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Capitol Hill: Seattle’s Hipster Haven

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Capitol Hill is Seattle's hipster neighborhood, with an incredible concentration of trendy restaurants, bars, boutiques, and cultural happenings. And I'm not just saying that because it's my 'hood.
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429 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
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Recently remodeled, Coastal Kitchen has shed its colorful decor for a more upscale, modern vibe, but it's still serving the same stellar brunch dishes, like the ever-popular gingerbread waffles shown here. Every few months, they create an entirely...
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332 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
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Now I know what a hipster is! This awesome little spot was chock full of 'em and, as visitors from Boulder, the land of hippies and rock climbers, I really appreciated the service. They serve chicken and waffles and about the best burger you can...
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1505 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Lost Lake may look like it's been open for decades, but despite its dimly-lit vintage decor, this Capitol Hill diner just opened in 2013 — and is already a favorite with locals. One side is a restaurant and the other side is a bar, depending on...
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1118 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Unicorn is one of my favorite places to take visitors because there's just so much to look at: the lurid circus-painted walls, the costumed and accessorized taxidermy, the lavishly painted bar that seems to have been pulled off a carousel. During...
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1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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The Elliott Bay Book Company is the Seattle bookstore and, thankfully, survived its move from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill with soul and towering cedar bookcases intact. Elliott Bay lost a significant chunk of square footage during the move...
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925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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If there's a single most iconic Seattle meal, it's probably fish and chips. We're rightly famous for our salmon, which is very tasty when given the batter-fried treatment, but halibut may be the most popular choice for locals (and well worth the...
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1523 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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The fabulous and creative Jill Wenger created and founded the beautiful Totokaelo in 2003 in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. This store is truly a purveyor of beautifully designed and thoughtfully curated fashion and objects, as the website...
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915 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Feel like learning to East Coast Swing, Salsa, Tango, Waltz or Kizomba while you're in Seattle? From events to classes, to venue rentals and Footloose-inspired advocacy (repeal the 'dance tax' in Washington State), this is the perfect place for a...
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1009 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Bar hopping around Capital Hill one afternoon, my friend and I stopped by Big Mario's Pizza for a slice and a beer. The New York style pizza is cheap and delicious; the beer selection is diverse, and if you're lucky, you'll meet this pup who's one...
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818 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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More of a cider lover than a beer drinker? Seattle's new Capitol Cider has you covered, with a variety of apple and fruit ciders, both bottled and on tap. Of course, there's plenty of beer, too — and even the occasional nonalcoholic ginger beer....
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1727 15th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Want to stay conveniently close to downtown Seattle's attractions without paying downtown-Seattle hotel prices? Or would you rather be a short walk away from Capitol Hill's vibrant shopping, eating, and bar scene? Either way, the Gaslight Inn B&B...
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1509 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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The delicious smells wafting from this hole-in-the-wall will woo anyone within a two-block radius. Little Uncle is a tiny shack on Madison Ave. that serves up fantastic Thai "street food" dishes. The menu is tiny (there's always a rotating daily...
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1221 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Love local beer? You can't get much more local than the Elysian Brewery, which brews its beer in Georgetown, a neighborhood in south Seattle. They offer 20-plus different beers at their three locations. They're possibly best known for their Night...
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1622.5 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
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Another food-truck-made-good in a permanent location, Molly Moon’s now has five locations around town, but still sends out its iconic baby-blue truck for special events — just follow your nose to the heavenly scent of their freshly made waffle...
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411 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Open since 2000, Victrola is a fixture on the 15th Ave strip, and its mismatched outdoor seats are always full of patrons sipping coffee drinks and enjoying the people-watching. The cafe features art openings and local art on its walls, and the...
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345 15th Ave E Suite 103, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
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If you're allergic to doilies and calico prints, not to worry: Remedy Teas is a far cry from the frou-frou tearooms you're used to. Modern and minimalistic, with clean white decor, the most eye-catching feature of their cafe is the rows of big...
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403 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
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A small, Southern-influenced cafe on the 15th Avenue strip, the Wandering Goose is worth a visit if only for its excellent neon sign – a plump, bottom-heavy goose waddling back and forth. Their breakfast and lunch fare includes classics like...
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1635 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Cal Anderson Park (named after Washington's first openly gay legislator) is located at the Pike/Pine nexus of gay-friendly, hipster-filled Capitol Hill. With plenty of grassy lawns for picnics, reading, or playing bocce ball, it's no surprise that...
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517 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
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Another restaurant on the food-filled 15th Avenue strip of Capitol Hill, Liberty Sushi has a bit of an identity crisis: is it a café, a bar, or a sushi joint? Maybe it doesn’t matter, since all are delicious. During the day, they serve Stumptown...
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1325 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Another hallowed Capitol Hill rock venue, Chop Suey is a short walk up the hill from the Pike/Pine intersection. The performers tend to skew toward local bands, electronic, and drag shows, but one of Seattle’s most unique dance parties is Talcum,...
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4150, 1400 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Skillet started life as a food truck, and you’ll still see their mobile kitchen popping up around Seattle throughout the week (check their website for location info). But sometimes it’s easier to head to one of their permanent diners, where you...
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4020, 1316 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Sure, ice cream and gelato places are everywhere, but how often do you see a frozen custard shop? The addition of egg in the mix is what makes all the difference, apparently: richer and creamier than ice cream, yet with less calories and...
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1013 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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A popular spot for late-night carb-loading (it’s open until 2 a.m. every night), Bimbo’s serves up cheap and enormous burritos in its eye-catching restaurant, decorated wall-to-wall in a Mexican-wrestler-and-black-velvet theme. When you see the...
