This is a freelance piece I was commissioned to do for Matador Network (www.matadornetwork.com). Enjoy!
Fremont is Seattle’s quirky neighborhood to the north, about a 15 minute bus ride from downtown. The unique vibe makes it a place to shop unlike no other part of Seattle. Fremont, although gaining in popularity among tourists, is fairly off the beaten path when compared to the routine destinations. For a relatively small neighborhood, there is a wide variety of vintage stores, and these are some of the best.
Gold Dogs (https://www.etsy.com/shop/GoldDogsCo) (3519 Fremont Pl N)
Nestled underneath a whisky bar, Gold Dogs is your quintessential vintage shop. It doesn’t have a particular theme, but rather a multitude of items. In one corner are leather boots, belts, handbags and luggage. In another spot you have authentic Pendleton jackets and blankets next to trucker hats. Pashminas and funky hats adorn a table opposite a display of denim cutoffs with sewn-in patterned pockets. It is easy to get lost for a while in the wide assortment of brass and stone rings for only $19. A fun and overall reasonably priced shop.
Boot Girl (459 N 36th St)
This place has, you guessed it, boots. Lots and lots of mostly leather boots that have been reworked with salvaged materials. Boots for men, women, and children line the walls of this smaller shop which sits underneath the Fremont Coffee Company. The items that are not boots are pieces that pair nicely with boots: Jeans, flannels and button-ups, woven scarves, flirty dresses, and metal and turquoise jewelry. There are even adorable toddler size flannels and little boots that make great gifts. Boot Girl keeps the theme fairly simple and the overall feel is that you have briefly teleported to Austin, TX. The boots are reasonably priced per wear and you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 for a well-worn pair to up to $200 for ones like new.
Fremont Vintage Mall (3419 Fremont Pl N)
The Fremont Vintage Mall is the place to go if you are looking for sports memorabilia, records, and other collectibles. Walking down the stairs beneath Jai Thai restaurant, the hallway is painted with familiar characters like Betty Boop, Wonder Woman, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and R2D2, giving you an idea of what’s in store for you when you reach the bottom. There are also unique home décor items like bear skins, tribal totem masks, and big brass Buddha heads. This store is the largest and has the biggest variety when it comes to selection and price.
Atlas (3509 Fremont Place N)
Atlas used to be a part of and has the same owners as the Fremont Vintage Mall. They were once in the same building until it became too big to contain all the goodies. Atlas has the same retro feel but is more clothes and jewelry focused than its sister store. Each section is rented out by different vendors who update their “closets” on a weekly basis, so each corner is different from the next. Reasonably priced items, again depending on the vendor. Bonus: on Friday and Saturday nights the local comedy and improv group ComedySportz Seattle performs on stage in the theater behind the store / the attached theater houses the local comedy and improve group ComedySportz Seattle (http://seattlecomedygroup.com/).
Wish (465 N 36th St. Suite A)
Wish owners Sabrina and Steve are craftspeople and designers of clothes and costume jewelry, and these creations are proudly displayed in their shop. Wish is their smaller boutique (the larger one is in Wallingford), but its spunk more than makes up for its size. The style is hippie bohemian festival wear mixed with utilitarian pieces. The shop worker tells me that Wish is a fairly popular destination for tourists, and she has met people from Norway, Germany, and Taiwan who have come to check out the store.
Fremont Sunday Market (3401 Evanston Ave N)
You can’t talk about Fremont shopping without mentioning the Sunday Market. Every Sunday, rain or shine (or overcast), the market blocks off N 34th St between Phinney and Evanston with weekly staples and new surprises each time. Sellers come from all over Seattle and other parts of the Pacific Northwest to directly sell their goods. This is the perfect place to find a unique gift for someone. Woodworkers carve wine stoppers before your eyes and glass blowers sell their hand-blown pipes. There is a man I see there every week whose stand is full of handmade jewelry, gems, and other treasures brought back from Thailand. “The Gypsy Tent” houses delicate lace kimonos and woven wool yoga blankets. A woman drives her VW bus up from Portland, the inside of which is lined with succulents and art. You can also find crystals, books, homemade honey and jam, candles, soap, and other farmers’ market staples like fresh fruit and flowers. The price range for the Fremont Sunday Market varies between vendors and what you are purchasing, but most items are pleasantly affordable. Just be sure to bring cash to trade for your treasures.