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Seattle : North
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North Seattle is a loosely-defined area, often including anywhere north of the Ship Canal that bisects the city. This article covers only the area between 85th St. and the city limits at 145th St. The neighborhoods to the south are collected in Ballard and the University District; to the north is the suburban city of Shoreline.


From west to east, the neighborhoods in North Seattle include Broadview, Bitter Lake, North Park, Haller Lake, Northgate, Maple Leaf, Pinehurst, and Lake City. The area is almost entirely residential, with the exceptions of the sprawling Northgate Mall, the gritty (albeit slowly gentrifying) commercial strip along Lake City Way, and the grittier (and staying that way) Aurora Avenue. There are few attractions of general interest,

Lake City's main drag, Lake City Way, while still the host of some creepy dive bars, thrift/pawn stores, and used car dealerships, is the focus of most urban development. New restaurants offering international cuisine are opening, and a 24 hour Starbucks is a sign that yuppie culture has arrived in Lake City.

Get in

By car

Major streets running north-south include Greenwood Ave., Aurora Ave., I-5, and Lake City Way (SR-522). For best results, go as far as you can on one of those streets before turning off. East-west streets are often interrupted by terrain and other obstructions - try using 130th St. and 105th St. west of the interstate, 125th St. and Northgate Way (effectively 110th St.) east of it. At the city line, 145th St. is unbroken all the way across.

By bus

The Northgate Transit Center, immediately south of the mall, is the hub for local service, as well as the Route 41 express bus to downtown and the 66/67 to the University District. The park-and-ride lots on all sides are free. Although the 41 runs frequently, neighborhood routes often drop down to hourly or half-hourly service. Using Metro Transit's trip planner [2] in advance is recommended.

Most runs on the 41 continue to Lake City Way, also served by the 72 (local service to the U-District) and 522 (express to downtown, no stops south of 125th St).


Sorry folks, there's still nothing you'd really want to go out of your way to see up here.


  • Carkeek Park, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd. (far northwest corner of the city, enter from NW 110th St. or 117th St.), (206) 684-0877, [1]. 6AM-10PM daily. The century-old trees and surprisingly hilly terrain surrounding a small valley give the impression that you're far from the city. Excellent for a walk in the woods. Free.
  • Lake City has a really great street fair in late August for Pioneer Days, complete with street vendors, food, music and a parade with local kids and performers on up to the SeaFair Pirates. It has a great small-town feel while the streets are lined with all sorts of families and crazies from the neighborhood. The kid's parade usually starts at 6, then the main parade starts at 7. Fun for all. Not for those who need irony to be entertained, or for those who can't stand a city crowd. [3]


  • Northgate Mall, though it may be the commercial center and focus of extensive new development, offers nothing unique beyond the standard large shopping mall experience. However, it is well-equipped to satisfy all your chain store and food court needs.
  • Lake City's pawn and thrift stores may present you with some good bargains. Value Village in particular has great deals on decent clothing items that foolish people rid themselves of.
  • No trip to Lake City would be complete without buying a used car from the reputable salespeople.


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If there is one reason to come to this area of Seattle, it is the Persian bakery, Minoo. Boasting a wide array of fried honey pastries and some nut-based cookies, other Middle Eastern eateries could only envy their quality and selection.

There are also, in the grand Seattle tradition, two Thai places right across the street from each other on Lake City Way: Chang's Thai and Thai One On (the latter being the better), as well as Toyoda Sushi and, a little west of downtown Lake City, the Enat Ethiopian restaurant.

Further south on Lake City Way, new development is taking place where Lake City meets the considerably nicer Maple Leaf.

For authentic Mexican food a world removed from the cliched, Americanized fodder served by chains, there is Mr. Villa near the intersection with 15th Ave. The tacos al carbon, homemade tortillas, and green salsa are not to be missed.

On 15th less than a block away is Anita's Indian Bistro which was voted 2nd best Indian food in Seattle, with rich and flavorful curries also available as sides for dipping naan.

Dick's Drive-In - Best food in Lake City (4 other around Seattle)

The Sugar Shack, a newly opened bakery near the intersection of Lake City Way and 15th, supplies an ever changing selection of cholesterol-boosting treats sure to please the palate and necessitate some cardiovascular exercise.

The Pho Binh on Lake City way offers fantastic Pho and Vietnamese sandwiches.

  • Masala of India offers surprisingly decent Indian cuisine, on Northgate Way east of the mall.
  • Santorini Pizza & Pasta, [4], 11001 35th Avenue NE, 206.440.8499. Neighborhood Italian (with some Greek tones) restaurant known for good food and house wine. A favorite with many locals, the cooks have a tendency to use ample amounts of cheese. Extremely large dessert portions, particularly the Baklava.


True to Seattle form, Starbucks are everywhere. If you were looking for alcoholic refreshments, Lake City's dives are your only recourse. There is a DRIVE-THRU liquor store near the THRIFT STORE on Bothell Way! I couldn't believe it, but there is such a thing.


There are no lodgings worth considering in North Seattle. Stay with friends, or look for more plentiful options downtown or in the U-District.


All branches of the Seattle Public Library offer free wireless access. Use of public, Internet-connected computers for up to an hour at a time is also free, though if you don't have a SPL library card, you must request a temporary login from the circulation desk.

Wi-fi is de rigeur in any self-respecting coffee shop.

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