With a short commute to downtown and plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to choose from, demand for homes in Capitol Hill, Seattle has remained high. Over the past five years, brand new mixed-use apartment buildings have sprung up next to 1920s brick buildings and Craftsman-style homes, changing the look and feel of the neighborhood. Despite the new construction, the area still has a ton of mom and pop stores, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the trendy new places opening each month. That’s why this vibrant area gets our vote for one of the best neighborhoods to live in Seattle!
If you’re thinking about moving to Capitol Hill, Seattle, or just want to visit, here’s a list of our favorite places to go and things to see.
Capitol Hill is located northeast of downtown, literally on the hill across from I-5. It is bordered by Montlake at the north, Madison Park at the east and First Hill at the south. The main shopping strips are along the Pike/Pine corridor, along Broadway and on 15th Avenue.
Popular Bars, Restaurants & Nightlife in Capitol Hill
Location: 1000 E. Pike St., Seattle WA 98122
Phone: (206) 453-4216
Go there for: Mexican food
Must try: Brisket taquitos
Description: Located in the heart of Capitol Hill, Poquitos is the perfect place to enjoy some delicious Mexican food while watching weekend revelers parade down Pike Street. You won’t find kitschy sombreros here; the owners brought in authentic Spanish tile and wrought iron light fixtures directly from Mexico to create an authentic vibe.
Location: 1010 East Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: (206) 323-2822
Go there for: Dancing to 80s, 90s and Top 40
Must try: Blackberry mojito
Description: Havana is a popular dance club that ends up bursting at the seams on Friday and Saturday nights. The entrance is off of Pike Street, but it’s really hard to find; you have to walk to the back of the parking lot next to Poquitos. Unlike most nightclubs, the booths won’t cost you a fortune, but you have to book them weeks in advance. Ladies get in free before 10 p.m., but it won’t fill up until around 11 p.m.
Location: 1621 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98102
Phone: (206) 324-2577
Go there for: Breakfast any day
Must try: Eggs benedict
Description: Glo’s is nothing fancy compared to most popular breakfast places in Seattle, but you should still be prepared to wait in line on the weekends. You won’t find organic crepes on the menu, but you will find two eggs and toast for a reasonable price.
Hidden Gems: Where the Locals Go in Capitol Hill
Location: 129 Belmont Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
Phone: (206) 327-9549
Go there for: Outdoor patio
Must try: CAPTAIN’S Chicken & Waffle
Description: When the sun is shining in Seattle, everyone swarms to places with outdoor patios. This unpretentious neighborhood bar and restaurant has a large deck that gets plenty of sun. It’s not located on a busy strip, so people tend to forget about it, increasing your chances of getting a seat in the sun.
Location: 509 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: (206) 324-5358
Go there for: Dancing on the weekends
Must try: Drink specials
Description: Neighbours is one of Seattle’s oldest LGBTQ nightclubs and on the weekends you’ll find everyone, gay or straight, dancing the night away. It’s one of the few clubs in Seattle that is open until 4:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, so it tends to get a surge of people around 1:30 a.m., when other bars are kicking people out. Warning: the entrance is VERY hard to find; even though the address says Broadway, you have to head down Pike and then go into the back alley to access it.
Location: 219 Broadway E., Seattle, WA 98102
Phone: (206) 328-4604
Go there for: Weekend brunch and dinner
Must try: French toast at brunch, truffle mac n’ cheese at dinner
Description: Americana is located in the Broadway Market, down the road from the Pike/Pine triangle, which is probably why there are fewer crowds for brunch; it’s usually not more than a 20 minute wait. The pancakes of the day are always superbly fluffy, and the chicken fried steak is to die for. The french toast manages to be crispy and soft at the same time. The restaurant is also open for dinner, and chances are you can walk right in without a reservation.
Things to Do & See in Capitol Hill
Sip Coffee & Read
The Elliott Bay Book Company provides a classic bookstore experience, with hardwood floors, tall shelves and recommendations from the staff. The store often hosts readings by famous authors and book clubs that are open to the public. After picking up a book, head over to Victrola, Oddfellows Cafe+Bar, Caffé Vita or Espresso Vivace/Brix to sip coffee as you read.
Cal Anderson Park was designed by the world famous Olmsted Brothers around 1904. It used to contain a giant concrete-laden reservoir, but in 2004 the reservoir was buried and the park was built on top. It’s a great place to sit on a bench and people watch; you’ll find people doing acro-yoga, kids flying kites and couples walking dogs. The park’s boundaries are E. Denny Way to the north, E. Pine St. to the south, Nagle Place to the west and 11th Avenue to the east.
Shop for Music
Start at the Jimi Hendrix Statue, at 1600 Broadway, off of East Pine Street. The memorial to the guitar hero was commissioned by Mike Malone, the founder of AEI Music Network, who owns the building next to it. After getting your photo opp with the statue, walk over to Everyday Music, Wall of Sound or Porchlight Coffee & Records to browse through their vinyl record collections.
Shop for Vintage Clothes
Capitol Hill has a lot of options for those who love to shop for vintage, consignment and used clothing. Le Frock has a well-selected mix of vintage clothes and current designer labels for men and women. A few blocks east on Pike you’ll find Officials Vintage and Throwbacks Northwest, where you can browse through old Sounders jerseys and other deadstock apparel.
Hit the Market (and We Don’t Mean Pike Place Market)
At Melrose Market you can taste gourmet cheese at The Calf & Kid, try some Charcuterie from Rain Shadow Meats and wash it all down with a glass of wine from Bar Ferd’nand. The market has a variety of shops to meet every foodie’s desire. On Sundays you can also hit up the Capitol Hill Broadway Neighborhood Farmer’s Market, which hosts local food vendors and artisans. The farmers market starts on Broadway Avenue and East Pine Street.
Real Estate in Capitol Hill
Home prices in Capitol Hill have been steadily rising for the past few years and Redfin real estate agents don’t anticipate that they will drop anytime soon. The reason is simple: there are a lot of people who want to live in the area and not enough houses for sale. The median sale price for homes in Capitol Hill is currently $440,000. According to Redfin tour insights, most homes for sale get multiple offers on them and they often sell for over the the asking price.
If you’re thinking about moving to Capitol Hill, you can go to the Capitol Hill page on Redfin and hit the “save search” button at the top left to get alerts about new homes coming on the market and how much they cost. When you’re ready to buy, a Redfin agent can help you determine what you’ll need to do to be competitive.
Getting Around Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is the 9th most walkable neighborhood in Seattle, with a Walk Score of 91. The neighborhood has a Transit Score of 72; there are plenty of public buses that stop in Capitol Hill, and when it opens in 2016, the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station will take passengers to and from downtown Seattle. The light rail will eventually connect to the University District Light Rail Station, giving residents even more public transit options. Capitol Hill has some biking infrastructure, but it could be improved.
Thinking about Moving to Capitol Hill?
Here are some additional resources that might help:
- Homes for sale in Capitol Hill
- Real estate agents in Capitol Hill
- Apartments for rent in Capitol Hill
- Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
- Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
- Capitol Hill Community Council
- Moving to Seattle Guide
What’d we miss? If you have a place you’d recommend that people visit in Capitol Hill, let us know in the comments below!