Best Philanthropist, New-School: Nick Hanauer Already a successful local businessman with his

Best Philanthropist, New-School:

Nick Hanauer

Already a successful local businessman with his family’s Pacific Coast Feather Company (what could be more Northwest than feathers?), Nick Hanauer joined the ranks of the seriously wealthy as an early investor in Amazon and by selling his Avenue A Media to Microsoft. Since then, he’s been a prominent investor and … more

Best Philanthropist, Old-School:

Paul G. Allen

While his old Microsoft buddy and co-founder Bill Gates is busy fighting malaria, the man behind the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has been reshaping his hometown. Though today a Mercer Island resident, the once-bearded billionaire’s giving goes way beyond the Seahawks’ improved fortunes in the NFL. Over the past 20 … more

Best Villain:

Poster Giant

Equipped with tomahawk staplers, the beast known as Poster Giant is a real-life terror on Seattle’s streets. Once, while on a valiant independent postering campaign, I encountered a Poster Giant acolyte. “You can’t poster here,” he sneered at me, holding his stapler at the ready and staring me down. “If you try, I’m going to take them … more

Best Gadfly:

Dave Meinert

The definition of gadfly, as provided by Merriam-Webster: “A person who stimulates or annoys, especially by persistent criticism.” While Seattle stalwart Dave Meinert tends to stimulate the Weekly more than he annoys us, there’s no question the man isn’t afraid to speak his mind. It’s a fact he’s proven time and time again over the … more

Best Lawyer:

James Egan

Get a DUI? James Egan is your man. Get punched in the face by a raging cop? Once again, James Egan is your man. Having built his Pioneer Square business defending alleged drunk drivers, more recently Egan has branched out, launching a social-justice onslaught that’s been a perpetual thorn in the sides of the Seattle Police … more

Best Place to People-Watch:

The Line at Salumi

Every workday except Monday, they line up like clockwork—waiting for cured-meat perfection. The line at Salumi never ceases to amaze; on a sunny day, when Seattle’s hipsters and cubicle-dwellers apparently have hour-plus lunch hours, it’s not uncommon for the line to stretch for a block. This captive environment—each … more

Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhood:

Hillman City

There are two up-and-coming stories happening in Hillman City, the outwardly sleepy strip between Columbia City and Rainier Beach. One is an immigrant story, as it has become a vibrant center of Seattle’s growing African Muslim community and other immigrant groups. Libra African Gifts keeps the latest Nigerian … more

Best Place to Eavesdrop:


It was a big year for eavesdropping, with Edward “I Showed Them!” Snowden outing the NSA’s effort to pump tech companies for users’ e-mails and phone records. And while some of the private industries put up a meager fight against the government’s demands to hand over e-mails, it seems Microsoft was more than happy to … more

Best New Icon:

Great Wheel

The city’s been going round in circles for years, so it’s only fitting that it’s got a Great Wheel to commemorate that civic trait. But what a wheel of fortune it is. Soaring 175 feet above Pier 57, the 280,300-pound Wheel, which opened June 29, 2012, has magically reshaped our skyline in ways incomparable—unless you … more

Best New Building Design:

LeMay-America’s Car Museum

Frank Gehry’s EMP Museum is now 13 years old. Since then, what new building has made an impact on our city? None. Instead, turn to Tacoma, where the LeMay-America’s Car Museum opened last year. Designed by Los Angeles architect Alan Grant to feature the 3,000-vehicle collection amassed by South Sound trash-hauling baron … more

Best Cemetery:

The Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery

Bruce Lee’s spirit may roam Lake View Cemetery at night, but I’m sure it’s wandered across the road to The Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery more than once. As one of Seattle’s most legendary warriors, he would probably have lots to chat about with the ghosts of the Civil War veterans who haunt the gorgeous space. Nestled … more

Best Impromptu Dog Park:

West Thomas Street Overpass

If you fence it, they will bark. Debate about the precious few off-leash dog runs in Seattle parks inevitably raises hackles, like talk of autism and vaccines or which bakery has the best gluten-free muffins. Yet the official sanctioning of a dog run makes it less fun, less outlaw. You, not the government’s hand, must pick up your dog’s … more

Best Geeky Hangout:

Wayward Coffeehouse

Wayward Coffeehouse accurately declares that it’s a “coffee haven for geeks.” As soon as you walk in, you’ll be blown away by the amazing pop-culture art and memorabilia that adorns the walls, counter space, and ceilings. (Firefly fans be warned that you’ll want every piece there.) Besides the decor, Wayward offers a hyperactive … more

Best Gaming Studio:

