NFT Seattle Fremont

Fremont

Essentials
Once a haven for counterculture in Seattle, Fremont has gentrified in recent years. Getty Images, Adobe, and Google all have offices near the ship canal and the famous naked cyclists of the Solstice Parade now bike past high-end boutiques. Vladimir Lenin still glowers in mute disdain over yuppies and hippies alike.

Sundries/Entertainment
Though it lacks quite a few practical amenities, Fremont has more cool shops than you have fingers and seemingly more Thai restaurants per capita than Bangkok. Rare and precious, however, are the meaty Cuban sandwiches at Paseo and the low-brow Britishness of the George & Dragon. Have a beer with the canine townies and the people who love them at dog-friendly See more.

>Norm's Eatery & Alehouse.

Get your pastrami fix at Roxy's Diner; it's as close to Katz's as Seattle's going to get. On the other end of the spectrum, Maria Hines' Agrodolce and Tilth both make for destination dining. Meanwhile, Chiso takes sushi for a spin in a hip, modern setting. And what started out as a weekend supper club has grown into a hospitable and unforgettable celebration of food at Art of the Table.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
The Beautiful Game in the Emerald City

By Karen Watson
Tripping over last night’s half-eaten take-out strewn across my bedroom floor, I stumble into the shower cursing live television. It’s Saturday, which for me and all the other obsessive fans means football. And I am not talking about the Seahawks but rather what we Americans call soccer. My love for the beautiful game is the only thing waking me from sleep this early on a weekend. Who knew it’s still dark at 6:30 am? Normally I watch the re-broadcasted games later in the day, but on this particular Saturday I am hitting several football viewing hotspots, some of which have live coverage beginning at 7 am.
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On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Katie Palmer
Photo:  Katie Palmer

Deluxe Junk
Seattle is infamous for the little hole-in-the-wall junk shops, so seeing a sign that reads "Peace, Deluxe Junk" was intriguing but not all too surprising. Inside it would be easy to spend awhile sifting through the actually cute vintage clothes, jewelry, decoration, globes, dolls, records, and all sorts of other "junk." The wooden floors creak and it smells musty with old stuff, but the chance of finding that one-of-a-kind doorknob or the final vintage comic book you've been searching for to complete your collection is worth the visit. After awhile the smell disappears, and you don't even notice it. Plus, a visit to Deluxe Junk will surely yield you someone else's junk, but it just may be your newest treasure, as the old saying goes.



Posted By:  Katie Palmer
Photo:  Katie Palmer

Ophelia's Books
Walking in, the floor creaks and a cat sits on a pile of ancient books. Welcome to Ophelia's Books. Specializing in rare books and editions, there is a wide variety of affordable classics to modern works as well. It is easy to spend an hour...or a few among the small, two-story shop where you can choose to browse the awesome collection or play with the cats. With a few comfy chairs, Ophelia's offers an inviting place to sample some books and enjoy the people watching. Located in the Fremont District, there is undoubtedly a great cup of coffee within the block. So, grab a mocha and enjoy it among the classics to escape the rain for awhile.



Posted By:  Tirza Magdiel
Photo:  Tirza Magdiel

Vladimir Lenin Statue
For you 20th century Europe history buffs, this statue used to stand in Poprad, Czechoslovakia. During the fall of communism, it was quietly removed from its place in Lenin Square. It was found at a junk yard by a guy from Issaquah who purchased it for $13,000. Getting the statue to the US cost him over $41,000! He actually mortgaged his home. The things you'd do for Lenin... The great irony. A massive statue of a Bolshevik key figure in the United States. Only in Fremont. It's a good thing that guy didn't put Lenin up in Issaquah. He would have to deal with the angry mob!



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Veraci Pizza
A fully mobile, traveling pizza oven! In Ballard? Brilliant! This was my reaction when I first discovered Veraci Pizza a few years ago at he Ballard Farmer's Market, before they opened their storefront on Market Street. Even though the oven doesn't travel, it's still wood fired and the pizzas they create at the restaurant are just as delectable as those at the market. The crust is unbelievably thin but still manages to stand up against whatever sauces, meats or veggies you pile on. Wood firing gives each pie its authentic distinctive Neapolitan charcoal singes and delicate crust bubbles. Veraci takes street food seriously and will even bring their oven to your house, parking it in your driveway to crank out pizzas for your next party. And believe me, you’ll be the most popular kid on the block afterwards.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Roxy's Diner
Roxy's website states that they're "Seattle's only NY Jewish Style Diner." But this is not a case of beggars-can't-be-choosers. Roxy's is the poo. Their gargantuan menu lists an endless array of delights for chosen people and Goys alike. Have a burger (or veggie patty) any way you like it, eat breakfast all day (bagel sandwiches, latkes and eggs, tater tot omelet), or go the traditional sandwich route with a Rueben, Patty Melt or enormous Pastrami on Rye. Naturally, it all comes with a crispy pickle. Wash it down with a pitcher of beer or the bubbly chocolate goodness of an Egg Cream. Weekends bring $2 Champagne Cocktails or Mini Marys. As for sides, they've got 'em in spades. Potato Salad, Slaw, Matzoh Ball Soup, Sweet Potato Fries, and Tots just to name a few. If you're still hungry after all that, you can get some pie or Rugelach from the glass case. It doesn't hurt that the decor, with the cushy booths and colorful mural, is as sunny and inviting as the wait staff. The only downside is that they close at 7 pm every day. But they're Seattle's only NY Jewish Style Diner so you'll eat when they're ready.



Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Art of the Table
I wish I could say this was the best meal I've ever had and that it was totally worth the $300 price tag for 4 that it came with. But I can't say that, because it wasn't. I can say that the food was good, unique even. The menu consists of whatever is fresh, so it changes all the time. The "restaurant" is more like someone's house, which is nice and intimate and only hosts 22 people. If there wasn't a crowd celebrating one girl's 23rd birthday sitting next to us I'd say the ambience was lovely. But the younguns kinda ruined said ambience what with their loud talking and "LET’S ORDER ANOTHER BOTTLE OF WINE SO I CAN GET DRUNK! LOL!! I'M SO OLD" And even though it seems like I'm tearing this place apart, I'm not. It was good, but I wasn't wowed. This is the kind of place that tries to be inventive what with their rosemary water and waiter who comes out and talks to you about each course. It was all very lovely and sweet. I would go again if like say, my rich uncle came to town asking for a decent place to get a seared tuna that may or may not be on the menu. So I'm only mildly heartbroken that I don't have a rich uncle.



Posted By:  Amy Mikel
Photo:  Amy Mikel

Theo Chocolate
Where can you find the only entirely free-trade, organic chocolate factory in the United States? Right here in Seattle, tucked away on a little side street in Fremont. Theo's Chocolate has been quietly growing their business since 2006, with a factory and retail shop set up in a historic building former home to both a trolley barn and Redhook brewery. The company's wide range of chocolate bars and gourmet confection chocolates have punchy flavors like Coconut Curry and Chai Tea, but that's not to say you can't still get a good old plain milk chocolate or dark chocolate bar (some with a hefty 91% cacao content). Stop in the retail shop to browse Theo's surprisingly cheap selections, or take a tour of the factory for a nice little lesson on the bean-to-bar process and for a real eye-opener on what kind of junk gets into "other" chocolate bars. Warning: tour includes all you can eat chocolate samples.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Qazis Indian Curry House
If you can wade through the twenty-five Thai restaurants in Fremont you'll discover the inexpensive and delicious Oazis. A good Saag is always my first choice for grubbin' out and who needs a fork when you can shovel it up with some Garlic Naan? I have tried every Indian joint in North Seattle and the Oazis definitely delivers the goods. The Tikka Masala has just a touch of sweetness, the Samosas are flaky, and the Naan is perfect.  Now if Indian food isn't your taste of choice, they also serve fantastic Mediterranean specialties like Falafel, Gyros, and Kebabs. They even serve complimentary Papadums and chutneys while you look over the menu. Seriously, more Indian places should learn something from Mexican restaurants and adopt this habit. Considering my favorite pub is almost right across the street, I'll be giving the Oazis some serious late night business after the lager kicks in.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Norm's Eatery and Ale House
Norm's has gone to the dogs. No, really. Last time I was wedged at a table between a cocker spaniel and a golden retriever. This is a dog-friendly establishment to the ultimate power--instead of daily specials they have doggie bowls. Furry friends are handy for lapping up all the spilt beer. When you serve PBR 40s in paper bags, it's a safe bet that a good bit gets drunkenly sloshed on the floor. Here's to drinking like a homeless person. Thursday night trivia is a favorite amongst those who play the circuit and happy hour prices relate to Mariners' batting averages. The more they suck, the cheaper the beer becomes. Norm's is simply a comfy, worn-in neighborhood bar where you're just as likely to recognize your neighbor as their dog. Get lost crazy cat people.



