Bok a Bok’s Korean-style fried chicken is the stuff dreams are made of.

While you might only be in Seattle to build up your resume, there are still plenty of (cheap) things to do around the city. From bites and bars to shops and shows, here's a list of Seattle hangouts created by interns for interns.

Food & Drink


A late-night haven for cheap Mediterranean eats, Aladdin locations bookend University Way to the delight of the intoxicated masses. On the northern end of the Ave, Aladdin Falafel Corner is ideal for those looking to grab a quick bite (read: there’s limited seating), while Aladdin Gyro-Cery and Deli down on 42nd provides a more traditional dining experience. Luckily, however, both locations are open past 2am, offering the same quick service and meat sliced directly off the vertical rotisserie. —Lily Hansen

Belltown's Nightlife

Though its blocks get shinier and less gritty with each passing year, Belltown’s bar scene has long harbored a range of watering holes in one relatively compact area. Jupiter is noteworthy if you’re into billiards and pinball, while Umi Sake House's happy hour extends into the late night and helps ensure you have enough bus fare to get home. —Jonathan Olsen-Koziol

The Best Fried Chicken in Town

Seattle is known as one of the teriyaki capitals of the country (and the inventor), but it’s also the fried chicken capital of the Pacific Northwest. And Bok a Bok, which has a location on Capitol Hill, might take the drumstick for best in the city. This local trio of Korean-style chicken joints adds welcome dimension to a fried chicken landscape otherwise dotted with buckets, sandwiches, and waffles. The Korean influences extend beyond crispy double-fried chicken into rice bowls and kimchi mac and cheese. But it's not without competitors: The first Seattle location of Bonchon is right around the block on Broadway if you’re looking for a take that’s imported directly from Korea. A classic Southern buttermilk fried version at SoDo Chicken is worth the lengthy bus ride. —JOK

Cafe Allegro

This hideaway just off the Ave has been a U District institution (and a go-to study spot) since 1975. The bohemian-style espresso bar even served as the prototype for what would one day become Starbucks. The interior is exactly what you want from your local hole-in-the-wall cafe: lots of brick, tall ceilings, comfortable seating, seasonal art, and beans roasted right upstairs. —LH

Portage Bay Cafe

Inside the original Portage Bay location, a fully stocked breakfast bar of nuts, whipped cream, and fruit lines the wall, accompanying a chalkboard scrawled with “local, organic, sustainable.” By morning, the homey kitchen slings comforts like the vegan banana pancakes (gluten-free too!); by afternoon, it’s the dungeness crab grilled cheese with oregano pesto on housemade potato bread. Weekends bring an all-day brunch with a smoked salmon benedict and oatmeal cobbler french toast. —Courtney Cummings

Tacos Chukís

Created by a UW grad who biked from Seattle to Tijuana just to get some good tacos from his hometown, this Mexican food hub sets the bar high. On the menu: baby burritos, house taco chukis, tortas, and fillings from carne asada to prickly pear cactus. Everything is under $10, so treating friends won’t break the bank. —CC

Lake 22 (basically) has it all: rainforests, old-growth, and wetlands.


Trailhead Direct

Don’t have a car, but still want to soak up the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty? No worries—Trailhead Direct has you covered (at least on weekends through October 27). With pickup locations in Capitol Hill, Downtown, Mount Baker, and Tukwila, the shuttle services iconic hikes like Mount Si and Mailbox Peak. Trust us, the $2.75 fare is definitely worth it. —Sam Jones

Heather Lake

A gem in the northern Cascades, this hike is relatively short considering the epic views, but you’ll have to work for them—the trail is rugged, climbing along sheer bluffs. The upside? Reaching your step goal will make you feel a bit less guilty about the ramen and cheap booze you’ve been indulging in. Once you reach the alpine lake, stretch out on a vacant lunch rock and enjoy the view. Still not tired enough to call it a day? Head further up the road to the Mount Pilchuck trailhead—it’s worth it. —SJ

  • Distance: 4.6 miles*
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking Fee: Northwest Forest Pass

