Moving to Seattle from Cambridge, MA...where should I live?
I'll be moving to Seattle for a year, maybe two, and I will be working at the Hutch. I was joking with a friend about moving to the center of mass of Eater's "where to eat now" map, adjusting for the coffee and drinking maps, but now I'm thinking seriously that I SHOULD be prioritizing the food options when I choose a neighborhood. So, I'm turning to the experts.
Is there a nice neighborhood, preferably directly bus-able to the Hutch, that has very good coffeeshops (I realize those are mostly everywhere, but still, I want to be sure), cheap but quality grocery stores, and that is conveniently located to a good amount of chowhound adored restaurants, the kind that I'd want to go to often, with good beer for after work? I get the feeling that Capitol Hill may be sort of what I want, but perhaps I could do better with everyday food like groceries (as well as housing) being cheaper.
I'm in my mid-twenties, just finished grad school, not single but will be living alone and don't know many people there, and want to make the most of my fairly limited time in Seattle (before I probably move back to Portland...sorry...I want to love both places!).
Eastlake up the street from The Hutch has a few great restaurants and some great patios for Seattle Summer Sunset dinings. Eastlake has Voxx which serves Oregon's Stumptown Coffee
Eastlake also has some stellar options for eating like Little Water Cantina, Ravish, Blind Pig Bistro, Serafina, and Hiroshi's and Sushi Kappo Tamura.
Cap Hill is another bet and will be more livelier with more bars, coffee shops, and restaurants in walking distance. I'm sure you can find an apt available near Melrose Market.
+1 on all shaolin said, but would also suggest looking on Queen Ann Hill, a quick 10 minutes from SLU neighborhood - where Hutch is - and a bit removed from the increasing density of that area - a little more laid back. As close to Downtown as SLU, but closer to Belltown, and just - well different. So Eastlake, Capitol Hill (which is actually several neighborhoods; Broadway, Pike/pine, 15th Ave area, N capitol hill, and more), actually moving to SLU, which is a neighborhood to live in, but looks more like to work in so far (very NEW), and Queen Ann, which consists of Upper and Lower QA). I bet that is alot to chew on right there!
The Cascade / South Lake Union neighborhood is on fire, the fruit of long intention, and has it all.
Urban transit of the first order brings you all of it.
I'd do Capitol Hill. It has the best concentration of food and coffee. It's a great 'hood for people in their 20s (and other ages, but it seems like a law in Seattle that we all live on CH in our 20s. Then we want to buy and have to move off the Hill). Plus it would be easy to get to the Hutch.
Nothing against Eastlake but is there even a grocery store there? South Lake Union is another possiblity, and you could walk to work, but I think Whole Foods might be your only grocery option, and I bet that isn't as cheap as you want. SLU is also kind of a funny place--it's a very new "neighborhood"--lots of new condos is what was a light industrial area. And for all the new people that live there and the new restaurants and bars, it can feel really dead at night. It's not lively like CH at all.
I would agree with Ballard but I think you're looking at a bus transfer to get you to work--I don't think there's a direct. Ballard is hard w/o a car IMO--it's geographically a big neighborhood.
Don't base your living decisions in a city like Seattle based on foodie fads. If you want fairly direct bus routes to Hutch, start with that, and then investigate the character and prices of Seattle's distinctive neighborhoods to discover the "vibe" you love. Once you pick your nest, you'll enjoy going to other neighborhoods for food expeditions.
Capitol Hill seems to me like a best bet, based on the criteria you've set forth, and also your age and circumstances. There are regular grocery stores and a wide range of rental pricing, as well as the vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene along Broadway. But there are lots of other possibilities along or near express bus lines, in the north end, and elsewhere.
Come to Seattle and look around on your own before forming too much of a geographical game plan, some neighborhood will feel "just right" if you explore. When I first planted my flag here, over 30 years ago, it was in a one bedroom apartment on Phinney Ridge, right across from the zoo. Fond memories remain of those days.....