NFT Seattle Wallingford

Wallingford

Essentials
Thanks to the enormous sign atop the local QFC supermarket (a nod to the old Food Giant sign), visitors know when they reach Wallingford. With Woodland Park and Green Lake to the north and Gas Works Park to the south, the neighborhood has a Sunday afternoon vibe all week long. This somewhat sleepy residential neighborhood hosts multiple summer food festivals and is home to the original Dick's Drive-In.

Sundries/Entertainment
While Wallingford's portion of 45th Street isn't much of a weekend destination, there are more than enough bars, restaurants, and cafés to make a night of it. Miyabi 45th is a fine-dining soba noodle house. Al's is our favorite little hole in the wall. Happily spend your entire paycheck at See more.

>Bottleworks--the beer selection is incredible. Or fill your backpack at Wide World of Books & Maps, a Seattle institution since the '70s.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Vinyl Ain't Final

By Gawel Feliga
Gawel Feliga knows a thing or two about scoring crack but that doesn't mean he was prepared for the multifarious record stores of Seattle. A green, wide-eyed street urchin the day he entered the unending aisles of 45s, turntables and 99 cent CDs, he left those life-changing places a grown fatigued man with a taste for cigarillos and long, weary stares. Gawel had anticipated recreational drug use, but he never expected to be moved by the music.

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Ivar's Salmon House
Ivar's may seem like the place your grandparents go for a fancy night out but it's also a Seattle landmark like the Space Needle or the Fremont Troll. If you haven't had their fish and chips or famous clam chowdah, you need to get in here. The Salmon House is by far the coolest of the three locations, built to look like a Native American longhouse and filled with Native art and an open pit barbeque for grilling salmon. When the weather cooperates you can sit on the deck overlooking Lake Union and get an eyeful of the Space Needle while sucking down raw oysters. Or you can get take out from the front walk up window and throw your extra fries to waiting seagulls or hungry UW students. Just relax, absorb the view and take Ivar's advice -- Keep clam.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Fainting Goat Gelato
Forget everything you know about gelato! It doesn't have to be made by Italians (which came as a surprise to this half-Guido). It doesn't have to be made from Cows milk. It doesn't even have to be made from milk at all! The Fainting Goat throws all of your gelato preconceptions out the window. This Turkish family-owned business sits in the heart of Wallingford, giving that Molly Moon person a run for her money. (Plus, at least for now, the line at F.G. is MUCH shorter). So not all their gelato comes from a goat, just their titular flavor. But it's a must-try. Maybe the goat is fainting because it can't believe that something so delicious came from its own body. Those nice people also offer several dairy-free Sorbetto flavors. Finally, there really IS such a thing as vegan gelato. Don't worry purists. They also do a mighty fine cow's milk gelato in the usual coffee, chocolate, coconut and pistachio varieties, served with the familiar mini plastic gelato shovel. For funzies, they maintain a rotating menu of more adventurous flavors like Strawberry Shortcake, Kasaba Melon and Peanut Butter (duuuuuuuuude). As a bonus, their scoops are enormous. Goat get some. (Sorry.)



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Sutra
Sutra fulfills a niche that is sorely underrepresented: The Vegetarian Foodie. As a regular Top Chef viewer, I know that most gourmet chefs have no idea what to do with a slab of tofu. One guy, when faced with a tofu challenge, elected to braise it with beef fat to make it “taste good.” But the folks at Sutra don’t need to cheat to make vegetarian food classy and tasty. They’ve designed a sort of supper club with 2 seatings, Wednesday through Saturday. The 4 course, set menu runs around $33 per person. Beer and wine is extra. All the ingredients are local, seasonal and organic. The presentation is professional and attractive. Even though you share the small dining room with 20 people, and they begin with a speech about the meal, you can still have a nice private dinner with your friends. The food itself is... good! It's not life changing but if you're having a birthday dinner or celebration of some sort wherein 2 or more of your party are vegetarians, this is a great place to go. The changing menu means that every Sutra experience will be new and exciting. Not unlike the most famous Sutra of all, the Kama.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Hawaii General Store
Craving the spirit of Aloha? Missing the tantalizing scent of Plumeria or the distinctive pasty aftertaste of Poi? Well get yourself to the Hawaii General Store. You are gonna love this place whether your Don Ho's biggest fan or you can't recognize the Hawaiian Islands on a map. Racks of Hawaiian shirts are shoved in between Hawaiian quilts, Hawaiian music CDs, Hawaiian home decor, Hawaiian coffee, and Hawaiian jewelry. You get the idea. The store is busy on weekends, packed with couples trying to savor the honeymoon glow, Parrotheads, and those Seattleites wishing the San Juans were slightly more tropical. This is also a great place to get fresh leis for the first luau of the summer or any other special occasion where you want to smell good enough to eat.



Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

The Erotic Bakery
You don't just go into The Erotic Bakery when you have the urge for a cupcake. You go in with a purpose. There's a bachelorette party that needs some spice? Get a cake decorated with marzipan shaped cocks. I was going to a party featuring gay porn and my boyfriend was nice enough to surprise us horny girls with a baker's dozen of cupcakes featuring vaginas on top. Even if they weren't nearly as good as Trophy cupcakes, we still had a kick eating pussy that evening. As will you.




Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Pharmaca
I'm a sucker for slick packaging, ambient lighting, and clever shelf displays. So it makes total sense that I love shopping at Pharmaca. All ye looking to do good for both yourselves and the planet will love Pharmaca's New Age spin on the traditional drug store. Natural remedies are right next to the band aids and Neosporin. Homeopathic Doctors offer counseling on supplements and vitamins while you wait for the pharmacist to fill your prescription. All this plus a huge selection of natural cosmetics, hair care products, smelly soaps, and things to make you soft all over. I can even pick up my favorite trashy celebrity gossip mag and a candy bar. This is definitely a step up from Bartell's.




Posted By:  Barrie Arliss
Photo:  Barrie Arliss

Gas Works Park
Remember when you were little and wanted to fly a kite and then you realized you'd have to stand there for a really long time, and watch said kite fall to the ground over and over again? Well, at Gas Works you can see this happen every day--all day. With one big hill and a sun-dial in the middle, this park seems to be the place to which kiters flock and tourists take guests to see Seattle without being too touristy. But even the passive-aggressive Seattleite have been known to make this smallish park their go-to destination. As you should too, when the view comes with water, sailboats and a random old gas plant. The defunct plant has now turned into the perfect picture scene/place to get high (as a kite). Everything's fenced off of course so there goes my dream of rolling a doobie on top of the gas stacks, but you can still play around the former exhauster-compressor building. And there are plenty of other areas to hide. So bring the kids, the tourists and the kind bud. Gas Works is where it's at.



Posted By:  Sara Dow
Photo:  Sara Dow

Molly Moon's
Molly Moon's is a place you need flip flops and a day off to truly enjoy. I walked in blinking out of the bright sunlight on 45th Street in Wallingford to find a cool sanctuary, pine tables and shelves of hot fudge. The chalkboard lists crazy-sounding ice cream flavors---balsamic strawberry, salted caramel, lavender honey, thai tea. They also have vanilla, for the less adventurous. The toppings get even fancier, all made by Dana Cree (the pastry chef at Veil). Besides the usual hot fudge and caramel, she’s created a balsamic reduction and seasonal fruit compotes. But no matter what you order, it will be too much. Even the single cone has 3 scoops. I felt like a little kid, ice cream dripping down my arm as I crunched into the homemade waffle cone. The salted caramel was too salty, but mixed with the lavender honey it was just perfect. Next time I'm getting that banana split.