Lake 22

This hike will show you nearly all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer (sans rocky beaches). Mount Pilchuck is gloriously in view and waterfalls like to make sporadic appearances, all on a steady path that is great for beginner hikers, athletic kids, and (leashed) Fido alike. With an elevation gain of 1,350 feet, you're sure to get the alpine feel without pushing yourself too hard. —SJ

  • Distance: 5.4 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking Fee: Northwest Forest Pass

Mailbox Peak

While the new trail for this iconic trek is far less steep and strenuous than the infamous older route, you probably shouldn’t go for this one if you can’t remember the last time you actually followed through on hitting the gym. Expect breathtaking views, a home-stretch scramble up a boulder field, and the notorious mailbox, stuffed with goodies left behind from previous hikers. Pro tip: The top is a perfect place to enjoy that now-warm beer you dragged up in your backpack. —SJ

  • Distance: 9.4 miles
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Parking Fee: Discover Pass

Poo Poo Point

There are several trails up to this scenic point, but the simplest place to start is the Chirico Trailhead. From there, this jaunt guides hikers up the west side of Tiger Mountain. Plan ahead and go during non-peak times—high demand can make the parking lot a bit daunting, and the trail a bit muddy. Once at the top, you can (hopefully) watch a paraglider or two take the leap of faith; then look west to check out the neighboring Cougar Mountains and Lake Sammamish. —SJ

  • Distance: 7.2 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking Fee: None

Rattlesnake Ledge

Ditch the non-hiking members of your group at Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area, and embark on one of the most popular Seattle-accessible hikes. Gentle switchbacks break up the abrupt cliffs and giant boulders, making this hike very pleasant and offering generous views of Mount Si and Mount Washington. Once you get to the junction—around 1.9 miles in—you can either proceed to the right to reach Rattlesnake Ledge, or, if you’re feeling up to it, bop up to Middle Ledge and Upper Ledge for a bit more seclusion and greater views. —SJ

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking Fee: None

*Editor's Note: All distances are round-trip.

As a subset of Seattle Theatre Group, the refurbished Neptune Theatre brings comedians, musicians, and well, theater, to the U District.

Arts & Culture

The Crocodile

We’ll admit the Crocodile is nothing special to look at, but it's still well worth a trip. Once a hub in the grunge scene (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney), the Belltown venue now hosts smaller touring and local acts, from hip-hop to garage rock. Find the Back Bar—a neighborhood favorite serving hot pizza, cold drinks, and nightly performances for a $5 cover—hidden behind the main stage. —LH

The Kraken Bar and Lounge

Serving up hefty burgers and sandwiches, and punk or metal shows most nights, the Kraken is one of the only proper dives on University Way. Consider its sticker-covered windows, its arcade games, its slapdash nautical and pirate theme. The smoked meat, live music, and all-day Sunday drink and food specials only hint at why regulars become regulars. —SJ

Laughs Comedy Club

Laughs may not bring in as many headliners as other venues, but it’s not supposed to. Comedy clubs are a sacred space where feature acts and seasoned road comics get to work out new material and clown around with the audience. Wednesday night is open mic and comes sans cover charge before 8:30. Mind the hallowed comedy club staple of the “two drink minimum” and you’re good. —JOK

Neptune Theatre

Watching comedy in the lavish Neptune Theatre makes you feel like Poseidon sitting on his throne while court jesters juggle. The interior isn’t as ornate as, say, the Paramount Theatre, but the gold trim and stained glass make this place a memorable cathedral for music and comedy. Ron Funches and Tom Segura have filmed specials here, and the Neptune has hosted marquee acts like Brian Callen, Brendan Schaub, Ali Wong, and Michelle Wolf too. —JOK

Neumos and Barboza

It wouldn’t be a complete night on Capitol Hill without stopping by one of Seattle’s benchmark music venues. Local artists clamor to play on a stage that has hosted Nipsey Hussle, Muse, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Diplo. Downstairs is a second affiliated venue, Barboza, which is loudly intimate and regularly sells show tickets for less than $20—a great venue to discover your next obsession, local or national, without dipping into your savings. —JOK

Don't mind the basement vibes: Fremont Vintage Mall has some of Seattle’s best mid-century antiques.

