Let's just get this out of the way: We can't list every single store on Capitol Hill, several of which, we fully acknowledge, are well worth a visit. But we know you don't have all day, so here are just some of the shops we dig, in no particular order.
Butter Home seems a fitting name for a cozy little decor shop in Melrose Market that feels like Grandma’s attic. The 366 square feet of this in-the-rafters boutique is loaded with reclaimed wood furniture, tasteful dishware, vintage-inspired glassware, and funky knickknacks including scrap-metal flowers and decorative twine balls made from recycled newspaper. Stock up on sustainable, local handmade pieces and spread the love.
Savvy stylemaker Jill Wenger successfully launched a destination women’s shopping-site-cum-social-networking-hangout in tandem with a truly inspiring brick-and-mortar in the middle of the recent downturn—on a little-traveled street in the nether regions between Pioneer Square and downtown, no less. Then, in the spring of 2012, she moved the shop to a 7,000-square-foot showroom in the heart of Capitol Hill. While Wenger stepped down in 2016 and launched her own size-inclusive clothing line, Roucha, in 2017, the new shop's directional, dynamic design and Northwest edge—on par with Colette in Paris and other globally recognized style destinations—remains a retail destination for designer clothes from the likes of Rachel Comey, Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake, and Dries Van Noten.
Mews: a delightfully British term for the storefronts secreted from street view at the redeveloped Chophouse Studios. Wander in and find delicate fine jewelry at Honed, Matt Dillon’s Bar Ferdinand restaurant, chef Sun Hong’s new By Tae hand roll counter, and Kurt Farm Shop’s ice cream in flavors like tomato jam or salted plum. Not to mention a picturesque hidden courtyard and secret back entrance to Cupcake Royale. The complex even has its own Wednesday night farmers market.
This born-again boutique, once a downtown mainstay, has reopened in hipper pastures. Which is to say: a bustling street where you can grab ramen, do yoga, catch a live band, and shop for trendy of-the-moment womens wear on the same block.
The hype is real. Artists and celebs passing through Seattle stop by Bait to check out the raddest collections—Nikes, limited-run collabs, cartoon-emblazoned streetwear.
Co-owner and buyer Ashley Busacca has turned her lifelong affinity to vintage hunting into what is now this well-curated store on Capitol Hill. Picking up home goods, jewelry, art, and of course clothing and accessories from travels in San Francisco, New York, and LA, she has certainly found something for everyone. Busacca, along with co-owner Ryan Darcey, don’t carry strictly pre-loved items, they also work with local artists and designers, selling contemporary pieces, too.
The born-again (and again) bookstore on 10th has been a Capitol Hill fixture for nearly 50 years, albeit a subterranean one since 2008. Luckily print is not dead after all—but it is tucked away, down a ramp, wedged between a tattoo parlor and yoga studio.
In a sun-soaked space at 411 East Pine Street, brimming with greenery, folks duck under plant tendrils hanging overhead and weave around vintage tables, upon which potted baby ferns, weeping jades, and ponytail palms cover the entirety of its surface areas. Aloe and various cacti line the windowsill, air plants can be found near the back corner, while mature fiddleleaf fig trees are placed wherever any precious space is left. This plant paradise, much like its Central District sibling, is lush.
The Australia-headquartered company may hail from thousands of miles away, but its nook on Capitol Hill (and Fremont, too) fits right in. Parched skin is universal. That's why this apothecary-esque store with product testing sink stations and skin care—body wash, hand cream, fragrance—is like a little spa oasis.
This Melrose Market men’s and women’s boutique looks like the apartment of your coolest friend, the one with tendrily plants, an expertly stocked wet bar, charcoal soap in the bathroom, and a dresser full of lived-in denim. Alisa Furoyama and Forest Eckley opened Glasswing in 2014. It traffics in cool, breezy threads—think Mara Hoffman, Danish staples from Norse Projects—plus handmade jewelry. Perched on the corner of Melrose and East Olive Way, only a short distance away, is its plant shop sib, Glasswing Greenhouse, which made its debut earlier this year.
Brooklyn transplant, fine metalsmith, and all-around jewelry whisperer Claire Kinder Barrett has a Chophouse Row studio selling her own adornments alongside other U.S.-made designs that range from simple to art deco–inspired.
This place certainly differs from the other ateliers of bygone goods on this list: no kitschy decor, no jewelry burnished by time, no racks upon racks of clothing from the 1920s through 1990s. No, this Capitol Hill store is a lot more specific. Here you'll find pristine vintage snapbacks, often with tags still attached, for UW Huskies or Chicago Bulls or Seattle Sonics (gear up for the comeback?). There’s also baseball and basketball jerseys, collectible pendants, bomber-style snap jackets sporting your favorite teams’ logos, and more for sports fans of every kind. Yes, even hockey.
Every vintage store in Seattle is its own treasure trove, but we love Rove for its range: bolo ties, groovy '60s dresses, old-school denim, rocker-worthy jumpsuits, even housewares to crank up the charm factor at home.
Stock up on layer-ready basics that won’t fall apart on you like certain fast-fashion chains in town. Standard Goods focuses on contemporary American-made apparel for men and women in any season.
It has to be one of the most sustainably mindful stores in the city. From the vegan shoes to stacks of hemp tees, there's plenty for the eco-conscious consumer.
Inside this ’20s-era brick-walled building, which was a fire station until 1970, awaits salvaged vintage furniture and industrial-chic fixtures, plus current home goods and jewelry to round it out.
The arrival of rain and cold doesn’t mean you have to walk around under a tarp. Freeman’s selection of light jackets, durable hooded coats, and classic boots makes surviving the elements look good.
This is not your typical apothecary; it’s also the place to satisfy a sweet tooth and hunt down pink Himalayan salt. Still looking to soothe that cold? Check out the Northwest Herbal Cold and Flu house blend, made from ingredients like elderberry, marshmallow leaf, mullein, and more. For those with nothing to cure, SugarPill also stocks wrapped soaps, perfumes, upmarket pantry goods, and greeting cards.
Not only is its parlor pretty, but this boutique off Olive Way is full of pretty pinks, lacy ivory, and rich fabrics all around. Find tweed duds and ties for days in the Manland section. And for feminine attire, there’s ornate flapper dresses, tulle in every shade, lingerie, jumpsuits, you name it. Meanwhile, the sibling bridal boutique boasts a vast collection of boho dresses and wedding styles for any bride.
Sasha Clark has transformed her love for Scandinavian and Japanese design into a highly-curated concept shop. Nestled on Capitol Hill, this effortlessly modern shop is the perfect place to shop for unique homeware for your next dinner party. From copper plates to posh coffee-table books, this Instagrammable shop is filled with sleek treasures you won’t find anywhere else.