Consider supporting local businesses that produce scrumptious edible treats, so that your loved ones can also taste the flavors of the city. Due to the city's geographical location and forward-thinking mentality, it's easy to find unique food gifts that are fresh, local, sustainable and seasonal. (Think seafood, tea, craft beer, indulgent – often fair trade – chocolates and more.)
Seattle also happens to be home to a community of highly creative, industrious and inventive folks, so here you will find handmade treasures at every turn throughout your shopping adventure.
Local artists' works reign at neighborhood shops like Portage Bay Goods — Photo courtesy of Corinne Whiting
Head downtown to University Village or east to Bellevue for collections of national brand retailers, but head into the neighborhoods for smaller, locally owned boutiques.
The top of Queen Anne hill proves a great spot for home goods and accessories, while Fremont, Capitol Hill and Ballard are home to dozens of fashion gems.
And, of course, the best locations to find locally crafted treasures? Farmers markets and fairs like Pike Place (any day of the weekend) and weekend bazaars that take over Fremont and Ballard.
In the artsy Fremont neighborhood, stop by Fremont Coffee Company, a roaster and retailer of fine single-origin, Fair Trade and organic coffees. Enjoy a steaming cup of joe inside this charming converted house (or on their chilled-out porch), before picking up a bag of the cafe's coveted whole bean coffee.
Nearby, Theo Chocolate prides itself on being the first "Organic, Fair Trade, Fair for Life-certified Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Factory" in North America. Since 2006, Theo has been "making the highest quality chocolate from the world’s best cocoa beans, grown in the most sustainable ways possible," and their delectable bars and candies make the ideal Seattle gift.
Pike Place Market proves a dazzling emporium for local gifts. Visit Chukar Cherries, a family-operated company that uses locally grown cherries and berries from small, local farmers. The best news? Their products are all-natural (meaning no preservatives, sulfites, trans fat or anything artificial).
While at Pike Place, also visit Seattle staple MarketSpice; enjoy flavors from acai and cinnamon to "Liquid Smoke," and consider pre-made packages like A Merry Plaid Christmas Gift Basket.
If you're looking for a culinary gift that will truly wow, look to one of Seattle's not-too-distant neighbors for cheeses that will undoubtedly impress. On one of Canada's Gulf Islands – Salt Spring Island, a highly recommended weekend trip from Seattle – Salt Spring Island Cheese Company specializes in producing delectable handmade goat and sheep cheeses.
Find local delicacies like Theo chocolate all over town — Photo courtesy of Theo Chocolate
Supporting local artists always proves a great way to go, as well, whether you choose to frequent museum shops or local fairs where vendors regularly set up shop.
Sweetpea & boy designs adorable and clever clothing with a Northwest twist. Although some products are geared toward adults, the company places an emphasis on baby and toddler wear. (Think Rainier beer onesies and Seattle Seahawks toddler tees plus sweet declarations like "You Are My Sunshine.")
Also in Fremont, Portage Bay Goods, "the gift shop for the thoughtful procrastinator," stocks whimsical, humorous and useful gifts, many of them Seattle-specific. Consider the Fremont tote bag, "Larry Love Seattle!" kids' book, Seattle Skyline Votive and Matthew Porter artwork.
Downtown at the Seattle Art Museum gift shop, find unique, distinctive gifts, including Space Needle bottle openers, Seattle card decks or illustrated ceramic cups.
Animal lovers will delight in less traditional ideas that benefit a good cause. Guests at downtown's Hotel Monaco Seattle can purchase a cuddly, stuffed otter friend, with proceeds going toward the Seattle Aquarium's Otter Conservation Program.
Or give the gift of ZooParent adoption at Woodland Park Zoo, which directly supports conservation efforts at the zoo and beyond. As a ZooParent, folks receive an adorable soft plush animal and two Woodland Park Zoo guest passes.