Guides

Seattle’s Ultra-Hip Capitol Hill Neighbourhood Is More Like Capital Cool

Seattle‘s Capitol Hill neighbourhood is more like Capital Cool. The urban fabric of this artsy neighbourhood is one-of-a-kind with its rainbow crossings, altered traffic signals with ‘rock on’ hand gestures, modern street art and loud, proud indie stores giving the area a very distinct flavour.

The mood is unpretentious, accepting of all walks of life and boy does it make for a fun, free-spirited adult playground. Come with us as we highlight the vibrant spots that make Capitol Hill a place worthy of your undivided attention.

Where to eat in Capitol Hill

Seattle is home to lots of fresh fish and some of the best plant-based eats as well. Case in point, local favourite Plum Bistro gives the humble cauliflower a makeover, serving it in a sticky sweet and sour sauce. Also on the line-up is a range of vego-friendly burgers like the Buffalo Portobello Burger (panko-crusted portobello mushroom, ranch aioli, cucumber, caramelised onions, seasonal greens) and the Dill Red Lentil Burger (oven-roasted lentil patty, dill aioli, grilled onions, tomato, kale). Get ’em into ya!

Juicy vegan food can be found at new kid on the block, Life On Mars. The bar-diner-record parlour has a record player embedded in its horseshoe bar, and punters can choose their beat while selecting food from its library wall of records. We recommend the Belgian waffles with Southern chicken-inspired fried artichoke with maple syrup and blacked aioli. And if you’re feeling game, try adding coconut-bacon bits to make it a healthy, tasty mix.

If you really want to blend in with the locals, visit Middle Eastern-inspired eatery Mamnoon. It’s a local institution for as many reasons as there are flavours on its ever-changing menu. Mamnoon’s mahi dish – sumac-crusted wild salmon (remember, it’s fish city), green beans, walnut tartar, chilli oil, breadcrumbs and cilantro –  is so divine that you’ll be glad the salmon on your plate swam upstream.

For an upmarket treat, Adana dishes up contemporary Japanese cuisine in a chic yet modest fine dining setting. Go for its popular five-course menu (we did say it’s a treat) and pair it with a mean Japanese-inspired cocktail or a whiskey from its broad collection.

Where to shop in Capitol Hill

Vintage

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Image: Rove Vintage / Facebook

Take cues from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and hit up a thrift shop. If you’re looking for lots of vintage clothing at reasonable prices, head to Crossroads. But if you want a place that’ll do all the hard yards for you, head to Rove Vintage for its curated rock and roll selection.

Coffee and books

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Image: Kaladi Brothers Coffee / Facebook

Capitol Hill is also home to a slew of trendy neighbourhood cafes such as Kaladi Brothers Coffee and Café Solstice. What’s better than coffee? Coffee and a book. Unwind and get into the written word at Eliott Bay Book Company; featuring over 150,000 paperbacks across its multi-level wooden layout, this is a bookworm’s utopia. There are plenty of cosy spots to perch yourself with a cuppa (if you decide to unwind in its paperback cave instead). Check out its listings of author reading sessions too.

Records

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Image: Spin Cycle / Facebook

Don’t forget to tune into what runs through Seattle’s veins – music. Head to Spin Cycle to bolster your vinyl and cassette (yes, a musical time warp!) collection.

Where to see live music in Capitol Hill

A trip to Seattle isn’t complete without seeing some live music in the home of grunge. Iconic bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden helped put Seattle on the musical map by introducing their unique sound to the world.

Head to Chop Suey just outside the border of Capitol Hill to catch what could potentially be the next best thing. The venue is a big supporter of local music and experiencing it is like going down the rabbit hole to East Berlin. Think photo booths, mismatched lounge seats, pinball machines, Grandma’s old pictures frames, and taxidermy watching over the riff-raff in the bar below, and you’ve got the right idea.

If you need something to soak up the beer, there’s a small kitchen window catering to your late-night fried food cravings.

Get a two-in-one combo at Unicorn and its sister bar Narwhal. They’re in one location and both offer playful, circus vibes and feature colourful fittings, arcade games, photo booths and cocktails.

Maybe grunge or the big bash isn’t your thing and that’s OK. The iconic underground old school Italian jazz bar Vito’s caters to those chasing easy listening, with live music on the line-up five nights a week. Its mid-century red leather seating won’t go unnoticed either.

Where to stay in Capitol Hill

As fun as Seattle is, you don’t want to be sleepless. Enter the historic Hotel Sorrento. The stylish, vintage boutique hotel has cloud-like beds, topped with plush pillows to make your stay super indulgent. The hotel’s location is on point too, taking only 20 minutes to walk to Pike Place Market and 10 minutes to stroll to your new favourite hood, Capitol Hill.

If the creature comforts and chic, old-fashioned feel of the hotel don’t suck you in, maybe the generous complimentary wine hour 5-6pm pm daily will. Cheers to that!

(Lead image: Unicorn / Facebook)