Big Fish Games

Casual gaming has become a real contender in the gaming market, and we’re lucky enough to have one of the best studios located in Seattle. Big Fish Games, founded in 2002 by Paul Thelen, creates and publishes online and mobile games that appeal to casual gamers. Its products have brought gaming to a whole new demographic, and I … more

Best Place to Meet Single Women:

PCC in Fremont

Maybe it’s the kombucha on tap. Or it could be the tasty roasted-mushroom-and-risotto cakes. Whatever it is, the PCC in Fremont has become a mecca for the city’s most organic, all-natural eligible ladies. Whilst picking up a nice slice of veggie pizza from the hot-food counter, it’s almost impossible to bestill your beating artichoke … more

Best Place to Meet Single Men:

Gamma Ray Games

If you are an eligible adventurer seeking well-equipped men with high Strength and Charisma stats to join your party, look no further. Full of some of the noblest gentlemen warriors in the kingdom, Gamma Ray Games is your one-stop shop for tabletop games, Magic: The Gathering cards, and single men. Time your arrival to Magic … more

Best Place for a First Date:

Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery

Taking a date to Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery is a great gauge of whether or not you should dump your potential new significant other. If they don’t enjoy their time at Bluebird, they probably just hate all good things/having fun. Surrounded by a holy matrimony of delicious in-house ice creams and microbrews, it’ll be hard … more

Best Place for a Last Date:

Liem’s Aquarium & Bird

The best place to start a last date is definitely an alleyway, which is exactly where Liem’s Aquarium & Bird Shop is located. When you enter through the small, dark door, a robotic automatic greeting message is triggered by a motion sensor that will startle you and your significant other, a premonition for the tragic finality this date … more

Best Place to Take Visitors:

Ferry ride to Vashon Island

I was reminded of the Emerald City’s enchanting charms on a recent flight back to Seattle. The panorama is breathtaking as you descend: A fleet of ferries dutifully chug to and fro like friendly cousins of Thomas the Tank Engine. Forest-green islands dot the sound, framed by the craggy peaks of the Olympic mountains, freshwater … more

Best Restroom, Men’s Division:

Elliott Bay Book Company

Sometimes I like to go in the bathrooms at Elliott Bay Book Company even if I don’t have to use the toilet. Designed like a model showroom in a Pottery Barn catalogue, the three huge restrooms at the back of the store’s cafe are absolutely immaculate. You’ve got the clean toilet, sure, but also so much more. While you do your … more

Best Restroom, Women’s Division:


No Best of Seattle™ list would be complete without a mention of Canlis. Sure, the restaurant has maintained a stellar reputation since opening in 1950 and their views of Lake Union are unbeatable, but it’s the water closet that beats the pants off that of every other restaurant in Seattle. The din of the spacious dining room fades away… more

Best Geeky Museum:

Living Computer Museum

Located in SoDo, the Living Computer Museum is the quintessential geek museum. Started by Paul Allen, it’s filled with machines and software from several different time periods. Brilliantly, the museum allows patrons to interact with “living” computers. Since it is hard to tell how computers and software have changed just by looking … more

Best Suburb:

White Center

On a walk one morning, I spotted a raccoon, freshly stripped of its fur, on the corner of a fence. I was horrified, but my boyfriend calmly reminded me of the man we often see in McLendon’s Hardware dressed mostly in animal pelts. In any other ’hood, such a sighting might point to some gruesome teenage prank, but in White Center … more

Best Viewpoint:

Kerry Park

Amateur shutterbugs, wedding parties, solitary dope smokers, tired stair-runners, miniskirted riders of the Party Bus, tourists, dog walkers, and pensive journalists—they all come to Kerry Park on the southern prow of Queen Anne Hill, overlooking all the city and Elliott Bay, the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier commanding the… more

Best Hotel Lobby:

Sorrento Hotel

Even on the sunniest of July days, a fire can be found in the lounge of the Sorrento Hotel. It is called the Fireside Lounge, after all. It’s also the kind of a place where a fire always fits the mood—intimate, romantic, deeply old-fashioned. First Hill’s Sorrento dates back to 1909, and its lounge feels like it was designed not long … more

Best Urban Picnic Spot:

T-105 Park

It’s hard not to feel as though you’re trespassing as you snake your way from Marginal Way to the tiny sliver of land along the Duwamish Waterway that is T-105 Park. Wedged between operational businesses that are the stuff of Seattle industry, the tiny park allows a rare glimpse of the river that’s been all but hidden from the city’s… more

Best-Kept Secret:

Pier 56

Do you need to patronize one of the restaurants along the downtown waterfront to enjoy the spectacular view across Elliott Bay? No, you don’t. As Seattle Weekly has reported in the past, property owners on the piers are required to set aside space for the public. It’s locating those public areas that can be a problem, given the lack… more

Best Remodel:

