Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can also mean too many options when you’re pressed to find the best. When you want insight into the top spots a city has to offer, you turn to the locals. So to share the best gems of Seattle, we’ve assembled the A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb sellers and local bloggers with knowledge on where to go and who to see. Let’s meet the team!
Sydney Mintle of Sydney Loves Fashion is a fashion blogger based in Seattle. She began writing about the local shopping scene back in 2008 and has been sharing her love of indie designers and boutiques with readers all over the world ever since. (SM)
Catherine Abegg is a film photographer based in Seattle, but with big dreams of one day living the true vagabond life and traveling the world in her VW van named Priscilla. Follow her on Instagram and Ttwitter and be inspired. (CA)
Jenny Jimenez is a storyteller who started out as a music photojournalist, capturing promotional portraits and live shows for Seattle venues, labels and local alternative weekly papers The Stranger and Seattle Weekly. Today she documents events, families and musicians from around the world. Check out her talent on Instagram and Twitter. (JJ)
Lei Ann Shiramizu and Tom Kleifgen are owner’s of Momo, a hapa shop in Seattle’s Japantown. Momo means ‘peach’ in Japanese, a symbol of a long, healthy and happy life. Lei Ann was raised in Hawaii where stores with a general mix, like Momo, are fairly common. Tom hails from Minnesota. Together, they’re a match made in Spam (Hawaii consumes four million cans of Spam a year, a heck of a lot more than in Minnesota where it’s made). (Momo)
1. After an exhausting day, where do you go to recharge?
SM: Bella Fiore Klinik on Queen Anne has an infrared sauna that is a great way to unwind.
CA:For the very best place to recharge, if you’re a woman, is to head just a little bit north out of town to the Olympus Day Spa in Lynnwood, aka the naked lady spa. :) It’s best with friends, and the whole experience is amazing… even the food! And don’t skip out on the full body scrub. If you’re hoping to stay in Seattle proper, however, your other best bet would be Banya 5, which is co-ed but still very, very relaxing. Be sure to check out the happy hour times! If you’re just looking for a beverage recharge, my favorite bar is in my neighborhood of Ballard: Kings Hardware. It has a super laid back vibe, and the service is excellent. And if by recharge you mean really good coffee (this is Seattle!), my advice is always that you can’t go wrong if you get coffee at any of the “three V’s:” Vivace, Vittrola, or Vita.
JJ:Hot House, the ladies-only spa & message oasis on Capitol Hill. Alternate between the hot tub, dry sauna, wet-sauna and nap room, then get in for a quick 15 minute massage before taking off.
Momo:As owners of a boutique in the International District, we spend all our time at work so decompression must be close at hand. We like Kaname Happy Hour for light sushi bites and shochu at realistic prices. Tuesday through Thursday, the bar is shaken up by bartender Murr the Blurr, one of Seattle’s city treasures. Maneki is the oldest restaurant west of the Mississippi, Japanese home cooking served up by ‘mom’ and her gang. Going for Fort Saint George drinks is like being transported to a secret bar in the back streets and above ground Japan. Strange and wonderful street food too.
2. Best burger joints?
SM: I’m not a big burger person, but I do love Eureka at University Village. They use all-natural grass-fed beef in their burgers.
CA: Lil’ Woody’s! Nothing fancy, but just good ol’ burgers, fries, and delicious shakes. Although their specials are always very, very well… special!
JJ: Sun Liquor is my go-to burger spot. I add bacon, avocado, fried egg and their delicious gluten free bun, washed down with one of their drink specials.
Momo: New and notable HeyDay mixes in Asian flavor with an all-American favorite. Milk shakes are amazing.
3. The forecast calls for a rainy afternoon. Where do you go?
SM: Seattleites don’t mind the rain. I can usually be found shopping at Bellevue Square or locally at Queen Anne Dispatch.
CA: Seattle boasts many wonderful, intimate museums. Obviously there is Seattle Art Museum, which is fantastic; but among my favorites are Frye Art Museum, MOHAI, Henry Art Gallery, and SAM’s Asian Art Museum. Also one of the best places to get lost on a rainy day is Seattle’s beautiful public library. However, you should know… that just because it’s raining outside, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out & enjoy it! Seattle locals always have good rain gear, and are never afraid to go for walks in our amazing inner-city parks or just around our quaint neighborhoods, with coffee in hand over course.
JJ: The historical Cinerama movie theatre, of course.
Momo: Cinerama Theatre is a great place to escape the rain with a matinee at one of Seattle’s original movie houses, revived and outfitted for amazing sound. The Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee is a quiet and refined tea house tucked away in a corner of Japantown. A good place to get lost in your computer. Pinball Museum is all you can play for one flat, affordable fee. Home of vintage Pac Man and other legendary games, from the 1960’s through today.
4. You want to spend as little money as possible but still have a good time. What do you do?
SM: If it’s the weekend I’ll check out the farmers market in Ballard. Then sneak away for coffee at one of the local shops.
CA: Seattle’s Art Walk on the first Thursday of every month is a must-do, and the perfect place to catch up with so many creative locals. On the weekends, be sure to check out the many local farmers markets that are located throughout the different neighborhoods of our city; even if you don’t have much money to spend, it’s amazing to see what an abundance of local foods & products we have available to us, and it’s also so fun to feel like you’re really a part of the city when at the markets. And never ever forget the king of all farmer’s markets: Pike Place. I’ve personally been there dozens & dozens of times since my childhood, and it’s still my favorite place in the city.
JJ: Capitol Hill Art Walk. Dine on free wine & cheese while checking out the latest local art on the hill.
Momo: Frye Art Museum is free indoor fun that makes you feel smugly sophisticated for discovering a smartly curated collection. Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park is free and outdoors, next to the water!
5. And for fellow travelers, what one place is a must-see on a tour of Seattle?
SM: The view of the city from Gas Works park is a must-see. It’s gorgeous and perfect during the summer months, especially at sunset.
CA: The one thing that I tell everyone they cannot miss, is taking the ferry! Washington State boasts one of the largest ferry systems in the world, and hopping on the ferries to either Bremerton or Bainbridge Island the best way to take in the Seattle skyline, as well as Mount Rainier to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. There is something wonderful and so nostalgic about being on those boats, and walking on the ferry to get outside of the city and have a quick meal at the quieter, more quaint counterparts to the city is the perfect lazy day activity. If you’re hoping to stay in the city but still want the views, eating at the Hawaiian fusion restaurant Ma Kai in West Seattle will give you just that… bonus points if you take the water taxi from downtown Seattle to get there, and super adventurer status if you rent a kayak or paddle board after your meal, right there on the same pier!
JJ: If it’s your first time everyone has to make the obligatory stop at the Market. Just don’t make the rookie mistake of calling it “Pike’s Place.” Grab some cheese from Beecher’s, a baguette from Le Panier and take a walk north on Western to the Olympic Sculpture Park, the perfect spot for your picnic with a peaceful view of the Olympic mountains.
Momo: Ferry ride to Bainbridge! Walk on for about $8 round trip. Bainbridge is a fun place to kick around for a few hours, and the view heading back into Seattle is postcard perfect.
We hope you’ve been inspired to discover the best of Seattle! If you have any other local favorites (with some insider perspective), let us know in the comments!