Best Neighborhoods: Upper Fremont Avenue North

Between North 41st and North 45th streets lies Seattle nouveau hippie haven.
By: Shannon O'Leary | Posted February 08, 2011
Upper Fremont Cafe Vita Seattle

PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE: Low-profile singles, students and starter families

The demise last fall of the much loved Buckaroo Tavern, serving suds since 1938, probably garnered Upper Fremont (also called Fremont Village) its most press ever, but this short sidewalk strip just up the hill from the main attractions of Fremont is more deserving of a visit than ever. Along with staples such as Hansen’s Florist, Brad’s Swingside Cafe and Marketime Foods are several other attractions—some new, some well established.

THE NEW BLOOD: Popular Italian restaurant Rialto Pasta Bar & Grill moved from Green Lake in 2008 and hasn’t missed a beat, still simmering Rudy’s Red pasta sauce for hours with meatballs and hot Italian sausage. Coffee magnate Mike McConnell opened the fourth of his Via Tribunali pizza parlors here in 2008, right next door to one of his Caffé Vita locations, enlivening the neighborhood with Neapolitan-style pies and a spirited nighttime crowd. At Hunger, succulent sliders du jour (from boar to buffalo) go down easy with a craft cocktail or two. Chef Scott Staples joined the hamburger frenzy recently with Uneeda Burger, featuring everything from elementary (a standard beef patty) to esoteric (elk and bison). Visit Fremont Abbey Arts Center for all-ages classes and arts offerings, including The Round, a monthly mash-up of live music, painters and poets.

THE CLASSICS: Many coffee aficionados think Lighthouse Roasters has the best beans (with new blends and varietals every month) for takeaway or delivery. Patrons patiently line up with cash in hand—no credit cards accepted—for addictive sandwich fare at Paseo Caribbean Restaurant (best-seller is the Cuban roast pork). Eyes on Fremont has been offering hip eyeglass frames and on-site repair by bona fide eyewear geeks since 1996.  From sound systems to cool-sounding instruments, American Music, which opened in 1973, is a store for musicians, run by musicians. And what’s not to like about Video Isle, which offers savvy staff film picks, two-for-one rental Tuesdays and free popcorn?

Fremont AbbeyFremont Abbey

>> American Music (4450 Fremont Ave. N; 206.633.1774;
>> Brad’s Swingside Cafe (4212 Fremont Ave. N; 206.633.4057)
>> Eyes on Fremont (4524 Fremont Ave. N; 206.634.3375;
>> Fremont Abbey Arts Center (4272 Fremont Ave. N; 206.414.8325;
>> Hansen’s Florist (4252 Fremont Ave. N; 206.632.9330; )
>> Hunger (4256 Fremont Ave. N; 206.402.4854;
>> Lighthouse Roasters (400 N 43rd St.; 206.634.3140;
>> Marketime Foods (4416 Fremont Ave. N; 206.632.8958)
>> Paseo Caribbean Restaurant (4225 Fremont Ave. N; 206.545.7440;
>> Rialto Pasta Bar & Grill (4307 Fremont Ave. N; 206.522.6635; >> Uneeda Burger (4302 Fremont Ave. N; 206.547.2600)
>> Via Tribunali (4303 Fremont Ave. N; 206.547.2144;
>> Video Isle (4459 Fremont Ave. N; 206.548.0502;