King Street Station

Seattle’s grand living room is bustling again, a civic treasure wondrously remade. The King Street Station is more than a mere train station. It is an essential civic space, a distinctive city portal that rekindles the lure of a romantic journey amid a gently swaying community. The elegance of train travel begins and ends at the station, of … more

Best Blog:

Seattle Transit Blog

Public transportation policy is like contraception: lots of people use it, but that doesn’t mean anyone wants to talk about it. The wonder of Seattle Transit Blog is that it finds ways to make even the most mind-numbingly nuanced aspects of transpo policy not only accessible but engaging. Witness the reams of comments most posts… more

Best Twitter:

Ken Jennings

Choosing to follow Ken Jennings on Twitter, one might expect to be titillated with 140-character outbursts of brain-teasers or trivia, or perhaps a random musing about maps. What one gets, though, tends to go something like this: “The cool thing about someone saying they’re a ‘cineaste’ is that then you get to murder them.” … more

Best Reporter:


Jseattle, who cranks out news on his Capitol Hill Blog at the rate of cable news channel ticker, shows us what a neighborhood blog can be. Packed with context, Justin Carder—as jseattle is known to the IRS—is straight-forward with his treatment of an area of Seattle that can get a little bit abstract and overwrought. And by … more

Best Newspaper Columnist:

Danny Westneat

Even by Danny Westneat standards, Danny Westneat is having a great year. Holding down The Seattle Times’ Sunday and Wednesday column slots, he’s done precisely what a metro columnist is supposed to do, shaking up cocktails of skepticism, reporting, and demagoguery that—somehow—both put into words what the … more

Best TV News Anchor:

Dan Lewis

The hair. When you’re talking about KOMO’s Dan Lewis, the conversation has to start and end with the hair. Always impeccable, never a wisp out of place, Lewis’ hair has anchored the KOMO newscasts since he arrived in Seattle in 1987. Oh, sure, Lewis’ body and brain has been along for the ride—interviewing presidents … more

Best Weathercaster:

Parella Lewis

Sure, Q13’s Parella Lewis sometimes takes a backseat to last year’s “Best Meteorologist” Walter Kelley, but that doesn’t mean she’s to be taken lightly. Quite the contrary. A former undercover cop and an expert ad-libber, Lewis has a cool command of the Q13 Weather Center that few rival. In her downtime she’s been known to snort … more

Best Reporter,TV/Radio:

Brandi Kruse

I saw Brandi Kruse cover this year’s May Day fiasco. She was wearing high heels and clutching a Starbucks cup, just as the “anarchists” were beginning their march from Capitol Hill to the downtown core. She looked a little out of place, but I’m sure she needed the coffee. By all indication, the woman doesn’t sleep … ever. A tireless … more

Best Politician:

Kshama Sawant

Seattle politics are so goddamn boring. With a few notable exceptions, our municipal elections amount to geriatric sausage-fests. The sausages in question are white. And they’re all, so to speak, members of the Democratic Party. It’s not because Kshama Sawant isn’t white, is a woman, or is on the unpickled side of 60 that … more

Best Press Releases:

Aaron Pickus

What’s the key to a great press release? Mayor McGinn’s righthand beard, Aaron Pickus, should know. Though this summer Pickus took leave from his post as the mayor’s spokesman to volunteer for the McGinn re-election campaign, handing mayoral PR responsibilities to Robert Cruickshank, Pickus’ prolific prowess makes … more

Best Weed-Related Blog Post:


Sure, when Washington voters passed Initiative 502, it was historic. But when the Seattle Police Department’s in-house blogger extraordinaire, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, wrote about the implications, the results went beyond historic: Shit got downright epic. Spangenthal-Lee’s … more

Best Blunder:

Weapons to Words—er, We Mean Rebar

In fairness, Weapons to Words—er, We Mean Rebar didn’t have quite the same ring. But that’s exactly how things unfolded after Mayor Mike McGinn took to the podium in early May to announce the city’s latest feel-good attempt at curbing gun violence. The program’s intended name was Weapons to Words, naturally … more

Best Car Share:


Nothing ruins a gorgeous Seattle sunrise or sunset like a traffic jam. No matter what poll you read, we consistently rank on the list of America’s most congested cities, and if you’ve ever tried to head in any direction on 99 during rush hour, you don’t need statistics to tell you that, do you? What Seattle drivers do need to be told—or… more

Best Bus Route:

Route 358

Oh, route 358, you poor, maligned thing. You course through the troubled water that is Aurora Avenue, serving Fremont frat boys and hard-up motel dwellers alike, packing ’em in and getting ’em home or downtown or anywhere but here. Between 7 and 8 a.m., nine of your green-and-yellow carriages will bear south, each one fuller … more