NFT Seattle First Hill / Pike / Pine

First Hill / Pike / Pine

Essentials
If you absolutely have to get sick, try to do it on "Pill Hill," where numerous hospitals, medical centers, and private practices make having a heart attack or getting injured downright convenient. Meanwhile, the nearby Pike/Pine corridor is the epicenter of Seattle hipster culture, where twenty-something bohemians waste their youth in assorted tattoo parlors, carefully-designed dive bars, and vintage clothing stores. Stop by Stumptown, Victrola, or Bauhaus for your caffeine fix.

Sundries/Entertainment
If you're under 30 (or never stopped partying), you'll have a blast at the bars along Pike and Pine. Linda's has a great jukebox and a heated back patio. Over 30? Try the awesome See more.

>Melrose Market for all your foodie needs. Meet some ladies at the Wild Rose, take a date to Anchovies & Olives, score some late night tacos (Rancho Bravo) or fish n' chips (Pike Street Fish Fry), or kick it old school grungy at the Comet.

Go casually upscale with the farm-to-plate genius of Terra Plata. Matt Dillon's Sitka & Spruce and Bar Ferd'nand lend a Toply Cheffed gravitas to the 'hood. Impress vegetarian friends--or those who love them--at Plum Bistro. Elsewhere, Hill trolls swear by Hot Mama's Pizza, and Mamnoon will hook you on their Syrian and Lebanese flavors.

Shopping is plentiful in the Pike/Pine Corridor. For retro gear, or if you are looking for pieces for a Halloween costume, try Atlas Clothing Co. After you're dudded up, hit Rain Shadow for the best in locally farmed meatware. And The Elliott Bay Book Company is the favorite son of Puget Sound literati.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Thrift Store Chic Amongst the Fleece

By Sarah Sluis
You're poor AND stylish? Then this article is for you. Join Sarah Sluis as she travels around Puget Sound to find the very best thrift stores where you can score everything from polka dotted shoes to vintage jeans by the mile.
Read More...
A (Karaoke) Place to Call Home

By Jessica Baxter
Eight years ago Jessica Baxter walked into an empty bar in Seattle to "sing" Daydream Believer in front of 3 friends and 6 wasted, possibly dangerous strangers. She wanted more. Now she's a bona fide karaoke expert.
Read More...
Vinyl Ain't Final

By Gawel Feliga
Gawel Feliga knows a thing or two about scoring crack but that doesn't mean he was prepared for the multifarious record stores of Seattle. A green, wide-eyed street urchin the day he entered the unending aisles of 45s, turntables and 99 cent CDs, he left those life-changing places a grown fatigued man with a taste for cigarillos and long, weary stares. Gawel had anticipated recreational drug use, but he never expected to be moved by the music.

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Sushi Kanpai
What's better than an awesome happy hour? How about a happy hour that lasts all weekend and features what is practically a dinner-sized menu at low prices? Order more traditional sushi rolls or YOLO with the Heart Attack (basically a Japanese jalapeno popper). Don't miss the tempura or the gyoza. The catch is a one-drink per person minimum, which means you can't share that Saki unless you get a beer back. It's a convenient spitting distance from Town Hall, so you get your buzz on and fill your belly before catching a reading by that author you heard on NPR. Of course, you can always order from their regular menu, where the food gets fancy but the prices stay reasonable. Kanpai!