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1412 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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If you’ve never had Hawaiian-Korean fusion, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to Marination. Started in 2009 as a food truck, Marination has since opened a couple of brick-and-mortar locations in Capitol Hill and West Seattle, but still sends...
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Also known as “the bookstore with the cats,” Twice Sold Tales has a great neon sign that’s worth the visit all by itself. But don’t stop there—go inside and wind your way through the narrow aisles of bookshelves...
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1550 15th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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One of local celebrity chef Ethan Stowell’s restaurants, Anchovies and Olives describes itself as “an Italian-inspired seafood and pasta joint.” The ever-changing dinner menu offers appetizers like fried chickpeas with smoked paprika and lemon,...
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501 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Time for a game night? If you’re in Capitol Hill, Raygun Lounge has everything you need. There's a large selection of board, card, miniature, role playing, and collectible games (including rare and out-of-print titles), and if they don’t have it...
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527 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
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Comfort food doesn’t have to be heavy and drowned in grease: just try pho, the light and flavorful Vietnamese soup that’s much loved by Seattleites. Than Brothers is the local chain, with locations all around town, but the Capitol Hill one is one...
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1546 15th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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A neighborhood bar with Italian flair, Bar Cotto offers a carefully edited menu of pizza, vegetables, bruschetta, and local and imported cured meats. The Corona bean and cauliflower salad with currants and rosemary is a must-try, while the creamy...
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1314 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Part of the recent local boom in artisanal and craft liquors, Oola Distillery describes itself as a “micro-distillery” in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. They create small batches of gin, vodka, flavored vodkas (including...
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119 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
Pretty Parlor, possibly the most perfectly named boutique in Seattle, looks exactly like it sounds: a cavity-inducingly sweet pink bon-bon of a shop, crammed full of vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry, plus modern stuff from local indie...
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1532 Minor Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Capitol Hill’s Melrose Market is a spacious, sunlit, vintagey-looking indoor market with a variety of artisanal and locally made foods: Rain Shadow Meats, Calf & Kid cheese, the Marigold & Mint flower shop, and Taylor Shellfish. There are also a...
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12548 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98125, USA
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Not a typical nonprofit thrift store, Value Village is a for-profit retail company that partners with charities. Value Village’s inventory comes from batches of clothes they purchase from nonprofit agencies, as well as direct donations from the...
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1318 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Created by the owners of Quinn’s Pub (another Capitol Hill foodie spot), Restaurant Zoe’s goal is to be an energetic urban bistro known for good food and service. Dinner fare favors the carnivorous, and includes steak tartare, black cod, and spicy...
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1001 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Quinn’s gastropub specializes in meat, meat, and more meat — everything from crispy pork belly to wild boar sloppy Joes to roasted bone marrow and foie gras frites. Choose an assortment of small plates to share, or get a large plate all to...
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925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Its proper name is Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room, but pretty much everyone just calls it Neumos (pronounced new-mows, a reference to the previous venue in that space, Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café). The space includes the Pike Street Fish Fry, the Moe...
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Bellevue, WA, USA
If you’re ready to take your love of macarons to the next level, who better than a Parisienne to teach you how to bake them? At Paris Eastside, you’ll learn the fundamentals, enjoy a glass of perfectly paired wine, and make sweet and savory...
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1211 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
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With two locations (Capitol Hill and Ballard), Lil’ Woody’s is known around Seattle for their hearty, inexpensive burgers. (Note to convention-goers: the Capitol Hill location is just a few blocks up Pine St. from the Convention Center.) Toppings...
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115 Belmont Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
Finally, Capitol Hill’s hipsters get their own Goodwill store! Their newest location is clean, reasonably priced, and best of all, has its own free parking lot — a rare treat for shoppers on the Hill. Located in the old Half Price Books building,...
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300 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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The Six Arms Brewery is a Seattle outpost of the regional McMenamin’s chain. Their beers include a range of stouts, pale ales, and IPAs, plus Edgefield cider and wine — but more importantly, you can get their delicious pear brandy sidecar cocktail...
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1216 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
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Seattle is mysteriously blessed with an abundance of excellent Oaxacan restaurants. If you love the savory fare at Ballard’s La Carta de Oaxaca — but not the long weekend wait for a table — La Cocina Oaxaquena, at the edge of...
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425 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
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Even in a bibliophilic city like Seattle, Ada’s Technical Books stands out as an exceptionally geek-friendly haven. For one thing, it presides over some of the best themed book clubs in town—human thought and sexuality, classics of...
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1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Volunteer Park is a beloved neighborhood park in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Originally created in 1876, the park was named in 1901 to honor the volunteers of the Spanish-American War. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is located inside the...
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1531 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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A dash of London style; hints of Scandinavia; a generous dollop of Seattle cool: Sitka & Spruce brims with gastronomic oeuvres that demonstrate that good things happen when fresh, high-quality ingredients intersect with meticulous preparation....
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1531 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
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Inside Spinasse’s charmingly rustic dining room, you’ll feel like you’ve left Seattle for an Italian trattoria. The roasted beet salad with cherries, radishes and marinated La Tur cheese is tangy and refreshing, while the hand-cut egg pastas are...
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915 E Pine St B, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
If you like solving puzzles, cracking codes, and yelling at strangers, this unique locked-room challenge might be just your cup of tea. You’ll be locked in a room with your group, and you have one hour to solve about a dozen riddles or puzzles in...