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seattle design guide

by Grace Bonney

today’s seattle city guide update comes to us from cassandra lavalle, local seattle-ite blogger, stylist and owner of coco+kelley. after several readers approached her to design their own homes and weddings, cassandra seized the opportunity to officially launch her own business as an interior + event designer in her hometown of seattle in october 2008. now she offers us a stylish guided tour through seattle’s best shopping and dining!

CLICK HERE for the full city guide after the jump!

Seattle City Guide

An area that has continued to grow in the past few years, Ballard is well known for its fabulous dining and perfectly procured boutiques. About 15 minutes from Downtown Seattle, it is well worth a visit just to discover the unique and still-growing list of locally owned establishments, including a few of our top picks:

: With dramatic black walls, and wonderfully unique items, Lucca is a must see for Ballard. Their selection includes new and vintage curiosities, apothecary, cards, and home décor, and some of my favorite chandeliers.

Souvenir: For some of the most beautiful eye candy you’ve ever seen, you must, must, must stop in Souvenir where owner Curtis Steiner cultivates a curio shop exhibiting delicate cards and stunning jewelry amongst his other collections.

RE Store: If you’re in the market for salvage pieces, this is your place. With everything from schoolhouse chairs and rows (and rows and rows) of old windows and doors, antique hardware, and great vintage lighting, this is a treasure hunt worth going on!

The Palm Room: If there is such a thing as a plant boutique, this is it. They specialize in Palms and Cacti (perfect for sustainable gardens). If you’re in the neighborhood you might as wells stroll in just to get a dose of green.

dolce vita: A little NYC in Seattle? Yes, it’s possible, and dolce vita has proved that its glamorous and sophisticated style isn’t too much for some Seattlites to handle. Perfect if you’re shopping for some well-made investment pieces to add to the wardrobe.

Other Shops Worth a Stop:
Space Oddity: With a focus on mid-century modern furniture, this place is a must for those searching for Eames chairs, mini bars and perfect credenzas
Velouria: Lots of pretty little goodies from independent designers line the shelves of this beloved boutique. Stop in for anything from bags to art and jewelry!
Camelion Design: With classic and contemporary designed furniture and accessories, this large space offers customized furniture pieces, interior design services and even a small children’s section.
Blackbird: Originally known for its men’s collection, Blackbird now has wardrobe offerings for men, women and home. Simple, beautiful design is their forte.

For the Foodies:
Delancy: The much anticipated pizza place established by blogger Molly Wizenberg, aka Orangette has a loyal following, but be prepared to wait for your little slice of heaven.
Cupcake Royale*: Before cupcakes were the next big thing, there was Cupcake Royale. Try their award winning Lavender or go with a classic Red Velvet. You can’t go wrong.
La Carta De Oaxaca: Most locals will agree – good Mexican and Latin fare in Seattle is hard to come by. This is the exception. If you love the real deal, then go now, but be prepared to wait as they don’t accept reservations.
Ocho: One of my favorite hidden spots, you’ll likely find yourself waiting for a table, but it’s worth it! Amazing Spanish tapas and a simple but fabulous wine list. Or opt for a signature cocktail!
Bastille: The décor in this restaurant is enough to transport you and lure you into this gorgeous French bistro. The food just happens to be almost as amazing, too.

Capitol Hill:

Capitol Hill is the cultural beacon of Seattle. It is home to more than a few excellent local coffee houses and bars, a healthy indie music and arts scene, and neighborhood parks. Within Capitol Hill are the Pike/Pine corridor, Broadway, and 15th- all areas that have become ‘hoods within one ‘hood. The dining and nightlife list alone would require its own guide, but there are a few standout shops that we can easily recommend:

Area 51: New and vintage modern furnishings in a huge space with a great selection. Definitely a stop for those looking for clean and stylish home décor.

Revival Home & Garden: Color reigns supreme at this fabulous shop where refurbished vintage pieces are paired with custom and designer pillows and lamps. Gorgeous finds from owner Leah Steen take on a trendy twists make this store a must!

Square Room: A mix of fabulous indie art, jewelry, ceramics and other home décor and delights, this place is easy to miss, but you really shouldn’t.

Other Shops Worth a Stop:
La Rousse: Indie shopping at its best, La Rousse features uber cool up and coming designers that make unique additions to the wardrobe.
Kobo: A focus on northwest and Japanese style and décor sets this shop apart from the rest. Expect some very original finds in by real craftsmen in organic materials.
Retrofit Home: True to its name, there is a retro pop vibe to this shop that houses cool pieces from modern designers like Angela Adams, Kartell and Philippe Starck accessorized with fun books, tabletop, bags and more.

For the Foodies:
Café Presse: Award winning coffee and gourmet lunches during the day, a full bar and ever changing menu at night. You can’t go wrong!
Joe Bar: A sweet little hidden spot for fresh morning crepes, coffee and local artist displays.
Quinn’s: If we’re out on Capitol Hill, chances are you’ll find us here enjoying delicious small plates and an extensive wine list amongst a crowd of fans of this gastro pub.
Kingfish Café: This restaurant has long been a favorite of Seattlites for their delicious traditional Southern fare and infamous red velvet cake.
Anchovies & Olives: The latest restaurant from another beloved local chef, Ethan Stowell, this Italian-inspired seafood and pasta joint has everyone talking.
Sitka & Spruce: One of those restaurants where you instantly feel at home, Sitka & Spruce’s limited menu means you get served whatever the chef is in the mood for – and it’s always something fantastic. A recent move from its smaller Eastlake location up to Capitol Hill should be interesting!


