The Fox Is Black Is Heading To Seattle

Seattle, Washington

Photo borrowed from Vintage Seattle

This Wednesday Kyle and I will be travelling up to Seattle for some sightseeing and family visiting. Neither of us have been to Seattle before, so we’re looking for some great tips on where to shop, eat, get drinks and not-to-miss places to see. We’re staying at the Ace Hotel, so things near our hotel would obviously be better and easier for us. We’ve already discussed the Seattle Public Library, the Space Needle and Pike Place Fish Market for the tourist-y part, but we’d love some unique and fun places to visit as well.

All tips are totally appreciated, please leave them in the comments of this post.


43 Comments The Fox Is Black Is Heading To Seattle

  1. James Callan April 25, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    It’s nowhere near your hotel, but you should check out Kubota Garden:

    The man who created it spent decades reshaping the landscape. It’s gorgeous and not the usual Seattle tourist destination.

  2. Dana April 25, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Olympic Sculpture Park is a short walk from the Ace Hotel:

    If you get a chance, the Capitol Hill neighborhood is a fun place to visit right across I-5 from downtown. Volunteer Park Conservatory has some awesome flowers & plants in a Victorian-style greenhouse ( There are also a ton of great restaurants & bars in the area. Oddfellows Cafe, Honey Hole, and Cafe Presse are a few of my favorites.

  3. susan April 25, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    Very close to Ace:

    Le Pichet on 1st Ave (at Virginia) as you head down toward the PP Market is fantastic for breakfast/brunch/lunch.(Dinner too, I assume, but I haven’t tried that.) Cute! Delicious! If there’s room, eat at the bar – friendly staff will chat with you. Do not let the boring website put you off.

    Il Bistro under the PP Market for dinner/cocktails. Romantic, & very attractive waitstaff.

    If you’re looking for pizza, Serious Pie on 3rd & Virginia is best in the nabe. It gets crowded but it’s good.

    If you get a chance as you stroll down 1st Ave, pop into De Medici Ming Fine Paper. Tiny shop, gorgeous stuff & if you’re lucky, Kelly will be behind the counter.

    Ditto, Deryn re: Fremont, if you have time. At least go see the troll.

    At night, head up to Capitol Hill for bars/clubs if you’re looking for them. Capitol Hill by day: there’s Volunteer Park, Lake View Cemetery (Bruce Lee), Asian Art Museum, Egyptian movie theater…

  4. Hiller April 25, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    Zeitgiest coffee downtown is great. An incredibly beautiful shop.

  5. arne April 25, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Oh boy where do I start.

    Go to Fremont as listed above. In addition to the Kubota Garden, if you’re able to, check out the Japanese Garden (

    You MUST check out the Seattle Public Library on Madison and 4th (walking distance from the Ace). It’s a Rem Koolhaas and some of the book moving conveyor belts inside are awesome.

    Near your hotel, to the north, you’ll want to check out Belltown, there’s a lot of aspects not to like, but there’s some good restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries all within Belltown. Must explore Capitol Hill. And if you can’t make it out there Ballard as well.

    Avoid the Starbucks, Seattle’s Best and, yes, Tully’s (even though they’re local) and stick to Top Pot, Stumptown, Cafe Verite/Cupcake Royale, or Monorail espresso, to start.

    Here’s some of my favs and notables from when I lived there:

    Shorty’s (bar + hot dog + video games + pinball):

    Blackbird (men’s boutique):

    Cafe Verite / Cupcake Royale (many locations):

    Ian (men’s boutique):

    Area 51 (modern/vintage furniture):

    Bauhaus coffee, near Area 51:

    Bus Stop (bar):

    Go check out the Cha Cha lounge (it’s moved from the original location, which is what the LA Cha Cha looks like, also has a good Mexican place on the ground floor):

    Cafe Presse (french cafe, great breakfast/brunch):

    Cafe Flora (vegetarian, but excellent weekend brunch if you’re around, otherwise they’ve got a great set of bartenders):

    611 Supreme (good eats):

    Top Pot (great coffee, excellent doughnuts, the 5th Ave location is near your hotel):

    Night Kitchen (if you find yourself stumbling out of a bar or club late and you want some good food, open 6pm – 9am, yes you read that right):

    Zebraclub (street wear):

    Tavern Law (bar, great classic cocktails):

    okay I’m probably going to get flagged as spam for all these links, but that’s probably a good start. feel free to e-mail me if you want more suggestions or anything! have fun!

  6. Kwilk April 25, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Re:public in eastlake. See if rory is in.
    There’s a great little Italian place in the market. Underneath the big bronze pig and pink door!

