NFT Seattle Greenwood / Phinney Ridge

Greenwood / Phinney Ridge

Essentials
The tree-lined corridor at Phinney and Greenwood Avenues is one of the better places to raise a family in Seattle, while the blocks along Aurora will show your kids what will happen to them if they don't stay in school. Right around Green Lake the area turns downright affluent, but all the best shopping, eating, and drinking can be found where the regular folk live.

Sundries/Entertainment
Stumbling Goat Bistro brings casual elegance to the neighborhood, while Gorditos, Beth's Café, and Red Mill feed the happy masses. The crack-house chic of Aurora gives way to two of the most comprehensive beer bars in Seattle--See more.

>Duck Island Ale House and Über Tavern. Wash your pint down with some good eats at 74th Street Ale House. The younger, grungier crowd is at Tin Hat.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

The Cozy Nut Tavern
Greenwood's aptly named joint delightfully evokes Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Thanks to the reclaimed wood interior and soft lamplight you'll feel like you are enjoying your cocktails or streamlined selection of local and imported brews inside the nicest damned tree trunk imaginable. Every minute spent there is a pure joy from their adorable anthropomorphic forest creature silhouettes to their build-your-own charcuterie plates. The delightfully toothsome texture of their warm, house made corn nuts (complimentary with every drink order) shatteringly transcend the commercial variety. Even the taxidermy seems pleased to be part of it all. Bring a deck of cards and settle in with friends.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

A La Mode Pies
2011 was the Year of the Pie, with shops springing up all over Seattle. Our offerings were even featured on a Food Network special about the rise of the pie across the country. The people had spoken. Cake was dead. They wanted crust and fruit filling and mounds of cream. A la Mode gave competitors a big run for their money. While pie men came and went (R.I.P. Piecycle), they expanded, going from just an online retailer (with home delivery) to brick-and-mortar when they opened their café on Phinney. Now you don't have to give 24-hours notice to enjoy their incredible desserts, which include crumbly French Apple, Mexican Chocolate Mousse, Bourbon Butterscotch and a Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart that renders your fork useless with its gooeyness. See their website for more mind-blowing regular flavors and check with the café often for their rotating flavors. Sour Cherry was a recent gladiator in their grand pie arena. You can still order whole pies online for a very reasonable $25, but it's a lot more fun to mix-and-match slices for the complete a la Mode experience. Don't forget a quart of Bluebird ice cream from their freezer to fulfill your pie destiny.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Pig 'n Whistle Bar & Grill
The P n' W is a decent destination for dinner and drinks. There are delightful twists on classic apps like the breaded green tomato caprese and the revelatory pretzel crusted cheddar sticks. Their sandwich menu offers not only a competent burger (meat and veggie) but also surprises like the brat burger and the fried green tomato, ham, bacon, egg sandwich. They have a terrific list of micro brews and imported beers to accompany your meal. Save room for cobbler or perhaps a root beer float! Brunch, however, is another story. I don't normally like to give a negative review based on bad service from one individual. But because the food wasn't all that great either, it feels warranted. Our toast came out late and was still, somehow, cold and chewy as though it had been sitting around for a while. There was a (thankfully) long hair on my omelet and when I mentioned it, very politely to the already bitchy waitress (after I had eaten most of my mediocre breakfast), her response was "Oh." I wasn't looking for a comped meal but an apology would have been nice. I'll be back for those cheddar sticks. But brunch? Never again.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co.
Space is a dangerous place so you'd be remiss to travel through it unprepared. Fortunately, the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. is there to ensure you have everything you need from copious amounts of astronaut ice cream to that all-important map of the (known) universe. They also provide you with creature comforts like Cosmic Kitties, Paper Soap and an Instant Yard to get you through those endless nights out in the cosmos. It's a cute little shop full of space-themed toys, t-shirts books and knickknacks and the perfect gift destination for cosmonauts of all ages. Oh, and if you're wondering why a space traveler would need the complete works of Dave Eggers, it probably has something to do with 826 Seattle, the local chapter of non-profit youth writing program he founded. All of the stores proceeds go directly to the kids so you can feel good about that purchase of emergency underpants. That’s not where their community outreach ends. Every year, they also stage a protest against Pluto's demotion from regular planet to dwarf planet. Someone has to speak up for the little guy!