Perched on Puget Sound, where you can watch ferries come and go to the local islands, you can’t beat downtown Seattle when the sun is shining! You’ll find all the big stores down here including the flagship Nordstrom, and everything from Anthropologie and Barneys to H&M, as well as tons of wonderful spots to dine. Since we can’t list them all, here are the best on our list:

Great Jones Home: You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into the pages of Elle Décor with this shops over-the-top gorgeous mix of refinished vintage and new furniture pieces and home accents. This space is worth a visit simply for the inspiration.

Velocity: The stop for modern home décor, Velocity lives in a bright open space near Lake Union to accommodate their mix of pieces from popular designers of today as well as local artists. (Pssst – if you miss the store, don’t worry – the website is even more extensive!)

Watson Kennedy: Owner Ted Watson has some of the most exquisite taste and style in Seattle, and it shows in his stores – one located near Pioneer Square and the other smaller store by Pike Place Market. The shop has a French flea market feel, and boasts a fine selection of tabletop, paper, art, jewelry, and candles.

Ornamo: A selective showroom of some of design’s best and more innovative pieces including BDDW, Malm, Flocks, and more.

Other Shops Worth a Stop:
Fireworks: You’ll want to spend hours at this store with all the Indie treasures they feature – unique art, jewelry, pottery, wall decor and more! Always a great place to find an original gift.
Maison Luxe: Gorgeous case pieces from Oly mixed with vintage and antique home goods and furniture, this small shop on an upper floor near Pioneer Square operates on an appointment only basis.
Luly Yang Couture: The only true couture house in Seattle, Luly’s shop is a delight to browse and a must on the schedule if you’re looking for a special piece.
Pike Place Market: Do we even need to tell you to be sure to stop by the market? There you can nibble on Beecher’s Cheese, visit the original Starbucks, dine at Matt’s in the Market and delight in loads of fresh produce, seafood and flowers.
The Seattle Art Museum which
• includes the Olympic Sculpture Park closer to the water always boasts engaging collections and exhibits.
Sur La Table: THE Seattle kitchen store, Sur La Table is a must for any chef. A large variety of cookware and tabletop items, cooking lessons, and a very helpful staff.

For the Foodies:
Le Pichet: Delicious French fare in a casual setting, you can find diners here all times of the day
Tom Douglas Restaurants: A trip to Seattle may not be complete without visiting one of Tom’s fantastic restaurants. There’s a reason he’s a favorite local celebrity chef!
Salumi: Armandino Bitali’s traditional Italian cured meats and small dishes are a popular pick for the lunch crowd downtown as well as any true Italian lover.
Macrina Bakery: Where do we go when we need a delectable birthday cake? Macrina of course! If you’re wondering which of the many many coffee shops to stop into, we’d suggest this one if only do enjoy their delicious bakery offerings.
The Pink Door: On a sunny day, enjoy their comfortable patio. By evening, the dining room is transformed into a nightly cabaret for serious entertainment. All accompanied by delicious Italian-American fare.


This quirky neighborhood has gone from artsy and hippie to hipster and urban, and now settles for something a bit in between. You can still feel the neighborhood’s true roots in the form of street art and statues, unique shops, and the annual (sometimes clothing-optional) parades and fairs. For a true taste of Seattle culture, this area is the perfect place to explore with shops lining every inch of this small neighborhood. Our personal favorites:
o Les Amis: The most gorgeous collection of clothes you’ve ever seen with plenty of independent labels and carefully selected pieces.
o Deluxe Junk: The name says it all. Deluxe Junk has everything from fabulous chandeliers and retro furniture to kitschy and hard to find items like clown shoes and stork statues (perfect for a baby’s room!) A Fremont staple, this is not one to pass by.

Fremont Sunday Market: If you’re a treasure hunter, then this is your Mecca. Over 150 vendors with great antiques, vintage finds, and estate pieces fill the streets every Sunday.

Essenza: Stunning original jewelry, perfumes, beauty products and baby clothes.

Kimberly Baker: The flagship store from Baker features her curiosity inspired line.

Fremont Antique Mall: With a focus on “collectibles and popular culture” this Antique mall has a more retro modern feel than most, and features tons of great selections in home accessories, as well as a small variety of furniture and clothing.

Willow & Bloom:This sweet flower shop not only boasts beautiful bouquets, but also has a small selection of papers and ribbons.

Theo Chocolate: The only organic, fair trade, locally made chocolate factory in the country, Theo’s storefront is connected to its factory so you can taste, take a tour, and learn all about their amazing chocolates from bean to bar, as they say. My personal favorites are the Bread &Chocolate and Spicy Chile.

Other Shops Worth a Stop:
Burnt Sugar: Bright and retro styles for the table, selective books, bags and fun cosmetics, and a variety of other fresh finds make this little shop in Fremont the go-to place for fun gifts and unique items. They also house a second store within a store – Frankie – devoted completely to shoes.
Dream, Finch & Sparrow and Bliss: Three boutiques within a few steps of each other, each with its own vibe and price range. This trio is owned by Neil Silverman who knows how to cater to the Seattle shopping crowd, and all are worth a browse in if you’re walking by.

For the Foodies:
Homegrown: This newcomer to the neighborhood has become a fast favorite with their ‘sustainable sandwiches’ and fresh ingredients.
El Camino: An outdoor patio combined with the best margaritas and plantains in Seattle make this a must in the summer.
35th Street Bistro: Transport yourself out of Fremont and into France in this café styled restaurant where a more sophisticated crowd enjoys the tiny bar and a fabulous menu.
Paseo: Locals swear by this Caribbean sandwich shop, and you’re sure to find a line down the sidewalk during lunch hour. If you can take the wait, it’s well worth it.
Rialto: I have to put in a shameless plug for my father’s own restaurant where he cooks up simple southern Italian fare, makes the best meatballs you’ve ever tasted, and has an outdoor patio for the summer. Just ask for Rudy!