  7. CaitlinBits April 25, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    Serious Pie – great pizza.
    Poppy – tasty thali
    Rob Roy – craft classic cocktails

  8. dv8or70 April 25, 2011 at 5:04 AM

    Your hotel is in Belltown which is full of good places to eat, drink, and shop. If you head to Pike Place after 5PM, you must check out the Zig Zag Cafe which is home to America’s best bartender, Murray (voted as such last year by his peers). Food is good there, too. There’s a good show at the Seattle Art Museum, Nick Cave (not the musician). At the Frye Art Museum is a show by the Degenerate Art Ensemble that’s worth exploring. You’ll be near the sculpture museum from the Seattle Art Museum. If you get up to Capital Hill, then there are plenty of places to eat. I recommend Poppy as well as Plum (vegan). If you’re up there, then there are some good clubs as well as Elliot Bay Books.

  9. Erin April 25, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Peter Miller is a fantastic design bookstore down in Bell Town. When you’re at Pike’s Place Market, don’t miss the mini donuts they make fresh (front, top level. Left of the crazy fish guys).

    The Post is also a fun bar down near the Ace that is perfect for grabbing a drink!

  10. jeremy buller April 25, 2011 at 6:01 AM

    – the art gallery ambach and rice is usually pretty great (
    – there’s a cool vintage/handmade clothing store called 20twenty (
    – awesome music venue: sunset tavern (
    – sonic boom records

    and that’s all just on ballard ave! enjoy seattle, it’s great
    (also, maybe you’ve seen this, but it’s not hard on the eyes:

  11. Peter Brannan April 25, 2011 at 6:09 AM

    The Crocodile is just around the corner. Used to go there for shows, but haven’t been back since they re-opened.

    I usually find myself up on capitol hill which is not too far from the Ace. It’s got a good concentration of stuff within walking distance. Bauhaus, Cafe Vita Roasters, or Vivace(best/most pretentious cup of joe in Seattle) for coffee. Linda’s or the Cha-Cha for drinks, and Bimbo’s Bitchin Burrito Kitchen for food, or oddfellows for a classier meal/drink. Neumo’s usually books pretty good bands, Northwest Film Forum for a unique line up of indie films, and everything on the hill stays pretty active till around 3 in the morning.

    Georgetown is also a neat little oasis of culture in the midst of the industrial district. Fantagraphics has a gallery there, and they often have artists give presentations. I saw Jim Woodring there. He’s a strange human being.

  12. Mark Weaver April 25, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    The Olympic Sculpture Park is pretty cool.

    Also there’s the giant troll under the bridge.

  13. Professor Batty April 25, 2011 at 6:26 AM

    The Arboretum is cool anytime of year, but it is in its absolute spring peak right now! The other comments about the Fremont area and the troll are spot-on as well.

  14. Colby April 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    I’m hungry so I’m only thinking of food…

    —Mini-Donuts in Pikes.
    —Ivar’s seafood, on the pier or the salmon house near gasworks park.

  15. Annie Campos April 25, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    i love seattle so much, which i why i moved here. some of my favorite rad places around the city (non-touristy):

    knee high stocking co. in capitol hill
    speak easy

    unicorn in capitol hill
    bar and weekend brunch *order the unicorn balls*

    king’s hardware in ballard
    food and rad bar *great burgers and skeeball*

    latona pub in greenlake
    stellar beer selection

    twilight exit in central district
    bar and food

    po dog hot dog in capitol hill and u-district
    hot dogs!!!

    cupcake royale – several locations

    top pot doughnuts – several locations

    for live music, check out these places:

    nuemo’s in capitol hill

    nectar lounge in fremont

    tractor tavern in ballard

    crocodile in belltown


    fremont troll is a must

    scarecrow video in u-district
    the BEST video rental store EVER. it is a requirement that all film buffs go here. the titles are classified by director. *swoon*

    easy street records
    music store

    the public transportation is great here. and it’s gonna rain for the next week, so bring a raincoat. enjoy!

  16. Annie Campos April 25, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    oh, and kudos for choosing ACE Hotel. i’ve stayed at all of them except for the Seattle location.

  17. Tommy April 25, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Drinks: Zig Zag Cafe (by the Market), Tavern Law (Cap Hill), the beer culture in SEWA is heavy on Session Beers, but there’s good stuff coming out of there (Epic Ales, Mac N Jack Staple)
    See: SAM, EMP (Nirvana Exhibit)
    Eat: SALUMI (Pioneer Square), Le Pichet, Piroshky (ad infinitum, I don’t think you’ll run out of food to eat)

  18. Riley April 25, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Definitely consider coming up to Capitol Hill, which is a quick (30 min) walk from Belltown.

