Seattle Essentials

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Shopping and Dining Essentials: Best Places to ...

BUY GROCERIES

  • Metropolitan Market: This colorful urban market has four locations throughout Seattle. It’s a local chain with wonderful prepared foods, fresh produce and meat, and a nice floral department.
  • PCC Natural Markets: Get back to nature at Seattle’s premier natural and organic food market. The goods are high-quality but expensive. Inside you’ll find open bins of rice, nuts, trail mix and excellent local vegetables.
  • Pike Place Market: At Seattle’s famed market, you’ll find the freshest ingredients, from produce to fish, delivered by local farmers. It can be crowded with tourists on weekends; you’ll have a more sane experience if you go on weekday mornings. While you’re shopping, grab a bag of piping hot, freshly cooked miniature doughnuts from the stand at the south end of the market.
  • Uwajimaya: At this large Asian market, you can find just about anything, from a hot humbow to rare tropical fruits. The housewares section has a lot of rice cookers, porcelain noodle bowls and other Asian decor at fair prices. Because it’s close to both sports stadiums, Uwajimaya is a nice place to stop for a snack if you’re on your way to a ballgame.
  • Leschi Mart: This beloved neighborhood market sells hard-to-find gourmet goods and has an impressive wine selection, given the store’s small size. The in-house butchers make their own sausage. On Fridays and Saturdays, they serve up amazing prime rib sandwiches that are best eaten on a bench in the adjacent park.

ENJOY A LATTE

  • Victrola: This spot is just as much about the coffee as it is atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to read a good book, contemplate the coffee house art and sip a latte. 411 15th Ave. E., 206-325-6520 or 310 E. Pike St., 206-624-1725.
  • Caffe Ladro: The upper Queen Anne coffee shop is the best of all the locations for leisurely sipping and people watching. They have big comfortable Adirondack chairs perfect for the occasion. 2205 Queen Anne Ave N., 206-282-5313.
  • Mioposto: This Italian cafe is tucked in a stylish building at the edge of the Mount Baker neighborhood. The cappuccinos are served in extra-large bowl cups. 3601 S McClellan St., 206-760-3400.
  • Le Panier: Be French at this streetside cafe with a great view of Pike Place Market. The lattes are artful. 1902 Pike Place, 206-441-3669.
  • Espresso Vivace: You can get a very pretty latte at this shop centered in the hub of the growing South Lake Union neighborhood. There’s also a nice glassed-in room that can be reserved for business meetings or whatever you need. 227 Yale Ave N., 206-388-5164.

EAT PIZZA

  • Piecora’s: Just good New York-style pizza. They serve simple fare and good beer to go along with it. This is the place to go for celebratory pizza dinners for kids’ sports teams, so don’t be surprised to see a big crowd of kids at the table next to you. 1401 E. Madison St. 206-322-9411.
  • Pagliacci: This gourmet pizza dethroned the greasy pizza joints in the 1990s. They specialize in thin-crust pizzas with savory combinations, such as figs and prosciutto. Some locations are dine-in, others are delivery only.
  • Mad Pizza: The name is self-explanatory, and sometimes this place can be a little nutty. The chefs serve up some wacky combos that are surprisingly good. It’s not unusual to see mandarin oranges on a pizza.
  • Serious Pie: Local celebrity chef Tom Douglas’ take on pizza. It’s not regular pizza as you know it. If you never thought you’d eat clams on a pizza, think again. 
  • Via Tribunali: It’s known by locals as the only place to get real Italian pizza. The interior is modestly swanky. Both locations can get very busy, so be prepared to wait if you’re going at prime dining hour.

SHOP AT A FUNKY LOCAL BUSINESS

  • Archie McPhee’s: Who doesn’t need a boxing nun or bacon floss? Perfect for oddball party favors, strange wrapping paper and gag gifts. They sell a lot of products online, but it’s worth the experience to shop in the store.
  • Ye Olde Curiosity Shop: The store is more than 100 years old and is part tourist shop, part museum. There’s a mummy named Sylvester and a collection of shrunken heads.
  • Home & Garden Art: Navigate the maze of wrought iron masterpieces. This store along a less-traveled section of road in the Greenwood neighborhood is where to shop if you’re looking for a unique iron arbor, custom fencing or an iron sculpted crab.
  • Hardwick’s: Anything you can think of, you’ll find it here. At this family-owned Seattle institution, you’ll find new and used tools, kitchen supplies, furniture and more. It’s a swap shop; on select days, you can bring in your goods to sell or trade for store merchandise.
  • Display & Costume Supply: It’s the place to go during Halloween and a resource for parties any other time of the year. In the nearly 40,000-square-foot showroom you can find anything from life-size decorations to a fake-blood kit.

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