NFT Seattle Mount Baker / Seward Park / Columbia City

Mount Baker / Seward Park / Columbia City

Are your surroundings feeling a little homogeneous? Head south to the increasingly desirable Mount Baker, Seward Park, and Columbia City 'hoods. Orthodox Jews mingle with Vietnamese Presbyterians. Folks fishing from lake piers make way for Mount Baker's rowing crews. Potters, joggers, and picnickers frequent Seward Park. Warning: Seattle's answer to NASCAR, the Seafair Hydroplane and Blue Angel extravaganza takes over in early August. Locals exit (or turn their yards into parking lots) while 300,000+ party hearty.

Columbia City is a tiny triangular hub on Rainier Avenue between Orcas and Alaska, which during the boom exploded with condos and adorable eateries. Our favorite cafe is La Medusa, where they serve edible miracles. It's Columbia City Bakery for artisanal fare, See more.

>Tutta Bella for family dining, Full Tilt for dessert, and Lottie's Lounge for Beer-O'Clock.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

St. Dames
Finally! A vegetarian restaurant that actually cooks with vegetables--not just soy-based meat substitutes, serves fantastic cocktails, and the bill doesn't equal my car payment. St. Dames, where have you been all my life? Oh, and thank you for making kale taste good. Braised in tamari, it is outstanding. The seasonally rotating menu includes everything from comfort food to light salads. One of my friends rated the fried mushrooms as some of the best ever. The Banh Mi Salad, which is basically a deconstructed version of the Vietnamese sandwich, and the Samosa-style Hush Puppies are personal favorites. But it's the brunch that gets me every time. I mean how do I choose? Vegan biscuits and gravy. Breakfast burrito with house-made vegan chorizo. Banana coconut French toast. And the potatoes--crispy, with a seared crust, perfect every time. Everything is home made, right down to the bread and without yucky stuff like high fructose corn syrup. You've made me a faithful follower, St. Dames.

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Emerald City Fish and Chips
Seattle has many, many places to get deep fried fish but none like Emerald City Fish and Chips. The first difference is that they use a delightfully crunchy, greaseless, seasoned cornmeal batter instead of a heavy, oil-sucking, flour and beer mixture. It's more like a good old southern fish fry rather than a trip to jolly old England. Hiding underneath that spicy robe? Your choice of Catfish, Halibut, Cod, or shrimp. Emerald City replaces Pacific Northwest staples like clam chowder with things like crab puppies--fried cornmeal nuggets laced with green onion and sweet crustacean. Then they offer up copious amounts of Tabasco to top everything off, if you go that way. But thank goodness some things never change--it wouldn't be fish and chips without the side of hand cut French Fries and fresh coleslaw. Homemade deserts like Sweet Potato Pie and Red Velvet Cake complete the experience.

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Island Soul
If you've never been to Seattle's version of an outer borough, Columbia City, now you have a stellar reason--Island Soul. Serenading steel drums provide the island rhythms for your chow down and whether you choose a traditional goat curry, jerk chicken, or coconut shrimp you won't be disappointed. On the liquid side, a Dark and Stormy is a personal fav' and these versions of Caribbean treasure are made with homemade ginger beer. I think they used up all the spice for the curry though because it needed a bit more zing (I like my Stormies to bite back). Happy hour is a bonanza of all things island but cheaper than a trip to Trinidad. Five dollar small plates include rib tips, seafood fritters, yam fries, calypso wings, or sweet plantains. The five buck rum punch or $2.75 Red Stripe sweetens the deal. Any Seattle rainy day will be defeated by Island Soul's infectious vacation spirit.

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Restaurants (25)
Nightlife (4)
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