Packing my bags
February 14, 2008 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Moving to Seattle, where is the good food and the interesting neighborhoods for anything and everything?

Moving to a place where I know no one and do not have a clear layout of the land. Can anyone suggest good veggie food, good places to do things, coffee shops, places to dance to house music or drum and bass etc? I'll be living near Capitol Hill but anything in the area is appreciated. Thanks hive mind!
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (18 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
CH's Broadway has a bunch of restaurants. For coffee: Melrose and Pine has Bauhaus, Melrose and Pine has Victrola. Vivace will pull espresso shots and throw them out until they're right. Autechre is playing at Neumos in April. Madison Market is a fairly decent co-op. Buddha in Belltown is really good Thai. Mama's (also in Belltown) has good Mexican.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:56 PM on February 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh god, it's worth it all just to see Autechre. Thank you thank you thank you.
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 11:06 PM on February 14, 2008

Response by poster: Oh and Boredoms are playing too!
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 11:10 PM on February 14, 2008

Foodwise Seattle has TONS of great stuff, really a high percentage of great/interesting eats per capita. One oddball vote from me goes to "13 Coins" (NOT the airport location), it's like a giant version of the place your parents took you too when you were little, Naughahyde booths, great atmosphere, open 24 hours, often a great magician works the room doing card tricks at tables. All the classics are there; Chicken Cacciatori, Steak Diane, Veal Parmesan and a great Squid Steak!
posted by Cosine at 11:35 PM on February 14, 2008

Fremont is a really fun neighborhood with a lot of public artwork, a good bar scene and independent restaurants and boutiques. It's beginning to border on yuppie-hippie (complete with a new Whole Foods) but it's a fun place to wander around. Keep it in mind for the Summer Solstice Parade hosted by the Fremont Art Council.

Ballard is not my favorite neighborhood (sorta expensive), but you have to check out Archie McPhee's on Market Street.

Pioneer Square is a great part of downtown that has a lot of art galleries that host the First Thursday walk on the first Thursday of every month. There is also the Elliot Bay Bookstore with an organic cafe downstairs. I avoid the bars there though because it's a big 'bro' scene. Pioneer Square is right next door to the International District, which has the Uwajimaya market, a great place to wander or for specific Asian foods you can't get at a regular grocery store.

Everyone is at Greenlake on a sunny day. The walking/biking path is three miles around, which makes it good for jogging, and there are lots of grassy areas, basketball courts, a playground and a place to rent paddle boats.

And at some point you should go see the sun set on Alki Beach in West Seattle or Golden Gardens in Ballard.

Those are my favorite spots growing up here, and they are the places I keep coming back to whenever I visit. Best of luck!
posted by easy_being_green at 11:56 PM on February 14, 2008

All you need to know is that Theo Chocolate has daily factory tours where you will learn a lot about chocolate and have the chance to eat more chocolate (and it's better than any you've ever had before) than you will know what to do with. You would do even better to make a friend who works at the factory; that would mean that you'd get all the free chocolate that you could ever want, per the company's policy of liberally distributing broken chocolate bars throughout the city.

I'd recommend some good soul food (Ezell's, Thompson's Point of View, Catfish Corner) but you asked for veggie. Araya's Vegan Thai in the U-District used to be top-notch, but since it changed locations, it seems to have gone downhill. I haven't lived in Seattle for a couple of years (and haven't eaten at Araya's in the last few visits to the city...) so I can't really say how it's been recently. Dick's french fries always seemed to be a big hit with my vegetarian friends. PCC is an upscale market chain local to Seattle (used to be a co-op) and you can get a ton of bulk goods there; my girlfriend, who used to work at one, said that customers were absolute fiends for the vegan banana cake in the deli there. Central Market has a better selection of bulk goods than PCC, but they're hard to get to without a car.

The Fremont Sunday Market is a reliable way to spend a Sunday morning and you'll find plenty of weird/vintage/useful clothing and junk to buy; it's close to a PCC and Gasworks park and everything else that Fremont has to offer.

The Stumbling Monk is a cool little dark bar off Broadway; they have a pretty small selection of drinks (4 or 5 beers if that, if I remember, and I don't drink...) and they don't have a tv anywhere in the place last I was there.

And if you ever need some t-shirt airbrushing or good Cambodian food, White Center (which is sort of a more distant West Seattle, if I remember the geography right) is the place to go.

And every so often there will be some weird and strange installation or performance art at the old Sandpoint Naval Base. You might have a hard time finding something worthwhile out there, but I still talk about the time a friend and I went out there for an participation piece that involved putting on a gigantic inflatable latex suit with a closed-circuit-3rd-person-view television strapped to our eyes and tried to negotiate a small flight of stairs and then wrestle in a closed room all in the name of art (briefly described halfway down the page here, which reminds me to remind you that the Stranger and Seattle Weekly's art/music/party/event/readings/etc. listings will be invaluable to you regardless of what you think of either paper)

Plenty more, of course, but hard to bring it all to mind so far from Seattle.
posted by msbrauer at 5:21 AM on February 15, 2008

I've actually never been to Seattle, but about a year ago I stumbled upon a blog written by someone in Seattle and she often posts about places and things to do in Seattle. It's

Happy moving!
posted by uvaleg at 5:59 AM on February 15, 2008

Seconding Golden Gardens.

Cutters, near the Pike's Place Market is always on my agenda for a lazy (after 3 pm) sunday lunch.

Check out the Sound Garden in Sand Point - the band took it's name from this place.

The Burke-Gilman trail is awesome for biking.

Broadway hosted MANY late-night philosophy sessions over cups of coffee.

