Columbia City Neighborhood Guide

Getting bored of the same routine week to week? A change of scenery might be in order!  If you aren't familiar with Seattle's vibrant Columbia City neighborhood - now is the time. Whether you are looking for food, shopping or entertainment, this neighborhood has something for everyone. This area is home to several family-friendly places, and it's accessible by light rail.  

1. Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max

If you’re craving Hawaiian food, a visit to Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max is a must. Chef Choy is known as the “godfather” of poke, a popular Hawaiian raw-fish salad. You can choose from three different types of poke: ahi tuna, salmon and tofu. Topped with green onions and sesame, Choy’s world-famous poke is served over furikake rice with mixed greens, namasu (pickled vegetables and seafood), ginger and seaweed salad. Other island favorites served at the restaurant include the reconstructed musubi and the garlic fried chicken.

Chef Heather Earnhardt, owner of The Wandering Goose, listed Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max as one of her favorite restaurants.

Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max
5300 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

2. Geraldine’s Counter

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Luckily, Geraldine’s Counter serves their famous French toast and other breakfast items all day, every day.

Geraldine's offers several comfort food options from chicken fried steak to biscuits and gravy. They also serve lunch all day. The macaroni and cheese is atypical -- blending garlic, chopped tomato, jalapenos, magic spices and five types of cheese. Geraldine’s Counter guarantees that "once you’ve had their mac, you can’t go back."

Pro Tip: Geraldine’s Counter gets packed during weekends. If you plan on eating brunch here, arrive before noon.

Geraldine’s Counter is open Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday through Monday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Geraldine’s Counter
4872 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

3. Columbia City Bakery

If you’re looking for a bakery with a fun and friendly vibe, visit the Columbia City Bakery. The pastry chefs here take pride in using simple ingredients to make their sweet treats, which are baked fresh daily.

The bakery offers cakes, croissants, cookies and more. Their bread is served in other Seattle eateries, but if you come straight to the source, you can choose from a wide range of options including their Columbia City sourdough, challah (available Fridays only) and focaccia. Owner Evan Andrews was a 2017 James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Baker.

Pro tip: If you order online, you will get 10 percent off your first order.

Columbia City Bakery is open Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday through Monday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Columbia City Bakery
4865 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

4. Columbia City Neighborhood Farmers Market

Support small family farm businesses by visiting the Columbia City Farmers Market. Starting May 3, the farmers market will be open every Wednesday. In addition to selling fresh produce and unique foods made by local artisans, the farmers market welcomes family-friendly musicians.

The Columbia City Neighborhood Farmers Market will be open Wednesdays 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 3 to October 11.

Columbia City Neighborhood Farmers Market
37th Ave S and S Edmunds St
Seattle, WA 98118

5. Retroactive Kids

This nostalgic toy store is for the young and the young at heart. Retroactive Kids carries vintage toys, books, legos, baby gifts and unique one-of-a-kind items. While you’re there, get a haircut!  The store shares its space with Columbia City Cuts in the back of the store. Don’t miss Sally Chong’s handmade Seahawks plushies. They may be the perfect gift for the ‘Hawks fan that has everything.   

Pro Tip: Retroactive Kids offers a 10 percent discount to kids paying with their own money.

Retroactive Kids is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Retroactive Kids
4859 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

6. Thrift Shopping at Hunt, Gather and Chrysanthemum

If you’re not a fan of paying full-price for fashion, stop by one of Columbia City’s secondhand clothing shops. At Hunt, you’ll find luxury clothing for men. Hunt is owned by Qasim Smith and Harvey Gorsuch. Smith said he loves the clothes sold in his store, but he would never pay off-the-rack prices for them. At Hunt, you’ll find gently used shoes, ties and even brand-name men’s blazers. Consultations are free of charge.

Hunt is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

4815 B, Edmunds St
Seattle, WA 98118

On Rainier Avenue, Gather sells clothing for women. Owner Megan McCabe, a former stylist, has an eye for fashion. McCabe said her shop has more than 2,000 consignors, so Gather puts out about 800 items every weekend. The shop has everything from Valentino leather and lace to more practical items.

Gather is open Sunday through Monday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

4863 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

Walk one block north from Gather to visit Chrysanthemum, a consignment shop for children’s clothes. Owner Christine Morehouse-Hidalgo brings babies into the world and clothes them – she’s a labor and delivery nurse. In addition to quality clothing, you’ll find vintage books, games, toys and even handmade boiled wool. You can get great deals on brands like Patagonia, Columbia, Helly Hanson and L.L. Bean.

Pro tip: Chrysanthemum says your four-legged family members can shop here, too. A typical pug, for example, wears size 3M to 6M.

Chrysanthemum is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

4820 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

© 2017 KING-TV


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