We’ve already checked out the hot spots in Boston, and now we’re setting our sights on the Emerald City. With a reputation for great coffee, incredible music and fierce football, it should come as no surprise that Seattle also has a killer atmosphere for makers. Whether you’re heading into the city for a Super Bowl party or are planning a trip there later this year, be sure to stop by these hangouts.
Where to Stay
1. Ace Hotel Seattle: This hotel/hostel is smack dab between Pike Place and the Space Needle, making it a great hub for sightseeing… that is, if you ever feel like leaving. With its lofted ceilings, re-purposed furniture, stark white walls and bold art prints, you’ll feel creatively inspired staying here. Even the lobby was designed by a Seattle-based artist.
2. Hotel Max: From its giant neon building sign to an entire floor dedicated to the iconic Sub Pop Records, this is a freakin’ cool hotel. There are giant works of art everywhere by local artists, and the hotel owners say to “think of it as sleeping in an art gallery. The Gallery of Maximalism.” While we’ve never been to a gallery that gives us a free pint of beer like Max does, we’ll take it.
3. The Maxwell Hotel: Similar in name but totally different in aesthetic, the Maxwell is less grunge and more pop art. Bright colors abound, bicycles are available to borrow for free and there are a heck of a lot of pineapples everywhere (including free pineapple cupcakes every afternoon — YUM).
Where to Eat
4. Gastropod: Tucked away in SoDo, this little brewpub from Epic Ales is a culinary gem. We’re not just talking burgers and fries to go with those house-brewed drafts. We’re talking Malawi chicken wings, nori/sea salt bagels, okonomiyaki (called it!) and other ever-changing creative dish ideas. (via Seattle Bloggers)
5. Miller’s Guild: If you’re staying in Hotel Max, you’re in luck because one of Seattle’s best new restaurants is just an elevator ride away. The centerpiece of this hot spot is a nine-foot-long wood-fired grill, where chef Jason Wilson cooks up nose-to-tail butchery creations. Other nods to artisanship include lots of homemade pastries and furnishings by local craftsmen.
6. Molly Moon’s Ice Cream: The eponymous Molly focuses on using as many locally sourced ingredients as she can for creative flavors, like balsamic strawberry, honey lavender and Seattle-favorite Stumptown Coffee. She even has a cookbook for churning your own frozen treats.
Where to Drink
7. Victrola Coffee Roasters: Sure, it’s obvious, but it’s so true, it’s worth repeating: Seattle has amazing coffee. It’s hard to pick just one fave cafe, and you can’t really go wrong in this town, but we suggest Victrola. The E. Pike Street location is extra neat because they roast their own beans on site, they hold free cuppings every Wednesday morning and it’s located in a 1920s auto shop. So. Cool.
8. Slate Coffee Bar: Get off the tourist map and head north to Ballard to experience Seattle Weekly’s best coffee experience of the year. For an expert lesson in caffeine, opt for the tasting flight, which contains four courses, including a deconstructed latte. You’re just gonna have to try it to believe it.
9. Moore Coffee Shop: Everyday art is our jam, which is why we’re always happy to see what new latte art baristas around the world are concocting. At Moore Coffee Shop, come for the famous foam designs, and stay for the waffle menu.
10. Anchors Down: An adult drink may be in order as the day wears on, but since this is Seattle, you’ve got to squeeze as much coffee out of your visit as possible. In Ballard, you’ll find this nautical-themed bar, where owner Amy Graeff installed a cold-brew nitro tap for making inventive, coffee-imbued cocktails. Coffee stout martini, anyone? (via Seattle Eater)
11. The Pine Box: Ever heard of a Randall? It’s a chambered filter that you attach to a beer tap and fill with whatever ingredients you like, adding personalized flavors like coffee and chocolate to your pours. One of these doohickeys is the second thing the Pine Box in Capitol Hill is best known for. The first thing? It’s located in a former funeral home, which is puts the “eek” in unique. (via Washington Beer)
12. Clever Bottle: Creative cocktails are the name of the game at Kristen Burns’ Belltown bar, like a lavender rosemary coconut cocktail and beer ice cream float. She makes about a dozen types of bitters in-house, offers a local liquor tasting flight and serves food using ingredients from Pike Place Market.
Where to Shop
13. Pike Place Market: It may be one of the most touristy Seattle destinations, but Pike Place Market is still THE spot for shopping local goods. All year long, you’ll find handmade souvenirs at the crafts market, collectibles beneath the main arcade and fresh food at the highstalls and farmers market.
14. Fremont Sunday Market: If you’re in town for the weekend, skip the usual sit-down brunch and spend your Sunday at this European-style street market. As many as 200 vendors sell antiques, artisan crafts, art, clothes, flowers and of course, food truck noms.
15. CAIRO: This vintage shop isn’t just a place to get kickass vintage duds and housewares (although it’s got plenty of that). It also acts as an artist’s hub for Capitol Hill. Co-founders Aimee Butterworth and Joel Leshefka host visual artists, filmmakers and local musicians inside their tiny shop for a community experience that’s not to be missed. (via Seattle Met)
Where to Visit
16. The Makers Space: If you’ve just moved to Seattle or are looking for event space in the city, this 11,000-square-foot downtown co-working office space will fit the bill. It has lots of natural light, polished bleacher board floors, salvaged windowpanes and desks made of recycled gym floorboards. If you’re a full-time member, you even get to use their photo booth. Maker’s space? More like maker’s DREAM.
17. EMP Museum: There’s so much going on here, we don’t know where to begin. The building was designed by Frank Gehry. The museum is all about music, sci-fi and pop culture. It hosts a battle of the bands. It contains the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. There are exhibits on Star Wars AND Nirvana. This. Place. Has. Everything. (via Seattle Attractions)
What are your must-see maker spots in the Emerald City? Share your insider tips in the comments!