Posted By:  Sara Dow
Photo:  Sara Dow

Rain Modern Infusion Cuisine
Where can you take a whole mob of drunk people for sushi? I wouldn't have thought Seattle had the perfect place, but it turns out we do. Tucked away in Wallingford near I Do Bridal is Rain, the perfect drunk-person sushi place. When we went last Sunday they had the front windows wide open and were playing reggae, a lot of it. Their rolls tend towards the trendy and wacky, taking a whole roll of sushi and deep frying it. Sounds damn good doesn't it? We were hungry as hell so I can't vouch for my taste buds, but these were some of the best rolls I've had in Seattle--superfresh fish, perfect rice, and so spicy you needed your water right next to you. They even have DJs, if you go on the right night.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Molly Moon's
Oh Molly Moon's. How thankful I am that I have to walk almost 2 miles to your doorstep. Otherwise I would surely be as large as the cows from whence their 16 delectable flavors come. Sure, they have the classic Neopolitan trinity. But how could you even THINK of ordering vanilla when you could have Scout Mint (as in the coveted seasonal cookies), Honey Lavender or Mandarin Chocolate Sorbet. There's nothing better than the one-two taste punch of sweet and salty. And you can satisfy that craving with the Balsamic Strawberry (featuring large stripes of that delicious dark nectar), the Maple Walnut or the more pointed Salted Caramel. If you're after a caffeinated kick to your sugar rush, you might go for the Thai Iced Tea or the Vivace Coffee which is freckled with ground-up coffee beans. Of course you can sample any flavor before committing to a giant scoop in your fresh waffle cone. This is useful for anyone skeptical of a cardamom-based desert (though even that is pretty good). Much to the chagrin of my pants, one can also buy their favorite flavor by the pint or quart. On a hot Seattle day, you'll find a line out the door. But I promise it's well worth the wait.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Hawaiian Breeze
Whether you're a born and bred Kailua Boy or just an Island Cuisine enthusiast, Hawaiian Breeze has got something for you. It's situated in the heart of Wallingford with a large window ideal for people-watching. The calming ukulele soundtrack and corny dissolve-heavy hula videos keep you distracted as you hungrily anticipate your meal. The wait can be long, even in an empty restaurant, but you'll find it's worth it. They have every dish down to a science. Bucking Hawaiian tradition, vegetarians can rejoice in the tofu version of the classic Chicken Katsu. The soy comes with a bonus dipping sauce, and both versions feature the Polynesian staple, macaroni salad. Likewise, the Kalhua pork and SPAM Musubi don't miss a beat. The Karaage Chicken is universally acclaimed and is often the dish that drives customers through the door. Hawaiian Breeze is good summer eating but also provides the perfect winter comfort food when you're trying to ignore the endless precipitation that awaits outside. Save room for a Shave Ice with the usual suspects of fruit flavors plus my personal favorite, condensed milk. Too bad there's no beach nearby to surf away all that pork.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Murphy's Pub
In terms of being a bar with a moderately European beer selection as well as convenient locale for a drink pre or post movie at the Guild, Murphy’s succeeds. In fact, that’s the only time you’ll really want to go to Murphy’s--when it’s convenient. Otherwise, it’s an unremarkable destination. It’s a cookie cutter Irish-themed bar with large TVs broadcasting “the game” and cozy looking couches in front of a stately fireplace. There are usually plenty of quaint “pub-like” seats available for spur-of-the-moment visits. They serve their beers in a “proper pint glass” and they have prerequisite signs for Guinness and Jameson. But there is nothing REALLY Irish about Murphy’s at all and it makes the place feel dead inside. On top of that the service is PAINFULLY slow. You would do well to order two drinks at a time, especially if you have somewhere to be. This is not an exaggeration and is universally agreed upon by every Murphy’s patron I have ever met. Also, don’t be fooled by their full menu of allegedly spot-hitting food like grilled cheese and burgers. You’d think it would be impossible to screw up melting cheese onto toasted bread. You’d be wrong.



Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Chutney's Bistro
Curry is bringing the world together one Aloo Gobi at a time, as evidenced by my last visit to Chutneys. The lunch buffet was packed, making it difficult to find a table between the stroller moms, business-casual office dwellers, and Latino construction workers. At $8.95, Chutneys’ buffet is slightly more expensive than other Indian joints, but it is so worth it. The number of choices dwarfs every other buffet I’ve been to, and one side is totally dedicated to desserts and chutneys. I don’t know what they put in the custard, but it tastes just like Smarties Candy and has probably added a few more curds to the cottage cheese on my ass. During your meal enjoy whatever Bollywood movie is on the TV and I am sure the staff won’t mind if you are inspired to get up and dance during the grander musical numbers. They never say anything when I do it.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo: 

Chocolati Cafe
Seeing the words Chocolati and Café together was enough to persuade me to u-turn around the street corner, perform an impressive parallel parking job (yes, it was legal), and run in for some chocolate. What can I say, chocolate’s my weakness. With specialty hot chocolates (peppermint, Irish cream), fancy chocolate truffles, espresso and a variety of alluring chocolate desserts (including custom-made chocolate-dipped fortune cookies with personalized messages), what more could you ask for? Wireless internet and couches? They’ve got that too (with 2 different seating areas upstairs that look out onto the espresso/dessert bar). Can you say cute and cozy? They’ve got 5 locations, so you won’t have to fight me for the couches.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Rancho Bravo Tacos
Tucked away in the corner of the Wallingford Winchell’s parking lot, one might not even notice Rancho Bravo Tacos. But of all the roadside taco trucks, this one is definitely worth checking out. Strategically situated one block down from Dick’s Drive-In and open till 2:30am on weekends, the grinning Rancho Bravo bull clearly has an agenda: lull the 2am snack scavengers away from boring burgers with the smell of fresh salsa and carne asada. So far, it appears to be working. No matter what you order, you’ll get your money’s worth. The burritos are a 5 napkin affair and their veggie quesadilla is packed to the gills with a pleasing array garden goodies. Those of you looking for the more unusual animal parts in your Mexican food might be a little disappointed, but the average taco consumer will be perfectly sated. Everything is made fresh and, while the service suggests they may be hot boxing the Bravo, they clearly know what they’re doing when it comes to taco truckin’. For a little dinner entertainment, “dine in” under their canopy and watch the eclectic Winchell’s regulars eye you suspiciously.



