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The West Seattle Agenda

It's easy to get to West Seattle, and you don't need a car! From downtown Seattle, just get on the RapidRide C-Line, the 55, or the 21. You'll know you're almost there when you cross the bridge. It takes about 15 minutes with traffic. Get off at the California Junction, near Easy Street Records, and explore!


Outwest Bar


Outwest has been called "the friendliest gay bar in Seattle" by more than one of my friends, and I have to agree. The look is that of a small-town gay bar, and the clientele span the demographic rainbow, more so than any of the niche bars you'll find downtown. Underwear nights have become famous for being the only underwear night where nobody needs to feel self-conscious. Lesbian karaoke nights are the best energy and crowd you'll find anywhere in town. The bar staff are friendly, real, and skilled. I can't recommend Outwest enough.
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Realfine Coffee


Realfine coffee is a small, beautiful treasure of an espresso joint, featuring the best people-watching in West Seattle, due to being directly attached to Rudy's Barber Shop. Sip your excellently crafted espresso in bliss as you watch the parade of cuties shaping their hair into all the modern configurations. Don't worry about ammonia — all you'll smell is complex, smoky artisan espresso; nobody is getting a perm at Rudy's.
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Locol


Legendary date nights look like Locol. You can't get more intimate. The tables are mainly two-tops, and the bar is small, so bring your favorite person, but not your favorite people. I consider the scale a feature, and not a drawback. The beers are local, high quality, and tasty, and the wines are excellent. The lighting and design of the place are so impeccable, but not at all ostentatious. Candles and warm light make all the wood surfaces shimmer like amber. The live music is always good, but never overwhelms the conversation.
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Buddha Ruksa


Eternally packed with customers, for good reason, Buddha Ruksa is the Thai crown jewel of West Seattle dining. Great with friends, or a date, as long as you don't mind the wait. Their website says they take reservations, but I've never had luck making one. It's worth it anyway. Coming before five, or after seven makes things faster. The drinks are really good, and there are some tasty import beers available. Everyone says this, but don't skip the Crispy Garlic Chicken. It's like the real, gorgeous version of the thing everyone else makes the fake cartoon version of.
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West Seattle Brewing Co.


West Seattle Brewing Co. is relatively new to our area. Every measure has been taken to create an ideal brewery and pub right at the mouth of the bridge. You can practically trick your friends into getting on the wrong bus to meet you here. The atmosphere is fun, beautifully lit (hooray for golden lights!), and down-to-earth. All sorts are welcome. The crowd is a mixture of local weirdos and mid-30s business types. Highly recommended.
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Rudy's West Seattle


There is simply no point in going anywhere else to get your hair cut. Rudy's is the place to get modern, precision styles at an affordable price. Stylists efficiently manage their clients with appropriate guidance and excellent skill. Any look you've ever wanted is possible at Rudy's, and the stylists are better than most at figuring out what you're going for. Don't get caught at the strip mall places when you could be coming to Rudy's.
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Easy Street West Seattle


Easy Street is the last great record store, and we're lucky to have a location in West Seattle. Not just "a location" — THE location, if you ask me. The connected diner is phenomenal (get "The Betty" breakfast burrito). I frequent the music side on the regular to find out-of-print '90s CDs. The upstairs is dedicated to a healthy collection of vinyl. The decor is chaotic, and maddening, just like it should be. Easy Street is like the Roger Rabbit version of a record store, and I love it. Don't miss this. We're the last generation who gets to have record stores.
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Click Design


Click Design is a life-saver of a gift shop. They’ll make you look thoughtful and classy in under 10 minutes, practically guaranteed. They have gift-wrapping options, and plenty of excellently gay cards to match any occasion. The location is small, brightly lit, and clean. Everyone is sweet. After a few years of shopping here, I was also impressed when management and employees took a few days off, simultaneously. An email went out to all the folks who shop here, to let us know. It showed a lot of regard for the employees that they were not left out of the well-earned break. Click is where I got my first Fatboy chair, my favorite pair of headphones, practically every gift I’ve given anyone over the past five years, and half of my household’s dishes. I could go on, but I won’t. Check out their gorgeous website.
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Pecado Bueno


Really, really good burritos, crispy, fresh chips, and aweome guacamole. Pecado Bueno is a fun, colorful place with a great back porch featuring a fire pit and covered seating. Beer on tap. Admittedly it goes a little Chuck E. Cheese in here during prime dining hours, but if you can catch them at a nonstandard dining time, you'll probably get to skip most of the screaming West Seattle babies, and just focus on stuffing your face.
Alternately, DoorDash will deliver Pecado Bueno deliciousness to your home.

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Capers


Auntie Mame wants to decorate your condo. Or at least Capers will make you feel that way. Tons of excellent interior accessories, and a carefully selected collection of great furniture and fabrics are at your disposal. The stylish, savvy ladies who work the shop attentive, inventive, and sweet. The art for sale is in a league of its own. It's hard to avoid spontaneous purchases at Capers. Just go in ready to buy. (This is also a #1 spot for just-right mom / mother-in-law / gay uncle gifts.)
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Admiral Theater


The Admiral Theater was built in 1942, and has barely changed at all since then, from the look of things. New more comfey seats and great picture/sound are the only give-aways. The ticket guy will still sell you your ticket, snatch it back from your hand one moment later, and then sell you a bag of popcorn all in one motion. It's awesome. Admiral Theater shows a string of blockbusters one their two available screens, and nothing stays for long, but the result is that you get a chance to see everything the bigger plexes have, in a much better venue. Bring your friends. The nearby bars and restaurants are great, too.
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About the Mini Bears

West Seattle Mini Bears is a fun, collectible card game that pays homage to the cute, unhinged appeal that you'll only find in the West Seattle.

About the Author

I'm the Creative Director for a fancy game publisher, and love my job. In my free time, I draw cartoons, play import '90s games (especially love collecting PC-FX, FM Towns, and PC Engine stuff), and listen to game soundtracks. I'm 38, and have lived with my partner in West Seattle (of course) for 10 years.