NFT Seattle Upper Queen Anne

Upper Queen Anne

When the young urban professionals of LQA decide to marry and breed, they buy a house here. When you're deep inside this little suburban chimera, you can easily forget how close you are to the unsavory big city. There aren't many ways for kids or adults to get into trouble in these parts, unless your idea of trouble is having one-too-many mimosas with brunch. Make sure to grab a Mexican hot chocolate from the lovely ladies at El Diablo.

This neighborhood is designed for people who plan to be in bed by 11 and like to pay too much for groceries. The Hilltop Ale House is decent and your only real nightlife option. How to Cook a Wolf will blow you away at dinner time, and for breakfast you can't do better than the See more.

>5 Spot. If it's a special occasion, impress your date with an amazing view of Lake Union at the worth-every-penny Canlis.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

China Harbor
I've been obsessed with China Harbor ever since I first drove past its majestic black exterior many years ago. The whole thing smacked of Chinese Mafia. The waterfront location, lack of front-facing windows and the fact that the restaurant only takes up a quarter of the massive building, abetted my suspicions. I'm happy to report that China Harbor did not disappoint. We shared the otherwise empty dining room with an elderly couple on a Sunday evening and had a terrific time eavesdropping on the dance classes taking place in the adjacent banquet room. We buzzed on complimentary tea and speculated about the people who lived in the houseboats we could see from our table. The food was outstanding. The menu is fairly typical but every dish is cooked to delicious perfection. For dessert we couldn't resist the "8 Treasures Rice Pudding": a mound of sticky rice filled with red bean paste, topped with orange sauce and a bevy of dried fruits. The waitress tried to talk us out of it, saying it was for Chinese people. But we assured her we knew what we were getting into, and earned brownie points for happily scarfing it down. Best of all, we left with a bag full of leftovers and all of our thumbs in tact.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

The food here is pricey. Go for some kind of celebration. Like, Dad's out of jail today! Or at least, that's why I went. The boyfriend had stuffed lamb chops and I had some scallop salad with warm veggies. I really love how the French make everything light and tasty and not so filling that you feel like you want to take a dump immediately after eating. I wouldn't say this was meal was on my top 5, and for the price I kinda wanted it to be, but then desert saved the day. If you want something special please try the flourless chocolate cake. I'm by no means a chocolate cake kinda girl, but when every bite tastes like fudge and you pair it with 3 small scoops of pistachio/chocolate/creme fraiche ice cream, you really can't go wrong. Even the whipped cream was fresh and thick and probably had 2 pounds of something bad in it to taste that good. So good, in fact, that when Mom gets out of jail, I might just bypass the rest of the fancy entree parts and go straight for the desert menu. If anything, it'll save me $80.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Remember when you ate too much chocolate after your boyfriend broke up with you because you kissed funny? Well, it's a good thing Chocolopolis wasn't around when I was a kid because I'd be really fat and broke. This chocolate shop offers only the finest bars, and is sorted by regions rather than the type of chocolate it is. You can get your snob on by attending one of their tastings and learn the proper way to eat chocolate. I thought you just shove an entire Hershey's bar in your mouth until you choke. But apparently there's a process, much like wine tastings. Everyone's taste buds are different, and some of the darker chocolates were a bit too chalky for me while others totally hit the sweet spot. If you don't know shit about chocolate, they do offer a sampling of their favorites and it's a good thing 'cause this stuff don't come cheap. If all you need is some chocolate for a s'more, you won't want to waste your unemployment check here. But I bet your rich, Queen Anne ass, come Christmas and Valentine's Day this will be the first place you'll want to check out.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Eat Local
I have mixed feelings about this newish local, food market. I like that I can hang out at their loft space and no one is ever there bothering me with their smells or bad music. I like that the staff are so easy to talk to and they even let me stay past closing time once. I like that I can buy my milk out of a glass jug for under $4. But really, that's about it. The hot chocolate that the staff love so much, just doesn't do it to me. The food, which comes from local farms, is frozen and costs more than going to a restaurant that serves local food. And everything else, from oils to simple granola is just ridiculously overpriced. Even for Queen Anne rich types. Why don't they have local fresh food? How are they still in business? I don’t know the answers, but I do know that I'm wicked cheap. So if you want to spend $7 on a one serving size package of frozen mac and cheese, then you'll just adore this cute, little place. I, unfortunately, don't.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Video Isle
When I first moved to Queen Anne I was really bummed for two reasons. One, I hate moms/dogs/babies. And two, where the hell am I gonna rent a decent movie around here? Blockbuster just sucks huge hairy balls and I assumed that's all I was gonna get out of this Stroller City. But then I present you with today's Radar: Video Isle. I love this place. Not only do they keep everything divided by the typical indie video store genre standard, but there's always some weirdo, obscure movie playing when I walk in. The rentals are crazy cheap, and there's always a fun special, like Two for One Tuesdays. But the best reason to go is that you get free popcorn when you rent a flick! So when I get my independent documentary about being Green with my warm, yummy popcorn in its authentic popcorn bag, I usually make it a point to pass Blockbuster. That way, I can laugh at all the zombies trying to check out some stupid movie with Mandy Moore crying about how she can't get a boyfriend because she's fat. God, I hate her.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

El Diablo Coffee Company
I lived in Miami where hole-in-the-wall Cuban cafes were everywhere. If you went to one at about 1 am you'd have to wait outside like everyone else to get your cafe con leche. No fancy art. No weekly musician. No wifi. Just great Cuban coffee, served through a little window. I loved it. Now, if I had to picture a Cuban-inspired coffee joint in Seattle, what you get is El Diablo. I like it there. I don't like the 50 stroller moms taking up my space, or the slow ass baristas who like to "connect" with the customers. And I don't like that there aren't any Cubans there. And... shit, this sounds like a negative review, but it isn't. Like I said, I like El Diablo. I like that they are one of the few places in Seattle that carries Regatta Ginger Beer. I like the arty motify Cuban/Latin vibe. And I even like their cafe con leche. It just isn't even close to how real Cubans do it. But we're also nowhere near Cuba, so I give the only worthwhile coffee joint on top of Queen Anne my praises. Kind of.

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