Posted By:  Suzanne Rugh
Photo:  Suzanne Rugh

Rancho Bravo Tacos
Searching for authentic Mexican food in Seattle is as pointless as coming up with a reasonable solution to the Alaska Way Viaduct disaster… until now. Rancho Bravo has come to save Seattle from bland taco hell and like most of the best Mexican food places in this country, it’s not much to look at. Served out of a silver trailer set up in the Winchell’s parking lot, they offer tacos, burritos, sandwiches and rice and bean bowls at very affordable prices. You get your choice of chicken, carne asada, or pork and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Get it to go or stay and rub elbows with the locals at the small table and folding chairs they have set up under a plastic canopy. A word of caution: the salsa does not come in mild. The weakest one is medium at best despite what the nice lady at the counter tells you. A major bonus is they stay open until at least 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday which is a welcome alternative to eating Dick’s up the street with a bunch of drunk frat boys.



Posted By:  Suzanne Rugh
Photo:  Suzanne Rugh

There was a lot of hubbub over Trophy Cupcakes when it opened last spring and I kind of wanted to know what all of the fuss was about but never enough to make it all the way over there. One night, a co-worker brought in a whole flat of cupcakes from Trophy and I happily shoveled one in my mouth for free. It was pretty good but way too much frosting. I brushed it off as mediocre and decided to stick to Cupcake Royale. One day when I finally wandered into the joint, I understood what all the hype was about. The place is too cute for words. It’s decorated like an old-fashioned ice cream shop and they have beautifully designed cupcakes displayed on fifties style cake plates. In addition to their standards, they offer a rotating menu of fun flavors like peanut butter and jelly and lemon strawberry, plus they do custom cupcakes for parties and weddings. They also sell old-timey cards, party decorations, and cake toppers. I still think they use way too much frosting but I would definitely consider them if I was having a party, because when it comes to cutesy, they beat Cupcake Royale’s brains out.



Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

Despite a few regular bar flies, It’s basically Build-Your-Own-Atmosphere at Moon Temple. This definitively divey Chinese restaurant and bar in Wallingford is prone to falling eerily silent when the electronic juke box runs out of customer plays. But if you’re with a lively crowd, on their way to somewhere else, (pub crawl? movie at the Guild?) none of this really matters. Enjoy lethally strong drinks whilst shooting a couple rounds of electronic darts before scarfing down Chinese food of sufficient quality and then heading off into the Wallingford night. The place isn’t completely devoid of character, though. The walls of the dart room are curiously muraled and the furniture hasn’t been updated (or repaired…look out for that sinkhole!) since the place opened in the 70s. Neither has the delightfully antiquated coasters featuring black and yellow cartoons depicting drinking-related jokes. Like a barfly telling a mermaid on a bar stool that she should hear his fish tale. Whaaaa? Look out, Andy Cap!



Posted By:  Suzanne Rugh
Photo:  Suzanne Rugh

May Restaurant and Lounge
If you’re like me, then eating late is sometimes necessary. It’s too bad that there’s only fast food or greasy diners available late at night, right? Wrong! I happened upon a place a few weeks ago after a friend mentioned some amazing karaoke he had encountered the night before (at which point I tuned out, his karaoke stories are long and boring). The thing I do remember is a short tirade he went on about late night eating and how ALL bars that serve food are supposed to serve until 1 am. Anyway, I found myself at a loss late one night when a friend flew in and she was starving. I remembered my karaoke loving friend’s tirade and we found ourselves at May, a Thai restaurant in Wallingford. When we walked in to the downstairs bar, I began to remember clips of his story as I noticed that karaoke was indeed going on, but instead of a stage, the microphone was being passed around the tables and everyone was singing in Thai. We ordered some pad Thai and the dishes arrived looking seriously fancy pants. The waiter/bartender mixed our food for us at the table and was very friendly considering it was 12:30 am and we were the only ones eating. By the way, the 24 hour Denny’s in Ballard closed recently to make way for more fucking condos. RIP 2 am Moons Over My Hammy.




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See Wallingford...
Restaurants (25)
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