Capitol Hill, centered on Broadway, is hipster central and the center of Seattle's gay community. In good weather, this is the best people-watching in the West. Sit down at a sidewalk cafe and watch the scenesters. Or window-shop and check out the mannequins in the window of the "Red Light" vintage clothing store, which are frequently posed in some sort of vaguely disturbing scene (complete with speech bubbles).
The Pike/Pine corridor leads up from downtown to the Hill.
Volunteer Park has a botanical conservatory and is the site of the Seattle Asian Art Museum (below). Bruce Lee and his son Brandon are buried in the adjacent Lakeview Cemetery.
Seattle Asian Art Museum. On a rainy or cold day, combine a visit to this museum with a visit to the nearby Conservatory. On a nice day, add the park, with its many trails.
A Jimi Hendrix statue rocks out on the sidewalk at the NE corner of E Pine Street and Broadway, though there's no particular historical connection between the location and the man.
Seattle International Film Festival The largest and one of the best film festivals in the country takes place from the end of May to early June every year. Most venues are located on Capitol Hill and downtown.
Broadway Grill, 314 Broadway Ave. E., The Broadway Grill is a casual restaurant and bar that serves its full menu from 9:00 am to 1:30 am. Prices are very reasonable. The Sunday brunch buffet is great. Try the Absolut Mandrin Kamakazi.
Julia's On Broadway, Located on Broadway at Thomas, Julia’s serves Northwest cuisine along with good ol' American food, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Average quality, expensive meals and cocktails are prepared in a charming old building that used to house a seriously divey bar (Ernie Steele's) until they gutted it and put in a tasteful interior in 2001. On sunny days Julia's on Broadway offers ring-side seating to the throngs of passers-by. This location is owned by Julia's former understudy and his partner. The location is excellent, but the service can be less than stellar and the bartenders can be rude and recalcitrant.
Pizzeria Pagliacci (On Broadway, across from the Broadway Market) serves unique Seattle style pizza, reminiscent of thin crust, by-the-slice New York pizza, but with an imaginative collection of toppings that change with the seasons. Walk in and ask for two slices of primo and you won't be disappointed. The Pagliaccio salad is a good starter. There are branches in the University District and Queen Anne, plus delivery throughout the City.
Cafe Septieme, Broadway and E. John, is dark and smoky, but has lovely desserts and usually tasty lunches and dinners. Dine with the hipsters.
Dick's Drive-In (On Broadway) where the cool hang out and eat gloppy Dick's Deluxe cheeseburgers, hot fries, and tasty hand-dipped milkshakes. Drive up or walk up, this place will be hopping on a Friday or Saturday night, even if it's cold and rainy outside. Get in line by 1:45am because they slam the order windows shut promptly at 2am. Dick's cashiers have an amazing ability to instantly add up your bill in their head. There are other branches throughout the city (Lake City, Wallingford, Lower Queen Anne), but because the Capitol Hill Dick's is easiest to walk up to, it's also the best for watching weirdos.
Than Brothers Pho, 516 Broadway E. has potentially the best pho in Seattle and definitely the best outside of Little Saigon. Complimentary creampuffs and frighteningly large portions make this an always busy spot. There is plenty of seating though and a nice clean environment, be sure to try the French style coffee. Other locations on Aurora Ave. N. and the University District.
There are ridiculously many Thai restaurants in Capitol Hill. Occasionally one goes out of business and like a head of the Hydra, is immediately replaced by another one or more.
Siam (On Broadway). Frequently jam-packed with people. The phad thai is very good.
Jamjuree on 15th. Quieter and more upscale than Siam, with excellent specials -- try the Lime Light Chicken if you have a chance. On request they can make truly vegetarian Thai food (ie, without fish sauce).
Victrola, 411 15th Avenue E. Neighborhood place in a hip neighborhood.
Espresso Vivace Roasteria, 901 E. Denny Way. Where Victrola gets their beans, and the best roast in town. Their beans, plus Top Pot doughnuts, are available at the sidewalk Vivace on Broadway between Harrison and Thomas.
Top Pot Doughnuts (and Coffee, of course). (609 Summit Ave E near Mercer, (206) 323-7841). Walk down from Broadway for free wireless internet access and a quick grease, sugar, and caffeine high. There's a handy tavern next door, too.
B&O Espresso, 204 Belmont Ave. E., 206-322-5028. Great desserts and more recently, great lunches and dinners. The menu seems to be evolving as of early 2004.
Bauhaus Books & Coffee, (301 E Pine Street). At the base of Capitol Hill.
Pettirosso, (1101 E. Pike St). Just off of Pike St on 11th Ave on Capitol Hill. Cozy, intimate place full of regulars and good for a quiet conversation.
Bars and Taverns
The Baltic Room, 1207 Pine St. A rather elegant and reliably hip DJ club (and occasionally a live music venue, though less so than in past years). Just across the I-5 freeway from downtown. Cover varies.
The Cha Cha Lounge, 506 East Pine St. A few blocks east of the Baltic Room and on the other side of the street, a weird cross of dive-y bar and trendy spot. Your bartender may have had an album in the charts circa 1992.
The DeLuxe Bar and Grill, intersection of Broadway, Roy, and 10th. Dark, but appealing for a beer, stiff drink or bar food (hearty burgers, thick fries, etc.).
Summit Public House 601 Summit Ave. E. A few blocks west of Broadway, the Summit Public house offers many beers on tap and is home to one of the best BLT's in the city.
Stumbling Monk 1635 E Olive Way. At the corner of E Olive Way and Belmont Ave E, its dark appearance from the outside make it easy to miss, but worth stepping inside. As the name suggests, you’ll find an excellent selection of Belgian beer strong enough to make your walk home a challenge. The Stumbling Monk’s unpretentious atmosphere makes it a down-to-earth oasis on trendy Capitol Hill.
11th Avenue Inn (Seattle Bed and Breakfast), 121 11th Avenue East, 800-720-7161. Walk downtown and to the Convention Center from this charming 1906 8-room Seattle bed and breakfast inn on a tree-lined side street. Dozens of neighborhood restaurants are nearby, free on-site parking, queen beds, private bathrooms, WiFi, and one block to the park and bus stops. AAA 3-diamond! $79-$179.