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Eltana Wood Fired Bagel Cafe
Wood-fired and magical, Eltana has brought bagel bliss to Seattle. Fresh wood is continually stuffed into the oven's belly like coal into a steam train engine, giving birth to hot and crunchy bagels every ten-fifteen minutes. It's the luscious, drool worthy assembly line of every foodie's sweet dreams. New York bagels step aside and make room for these Mediterranean inspired bread treats. With the perfect balance of inner dense chewiness to outer crispiness, you will want to sample all six varieties. In one sitting. Of course Eltana has the traditional cream cheese but again here they have taken bagel schmears to another level, giving them a healthy dose of Mediterranean flavors. Fava bean mint spread, eggplant pomegranate spread, and caramelized onion hummus round out the savory choices while sweet lovers can enjoy fig apricot compote, date walnut cream cheese, or fresh ground almond butter. Side salads including roasted cauliflower Tahini or spiced sweet potato make the perfect accompaniment for a bagel lunch. Oh and bring a big tote bag. You will be taking at least a dozen home with you.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Barrio
Barrio has taco truck sensibilities wrapped up in a glossy polished concrete swank space, like Extreme Makeover took over your local taco bus. A Jarritos soda or Tecate is the perfect accompaniment for the carne asada but if you want to lay down some coin try one the tequila flights or a Margarita with agave nectar. The menu is eclectic and full of interesting twists like smoky pork with golden raisins and almonds but the flavors need to be bumped up a bit. With a little more sauce my fish tacos could have been great and my side of drunken beans tasted more like a church social rather than a bachelorette party. But like a smart girl, I saved the best for last. OMG, the Crème Brulee. Hands down, my favorite dessert and Barrio's version of this velvet vanilla heaven is the best I have had anywhere.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Unicorn
Hipsters across the city highly anticipated the coming of the Unicorn. A circus-themed bar named after a popular mythical creature and the promise of pinball? Hard to go wrong with that concept. That's why opening night drew a line around the block of folks waiting in the rain to peek inside. A line! In the rain! For a bar! Me, I waited till the next day and enjoyed the mellow happy hour vibe that involves chairs and fast service. Though, due to budget constraints, there were some disappointments (no juicer for cocktails or pinball room yet), there were also many pleasant surprises. The whimsical circus decor is spot-on. There are plenty of big, comfy booths and the jukebox rocks. Most impressive is the menu: a selection of gourmet corndogs, which also come in veggie versions! The titular Unicorn dog is topped with cream cheese, caramelized onions and Siracha. Another inspired dog involves a chewy latke-like coating and is served with sour cream and applesauce. Round out your meal with a salted caramel apple or fried candy bar. When funds permit, they do plan to finish the basement, so go grab a corndog and help this My Little Pony become a full-fledged Unicorn!



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Po Dog Hot Dogs
I'd actually been craving a hot dog for quite some time. With so much build up, my first trip to Po Dogs was either going to be deeply satisfying or profoundly disappointing. I'm pleased to report that my Po Dog completely hit the spot. You're going to shell out a few more bucks than you would at a standard hot dog cart, but these are not your standard hot dogs. Not by a long shot. Toasted brioche buns add a bit of sweet decadence to each gourmet dog. And their unique selection of specialty dogs is outstanding. Among the wacky offerings is the Deep Fried Danger Dog (bacon wrapped and deep fried), the Wasabi Egg roll Dog (wrapped and fried in an egg roll, smothered in wasabi aioli), the weirdly successful PB Dog (Elvis-approved peanut butter and bananas). Along with an outstanding veggie dog and the opportunity to "dress your own wiener," there's just no way won't find the dog of your dreams. Complete your meal with house-made chips or fries and wash it all down with a brew from the cooler. Best of all, you will leave fully satisfied, if somewhat jealous of their badass six-shooter wallpaper.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Meza
Maybe the space is cursed. Meza occupies what was once vegan nightmare, the Globe. Now it's a tapas restaurant. Unfortunately, though the prices are reasonable (for tapas) and menu sounds promising, it's just not that good. The sangria is only passable. The tortilla portions are so small that the waiter admitted they should be giving them away (and then, kindly, he did just that). The food is incredibly bland and uninspired. At $12, the Vegetales is nothing more than a glorified salad; a disappointing one at that. The corn cakes in the Arepitas resemble over-sized Communion wafers from both a visual and textural standpoint. I had to ask for a dish of salt to make it palatable. In fact, you're going to need that dish of salt for pretty much everything you order. The only thing that works out is the Morrocoy Bocadillo (pulled pork sandwich). But there's no shortage of good pulled pork in this town. You might as well patronize a place that also does other dishes well. It didn't help our experience that the waiter took every opportunity to bad-mouth the food. Unfortunately, he was right about everything. Sorry Meza, but you're kind of a mess-a.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Knee High Stocking Co
In true speakeasy fashion, you have to know about it to get in. The door is locked from the inside so if you were just wandering, you'd think the place closed. But if you ring the doorbell, a friendly chap answers, welcoming you inside and handing you a large menu full of old timey cocktails, mostly involving gin. Every day, they craft a new punch and serve up cups for $3 during happy hour. The beer selection is small (and includes currant cider), but people don't come to a speakeasy for beer. They come for the hooch. Soak up all those bathtub libations with a little nosh. The chow selection is small but more than sufficient, including lamb sliders, spicy mac and cheese, hot dogs and a crustini and cheese plate with pear butter. Oh, and don't forget to obey the rules or you'll be eighty-sixed. No cell phones, pictures, or standing. It's for your own good, pops. There will never be more people than there are chairs. That means you will always be able to use hushed tones to plot with your cohorts. Chin chin.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

