A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

SAL Staff Recommend: Seattle’s Best Spots for Bibliophiles

In the nine years since AWP (the Association of Writers & Writing Programs) last came to Seattle, we’ve seen a host of new shops and eateries open and many well-loved businesses and restaurants relocate within the city.

Whether you live local or want to live like a local, we’ve compiled a list of our staff’s favorite haunts near the Seattle Convention Center to round out your conference experience. We’ve included places to buy books (or hear your favorite authors read) and respites in which you can enjoy them…with a craft cocktail, donuts, dumplings, or even ice cream.


Ada’s Technical Books (Capitol Hill): science-minded literature, vegetarian café, co-working, and events space

Book Larder (Fremont): a community cookbook store and events space

Chin Music Press (Pike Place Market): “curiously bibliophilic” indie publisher of quirky, eclectic topics

Elliott Bay Book Company (Capitol Hill): independently owned bookstore, café, and event space

Estelita’s Library (Central District): justice-focused independent bookstore

Folio (Pike Place Market): nonprofit library and cultural center

Nook & Cranny Books (Capitol Hill): indie bookstore (new and used titles) and community space

Open Books: A Poem Emporium (Pioneer Square): one of the country’s few poetry-only bookshops

Paper Hammer (Downtown): showcase for hand-bound albums, journals, chapbooks, and letterpress printed goods made in Tieton, WA

Peter Miller Books (Pioneer Square): architectural and design books and supplies

Seattle Central Library (Downtown): main library branch designed by Rem Koolhaas Architects & LMN



Alibi Room (Pike Place Market): a cool haunt for artists and freelance writers (it even has its own ghost)

Ba Bar (Capitol Hill): delicious Vietnamese street food

Bad Bishop (Pioneer Square): high quality food and drink with a neighborhood feel

Damn the Weather (Pioneer Square): “farm to face” restaurant and bar

Goldfinch Tavern (Downtown): Pacific Northwest cuisine with waterfront views

The Hideout (First Hill): art, cocktails, vibe, community

The Nest (Downtown): Thompson Seattle’s rooftop restaurant and bar

Zig Zag (Pike Place Market): internationally recognized as a pioneer of the classic cocktail revival



DeLaurenti (Pike Place Market): specialty foods and wines from the Pacific Northwest and around the world

Fuji Bakery (International District): Japanese artisan bakery

Mighty-O Donuts (Downtown & Capitol Hill): sustainably minded bakery and cafe

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (Capitol Hill): community-minded local ice cream shop

Ohsun Banchan Deli & Café (Pioneer Square): counter-service neighborhood shop offering comforting Korean food

Panama Hotel & Tea Shop (International District): historic tea house in the heart of the International District

Pie Bar (Ballard): sweet and savory pies made locally

The Crumpet Shop (Pike Place Market): Seattle’s first and original crumpet baking company



Annapurna (Capitol Hill): cuisine of Nepal, India, and Tibet

Café Flora (Madison Park): imaginative, locally grown vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free cuisine

Mamnoon (Capitol Hill): refined Levantine foods crafted for modern, healthy, compassionate and progressive communities

Marjorie Restaurant (Capitol Hill): funky, delicious, inspired cuisine

Oddfellows Café + Bar (Capitol Hill): all-day, all-night café and bar that serves simple, fresh food influenced by New American dishes

Ping’s Dumpling House (International District): known for their spiral-pinched xiao long bao soup dumplings

Tavolata (Belltown & Capitol Hill): fresh pasta made daily, from rigatoni to tonnarelli, spaghetti to linguine



Arte Noir (Central District): new arts and cultural space showcasing works by local Black artists

Foster/White Gallery (Pioneer Square): premiere West Coast gallery

Frye Art Museum (First Hill): gallery, exhibitions, programs, and community engagement—always free

  1. Rinehart Gallery (Pioneer Square): accessible fine art

Linda Hodges Gallery (Pioneer Square): showcase for prominent Pacific Northwest artists

Seattle Asian American Art Museum (Capitol Hill): recently renovated museum with an extensive Asian art collection

Wing Luke Museum (International District): museum focused on the culture, art, and history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders



Cal Anderson Park (Capitol Hill): located across from Elliott Bay Book Co., this open park invites walking, sitting, reading, informal sports in the meadow, and organized sports on the athletic field

Freeway Park (Convention Center): a resting space for residents, shoppers, downtown office workers, and visitors

Hing Hay Park (International District): park and cultural space popular for martial arts practitioners, quiet morning meditations, and the center of many festivals such as Lunar New Year

Myrtle Edwards Park (Seattle Waterfront): extending from Olympic Sculpture Park, this 1.25-mile bike and pedestrian path winds along Elliott Bay

Olympic Sculpture Park (Seattle Waterfront): nine-acre sculpture park featuring monumental artworks

Volunteer Park Conservatory (Capitol Hill): historic greenhouse near Seattle Asian Art Museum

Waterfall Garden Park (Pioneer Square): quiet urban park with a 22-foot waterfall



Common Area Maintenance (Belltown): gallery and open format generative studio

KOBO at Higo (International District): arts, craft, books, wearables, and unique gifts

Martyr Sauce (Pioneer Square): Black-owned, artist-led art gallery and neighborhood cultural space

Metzker’s Maps (Pike Place Market): specialty maps, globes, and travel goods

Rock Box (Capitol Hill): Japanese style karaoke

Seattle Great Wheel (Seattle Waterfront): Ferris wheel with views of Puget Sound


Travel by neighborhood:

  • Walkable from the Washington State Convention Center: Capitol Hill, Downtown, First Hill, Pike Place Market
  • A quick rideshare or taxi away: Belltown, Capitol Hill, International District, Pioneer Square
  • A little farther afield: Ballard, Central District, Fremont, Madison Park
Posted in 2022/23 Season