Seattle Neighborhood Guide: Tangletown

Tangletown

The Tangletown neighborhood, which is technically part of Wallingford but actually sits much closer to Green Lake, is a tiny neighborhood with a lot to offer. If you have ever tried to navigate the streets around Tangletown it will be fairly obvious how this part of town gets its name. The streets do not follow the standard "grid" pattern and instead are a messy bunch of sideways streets, dead ends, twists and turns. It once took us 30 minutes to find our way out and we actually live by the neighborhood. Okay, fine, maybe it wasn't 30 minutes but it definitely involved pulling over and using Google Maps just to figure out which way was north.

Despite the streets, there are plenty of reasons to head over to Tangletown and check out this cute neighborhood. Here are our recommendations for your visit.

Diggity Dog Hot Dog & Sausage Co.

Diggity Dog Hot Dog & Sausage Co.

Mmmmm...hot dogs. Is there a better lunch than a hot dog? Diggity Dog is a legit spot equipped with top notch meat and a variety of choices. They have everything from your standard all-beef kosher to chicken sausages to specialties such as the "Hot Mess," which features cream cheese, bacon, tomatoes, onion straws, and spicy mayo. Are you a Seattle purist and just want your dog with cream cheese? They have that too.

Diggity Dog
Elysian Brewing Co.

Elysian Brewing has several locations in Seattle and the one in Tangletown is definitely the sleepiest. But a quiet brewery is good for a few things. Quick, attentive service and your choice for seating! Beyond the quiet nature, it's a spot that has all the Elysian beers we love on tap. Our favorite is the Space Dust IPA and Superfuzz Blood Orange Ale. 

Mkt.

Mkt.

Ethan Stowell is a Seattle god in our opinion. We are big fans of his restaurants and we feel so fortunate that he has graced north Seattle with a spot. Fun fact: Mkt. stands for Meridian (the traditional name of the neighborhood), Keystone (the name of the building the restaurant is in) and Tangletown (the current neighborhood name). The restaurant is tiny (and popular) and serves up a menu of fish, meat, pasta, and vegetables all of the quality you are used to from this Seattle chef. It's a perfect date night spot.

Mighty-O Donuts

Mighty-O Donuts

Mighty-O is the only vegan donut shop in the city, and we love this place because they have fun flavors (try chocolate peanut butter or french toast!) and because of their ingredients, manage to be not quite so sweet as your standard donut (which means we can eat more). The fact that they use sustainable and organic products and work hard to create zero waste means you can totally have more than one and not feel guilty. 

Hiroki

Hiroki

Hiroki is a tiny Japanese bakery that basically can do nothing wrong. They have unique savory and sweet pastries with an international flare. We recommend the green tea matcha tiramisu and the orange cinnamon roll, which has the perfect balance of citrus notes and icing without being too sweet.

Leny's Place

Leny's Place

Every neighborhood needs a no-fuss dive bar, and Leny's has you covered. They claim to have the best hamburger in Seattle, and while we probably have to disagree, it IS a really good burger. It's the place to go to watch a game, cure a hangover, get a stiff drink, munch on some tater tots, or simply hide away in a dark corner. They have trivia on Tuesday nights, video games, and pool. Everything you want in a classic dive.

Himalayan Sherpa House

Himalayan Sherpa House

Stuffed naan bread. We repeat, stuffed naan bread. If there is one reason to go to the Sherpa House, this is it! Have you ever even heard of such a thing? The cheese, garlic, and onion stuffed bread does not disappoint, and we could happily order a second round and make that our meal. Of course, then you would be missing out on the momos (Tibetan dumplings), which are spicy and delicious.

Himalayan Sherpa House
Bergundian

This is a go-to spot for pretty much any of your dining needs. Brunch, lunch, dinner or happy hour, they have what you need. Rotating drinks, chicken and waffles, poutine, Wagyu burger, shrimp po'boy...do we need to go on? Did we mention the portions are large to boot? See you there.

