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Self-guided eating tour of Olympia's Capitol Way

From Meconi's to Olympia Farmers Market and the 8 eateries in between

Meconi's Italian Subs begins a Capitol Way food trail toward the Olympia Farmers Market. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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This isn't just a story about Olympia restaurants: It's also a self-guided walking tour of Capitol Way, Olympia's answer to Main Street.

The stretch from where the road begins at the Olympia Farmers Market south to the State Capital Museum on 21st Avenue is a great walk to take to get to know Olympia. It's a mile and a half, just enough to stimulate your appetite - and, given the weather this time of year, have you ready to get warm and dry when you choose a destination. (For a shorter walk, start at the Capitol Campus at 14th Avenue and Capitol Way.)

Another benefit, parking is free and easy south of the Capitol, although in many areas it's limited to two hours per day on business days.

As you head north, here are some of the eateries you'll pass:

Meconi's Italian Subs - Yes, we know. There is another sub shop nearby with a familiar name. But Meconi's is a small local chain - and the Meconi family hails from Pennsylvania, where they know their hoagies. 1018 Capitol Way S., Olympia; 360.534.0240 or

Wagner's European Bakery and Cafe - This family-run bakery has a bright, pleasant atmosphere and sweets galore. Try the cinnamon bread. A new addition is the Pizza Annex, where you can get slices, whole pies and even pizza to take and bake. 1013 Capitol Way S., Olympia; 360.357.7268 or 360.357.4555 (for the Pizza Annex) or

Bonjour Cupcakes - OK, cupcakes are no longer the latest thing, but they remain ubiquitous. Bonjour's rotating assortment includes such flavors as lavender, strawberry margarita and maple bacon. 609 Capitol Way S., Olympia; 360.515.0564 or

Ristorante Basilico - This elegant restaurant offers authentic Northern Italian food - the owners are from Italy - including fresh pasta and wonderful wines. Special dietary requests are graciously accommodated, too. It's a great place for a special occasion. 507 Capitol Way S., Olympia; 360.570.8777

Acqua Via - This bright, open restaurant, which shares a chef with Water Street Cafe, is right at the center of the downtown hustle and bustle. The food is Italian-inspired, and plates of cheese and charcuterie are among the highlights. 500 Capitol Way S., Olympia; 360.357.6677

Pizzeria La Gitana - Wood-fired pizza is the main attraction at La Gitana, which uses organic produce when possible. 518 Capitol Way S., Olympia; 360.753.2929 or

The Bread Peddler - With croissants that are as close as Olympia gets to Europe, the Bread Peddler serves breakfast and lunch as well as breads and pastries. The morning roll, a combination of sticky bun and croissant, is a must-try. 222 Capitol Way N., Olympia; 360.352.1175

Trinacria - This longtime favorite, which won best Italian food in our Best of Olympia poll many times, offers a simple and traditional menu (homemade pasta, pizza, calzones). Cultural note: Salad comes after the meal. 113 Capitol Way N., Olympia; 360.352.8892

Sidewalk Cafe - Seating is extremely limited at this lunch-only spot, but the menu makes up for it, with creative sandwiches and homemade pies. One recent special, dubbed the Paradise Panini, had ham, bacon, provolone, pineapple and green peppers. 601 Capitol Way N., Olympia; 360.878.9637

Olympia Farmers Market - The market is a fitting final destination at the end of Capitol Way: Its outdoor food court has seven restaurants serving German, Indian and Japanese food and more. It's open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today-Sunday and then starts winter hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays only. 700 Capitol Way N., Olympia; 360.352.9096 or

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