Ashley Rodriguez’s Local Guide to Seattle by Ashley Rodriguez in Seattle, Washington

I wanted to show you my Seattle. The places I visit again and again. They may not be the most talked about spots but it’s where I go to get a great meal or drink. The people behind these places have a genuine love for what they serve. They represent our city well.

Name:Ashley Rodriguez

Occupation: Food writer and photographer

Place you live: Seattle

How would you sum up Seattle? Seattle is somehow both energetic and laid back. It’s an authentic place filled with people who are proud to call it home. Sure, there are some gray months but we make up for it with beaches, fresh seafood, great local breweries, farm-centric restaurants and of course a coffee scene that is always staying on top of the latest coffee trends.

Can you sum up the people of Seattle? The people in Seattle are passionate about what they do in a sincere and honest way. Many of us are creatives who would do our art even if it wasn’t our career. We’re laid back, kind, quiet and in love with our city.

What is the Seattle culinary scene like? It’s always changing. The chefs in Seattle are truly in it to create incredible food. It’s not about the latest trends; it’s about using the best of what Seattle and the surrounding area has to offer – seafood, fresh produce, wine, beer and coffee – and turning it into an incredible meal.

What was the experience like shooting for a campaign to promote Seattle to the world? I’m eager to share my love for Seattle with the world. It was a joy to run around the city and capture a few shots from my favorite places. I didn’t think it was possible but as a result of this assignment I’m even more in love with Seattle.

Describe a perfect day in Seattle: Coffee at Slate in the morning, a trip to the farmer’s market in the afternoon to shop for ingredients for an outside picnic in the evening. Topped off with a late-night cocktail (and maybe a chocolate chip cookie) at Essex.

What do you love about Seattle? I love that in little more than an hour I can be in the mountains or on the islands. I can be picking berries or sitting on the bay. I love that we take advantage of the sun when it’s out. I love that it feels a bit like a small town with all the advantages of a city; great restaurants and bars, museums, music, and tons of creative people.

What would be surprising about Seattle to an outsider? That our summers are perfect and the locals and tourists alike love Pike Place. We may not get as enamored by the flying fish as the tourists do but we have our sweet spots in the market that we love. We just avoid it on the weekends.

Can you give a couple of tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Seek out the best light. Lighting in any form of photography is incredibly important but especially so in phone photography. Take many many shots, from all different angles.

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Name:Ashley Rodriguez

Best place to eat?

It’s hard to choose one. But based on frequency I’d say Delancey.

Best place to drink?

Essex. Order the Ashley Sazerac. It’s pretty much my greatest accomplishment to have a cocktail named after me.

Best place to shop?

Ballard Ave is full of great shops. My current favorite is The Palm Room. I loaded up with exotic plants from there to give my house a burst of freshness. While you’re there stop in at D’Ambrosia for gelato.

Best outdoor activity?

Picnic at the beach

Favorite park?


Favorite neighborhood?


Local tip:

Venture out of downtown. So much Seattle life happens in the little neighborhood pockets.

If someone was visiting what must they do?

Drink coffee. Drink beer. Eat seafood.