A Mobile Maven Shares Her Favorite Seattle Spots

Danielle Custer's favorite restaurants, bars, museums and more.

Seattle chef Danielle Custer is the co-creator of Mobile Mavens, a fleet of vintage-inspired food trucks that serve delicious food made with local ingredients. She recently shared some of her favorite brick-and-mortar Seattle restaurants, her favorite food trucks and her favorite day-trip for visitors.

What prompted the move to food trucks?

I got the “food truck bug” with my first—Monte Cristo. That was such a special time in my career, bringing gourmet mobile melts to the streets of Seattle. When Monte was done, I started thinking about how to make the food truck experience even more mobile and compact so it could go to more places—Monte was quite large so when you look at the Mobile Mavens fleet, they are miniature in comparison but just as delicious. Where these trucks can go is endless.

Where can people find you?

Along with the website, the best way to find us is to follow us on social media.

What are some other food trucks around town you love?

“Big Blue”—Marination Mobile—amazing from when it helped lead the food truck scene from the get go and better than ever. Others: Nosh, Dante’s Inferno Dogs, People of the Chubbs, Kiss My Grits, Bread & Circuses, Napkin Friends 

What about favorite brick-and-mortar restaurants?

I have become very content with casual dining in Seattle and the big flavors in unassuming places. Some of my favorites lately are  Stoneburner—love everything, especially the focus on delicious veggie dishes, casual pizzas and meat plates and basically everything they do. I love the Lambrusco by the glass and they have the best French 75s and Manhattans in town. Also, I can’t stop thinking about that smoked tofu at Joule. For classic dim sum—T&T Seafood in Edmonds—it’s a Sunday afternoon favorite with a stop at Sky Nursery on the way back home to Ballard.

Any favorite spots to grab a cocktail or glass of wine or beer in the summer months?

If I want to be by the water I head to Marination Ma Kai on Alki or Westward on Lake Union. I love Brimmer & Heeltap’s patio, Vif (for wine lovers) and the deck at Revel.

 Westward

What are your favorite shopping spots?

Ballard Farmers Market is fantastic. Especially in the spring and summer months, it’s a chef’s paradise with all the cool things that start showing up that you can take back to the kitchen and play with. 

Favorite museums?

Nordic Heritage Museum and SAM [Seattle Art Museum]. We’re lucky to live in Seattle where the arts are thriving more and more.

Favorite Seattle landmark?

The clock at the Pike Place Market.

What is a must-see or must-do whenever you have out-of-town visitors?

The San Juans are my happy place. Definitely a seaplane trip on Kenmore Air and then head back and check out Chihuly Garden and Glass followed by dinner (and more wine!).

What is your fondest Seattle memory?

Watching a sail boat regatta from Golden Gardens—made me move here. Sailing in Seattle is pretty incredible.

Where do you like to go on vacation?

Warm and sunny destinations usually. The winter months here make me crave the sun. I just returned from Australia and New Zealand. Truly amazing. Also, like most chefs, I could stay in Italy forever. Locally, I love the San Juans, the Canadian Gulf Islands / British Columbia and Portland.

What’s next on your destinations-to-visit list?

Scandinavia would be terrific, along with South America and the Caribbean.

Any must-pack items when you travel?

A glassybaby, cheese, wine—the perfect picnic in seconds.

Window or aisle?

Window for longer flights and aisle for the quick ones! I like to dash off the plane and begin my adventure as soon as we land. 

Margaret Martin
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