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All Central Seattle Neighborhoods


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Thrift Store Chic Amongst the Fleece

By Sarah Sluis
You're poor AND stylish? Then this article is for you. Join Sarah Sluis as she travels around Puget Sound to find the very best thrift stores where you can score everything from polka dotted shoes to vintage jeans by the mile.
The Drive-Thru Espresso Stand

By Sarah Sluis
What's a drive-thru box in an abandoned lot without a hot girl in it? Welcome to Seattle, where sexy ladies of the "suburban strip mall" persuasion inveigle you with their womanly ways and awe you with their homemade espresso. For indeed, in this town, a lissome femme and a fine cup of joe are the only stimulants you'll EVER NEED! Sarah Sluis reports.

Aaaaaah, For It

By Karen Watson
Little known fact: Too much coffee and very little sun can do major harm to the body. So like all Seattleites, Karen Watson deserves some pampering and primping every so often. Follow Karen on her spa quest across the city and beyond.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Redhook Brewery
Seattle is fortunate to have several local breweries making some really tasty beers, Redhook among them. Although they're now bi-coastal and big-name the beer is still more than decent and made with love in Woodinville. I've never been able to tolerate lite beer until I tried Redhook's Slim Chance but hey, I kinda liked it. Bikes and beers may not be a recommended combo but don't tell that to the hundreds of people who ride out to the brewery every weekend on the Burke-Gilman trail. Walkers beware. After downing some cold ones its hard to bike a straight line.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Chateau St Michelle Winery
I was lucky enough to go on a private tour at this winery. Well, lucky is the wrong word. More like confused and slightly disappointed. First off, the tour guide didn't seem to know anything about the place he has been working at for the last 10 years. When he took us to a room that housed original Chihuly art, he didn't explain to our tourist friends who Chihuly is and why they should care about these curly pieces of colored glass. He just said, "Take pictures. This is famous." Then there was the actual tour of the factory, which was so boring and not at all what I expected my first wine tour to be like. Sure, the Lavern and Shirley bottles flying by were kinda cool, but that was really it. We would ask, "What kind of soil are the grapes planted on?" And he'd respond, "All types." Well, can you be more specific? I don't know my Shiraz from my White Zinfandel so I need a little explaining dude. When we finally got to taste the wine, I was again unimpressed. I did like trying to figure out what hints of flavors were in each wine, but honestly I wouldn't want to buy many of those bottles we tasted. They were all just ho-hum, much like our entire experience at the Chateau.

Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Skyway Park Bowl
Bowling, Casino games, karaoke and Asian Fusion cuisine? Could such a place really exist (and possibly fill the void left by Sunset Bowl)? The answer is yes! The downside for central Seattleites is that South Seattle is difficult to reach without wheels. But if you can convince a friend to D.D. (sodas and coffee are free for that standup guy/gal!), it’s a terrific place to spend the evening. There’s so much to do, it’s almost overwhelming. The karaoke book is staggeringly thorough. The regulars bring astounding performances and they will always fit in newbies. The food in the bistro hits the spot. If your cravings are more local, they also have Fast Food Alley for your pizza and nacho needs, as well as a pie of the day. I enjoyed a divine slice of peach. And man, are the staff nice! If it’s not your night at the Pai Gow tables, the dealers seem genuinely sad for you. The parking lot may get a little sketchy after dark but the giant doormen are more than happy to walk you out. I wish you were a bit closer, S.P.B., but I love you all the same.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

John MacDonald Tolt River Park
When you live in the Northwest you're supposed to eat granola and go on too many hikes. So after consulting my trail book, I decided this park would be the perfect place to find me some Northwesterns. Except all I found was me, being lost and confused. The one redeeming quality this park has is that to enter their trails and yurts and what have yous, you must cross a Suspension Bridge. Jump all you want, this Bridge ain’t going down. After that, I tried to follow my handy trail guide and just gave up. Take some friends and a video camera 'cause this is exactly the kind of place where you can easily go all Blair Witch on your lazy Sunday afternoon hike. We somehow got back to where we started and then we kissed the soggy ground, thanked our lucky stars and proceeded to run to our Prius where we ate our homemade granola and drank our free-trade coffee.

Posted By:  Ingrid Mattson
Photo:  Ingrid Mattson

Tin Room Bar
The Tin Room is where Burien's movers and shakers go to dine and drink. I know! I didn't know Burien had movers and shakers, but it seems the town is really picking up and this place is tops on the list. The food is fine. It's your very standard pub food. The point of the Tin Room, however, is the cocktails. All the fruit juices (except the cranberries) are fresh squeezed. Sour mix and simple syrup, mainstays on the Seattle bar scene, are taboo here. Instead everything is whole lime and half an orange this, two sugar cubes muddled with mint that. Running between $5 and $8, the drinks aren't cheap, but they're worth it. Maybe you prefer to be seen dining at hip 'it' places in Seattle, and being seen dining in Burien would mean the demise of your social status. Never fear--this is a locals place and your hipster friends don't have to know you gave it a try. Hell, you may even be considered a trendsetter in a couple of years.

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Regent Bakery & Cafe
The fancy cakes here at Regent Bakery and Cafe are a well known secret among local Asians who crave light, fluffy cakes with more flavor but less sugar. There are more selections than you can imagine under one roof: tiramisu, strawberry mousse, chestnut, black forest, mocha, mango cheesecake, chocolate mousse... the list goes on. You can pre-order larger cakes for social events or just come in for a daily slice. Pastries such as cream puffs, egg custards, lotus cakes, red bean buns, moon cakes, and more round out the assortment of Asian pastries that remind you of Hong Kong, plus bubble tea and fruit smoothies to help you down the guilty pleasures.

Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Wallace Falls
Do you like walking at a steady pace up a slight climb to see pretty waterfalls? Well, shit, man (or woman), you're in luck. Wallace Falls will give you the sights, sounds and workout any beginner hiker could ask for. When you first arrive, don't be confused by the buzzing sounds and power lines on the first ¼ mile of the hike. It's just nature mixed with technology. Without it, your iphone can't remind you to breathe. Once you reach the trail, turn everything off and enjoy your surroundings. The Woody trail hits all the falls. But don't worry if you can't go up to the tippity top, with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The lower and middle Falls are where it's at anyway. Take your pictures and go back the same way you came up. You'll see lots of people, views of mountains and of course water falling. Then rejoice at the Taco Truck in Monroe on the way back (on Main St.) and congratulate yourself for not being totally out of shape.

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Rattlesnake Ridge
There used to be a little town called Moncton near North Bend. It is now under Rattlesnake Lake. As opposed to being a man-made lake, it was a more of a man-oops lake. Back in 1915, the failed Cedar River dam project caused water to slowly seep underground through the moraine, eventually flooding into and sweeping away Moncton. But now people have a reason to hike up Rattlesnake Ridge--for a view of the lake, with old tree stumps jutting out when the water level is low. It's about an hour's hike up to the peak (and I must say, it is uphill the entire way), with no side railing throughout or up at the rocky ridge to appease those with a fear of heights. Make it here early, because by late morning, loud, jabbering tourists ruin the peaceful view. As for rattlesnakes? Didn't encounter any, and hopefully never will.

Posted By:  Sara Dow
Photo:  Sara Dow

Southcenter is strip mall hell. Most sane people avoid it. But then one day you need a new car stereo or want to go to a Cost Plus that actually has parking and after hours of shopping you are in the worst possible scenario... hungry at Southcenter. There's a Red Robin, an Olive Garden. But no worries. I just discovered Miyabi, a totally respectable sushi place next to the Toys-R-Us. Their sushi quality is spot-on: perfectly sticky rice, melt-in-your-mouth salmon. Sitting at the sushi bar with some toro and cold sake, strip malls suddenly don't seem so bad.

Posted By:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch
Photo:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch

Sol Duc Hot Springs
Come one, come all! This Olympic National Park resort has pools, tubs and shallow ponds for all manner of ablution in addition to being clothing optional! OK, fine it's not. But there are a lot of watery activities involving vats which are heated by the curative springs of Sol Duc. What more could you ask for? Pints of ice cream and super-stylish identifying wrist bands? Check and check! The Sol Duc Hot Springs comprise a modest, child-friendly, hydraulically-inclined kingdom of... water, but did you know? It once was a five-star luxury hotel, before getting burned down by the humbling wrath of god. It had a bowling alley and a theatre, those egotists! And then there was a problem with a thermal spring so it had to be rebuilt again. But don't worry! It's not like it's CURSED or anything! I went once and came back with one leg but I felt so spiritually clean and salutary I didn't even care!

Posted By:  Sara Dow
Photo:  Sara Dow

Long Beach
I spent 10 years in Philly and when the days were hot and sticky we'd head to the Jersey shore, driving over 2 hours each way just to lie in the sun. The Jersey shore is a cheesy place no way around it, but there's something lovable about it. I didn't realize how much I'd missed it till I discovered Long Beach. Don't get me wrong, Long Beach can't touch Jersey for its cheesiness, but it's by far the tackiest thing I've found in Washington State. The motels are perched right on the beach, the arcades all have skee-ball or go-karts, and there's a strip of stores selling neon bikinis and saltwater taffy. What more could you ask for? They even let you drive on the beach.

Posted By:  Sarah Sluis
Photo:  Sarah Sluis

Diamond Knot Brewery
As a young city, Seattle does not yet have the place-snobbery that pervades the older and more entrenched cities of the US. All the more reason to gather your friends and head up to Diamond Knot Brewery, a small pub to the left of the Mukilteo ferry landing. With over fifteen beers brewed on-site, and an alliterative "Two-dollar Tuesdays" special that packs in the locals, you just might find yourself ensnared in a bet with your friend to sample your way through the entire beer list. Fidgety hands? The bar graciously provides peanuts that you can crack and drop on the floor, and has a nicely rounded-out menu (veggie quesadillas in a cream sauce, with a side of ranch dressing) that take into account a patron's need to drop references to Homer Simpson's "ranch dressing hose". Finish off the night with a walk down to the beach for some drunken carousing and sunset, or hop on the ferry to Whidbey Island strengthened by your Dutch courage.

Posted By:  Chris LaRoche
Photo:  Chris LaRoche

Everest Kitchen
Not only is this the second best Indian restaurant in Seattle (my old roomie's mother from Hyderabad swore by India Bistro), it's technically a Nepalese restaurant run by a family from Bhutan, which would also make "Best of" in those categories as well. Furthermore, as far as I can tell it's the best restaurant in Shoreline, though it's technically in Lake Forest Park, so "best of" that little suburb as well. And since the demise of Cafe Long down the street, it's also the Best Restaurant and Best Cheap Eats in Lake City ($6.95 all you can eat lunch buffet!). It's the surprising hole-in-the-wall treasure in the middle of nowhere, a particularly run-down stretch of Lake City Way, a treasure illustrated by the organic salad and vegetarian offerings. If you go too often, the owners will invite you to visit them in Thimphu, only slightly more authentic.

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