Visit Seattle Central Community College - go up to the 5th floor for great view over the city. Go to the cafeteria for amazing baked goods. The culinary students there have a bakery where they sell their class projects, as well as a mini-restaurant for practice. Good food. Great prices.

Sunset at the bluffs, Discovery Park. Also, walk down to the beach/lighthouse. Years ago, I got to have that beach to myself at around 10 am on weekdays.

Theres a cuban coffee shop in Queen Anne called El Diablo. Great coffee, good atmosphere. I remember coffee on the back patio on summer nights.

Beers at the Owl & Thistle

Make sure you drive the Highway 101 loop through the Olympic peninsula. Packed lunches and camera recommended. Also, ferry to San Juan Islands.

um, can I come too?
posted by Rubythursday at 7:41 AM on February 15, 2008

nw tekno is a great source of info on the dance scene, both clubs and parties.
posted by nomisxid at 8:14 AM on February 15, 2008

Capitol Hill has both Broadway and 15th; Broadway is the main drag (and is apparently getting increasingly unsafe), while 15th is a little more staid with more pubs and sit-down places.

Queen Anne is heavily gentrified, but does have El Diablo.

The U District, honestly, I'd avoid it. And I work there. I think it's finally hit bottom, but it's so hard to tell with all the assaults that have happened lately. Two exceptions: Flowers, which is a cheap and decent veggie/vegan place, and the U District Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Ballard is the hip neighborhood right now, though the condos are flying up so who knows how much longer that will be.

The further north you go, the more suburban it looks and the less stuff for the twentysomething crowd there is, but I actually like living north of 85th, because I'm living in Seattle but not on top of some club.

The gold standard for vegetarian food in Seattle the last few years has been Cafe Flora. Honestly, though, every restaurant in this town has a vegetarian menu.

The one thing Seattle has in spades is a long and deep blogging community. Both the Stranger and Seattle Weekly have their blogs, and also check out Seattlest and (shameless self-link!) Seattle Metroblogging. Capitol Hill has local bloggers galore, starting with Capitol Hill Seattle and its spinoff Broadway Seattle, but also including one for one small sub-neighborhood called the Capitol Hill Triangle and one for the whole zip code ( And that's just Capitol Hill.
posted by dw at 8:40 AM on February 15, 2008

2nding most restaurants in seattle have veggie offerings - you'll find something to like pretty much everywhere you go. Specifically, I would recommend the excellent veggie pho at Than Brothers in Capitol Hill. I haven't been a veggie for a long time and I still can't stop ordering it every time I'm there.

A nice straight club with house music you might check out is the war room. I prefer the much gayer neighbors. Give neighbors a try on a Saturday night around midnight, it's quite a sight. The above mentioned Neumos is a really excellent venue. I would also toss in there Chop Suey, they have a regular dance night and often schedule great djs throughout the month.

Coffee shops are everywhere you'll have no problem finding one you really enjoy - try them all! My favorite is Vivace.

Honey Hole has some excellent sandwiches and great beer. El Tajin has the best tamales in the city (kinda expensive otherwise). If you're a music junkie, check out everyday music. And! One of my favorite places to just hang out - Travelers.

All the places I've mentioned are in capitol hill. Either along Pike/Pine or Broadway. Welcome to the neighborhood.
posted by Craig at 9:33 AM on February 15, 2008

Carmelita for vegetarian fare and Zoka for coffee are worth investigating!
posted by bunji at 10:18 AM on February 15, 2008

I've found that is the best place to find recommentations for everything in Seattle. Seattle is a great place to be a vegetarian. My favorite place lately is Vegetarian Bistro in the International District for dim sum.
posted by lemuria at 10:40 AM on February 15, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, ok thank you all! I don't feel quite so sad about leaving San Francisco now. I'm excited about good food, good music and I'm a sucker for a flea market. One last question, anyone know of good second hand stores or funky furniture stores? I get those on the list and my life is complete.
Thanks again everyone for your excellent suggestions.
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 10:45 AM on February 15, 2008

Best house music in Seattle is definitely at See Sound Lounge in Belltown. The scene can be a bit pretentious at times, but it's a great place with fantastic DJs.
posted by stilly at 11:51 AM on February 15, 2008

Value Village has a three level store in Capitol Hill that is pretty awesome (if you're okay with value village that is).

For funky furnishings I like Area 51, it's new furniture and therefore more expensive, but very reasonable. There's also a new shop at pike & boylston that has some urban style furniture - can't think of the name of it off the top.

There are many small antique/second hand shops around the Olive/Denny area (capitol hill).
posted by Craig at 12:00 PM on February 15, 2008

Thanks for asking this question! I'm planning to move to seattle in the next year or so, and I love how seattle questions always seem to pop up on askme.

When I was visiting briefly, we enjoyed the coffee at cafe appassionatto. We also walked the whole waterfront from like seneca or university up to the new park at broad street, and there were some cool antique/furniture shops along the way. I think they were under the 99 freeway overpass there (google maps refreshing my memory).
posted by Chris4d at 12:11 PM on February 15, 2008

Every Friday night the Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC) has a decent house night called "Electric Avenue." Saturday night Onset at the Deep Down Lounge in Pioneer Square - Drum and Bass. NWTekno is a great place to check for this kind of stuff.

There's a really great 2nd-hand furniture store on Western, ConsignDesign, where they lower prices of stuff every month. I got a gorgeous asian-style coffee table there after my IKEA one broke.

Email me if you want more info, and welcome to Seattle!
posted by herbaliser at 1:50 PM on February 15, 2008

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