Though it’s only been a little over a year since our last update to The Modern List, Seattle has been bubbling with new places to explore almost every day. This year’s short list aims to satisfy the palate of design-leaning residents and visitors alike.


In a town known for its high quality coffee found on every other city block, Seattle still has room for more. We’ve seen a particular uptick in cafes opening up shop in some up and coming neighborhoods as well as one business that’s trying to fill the gaps with mobility.

 Elm Coffee Roasters, 240 2nd Ave S #103, Atelier Drome
Elm Coffee Roasters by Melanie Biehle for Seattle Refined
[Photo by Melanie Biehle]

 Broadcast Coffee*, 6515 Roosevelt Way NE, Trey Jones Studio
Coffee_Broadcast Roosevelt
[Image Credit: Jennifer Chong]

 Convoy Coffee, Mobile Coffee Cart
Coffee_Convoy Coffee
[Image Credit: Convoy Coffee]

The midday meal has, in recent years, been elevated to a dining experience on par with an evening out. As the city swells with new residents, a growing 9-5 working crowd, and an expanding flow of tourists, these spots offer a beautiful and delicious break from the day’s agenda.

 Cafe Barjot, 711 Bellevue Ave E, 206.457.5424
Brunch_Cafe Barjot
[Image Credit: Sweet Tooth in Seattle]

 Goldfinch Tavern, 99 Union Street (Four Seasons), 206.749.7070, EDG Design
Brunch_Goldfinch Tavern 2
[Image Credit: Eater Seattle]

 Meat and Bread, 1201 10th Ave, Babienko Architects
lunch_meat and bread
[Image Credit: Alex Garland for Capitol Hill Seattle]

It’s tough to keep up with the numerous new dining options that continue to pop up around Seattle. The pace is nowhere near slowing down, but for the moment, we have our favorites. (And we’re happy to see an addition to the BUILD neighborhood.)

 Stateside, 300 E Pike St, 206.557.7273, Heliotrope Architects
[Image Credit: Stateside]

 Salare, 2404 NE 65th St, 206.556.2192, Atelier Drome
[Image Credit: Suzi Pratt for Eater Seattle]

 Manolin, 3621 Stone Way N, 206.294.3331
[Image Credit: Manolin]

Whether you’re looking for a pre-dinner drink or a night cap, these new bars have staying power fueled by drinks both creative and consistent.

 Damn the Weather, 116 1st Ave S
Damn the Weather @ Pioneer Square in Seattle, WA
[Image Credit: Eater Seattle]

 Bitter/Raw, 952 E Seneca St, 206.323.5275, Babienko Architects and Gensler
Drinks_Bitter Raw
[Image Credit: In Your Head]

 Good Bar, 240 2nd Ave S, 206.624.2337, Strata Architects
Drinks_Good Bar
[Image Credit: Good Bar]

 Single Shot, 611 Summit Ave E, 206.420.2238
Drinks_Single Shot
[Image Credit: Single Shot]

While the trend towards a single type of dessert seems to have died down a bit, Seattle’s sweet tooth is still going strong. In true urbanist form, we’re recommending an alley-side ice cream shop and a brick-and-mortar bakery born out of a monthly pop-up.

 Kurt Farm Shop, 1424 11th Ave, Graham Baba Architects
Dessert_Kurt Farm Shop
[Image Credit: In Your Head]

 Coyle’s Bakeshop, 8300 Greenwood Ave N, 206.257.4736, Atelier Drome
Dessert_Coyle Bakeshop
[Image Credit: Coyle’s Bakeshop]

The past year has seen a big boost in art walks, aided by the multitude of neighborhood art walks and venues to support local artists showcasing their work. A high-profile museum expansion (technically a bit outside of Seattle) and a merger of a couple favorite local galleries in the past year are worth a visit.

 Roq La Rue (w/ LxWxH), 532 1st Ave, 206.274.8977
Museums_Roq la Rue
[Image Credit: Roq La Rue]

 Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253.272.4258, addition by Olson Kundig Architects
Museums_Tacoma Art Museum 2
[Image Credit: Olson Kundig Architects]

There’s something about shopping for beautiful objects in beautiful spaces that starts to blur the lines between commerce and art. Seattle’s been upping their retail game, tapping into some underrepresented demographics for high style.

light-blue-a NICHE Outside, 1424 11th Ave, 206.939.7913 Gardening accessories, Tyler Engle Architects
Store_Niche Outside 2
[Image Credit: NICHE Outside]

 Hammer & Awl, 1137 34th Ave, 206.992.7444 Clothing & accessories for men
Store_Hammer & Awl
[Image Credit: Hammer & Awl]

light-blue-a LIKELIHOOD, 1101 E Union St, Men’s footwear & sneaker boutique, Best Practice Architecture
[Image Credit: Footwear News]

A couple adds to the local hotel scene introduce a new boutique spot, as well as a historic hotel injected with a new concept and new life as a cultural hub.

 Sorrento Hotel, 900 Madison St, 206.622.6400, 76 rooms
Hotel_Sorrento Hotel 1
[Image Credit: Sorrento Hotel]

 Motif Seattle, 1414 5th Ave, 206.971.8000, 163 Rooms, Ankrom Moisan Architects
Hotel_Motif Hotel
[Image Credit: Motif Seattle]

Whether you live in Seattle or are just considering your first visit, the development boom of the city is no secret. We’ve grabbed a few of our favorites examples of development done right, and look forward to more projects like these popping up around town.

 12th Ave Arts, 1620 12th Ave, SMR Architects
Building_12th Avenue Arts
[Image Credit: 12th Ave Arts]

 Chophouse Row, 1458 11th Ave, SKL Architects and Graham Baba Architects
[Image Credit: SKL Architects]

 Rooster Apartments, 900 NE 65th St, Weinstein AU
[Image Credit: BUILD LLC]

Seattle’s been making small strides in big urbanism with the expanding network of bike-friendly, pedestrian-postured, and transit-minded moves in the past year. We’ve got bigger strides about to launch (see: light rail), but for now, we’re seeing the dots connecting our growing city.

 Pronto Cycle Share, multiple locations throughout Seattle, 884.677.6686
[Image Credit: Geekwire]

 Seattle Parklets and Streateries, multiple locations throughout Seattle
Landscapes_Parklet Molly Moon
[Image Credit: City of Seattle]

 Seattle Streetcar, multiple locations throughout Seattle
landscape_seattle streetcar first hill 2
[Image Credit: Seattle Transit Blog]

For the running list of mainstays and new adds, hop over to The Modern List Seattle. And new to the arsenal: a TML Instagram account, chronicling our modern adventures near and far. Give us a follow at @The_Modern_List.

Cheers from Team BUILD