Hello, there. I must admit, University Village is one of the best places to stroll in Seattle. Though it’s not in the city, it is a wonderful outdoor-shopping-style place. And, of course, the holidays only make it more special.
You honestly can’t go wrong with any of the stores at U. Village, but here are a few “don’t miss” hits.
1. The home stores are a delight to visit this time of year, and U. Village’s top range of these will not disappoint! My favorites are Crate & Barrel (attainable & easy-to-copy Christmas decoration ideas), Jonathan Adler (quirky pieces that have a total 60s retro vibe to them), Pottery Barn (simply because everything in there is so lovely to look at), and Restoration Hardware (there are two tables with stocking stuffer ideas that are so ingenious and fun to play with).
2. Sister stores J. Crew and Madewell are a delight to visit, and I love getting inspiration from the mannequin outfits they have set up in the stores. I’ll admit, I snap pictures of them quite often to save for later (am I the only one that does that?). By the way, this is the only Madewell store you’ll find in the Seattle area (the other one is in Bellevue). Anthropologie is also here, and the homewares at this location outshine any other Anthro I’ve been to. Of course, I never fail to visit H&M, though I must admit that this one is not my favorite. It just doesn’t seem very well organized and the sizing is really strange at this one in particular— just thought I should let you all know!
3. Of course, I can’t pass up the opportunity to have a quick bite at U. Village, because the choices are so great! If you’re looking for a quick bite, the big Starbucks on the corner across from Pottery Barn Kids is wonderful. It’s always crowded, but it’s a top spot for university students, and for good reason. The atmosphere is friendly, warm, and inviting. If you want something more substantial, I can’t say enough great things about Din Tai Fung (I might have to write an entire blog post on this restaurant specifically— that’s how good it is). It’s a restaurant line directly from Asia, and we are one of the only cities to have it in the United States. Also, Elemental has delicious pizza with fresh ingredients you can taste. And for dessert? Well, don’t get me started! There’s Tokyo Sweets, if you’re in the mood for Japanese-style crepes that are oh-so-good. There’s also a Red Mango, if you’re a fan of soft-serve frozen yogurt (I am obsessed with Red Mango). And then there’s Molly. Molly Moon’s, that is.Well Molly Moon’s is in a league of their own in the Seattle ice cream scene. I really can’t even describe it, so just promise me that you’ll try it, dear reader, next time you get the chance. You don’t even need an occasion to visit Molly Moon’s. In fact, simply visiting is an occasion in and of itself!
Price: Free, unless you buy stuff (obviously)
Local Trick: If you’re there in the evening, go to the top of the big parking garage by Din Tai Fung. It is a beautiful view of the whole shopping area and a wonderful vantage point to catch all the Christmas decorations!
Location: 2623 Northeast University Village Street #7, Seattle, WA 98105
Dates/Times: The shopping part is open 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and closes at 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve. They’re closed Christmas Day.