Museums:

  • Seattle Art Museum – not sure what the current exhibit is, but the permanent ones are always good. This is just a couple blocks from Pike Place Market
  • MOHAI – Museum of History and Industry. It’s in South Lake Union, an easy drive from the apartment. I haven’t been yet, but it’s right on the water and opened semi-recently (last year or the year before). Apparently they did a really good job.
  • Not a museum, but the Seattle Public Library is a crazy glass building done by a famous architect (I can’t remember the name). We’re horrible people and have never gone, but it’s really cool and right in the middle of the business district downtown.
  • Seattle Center
    • Chihuly Glass Garden Museum (it’s in the middle of Seattle Center
    • EMP (The Experience Music Project) – Ray has free passes. Right next to the Space Needle
    • Space Needle (duh). If it’s a clear day, definitely worth getting the ticket to the top to check out the view. If you do Chihuly + Space Needle you can get a discounted ticket

Neighborhoods to check out:

  • Capitol Hill – this is hipster mecca of Seattle and also known as the gay community’s hub. If we didn’t live in Fremont, we’d be in Capitol Hill. Neverending selection of awesome restaurants, shops, bars, and people watching. It’s also one of the most expensive neighborhoods since everyone & their mom wants to live there. Super easy & wander-able. Broadway is the main ‘drag’, but if you walk around 10-13th Streets between Pike & Pine you’ll find lots of awesomeness. Also down on Melrose on the other side of Broadway there are great shops and coffee spots.
  • Fremont – There are lots of shops, bars, etc. 35th is kind of the main road and then go between 35th & the canal to find more shops. Go check out the troll under the bridge (the 99-bridge). if you walk east on 35th and then turn left when you’re under the bridge you’ll find it. he has a VW bug with CA plates in his clutches. Also go to Gasworks Park nearby – it’s just down the road on 34th. It’s an old refinery turned into a public park with a sweeping view of downtown Seattle and Lake Union.
  • Ballard. It’s Fremont’s next door neighbor to the West. Very cute old neighborhood. Go to old town Ballard, Ballard Ave off of Market St. to find lots of cute shops and restaurants.
  • Downtown – Pike/Pine and 5th ave is where the big shopping is vs. the cute neighborhood boutiques. Go down Pike St toward the waterfront and you’ll run into Pike Place Market.
  • West Seattle / Alki Beach – a bit of a drive from downtown, but really cute neighborhood with a REAL beach (!!). Also killer views of downtown. Marination Makai is a great lowkey food stop as is Duke’s Chowder House. Both really tasty. This is really a laid back area of Seattle – lots of roller bladers, joggers, and firepits on the beach.

Cafes:

  • Lighthouse Coffee Roasters – literally 3 doors down from our apartment. Delicious coffee and really nice people. Would be a good place to grab a cup as you head out to start the day
  • Cafe Vita – a few blocks away from the apartment on the corner. Also good, but I like Lighthouse better. More charming :) You’ll see these ones all around the city.

Eats:

