Top things to do

Top Choice Cinema in U District

Grand Illusion Cinema

Totally unique! Far from being a reincarnated Gilded Age movie house, the Grand Illusion sits in an old dentist's office. Run by volunteers and passionately not-for-profit, it has a cherished national reputation amo…
Top Choice Breakfast in U District

Portage Bay Cafe

Hugely popular brunch spot and for good reason. Aside from the usual suspects (eggs, bacon, pancakes), there’s a help-yourself breakfast bar loaded with fresh fruit, cream, syrup, nuts and the like (all local, of co…
Top Choice Books in U District

University Book Store

University Book Store is a vast all-purpose book emporium founded in 1900, making it Seattle's oldest. Its huge catalog of tomes is a browser's dream, and helpful staff, a regular program of events and a cozy cafe m…
Top Choice Bar in U District

Blue Moon

A legendary counterculture dive that first opened in 1934 to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition, Blue Moon makes much of its former literary patrons – including Dylan Thomas and Allen Ginsberg. The place is agreeab…
University in U District

University of Washington

Founded in 1861, Seattle's university is almost as old as the city itself and is highly ranked worldwide (the prestigious Times Higher Education magazine listed it 32nd in the world in 2016). The college was origina…
Landmark in U District

Suzzallo Library

The architecturally minded will be interested in the University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library. Designed by Carl Gould in 1926, this bibliophile’s dream was inspired by Henry Suzzallo, UW’s president at the time. …
Vegan in U District

Chaco Canyon Café

Possibly Seattle's most ethical restaurant, Chaco Canyon (there are now three outposts) serves vegan food from a revolving cache of partner farms (all in Washington state). It's also big on raw food. If you’re a fir…
Museum in U District

Burke Museum

An interesting hybrid museum covering both natural history and indigenous cultures of the Pacific Rim. On the entry-level floor is, arguably, Washington's best natural-history collection, focusing on the geology and…
Cafe in U District

Café Allegro

You can dispel a few urban myths in Café Allegro. It is this place, not Starbucks, that is the oldest functioning coffee bar in Seattle. Founded in 1975, it was a bona fide espresso bar when Starbucks was still just…
Market in U District

U District Farmers Market

A market has been held every Saturday in the vicinity of the university year-round since 1993. Faithful to the spirit of farmers markets, the U District's is a food-only affair – all of its displayed produce comes f…