Seattle's Most Seattle-y Shops
Which side street stores and boulevard boutiques best capture who Seattle is and what we have to offer? Our picks sum the city up, and make for a darn good shopping hit list.
Chances are good that there is a cousin or an aunt or a former college roommate snoozing in your guest room as we speak. Seattle was made for visitors, and, as it turns out, long days of neighborhood shopping. In fact, that we recommend the activity even when you don't have friends and family in town. Get out and see your city a little, via our list of 25 super Seattle-y shops.
South of Downtown
CC Filson Co. The SoDo neighborhood flagship has been a staple for longer than most of us can remember, and the mostly made-in-Seattle line is only getting more relevant. Now that Filson is a bona fide hipster brand, the sales staff is equally versant in fields, streams, indie rock, and runway collections.
Big John PFI Yes, it's essentially a grocery store. But this International District gem has the most colorful and surprising food stuffs this side of Uwajimaya, and because it's smaller and relatively quieter, it's like the boutique version of that perennial favorite. Your kitchen cabinets—and countertops and centerpieces—are going to be so chic.
Ebbets Field Flannels Pioneer Square is all of the sudden superhot when it comes to food and drink, yes, but for those who trade in the vintage-inspired, heritage brand look (if you haven't met them, trust us, they're out there—lots of them are in Japan) there's a hot bed of cool flannel jerseys and throwback caps that predates all that.
E. Smith Mercantile How Seattle is this: pantry goods, local jewelry, selvedge denim, and a bar in the back serving old school cocktails. Positioned in Pioneer Square, Jessie Poole's new shop seems like a Gold Rush hold-over, but it's not.
Fantagraphics Yes, there are bigger and more far-ranging bookstores in town, but the esoteric and homegrown qualities of this one in Georgetown make it every bit our own.
Far 4 If you want to get a sense of what Seattle artists are producing, your most stylish opportunity to do so is inside this charmingly old school/new school, European-flavored home and decor boutique on downtown's First Ave. Best not to skip the surprising and well-curated vintage clothing rack.
Pirkko Sure, to a certain extent, Seattle's got that whole Nordic thing behind it, but more importantly, the Marimekko prints and other Scandinavian wardrobe and home pieces inside this Pike Place bright spot offer color and warmth on gray days.
Baby and Co. Before longtime employee Jill Donnelly took over, the tagline for this (then) women's boutique was something like "Paris, Seattle, Mars" and that just about summed it up. Donnelly brings in a mostly French mix of street wear that manages to be both cutting-edge, wild, avant-garde, and totally wearable and comfortable. Now that she offers menswear as well, you'll see pairs of kooky architects and worldly programmers ambling in to catch up with her infectious energy and right-on edits.
Totokaelo With the recent addition of menswear and home and art objects, this internally known fashion source became that much more beloved. Every day hundreds of intelligent, savvy, high-style people from around the world log on to the digital version of the Cap Hill shop to lust for things that we can walk in and pick up with our hands.
Rare Medium When a 21st Century tech guy leaves it all behind to refurbish American relics and make a significant impact on the analog imagery scene, you know you're in Seattle. When you find yourself throwing down three bills for the opposite of Instagram and walking out with a gorgeous like-new Polaroid camera, you know you're at this most wonderfully niche Capitol Hill spot.
Marigold and Mint For what is really "just" a tiny flower stand, this Melrose Market nugget sure manages to be so much more. Workshops, classes, and demos add to the always evolving array of gifts and goodies.
Alive and Well Some of the most vibrant retail in the area right now involves decks and wheels, hoodies and sneakers. Marcus Lalario's skate shop is the best example of the bunch.
West of the Hill
Tottini You really get the sense that we're growing a bottomless supply of interesting, inventive people when you shop this South Lake Union kid's store. Here's to a bright, cheery, non-toxic, education-filled future.
East of the Hill
Hitchcock Madrona It's a bold statement, but we believe this to be the best accessories shop in America. It's not just the white-hot rose gold from big-deal international designers like Eddie Borgo and inventive, made-in-Seattle baubles from makers like Harriet McNamara, but the fact that owners and cousins Dustin Nelson and Erica Sheehan create an environment that's comfortable and chic, inspiring and essential.
Asher Goods Should you be interested in combining a waterfront stroll with an American-made menswear spree, head to Kirkland where the goods are perfectly suited for the architype of the Holden Caulfield-inspired, vagabound upstart, casual professional Northwest male.
Fremont Vintage Mall We have all kinds of great vintage and antique shops in this town, but this basement level catch-all is like a greatest hits of all of them.
Hub and Bespoke A store designed to make bike riding (and lower fuel consumption and less traffic, and ...) look better? Proof that shopping does make the world a better place.
Velouria You might say Seattle started the whole small-batch, sustainable fashion thing. And if you said that, you'd be talking about this Ballard charmer.
Curtis Steiner In any city, it's the people who make the place, and this Ballard-based jeweler, collector, and curator imbues us with a sense of delicacy, history, and the importance of paying attention to small details.
Craft and Culture Independent fashion and accessories are available here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No, this expertly edited collection isn't some kind of stylish 7-11, it's an online shop—a really, really well-done one that just keeps getting better and better.The Weekender Because the best shopping trips involve a journey—preferably across the water—we're so glad this Bainbridge Island vintage and home goods nookexists.