Insider Guide: Seattle

Our travel editors' must-see places to stay, eat, and play around Emerald City

Seattle shopping

Your neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to great Seattle shops

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  • Ballard Sip & Ship

    Ballard: Ballard Sip & Ship 

    Coffee & tea
    There’s no better place to pick up thoughtful last-minute gifts—local Sweet Petula soaps and candles dress up any bathroom—and especially lovely wrapping paper. Perks include fair-trade and organic espresso, not to mention the ability to ship all your packages without having to step foot in a post office.
    Open daily
    1752 N.W. Market St., Seattle, WA; 206/789-4488
     www.sipandship.com

  • Venue Ballard

    Ballard: Venue Ballard

    Arts & crafts
    Call it a one-stop shop for beautiful, handmade gifts. More than 50 artists showcase their wares–look for locally designed handbags, handmade dolls, and artisan chocolates, for starters. Eight on-site studios allow customers to watch artists at work.
    Open Tuesday-Sunday, by appointment Monday
    5408 22nd Ave. N.W., Seattle, WA; 206/789-3335
     www.venueballard.com

  • Far4

    Downtown: Far4

    Home decor
    A family-run boutique stocked with exquisite contemporary Russian porcelain that ranges from the bizarre to the functional. Look for the simple unglazed porcelain vases shaped like pomegranates, each fitting one single flower.
    Open daily
    1020 First Ave., Seattle, WA; 206/621-8831
     www.far4.net

  • Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

    Downtown: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

    Specialty food
    The always-buzzing Pike Place Market shop and cheese-making kitchen churn out a flagship cheddar, chipotle-spiked fresh curds, and oven-ready 10-ounce containers of “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese. Marble cheese boards and Beecher’s buttery crackers too.
    Open daily
    1600 Pike Place, Seattle, WA; 206/956-1964
     www.beecherscheese.com

  • Watson Kennedy

    Downtown: Watson Kennedy

    Home decor
    In addition to one-of-a-kind vintage home items from London and Paris, the store stocks jewelry by local artists, tea towels, scented candles, and genteel party music on CDs ranging from Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday to Portland’s cocktail cult favorite, Pink Martini.
    Open daily
    86 Pine St., Seattle, WA; 206/443-6281
     www.watsonkennedy.com

  • Liave

    Downtown: Liave

    Home decor
    We love their “beautiful things meant to be used” slogan and the items that are handpicked from European artisans. We’re especially keen on what’s offered from the northeastern corner of Europe, the Baltic states. Linens from Lithuania-napkins, runners, tablecloths—in mostly white and natural tones (from $7.50, for kitchen towels).
    Open Monday-Friday
    1205 Western Ave., Seattle, WA; 206/364-0748
     www.liave-home.com

  • Sway and Cake

    Downtown: Sway and Cake

    Women's clothing
    The “sway” part of the store’s name refers to the little swagger that girls get when they look hot. Shop here to stay ahead of the fashion curve and dress like a celebrity. Many of the edgy outfits, handbags, and stiletto heels offered are available in Seattle only.
    Open daily
    1633 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA; 206/624-2699
     www.swayandcake.com

  • Henrybuilt

    Downtown: Henrybuilt

    Furniture
    These pieces of furniture have no glitzy metal finishes, no heavily lacquered surfaces, no decorative ornamentation, and no wood stains. The wood is left as natural as possible and details such as interlocking joinery allow you to see how pieces are put together. The resulting aesthetic is modern and minimalistic.
    Open Tuesday-Saturday
    997 Western Ave., Seattle, WA; 206/624-9270
     www.henrybuilt.com

  • Tuuli

    Downtown: Tuuli

    Fabric stores
    A jewel box of a shop, Tuuli is packed to the brim with bold, bright fabrics and accessories from Finland, including cheery, artful shower curtains from Marimekko, Kalevala folk jewelry, and decorated glassware from Iittala.
    Open daily
    1407 First Ave., Seattle, WA; 206/223-1112

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    Downtown: World Spice Merchants 

    Specialty foods
    Depending on what the staff may be toasting and grinding at the moment–maybe a blend for a curry, masala, or barbecue rub–the air is rife with spicy intrigue. The shelves are lined with 350 one-ounce sample jars of herbs, spices, and blends for shoppers to sniff. It makes you want to cook and, of course, eat.
    Open daily
    1509 Western Ave., Seattle, WA; 206/682-7274
     www.worldspice.com

  • Bitters Co.

    Fremont: Bitters Co.