Madison Valley/Madison Park:

Madison Park is one of the oldest and most established neighborhoods in Seattle. Right on the shores of Lake Washington, this area sets itself apart from the buzz of the city with smaller shops and a mellow energy. For a relaxing few hours of browsing and dining, here are the best spots:

Red Ticking: With the feeling of a most discriminate French flea market, this sweet space is known for its beautiful antique linens and European décor and furniture, both old and new.

Veritables: Another favorite, this store has a fantastic collection of statement lighting, furniture and accessories.

Martha Harris: Insanely amazing florals are just the beginning at this beautiful shop. Enjoy garden accessories, fine china, and little decorative pieces for the home.

Other Shops Worth a Stop:
City People’s: A great local stop with fresh plants, helpful staff, and a small home décor and garden shop.
Canopy Blue: A sweet little shop to feast your eyes on, browsing through lines from Calypso, DVF and Milly in this heavenly space will make your day!
• Tricoter (Tricoter): For sumptuous yarns and knitting accessories, this is the spot.
Washington Park Arboretum: Beautiful grounds featuring a notable Japanese garden and Northwest plants. It’s especially inspiring in the fall!

For the Foodies:
Harvest Vine: Basque dining and an amazing wine list with an organic conscious, Harvest Vine is a Seattle favorite.
Café Flora: If you’re a vegetarian, then Café Flora is your spot. Even for those who may enjoy a meaty meal, there’s nothing on this menu that won’t sound welcome! Before many restaurants had even began to think about organic product and buying local, Café Flora was on the forefront of this move. Request a spot in the atrium for a lovely experience!
Crush: Located in a charming remodeled Tudor house, Crush serves up modern Northwest cuisine in a cozy environment.

Queen Anne:

This is a neighborhood divided. On the top of Queen Anne Hill you’ll find a suburban-esque community of quaint shops and small dining spots, not to mention amazing views of the city. Lower Queen Anne, however, boasts more lively nightlife and dining options. Here are our favorite picks from both worlds:

Stuhlbergs: With a focus on tabletop and paperie, Stuhlbergs offers sophisticated options for both, as well as custom invitation design, and beautiful bath goods as well as a sweet children’s section. Our favorite spot to browse on the hill!

Nancy’s Sewing Basket: Yes, of course there are loads of beautiful fabrics in this store, but it’s the treasure trove of vintage and new ribbons, trims and fabric flowers tucked into a back room of the store that makes it a go to shop for those who appreciate the little things.

Queen Anne Dispatch: Modeled after old fashioned dry goods stores, this small space offers select wardrobe pieces, shoes, lingerie, small home accessories, jewelry and… of course… a mailing service.

For the Foodies:

• Muse Coffee Co.: Yes, there are many many coffee shops in Seattle to choose from, but this is one of our favorites. Designed by local lifestyle celebrity, Kelley L Moore, her husband actually runs the shop and is there most days. Fantastic coffee plus ambiance? You can’t beat that.

How to Cook A Wolf: Strange name, yes. Amazing restaurant? You betcha. Stop in and sit at the bar to converse with the friendly staff that knows their stuff and enjoy simple and rustic Italian dishes.
Toulouse Petit: Celebrating the French Quarter and tradition of New Orleans cooking, this hot spot glows with what feels like thousands of candles and wows with delicious dishes.

Ototo Sushi: This is one tucked away sushi spot that you won’t hear everyone raving about, and that’s what makes it great. Fresh, and usually not full, you are well taken care of at this little spot with fresh modern design.

Canlis: Usually reserved for very special occasions, Canlis is a Seattle tradition in dining with stunning views to match the indulgent experience.

Other Fine Favorites:

Let’s face it – we can’t possibly cover every neighborhood that Seattle has to offer… but there are always those few spots worth the trip beyond the larger or more convenient areas. Her are our recommendations:


Pacific Galleries: Go straight to the source for beautiful wood antique pieces, and a few more modern goods as well.

24 Karat Antiques & Vintage Interiors: Another must stop for extremely unique vintage and antique pieces that echo everything from old Hollywood glamour and French flea market.

Great Stuff: Truly unique finds like oversized antique signs, vintage school lockers, and more fill this small but amazing shop. If you’re looking for a standout piece for your home, this Georgetown shop should be your first stop.

Earthwise Salvage: Oversized church windows. Gorgeous antique hutches. The huge variety of pieces at this warehouse is staggering and amazing! Perfect for those in the midst of a remodel or looking to add character to their home.


The House: Another very hidden spot worth a visit to the Magnolia neighborhood is The House. Super small but packed with fantastic Mid-Century Modern finds, they have serious quality offerings.


Scavenger Home: Gorgeous, glamorous vintage modern pieces for the home, we love the style of this hidden Redmond secret.

University Village

Glassybaby: A local phenomenon, glassybaby is a one-product shop… but what a product it is! Glowing blown glass vessels that come in an array of beautiful colors, glassybabies have become a favorite gift and indulgence for many Seattleites.


Paper Delights: Fresh and modern styled cards, wrappings, desk accessories and more await you at this lovely little shop. They also offer invitation design services for brides-to-be

West Seattle

Clementine: An adorable accessories boutique for any shoe lover to indulge in.

Capers: A lovely home store featuring furniture and accent pieces with beautiful, classic simplicity.

Moxie Papergoods: Who can resist a good paperie? Moxie is one of the best in Seattle, and worth the visit! They also opened a newer location in Bellevue Square for those relegated to the Eastside.