Posted By:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Craig Nelson

Brown Bear Car Wash
I don't like car washes. Hell, I don't even like cars. But I make an exception every time I travel to Seattle. The Brown Bear chain of car washes is home to the cutest corporate logo ever (watch the animated bear try to score some fish in the river!), and my buddy's old-school Benz runs on Bio Diesel fuel that always smells like popcorn. So load me up on lattes, let me ride shotgun, and run me through the Brown Bear tunnel wash a few times for the perfect Friday afternoon. Then in the evening we can hit up Key Arena for a Sonics game, catch an indie rock show at The Crocodile, and finish off with some 3 am bowling at Sunset Bowl in Ballard. Ah, Seattle. Some things never change.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Woodland Park Zoo
Animal activists, read no further. The Woodland Park Zoo is totally cool. By no means am I a zoo aficionado but I've been to my fair share and our Seattle zoo is pretty fine. Growing up just a short drive away from our National Zoo in DC, I fell in love with our national treasures Ling Ling and Tsing Tsing, also known as Panda Bears. Woodland Park may not have Pandas but they have four other types of bear, plus lions and tigers. I'm also partial to Giraffes, mostly because I'm mesmerized by their freakishly long necks, and there are several to be seen roaming around the African Savannah exhibit. Now I realize that zoos aren't PC and as an animal-loving vegetarian I should be outraged by animals behind bars, but I simply can't be bothered. The zoo is just too much fun. All the exhibits are really well-crafted and resemble the habitats as closely as possible. Mountain goats frolic beside brown bear and river otters play with trout. OK, there may be a fence separating the goats from the bears, but it's very well hidden.



Posted By:  Ingrid Mattson
Photo:  Ingrid Mattson

Dad Watson's
Dad Watsons is quite obviously a McMenamins establishment: the place is well-designed with quirky art and old-timey accoutrements; the menu includes solid pub fare like burgers and fish and chips, as well as the McMenamins staple tater tots, which you can get "Cajunized," whatever that means; and you can order fantastic beer brewed on site. If you're in a rush, like to drink, or simply want a great birthday gift for someone you love, order any of their beers to go. To-go beer comes in a giant mason jar that you can get them to refill when you bring it back in. One thing to note: if you come here for lunch, parking can be a nightmare in Fremont and the parking police gleefully ticket like crazy. Dad Watsons is good, but it's definitely not worth a $35+ parking fine.



Posted By:  Ingrid Mattson
Photo:  Ingrid Mattson

Flying Apron Bakery
I want to be open to the world of vegan baking, really I do. But I've tried this place three times now, and each time I go I'm a little grossed out by what I get. I can't seem to get it right even when people make recommendations to me on what to order. The chocolate muffin was supremely gritty and the maple bar overly sweet. Thing is, because vegans don't consume honey and this place uses mostly "alternative" sweeteners, I don't know what made it taste so saccharine, but it certainly wasn't saccharin (rimshot). But I'm not saying I want high fructose corn syrup. The point is, even though I know butter and refined white sugar are not good for me and their consumption causes needless suffering around the world, at least I know what I'm getting when I eat a big ol' conventional chocolate chip cookie. And call me a philistine, but I'll take a shelf-stable pastry any day over organic non-hydrogenated oils permeating my To Go bag 'til the bottom falls out.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Blue C Sushi
I'm a lazy fuck and anything that serves as a vehicle to get food into my face more quickly is a welcome invention. So food continually circling on a conveyer belt is an absolutely fucking brilliant idea. At Blue C the neatly packaged sushi just chugs along slowly like the train on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Plates color coded by price makes the dining experience even more slothful, allowing me to easily calculate how much money I am laying down. Sitting elbow to elbow with the unwashed masses I've had some close calls while to trying to seize sushi off the belt. Excuse me while I reach across you and snatch that last spider roll. Sorry for elbowing you in the face but I had to have some spicy tuna. Try to take the last cream puff off the belt and I'll claw your eye out. Just don't get in my way and no one gets hurt.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Blue C Sushi
It may not be the best sushi in Seattle, but it's definitely the best conveyor belt sushi. Blue C is all about instant gratification and they have it in spades. Once seated, it won't be but a second or two before something delicious passes before your eyes. And what variety! They got the standards like the California Roll. The salmon and eel rolls are especially competent. You can't go wrong with any of the tempura rolls from the shrimp to the tofu. Vegetarians rejoice, because unlike most conveyor belt places, you don't have to special order an animal-free dish. If you're lucky, they'll have the delectable V8 roll, stuffed with crunchy veggie tempura in an avocado blanket and doused with hot sauce. Otherwise, the plain old Kappa Maki and Inari are good enough to satisfy. Be sure to grab a potato dumpling hot plate or pickle salad to share. Save room for a cream puff but take small, easy bites lest you squirt cream filling on your date. It's crowded around dinner time, but with no waiting for service, the turnover is quick. Enjoy a cocktail or sake in the upstairs bar while you wait.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Paseo
Never come here on a first date. Never wear your favorite shirt. Never have your nails done directly before. Come to Paseo with your closest friends who won't care that you have cilantro stuck in your teeth, sauce all over your face, and grilled onions in your lap. You know; the ones who have held your hair back while you puked in the bushes, because you are going to be one hot mess after eating one of these slippery Cuban sandwiches. Our forest resources are quite simply screwed due to the amount of napkins required to get through an entire meal. Sandwiches are available until the bread runs out, which has led too much cursing on my part when I arrive too late in the day. Other Cuban specialties round out the menu but almost everyone are there for what is in between the bread. Pork-heavy, layered with jalapenos and onions, and slathered with all kinds of deliciousness, the sandwiches are pretty much perfect. Buen Provecho!



