Pioneer Square Pergola Photo Jorge Garrido
Grand Central | Lauren Stelling
Photo: Diesel Demon
Photo: Nicholas Boos
Photo: David Newman
Photo: David Newman

Pioneer Square

A neighborhood defined by its colorful past

The city’s original downtown is booming once more. Explore the old and the new with a tour of everything from the neighborhood’s long-hidden sunken streets to its fresh, innovative eateries.

Kraken Congee Photo: Jeriel Calamayan

Kraken Congee Photo: Jeriel Calamayan


Bon Appétit hailed Damn the Weather as one of 2015’s best new bars across America. Don’t miss its octopus risotto and inventive cocktails like the Haitian old fashioned with rum and creole bitters. Another standout newcomer is the Estates Wine Room, which brought wine tastings to this trendy district. Go Southern Italian with Radici, upscale-Mexican with Casco Antiguo, or ingredient-forward Northwest at The London Plane. Layer in Asian flavors with Kraken Congee, which evolved from a pop-up into a brick-and-mortar hot spot serving rice porridge with Filipino and Japanese flavors.

Drygoods Design | Lauren Stelling

Drygoods Design Photo: Lauren Stelling


Browse old-timey tinctures and pioneer-chic accessories at E. Smith Mercantile. Next door stands the Fireworks Gallery, selling adorable socks alongside Squishables (rotund stuffed animals) and home décor items like paper lamps. Pop into Laguna Pottery for deals on functional and decorative ceramics, then stock up on sweets at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Casco Antiguo Photo: Ben Lindbloom

Casco Antiguo Photo: Ben Lindbloom


Glimpse Seattle’s roots on the Underground Tour, which explores the now-subterranean streets and shops of 19th-century Seattle. Then stop by the free Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, chronicling the 70,000 prospectors who flowed through here with dreams of lucky strikes in the Yukon. Delve into more recent history at the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum and the free Last Resort Fire Department, the Northwest’s largest collection of antique motorized blaze-battling equipment. Then relax at the Waterfall Garden pocket park—featuring manmade falls—or get goose bumps during a Spooked in Seattle ghost tour.


Casco Antiguo 115 Occidental Ave S; Damn the Weather 116 First Ave S; E. Smith Mercantile 208 First Ave S; Estates Wine Room 307 Occidental Ave S; • Fireworks Gallery 210 First Ave S; *Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park 319 Second Ave S; Kraken Congee 88 Yesler Way; Laguna Pottery 116 S Washington St; Last Resort Fire Department 301 Second Ave S; • *The London Plane 300 and 322 Occidental Ave S; Radici 314 Second Ave S; Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory 99 Yesler Way; Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum 317 Third Ave S; Spooked in Seattle 102 Cherry St; *Underground Tour 614 First Ave; undergroundtour.comWaterfall Garden 219 Second Ave S

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