Capitol Hill is basically a stoner’s playground. There are parks with cushy grass to lay out on, ample eateries to satisfy your munchies, and at least three big grocery stores and two gas stations you can pop into for a bottle of Gatorade to quench your dry mouth. Paradise! If you’re 21 and older, go ahead and pop an edible, layer up, and bring a sturdy bag—it’s time for a nice stoned walk.
📸: The Reef
One of my favorite cannabis dispensaries in Seattle is The Reef in Capitol Hill, right on Denny and Olive.
From the outside, it may look like an extremely well-lit hipster Apple Store, but trust me, picking up weed here is inviting and smooth. Whether you’re looking for pre-rolls, cheap eighths, or 1:1 THC/CBD gummies, the knowledgeable budtenders at The Reef can hook you up with high-quality, pesticide-free products. (Remember to show your appreciation with a tip.)
On your way out, give a little salute to the graffiti artist Weirdo’s giant mural of Jacques Cousteau on the Summit Ave-facing exterior wall. The late, intrepid oceanographer is the patron saint of your stoned journey through this neighborhood. Remember to imbibe legally and respectfully.
📍The Reef Cannabis Dispensary
1525 E Olive Way
Carmelo’s Tacos is a true champion of the Capitol Hill dining scene. This family-run, take-out-only spot inside Hillcrest Market is the perfect thing to eat while doing literally anything—pre-gaming for a night out, watching Drag Race with your friends, satisfying a midday craving. And that’s doubly true for doing anything while stoned.
Carmelo Gaspar told the Seattle Times‘ Bethany Jean Clement that the restaurant uses recipes his family uses at home here in Seattle and Mexico. And as the name would suggest, tacos are the main star with fillings like carne asada, al pastor pork, pollo adobado, campechano (chorizo, grilled steak, potato), and nopales cocooned in homemade tortillas. Delicious. They also serve quesadillas, chips and guacamole, and aguas frescas, which are all equally bangin’. For our purposes, I’d recommend ordering a burrito. My fave is the al pastor because they travel well and we are stoners on the move. But TBH you can never go wrong at Carmelo’s.
110 Summit Ave E, inside Hillcrest Market
📸: Anat Goldman
Now that you’ve got that burrito, it’s time to hike up to Volunteer Park. Please stick with me here. I know I’m asking you to walk up a giant hill and then several blocks north. BUT! I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was worth it. Take the back streets, stop inside QFC for extra snacks, and you’ll be at Volunteer in no time.
One of the sweetest things about Capitol Hill is that this beautiful Olmsted Brothers-designed park is within the neighborhood’s borders. There are few things better than having an impromptu, weed-aided picnic with friends on Volunteer Park’s Amphitheater lawn as you soak up the sun’s rays with other Seattleites splayed around you.
There are so many fun things to do after you finish wolfing down your burrito. Stick your cherubic face into the blooming dahlias in the Dahlia Garden. Straddle one of the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s stone camels. Take a cool picture of the Space Needle through Isamu Noguchi’s Black Sun sculpture. Or just walk around!
1247 15th Ave E
Weed obviously isn’t a requirement to enjoy a film, but it’s certainly a nice way to feel instantly cozy and emotionally invested in whatever is on screen. And watching a movie in the SIFF Egyptian theater adds a bit of drama to the whole experience. The Seattle International Film Festival runs the single-screen historic theater, programming year-round offerings of first-run feature films and special events, like their recently near-sold-out Alien/Aliens double feature. Dump a ton of M&Ms into your popcorn bag, slurp down a soda, and allow yourself to be whisked off into another dimension for the next 90-or-so minutes.
805 E Pine Street
📸: Time Warp
Now that you’ve burned off your high at the movies, you’re more than ready to do something that requires serious hand-eye coordination. Time Warp has you covered. This new “pinball and noodle” bar specializes in pinball games, and you have a lot to choose from: Wizard of Oz, The Who, Monopoly, and Dark Knight-themed machines were all at my disposal the last time I visited. My fave is the Godzilla pinball game, which screeches like the giant kaiju every few seconds. (They’ve got coin machines there.) If pinball isn’t your jam, you can play classics like Tetris, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Knights of the Round. Or if you’re feeling edgy, you can play Andrew Cole’s experimental Simpson’s-themed colonoscopy game, which is as bonkers as it sounds. Also! You can get customizable ramen noodle cups once you get hungry. Play away!
1420 10th Avenue