Posted By:  Sarah Sluis
Photo:  Sarah Sluis

Woodland Park
Have you heard of dumpster diving? Reclaimed food? Well, blackberry picking is almost the same thing, except you procure your foodstuff right off the branch, not after it's been picked, touched, or thrown away. Since blackberries are a weed of sorts, they grow all along the major thoroughfares and public parks of Seattle, including Woodland Park. Newbies can find patches by looking for pickers with Ziploc bags of berries and poaching on their spot, but more experienced pickers spot on brush alone. Considering small pints of blackberries can go for six dollars in farmer's markets, your roadside adventure has the added benefit of allowing you to gorge on these delicacies for free. For those who have read the Omnivore's Dilemma, or have heard the admonishments to "Eat Local" from their obnoxious environmental friends, blackberry picking isn't something for mom and tots and the cash-strapped, but an environmental statement. Just don’t tell your environmental friends you've crossed over. They don't want your blackberry upside-down cake anyway.



Posted By:  Suzanne Rugh
Photo:  Suzanne Rugh

Ro Ro
There’s not much going on at the south end of Stone Way so I’ve always been intrigued by Rowdy Cowgirl BBQ. We decided to give it a go and walked in to a small, clean place whose back wall is flanked by a shelf full of different hot sauces to choose from. The counter had three delicious looking Bundt cakes with only two lucky enough to be covered. The last was left to suck up all the germs left by the tweeker who was dumping packet after packet of sugar into her tea while her sleeve hung dangerously close to the cake’s frosting. Mmm! Now, I’m no BBQ connoisseur but I think I would know good stuff when I found it and this wasn’t it. Nothing was knock-your-socks-off good and after a twenty dollar lunch for two people, it should have been fantastic. It didn’t taste any better than what you could cook up at home. The staff weren’t exactly friendly either but I’m willing to overlook that considering the local clientele (some guy was miffed he couldn’t buy just one rib, another bought the cheapest thing on the menu then disappeared into the bathroom for a long time). If you’ve got a hankerin’ for some BBQ and find yourself on Stone Way, drive on past the Rowdy Girl BBQ until you find the local QFC and make it at home.



Posted By:  Sarah Sluis
Photo:  Sarah Sluis

Fremont Sunday Street Market
If it’s possible for a neighborhood to have a sense of humor, that neighborhood would be Fremont. Long before hipsters drank coffee out of ironic mugs saying “World’s Greatest Mom,” Fremont erected a statue of Lenin—a cast-off of the Soviet Union—in the center of its main street. What other neighborhood uses post-communist Russia as its thrift store? Besides Lenin, the neighborhood also has the famous troll under the bridge, as well as stone statues of people waiting for the bus stop (often dressed up for special occasions). This eclectic mix of art serves as the perfect backdrop to an afternoon flea market shopping during their Sunday market, or perusing the cute gift shops, cafes, and restaurants of the neighborhood. Fremont’s bohemian rep, while being encroached upon by gentrification, will take more than a few Starbucks to lose its beat-of-a-different-drummer vibe.



Posted By:  Suzanne Rugh
Photo:  Suzanne Rugh

Trattoria Roma
I got one of those menu flyers on my door a few months ago from Trattoria Roma on Aurora. The pictures made the place look quaint despite its seedy Aurora location and the inexpensive menu was intriguing. Our first time there my boyfriend and I each ordered a sandwich and split an order of cheese bread. The cheese bread arrived looking inconspicuous and it wasn’t until we tasted the accompanying marinara dipping sauce that we knew that we’d found one of our new favorite places. I was ready to tip my head back and start drinking that wonderful red nectar when our sandwiches arrived and I managed to control myself. The meatball sandwich was divine. I’m not sure about the chicken Parmesan because I only took a bite of my boyfriend’s to be nice. I suspect he only offered to try and get at my sandwich, which I handed over begrudgingly and watched like a hawk as he took a bite. The second time back we ordered a pizza and it was pretty good but I think you can find better pizza in Seattle. I say stick to the cheese bread, salads and sandwiches. They also deliver and once I even talked them into delivering a cup of their Caffé Darte coffee to me. It wasn’t too hard since they’re very accommodating.




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