So you´re planning a trip to Seattle? Olivia Hall, guides you to her home city.


By: Olivia Hall

Big Marios, the way pizza should taste.

5 Best Cheap Eats

Thai Tom

Known for it’s to-the-point menu and open kitchen where you can watch the chef create Thai noodle dishes at breakneck speeds. Cash only.

4543 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105


Loretta’s Northwesterner

One of the best burgers in the country. Great outdoor patio with airstream bar. Burgers start at $4.

8617 14th Ave S,  Seattle, WA  98108


Typical Maneki dish, and don’t forget the sake!


This is the oldest asian restaurant in the city. The japanese icon is always busy, talk to “Grandma” or her daughter if you want a table, or even better sit in the bar and eat. Great spot for people watching. Amazing food.

304 6th Avenue South

Un Bien

Outdoor counter service caribbean sandwich shop that is no-frills and worth the wait. Consider sharing with a friend.

7302.5 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117


Big Mario

This New York Style pizza spot is a definite go-to for a late night nosh. Don’t miss the hidden bar in the back of the Queen Anne Location.

815 5th Ave. N Seattle, WA 98109


Dick’s Drive-In

Seattle’s much-loved fast-food restaurant serving up cheeseburgers and milkshakes.

Various Locations

Sitka and Spruce, open kitchen hip place. And yes, the food is good!

5 Best Fine Dining Restaurants


Beard Award winning, family-run fine dining institution run out of a pristinely kept mid-century modern home.  A must-go if fine dining is your thing.

2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109



Shiro of “Shiro Dreams of Sushi” fame’s first location in the states. Small, unassuming diningroom serving the best sushi on the planet.

2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121


Sitka and Spruce

Hip, open kitchen restaurant that serves delicious dishes inspired and sourced from Washington.

1531 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA 98122


Palace Kitchen

One of Seattle Restaurateur Tom Douglas’ most beloved establishments. A great Gastropub with an excellent atmosphere.

2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121


RN74 Seattle

Michilen-rated restaurant with an updated take on traditional French cuisine and extensive wine list.

1433 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Mount Rainer on a clear day, as seen from Discovery park.

5 Best Parks

Gas Works Park

Sprawling park in the middle of the city that overlooks Lake Union. Home to the enormous installation of painted pipes and mechanics.

2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103


Golden Gardens

Ballard park with incredible views and a beach complete with volleyball court. Make sure to check out the duck pond during the summer months.

8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle, WA 98117


Woodland Park Zoo

Large centrally-located Zoo is known for it’s exceptional conservation efforts and penguin feeding hour!

5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103


Discovery Park

Large Magnolia park located on a former army post, Fort Lawton. Largest park in the city with eleven miles of trails.

3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199


Lincoln Park
A definite go-to for a day trip in West Seattle featuring with a saltwater-heated public pool.

8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136


The Tractor Tavern is an institution in Ballard.

5 Best Venues

The Crocodile

Venue that hosts some of the biggest names in music in a particularly intimate setting. With a full restaurant on the premises, you can easily have an entire evening at this fun, gritty venue.

2200 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121


The Sunset

One of the coolest most- intimate spots in Seattle. If you are looking to see some of your favorite acts up-close, this is the place to go.

5433 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107


Tractor Tavern

One of the best places to see local and international acts side by side. With few tickets costing over $20 and dance parties worth traveling for, this place is always a great time.

5213 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107


Chop Suey

Old-school venue and bar is a great place to go to hear rock n’ roll and dance your butt off into the wee hours. Make sure to check out the much-loved Dance Yourself Clean party every Saturday.

1325 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122



Awesome three-story venue is where some of the biggest acts come to play in Seattle. Punks fear not, this Capitol Hill Institution still has all of the Seattle grunge vibes you are looking for.

925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122


Filson, gear up and take a tour in the factory.

5 Best Stores


Minimalist, fashion forward spot that carries the coolest brands around including Jeremy Scott, Dries Van Noten, and local Jewelry designer Faris.