La Spiga Osteria
The beautifully decorated converted warehouse in which La Spiga resides, with its exposed beams and romantic lighting, will certainly make you think you’re in for a good meal. Depending on what you order, maybe you are. You may also be hugely disappointed. Either way, you'll be paying out the nose. Around the time you're ready to eat your own face, they'll bring you some complimentary flat bread which is conveniently dry enough to persuade you to shell out an additional $4 (per condiment) for some olive oil and balsamic. Considering the price of an entree, these things should also be free. The Caprese salad, with its buttery fresh mozzarella and white balsamic, is delicious so long as you can score a little salt and pepper. They'll try to talk you into the $35/person tasting menu, boasting its value. But it will be way more food than you need. Many of the pastas are decent, including the Gnocchi, but steer clear of the Tortelli Spinaci which tastes like it was boiled fresh from the freezer and plopped unseasoned onto your plate. Desserts are slightly less of a mixed bag but the Tortufu is basically just an $8 bowl of ice cream.



Posted By:  Amy Mikel
Photo:  Amy Mikel

Century Ballroom
If you feel like delving into the sassy side of ballroom dance: Swing, Salsa, Tango or Lindy Hop, consider the class offerings at Century Ballroom. Dance styles are structured in small multi-week series, organized by level anyone is welcome to start at Level One and work their way up. The studio keeps classes balanced by tracking registrants and making sure there will be an equal number of leads (gentlemen) and follows (ladies), so even if you come solo, everyone has a partner and can learn their part. Lessons are held in the big and open Century Ballroom dance space on the second floor of the Odd Fellows Building in Capitol Hill. Directly across the hall is newly opened Tin Table restaurant--studio owner Hallie Kuperman's latest business venture--which looks to be well worth checking out.



Posted By:  Ingrid Mattson
Photo:  Ingrid Mattson

Northwest Film Forum
It's not that I don't want to throw twenty bucks away watching the latest Jennifer Aniston flick. I can't get enough of what she's not wearing in GQ and what she did or didn't say about Angelina Jolie. But sometimes I like to exhibit at least the semblance of highbrow sophistication and support the arts locally. Thinking I'd stumbled on a yearlong porno fest, I bought my $69 pass for the 69 series. I was sorely disappointed to find it was actually a series of films (fourteen currently scheduled) released in 1969 that the folks at NW Film Forum think epitomize everything 1969 represents in US and International History. I noticed a few foreign films on the list, so I'm at least hoping for a nipple or two; if that fails, I've always got Jennifer Aniston.




Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Clever Dunne's Irish House
It's kind of dirty and falling apart. Even though they supposedly remodeled the infamous bathrooms, I can't really tell what they did other than paint. There was a head-sized hole in the wall for a while. But for some reason, every time I go to this place, I have a blast. The occasionally Irish, but mostly punk music selection keeps everyone jaunty. The amusing graffiti in the bathroom distracts you from the grossness. You can turn a hole in the wall into a hilarious photo shoot starring your drunken friends. There's also plenty to do besides make hard lemonade out of bruised lemons. They've got darts, pool and a shiny new shuffleboard table. On Trivia Tuesdays, turn your useless pop culture knowledge into cash and drinking-related prizes. If you get hungry, well, they can't help you there. But they don't care if you bring in your own grub from nearby taco, pizza or chicken and jojo vendors. You'll have a lot of fun without dropping a lot of cash (unless, of course, you get so drunk that you drop your cash). Seems like a clever business model to me.




Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Honeyhole Sandwiches
It's a "hole" because it's dark and warm. The "honey" part comes from the retardedly delicious sandwiches and drinks. Both the veggie and regular BLTs will satiate that persistent bacon craving. A series of Hollywood monikered sammies feature the meats you love uniquely complimented by the perfect cheeses, veggies, and condiments. No less than 3 of them involve honey roasted ham. You can choose to go hot or cold. It doesn't really matter. Almost everything is heaven between two slices of bread. The only thing I don't recommend is the too-literally named Dirt Burger. Nothing helps wash away a bad day at work than a Honey Hole happy hour. $3 pints and $3.50 fresh juice wells are the ideal accompaniment for your comfort food. It's time to relax under the warmth of red lighting in a cushy booth and pack on the winter calories and this is the place for it. They have also have pizzas and stuff but trust me, you're gonna want the sandwich. No, it's not a sex shop, but if you've ever considered a carnal relationship with your sandwich, it would probably be one from the Honey Hole.




Posted By:  Gawel Feliga
Photo:  Gawel Feliga

Oasis Cafe
This poorly named spot never seems too busy and the exterior is uninviting. If it wasn't for an odd Saturday afternoon, where everything in the area seemed to be closed, I don't think we'd ever have stopped here. The sushi and sashimi were tasty and modestly priced. Some of the fish was a bit tough, the nigiri rice a little soggy, but I've become rather picky. We were greeted and served by an almost too polite, older lady. That kind of excessive courtesy that is almost threatening. "If everything goes smoothly, we will all be very happy. But fuck with me, and you will regret it." Fortunately I did not have to test the lady's polished steel will. We ate our sushi hungrily, while random passersby ogled at us through the large window. Perhaps they were surprised to see people actually inside.



Posted By:  Gawel Feliga
Photo:  Gawel Feliga

Chapel
This restaurant/club used to be a mortuary chapel. If that does something for you, then you're indiscriminately susceptible to cheap publicity. The space is interesting. What they've done with it: hardly so. We came here on a late Saturday night and the place was barely half full. The DJ was playing an uninventive mix of tech and hard house, but no one looked interested in dancing anyway. Horny guys at the bar, bored girls at the tables and little interaction between the camps. The wall beside the dance floor is covered with mirrors, giving the place a nice illusion of space. You can check yourself out while busting moves and making out with your roommate's kind of hot, but really drunk friend. I would probably think the place was great and want to go back if I had done plenty of drugs. And there were more people. But I don't pop pills and the crowd was thin. Thus, I give you my sober conclusion: it's just another dark and loud club with overpriced decor. But if you're with a group of drunk friends, stumbling around Capitol Hill, maybe stick this one on your list. Do a shot and say a hail mary for the stiffs. If there are any ghosts around, hopefully they can't hear how much the DJ sucks.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Redwood
I'm not sure what it is with hipsters and hunting themes but it seems to work. The Redwood nails Log Cabin chic with wood paneling; antler lamps and burlap animal targets abound. But unlike a Linda Dershang bar, this place skews more animal-friendly than carnivorous. Vegetarian meatloaf sandwiches, vegan chili burgers, sweet potato fries and yes, some real dead cow as well. And there's more. You'll only pay backwoods prices for your cocktails and they'll throw in free peanuts to boot (go ahead and toss those shells on the floor). However, while you may feel like you're drinking in the Appalachians, don't forget to use your indoor voice, even when you're outside smoking. The neighbors will call the cops on your city slicker ass. For serious.



