Seattle Shopping

Seattleites are sometimes scorned for their fashion sense (polar fleece, sport sandals, and socks—oh my!), but as the city has grown and enough money has percolated through the ranks of retail, the city's style barometer has made a steady creep upward. Bibliophiles, foodies, wine aficionados, and design-centrists will also find plenty of shopping opportunities—Seattle is a hotbed of unique,

independent shops stocking one-of-a-kind treasures.

Shopping in Seattle is something best done gradually. Don't expect to find it all in one or two days worth of blitz shopping tours. Downtown is the only area that allows for easy daylong shopping excursions. Within a few blocks along 4th and 5th avenues, you'll find the standard chains (The Gap, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Anthropologie, Sephora, Old Navy), along with Nike's flagship store, and a few more glamorous high-end stores, some featuring well-known designers like Betsey Johnson. Downtown is also where you'll find department stores like Nordstrom, Macy's and Barneys New York. Belltown and Pioneer Square are also easy areas to patrol—most stores of note are within a few blocks.

To find many of the stores that are truly special to Seattle—such as boutiques featuring handmade frocks from local designers, independent record stores run by encyclopedic-minded music geeks, cozy used-book shops that smell of paper and worn wood shelves—you'll have to branch out to Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, and northern neighborhoods like Ballard. Shopping these areas will give you a better feel for the character of the city and its quirky inhabitants, all while you score that new dress or nab gifts for your friends.

And don’t forget about Seattle’s culinary bounty, which includes the stalls at Pike Place Market; the flagship Sur La Table, which stocks every kitchen gadget known to man; and the city’s various weekly farmers' markets, where you’ll find enough locally made, artisanal offerings to fill a suitcase or two.

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Downtown 30

Capitol Hill 17

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Ballard 13

Fremont 9

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Wallingford 8

University District 8

International District 4

Phinney Ridge 3

Queen Anne 3

The Eastside 3

South Lake Union 1

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Antiques/ Collectibles 4

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Clothing 33

Department Stores 3

Food/ Candy 9

Gifts/ Souvenirs 22

Household Items/ Furniture 17

Jewelry/ Accessories 1

Music Stores 4

Outdoor/ Flea/ Green Markets 3

Shoes/ Luggage/ Leather Goods 9

Shopping Centers/ Malls 6

Spa/ Beauty 4

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Seattle Shopping

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  • Household Items/Furniture

Venue is the chic version of the Made In Washington stores: it stocks only goods made by local artists (some of whom have their studios...

Wall of Sound

  • Music Stores

If you're on the hunt for Japanese avant-rock on LP, anti-war spoken word, spiritual reggae with Afro-jazz undertones, or old screen-printed...

Wallingford Center

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

In this quirky shopping center, a converted 1904 schoolhouse, there are 15 resident shops—all of them independent with the exception...

Watson Kennedy Fine Living

  • Household Items/Furniture

This small store in the courtyard of the Inn at the Market is worth a visit just for how heavenly it smells. With a lovely line of artisan...

Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers

  • Books/Stationery

Crammed with first editions, antiquarian materials, Pacific Northwest history and literature, Western Americana, poetry, and fine examples...

Wide World Books & Maps

  • Books/Stationery

One of the first travel-only bookstores in the country, Wide World Books and Maps has been outfitting the adventurous since 1976. This...

World Spice Merchants

  • Wine/Spirits

Many of the city's best chefs get their herbs, spices, and salts at this aromatic shop under Pike Place Market. Many teas are also available.

Zanadu Comics

  • Books/Stationery

One of the oldest and best comic book stores in a city with close to 70 comic shops, Zanadu Comics specializes in "alternative," small-press...


  • Clothing

For outdoor gear with an edgy vibe, locals head to evo, which specializes in snow sports gear and also carries a solid selection of hip...


  • Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

Stocking cool but comfortable shoes from Biviel, MOMA, PF Flyers, Cydwoq, and the like, this hip space offers a small selection of crazy...