For the Foodies:

International District:

Maneki: The very first sushi bar ever? It could be true! Maneki has been around since 1904 (nope, that’s not a typo) and serves authentic sushi and Japanese cuisine to its loyal followers in the International District.


Molly Moon’s: What’s better than homemade ice cream, you ask? Well, nothing, really. Which is why you should definitely stop in to this local favorite for deliciously unique flavors like Salted Caramel, Honey Lavender and Rosemary Lemon. Venture to Wallingford for this delicious treat and explore while you’re there!

Tilth: Also located in Wallingford, Tilth has received serious acclaim as a certified organic restaurant using local produce and offering an ever evolving menu that has many Seattlites constantly coming back for more.

West Seattle:

Bakery Nouveau: West Seattleites claim it to be Seattle’s best bakery. Guess you’ll just have to make the jaunt across the water to find out!

Suggested For You


  • thanks so much grace! i’m so excited that it’s finally up! with seattle’s ever-growing shopping and dining scene, it was hard to keep up, so i can’t wait to read what others might have to contribute as well!

    best, cassandra

  • Yay! So glad you posted this. I live in Seattle near Greenwood — when you stop by the cool little antique shops on Greenwood Ave, be sure to also check out the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company. You can pick up your very own black hole starter kit, bottles of “certainty,” and other quirky gifts. Fun fun! http://www.greenwoodspacetravelsupply.com/

  • Thank you so much for writing all this up! A small, but grave, omission: the fabulous Velouria here in Ballard. Not only does Tess have an awesome selection of handmade jewelry, bags, cards and clothes, right now there’s also a show of Lisa Congdon’s work on the walls.

  • Love it. Living in Seattle myself, I must say you this is pretty good. I love watson kennedy as well. And one cannot live without going to Cafe Presse

  • Perfect! I’m interning in Seattle this summer and want to get out to all the neighborhoods. Your guide will get me started. I want to go NOW! (Too bad I’m at work)

  • Yessssssss! The timing on this couldn’t be more perfect for me, as I am going on a little trip to Seattle very soon. Thanks so much for this – I can wait to check out all the fantastic suggestions :)

  • The shop in Ballard that Heather referred to is called Souvenir. It’s owned by Curtis Steiner, who is a brilliant and creative designer. Cards, jewelry, hand-made books and interesting pieces from his travels are all here. Check out the old wooden counter of drawers and don’t be timid about opening each one. Surprises to be found. This store is a treasure.

  • nice work with the lists! i lived in seattle for nearly 8 years…you included the best places!

  • oh yes, i love souvenir! i really think it’s one of the most unique and impressive shops in ballard. he has the most amazing taste!

  • Thats so cool that, within 24 hours, you’ve posted about my 2 hometowns, Seattle and Kansas City! I approve this guide!

  • I have just moved to Seattle and love it! You got to see Top Pot doughnuts, a great sunday morning trip. And to add to that sunday morning is the Ballard Farmer’s Market. Great organic, locally grown fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, ect… you name it.

  • lovely job – although, i have to say that top pot & cal anderson park deserve a little mention for the capitol hill section. yum & yum.

  • great roundup! as a belltown resident i have to add the SAM sculpture park as a must see. two of my favorite restaurants are Tavolata and Le Pichet, not just good food but great atmosphere as well. for shopping i have to add La Rousse and Rue are two great clothing boutiques. unfortunately, i walked by Urchin yesterday and they are closing :(.

  • Yay! I’ve been waiting for a Seattle guide. I just moved here six weeks ago, and am gradually making my way through as many home decor stores as possible. Note: Space Oddity really is an amazing little store. Of course it figures that they had no less than four beautiful midcentury credenzas for less than $400 the last time I was there, when I had no money. =(

  • How is it you managed to include all my favorite places?! Awesome list. Can’t wait to check out the ones you mentioned that I haven’t been to yet…

  • Wow, so comprehensive. This looks great! I’m just sad you didn’t expand on my ‘hood: Queen Anne, and thus forgetting about the taste sensation that is Macrina’s Bakery. I still like you though. :p

  • Thank you for the guide! I’m moving out there in August and can’t wait to check these stores out for some good finds :)

  • May is one of the best Thai
    restaurants in Wallingford. They have inventive, yummy drinks, more authentic food than usual (also yummy), and really great atmosphere.

    Also, last I heard the Fremont Antique Mall had lost it’s lease??

  • You forgot to mention that Fremont is the Center of the Universe.

    Coming from a Seattlite, I’m super psyched to go through this guide! I have been meaning to check out Earthwise for so long.

  • One more thing: I love both Area 51 and Le Frock, doesn’t hurt that I live up the street from both. My couch comes from Area 51 and I love it so much.

    It’s too bad that Blue Bottle Art Gallery didn’t make the list. It’s a fabulous little place to discover local arts and crafts, one of my favorites being Matthew Porter.

  • Hey, thanks for the mention on your list! When you come to Seattle next, be sure to stop by and introduce yourself….I mean it! :-)

    Also, one to add to the list is Bakery Nouveau in W. Seattle. One cannot live without their croissant and cafe au lait. Sublime!

    Hope to see you soon! Kelie

  • I agree with an earlier poster who said that you absolutely have to include SOUVENIR, Curtis Steiner’s completely stunning little gem of a store-cum-gallery-cum-curiousity-shoppe. Hidden, tiny and perpetually amazing.

  • Fabulous recap of Seattle sweetspots. I’d add the Rosanna warehouse in SoDo for dirt cheap charming ceramics and entertaining pieces. And Square Room has a second location in Cap Hill where the owners showcase their own art. Absolutely worth a visit.

