Food & Drink

Seven underrated Cap Hill spots you need to know about

Published On 05/19/2013 Published On 05/19/2013

There may not be many Republicans on Seattle's Capitol Hill, but there are so many parties... and shops, bars, restaurants, etc., that it can be just as inscrutable as the one in the other Washington, so we've assembled a list of relatively hidden gems that can even fill a buster's day with awesomeness

Morning Joe From A Trailer Park… ed At 14th & Madison: Slate Coffee Roasters 1401 E Madison St Posted up most mornings in an Airstream trailer they're calling the Slatestream, this indie collective of coffee slingers is helmed by an ex-Zoka barista, who instead of just-Italian-roasting everything, is "exposing" the natural flavor of brews from places where they'd probably be even more excited to have a perfectly good Airstream trailer than Cap Hill, like Ethiopia. It might be the best thing you've ever gotten out of a trailer
A Former Food Truck In A Former Coffe Shop In A Former Home: Scratch Deli 1718 12th Ave Given that it used to share space with The People's Republic of Koffee, you'd expect Scratch to take the means in which its sandwiches are produced very seriously, but that doesn't begin to describe the lengths the ex-Whole-Foods butcher running this place goes to while prepping the slow-cooked meats in his selection of classic offerings, like the banh mi, the BBQ pulled pork, and the pesto-topped Green Eggs & Ham so good that you wouldn't have to be in a Communist country to wait in line for it. See all the ridiculous sandos, right here
This Ain't No Bargain Basement: Totokaelo Man 1523 10th Ave A block over from Cap Hill's biggest thrift shop, this sprawling subterranean version of the store upstairs may very well force you to spend $50 for a T-shirt once you see how sweet the gear from Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens, Levi's Vintage, etc., is -- or you could just lounge in all the mid-century-style furniture that takes up even more space than the clothes and read one of the coffee table books conveniently strewn about. Bag it
Duck Into A Sweet Dive Bar: Speckled & Drake 1355 E Olive Way Sure, the only duck hunting you've done is on Nintendo, but don't let that stop you from hitting this mallard-inspired bar that takes a super laid-back attitude toward alcohol consumption by lacing its menu with beer/shot combos (the Olyimpa/ Beam "Fisherman's Friend"), that're mostly made up by the owner who, besides this one, opened another duck-themed bar called Duck Duck that you've likely never been to, since, like Duck Hunt's annoying, two-dimensional 8-bit dog, it's in Flatbush. Duck... duck... booze
A Skate Shop It Won't Kill You To Go Into: Alive & Well 705 E Pike St You don't actually have to know how to DO kick flips to kick it on the roof deck across the street at 95 Slide... you just have to look like it. Nowadays, that's super-easy, since the sports bar's owner also runs this chilled-out shop where you can score all the gear you need (they've got Nike SB, local brands like Flying Coffin, and even a house line) to look like you can totally shred one of the decks they've got in the window. Sweet kicks, this way
Is It A Bar Or An Arcade? Yes!: John John's Game Room 1351 E Olive Way Besides beating Street Fighter II with Zangief, the hardest thing in the place is an ironic range of bottled/canned suds like Mickey's "premium malt liquor", Rainier tall boys, etc., so you'll probably want to down a few so you've got some excuse for losing all your quarters to this brightly painted boozer's selection of 8-bit classics and "electro-mechanical amusement machines", aka pinball. Click here for all the deets
Wanna Get In the Back of This Mitsubishi?: Gold Van Records Various Locations Not content working at Sub Pop and its spin-off Hardly Art, the crew behind Gold Van Records has filled (you guessed it!) a gold van with some handsome shag carpet and their records. And -- despite their penchant for cruising around town and asking people to get in the back of said van -- they aren't even legal records, but actual LPs from bands like Protomartyr, Lost Animal & La Luz, all available for purchase if you can find 'em outside places like Everyday Record or Chop Suey. Yes, it's as cool as it sounds

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Speckled & Drake 1355 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

Sure, duck hunting would be wayyy cooler if the zapper worked on that bastard laughing dog, but apparently it's already cool enough to inspire the names of not one, but two drinking establishments opened by the same Seattle-native: Cap Hill's Speckled & Drake, and one called Duck Duck that you've likely never been to since -- like the dog on the two-dimensional 8-bit NES game -- it's in Flatbush.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Slate Coffee Roasters 1408-1412 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

With outposts across the Emerald City, Slate Coffee's a bistro-esque, boutique coffee shop serving strong and flavorful espresso for serious coffee drinkers. The Ballard operation might be tiny but it's worth trying to snag a spot by the windows and relax on a lazy weekend day. Sample the signature drink, "deconstructed" espresso with milk, or try a tasting flight with three different varieties of coffee served in wine glasses, because Slate's fancy like that.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Scratch Deli 400 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105

From a former Whole Foods butcher comes this converted taco trailer that's serving up a combination of deli staples and creative ethnic-inspired dishes. Old-school favorites run the gamut from a cheesesteak with braised chicken & bleu cheese to pulled pork.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Totokaelo Man 1523 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

At last, Totokaelo has opened a store for men. This sprawling store is beneath the original, and doesn't disappoint with its huge collection of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories, with options that include Rick Owens, Jil Sander, Margiela, and APC.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Alive and Well 705A E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

Run by the owner of 95 Slide (a chill dive conveniently across the street), this sleek skate shop stocks stylish sneaks, tees, and other gear from big brands (Huf, Adidas, Nike SB), along with their own house label and lesser-knowns, like Waters & Army. Frequent & fun events -- video premieres, in-stores with designers and celebs (Raekwon!) -- make this a spot you'll definitely want to re-visit.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. John John's Game Room 1351 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

John John's is an old bi-level café that the owners have stocked with vintage arcade games and covered with '80s-era decor. Game options include the classic themed pinballs and, for the more nostalgic gamers, a ton of 16-bit games like Street Fighter and Pac-Man. But not everything here is designed for the kid in you, oh no: they've got premium malt liquor, tall boys, and enough beer to make you wanna waste your spare change at an arcade... oh, wait.



Learn More