Exploring Seattle but Short on Time? Where to Go Over One Perfect Weekend
Fresh openings and timeless classics mean eating, drinking, and shopping have never been better.
It’s a blissfully balmy day in Seattle and the street scene in Capitol Hill couldn’t encapsulate this moment in the city’s evolution as a graceful culinary and cultural destination any better.
At a sidewalk table outside Pakistani soul food spot Karachi Cowboys, a young couple with a French bulldog share a vibrant salad napped with fenugreek ranch dressing; down the hill revelers spill out of the aquatic themed-speakeasy style bar-within-a-bar Inside Passage; and readers browse the international magazines at Big Little News, a fresh iteration of the increasingly endangered species known as the newsstand.
From Capitol Hill to Beacon Hill and beyond, restaurants, shops, and hotels are dishing up new takes on the city’s longtime traditions. And spring in Seattle is a particularly delightful season as the weather warms, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, and the city comes alive. Whether you’re looking for nostalgic Filipino comfort food, a James Beard-level tasting menu in a brooding brutalist setting, or an artisanal scoop to beat the fleeting heat, here’s where to dine, drink, shop, and stay in the coastal crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest.
This pop-up turned permanent fixture in Capitol Hill dishes up vividly spiced Pakistani soul food (think aloo sliders with tamarind barbecue sauce) and a short sharp list of natural wines.
Tucked behind Rumba bar, this aquatic-themed tropical bar avoids the broad cultural cliches of tiki while preserving all the over-the-top flaming drink fantasies of the genre. Yes the drinks come in opulently garnished whimsical vessels and are high octane. Yes there’s a sea monster hanging overhead.
Big Little News
This minimalist update on the corner bodega is a temple to the pleasures of print. Browse the magazines, art journals, and international newspapers, and pick up a bottle of Champagne to go.
Chef Shota Nakajima’s delightful Osaka-style izakaya is a transporting spot for a crisp whiskey soda, cold beer, and ginger-spiked karaage fried chicken.
With its tightly curated collection of clothes and accessories (chic rain gear, Japanese chore coats, Instaworthy houseplants), Glasswing is our kind of boutique. In addition to selling just plain cool stuff, they offer plant design and maintenance services for locals.
This Capitol Hill restaurant from chef Kristi Brown was packed from the moment it opened thanks to its convivial spirit and menu of boldly flavored dishes combining local ingredients, soulful preparations, and killer cocktails. Could there be a more Seattle order than a fried oyster po boy/banh mi mashup and a G&T made with local spirits? We think not.
James Beard award-winning chef Brady Williams’ White Center restaurant is the hottest opening of the year and serves subtly Japanese-inflected tasting menus in a stylish space.
Comforting adobo and tasty cocktails are on the menu at Melissa Miranda’s excellent Beacon Hill restaurant that’s an homage to the city’s Filipino culture, past and present.
This pioneer in the right-sized designy boutique hotel movement is across the street from Pike Place Market and channels those early maritime vibes with style.
Downtown Seattle’s newest hotel boasts a rooftop deck, smartly appointed rooms, and Ben Paris, an all-day restaurant with soaring ceilings. Pro dinner move: Order the duck confit and a glass of Gamay at the marble bar.
Frankie & Jo’s
The Seattle ice cream making team behind Frankie & Jo’s is always coming up with something new. Their latest? California Cabin. The flavors of pine and smoked vanilla meet coconut and oak milk, balanced by black pepper cardamom shortbread cookie chunks in these scoops that are entirely plant based—and yes, that means no dairy. It’s the perfect treat to take on your next summer adventure, whether that’s in your backyard or at the beach.
Frankie & Jo’s ships four-pint boxes nationwide, or you can join the Pint Club to get four flavors delivered to your door monthly.