Zoka Coffee

Zoka Coffee

This lovely coffee shop only sells coffee that has direct trade with the family of growers that sell high-quality crops. You can find coffees here from all over the world and feel good about drinking them too! They also only sell coffee that scores above an 85 on the coffee scoring scale. We don't understand exactly how that works, but apparently that means it's reeeeeeeeally good. This place gets mega crowded on the weekends (and it's a large space, so that's saying something!), so try and get there early if you want to grab a seat. Otherwise take your coffee to go along with a Mighty-O Donut (see above) and head down to the lake.

Kisaku Sushi

Chef Nakano has been working as a chef for the last 15 years and takes a lot of pride in his neighborhood sushi joint. This straight-forward spot has all of the standards that you know and love as well as chef specials such as spicy oysters, tofu dengaku, and seasonal delicacies. If sushi isn't your thing, they also serve a wide selection of yakisoba dishes. 

Taste and Sound: Enjoying Seattle's Vibrant Jazz Community

In terms of music, Seattle is best known today as the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and grunge, aka the 'Seattle sound', the rock subgenre that exploded into popularity in the early 90s. Digging deeper into the rich musical history of the city, however, there's another genre that has already been present and booming in Seattle long before the emergence of grunge. Ask any Seattleite about what kind of music is ever vibrant in the metro and you're almost always going to get the same answer: jazz.

Jazz is very much alive in places like Seattle as exemplified by the numerous jazz bars which line the city, and these venues are awesome places to visit as they give you two slices of the city's culture – music and food. Today, let's look at some Seattle jazz bars which are frequented not only by customers, but by world class musicians as well.
 

The Royal Room

photo credit: Daniel Sheehan

photo credit: Daniel Sheehan

The Royal Room is located on Rainier Ave. and it's hard to miss thanks to the big name board on its facade. Dim lights, a chill vibe and a cool crowd are the norm in this hangout spot with finely finished wooden interiors to boost acoustics.

photo credit: Sarah Barrick

photo credit: Sarah Barrick

Although open to all sorts of musicians, several jazz artists have graced the stage of The Royal Room showing how much Seattleites enjoy this type of music. Just last February, Seattle's very own Eugenie Jones wowed audiences once again by performing the hits of Nina Simone, one of the all-time greats of jazz and blues. The Stranger described Jones's voice and singing style as one that can “put a smile to your face,” which is perfect especially for upbeat jazz tracks.

As for The Royal Room's menu, the place serves Southern-inspired food so its offerings include dishes such as Quinoa Salad Wraps and Chicken Enchiladas. It also has some signature dishes like The Royal Burger – Washington beef patty in Columbia City bread complete with veggies and a special dressing.

The Triple Door

photo credit: Jessica Spiegel

photo credit: Jessica Spiegel

The Triple Door is one of the city's premier performance venues and it's unique as it's situated on the site of the now-defunct vaudeville house, Embassy Theatre, in Union Street. Many famous musicians have performed here as well like the legendary jazz instrumentalist and singer Herb Alpert for instance which, according to the Seattle Times, held a three-night show earlier this year with his wife Lani Hall.

The Triple Door serves Pan-Asian entrees courtesy of the Wild Ginger so aside from local cuisine, expect dishes such as curry, noodles and stir-fried food. Happy hour runs from 4PM to 6PM everyday.

Dimitriou's Jazz Alley

Photo credit

Photo credit

If there's one place where people flock to enjoy great jazz and great food, it’s Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley on the corner of Lenora St. and 6th Ave. For more than 40 years, King 5 News mentioned that the venue played host to all sorts of musical artists. It's one of the longest-run jazz clubs in the entire US.

But what also keeps guests coming back is the sumptuous culinary creations of its founder, John Dimitriou. Hailing from Greece, Dimitriou has a passion for both live music and his kitchen. The venue serves a wide variety of Northwestern dishes which are all organic in support of the local suppliers like farmers and fishermen. Given all the great reviews that the venue is getting for both food and its ambiance, it shows that Dimitriou has been doing things right for decades.

