NFT Seattle Shopping

Seattle / Shopping

Seattle is nothing if not eclectic, and that's good news for all you shopaholics. Whether you're named in the Gates family trust or scrounging for dollars, Seattle provides plenty of opportunities for retail therapy. If you're looking to do some one-stop shopping, but can't stand the soul-killing atmosphere of a mall, there are a number of funky and/or chic commercial strips in Seattle. Get yourself to: the Pike/Pine Corridor (Map 4), Broadway on Capitol Hill (Map 17), Ballard Avenue (Map 23), 36th Street & Fremont Avenue (Map 24), University Way ("The Ave") in the U District (Map 26), and pretty much anywhere in Belltown (Map 1).

Look Sharp
Some people think Seattle dresses too casually and perhaps they're correct. But what we lack in formality, we make up for in style. No matter where you are in this city, you will never be far from a cute boutique or funky thrift shop. If money is no object, you'll find some hip duds at Mishu Boutique (Map 17, 24) and Ian (Map 3). Fellas will want to check out the post-mod threads Kuhlman (Map 1) and Recess (Map 32). It's Leroy Men's Wear (Map 3) all the way for fedoras and Zoot suits in every color of the rainbow. Rebels without a cause will not want to miss the jackets and boots at Insurrection (Map 30). For a more mainstream look, it's all about the original Nordstrom (Map 3). Do moths fly out of your wallet whenever you open it? Try Buffalo Exchange (Map 23, 26) and Crossroads Trading Company (Map 17, 26), where you can buy and sell used, fashionable clothes from name brand designers. It's never too early to get your baby into Johnny Cash. You can score hipster-themed clothing in baby and toddler sizes at Bootyland (Map 4) and the slightly more affordable Boston St (Map 1).

Play that Funky Music
Some cities have let the Internet render their music stores obsolete. But in Seattle, independent record shops are thriving. Maybe that whole grunge thing wasn't so bad after all. Those who know the sound of a record scratch outside of movie trailers may be interested in Spin Cycle (Map 17), Georgetown Records (Map 39) and Jive Time Records Records (Map 24). Bop Street Records (Map 23) is known for its amazing selection at exorbitant prices. Discover further relics at Golden Oldies Records Tapes and CDs (Map 25). Sonic Boom (Map 23) and Easy Street Records (Map 35) are great places to see a live band and buy their music simultaneously. Singles Going Steady (Map 1) and Everyday Music (Map 20) specialize in bands from a time when things like record labels and "selling out" mattered. If you prefer to make your own music, you can get your gear cheap at Trading Musician (Map 31).

Don't Toy With Me
We take a lot of things seriously in the Emerald City, but we're never too old for fun and games. Quality baubles and gadgets for the pre-pubescent crowd are easy to score in Seattle, thanks to progressively minded toy stores like Magic Mouse (Map 7) and Top Ten Toys (Map 3, 30), where cheap plastic crap is an endangered species. If you dream of space exploration but Huntsville, AL seems impossibly far, Greenwood Space Travel Supply (Map 30) is a fine substitute. Providing all of your tiny cosmonaut needs are an enthusiastic crew of folks still sore about that whole Pluto demotion thing. Best of all, proceeds go entirely to tutoring non-profit, 826 Seattle. If you think toys were better in the past, Max and Quinn's Atomic Boy's Shop-O-Rama (Map 35) agree with you. Stock up on potato guns, slingshots and other wholesome toys for the child in your life, instead of that iPad they asked for. But forget about those unappreciative money drains. This is a city full of adults in various stages of arrested development and they demand to be catered to. Enter Schmancy (Map 3), a cozy boutique for vinyl and plush toys made for whimsical folk of voting age who need a cuddly T-bone steak doll or a sock monkey to get them through the night. Head out to Wallingford to Archie McPhee's (Map 24), a veritable supermarket of kitschy gag gifts and other wacky wares for adults who miss the thrill that only whoopee cushions and potato guns can provide. Card Kingdom (Map 23)--"the ultimate in lawful good times"--is the ultimate for anyone who owns dice with more than six sides. You can test any game in their adjacent Cafe Mox or become King of the Elves in a D&D tournament in their back room. Speaking of adults and toys, Babeland (Map 4) up on Capitol Hill offers an utterly shame-free zone to casually shop for all manner of stimulating marital (or otherwise) aids--dildos, vibrators, leather whips, silicone sleeves, and how-to books are available in a clean, well-lit atmosphere with helpful sex-positive salespeople. Oh, didn't think we'd go there, did you?

