Top 7 Places to Score Free Food

By Michelle Wen
If you read the internet, you know about listicles, but this one is better than the rest so get hyped. Every week we count down the top 7 in various categories about the great city of Seattle. This week we explore…

The Top 7 Places to Score Free Food

They say there is no such thing as a free meal, but others would argue this depends on your risk tolerance, stomach strength and how much you need to get off the grid and hide from a cruel world that just doesn’t understand you. Here are 7 ideas for how to frolic in the garden of earthly delights that is Seattle.

Yum! This assortment at Pike Place is free if you steal it right.
Yum! This assortment at Pike Place is free if you steal it right.

7. Pike Place Market
This is a degustation experience. A shot of MarketSpice cinnamon-orange tea. Several laden spoons of Ellenos yoghurts – marionberry pie, chai, and lemon curd. A dozen generous slices of juicy peaches, mangos, apples, and such from the grocers. An assortment of duchilly hazelnuts, chocolate covered cherries, crostini in olive oil and dips, some cubes of fresh-made cheese.

6. The Burke-Gilman Trail
From apple trees nested under the Lenora Street Walk near Pike Place to plum trees at Mercer and Taylor, the city is just full of free food in the Summer. The Burke-Gilman Trail has blackberries, apples, fennel fronds and other herbs useful for potions and such. If you’re anything like me, your old hands and powdery bones get tired. You can enjoy a little rest by the river bank. There are plenty of bushes around.

This stuff is literally in dumpsters. Go get it!
This stuff is literally in dumpsters. Go get it!

5. Theo Chocolate
You may find yourself patching up a gingerbread door with this stuff, or gluing your marzipan windows in place. Yes, it’s chocolate! At this factory, you can take a tour and learn a lot about construction. If you don’t use it for ballast, the chocolate is still good and will make a great lure for anyone who wanders by you in the forest.

4. Your office
Unless you work in the dank shadows of nightmare, a vile cesspool of corporate malfeasance, or a Starbucks, most workplaces offer complimentary coffee and tea. Try boiling up a nourishing stew of coffee, tea, and 7 hour energy drink. For a festive twist, add in some mushrooms picked from the nearest greenbelt (the red ones with white spots are good), and let it sit for 3 weeks in an outhouse. It’s filling once you build a tolerance, and handy to have around for more difficult marks.

3. Selected dumpsters at a location close to you
There are literally bins overflowing with food just waiting for you! You can even try pet store dumpsters to pick up treats for your loved ones. My fur baby Beelzebub likes anything with maggots. You’ll be going at night so bring a head torch, a wreath of garlic, and a wooden stake. After you pick out the things you want to keep, you can drop off some bits and bobs for others to stumble across. Be sure to wear gloves.

2. Weeds – like Dandelions

Don't blow the dandelions. This just creates more. Goddam children.
Don’t blow the dandelions. This just creates more. Goddam children.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Truly, there is nothing is more rewarding than being one with nature. If you and your friends like to transform into crows and go flapping about eating organic things, you should make a day out of it and give back to the community.

Don’t just perch on that overgrown burial mound waiting for passerby, do some weeding! Although unwelcome growing around a gravestone, you can make good use of this greenery. Try rolling it into a cigar-like object and smoking it. It has medicinal properties and can help with your mouth sores and guilty conscience, if for some reason you allow one to develop.

1. Air
Eventually after many seasons of clean living, your virtuous lifestyle will help you attain nirvana (a cool thing that started in Seattle). This means you subsist solely on air and moisture from the rain that falls non-stop 10 months out of the year. Most commonly grown hydroponically indoors. You won’t have to worry about pesky children nibbling at your candy house or capturing any new friends because you’ll be naught but a noxious cloud of smoke.

This could be you rising over the treetops!
This could be you rising over the treetops!

Note: Readers, we are advising you to make origami out of the social contract … not to burn it up entirely. So please, do not steal from community gardens, do not take vicious bites of your co-worker’s sandwiches, and do not move back home to freeload off your poor parents.

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