If you enjoy poking around international markets and souks, Big John's PFI is the place to be for the foodie inside. The prices on their bulk foods are fantastic: Spices (no Minimum), Oils, Cheese (5 kinds of Feta for instance), and sauces. Plus they will let you sample and give you detailed info on pretty much any of their products. They have a great selection of turkish/greek foods as well
This beats Trader Joes on pretty much every front except for no cheap wine!
PROS: Too many choices, not enough $ or calories
CONS: 1 lb minimum on the cheeses
Market Spice Tea is one of the Seattle icons, much like Starbucks (without the corporateness). Whenever I meet someone from originally from Seattle (not a recent transplant), Market Spice comes up whenever Tea is discussed. With strong Cinnamon Oil flavors, it is the best medicine for a rainy day.
The store at the Pike Place market has that wonderful old musty Seattle charm. The shelves are overflowing, and a bit dusty, but there is always a boiling samovar in the back for free samples. However, you can usually get the tea bags at the store or even the downtown drugstores for a bit less money. So much for getting a bargain!
PROS: Fun store and free samples
CONS: cheaper elsewhere!
Mr. Adam, the tailor, runs the world smallest one man tailoring shop, and with the low overhead comes low prices; literally you need to duck to get into the changing room. He raised his prices about a dollar earlier this year, but it is still the cheapest hemming around. I have had him tailor suits, pants, and my wife's clothing, and so far nothing wrong!
PROS: prices are unbelieveable
CONS: longish wait (1-2 weeks) for basic work, shop lacks atmosphere
I often am tasked with finding last minute gifts for visiting VIP's and dignitaries, and Golden Age is a great source for memorabilia. It is quite expensive, but if you want something fun for the movie or comic buff, you can not beat the selection...especially if you do not have the lead time for ordering online. Their movie scripts are especially unique as a gift.
PROS: unique Items
I ran into Bedrock on accident while trying to figure out who Buddy Foley was (you know what i mean if you ever drive down 15th Avenue). Bedrock recycles glass into tiles and functional art such as windchimes, paperweights, and dishware. the colors are fantastic, and everything has that hand-made craft look to it. They also sell the glass in its various states before it is melted. I have used the beautifully colored glass chips as both ground cover in our garden and as filler in a vase.
PROS: Original Art & materials for crafts, reuse and recycle for the environment
CONS: none that I can think of
I was recommended to talk with GTC for my wife's Engagement Ring, and they were nothing short of absolutely professional. I was under the impression that you needed a referral, but if you can get one, by all means take it. The prices were great. We picked out a platinum band by Vatche, and the price was $1800 less than EE Robbins, and with a far superior center stone. Markup on jewelry is high and they are certainly making their money, but being able to save that much and without any funny business was great
PROS: Great Prices for High end Jewelry
CONS: Need a referral to meet with them
If you are looking for a brunch besides Salty's, and away from downtown, Chinooks is the perfect spot for a nice getaway. Sunday can be quite crowded, but no more than the other breakfast spots in the area. Located in Fisherman's terminal, it is nice to be in an area that is much less travelled than the Downtown corridor. I really liked the Salmon Eggs benedict!
The Ace, in the heart of belltown is the hotel for Scenesters on a budget (who isn't really?). Each room is unique in decor, and designed with cutting edge aesthetics. The price is right too. We stayed for a romantic weekend for $89 with a shared bath. Robes were included and it was a noce touch as well. It is right in the heart of Belltown. This is both good and bad, as it was somewhat noisier than we would have hoped. But it was nice to be so close to the action
I have been a member for 2 months, and so far absolutely no complaints at all. They have an odd dues structure, that seems somewhat scammy and amateurish, but since I am only paying $29 a month for a downtown gym with no contract, I cannot complain. the equiptment is new, and I especially like the Fast Fitness Room; made by nautilus it is a 12 station circuit that gets you in and out in 24 minutes. Like Curves (so I am told), but without the cheesy music!
I dont get Cable at home, so the fact that there are LCD's at each station with limited cable means that I can get my fill of VH1 and Jackass while working out! Up until today, I never noticed congestion at the machines, but as the weather was por, it got quite crowded...we will see how it is this winter.