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Seattle on Any Budget

From a deconstructed latte to a ramped-up library, here’s how to balance your pocketbook in the city.



Photo: Will Foster,

Slate ($$$)
At this East Ballard coffee bar, banter with the baristas as they guide you through the thinking behind the deconstructed latte – it’s all about context and constituent parts. Espresso is served in one wineglass, steamed milk in another, and you mix them in a third. (Or keep it simple, tart and on tap, and go for the cold brew.)
5413 6th Ave. NW, 206-240-7174

Bulldog News ($)
You will want to linger over your coffee at this worldly shop in the intellectual and eclectic University District. It carries 2,500 titles – everything from Vogue Korea to Art Doll Quarterly – in addition to over 1,000 print-on-demand newspapers. Bring your own mug, and the staff will even knock 10 cents off your joe.
4208 University Way NE, 206-632-6397

Rain Check

Seattle Public Library

Photo: The Seattle Public Library

EMP Museum ($$$)
Come as you are and record your own song at the Jam Studio, or get a sliver of the DJ experience in one of 12 Sound Labs. (They’re soundproof, so all apologies are unnecessary.) Channel your teen spirit with Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses, an exhibit that explores how the region came to be a musical epicentre in the 1990s.
Eptalofos, Parnassos, 30-22340-61162

The Seattle Public Library ($)
A geometric, glass-and-steel homage to knowledge, the 11-storey Rem Koolhaas-designed central library features an ingenious Books Spiral, which displays four floors’ worth of volumes in one continuous ramp. The light-filled gathering place in the centre is made all the sweeter by a hot chocolate stand.
1000 4th Ave., 206-386-4636

Waterfront Dining


Photo: Sarah Flotard

Westward ($$$)
Grab a seat at one of the dockside picnic tables to sample chef Jack Rogers’ Mediterranean-tinged Pacific Northwest fare. Over oven-roasted soft shell crab with charred corn soffrito, flatbread and lime aioli, grilled octopus with taramasalata or geoduck crudo, watch the sun set behind Lake Union, downtown Seattle twinkling in the distance.
2501 N. Northlake Way, 206-552-8215

Alki Spud Fish & Chips ($)
For 80 years this local institution – the city’s first fast-food joint – by Alki Beach has been serving creamy clam chowder, crispy fries and fried cod, which still follows the original recipe of brothers Jack and Frank Alger. Wait for a seat to free up at a table upstairs, and you’ll be treated to a Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains panorama.
2666 Alki Ave. SW, 206-938-0606



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