Hippie anarchist seeks fun times in Seattle!
March 15, 2013 11:45 AM   Subscribe

To my surprise, I will have one Saturday in Seattle very soon. I will be staying in downtown and reliant on public transportation.

I would like to do this type of thing:

1. Eat some delicious hippie-type meals at restaurants serving local, vegetarian/vegan or otherwise tasty food. I'm not familiar with which cuisines are particularly good in Seattle. (By contrast and for example, I'd feel confident telling someone that there's a lot of good East African food and a fair amount of home-style vegetarian food in Minneapolis but no good Italian or sophisticated vegan food.)

2. Visit a museum, scenic park or other interesting site where one walks around.

3. Visit a radical/hippie/activist coffeeshop, bookstore, infoshop, etc.

4. Possibly purchase some kind of fancy men's accessory such as a nice scarf or hat

I would also consider other fun things or other social justice oriented things (like, if there's going to be some kind of teach-in or protest or something. I'd like to plan out my route in advance so that I can look up the buses before I go.

I will not have a smart phone or other sophisticated internet-access device, so I must boldly forge ahead armed only with maps and clear directions.

Thank you, mefites!
posted by Frowner to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Anarchist coffee shop: Black Coffee Coop.

Anarchist Infoshop: Left Bank Books.

Both are good shops, run by good people.

They should be able to lead you to other places to hang out.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:58 AM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Vegan here, and Seattle is my home away from home; I've been going 2-3x/year for the past 8, but I know actual city-dwellers will have better advice than I do...

Still, I must implore you, in regards to the food sitch: Eat at Wayward Vegan Cafe, on 52nd St & University Way in the U District. Amazing, amazing American comfort food. Plus, it is very close to Pizza Pi (all-vegan pizza shop!) and Sidecar for Pigs Peace (tiny all-vegan grocery store!), both of which are on 55th & University, and you will also be close by the U District Farmers Market at 50th & University, where you can get some beautiful local foods. Some of the best, freshest, forest-picked mushrooms I've ever seen/eaten!

Here are the public transit lines that serve the U District, here is a map. My advice is to get to about 45th-ish and University and then just walk north.

If you make your way over to Capitol Hill (bus lines), get thee to Plum Cafe/Bistro on 15th Ave and eat the El Besito Caliente sandwich. That faux pastrami -- OMG. Plus 15th is a nice street to walk down.

Seattle has really good Thai food in general, and I also make sure to eat at Bamboo Garden in Queen Anne for some awesome Chinese takeout-style every single time I'm in town. Here are the transit lines that run straight there (3, 4, 16, 82).

Have fun!
posted by divined by radio at 12:05 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

As far as (2), the Olympic Sculpture Park and adjacent Myrtle Edwards Park are both accessible from downtown and great places to wander around.
posted by golden at 12:12 PM on March 15, 2013

Make your way up to 3rd and Union and visit Byrnie Utz haberdashery; there's nothing like it on the West Coast.

Seattle Town Hall (a real community center, not a government building) is often the venue for events of civic discourse. It's more "progressive" than "anarchist", and now that I check, next Saturday is baroque orchestra night.

Our much-admired local free weekly is The Stranger, published on Tuesdays. Pick up a copy when you get to town for a broad overview of music, arts, and events.
posted by Kakkerlak at 12:34 PM on March 15, 2013

Oh, and this winter we discontinued the old "free ride zone" downtown on Metro buses, and virtually all commuters have the ORCA Card electronic passes.

King County Metro Transit doesn't have a 1-day or 3-day pass like some transit agencies, so carry singles and quarters, and remember to ask for paper transfer slips.
posted by Kakkerlak at 12:39 PM on March 15, 2013

The Portage Bay Cafe makes really ridiculously good local, organic, (often vegan) sustainable...BRUNCH! It gets really busy because it's popular, but if you are an early bird and can get there before or around 9 am, you shouldn't have any trouble. I used to eat at the one in Ballard, but the one in the U-District would probably be faster to get to from downtown (they have 3 cafes). The Portage Bay Cafe in the U-District is at 4130 Roosevelt Way NE. To get there, you can take a couple of buses. Here's the Seattle bus trip planner. I put in a generic downtown starting point (3rd Ave and Pike St.) and that gives you three buses that you can take there without any connections. If you take the 66 Bus from 3rd Ave and Pike St, you get off at Eastlake Ave NE and NE 41st St, then you go west on NE 41st St for one short block until you hit Roosevelt Ave, and then you go north on Roosevelt Ave for one long Seattle block. Here are the other options from that itinerary search.
posted by colfax at 12:54 PM on March 15, 2013

For museums, you could do a lot worse than MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry), now located on south Lake Union. Right next door is the Center for Wooden Boats, with historic/cool wooden boats for rent (rowing for all, some sail, but must show sailing proficiency).
Also, if you like old European art (Rembrandt, VanDyke, Gainsborough), there's a fantastic show at the Seattle Art Museum right now (through May 19th.
posted by dbmcd at 2:19 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding MOHAI (and the Center for Wooden Boats), and make sure you watch the musical bit about the Great Seattle Fire from the beginning. Don't blame me, I'm a little glue pot...
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:29 PM on March 15, 2013

You might be tempted to go to the Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum. Do not do that. It is terrible.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:29 PM on March 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

another recommendation for Left Bank Books!
posted by jammy at 3:12 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Rem Koolhaas-designed Central Library is an awesome place to walk around.
posted by momus_window at 4:12 PM on March 15, 2013

This is totally touristy, but I loved it when I did it twenty years ago and I keep meaning to go back: The Underground Seattle tour.

And even more touristy and everyone in my family hated it except me when I got them to do it, but I loooved it in a completely non-ironic way: Ride the Ducks.

And now everybody on Metafilter knows just how little taste I have.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:26 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ride the Ducks! You get a great tour of Seattle, and you drive into a lake!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:30 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's also a Portage Bay in the South Lake Union neighborhood, which is much closer to downtown than U-district or Ballard-- it's actually walkable from downtown (or you can hop on the #40 or #62 bus from 3rd Ave, or the Seattle Streetcar from Pacific Place) and only a few blocks from the MOHAI/wooden boats area.
posted by lockstitch at 8:37 PM on March 15, 2013

It's been awhile since I've been there, but I have had several delicous meals at St. Dames, a vegetarian pub with lots of good vegan options. It's really close to the Columbia City light rail stop, too!
posted by pril at 8:58 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Take the 11 from downtown or Capitol Hill and you can get to Cafe Flora, which is a vegetarian/vegan only restaurant that is totally delicious to the point I could take my meat fixated boyfriend there and he had a good time.

Local 360 is downtown and has vegetarian fare.
posted by foxfirefey at 4:29 PM on March 16, 2013

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