I've actually been meaning to write something about this for a while. This is the quick and dirty version.
All these ideas are assuming it's sunny/not raining/pleasant to be outside (which is a big assumption).
After Pike Place, I love moseying down to the waterfront near the aquarium and waterfront stores. Frankfurters have the best hot dogs in town. Ivars is a classic. My favorite table seating on the waterfront is on the south side of the pier that has Elliot's Oyster House. You have to walk past the outdoor seating with red umbrellas, and it looks like a private path, but it's actually public. You'll see a row of tables that border the south side of the pier all the way to the back. I've never not found an open table. Gorgeous views of the water, ferris wheel, and the Argosy Cruise boats coming and going.
After time there, you can swing north to the Olympic Sculpture Park and even keep walking into Mrtyle Edwards park (which is seriously underrated and feels like the most locals-only park in Seattle in my opinion). There are small cute beaches there and if you keep walking north you'll hit this brand new beach that Expedia built for public use. Really cute vibes with seating, grassy steps, and sandy beaches. Incredible views if you catch a sunset there.
If you don't swing north, you can go back into downtown and hit Westlake area or Chinatown. Right now I wouldn't suggest it given safety issues.
Even though Caphill is known for it's nightlife, I think it's most charming by day. The food, parks, stores, and people are way more fun. Most interesting food in Caphill right now; Malaysian spot called Kedai Makan. The line can be long and they're only doing takeout right now, but it's so good. For specific dish recommendations hit me up. Favorite sushi joint in Seattle is Gokan Sushi, right in the heart of Caphill (Gokan Dragon roll is life (sorry Dermot but I like eel too much)). Tacos Chukis is debatably the best tacos in town (no fish taco though). Rhein Haus has the best German food.
If you're not eating, Cal Anderson is fun. There's usually pick-up dodgeball that's super friendly, funky, and jovial. Very date-dependent. I'm a big fan of ballroom dancing so I love going to Palace Ballroom for some evening salsa/swing. They have beginner classes that I promise to be super fun and charming dates.
There's a ton of cool shops and drinks around. Big fan of the Elliot Bay Bookstore, I can spend hours browsing there and talking about books with a date. I like how every aisle could be a conversation starter.
Molly Moons is a classic PNW funky ice cream shop. If you want to be extra hip, Salt & Straw is even funkier and experimental but it's still hella good. Just be prepared going in. For lunchtime snacks/vibes, Bakery Nouveau is the best french bakery in town.
Each watering hole brings its own vibe and flare. Depending on what mood you're going for, here are my favorite bars for a night out:
- Unique Bars
- Flat Stick Pub - South Lake Union - Mini golf in the bar itself. A lively crowd of mostly yuppies. A great transition from here to Art Marble 21, which is a bit more low-key and has games.
- SPIN Seattle - Downtown Shopping District - Ping pong bar. Room full of ping pong tables, drinks, and music. The entrance going downstairs has a hidden, speakeasy feel.
- Add-A-Ball - Fremont - Pinball and games galore, really fun old school 70's throwback vibe
- Jupiter Bar - Belltown - Pretty much like Add-A-Ball but in Belltown
- Cowgirls - Pioneer Square - Loud, rambunchous, and so fun. They have a mechanical bull to ride; laughs and shock are ensured.
- Roof Top, Seattle "bougie"
- mBar - South Lake Union - My favorite rooftop bar in Seattle, it has stunning views of the skyline and the water. Higher priced and posher. Modern slick feel.
- The Mountaineering Club - University District - The vibe of a neighborhood bar but within a refined outdoorsman decor placed on a rooftop overlooking north Seattle
- Dive Bars
- White Horse Tavern - Downtown Pike Place area - British-style pub. Dimly lit, less rowdy crowd, and fairly clean for a pub.
- Streamline Tavern - Lower Queen Anne - A fun old-school dive bar, pinball machines, pool tables, and a cash-only food counter. Affordable drinks for a neighborhood bar
- German Beer Hall
- Rhein Haus
- Queen Anne Beer Hall
UDistrict, Lower Queen Anne, Greenlake, Old Ballard to come...