  • I just returned from my first trip to Seattle and I absolutely adored it there!! What a beautiful, unique, interesting and all-around fun place. I visited many of these wonderful shops but there are many more I didn’t get to see. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to go back again ;)

  • Be sure to check out the South Lake Union neighborhood which is close to downtown. Velocity has moved there from Belltown and there are other great shops like http://www.tottini.com for kids, Urban Beast for pets and Vivace has the best coffee…all 4 are across the street from the magnate that is REI with the rock climbing wall.

    Also, you don’t want to miss riding the South Lake Union Trolley (aka the SLUT). July-Sept are perfect months for a trip to Seattle.

  • wow! you all made some extremely good suggestions and additions to this (a few i am hitting my head over, wondering how i could have forgotten them!) and, unfortunately, yes i had to skip over a few neighborhoods, but don’t know how i forgot to mention Macrina! so yummy (thank you Sidney Ann!), and Kelie i will definitely stop by the next time i’m home.

  • I love Space Oddity in Ballard and I’m always finding great stuff in Fremont :)

    Ballard is more like a 10-15 min bus ride or so from downtown, less if you drive.

  • Thanks for the mention, Cassandra; it’s a thrill to be on “A List” after a few months of business!

    Add to the Georgetown list the fabulous, just-opened Corson Building restaurant by Sitka & Spruce chef Matthew Dillon. The building housing it is alone worth a visit.

    Stop by and pay us a visit next time you’re in our neck o f the woods!

    –Leah, Revival Home & Garden

  • I would have loved to see what places you would have chosen for Queen Anne, I love Queen Anne (okay I’m biased, I live on Queen Anne). But there are many great places. You some of my top picks in other areas though too.

  • Great list! And perfect timing… I just moved to the area from TX a few months ago. Yay for more exploring. :) I have to add a few gems: International District Uwajimaya (w/a Books Kinokuniya) and Pioneer Square with Elliot Bay Books + lots of neat boutiques & antiques. In Bellevue, visit Main Street! (one of the Watson Kennedy stores is here as well as Fran’s Chocolate) A must is Theo Chocolate in Fremont – great artwork on the yummy bars, fair trade certified, and the best tour!

  • Aloha y’all. One neighborhood seems to be absent from this thread and that is the International District, particularly the emerging area of Japantown between Main and King on Sixth Avenue South. I know many think it’s just full of trinket stores, but lately, something’s brewing. In June, Maneki, the 100-year-old Japanese restaurant was bestowed with the James Beard award for best regional cooking (yum, fresh sushi and home-style food!) and the Panama Hotel is always an oasis of calm. Also, did you know that there are two relatively new and interesting stores on the corner of Sixth and Jackson? Momo, a Eurasian mix of French clothing and Asian home furnishings, and Kobo, a Japanese gift gallery. Across the street is Unicorn crepes, a tasty, quirky combo of east and west, popular on the streets of Japan. It’s an exotic day trip, right in our own city.

  • Ballard is also the home of Copper Gate (24th and 63rd?), a “Scandalnavian” lounge featuring mean specialty cocktails with ingredients like house made rhubarb bitters, a large selection of Aquavits, a delicious menu and a titillating decor (to say the least).

  • In Seattle in George Town there is a gal named Lorie Price Bischoff the owner of Soulful Adornments in Pacific Gallerys that all the local cool shops buy from. She has amazing Antique Jewelry and wonderful odd collectables from around the world. A must see in Seattle

  • just a note – the capers in fremont closed – the flagship one in w. seattle is still there. also, your link to cafe presse is wrong (the “e” at the end of presse was left out of the link.)

  • Thank you for the terrific listing of all our cool spots! Please stop in next time and say hi or come visit our newest store in Old Bellevue on Main Street. Many more homegrown cool stores there….La Rue boutique, so chic, Posh on Main, the already mentioned Watson Kennedy, Frans, Arbour and opening soon, another Monsoon restaurant!

    Marie Harris–Veritables

  • Just come across this….

    Wallingford may be forgotten (though not by me, I live there and love it), but it’s also the home of Trophy Cupcakes (best cupcakes by far in Seattle) and Molly Moon’s amazing icecream – balsamic strawberry or salted caramel anyone? Also Tilth and Art of the Table restaurants – two of the best restaurants in Seattle.

    In Belltown, Chartreuse is great for MCM stuff and also check out glassybaby in Madison Park and also UVillage for gorgeous handblown votive candle holders and now glasses. Inform is a really chic (though expensive) interiors shop on Furniture Row….

  • i just heard from my dad that a sweet couple of travelers who read my guide paid him a visit at his restaurant, and had been following my recommendations and lovin’ their tour of seattle! just wanted to say to them (if they happen to stop by here) THANK YOU!

    and, to those you have continued to add to the list, thank YOU. i included the areas of the city that i thought had the most in one spot for visitors, but there are so many amazing areas… it really just depends on what you’re looking for! i’ve heard of a lot of stores opening/closing in the last few months, so this will probably need an update again soon :)

  • Things in Ballard always seem to be changing, there are *many* wonderful surprises there.

    Farmers markets from May to October are great. City People’s on Sandpoint is also a funny little spot where you can find some gems. There are really cute little shops in nearly every neighborhood.

  • Great guide on Seattle! There is another neighborhood which you forgot to mention unless I missed it, “Eastlake”-also one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seattle on Lake Union filled with cute boutiques, salons, cafes and even a custom upholstery shop. It is right between downtown and the U-District.

  • Great Guide! Seattle has it all from great shops to awesome restaurants to innovative art and music. Just a terrific sense of community! It is as fun a city to visit as it is to live in. Ballard is quickly becoming my favorite neighborhood, but Eatlake and Queen Anne have some of my favorite restaurants!