Eat, Drink, and Spend Money
Pike Place Market (Map 3) is unbeatable when it comes to fresh seafood; just don't go to the guys throwing fish around. That's for tourists, which you are not. Go to Harry at Pure Food Fish (Map 3). While you're down in the market load up on cheese at Beecher's (Map 3) and the myriad fresh dairy products at Pike Place Creamery (Map 3). Save room for a craft soda (with or without booze) from Rachel's Ginger Beer (Map 3). If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. Salumi Artisan Cured Meats (Map 7) does a fine job of keeping your carnivorous cravings at bay. Around here, we like to keep our fridges and cellars stocked with alcohol to get us through the long, wet winters. Vino Verite (Map 17) has the best wine selection. Bottleworks (Map 25) specializes in beer, filling every nook and cranny of their small store with international options. Wine World and Spirits (Map 25) is your one-stop shop for all things inebriating including an impressive locally distilled liquor section and all the accoutrements you can shake a swizzle stick at. Got a sweet tooth? The Confectionary (Map 26) in U Village is your upscale candy boutique with a mouthwatering hand-made chocolate case, the underrated joys of salted black licorice and even some lowbrow favorites. That long line at Molly Moon's isn't worth it, especially when some of the best gelato in town is just up the road at Fainting Goat (Map 25). They do gelato the Turkish way. Don't knock their signature flavor, made from goat milk, until you try it. Pig's Peace Sanctuary owns Vegan Haven (Map 32) a small store that is packed to the gills with cruelty-free goods from frozen pizza to lip balm and even the means to enforce your beliefs onto your pets. Uwajimaya (Map 8, 46) is a wonderland of Asian food and gifts that can't be missed. Rising Sun Farms (Map 32) brings the rural roadside produce stand to the big city. Speaking of farms, there's a farmer's market in pretty much every neighborhood but the standouts are the University District Farmers Market (Map 26) on Saturdays and the Ballard Farmers Market (Map 23) on Sundays. Both happen year-round, rain or shine. Melrose Market (Map 4) made the smart play and put a roof over their vendors. Among those keeping the residents of Capitol Hill stocked up on locally sourced, organic foodstuffs: The Calf and Kid, Rain Shadow Meats, Marigold and Mint flowers and produce.

In 2014, Washington made history as one of the first states (along with Colorado) to end marijuana prohibition. The journey from legalization to retail has been a lengthy and grueling and the cannabis landscape will no doubt continue to morph (hopefully for the better), but here's the rundown on the retail experience in its current incarnation: Adults 21+ show ID to a guy at the door who resembles an extra from Road House. You then enter a windowless building where you are greeted by a "budtender" (seriously), who gives you the lay of the land. You may purchase up to 1 ounce of "flower" (née weed), 16 ounces of infused edibles, 72 ounces of liquid, and 7 grams of marijuana concentrates. You pay your 37% sales tax on a $12-20 per gram base price. They place your goodies in a paper bag, and you proceed directly to the exit. The process retains an air of sordidness, made more so by the ruling that stores can't be within 1000 feet of a school, public transit center, public park, day care, arcade, or library. In other words, most of the stores are in sketchy or desolate areas. Now, you'll probably want to toke up. As Vincent Vega would say, "it's legal, but it's not 100% legal." The law bans "public consumption," meaning the only place you can smoke is in your residence--so long as your name is on the deed. Also, it's illegal to take it out of state.