The Lasting Appeal of Jazz and Jazz Clubs

Photo Credit: USC Annenberg Media

Photo Credit: USC Annenberg Media

Jazz is often regarded as one of “America's greatest original art forms” which explains why it remains highly popular in the country even today. In fact in Seattle, there were more than 20 jazz clubs for some time on Jackson Street alone, which runs from the Central District to the now famous International District – a spot which we've also featured before in a post here on Rain or Shine Guides

Jazz clubs are favorite destinations for enjoying live music at its best and the distinct qualities of these venues allowed it to become as identifiable as the musical genre which they represent. Piano, trumpet and upright bass are among the instruments most frequently associated with jazz. The sound of these instruments are prominent even in media creations of jazz such as musicals like Chicago wherein the acclaimed song “All That Jazz” was used, as well as the thematic digital slot title The Jazz Club where various jazz arrangements were used by gaming platform Betfair Casino to evoke the sound and ambiance of its real world counterpart. During performances in venues such as The Royal Room, The Triple Door and Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, audiences are treated to a lovely ensemble of instrumental and vocal music, turning simple dinners into extraordinary nights that are worth remembering.

Do you know of other jazz bars in Seattle which are highly recommended destinations? Name them in our comments section below!

This piece was written in collaboration with Rebecca Osborne. 

Seattle's Outdoor Staircases

Seattle's Outdoor Staircases

It's no secret we like to eat. And sometimes blog posts require that we eat 5 donuts in one morning (it's for research, people!). So, it's probably smart if we occasionally try to get outside and move our bodies so we can tackle more donut shops in the afternoon. Of course, we want something that is going to pack a serious punch in the shortest amount of time. Enter stair climbing. It's one of the fastest ways to burn fat, tone your legs, scream curse words, and not be able to get out of bed the next morning. Outdoor staircases in and around the city are numerous. In fact, there is an entire website dedicated to finding these hidden leg burners. Today, we are here to tell you about our 3 favorites. They get you to different parts of the city and are pretty to boot! If you are going to do a workout from hell, you might as well get some scenery, amiright?

Thistle Street Stairs

Location: 8261 Northrop Pl SW, Seattle, WA 98136

Thistle Street Stairs West Seattle

This long stair case is located in West Seattle right next to Lincoln Park, which is sort of perfect because Lincoln Park is a beloved and large park located right on the Puget Sound (and home to Colman Pool). It's worth the trek to West Seattle to visit the park and you can tackle this stair climb as part of your outdoor adventure day. The stairs start at Fauntleroy Ave. right by the park and the ascend 367 steps towards SW Thistle Street. They start off fairly gradual with long steps, but eventually steepen before reaching the top. Take a deep breathe, and get moving! You got this.

Thistle Street Stairs

Howe Street Stairs

Location: 810 E Howe St, Seattle, WA 98102

The very long Howe Street Stairs

The very long Howe Street Stairs

Howe Street Stairs and Blaine Street stairs are located right next to each other and run parallel from Lakeview Blvd E. all the way up to E. Howe Street and E. Blaine Street. There are 388 steps making them the longest, continuous staircase in Seattle. They are relatively popular, so you will have to share the steps with others looking to get in a workout, but the steps are wide and there is plenty of room. The steps run alongside houses with beautiful backyards and lush vegetation making them a beautiful place to get your steps in. If you haven't passed out from running up and down Howe Street stairs, we recommend walking the short distance to Blaine Street and doing it all over again.

Beautiful backyards along Howe Street Stairs

Beautiful backyards along Howe Street Stairs

Howe Street Stairs

Wilcox Wall

Location: 8th Ave. West at West Lee St.

The Wilcox Wall

The Wilcox Wall

The Wilcox Wall is a lovely retaining wall located in Queen Anne with stairs built into it. While the number of stairs in the wall are actually relatively small, this one makes the list because it can be combined with the Lee Street Stairs located not too far away and, if you are really ambitious, can also be combined with the Galer Street Stairs for one long, epic workout. It also offers sweeping views of the Sound! We recommend starting at Olympic Way W. and W. Lee Street, running up the Lee Street Stairs, up the Wilcox Wall then following W. Lee St. all the way to Queen Anne Ave. N. where you can finally hit the final 36 steps that brings you to the top of Galer St. Here is a map for reference.

Wilcox Wall

The best part about this run is that it ends right at Queen Anne's 5 Spot, so you can get a lovely brunch (and mimosa) after you are done. You deserve it.

