Seattle is my beloved city and I am consistently being asked for recommendations on where people should go for food, drinks, fun, etc. So I thought, why not put this general knowledge to good use and share it with all the TDQ readers. Here are five Seattle spots that do not include the usual tourist fare (Pike Place Market, Gum Wall, Wheel, Troll, etc.) rather the good stuff usually only natives know about:
Resto is a restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood that is not exactly easy to find as it sits among a plethora of apartment buildings off the beaten path. I went here for a delectable meal on Christmas Eve with friends and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of food and service. The place is tiny but you can watch the chef in the kitchen while you wait which I suppose is potentially torturous since you’ll undoubtedly start drooling as your palate anticipates the imminent approach of flavors. The owners of the restaurant change their menu daily depending on what ingredients they have obtained at the market that day – can you say fresh and seasonal? The prices are moderate but you won’t go away hungry or disappointed. Go there now before it gets too much hype and the hipster crowd of Cap Hill inundates the premises with mock disinterest and angst.
Frye Art Museum
In the midst of the hospital neighborhood called First Hill is a fantastic and free (yes, completely gratis although donations are appreciated) art museum. After visiting Frye Art Museum for the first time with a couple good friends last month, it is now on my list of haunts as nothing beats free when you’re looking for some cultural enrichment on a weekend day. I think my favorite room was in the back where they have a large four walled room that is literally covered in a variety of paintings. Not like the special exhibit space where one or two paintings are presented on each wall – I love the extreme clutter of art. Maybe I just like it because it’s quirky.
Knee High Stocking Company
Seattle has a love affair with the concept of speakeasy bars and Knee High Stocking Company is no exception. Most people have heard of Bathtub Gin (which frankly is great) but it has been hyped to death. Knee High is located at the base of Capitol Hill in an unmarked building with only stick on lettering near the door indicating the name but describing nothing that awaits inside: seasonal craft cocktails, select beers and small plates in an equally tiny quaint space. Make sure to check it out on December 5th – the day they repealed prohibition – for all night happy hour.
Admittedly I am not a coffee drinker but a list about hidden treasures in Seattle is not complete without a cafe recommendation. I know many coffee snobs in Washington and I polled them about the best coffee in Seattle. The one common denominator was Espresso Vivace. There are three locations in town including two in Capitol Hill and one in South Lake Union. One other overlapping commonality was that Starbucks is not good coffee and no one should go there if they truly want a good cup of joe. Sorry Sbux – I gotta tell it like it is.
Golden Gardens is my favorite park in the city that includes dog parks, trails, stairs for working out and a gorgeous beach/view. It is located near Ballard in the Sunset Hill neighborhood. It borders the Shilshole Marina, which I like to wander through a bit because I love boats. The beach here gets pretty packed during the summer but most cloudy or cold days it’s relatively easy to park and wander. Across the water you can see the snow capped mountains of the Olympic National Park, ferries sailing back and forth, wildlife jumping – on a clear day there is nothing better.
If you’re in the mood for a hipster holiday or just need a change of scenery, be sure to check out Seattle and let us know if you try any of these places. Just like any city, Seattle is best seen on foot while wandering aimlessly – those are the times when you meet people and find incredible hidden gems. Have fun and get lost!