    Pun(c)tuation is a little art gallery up here, having recently hosted Stacey Rozich and a roster of other great local up & coming artists. Also worth checking out is Cairo, a very small boutique second hand store featuring some of it’s own great screen printed graphics and T’s.

    While you’re up on the hill, eat at Pike St. Fish Fry for lunch (and a beer). Or the Honeyhole, which has amazing sandwiches (and also beer). And if you come up in the evening, the ever-elusive Captain Black’s is one of the great little hidden gems of Seattle. It’s a small bar that serves a lot of awesome food, known for it’s chicken and waffles.

  19. Tiffany April 25, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Don’t forget to visit the gum wall underneath Pike’s Place. That alley also has a bunch of nice paste ups.

    Peter Miller Details is a must. Fantastic design/architecture store.

    The Columbia Center tower is the tallest skyscraper in Seattle. It has better views than the space needle and is half the price. Also, one of the best nighttime views of Seattle is at Kerry Park at the top of Queen Anne.

    Capitol Hill is definitely worth a visit. Tons of cool book and record stores (Everyday Music, Sonic Boom, Elliot Bay Book Company). Stroll down Broadway.

    Capitol hill is the best for bars, belltown is better for clubs. I prefer Capitol Hill. Sun Liquor, Cha cha, Crescent (don’t ask my why but I always end up having a blast here), Linda’s (if the patio is open), Captain Blacks, Unicorn… lots of great bars. It’s hard to find a bad bar on the hill.

    When drunk eat the following: a Dick’s burger, a Seattle cream cheese hot dog, or tacos at Rancho Bravo. The first two are a must.

    Also, if you’re staying until next Thursday you should visit Pioneer Square for First Thursday. Specifically the 619 building. Six floors of pure art.

    Have fun!

  20. ANDREA April 25, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Went to Seattle a year ago, and had an excellent time. Luckily, we had a former Seattle-ite show us around. My favorite place was Gasworks park. Great views, and relatively tourist-free. For food, my favorite meal was at Odd Fellows Cafe. For shopping, it was Blackbird Ballard and Field House around the corner. Visiting the Filson factory and Kurt Cobain’s house was pretty neat, too. Here are some photos I took to give you an idea!: I would definitely recommend renting a car, even for just one day. Seattle is really spread out, there’s multiple public transportation companies, and cabs aren’t easy to catch. You’ll see much more with a car.

    Have fun, and looking forward to your writeup when you get back!

  21. Brendan April 25, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    if youre going to Pike Place, be sure to check out the abc gum wall… its a wall completely covered with abc gum in an alley near the entrance to Pike Place, if you can’t find it, ask someone and they should know where it is…

  22. tyler April 25, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Zig Zag for drinks, say hi to Eric.

    Serious Pie for pizza.

    See if you can track down one of Seattle’s great food trucks: The Skillet (the bacon jam is unbelievable) or Marination (Korean, Hawaiian, Mexican fusion – delicious)

    Olympic Sculpture park and the Seattle Public Library are not to be missed.

  23. Annie Campos April 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    i just spent like 30 mins posting suggestions and they disappeared… ugh

    maybe i’ll give it a go later..

  24. imri April 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    you really should make it to wallingford to eat at TILTH. it’s the best restaurant in the city and the NYT call it one of the top 10 restaurants in the US. their saturday and sunday brunch is pretty awesome.

    gasworks park, serious pie, poppy, vivace coffee, peter miller books, chapel (bar on capitol hill that is in an old funeral home).

    if it’s warm, take a kayak out on lake union at agua verde.

    flying fish for classic seafood.

    underground tour in pioneer square is a must.

    ferry rides are the best.

  25. Annie Campos April 25, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    here is an abbreviated list of non-touristy places to check out in this rad city. check out yelp for more info. it’s gonna rain for the next week so bring a raincoat. the public transportation here rocks. enjoy!

    -king’s hardware in ballard
    -twilight exit in central district
    -the living room in capitol hill
    -latona pub in greenlake
    -unicorn in capitol hill
    -knee high stocking co (speak easy) in capitol hill

    -po dog hot dogs in capitol hill & u-district
    -salumi in downtown
    -hattie’s hat in ballard
    -steelhead diner in downtown
    -serious pie in downtown
    -ivar’s seafood – several locations
    -top pot doughnuts – several locations
    -cupcake royale – several locations

    music venues:
    -nuemo’s in capitol hill
    -crocodile in belltown
    -nectar lounge in fremont
    -high dive in fremont
    -nectar lounge fremont
    -tractor tavern in ballard

    -easy street records in queen anne
    -scarecrow video in u-district *a MUST for film buffs*
    -the harvard exit (theater) in capitol hill
    -the egyptian theatre in capitol hill
    -fremont troll!
    -ferry ride!!!

