The Public Market sign at the Pike Place Market in the evening light

The Hometown Guide: Seattle

The Hometown Guide: Seattle

Olivia Kim is technically Nordstrom’s VP of creative projects, but her title might as well be cool hunter: In 2015, she launched SPACE, a permanent boutique which features up-and-coming and established designers she loves, like Simone Rocha, Ellery, Simon Miller, and Comme des Garçons. Most recently, she brought us in for [email protected], a six-week-long pop-in across eight Nordstrom locations. (Think: a Fromental chinoiserie-clad space stocked to the brim with goop by Juice Beauty, goop Wellness, Moon Juice Brain Dust, and more.)

In honor of our collaboration and our team’s frequent visits to the Pacific Northwest for the occasion, we thought we’d pick Olivia’s brain on what we should be seeing/eating/buying. Though she’s still a bit of a newbie (she relocated from NYC just four years ago), she’s found herself slowing down (a bit) and taking in nature (whenever she can). “We’re surrounded by mountains on one side and water on the other—it’s incredible,” she explains. “I’ve never lived in a city where your proximity to wild nature is so close to home.” So it should come as no surprise that Olivia takes the weekends to explore both the nearby San Juan Islands (“a great way to see the Seattle skyline, and hopefully some orcas,” she says). She’s also racked up several visits to Canlis, a beloved local haunt where truffle fries and a spot by the fire make for a perfect night out. And while she doesn’t eat seafood, she’s a good enough hostess to know that everyone who visits her deserves a trip to Matt’s in the Market in Pike Place. Below, Olivia shares some of her must-sees/must-do’s from our very own Seattle guide, and introduced us to some of her new favorites, too.


Olivia's Picks

  • Anchored Ship Café

    Anchored Ship Café

    5306 Ballard Ave. N.W., Ballard | 206.484.5143

    This small coffee shop in Ballard is decidedly no-frills, in the best possible way. The upstairs space above the bar (lit by twinkle lights) is quiet and secluded, making it a great place to hide out with your computer for an afternoon. Anchored Ship is known for really excellent espresso, but they also serve coffee soda—a caffeinated, carbonated cold brew over ice that tastes a lot better than it sounds—and coffee cocktails in the afternoons.

  • Filson Flagship

    Filson Flagship

    1741 1st Ave. S., Industrial District | 206.622.3147

    Filson is a Seattle institution and fittingly, the iconic outdoor-wear brand’s flagship store takes up a whopping 6,000 square feet of a massive industrial building which coincidentally, is also home to the workshop where all the design and development magic happens. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type and camping gear and fishing rods are not your thing, a visit is a must, if only to peruse the museum-like collection of local artifacts. There’s also a wide selection of giftables and non-camping-related accessories to sift through, not to mention, a meat jerky vending machine.

  • Melrose Market

    Melrose Market

    1532 Minor Ave., Capitol Hill | 206.932.1059

    Pike Place Market gets most of the attention in Seattle, but since its opening in 2010, Melrose Market has gained a reputation as a locals’ spot for specialty food items. Chef Matt Dillon helped transform the market by moving in two of his popular restaurants: dinner spot Sitka & Spruce as well as his wine bar and shop, Bar Ferd’nand. Take the time to stroll through and enjoy all the cool little stalls, like the cheese at Calf & Kid and the flowers at Marigold and Mint.

  • Matt's in the Market

    Matt's in the Market

    94 Pike St., Downtown | 206.467.7909

    Matt’s in the Market (it overlooks the landmark Public Market clock and neon sign) has been open since 1996, and is now owned by a previous Pike Place fishmonger, Dan Bugge. Not surprisingly, you’ll find a lot of fresh fish on the menu (seafood stew; seared scallops with grits and bacon; wild king salmon in a smoked heirloom tomato vinaigrette), plus chicken and steak dishes and crowd-pleasing desserts.

  • Marine Area 7

    Marine Area 7

    2814 E Madison St., Central District | 206.323.9141

    Local photographer Jim Henkens has an eye for finding beautifully weathered vintage kitchenware and props for shoots, so it’s only natural he’d turn his love of a treasure hunt into a brick-and-mortar shop. Tucked into Madison Park, Henkens’ buy expertly mixes old (vintage ironstone dishes, glass beakers) and new (linen dish towels, cookbooks, and earthware from Colombia) in a light-filled space you could easily spend the better part of an hour exploring. In the back of the store is a full kitchen, where he hosts a dinner series with guest chefs, Q&As with cookbook authors, and cooking classes.

  • No Bones Beach Club

    No Bones Beach Club

    5410 17th Ave. NW, Ballard | 206.453.3223

    You’d never guess that a tiki-themed restaurant that plays surf movies and serves vegan food exists in Seattle, but it sure does. Don’t miss the Northwest Nachos (cashew queso, black beans, corn salsa), plus fried avocado tacos and tempeh kabobs, which are marinated in coconut milk, turmeric, and ginger. Predictably, the cocktails are kind of a thing—and every single one, from Mai Tais to Coconut Mojitos, are potent but delicious.

  • Homestead Plant Shop

    Homestead Plant Shop

    2202 E Olive St., Central District | 206.466.4880

    We have the design world (and Instagram’s) current obsession with fiddlehead figs to thank for the current craze for bringing the outdoors in. Husband-and-wife duo Ryan and Michele Tansey hopped on the trend, first opening the Plant Shop as a pop-up last year before making things permanent this past spring. Here, they’ve stocked the space with a darling selection of little potted cacti and succulents, ferns, Ficuses—and just about anything else your green thumb could desire.

  • Canlis


    2576 Aurora Ave. N., Queen Anne | 206.283.3313

    When it comes to Seattle dining establishments, Canlis is OG, located inside a 1950’s modernist home overlooking Lake Union. A bonus: All the tables have water views, meaning there’s not a bad seat in the house. It’s a family-owned spot that began as a steakhouse, though over the years they’ve tweaked the menu, adding Japanese elements here and there. Don’t miss the stellar selection of sake, and be sure to order the truffle fries. Trust.

  • Pacific Standard Books

    Pacific Standard Books

    2316 2nd Ave., Downtown

    Hands-down one of the city’s coolest bookshops, Pacific Standard Books is located in a loft space in Belltown. Here, local creative Strath Shepard (formerly of Visionaire and V Magazine) has curated a rotating selection of hard-to-find art, fashion, and photography books.

  • Seaplane Rides to San Juan Islands

    Seaplane Rides to San Juan Islands

    950 Westlake Ave North, Lake Union | 866.435.9524

    It’s just a 45-minute ride from Seattle’s Lake Union up to the San Juan Islands, but getting there is truly half of the fun. (Think: seals, whales, and orca sightings plus killer views of the Seattle skyline.) Local carrier Kenmore Air offers regular flights for those visiting the islands, as well as the option to do ride-alongs and just sightsee from the seaplane, making for a great weekend activity. (Head here for a full goop itinerary once you arrive.)