The lines at the stores have subsided and supply and demand has leveled so buying weed legally has actually started to become the rather pleasant experience we were promised. People can afford to be picky about where they shop and even get uppity about the little things on that website that rhymes with "help." Uncle Ike's Pot Shop (Map 5) is the best bet for the cost-conscious everyman. They update their menu daily online and the budtenders know their stuff. It reads like a wine list at a cool bistro. Ganja Goddess (Map 39) is for the folks looking for the shopping "experience". The all-female budtender staff is renowned for its savvy and savior faire alike. The space itself has a very hipster, gastropub feel to it with exposed brick and low lights. Their edibles include high-end items like macaroons and sea salt chocolates. Cannabis City (Map 39) was the first retail store in the city, which ended up being a curse as much as a blessing for them. Now, with other places shouldering some of the demand, they've become a decent little shop; prices include tax so you're not surprised by a huge gouging at checkout. Eastsiders wanna get high, too. At BelMar (Map 46) they can do it without having to drive into icky Seattle and shop with the common people.

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To
Let's face it. Things were better in the past. Fortunately, many Seattle shop owners agree with you. Find Formica galore and your new favorite old easy chair at Fremont Vintage Mall (Map 24) or Space Oddity Vintage Furniture (Map 23). If Mad Men has got you longing for golden age fashions, try Pretty Parlor (Map 17), carefully curated by Ms. Anna Banana with a bonus section for the men folk. She supplements her always-impressive inventory with clothes from some of Seattle's best vintage-style designers. Diva Dollz (Map 3) is where Bettie Page would have shopped and they also have cute designs in plus sizes. Valley of Roses (Map 26) has threads for men and women, and frequently cycles through their inventory. The customer service oriented owner hides treasures all over the store, including the clearance rack. Vintage Angel Company (Map 24) spans several decades. Try not to get too depressed about the 90s section. If you prefer quantity to quality or are looking for pieces for a Halloween costume, Atlas Clothing Co (Map 4) or Red Light (Map 26) are your best bets.

If you must patronize a mall, it's good to know which to hit and which to avoid. Let's start with the malls to avoid. Westlake Center (Map 3) is well known as the most useless mall in Seattle. It is one of the two stops on the monorail, which makes it a bona fide tourist trap. Pacific Place is your other downtown option, but with all the Tiffanys, Club Monacos, and J. Jills, really only Amazon and Microsoft executives can afford to shop there. The mall for the masses is Northgate (Map 34), appealing to the simple folk who enjoy the mainstream pleasures of The Gap, Macy's, JC Penney, and Express. Somewhere in between Northgate and Pacific Place is University Village (Map 26) with shops like the Apple Store, Eileen Fisher, and Lululemon. It is outdoors, but they provide shoppers with free yellow umbrellas while they stroll around.

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Katie Palmer
Photo:  Katie Palmer

Deluxe Junk
Seattle is infamous for the little hole-in-the-wall junk shops, so seeing a sign that reads "Peace, Deluxe Junk" was intriguing but not all too surprising. Inside it would be easy to spend awhile sifting through the actually cute vintage clothes, jewelry, decoration, globes, dolls, records, and all sorts of other "junk." The wooden floors creak and it smells musty with old stuff, but the chance of finding that one-of-a-kind doorknob or the final vintage comic book you've been searching for to complete your collection is worth the visit. After awhile the smell disappears, and you don't even notice it. Plus, a visit to Deluxe Junk will surely yield you someone else's junk, but it just may be your newest treasure, as the old saying goes.

Posted By:  Katie Palmer
Photo:  Katie Palmer

Ophelia's Books
Walking in, the floor creaks and a cat sits on a pile of ancient books. Welcome to Ophelia's Books. Specializing in rare books and editions, there is a wide variety of affordable classics to modern works as well. It is easy to spend an hour...or a few among the small, two-story shop where you can choose to browse the awesome collection or play with the cats. With a few comfy chairs, Ophelia's offers an inviting place to sample some books and enjoy the people watching. Located in the Fremont District, there is undoubtedly a great cup of coffee within the block. So, grab a mocha and enjoy it among the classics to escape the rain for awhile.

Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Curtsy Bella
These days, you can pretty much buy anything on line. But Curtsy Bella remembers when customer service meant something. If you're in the market for a cute and quirky gift for your engaged friend, your pregnant friend or your girlfriend, 10 minutes of browsing the cleverly arranged displays will yield more viable options than you ever thought possible. Their fanciful inventory includes socks, hats, bags, jewelry, clothing, and plenty of knickknacks you can't live without. They also have a delightfully snarky greeting card selection to help express your sentiments. It's like an upscale Archie McPhee's you're your recipients will actually use the things you buy them. The easily overwhelmed can take advantage of their shopping service. Call or email with a little information and they'll work with you until they find the perfect gift to meet your needs. They'll even gift wrap it (in leopard print paper!) and ship next day or same day by courier. You'll look thoughtful, whimsical and timely. I'd say that you couldn't buy service like that. But you could. At Curtsy Bella.

Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Bottega Italiana
People say gelato is better for you than ice cream but it sounds too good to be true. Still, when there's a gelato place in your neighborhood, it's difficult to stay away. Bottega Italiana follows suit with being irresistible, but they aren't exaggerating when they say that their gelato isn't bad for you. It's not as healthy as, say, a big bowl of spinach, but indulging isn't going to negate your time at the gym either. As if that weren't enough of an excuse, they use only natural, local and seasonal ingredients. Whether you've chosen to live dairy free, or nature chose for you, you can still enjoy one of their vegan fruit flavors. Those who can't say no to creamy goodness will be pleased as punch with one or more of their year-round flavors like hazelnut, pistachio, and caffe. If you feel the need to be responsible, you can make a meal out of it by adding a lunchtime pannini and real Italian espresso. But remember, it's low fat. So if you've had a hard day (or want to make a good day better), go ahead and get that double scoop. We won't judge.

Posted By:  Kelsey Albro
Photo:  Kelsey Albro

Zenith Supplies
Whether you're searching for just the right astrologically-themed birthday card for your best friend, need to restock your stash of ear candles, or are looking to buy 50 pounds of bath salts, Zenith Supplies is the place for you. For non-hippies out there, this place might be a little overwhelming, but after acclimatizing yourself to the paintings of Egyptian gods on the walls, you'll find that there are some great deals on quality stuff here. Priced for bulk-purchase by spa-owners and the like, Zenith also offers lots of ready-to-use beauty supplies, candles, and gifts for the drop in shopper. So, let your chakra flow, head to the Zenith, and get your hippie on. Your skin and your wallet will thank you.

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Archie McPhee
Ballard Farmers Market
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Big John's Pacific Food Importers
Bop Street Records
Boston St
Card Kingdom
Chuck's Hop Shop
Comics Dungeon
Crossroads Trading Co.
Daniel Smith
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Dragon's Toy Box
Easy Street Records & Cafe
Fainting Goat Gelato
Fremont Vintage Mall
Frock Shop
Georgetown Records / Fantagraphics
Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co.
Hub and Bespoke
International Model Toys
Le Frock
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Marketime Foods
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Melrose Market
Mishu Boutique
Mishu Boutique II
Not a Number Cards & Gifts
Picnic : A Food & Wine Boutique
Pretty Parlor
Rachel's Ginger Beer
Rain Shadow Meats
Rain Shadow Meats Squared
Red Light Vintage Clothing
Scarecrow Video
Shiga's Imports
Singles Going Steady
Space Oddity Vintage Furniture
Spin Cycle
The Confectionary
The RE Store
The Swinery
Top Ten Toys
Trading Musician
Trophy Cupcakes
Trove Vintage Boutique
University Book Store
Valley of Roses
Vegan Haven
Vino Verite
Vintage Angel Company
Violet Sweet Shoppe
Wine World and Spirits