Hip and historic, this southern sector boasts one of America’s most diverse zip codes (98118). Check out the mosaic of cultures within strolling distance of the light rail station.
The destination-restaurant La Medusa has now been joined by newcomers like Salted Sea, a Vietnamese-influenced raw bar, and Super Six, serving poke, malasadas, and SPAM musubi. Or keep things simple at the Hummingbird Saloon with pints, Cornish pasties, and games of pinball in the same Rainier Avenue strip mall as the amazing Full Tilt Ice Cream.
Stock up on artisanal breads at Columbia City Bakery and other goodies at the PCC Natural Markets. Fashion-wise, Hunt sells high-end gentlemen’s gear on consignment, while Green Eileen offers gently used Eileen Fisher designs and supports nonprofits for women, teens, and bike accessibility.
Stretch your legs on a 2.4-mile paved loop under eagle nests and past Lake Washington shoreline at 300-acre Seward Park, then hit the superb Northwest African American Museum. At night, retire to Ark Lodge Cinemas for a flick, The Royal Room for live music, or the 1917 Columbia City Theater for a performance in the space that was dubbed “the city’s finest-sounding room” by SPIN Magazine.
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