1523 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122


Elliott Bay Bookstore

Massive space that has every new release and an extensive collection of Art and Fashion books. Make sure to grab a coffee at Goodfellows coffee located in the back of the store.

1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122


REI Flagship Store

Outdoors store that has everything you’ll need to make your trip to the mountains awesome. Don’t forget to find the waterfall in the middle of the property.

222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109



Ground zero for all of your flannel and tartan needs. World headquarters of the brand, so you can take a tour of their factory and see how your favorite bags are made.

1741 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134



Small but enduring lifestyle shop has all of the best clothes and accessories for the the design minded.

5208 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

You can’t buy the whole guy, but you can definitely get the look.

5 Best Vintage Stores

Fremont Vintage Mal

Giant two-floor antique and vintage store. Everything from clothing to furniture and everything in between.

3419 Fremont Pl N, Seattle, WA 98103


Lucky Dry Goods

Mid-range vintage clothing store with an exceptional collection of american-made denim.

5424 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107


Officials Vintage

Vintage sports and athletic wear and ephemera ranging from items you can wear every day to pieces you are going to want to keep in a glass case.

1100 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122


Beats And Bohos

Great neighborhood shop with vintage clothes and homewares. Make sure to check out their eclectic record collection.

7200 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103


Ballyhoo Curiosity Shop

Shop with items from all over the globe. Tons of strange and clever taxidermy. Will ship from the store.

5445 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107



5 Best Hotels

The Edgewater Hotel

Gorgeous cabin-like hotel on the waterfront in downtown Seattle. Excellent views and 5-star restaurant on premises.

2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121


Ballard Inn

Quaint boutique hotel in the heart of Ballard. Very walkable to restaurants and venues. Reserve early, as their 29 rooms book up quickly.

5300 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107


Ace Hotel

Original Ace Hotel location. Affordable yet chic rooms many of which are hostel style. Fun breakfast room perfect for B&B style early morning dining.

2423 1st  Ave Seattle, WA 98121


Kimpton Manaco

Modern 4-star hotel in Downtown Seattle with all of the amenities including, a fitness center, valet parking, and In-Room Spa services.

1101 4th Ave Seattle, WA 98101


Fairmont Olympic Hote

Classic 5-Star Luxury hotel with two four-star restaurants including one of the city’s best oyster bars.

411 University Street Seattle, WA 98101

5 Best Neighborhoods


Up and coming neighborhood on the border of Boeing field. Great dive-bars and casual eateries.

West Seattle – Cool, casual neighborhood outside of the city. Worth the trip if only to visit their incredible, Easy Street Records.


An old Nordic fishing town in north Seattle with many bars, restaurants, and shopping. Great to visit if you don’t have a car, especially during the Saturday farmers market!

Capitol Hill guys.

Capitol Hill

Hip, eccentric neighborhood that is great for young and old alike. Epicenter of the Grunge movement.

International District

Home to some of the best Asian cuisine in town. Make sure to check out their many grocery stores for delicacies you won’t be able to find anywhere else in Seattle.


5 Best Dive Bars

Cha Cha Lounge

Fantastic tiki-themed dive-bar below Bimbo’s mexican restaurant in Capitol Hill. Great DJ nights for all tastes.

1013 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122


The Comet Tavern

Seattle bar that hosts concerts and Monday Night Football with greasy American bar food.

22 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122


Mike’s Chili

Low-key spot that has a mean bowl of chili and a grilled cheese. Also home to a wonderfully gritty back patio.

1447 NW Ballard Way, Seattle, WA 98107



One of Seattle’s many “Pinball Bars” home to many games and the longest running Pinball tournament in the Pacific Northwest.

2222 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121


Tin Hat Bar and Grill

Great relaxed neighborhood hangout with great burgers and awesome vintage-inspired decor.

512 NW 65th St, Seattle, WA 98117

Hazelwood in Ballard, great cocktails. Our favorite is Dark and Stormy.

