Blue and small on the outside, knowledgeable staff on the inside! I have always had good luck with the fish purchased from The Fish Store. Sometimes, it is hit or miss with the staff, but usually they are pretty friendly and willing to help you figure out which fish to purchase. They have a huge selection of fresh water, brackish and salt water fish, along with live water plants. Parking is on the street, but not too hard to find a spot and it is right on the bus line.
This is the best place to buy seafood in Seattle. It is on Market Street, west of downtown Ballard, tucked in the back of a little convenience store. The seafood is so fresh they can and will tell you when it came off the boat. Try the smoked salmon, especially if it is Copper River season, yum! The staff is very knowledgeable and will help with recipes and suggestions on how to prepare the seafood.
Uwajimaya, located in the International District, fills the void of Seattle's Asian grocery stores. The grocery store is huge and has a lot of varieties of specialty produce and meat. There is also a reasonably priced gift shop and a food court attached to the large complex. Parking is free and plentiful in an area of Seattle where parking is hard to find. Try the frozen mo chi for a refreshing treat!
PROS: lots of parking!
I love Red Mill Burgers and the malts! You must try the Verde burger, smothered with Anaheim peppers, jack cheese and mill sauce (their special secret sauce). The burgers are all very affordable too. Limited seating and usually long lines, but worth the wait or take the burger to go.. and sit outside or hit up Greenlake Park. They also have a great "no cell phone policy" if you are in the restaurant.
Great place to go to get a lot of beer at a small price. The Sloop Tavern, located west of downtown Ballard, is considered a super fun (kind of divey) bar. They have the standard bar food, lots of fried food and sandwiches. There is a pool table and a few other arcade games. It is pretty smoky though!
PROS: right on the bus line
CONS: limited parking, mostly available on the street
Stone Gardens is a great place to get started in climbing. They have classes for beginners all the way up to advanced. The instructors are very experienced and make you feel safe and secure the whole time you are climbing. Located west of downtown Ballard, right on the bus lines and a few minutes from the Ballard Locks.
PROS: Lots of fun!
Golden Gardens is one of the best places to watch sunsets and relax on the beach. The best kept secret about the park is the ability to see tons of ocean life. On the long pier south of the park, there are many starfish, sun stars and anemones attached to the pier, look down when you walk out on the pier and you will be amazed. It is also a popular place to go crabbing. Every once in a while you can even see sea lions swimming out past the break.
PROS: lots of parking
The Paramount is a fabulous restored theatre with a variety of shows, ranging from rock to soul music and Broadway musicals. The auditorium (also turns into a ballroom) is very ornate with a lot of beautiful lighting and gold touches with plush velvet everywhere. Some of the limited viewing seats are offered at a discounted price and most of the time you can't even tell that it is limited viewing.
Elliott Bay Book Company is located south of downtown in Pioneer Square. There is a great feel to this bookstore, walls of books on wooden shelves.
I have found great travel, children's and cooking books here! The staff is very friendly and will go out of their way to help you find the book you are looking for. It is a great place to check out on a rainy day, grab a tasty coffee too!
The Cherry Street Coffee House is perfectly located in Belltown on First Avenue. They have a wide variety of pastries and different types of coffees to choose from. I like to sit in the front window and watch all the Belltown character walk by. They also have Wi-Fi service for those of you unable to unplug yourself.