  26. salon scheduler stephen April 25, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Love Seattle, I know I’m repeating stuff but (in no particular order)…

    -Sculpture park
    -Public library by OMA
    – Cafe Macrina (opposite the Ace) – great cookbook too
    – Serious Pie
    – Cafe Vivace
    – Salumi Cured meats (Batalli’s dad)
    – Top pot doughnuts
    – Peter Miller books (architectural)
    – Ballard (great community)

    Have fun!

  27. Ali April 25, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Visit the Wexley School for Girls.

    It’s about 4 blocks from the Ace. It’s not a school, It’s an ad agency with a very unique interior.

  28. belltown resident April 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    I’ve lived in Belltown for 7 years now. I highly recommend:

    Top Pot Doughnuts- 5th Ave, Belltown. (beautiful interior)
    Macrina Bakery- 1st Ave, Belltown. (Amazing pastries)
    Shiros- 2nd Ave, Belltown. (Amazing sushi)
    Bedlam- 2nd Ave, Belltown. (Great independent coffee shop, and cake!)
    Fainting Goat- Wallingford. (Gelato)
    Kingfish Cafe- 19th, Capitol Hill. (Southern goodness)

    Sun Liquor- Summit Ave, Capitol Hill. (Great interior, delicious drinks, a minute away from breathtaking views of Seattle)
    Bathtub Gin- 1st Ave, across from the Frontier Room, Belltown. (one of many speakeasy style bars in Seattle)

  29. zion April 25, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    You should definitely check out Black Bird and The Field House in Ballard. While you’re nearby, there’s King’s Hardware for happy hour burgers, beer, and skeeball, although they get busy and crowded later in the evening. I’d also suggest going to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to watch boats and ships if it’s nice outside.

    Blue C Sushi is designed well, and has good sushi that travels around to your table on a conveyor belt. Evo is a nice step up from the standard skate shop and has a gallery of rotating artists. Gasworks park is an old refinery that has a great view of the city from Lake Union.

    Lower Queen Anne has the Seattle Center, which is home to the EMP (designed by Frank Gehry), the Pacific Science Center, and the Space Needle. For food, check out Peso’s (American-Mexican) and its neighbor, Toulouse Petit (New Orleans-style food).
    Upper Queen Anne has another Macrina Bakery, another Top Pot doughnuts, Bustle Caffe, and the Paragon restaurant, as well as the best view of the skyline at Kerry Park.

    I highly recommend the Olympic Sculpture Park. It’s beautiful, outdoors, and free.
    The Waterfront Hotel has a nice bar out on the pier that is wonderful if it’s sunny.

    The Chapel of St. Ignatius, designed by Steven Holl, is on the Seattle University campus and is definitely worth the walk over there. The Unicorn has fantastic drinks, carnival food, and exotic circus decorations.

    The Seattle Public Library (by Rem Koolhaas) downtown is a MUST. In Pike Place Market, Michou’s has delectable sandwiches, and Left Bank Books is good for, well, books.

    Enjoy your visit! Hopefully the sunshine will follow you up here!

  30. sara April 25, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    i’ll echo ballard and first thursday/619 western – but i’ll put an emphasis on flatcolor gallery in pioneer square… consistently fantastic shows:

  31. Liam April 26, 2011 at 7:23 AM

    Long as your in Belltown – Open Circle Theater and get your culture on.

  32. Ellis April 26, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    I am with Dana. Capitol Hill is where to be. Keep your eye out for any member of the Fleet Foxes. Got to go to Honey Hole for a sandwich. Order the “Dude” and you will thank me later. Also, if you make it out to Ballard check out two things. The Men’s Shop “The Field House” and have a beer at “King’s Hardware.”


  33. Julianna April 26, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    If you’re in Belltown (just north of downtown) and you’re hungry you should check out Umi Sake House, which has really good sushi as well:!/lockstitch

    Kerry park at night has a great view of Seattle and 5 or 6 blocks west is Marshall Park, which looks over downtown Seattle and Elliot Bay. Definitely recommend.

    If you’re looking for Seattle culture, try the Sunday markets in Fremont and Ballard– Fremont has a lot of local artisans and vintage, and Ballard is a lot of organic foods and handmade stuff.

  34. Julie April 29, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I’d also second the comment about Left Bank Books. I thoroughly enjoyed it when I went there. Check out their site.

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