If you’re heading east toward Lake Washington from downtown Seattle, First Hill is exactly what it sounds like - the first hill you encounter. But while its name denotes the obvious, its neighborhood harbors some of the city’s best hidden shops and markets.
Though the area is punctuated with an inordinate number of pharmacies, thrift stores and opticians, it doesn’t take long to discover that the soul of the shopping district is Melrose Market. It may be a fledgling (it opened in January 2010), but it occupies a place in history, as its shops fill two former automobile warehouses built in 1919 and 1926.
The market’s Calf & Kid is a veritable cheese emporium, with imported and domestic cheeses that change seasonally, as well as gourmet crackers, jams, chocolates, and bread from Seattle’s Macrina Bakery. Rain Shadow Meats is another staple, offering an array of local meats.
Homegrown is the go-to spot for delicious organic sandwiches. The restaurant Sitka & Spruce is not for those with light wallets, but it serves brunch, lunch, and dinner made from local ingredients. The dessert menu features such inventive treats as persimmon pudding with hazelnuts and olive oil ice cream. After dinner, take a stroll through Marigold & Mint, also located within the market, for a bouquet of organic flowers.
The 21-and-over crowd will enjoy Bar Ferd’nand with its full service bar and wine shop. Still Liquor, a concrete basement-turned-cocktail-bar, is equipped with leather chairs and a staff well-versed in the science of mixology.
Food and drink are not the market’s only offerings. Those looking to redecorate their homes will find Butter Home and its stock of handmade wooden furniture, metal works, and tableware a necessary stop. For music lovers, Sonic Boom Records carries every genre of music and holds frequent free concerts for all ages.
While Melrose Market is certainly First Hill’s most diverse and visited shopping destination, it is by no means the only. Clothing stores include Stussy, with its skater-style line of logoed tees, and Goods, a popular men’s street wear boutique.
- Goods Contact:
- Location: 1112 Pike St., Seattle, WA
- Phone: 206-622-0495
- Website: needgoods.com
- Hours: Monday through Saturday: 11am to 7pm, Sunday: 12pm to 5pm
- Melrose Market Contact:
- Location: 1501-1535 Melrose Ave., Seattle, WA
- Website: melrosemarketseattle.com
- Stussy Contact:
- Location: 1108 Pike St., Seattle, WA
- Phone: 206-467-5030
- Website: stussy.com