There is a Seattle beneath the surface that is just waiting to be discovered. It’s hidden, sometimes in plain sight, sometimes two flights up in the Market. It’s the best kept secrets, insider tips, secret menus and local favorites that make people love this city, even if you can never entirely know it.
We invited travel, style, and fashion blogger Antonio Smith to share some of his favorite spots and insider tips with us. Tag along on his Seattle adventure and discover more at iknowaplace.org. Then be sure to share your own Seattle favorites by tagging #IKnowSeattle.
Mr. West Cafe Bar – Downtown
I’m really big on the aesthetics of eateries I frequent. Nine times out of ten, if the interior looks good, the food is going to be good. Mr.West is not an exception to the rule. As one of my favorite cafes, Mr. West, has fresh and local foods made daily, for morning, afternoon and evening.
Sinking Ship Parking Garage
Okay, have you ever seen a parking garage that looks like a sinking ship? I didn’t think so. Not only is the Sinking Ship Parking Garage a good spot for Instagram photos, it’s also a small part of Seattle history and it offers a view of old town architecture.
If you’re looking for a little slice of France, I’d recommend Cafe Presse. Cafe Presse has spaced outdoor and newly expanded indoor seating. Their menu is full of items like baguettes sandwiches, pomme frites and salads. My favorite menu item is their Croque Madame. It’s always good. How do you say “delicious” in French?
If you like a mouth full Caribbean spices, I’d recommend the Jerk Shack. Some of my favorite items on their menu are the Jerk chicken, plantains and ginger yams. The Jerk Shack is the perfect spot to eat with friends this summer because of their outdoor patio. Here’s a pro tip: order the corn meal pound cake. It’s not on the menu but they are selling them all summer long. It’s delicious!
Ferry to Bainbridge Island
Be sure to take advantage of Seattle’s easiest way to get on the water: the Bainbridge Ferry! For only $8 round trip, you can walk on the ferry right from the waterfront and you’re just a 35-minute boat ride from Bainbridge. Pro tip: time your ride so you’re coming back into Seattle at sunset for a unique view of Seattle you won’t forget.
What I enjoy about Sum Style is their blend of street style fashion mixed with Korean influence. This shop has a unique vibe you can only find there. If you’re looking to elevate your style, Sum Style is a good place to start.
Kuhlman is a one stop shop for clothing. Not only do they feature clothing from Seattle, Europe and Japan; they also do in-house suits and tailoring. If you want something unique that you can’t find elsewhere in Seattle, you’ve got to check this place out. This is definitely a ‘IYKYK’ kind of spot.
Glasswing started 10 years ago with a goal of being the concierge for the city of Seattle and I feel like they have achieved just that. This shop carries clothing, plants, furniture, jewelry and more. Many things you’ll find in the store are collaborative designs made special for Glasswing and you won’t find them anywhere else.
Gas Works Park
This quirky park is one of my favorites because of how it’s uniquely built. Set on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company, it’s a great place to have a picnic, look at views of Lake Union, see beautiful sights of downtown Seattle and the Space needle. If you’re lucky, you might see a few rabbits too.
If location is important to you, the State Hotel simply can’t be beat. Just steps from the Pike Place Market, this newly restored boutique hotel offers modern convenience with a unique PNW style. Don’t leave without taking a trip to the 8th floor for a rooftop experience you won’t forget.