What would people who've been living in Seattle a year recommend to new arrivals? We thought, perhaps, that the newcomers would be totally off base and name really lame places, and tell people to hang out at Pike's Place or party on Cap Hill. (Editor's Note: It's Pike Place Market and Capitol Hill, or "The Hill," never Cap Hill. Stop calling it that right now.) But we were pleasantly surprised. Here's what they had to say…
Best neighborhood in Seattle?
Ballard. Partly because I'm biased since it's the only place I've lived so far! But I truly enjoy the history, the independent streak, the farmers market, and the distinct character—it's a little town within a city!
Best restaurants and what to order?
The best places I've eaten are probably Tavolata Capitol Hill (linguine nero), Coastal Kitchen (it was a specials week and I don't remember but it had fish and mashed potatoes and fried egg), El Borracho Ballard (el cheapo and the duck burrito, sue me), the Hi-Life (cleanup on aisle 12), Scooter's (bacon cheeseburger), Witness (hushpuppies, poutine, pulled pork sliders), Brass Tacks (beet salad and chicken and waffles), and the 5 Point (brass monkey and the burger with beets and a fried egg).
Best bars and clubs?
I love Olaf's in Ballard and Flip Flip Ding Ding! in Georgetown, because I've recently fallen in love with pinball. Flatstick Pub is awesome. I'm not really a club person.
Royal Drummer in Ballard.
What are some secret spots that no tourist would ever know about?
I still feel like a tourist a lot of the time! I mentioned Olaf's already. I like the waterfall garden park in Pioneer Square (kinda touristy, though). Fantagraphics Bookstore (and Georgetown in general) feels off the beaten path. Emerald City Supporters and the soccer weirdos of Seattle (not a spot, but "no one likes us / we don't care") have been incredibly welcoming to me as a newcomer.
What are some things you know now but didn't know then?
The sun never shines from late October through at least April. (I'm guessing? When will the fucking sun come back to us?) [Editor's Note: Maybe in July, if we're lucky.]
How do you get through Seattle winters?
Whiskey. Getting outside during the day as much as I'm able. Wine. A sun lamp. Treadmills and more whiskey. Working with preschoolers.
Check out more recommendations from newcomers to newcomers HERE.