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Berserk Games
Here's a scenario for you: You're having 3 of your closest friends over for a game night. Then one of them calls and mentions they've invited a couple more. This is a disaster! Sure you have enough alcoholic energy drinks to go around, but Settlers of Catan is only a four-person game. Fortunately, there's still time to get your butt over to Berserk Games and pick up that expansion pack. Now everyone can join in and get wood for sheep! If you have no idea what any of that means, Berserk Games is probably not for you; stick to the Scattegories and Apple Martinis. Otherwise, you will love this place. They have every nerdy German tile game you can think of plus plenty of Magic and Magic-like card games. If you're tired of regular Carcassone, they have all kinds of expansion mods to make for a riveting evening hunting Wooly Mammoths and getting trampled by Dragons. All this plus a bucket of 12-20 sided die at the counter to entice you as a last-minute impulse buy. Go ahead and treat yourself. Those lands aren't going to settle themselves.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Carmelita
Perhaps February 14th was a risky date to try someplace new, what with set menus and fact that most restaurants are booked solid. But I'd wanted to try Carmelita for a while and their romantic but laid-back ambiance and upscale vegetarian cuisine seemed ideal for Valentine's Day. Besides, their set menu sounded foolproof. So I made a reservation for two and scored one of the last tables. Truffles and risotto are two of my favorite things so imagine my delight when one available entree involved both of these things. Unfortunately, the result was lackluster at best. Truffles have a very strong and distinct flavor and I couldn't taste them at all. Did they forget to add them? The orzo was al dente and the whole dish was overwhelmed by cauliflower, a fairly bland vegetable when under-seasoned. It's disenchanting to have to add salt to a $40 meal. Perhaps they were off their game on account of being so busy. Still, everything else was terrific. My guy loved his Carrot-Mascarpone Gnocchi. Our wine recommendation panned out (Malbec). The Chocolate Muck Muck was both chocolatey and muck mucky. I'd go back again for sure. But what the hell happened with that risotto?



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Mae's Phinney Ridge Café
Longevity is rare in these condo-riffic times. But Mae's has managed to overcome. In 1988, Midwestern Mae turned around a divey diner. Apparently, she's really into cows. Seated in the Moo Room, replete with cow paraphernalia, you'll feel a bit like you're staying with your crazy aunt. The menu's also cow-pun laden. Fortunately, the food kicks ass. Every breakfast staple is present and in top form including Corned Beef Hash and Eggs Benedict. The grits and biscuits are perfect and they’ve provided an excuse to have ice cream for breakfast with the Shake and Eggs. They're also famous for their cinnamon rolls, which you can purchase to go. Just don't look at the nutrition information, lest you meet the same end as the Nazis in Raiders. Nobody is more obsessed with local ingredients than Washingtonians and Mae's honors this institution with Snoqualmie Gourmet ice cream, in-house-roasted coffee, and Bacon Salt on every table. Lest you think vegans out of luck in this meat and dairy Valhalla, there's Tofu Scramble and Biscuits with Mushroom Gravy. It gets pretty crowded on weekends but they have plenty of space in the back so you won’t be waiting long.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Crash Landing Pizza
For me, there is no other type of pizza besides thin crust. At Crash Landing the pizza is thin, the sauce is homemade, and the topping list ranges from the humdrum to extravagant. Green peppers, pepperoni, pesto, Nicoise olives, gorgonzola cheese, chicken sausage, Portobello mushrooms, roasted garlic, Bulgarian feta, sun dried tomatoes. How to choose? I have heard many Northeast transplants bitch about these pies not being real New York pizza. Quite frankly, if you think you are going to get anything close to NY pizza in Seattle you are simply an idiot. That would be like me finding a real Maryland crab cake. Get real. But Crash Landing makes a great effort creating pizzas that definitely come close. They don't deliver, but hey it doesn't hurt to get off your ass every now and then. Pizza slice happy hour runs from 2-4 pm Monday-Friday and all slices, regardless of toppings sell for $1.90. My only complaint is that the slices are sometimes old so be sure to have it re-heated in the oven before you gorge. Despite this, I am certainly delighted that this group of pizza makers decided to crash land in my neighborhood.



Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

New Roots Organics
So I followed the whole support-your-local-farmer trend when I moved to Seattle and I've finally taken it a step beyond Pike Place Market. If you're lazy like me and always buy the same old apples and broccoli at QFC, maybe you need a change. Maybe you need a surprise. Maybe you need New Roots Organics. Every other week I get a great big bin filled with veggies and fruits. Some I've never even thought of using before or even knew existed. I mean do you know what to do with rhubarb? I sure as shit didn't until I got a recipe from New Roots with my rhubarb for the tastiest crisp I've ever made. I'll get rainbow chard one week and so much spinach another week that I turn into Popeye. But what really impresses me is how easy New Roots is. From their simple, clean website to emailing them when I need to change my order date or food selections, New Roots makes it effortless. And that's exactly how I want my produce to be. So, thanks New Roots. You made me eat things like rhubarb and too much spinach. My mom would be proud.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Tin Hat Bar & Grill
Simply put: the Tin Hat is a Ballard hipster bar. But it's not hipster in that annoying, competitive way. It's hip because it just is, from the front room to the bathrooms. The menus are all printed with retro design covers. There is plenty of velvet art. There are diner-style signs everywhere boasting cheap eats and they mean it too. There's pinball and a fun movie playing silently on the TV to fill in the rare awkward silence that might crop up (or even to distract you from a conversation... even the most engrossing discussion can be disrupted by the sight of killer dolls or Patrick Bateman's chainsaw phallus). The music is a mixture of hipster favorites and unpretentious pop. Sometimes spun by a DJ, other times a house playlist, they will play a rare Husker Du track, but are not above tossing a Squeeze song on right after. Everyone can feel welcome here, and the cheap happy hours make it even easier. And no need to put off breaking the seal here. Both the men's and women's restrooms are full of visual goodies like pinup girls, old cigarette ads and Tom Selleck in a speedo. It's square to be hip!



Posted By:  Ingrid Mattson
Photo:  Ingrid Mattson

Stumbling Goat Bistro
God they're so nice here. I don't like to drop a ton of money when I go out to eat, but when I do, the food and hospitality better be unbelievable Stumbling Goat gets both of these things right. The menu has that local-grown, lovingly harvested, gourmet feel (think balsamic vinaigrette or homemade vanilla bean ice cream), but it's unpretentious and feels like you're eating at grandma's farmhouse. If your grandma had impeccable food and wine sense. But on top of the stellar food, the staff is supremely nice. They're warm, attentive, and seem to really enjoy their work. The sommelier (yes this place is that fancy) was hanging out with friends at their table while still doing his job with aplomb. Our waitress was tattooed and pierced and not stuffed into a faux-formal uniform a la The Olive Garden. She asked how our day had been and seemed genuinely interested in the response. She compleminted my skirt. Perhaps I was being buttered up for a huge tip, but it was so worth it.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Neptune Coffee
If you thought coffee shop culture in Seattle was stagnant, you obviously haven't been to Neptune Coffee. Nestled conveniently in the Greenwood main drag, Neptune Coffee is resurrecting the coffee shop as a destination, rather than a stop on the way to something cooler. It's owned and operated by a friendly chap named Dan who really understands customer draw and retention. During the day, take advantage of the free wi-fi and comfy, lap top oriented seating arrangements. Order a delicious fresh, hot panini sandwich to accompany your coffee. In the evening, take in some entertainment. They have the old stand-by events like open mic nights and art shows, but they also have something infinitely hipper: Trivia Theme Nights. Recent themes have included Twin Peaks, Arrested Development, the Big Lebowski and Futurama. The entry fee proceeds go to various neighborhood charities and non-profits and the winning teams take home spoils in the form of fun related paraphernalia. I know this first hand because the winning team at Futurama night featured yours truly. Why yes, I AM bragging. But trivia night would not be complete without perhaps the most ingenious idea for a coffee shop yet: Alcohol. Two-fist your latte with bottled beer or a glass of wine. Everybody's happy!



