NFT Seattle Eastlake / Montlake / Portage Bay

Eastlake / Montlake / Portage Bay

Eastlake is one gem of a neighborhood with an ideal location--a short bus ride from the U District and a hop-skip-jump from downtown. Being nuzzled up to Lake Washington makes the 'hood that much more desirable. It's old, funky, and a touch European, with its brightly painted homes and homespun shops. Once a more industrial section of town, residential buildings have sprung up near Eastlake's idyllic and thriving houseboat community.

Living up to the neighborhood's quaint and quirky reputation, Eastlake Avenue is lined with bistros like 14 Carrot Café. Nightlife here is decidedly more mature and quiet--most locals opt to partake of restaurant happy hours (Serafina is a favorite) or, if they're feeling a little more raucous, head to the See more.

>Eastlake Zoo for some pool and darts.


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.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Gawel Feliga
Photo:  Gawel Feliga

Louisa's Café & Bakery
This is pretty much your average neighborhood café breakfast joint. There's a decent selection of pastries, sandwiches, and other small breakfast and lunch dishes, hot and cold. Coffee, tea, smoothies and juices are available as well. The place is modest, but there's a good amount of varied seating. The staff are a motley bunch of pierced and dreaded young guys, apparently well-directed by a short, gray-haired lady with a kind, but no-nonsense demeanor. The service is friendly and for the most part, so are the patrons. It's unlikely you'll see anyone cursing at their children, yelling on the phone to their spouse or violently picking the onions out of their omelette. That is, cares and worries are left aside, to be replaced by the enjoyment of broccoli and cheese crossaints, cappuccinos and poetry-writing on laptops. I almost want to use the word "quaint".

Posted By:  Gawel Feliga
Photo:  Gawel Feliga

Everyday Music
This is probably my favorite music store in the area. I'm far from committing entirely to the passable quality of MP3s and the lack of artwork or any other goodies when buying albums in purely digital form. So walking my fingers across CD cases and vinyl will always be a bit of a sentiment. Apart from that, this place has one hell of a selection--jazz, folk, reggae, pop/rock, r&b, hip hop, plus new and used vinyl crates. I don't usually bug the staff here, but they’ve always been helpful when asked. For many titles they will have used copies or even cheaper "skufs." These are CDs with surface scratches or other neglible flaws that usually sell for $6 or less. I have bought several of these and never had any problems playing them, however, they are guaranteed if they don’t work. That's right, get some Bing Crosby for the old lady and a couple of death metal CDs for the kiddies and still have enough dough to get some smokes and a gentleman's mint. Take that, Amazon!

Posted By:  Gawel Feliga
Photo:  Gawel Feliga

The Zoo tavern is a local dive in the truest sense. This is what those young, Capitol Hill dens of fabricated dinginess are trying to imitate, but will never come close. The barstools have seen better days (back when your parents were still carrying fake IDs) and the bar is plastered with a legacy of photo-cutouts covered by permanently sticky glass. The walls are adorned with odd posters and dusty parephernalia. They will only take cash (there is an ATM) and you will only get beer (I believe they have something resembling wine, as well). On a busier night you will find a mixed-age crowd partaking in the many activities this time-worn drinkhole offers. There are several tables, traditional dart boards (score is kept on small chalkboards, but the walls are marked from floor to ceiling), a few pinball and arcade games, as well as shuffleboard. The room is spacious, divided into informal sections, ending in a balcony which offers an elevated view of the crowd. And on a Friday, everyone is either having fun, wasted, or both.

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Restaurants (13)
Nightlife (4)
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