Lee Street Stairs

Lee Street Stairs

Lee Street Stairs and the Wilcox Wall
The view from the top of the Wilcox Wall

The view from the top of the Wilcox Wall

What are your favorite outdoor staircases? We would love to know!

Seattle Brewery Tour: Georgetown

Georgetown

Georgetown: Seattle's oldest neighborhood and a hot bed of amazing breweries. The rent is cheaper down south and there is more space to brew, which makes this location great for a brewery tour (they are kind of spread out, so you'll want a DD or to plan on a couple Uber/Lyft rides). Grab some friends and head down!

Two Beers Brewing 

With the philosophy, "Life’s a little more honest after two beers," this brewery takes the prize for our personal favorite in Georgetown. Two Beers has been on the scene since 2007 and because of the size of their operation, they have been able to build a pretty amazing taproom compared to other craft breweries. The taproom, named The Woods, has pool, darts, shuffleboard, and a local food truck, Bread and Circuses, has set up shop permanently serving great, greasy food to patrons. They have all their beers on tap along with all the offerings of their sister company, Seattle Cider Co. Plus, dogs are allowed and they have a patio (winning)! There isn't a whole lot they don't offer for someone looking for a cozy place to have a great beer or hang out with friends. 

Our favorite brews: Wonderland Trail IPA and when it's in season their Day Hike Summer Session Ale hits the spot!

Georgetown Brewing

Georgetown Brewing is only a tasting room, so that makes it a different kind of stop on on a brewery tour. Don't get us wrong though, there is a certain appeal to being able to get free beer, even if they are only 2 oz. tasters! Their location is in a large warehouse that also serves as their brewing operation. Walk up the ramp and through the large sliding doors. You can head over to the far end of the counter, show your I.D., and sample up to seven of their beers, without ever taking out your credit card! If you have a growler you can fill it with your favorite pour, but don't expect to be able to catch a buzz or drink a pint at the location. 

Note: On the weekends they are only open until 4:00 PM, so plan accordingly. 

Our favorite brews: Mannys, duh! This is the beer of Seattle and has so many memories attached to it. 

Lowercase Brewing

Lowercase Brewing is located just south of the main drag in Georgetown making it a great spot to stop after exploring the neighborhood. They just opened last year and have a pretty great taproom, equipped with games, a patio, and a comfy couch section for large groups. We are big fans of their beer and their commitment to the community. They also allow dogs and children at their taproom and also serve up their delicious lemonade for any underage guests, which makes it a great spot for families. And to make this brewery even better they hand out free popcorn to help soak up some of the alcohol so that's nice!

Our favorite brews: Their iPA and Honey Wheat win by a landslide, but definitely check out their seasonal tap for rotating goodies.

Machine House Brewery

IMG_6278.jpg

This spot wins on the list for vibe. Machine House Brewery is located in a portion of the old Rainier Brewery from way back in the day and has giant windows that let in tons of light and a big open taproom that is great for sharing a pint with friends. They brew english-style ales and serve them up in their taproom from rad, old traditional hand pumps. You'll probably notice your beer isn't quite as cold as some others, but don't worry that is traditional as well. Go with it, they know what they are doing here. 

Our favorite brews: Their Golden Ale is good for any occasion, light and refreshing. A great seasonal is their Double IPA, at 9.4% it packs a serious punch and tons of flavor! 

Counterbalance Brewing Company

Counterbalance: The quirkiest of the Georgetown breweries. Their balancing, one legged duck will greet you as you come up the ramp into the industry building that houses their brewing operation. Unfortunately, it isn't a real-life mascot, but it still lends to a pretty fun backdrop to your drinking. Pull up a seat at the bar and get a sampler to experience the wide variety of beers they have on tap. The staff is welcoming and there are games to enjoy. They also let you bring in food from outside places, so we recommend grabbing a pizza to-go from Stellar Pizza beforehand. We really enjoy this spot and hope you will too!

Our favorite brews: The Abigail Blonde Ale is our favorite, but they have some great stouts and IPA's on rotation usually as well! 

beer

FYI: A new spot, Jellyfish Brewing, is set to open sometime this year. Keep an eye out!