    I do have one thing to add: Not yet open when this guide was written, the Midori Ribbon Monthly Outlet began in January. The Outlet is open First Friday every month from 10 am to 3 pm at 708 6th Ave N, Seattle, 98109 across from the Ruins.

    The Outlet features Midori’s exquisite Ribbon and 100 % recycled cotton Handmade Gift Wrap. Midori Buttons, Recycled Cotton bags, Silk Handbags, and more crafting/ art supplies are also available. If you like Midori Ribbon, the Outlet shop is a great find. Although it is off the beaten path and open for limited hours, it is near the Space Needle and Bi-annual sales in the Summer and near the holidays make it more accessible.

  • Hey! I actually live in Seattle, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
    Unfortunately, I grew up on the South side, and you didn’t mention anything around Renton or Rainier Beach. I know they’re not the best neighborhoods, but there’s lots of things to do down there, and until you’ve experienced it, I’d say you haven’t experienced the full Seattle.

  • I’m on my way to Seattle next weekend… can’t wait to check out these spots! Thanks for the round-up!

  • I love seattle, but want to find a cool place to stay on our seattle stop as my boyfriend and i honey moon/ roadtrip down the coast to cali.

  • thank you so much for the mention. i have had so many people come in mentioning they found me on your site. i truly appreciate it… i would love to meet you when you visit again…
    very sincerely,
    pam robinson/owner red ticking

  • I agree with the comment about FIREWORKS> That is one of the neatest stores I have ever been in. Also enjoyed a great Oyster Restaurant on the bay called Elliots.

  • Newlywed just moved to Renton and I am in love with Ballard and Freemont! Might make our home in Queen Anne! I will be back to check out more places to visit!

  • Theo chocolate in Fremont, they give tours. Essential Bakery in Fremont, they encourage dumpster diving and have great food too.
    Cafe Besalu in Ballard is out of this world i have yet to find a pastry and cafe of competitive match.

  • I’m a lifetime Seattle girl, and this is a great list… but the economy has done some editing for you. :(

    I can think of lots of great little eateries and shops that could be added though!

  • I love this list but I can’t believe there is NOTHING from West Seattle on here – it’s the birthplace of the city! Alki Beach is a must! Plus, there are great restaurants and cafes! I challenge anyone to find better French pastries than what they’ve got at Bakery Nouveau…besides Paris.

  • Hey, any recommendations out there on where to stay for a weekend getaway in seattle?? I’ll be visiting from Vancouver and hope to make my rounds with design sponge city guide in hand… ;)

    • hi elizabeth!

      i love the ace hotel there, it’s really cute and small and in a cute area. anyone else have suggestions? i’ve heard “inn at the market” is cute, too. and it’s right next to the fish-throwing part of the market ;)


  • thanks grace! the ace hotel looks wonderful, unfortunately they don’t have any room available for my dates… ;( the ‘inn at the market’ is another good option though… ;)

  • think about adding west seattle to your mix……the water taxi makes it a fun day trip & the junction showcases a number of indie business & restos

  • Perfect timing! I’ll be in Seattle in a couple of weeks, so I’m going to check out some of your recommendations. We really enjoy the Iconic restaurant across from the Westin Hotel, and of course, Dahlia’s Bakery!

  • There is actually a great craft fair happening on May 16th in Seattle called SPRING FLING CRAFT FAIR.

    Here is the info on it if you are intersted:

    We would like to invite you to Spring Fling Craft Fair on May 15th. It is a unique market geared towards burning man culture, Steampunk wears, and the underground art scene.

    Come get localy designed spring fashion, gifts, epic gems, inspirational local Art, and more. Come gear up for the change of seasons and support hand made goods!

    Spring Fling will be held on May 15th from 1pm – 5pm at:

    7601 Greenwood Avenue N.

    It’s free to attend, and everyone is welcome. It’s a great opportunity
    for us to come together, get to know each other, and support our
    artists by purchasing their wares.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this invite and supporting the local art community.

  • What, no West Seattle in your neighborhood review. Shame! Lots of great shopping 5 minutes from downtown.

  • wow! so many comments already! but i couldn’t resist adding on considering this is my home town and will forever be my first love. =)

    btw. how to cook a wolf and anchovies + olives are owned by the same chef, ethan stowell, who happens to be an excellent chef. so if you’re ever in those areas…do visit his restaurants. he also owns tavolata in beltown.

    and if you’re in capitol hill, also visit cafe vita! =D

    and don’t forget gasworks park and bainbridge island, too. ya’ll wont be disappointed.

    greattttttt post grace! i hope you visit us for your book tour. =D

  • Can’t believe you skipped over Vu vintage in Capitol Hill. His clothes selection is amazing and he’s been written up in magazines as having the most unique selection of vintage in Seattle.

  • How could we forget West Seattle? This neighborhood must be mentioned. Especially for Click! Design That Fits, with Frances Smersh’s amazing cork jewelry: http://www.clickdesignthatfits.com/; they go to all the design shows and bring back amazing goods.

  • And one more plug: Peter Miller Books on 1st Avenue, near the Pike Place Market, is not only is one of the best design and architectural book stores in the country, but also sells design wares such as wine glasses, watches, pens, bags, and all kihttp://www.petermiller.com/nds of design doodads.

  • Awesome! I spent all last summer in Seattle and found something new everyday. I wish you posted this a year ago I could of found some of these great spots;)

  • @linda

    This post has so many comments because it has been going on since 2008 =)

    I’m so glad it’s getting updated, since my boyfriend is a seattlelite and I’ve been visiting him there every 6 months. And I have yet to visit half of the places listed here… boyfriend isn’t much into design or shopping :P

    I’m glad I have an updated guide now! Thank you!