Posted By:  Chris LaRoche
Photo:  Chris LaRoche

Diva Espresso
Have you ever been so far into northwest Seattle that you didn't even know the place had a name? Bitter Lake on one side of Greenwood, Broadview on the other, the impenetrable Highlands just north of that. To make things worse, you need a coffee, you need a coffee real bad. Until recently the prospects were limited to a few generic drive thru spots--even the ubiquitous Starfucks was hard to find. Now, finally, there's decent coffee up here in Nowheresville--Diva Espresso has opened up shop on Greenwood and NW 144th, which as far as I can tell, is the only independent coffee place in a three mile radius. Now, if only there was a place to get a good beer...



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Gorditos
“The Grande burrito is bigger than a newborn baby.” This is my final selling point when recommending Gorditos because I’ve learned that people can’t resist things that are so wrong they’re right, like the movie Pootie Tang. Don’t bother trying to visualize the size ratio in your head, directly in front of the cash register there is a picture of a swaddled newborn lying in the shadow of a massive Gorditos burrito. They say size isn’t everything and here it doesn’t need to be because the food is fan-friggen’ tastic. All the meats are grilled, the beans are lard free, and the salsa is homemade. My favorite, the fish tacos, are liberally sautéed with lime juice, cilantro, and black pepper instead of the typical deep-fried gut-bomb. The tie-dyed t-shirt wearing staff are always smiling and rocking out to raucous Mexican tunes. Here the food is made with fun, which is part of what makes it so delicious.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Green Lake Pitch & Putt
This ain’t your daddy’s golf course. The atmosphere of this 9-hole course is somewhere between that of a mini-golf course and the country club, but without the windmills of the former and the expensive stuffiness of the latter. If you’re like me, and you can’t drive a golf ball to save your stylish checkered pants, you’re in luck. The longest drive is 105 yards and the average is 65 yards. Putting alongside breezy Greenlake is the perfect way to spend an afternoon outside. Bring your own driver and putter or rent a set (only $2) and fill a backpack with beer for an extra special time. At $5 per game, you will have plenty of money left over to make a friendly wager with your buddies, or have a nice, affordable day out with the family. Just don’t bring any serious golfers with you. They will lose patience quickly with the easy-going amateur atmosphere and the snug course layout. Don’t forget to yell “Fore!”



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Ok, you know a shoe store is going to be completely bad ass when the owner takes break dancing lessons. Not only does The Sneakery stock Gola, DC Shoes, Converse, Saucony, PF Flyers, and galoshes, but also animal-free and kicks containing recycled materials. Give Seattle rain the finger by stomping from puddle to puddle in a pair of rubber boots emblazoned with faux Americana tattoos or pirate flags. Be prepared to spend some time here. The staff all love sneakers and will make certain you leave with the perfect pair. This ain’t Foot Locker. So relax on the leather chaise lounge, close your eyes, and imagine some really fit individual asking, “Are those shoes vegan?”




Powered By Subgurim(http://googlemaps.subgurim.net).Google Maps ASP.NET

See Greenwood / Phinney Ridge...
Restaurants (29)
Nightlife (15)
Shopping (19)
Landmarks (1)