Posted By:  Ingrid Mattson
Photo:  Ingrid Mattson

Quinn's
Leave the angry, self-righteous vegetarians at home: at Quinn's you can eat lots of different parts of lots of different kinds of animals. You've got your standard lived-a-happy-life gourmet beef, but you can also order duck eggs, boccarones (white sardines), rabbit pâté, foie gras, chicken liver, lamb, wild boar, and marrow. Even the fries are prepared in beef tallow. Mmm. If you've got the more pragmatic vegetarian in tow, pickings are slim. Grilled lettuce is all the rage these days, and Quinn's proves it is oh-so-trendy by including it. You know, because warm, wilted, slightly slimy lettuce is the best part of salad. According to the waiter, the risotto was made with veggie broth, but you're taking your moral dining fortitude into your own hands if you believe him. Seriously--he had to read off my menu to explain what was in one of the dishes... not a good sign.



Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Caffe Vita
Caffe Vita is special. Not like retarded special. But special, as in, there's something about this place I like. Unlike many coffeehouses in Seattle, this one actually has lots of space. Two stories of space to be exact. It's refreshing that I can always find a seat, and that the seat is not a stool or a stinky Value Village couch. Their coffees are good, but unfortunately not as great as Vivace. And for people who like honey in long strips, rather than ketchup packets, you're in for a treat. But the part about Caffe Vita that seals the deal for me is their bathroom. First of all, they have one. Second of all, it doesn't smell like a meth addict shit in his pants and rubbed vomit on the walls when all you have to do is take a pee pee. So if you're looking for a coffeehouse that has lots of space, honey you'll want to steal and a bathroom that doesn't smell like New Jersey, then Caffe Vita is where you want to be.



Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Chez Gaudy
Here are the secrets to enjoying this American tapas bar: Make your reservation for Tuesday because the wine that you handpick is half price. Get a hungry/thirsty crowd together. And eat everything the server brings by your table. This place isn't the greatest culinary experience, but what it lacks in taste it makes up for in experience. The laid-back atmosphere, combined with the look-and-take style makes this restaurant a fun place to be. There are no menus. But there are lots of hot small dishes that come by, almost like dim sum but without the uneasiness of not knowing what you're about to shove in your mouth. If you can only try a few things, go for the BBQ brisket, chicken marsala and grilled cheese. The desserts are nothing special, but the owner is such a sweetheart and if you talk to him long enough he'll probably give you a shot or two. Even if you end up not liking the food you picked, you're still drinking amazing wine for only $7 and no matter how hard you try you won't be bored when you come here. Even if you go on a Wednesday.



Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Hot House
This is where ladies go to chillax. I come here once every few months when I need to read and sweat and get a massage for a decent price. The women-only sanctionary seems out of place in the hustle and bustle that is Capitol Hill. But that's also what makes Hot House so genius. You go in all stressed because twenty bums just asked you for change and you leave feeling like you just went on a 10 day trip to India. There's a whisper policy, so don't come here for a bachelorette brouhaha. And although Hot House suggests that the experience is better naked, you don't have to go in your birthday suit. For only $12 you can take a dip in the Jacuzzi, then make your way to the sauna and then sit in the steam room to inhale the peppermint that fills the air and your lungs. When you you've sweat out that cupcake and pizza you had for lunch, stand under the cold flush shower, ala Flashdance style. Then repeat this process over and over again, until you feel like a whole new person. I guarantee an experience better than anything Oprah has been selling you.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

The Saint
Ding Dong, the Wingdome is dead, and in its place rose the Good Tequila Fairy, also known as The Saint. The robin's egg blue exterior warmly invites Hillites to try their extensive tequila menu either straight or in a specialty cocktail. It's difficult to choose the appropriate accompaniment. Agave syrup or egg white? Fortunately, they offer a rotating sampler so that you can get a feel of their offerings before committing to one. And at an average of $10 a cocktail, you are going to want to be sure. While you're at it, line your stomach with decent upscale-ish Mexican fare. All the food is made on site, even the chips and salsa. Try the Pozole Verde, a green version of a Mexican pork and hominy stew. But if you're eating, be sure to hit them up during happy hour. Three small empanadas are worth it at half price, but they are certainly not $8 worth of food. Also, you might want to ask for a salt shaker.




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