  • I have to add Tilth (the restaurant) at 1411 North 45th Street. We had a “foodie” vacation in Seattle last year and that place was at the very top of several great experiences.

  • Thank you!!! Love this list. I live in Seattle and have yet to explore some of these places- thanks for the tips!

  • I like your list! There’s a newbie shop in Fremont called Hub & Bespoke that’s worth checking out, it has adorable commuter cycling gear. I’ll second Peter Miller Books too!

  • Thanks so much for this post! I am taking a vacation to Seattle in a couple of weeks and I actually looked for a guide here on Design*Sponge a few days ago. And here it is! Thanks!

  • In Phinney Ridge there is an awesome gallery/retail/workshop space called Assemble. They offer classes in everything from knitting to sewing and printmaking. There is a retail space as well as changing gallery exhibits. Plus the owners Andie and Emily are two cool crafty ladies as well.

  • It’s worth a shot over the bridge to the “island” of West Seattle. Not only does Bakery Nouveau have killer pastries, but there are quite a few great design stores like Click!, another Cupcake Royale and an Easy Street Records!

  • My best friend lives on Capitol Hill and writes the blog “It’s My Darlin” where she features similar Seattle “must-sees” and local fashionable people. We recently visited her there and had a blast. I loved many of the places she took us to that were mentioned in this guide! Note to other Seattlites–we found the most amazing photographer to take a few special pictures while we were there and I can’t say enough good about her–Nani Oei. Yay Seattle! I can’t wait to go back!

  • Other favorites:
    Capitol Hill:
    Seattle Trading Post–terrific second hand shop, especially for unusual housewares

    Tuuli –sells all things Marimekko!
    SAM (seattle art museum) shop
    De Medici and Ming–most charming paper store

    Queen Anne
    Cotton Caboodle: tiny out of the way outlet store for great cotton clothing

  • thank you all for your comments so far! for you west seattleites – if you browse through the last section you’ll see that I highlighted a few select shops as well as bakery nouveau!

    thanks for those recommending some newer shops that i have yet to check out – that’s a happy sign for seattle as it’s been a while since we’ve seen new shops popping up!

  • This made me so homesick! I grew up in Seattle and moved to South Bay, Los Angeles about a year ago, I love knowing a city like the back of my hand and I miss knowing the best places to eat.

  • I live in Seattle, and there are definitely a few places i haven’t visited yet! so excited to go check them out. Thanks

  • You’ve left of Luc for the foodie when visting Madison Valley. Luc is the less expensive bistro outpost of well known chef, Thierry Rautureau, of Rover’s fame. http://www.thechefinthehat.com/ If you love French food, Luc must be on your must-visit list.

  • What a great round-up! Not that I want to add to the huge list of comments already (thanks for whoever clarified this has been going on since 2008). Another awesome shoe store that can’t be missed is Sole Food in University Village an awesome boutique selection for women, kids and men! Yipee for Seattle!

  • I agree that Schmancy, Nancy and Fancy Pants are wonderful little spots. As for ice cream, there is nothing better then the crazy world of Full Tilt. Beer, pinball and ice cream!

  • As someone who has eaten her way through France, Switzerland, and Italy, I can say that Bakery Nouveau is not only the best bakery in Seattle, but the best bakery in the world. Don’t just take my word for it, if you go there, you will see they have the massive, shining Coupe du Monde de Patisserie behind the counter to prove it.

  • You’re talking about all my favorite places. My brother works for Blackbird! I’m from Seattle, but I live in Melbourne Australia, and after this post, I’m missing home and all the fun stuff Seattle has to offer.

  • How serendipitous that you reposted this today! We’re leaving for our annual trip to Seattle & Vancouver, BC *tomorrow.* We stay with our old friend who lives between Fremont & Queen Anne and always go to the same old favorite places, so I’m excited to branch out and visit some new restaurants & shops.

  • Thanks so much for this! I’ve just moved back to Seattle after 12 years away and am loving getting to know my city once again – there’s so much to see. :)

  • i have to disagree with your line Most locals will agree, good Mexican and Latin fare in Seattle is hard to come by

    high and low, this city has tons of great mexican and latin food. taco trucks to fine dining, tapas to taquerias… there are plenty of latin/mexican restaurants to choose from in every neighborhood.

    my advice? find out where the latino workers eat. you’ll probably find a truck with a line that has the best food you’ve ever eaten.

    you did highlight quite a few, but how you phrased it “hard to come by” seems a bit off. you mentioned lots of good ones in your article, but made it seem like they are far and few around the city. not the case.

    i could spend weeks eating nothing but latin food in seattle and never hitting the same restaurant twice.

    last night, cactus in madison park. delicious!

  • This is great! I went to Seattle a few months ago and hit up some of these places! I have to say coming from NYC I was extremely impressed with the amount of creativity and design that Seattle has to offer. Plus the amount of awesome food is overwhelming especially for a vegetarian!

  • I didn’t see any mention of baby or kids shops on the list, I definitely would add tottini (www.tottini.com) as a must see. I always find something there for my nieces, nephews and the numerous baby showers these days. Very cool modern products for kids. It’s located in South Lake Union close to the best coffee shop Vivace and directly across from REI.

  • This is so marvelous! I’m wondering if anyone can recommend a decent upholster shop, as I need to get some work done. Any thoughts? Willing to travel for a fair price.