    Home decor
    This carefully curated store fills its shelves through a modern day treasure hunt, where the greatest asset is surprise. You never know what you’re going to find and what tales of discovery you’ll unfurl from objects like hand-painted wooden birds on a pruned branch from Brazil or Bitters Co. produced hand-blown glassware.
    Closed Mondays
    513 N. 36th St., Seattle, WA; 206/632-0886
     www.bittersco.com

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    Fremont: Eurostyle Your Life

    Home decor
    Innovative, eco-friendly, and functional housewares from all over Europe, with some extra-cool picks from Sweden. Check out those turquoise-colored felt placemats ($24) from Germany.
    Open daily
    750 N. 34th St., Seattle, WA; 206/633-3876
     www.eurostyleyourlife.com

  • Tininha’s Boutique

    Fremont: Tininha’s Boutique

    Women’s clothing
    Think bikinis are a hard sell in Seattle? Think again. Tininha’s hot items even include Brazilian bikinis–low-cut and several inches slimmer than your typical conservative American cut–with punchy colors, whimsical add-ons, and monograms that stand out on Seattle beaches.
    Open daily
    617 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA; 206/985-6772
     www.iloveorla.com

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    International District: Kobo

    Arts & crafts
    A sprawling museumlike space that is full of fine crafts from Japan as well as the Northwest. Find the incense from Kyoto made from fragrant aloeswood that was buried for centuries and is known for its calming effects (from $15).
    Open daily
    604 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA; 206/381-3000
     www.koboseattle.com

  • Tottini

    South Lake Union: Tottini

    Toy stores
    Design-conscious tots (or really, their parents) hit this store for the city’s coolest kid stuff. The boutique is stocked with modern, mostly locally designed products, like nursery decor, Uglydolls, Swaddle Designs organic blankets, and Tickle Monster by Seattle author Josie Bissett. Open daily
    259 Yale Ave. N., Seattle, WA; 206/254-0400
     www.tottini.com

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    South Lake Union: Glenn Richards

    Antiques
    With 5,000 square feet of Asian antique and contemporary furniture and garden elements, this is an irresistible place to browse. Everywhere are collectibles and unusual objects from travels to China, Turkey, Japan, Bali, the Philippines, and Morocco.
    Open daily
    964 Denny Way, Seattle, WA; 206/287-1877
     www.glennrichards.com

  • Red Ticking

    Madison Valley: Red Ticking

    Home decor
    A Parisian flea market right in Seattle where you’ll uncover treasures from France and its neighbors, like hand-sewn pillows, vintage fabrics, and Danish china. A favorite find is the vintage German grain bags with a simple, farmhouse feel, great for covering everything from couches to dog beds (from $250).
    Open Tuesday-Saturday
    2802 E. Madison St., Seattle, WA;206/250-8853
     www.redticking.com

  • JayWalk

    Madrona: JayWalk

    Arts & crafts
    Tidy rows of jewelry and crafts from 30 local artisans fill drawer after drawer, which you’re invited to open and explore. Vintage collectibles and glassware sit next to wax-cast sterling necklaces by Tory Herford and Hot Cocoa’s ribbon-bedecked blankets.
    Open Wednesday-Sunday
    1105 34th Ave., Seattle, WA; 206/328-7776
     www.jaywalkseattle.com

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    Madrona: Juniper 

    Women’s clothing
    Less-is-more is the philosophy at this spare Madrona boutique, where a carefully curated mix of housewares, accessories, and clothing from “left coast” designers like 88 Orange (super-soft organic tees) and Portland-based Souchi (hand-loomed knits) are offered.
    Closed Mondays
    3314 E. Spring St., Seattle, WA; 206/838-7496
     www.juniperinmadrona.com

  • Utilikilts

    Pioneer Square: Utilikilts

    Men’s clothing
    Envision a blue-color garment for men with plenty of pockets for stashing tools and maybe even a microbrew, with a breeze between the knees. At this clothing store hangs kilts in four models, including the cotton/polyester Original ($188), fighting the stigma that skirts are for sissies.
    Open daily
    620 1st Ave. S., Seattle, WA; 866/666-6985
     www.utilikilts.com

  • Dry Soda

    Pioneer Square: Dry Soda 

    Specialty foods
    Swap soda for wine? These nonalcoholic “culinary sodas” are tasty alternatives whose different aromas, flavors, and acidity levels marry well with different foods. Dry Soda’s creative flavors—kumquat, lavender, lemongrass, and rhubarb–are lightly carbonated, refreshingly less sweet than other sodas, and naturally caffeine-free.
    Open Monday-Friday
    410 First Ave. S., Seattle, WA; 206/652-2345
     www.drysoda.com

  • Bedrock Industries

    Interbay: Bedrock Industries

    Home & garden
    Step into the only homegrown, for-profit glass recycler showroom guaranteed to make something lovely and distinctive out of a bunch of colored glass. Inside you see glass icicles, wind chimes, sun catchers, and sea mix-colored tumbled glass for garden paths.
    Open daily
    1401 W. Garfield St., Seattle, WA; 877/283-7625
     www.bedrockindustries.com

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    Wallingford: Wide World Books & Maps

    Women’s clothing
    Portuguese phrase books, silk money belts, Rick Steves supersize towels–this shop has filled travelers’ needs since 1976. A worldly, well-informed staff have tales that can inspire some serious wanderlust to boot.
    Open daily
    4411 Wallingford Ave. N., Seattle, WA; 206/634-3453
     www.wideworldtravelstore.com

  • Twilight Artist Collective

    West Seattle: Twilight Artist Collective

    Arts & crafts
    If your personal style is eluding you, find inspiration here–from purses to headbands, ceramics to fine art. This artist collective was launched to help “the little man get his stuff out there.”
    Open daily
    4306 S.W. Alaska St., Seattle, WA; 206/933-2444
     www.twilightart.net

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