Image: Alex Connelly


Comics Dungeon

Not only can you catch up with all your favorite superheroes at the U District’s nonprofit comics store, you can aid our blossoming local comic book ecosystem. The shop donates 100 percent of its proceeds to other Seattle-based organizations like Comics for Community, Compassion, and Culture as well as Comics4Kids. Shopping here is a heroic habit: It helps ensure future generations can discover the same characters that pushed 10-year-old you to chase greatness. —JOK

Fremont Vintage Mall

Wall-to-wall treasures cover this basement-dwelling emporium in the heart of Fremont. From fringed cowboy boots and painted wagon wheels to pinup magazines and taxidermy, the two-story collective is every antique lover’s dream, mothball smell and all. —LH

Golden Oldies Records

This Wallingford staple has been littered with hard-to-find records in pristine condition since 1977. But no need to be intimated by the seemingly endless rows of vinyl that line every nook and cranny of this shop—each genre is hand-sorted and alphabetized. While Golden Oldies is known for its extensive collection of 45s, it also stocks new records, CDs, cassettes, and 8-track tapes. —LH

Red Light Vintage

A veritable hot spot in the weeks leading up to Halloween, the U District costume shop is stocked full of brightly-colored garb throughout the year. If rummaging through racks that encompass the past 100 years is your thing, this is your store. It also appeared in Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” video, so you can trust it’s got some quality, or at least grandpa-style, threads. —LH


Seattle is an outdoor mecca for camping, hiking, biking, and water play (just to name a few). And REI's flagship store is a staple for outfitting your adventures. Even better: programming for outdoor adventurists, both novice and experienced. Learn to climb on an indoor rock wall or test your organizational skills in a class on how best to pack a backpack. But don’t wait long; spots fill up quickly once opened. —CC

The SLU Night Market lights up the streets once a month with food, vendors, even outdoor movie screenings.

More Things to Do

Official Bad Art Museum of Art

Dogs playing poker, a nude Obama standing beside a unicorn, a few too many gaudy renderings of Jesus—welcome to Cafe Racer’s Official Bad Art Museum of Art, the ultimate anti-museum. The cafe-bar hybrid houses a frequently rotating selection of kitschy art, which hang on Cheeto-colored walls. —LH

Frisbee Golf

There may only be one park in Seattle proper that’s actually set up for playing this resurrected sport (read: it’s cool again)—Mineral Springs Park, near Lake City, has legit baskets and course “holes.” But no matter: Bring your discs (and there should be beer) and practice your putting or long-game skills. If you can’t make it to the park, find a green space, bring some frisbees, and just use your imagination. —CC

South Lake Union Night Market

Once again, SLU Night Markets excuse Amazonians and night owls alike for staying up past their bedtimes throughout the summer. For one Saturday each month, a themed market spills out onto the streets with food, popup vendors, and entertainment. There are still two left this summer: “Europe,” modeled after southeast London's Maltby Night Market, on July 20, and “Aloha” on August 17. Special to Aloha night is a 21-plus Moonlight Cinema series on the lawn at SLU Discovery Center. —CC

Trivia Tuesday at Sam’s Tavern

Do you have a burning desire to prove your worth and clown your friends simultaneously? If so, Sam’s Tavern in South Lake Union brings together trivia squads every Tuesday to pit their wits and livers against each other. There’s plenty on the menu, but you should go ahead and order your burger “chimichanga style.” On the hunt for even more trivia bars? We can help with that, too. —JOK

Waterfront Activities Center

Even though Seattle's surrounded by water, opportunities to get out on the wet stuff can be scarce without a hookup. But just behind Husky Stadium from the Link station, the UW Waterfront Activities Center rents kayaks, canoes, and rowboats to the public. Boats are first-come, first-serve; it's $12 per hour for a canoe, paddles, and life jackets, which is more than enough time to go explore the beaver lodges that have sprung up in the Union Bay Natural Area. —Philip Kiefer

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