  • Everyone should check out Show Pony at 702 N 35th St in Fremont! I went in there after looking at this city guide and had a wonderful time browsing the store. They have a ton of awesome local vendors and a great section of vintage/consignment stuff. The owner is a fun young woman who’s done a great job with the store who was on hand to talk all about her wares! Its something anyone in the area should see :)

  • Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for your city guide posts. How nice it is to have this reference when visiting new cities! We made a quick trip to Seattle this weekend and this guide was so helpful. Thanks again!

  • What a total disappointment your guide was and very inaccurate …. In particular I took a long taxi to LesAmi to look for local designers as you promised. What I found was “anywhere USA” and out of the hundreds of designers the manager told me there are only 2 from Washington.

    • Cynthia

      Sadly our guides are only updated every year or two because they’re done pro bono by local readers- so things are occasionally going to be out of date bc of store closings.

      Can you tell me what else was inaccurate? I’ll have our local writer check in on any new store closings.


  • Greenwood-Phinney represent! Start with breakfast at Pete’s Eggnest, for a cheap, yet good diner meal. Grab a honey soy latte from the Neptune, purchase and mail a postcard at the Sip N Ship, check out great anitiques at Antika, for lunch get the best service and an amazing gyro from Mr. Gyros, stop by Greenwood Space Travel (free rocket parking on the roof), for amazing, mid-range, local fare, have dinner at the Stumbling Goat or get a burger at Red Mill, stop by Urban Light Studios on 2nd Fridays to check out great local art (get a map and do the whole art walk if you’re feeling it), get your karaoke on at Yen Wor (but for God’s sake, do not eat the food!), and end the evening with a cocktail at Oliver’s Twist or In the Red, wine bar.

  • How about The Saint for Mexican food and great tequila and mezcal? And how could you leave out Isadora’s for fabulous antique jewelry and Alhambra for great women’s clothes?

  • Love this artcle~!! Agree with Jamie – would love to see an update for 2012 – with more info. including interior design + furniture resources. Just fell in love with CHOSEN on Phinney Ridge (62nd and Phinney Ave N) -their *amazing* one-of-a-kind furnishings blew my mind. The original lighting is the best I’ve seen, and at reasonable prices – (designers will go nuts)compared to the conglomrate ‘knock offs’ they are affordable real deal Franken lamps made with gorgeous wood antique tripods, surgical lamps, etc. Cool bits of histrory.:)

  • I just moved to Seattle and I too would love to see an update of this list! Especially one that includes the awesomeness that is Columbia City.

  • Does La Rousse have a store again or is this just old? Anyone know what the pricing is like?

  • Would love, love, love an update as well! Your lists are AMAZING & my go-to when visiting a city. Thank you so much for the must-visits.

    Some lovely favorites in the Ballard neighborhood that I might add: Venue, an artist collective, which holds some of the most lovely pieces from local artists from the area. This is my go-to for original gifts for the holidays! Also, Hot Cakes recently opened which is DELICIOUS! Desserts only. Try their boozy milkshakes…can you say salted bourbon carmel? Ballard also has a gin distillery nowadays! Always a fun stop.

  • Oh pretty please do an update! Five years later we need one; so many new places that are phenom and many older ones gone.

  • I’m throwing another vote in for an update! I use City Guides EVERY time I travel, and I’m headed to Seattle SOON! Help! Thanks!

  • Just found this and as we’ve just moved to Seattle I’m always on the hunt for reliable sources for food, shopping, etc. We discovered Ocho our 2nd day here and fell completely in love– with the place, the food, the cocktails, everything about it is stellar. And yes, please update soon!

  • I live in Seattle. I’d love to help contribute to a Seattle guide update.

  • Chiming in to request an update! We are going to Seattle this fall, and I always use your guides wherever I go!

  • Yes, update please! I used Design Sponge’s city guide when I visited Austin last month and it was SO helpful. I’m visiting Seattle in October and would really love to be able to use Design Sponge again!

  • If you do an update, you should include La Panier. A very French bakery. And if you’re going to be at Pike Place Market, it’s great to pop in and rest your feet with some awesome food because it’s just across the street. The owner and bakers are French, so they really knows their stuff. They even brought special equipment from France. It’s been here for 30 years. Don’t miss it!

  • One for the update! Chadhaus is a handcrafted furniture design studio in Ballard that sources their hardwoods sustainably from the Pacific Northwest, as well as their recycled steel from Seattle! By appointment only.

  • Just back from Seattle last week and I will say the rec for Bakery Nouveux is spot on! The listing here doesn’t point out that there are actually two loctions (perhaps they only had one when it was originally written). The second location is in the Capitol Hill area (on a cute little tree-lined street… just let Google Maps direct you there via your phone). Not for the faint of heart (i.e. Virginians not used to driving up and down steep roads) but so worth it. The Kouign Amman is pure heaven.

    Also, for coffee lovers, I must suggest Storyville. There are a couple of locations, I understand, but one was on the same block as my hotel (1st and Madison). The coffee is so smooth and rich that I wanted to cry. Their motto of peace and love is endearing. Apparently (from what I gather from recent news articles) they are being boycotted for some reason now, so you might want to educate yourself before you go, but as an out-of-towner and not up on Seattle politics nor wanting to be in it I’m stepping out of that circle and only saying that the coffee is excellent.

    I ate one night at Sazerac (at the Hotel Monaco) and really enjoyed it. If you like Gumbo, they make a really good one… epsecailly so far from the south.

    Another night I ate at Boka (at the Hotel 1000) and the food was great there, too! And the decor was really creative and stylish.

  • Hi Grace,
    Nice list! We’ve taken a queue from this list too and used it to help create something new.

    We made a map based Seattle Guide. Its called “Seattleite’s Guide”. You can check it out here: http://seattleiteguide.com

    Let us know if you like it! If you have places you think we’re missing, you can submit the location via the site or just email us.


    SG Team