5 Best Cocktail Bars


Bar with some of the most well prepared cocktails around and intimate upstairs lounge. Make sure to check their small barside chalkboard for specials.

2311 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

Hazelwood is popular among the locals.

Percy’s And Co.

Restaurant with one of the most extensive and eclectic cocktail menus around. All purees and tinctures are made in-house.

5233 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107


Smith Mercantile

A tiny bar found in the back of one of Seattle’s most respected dry-goods shop with (almost) everything you need to recreate some of their excellent cocktails at home.

208 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104


Bathtub Gin & Co

Underground speakeasy specializing in classic cocktails. Great place for a Manhattan.

2205 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121


Rob Roy

Small but complete cocktail menu with happy hour eats. Open every night.

2332 2nd Ave. Seattle, WA 98121

5 best museums


The University of Washington’s on-campus gallery and museum that shows internationally acclaimed artists, student exhibitions, and is home to James Turrell’s skyspace, Light Reign.

4100 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105


Seattle Art Museum

Vast contemporary and traditional art museum in Downtown Seattle with an excellent restaurant.

1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101


Museum of Pop Culture

Housed in one of Frank Gehry’s most interesting buildings the MoPoP has exhibits that cover everything from Video Games to Nirvana to Jim Henson.

325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109


Olympic Sculpture Park

Outdoor museum that integrates vast sculptures with mountainous landscapes. Free entry.

2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121


Frye Art Museum

Classic salon-style art museum. Has many old masters and occasionally shows local artists.

704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98104



5 Best Odd Attractions

Boots and Hat

A giant pair of cowboy boots and a giant cowboy hat–in the middle of the city.

6427 Carleton Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

Lock Spot, one of the classic dives with great location, just outside the Ballard Locks.

Ballard Locks

Industrial structure that lifts boats using hydraulics. Also great place to see the Salmon Run.

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107


Kurt Cobain Bench

Bench outside Kurt Cobain’s final home. Engraved with messages from fans.

151 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112


Seattle Underground Tour

Very fun underground tour through the former city upon which Seattle is built. Also has an Adult Tour that includes Champagne and history of brothels.

614 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104


Fremont Troll

Giant public sculpture of a Troll under the Fremont Bridge. Great fun for pictures.

3405 Troll Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103



5 Best day trips out of the city

Snoqualmie Falls

Waterfall made famous by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. A great hike with beautiful views. 1 Hr. out of the city.

Mt. Rainier

Miles of hiking on and around Washington’s largest mountain. 1-2 hours out of the city.

Bainbridge Island

Great harbor town with fun shops and restaurants and a large waterfront park. 35 min ferry from downtown Seattle.


Birthplace of the Riot Grrrl movement. Great eccentric bars and excellent vintage shopping. 1 Hr out of the city.

Olympic National Park

Some of the best trails and views of the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Home to one of the few Rainforests in the US. 2.5 hours out of the city.


5 Personal Tips

Don’t take an umbrella

Locals are used to the rain, so we wear hoodies or raincoats. You’ll be pegged as a tourist the minute you whip out an umbrella.

Get an Orca Card

Seattle is a big city and finding parking can be tough. So, invest in an Orca Card–you can pick one up at most grocery stores–and you’ll be unstoppable.

Talk to your bartender

Many bartenders are native Seattleites and do they have stories to tell. If you leave the city without at least one Kurt Cobain anecdote, you didn’t talk to enough people.

Find a farmers market

One of the most fertile places in the country, Washington State is known for some excellent produce. Most neighborhoods have one on the weekend so look one up and get out there!

Go see a show

Seattle’s music scene is just as vibrant as it was in the 90s and it is not unusual to see one of your favorite musicians playing in their new side-project.



Olivia Hall

Olivia Hall is a writer whose work has appeared in The Seattle Times,, Racked, Refinery 29, and Domino. She has lived throughout the United States but has laid down her roots on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle. She lives in a small double-wide trailer with her fiancé and chihuahua. She also happens to be extremely good at Macramé.