Hello! I've lived in sunny Seattle for two years now, which simultaneously feels like no time at all in certain aspects (I still get lost going everywhere, all the time, forever) and like I've lived here my entire life (my favorite bus driver on the 49 route got a new tattoo and I noticed IMMEDIATELY.) There are the spaces I only go to on special occasions, and the spaces I go to when I want to woo a friend or family member into moving here, (it hasn't worked yet but I won't give up!) and there are the places that make Seattle feel like home. Here are some tied and true favorite spaces to eat, drink and shop in, no matter what.
The Redwood, Capitol Hill
The Redwood is hands down my favorite bar in Capitol Hill, and maybe the whole entire world? Just now I learned that it doesn't have a website, which makes me adore it even more. It's kind of dive-y (please don't get mad at me for calling it a dive bar; I know that it's not AUTHENTIC but bear with me, here) and at-home-in-the-pacific-northwest-y with all its wood and antler-heavy decor.
Most of their (strong, delicious) cocktails come in mason jars, their food is consistently perfect, and their all-day Sunday happy hour is crazy affordable. Sometimes there are peanuts and sometimes there are not, but like any authentic CH bar experience you will probably be too scared to ask the bartender.
Goodwill Outlet (we call this "The Bins",) SODO
The Goodwill outlet is pretty much exactly what you would imagine a Goodwill outlet to look like: piles and piles of clothing and holiday decorations and oh, look! There's a 12x12 hand-painted acrylic portrait of a cat!
Everything is by the pound, and because the products consist of the gems that have been filtered through the Goodwill system, you are definitely in for a surprise as to what you'll find. My most fruitful visit ended with an Italian percolator, a vintage Pendleton coat, five dresses of the 90's floral baby doll variety, a wicker basket in the shape of a heart, and a some Dansko clogs for under $7. Score! This is definitely not for the faint of heart shopper; you WILL touch dirty underwear, you WILL get dagger eyes from professional buyers (folks who thrift and re-sell for a living,) but it's well worth it for those with an affection for thrifting. Bonus points for their well rounded vending machine (it carries both an array of chips AND candy,) and the classic music they blast both inside and outside the building.
Chili's, University District
Chili's isn't THE Chili's, it's actually a super small South Indian restaurant sort of awkwardly nestled on "The Ave" (important point: it's actually University WAY and not an Avenue, but somehow the name "The Ave" stuck a million years ago) in the U District. My boyfriend spent over a year in South India, and was really excited to have stumbled upon this gem as (this is a new thing I have learned,) there is a notable difference between North and South Indian cuisine. Needless to say he loved is there and gets a weird glow in his eyes whenever we talk about it, which means that I'm pretty sure it's an "authentic" or at least as delicious as he remembers it being in the time he spent there. Having never been to India and therefore unable to compare, I find Chili's to be insanely affordable for the amount of food you get, AND all of the dishes are rich in flavor (coconut chutney, lentil and veggie heavy rice dishes, lots of fennel) and incredibly delicious.