The U District’s second annual cherry blossom festival begins next Friday, March 24, the perfect chance to stroll around campus and savor the true beginning of spring and drink in nature’s beauty, by which we mean take as many photos as possible before the flowers have fallen to the ground.

But when the Instagram boyfriends are off-duty, there are a huge range of cherry blossom–inspired items to buy and eat at neighborhood restaurants and cafes. Sweet Alchemy is doing an ice cream with dried cherries macerated overnight in sake; Saint Bread is serving cardamom buns filled with sakura-infused cream; Xi’an Noodles has a cherry milk tea; Big Time and Ladd & Lass breweries are pouring cherry cider and sour, respectively; Earl’s has a drink special called the Cherry Blossom that is, uhhhhhh, Sprite, grenadine, and vodka?

Okay, we’re not exactly sure if that last one fully connects to the cherry blossom festival, but you can find a full list of participating spots and more details about the festival, which runs from March 24 to April 2, here.

Beer pairing menus are everywhere

Johnny Courtney, the former executive sous chef at Canlis, is bringing his popup Atoma to Fair Isle on April 3 as part of the Ballard brewery’s Tesselate Dinner series, which pairs beers with some of the city’s best chefs. Just down the street (er, a few miles down 99) Steelheads Alley, the Mariners-affiliated brewpub, is launching its own beer pairing series called Brewer’s Dinner. The first event, on March 23, is a collaboration between Sabrina Tinsley of Osteria la Spiga and Rodney Hines of Métier Brewing Company. Finally, Friday Harbor House (in Friday Harbor) is holding a beer tasting menu event with San Juan Island Brewing Company on March 20 in honor of the Spring equinox. It’s a good time to be a beer drinker!

Distant Worlds boldly reopens in a new space

Distant Worlds, the inclusive, geek-friendly coffee shop, is holding a grand opening this week at its new space at the corner of 64th Avenue NE and Roosevelt, the former home of the Sunlight Cafe. Owner Rebecca SerVoss held a GoFundMe to raise relocation costs to make the move in search of more square footage, a big plus for a spot that advertises itself as a gathering space for D&D campaigners and hardcore board gamers. There’s also space for a new oven, which means an expanded menu of baked goods.

Get a free daffodil at Pike Place

Daffodil Day at Pike Place Market isn’t strictly speaking “food” news, but if you go down this Monday, March 20, to pick up a free daffodil under the Clock & Sign, you’re definitely going to hang around to grab something to eat, whether that’s a full sit-down lunch or just a piroshky. Where should you eat? Glad you asked.

2023-03-17T21:33:53Z dg43tfdfdgfd