  • Brunch / Lunch:
    • (Downtown/Belltown) Local 360 – on 1st Ave in Belltown. A bit of a walk from Pike Place, but would be a yummy lunch. Kind of indulgent food, but all sourced locally. The peanut butter & jelly bon-bons will change your life.
    • (Fremont) Dots Delicatessen – right next to Cafe Vita a few blocks away. Insanely good artisan deli sammys. I got the BLT with avo and would recommend it.
    • (Downtown/Belltown): Lola. Tom Douglas restaurant. He owns basically half of the restaurants inSeattle, but he does a good job. Lola has delish brunch and lunch. Think salmon skewers, lamb kebab, greek salads, etc.
    • (Downtown/Belltown): In the Via 6 condo building, there is a killer new ‘marketplace’ owned by Tom Douglas in the bottom. There is a sit down restaurant called Tanakasan which is really good. There is also a coffee shop, a grocery/take out place and a florist. It’s a block away from my office so I’m there basically every day.
    • (Capitol Hill): Oddfellows. Really good atmosphere & food. Laid back. Breakfast and Lunch are both yummy. Salads, sandwiches, etc but all done really well.
    • (Capitol Hill): Homegrown. A pricy but delicious sandwich, salad or soup. On Capitol Hill this is in the Melrose Market, so there is Homegrown, a cheese shop, a butcher, a flower shop, and a killer restaurant called Sitka & Spruce. Super cute space worth checking out. There is a cool mid century furniture store a few blocks away that I think you’d like too
    • (South Lake Union): Brave Horse Tavern. Go here for brunch. It is a big bar, with shuffleboard and the like, but it’s also another Tom Douglas joint so the brunch is bonkers. Skillets, benedicts, and the best bloody mary we’ve had in Seattle.
    • (South Lake Union): Serious Pie (pizza) or Serious Biscuit (brunch). Also Tom Douglas. Seriously good pizza & seriously good biscuits. They’re in the same building, the biscuit is just downstairs and the pizza is upstairs
    • (Capitol Hill) Cafe Presse: French breakfast. Ray didn’t love it, but my girlfriends and I go here all the time. It’s cute and small and the food is yummy.
    • (Capitol Hill) Coastal Kitchen. Great easy spot for breakfast. A little outside the main Cap Hill bubble on 15th.
    • (Capitol Hill) The Wandering Goose. a tiny but delicious brunch place a few doors down from Coastal Kitchen. We haven’t been since you really can’t go with more than one other person… but it’s on our list.
    • (Capitol Hill): Cafe Angelica.  Best almond croissant along with basically everything else.
  • Dinner
    • (Capitol Hill) Spinasse. Best Italian food ever. Not cheap, but seriously good. Get the angel hair pasta with butter & sage. They usually have 3 pastas on the menu, so we’ll get a half order of each so we can try them all. I’d try to get a reservation, but if you don’t and you need to wait, they have a partnership with the bar next door so you can sit down and get an app and drink while you wait (just make sure you save plenty of room)
    • (Capitol Hill) Poppy. They serve food in Thalis, so you get a little bit of lots of delicious things. The atmosphere isn’t the best ever, but the food is killer.
    • (Capitol Hill) Sitka & Spruce. It’s in the Melrose Market. It’s on our restaurant bucket list. Haven’t made it there yet, but we’ve only heard great things
    • (Fremont): Rock Creek. New-ish Seafood restaurant down the street from our apartment, a couple doors up from Dots Deli. It’s awesome seafood. And Macklemore ate there twice in a week he liked it so much 😉
    • (Capitol Hill): Mamnoon. Was just written up by Seattle Mag as one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in the city. Been meaning to go…
    • (Capitol Hill):  Witness.  A very unique experience, especially on Saturday nights when there is a real live sermon going on.
    • (Capitol Hill): Smith. Interesting American/comfort food. The trout and mac and cheese were both so good.
    • (Fremont): The Whale Wins. It’s a little outside of central Fremont, bordering on Wallingford. Still a very close drive. Seafood and great atmosphere. In the same building is Joule, a French/Korean restaurant that’s supposed to be great.
    • (Fremont): Revel. Korean fusion restaurant. The short rib dumplings and the crab noodles are crazy good. This is one of our favorites and it’s directly at the bottom of the hill from our place.
    • (Ballard): Ballard Annex Oyster House. Awesome seafood in Ballard’s old town.
    • (Ballard): Stoneburner. New restaurant in the new Ballard Hotel. We’re going there for Valentine’s Day (well, the day before to avoid crowds), so I’ll let you know how it is.
    • (Ballard): Bastille. Inventive French food. Really good. Also in old town Ballard.
    • (Ballard): Staple & Fancy. Right in front of Walrus & the Carpenter. Ethan Stowell restaurant (he is Tom Douglas’ main competition – he also has a bunch of Seattle restaurants). The tasting menu is really good and you can tell them whatever modifications you want.
    • (Ballard): Walrus & the Carpenter. Crazy good oyster/seafood place. Go right when it opens if you don’t want to wait for a long time. It’s so good. The steak tartare…omg.
    • (Ballard): Hot Cakes. go here for dessert. The entire menu is chocolate-based. The molten cakes are what they’re famous for. And it’s magical.
  • Drinks:
    • Mostly recommend walking around Capitol Hill, Ballard or Fremont for nighttime fun. Don’t go to Pioneer Square at night. It gets a little dicey.
      • Cap Hill – Capitol Cider, Lost Lakes, Grims, Poquitos (restaurant with fun bar), are a good start
      • Ballard – Macleods (Scottish bar), Kings, the bar in the back of Bastille, etc.
      • Fremont – The Back Door (speakeasy-style – the entrance is in a parking lot behind Norms), Quion (bar attached to Revel), 9 Million in Unmarked Bills, the High Dive, Norms, etc.