you and food as comfortable as your favorite yoga pants is what you desire, there’s plenty of help in that department. Moschetto and Zambard both recommended Paseo, a popular Caribbean sandwich stand.

Zambard also suggested Li’l Woody's: “Get the PB&J Burger, plus all of their fries are served with milkshake to dip them in.”

I’m sold. If that doesn’t sound indulgent enough for your taste, here are some other options:
RoRo's BBQ
Brave Horse Tavern
Dick’s Drive In


If Sleepless in Seattle is what you aim to be, you won’t have to go far. The brewed nectar of the bean is the only thing Seattle is more famous for than grunge music and sappy Tom Hanks movies. Of course, you should make a pilgrimage to the original Starbucks at the famous Pike Place Market. With a craft coffee roaster and café on just about every corner, you’d succumb to caffeine-induced tachycardia long before you could try them all.

Zambard preferred Voxx for “great coffee,” as well as Espresso Vivace and the famous Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Moschetto’s favorites include Cherry Street Coffee House and Spotted Cow Cream & Bean.

Kelsey Nagel, an athlete at CrossFit Marysville prefers Cafe Senso Unico.

What to see

The Space Needle and Pike Place Market are the most recognizable landmarks in the Emerald City. There is a lot to see and do here, though. If you’re looking for something a little off the wall–and maybe a little gross–check out the Gum Wall. Apparently people in Seattle just stick gum to it. Weird.

After that, you’ll probably be looking for something refreshing. Check out Kerry Park for breathtaking views of the city. If that whets your appetite for scenery, and something a little more challenging is in order, hike up the Mount Si trail for more than 3,000 feet of elevation gain over the eight-mile round trip. The views of Snoqualmie Valley and Puget Sound are worth the climb.

When you finish the hike, head to the Theo Chocolate factory tour to replace all those carbs you burned up.

If you get through all that, here are a few more ideas:
The Ballard Locks
Gasworks Park
Seattle Great Wheel
Seattle Art Museum
Alki Beach

What to avoid

Getting caught in a tourist trap is no fun, either, so here is some advice from locals on what to avoid.

“Generally avoid downtown,” Zambard warned. “Other than Pike's Place Market, it's not worth the chaos.”

Moschetto was concerned with traffic and said to avoid.

“I-5 at 9 a.m. or 3 p.m.,” he said. “Afternoon bridges.”

“The hipsters,” Leavitt joked.

Nagel retorted: “There is no avoiding hipsters here.”

Get yourself a big giant cup of craft-roasted, artisan-brewed coffee, gather up all your CrossFit gear and watch the live announcement of Open Workout 14.4. Then, since you’re definitely not going to sleep for a week with all that blood in your caffeine stream, go check out the Emerald City.