Belltown has undergone many changes throughout the years, but has settled into a vibrant downtown core rife with both professionals and artists, though it still maintains a slight industrial vibe. The residences are comprised mostly of lofts, condos, and apartments in hollowed-out factories, and tend to reach the upper scale of rents in Seattle. Belltown is home to two major Seattle attractions, Pike Place Market (where they throw the fish), and Olympic Sculpture Park, which is free and open to the public. The core features an abundance of restaurants, nightclubs, high-end boutiques, and cafes, all of which provide the setting for some of the most frenzied nightlife in Seattle.
Belltown, Seattle Data : Neighborhoods & Travel – Score out of 100
Belltown, Seattle Reviews
Ed Hardy Tee's and Dresses Above-the-Knee
Belltown has earned an unfortunate reputation as a meat-market, overrun by those who like to overindulge and look like they belong more on reality TV than in the confines of this green, coffee-guzzling, hipster city. Don’t let this scare you off as Belltown offers a plethora of worthy dining destinations, gorgeous condos and a convenient location that can’t be beat.
Belltown is a neighborhood that has a lively nightlife most every Seattleite admits to trying at least once. The heart of it sits on 1st Avenue where names like Amber, Del Rey, Twist, Cellars, Belltown Billiards and The Frontier Room are often packed to capacity on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s admittedly a fun scene for singles, but grows tiresome quickly. Try them for happy hour for a change of pace. There’s also plenty of other nearby escapes like Black Bottle, The Local Vine, El Gaucho, List and the relatively new Ventana (to gain your footing try the Belltown Food Tour by Seattle Food Tours!) which feature an array of wines and international bites to delight the senses, sans the drunk masses.
Along with the gastronomic pleasures one can easily encounter in Belltown, there are also plenty of beautiful residences in the area to call home. However, with convenience (and often a killer view of the Puget Sound and city skyline to boot) comes expense, and Belltown is no exception. This is a great area for young professionals or empty-nesters as this area isn’t family-friendly.
It’s rare that a district within Seattle gets four straight says of shout outs on the local news. Thinking they are things like, “Come and check out this great restauraunt?” Well, you’d be wrong. It was more like some guy was shot in the jaw waiting outside of a club, or another jumped and beaten…things of that caliber.
But wait! Don’t count out what according to the news seems like the resurgence of early 1800’s NYC’s five points. As most of us know, the news has this special way of keeping us in fear of pretty much everything. Just like any metropolis, the hub of the new found club area becomes the hotspot for knuckleheads and a few criminals for a while. We all know the police crackdown is coming and then the question will be…is it still hip? It really feels like a slightly less cheezy version of Pioneer Square, so that works in it’s favor.
In any city people are always trying to find the hotspot that is either off the beaten path, hidden away in some cul de sac, or under a bridge; or looking for the slightly lower key version of something else. It really is a shame that there is a criminal presence there at all, I think Belltown is quickly becoming a very chill place to hang out, drink, people watch (That’s just what I do, I’m not a dancer).
The food in the area is decent and the scene is fun…as long as you don’t get robbed. So still visit and check it out for yourself. Just make sure you go in a group and stay away from anyone who looks like trouble, just use common sense and you’ll be fine.
Belltown: Where Locals Can Be Tourists Too
Shops, cafes, and locally owned restaurants sit below condos on the streets of Belltown. It could be Tuesday night, but it won’t be hard to find a lively late night happy hour. And if you don’t mind walking a few blocks, parking is not always impossible, and it’s free after 6pm and all day Sunday.
Parts of Belltown will be swarming with tourists on the weekends, but perhaps that explains a lot about Belltown residents, who appreciate the sleeplessness of downtown living. With museums and other city attractions just blocks away, they too can be tourists in their own city. But the fresh, northwest cuisine of Pike’s Market is a regular grocery affair for them, and the downtown shops just blocks away replace indoor shopping malls.
Like any downtown city, not 100% of Belltown’s residents are urban professionals. Some make their bed on the sidewalk and their money selling drugs. Although neighborhood drug dealers are never desirable, the majority of the homeless drug users are quite harmless. If you don’t want their deals, they won’t deal with you.
Of all the nabes in Seattle, living, shopping, and eating in Belltown is uniquely “Seattle.” You’ll pay extra for a condo and even more for your own parking place ($100-150 monthly). But in Belltown it’s all about location. Even in the midst of the big city, you can still find your favorite pub and cafe and make it yours. Whether you feel like walking, riding the bus for free downtown, or jogging along the Puget Sound, you’ll never want for better people watching or trendier places to meet your friends.
The Land of Young Wealth and Condos
Belltown is a great nabe to live in Seattle if you’re a young upwardly mobile professional—and I could not mean that in a better way. It’s close to everything that the heart of Seattle has to offer and there’s plenty of high-end condos, apartments, botiques, bars, etc. Belltown has all the charm of wealth and success.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting in a coffee shop and seen a guy in really nice clothes and gone, “Man, I wish I was that guy,” only to later overhear him talking about purchasing, selling, or otherwise real-estate-dealing a condo in Belltown. Okay that’s only happened three times, but honestly, three times.
The good life.
Belltown: Where people from Bellevue go on Saturdays
A long time ago Belltown was a low income artsy industrial area and you can still see glimpses of its past through its shiny new exterior. Low income house, DSHS and a few of the old bars are still there but they are now surrounded by trendy new bars and night clubs. On the Saturdays you can barely see the homeless people between all the dressed up 20 something’s coming to wine, dine and schmooze. Belltown is where people who live outside of Seattle go for bachelor/ette parties so beware on the weekends, it can turn into armature hour..all night long. If you want to really see Belltown, during the week is a good time. The bartenders are happy to converse and almost seem to like their jobs. Belltown is also home to some of the last standing dive bars in the middle of the city. The Nitelite Lounge and The Blarny Stone Pub, both in between Belltown and Downtown, are classic dives when you just want to have a cold beer and a bartenders who’s sassy. With over 100 different restaurants in Belltown, you’ll find something you love there. There are some unique art galleries that showcase some of the best up and coming local artists and every once in a while there will be an amazing show at The Crocodile or The Rendezvous. Belltown is a great place to visit but living there can be tiring because the noise is nonstop. Most people who live there don’t stay long or are new to the city and their company relocated them in one of the newer condos.
“Enough of the goings-away, the stores closing, the restaurants moving out, the high-rise apartment tower condemned and in the process of being vacated (pending legal actions).
Let’s talk about what we’ve got in Belltown. And what we’re getting.
We remain the most densely populated neighborhood in the state.
We’ve got a dynamic juxtaposition of classes and subcultures.
We’ve got the Market, the Center, the Hill, the Waterfront, and the downtown core at our borders.
We’ve got active groups of residents and merchants working to improve and enhance this neighborhood AS a neighborhood, as a place to truly live in.”
-Clark Humphrey, Editor
Heart of Seattle
I’m still pretty new to Seattle, but have been absolutely falling in love with my neighborhood, Belltown. I can walk everywhere (Pike Place, Sculpture Park, Seattle Center, etc), and there are a ton of great restaurants, bars/lounges and cool young people in the area. Another huge benefit is that my friends from other parts of Seattle are always up for coming to me because they want to go out in Belltown.