Urban Safari: Eastlake

The best spots to eat, drink, shop and play on Eastlake

Category: Shopping + Fashion Articles


With a killer view of Lake Union and an influx of new condo-dwellers, Eastlake is more than a short cut to downtown. Several new eateries (along with beloved faves such as 14 Carrot Café and Serafina), one-of-a-kind shops, a lively cycling scene and its own pétanque court make this waterfront neighborhood a destination in itself—much to the dismay of residents hoping to keep it their little secret.

Something old, something new—that’s the mantra of Susan Kaufman, owner of 19-year-old Serafina restaurant, whose latest project, Cicchetti (121 E Boston St. 206.859.4155 serafinaseattle.com/cicchetti), opened in November and is drawing crowds for its Mediterranean small plates and craft cocktails. 

Sleek, modern Voxx Coffee (2245 Eastlake Ave. E 206.324.2778) covers all the bases with java by day, and wine and beer by night, plus Mike’s East Coast sandwiches and croissants from Eastlake’s own Le Fournil.

Funky, eclectic Louisa’s (2379 Eastlake Ave. E 206.325.0081 louisascafe.com), long revered for its heavenly cinnamon rolls, came under new ownership last year and now serves dinner: American standards with a gourmet touch from chef Chris Adkins.

At press time, Christina Choi, cofounder of Foraged and Found Edibles, was slated to open Nettletown (2238 Eastlake Ave. E nettletown.com), a casual, eclectic brunch and lunch spot in the old Sitka and Spruce space.

For a high-end denim upgrade, hit Jaxx Boutik (2345 Eastlake Ave. E; 206.659.4421 shopjaxx.com), which stocks ultrahip William Rast and svelte Hudson jeans for both women and men.

Old-fangled finds abound at Mort’s Cabin (2241 Eastlake Ave. E; 206.323.6678), a cozy store packed with vintage pottery, prints and rustic wooden furniture.

Eastlakers are wild for pétanque (a form of boules, it’s the French version of bocce) and in 2006 built the Eastlake Bouledrome, using dirt from Safeco Field and recycled cement curbs from Pioneer Square. It’s BYO balls, but regulars are often happy to share. On Fairview Ave. E between E Roanoke St. and E Lynn St.

A proud member of the Seattle dive bar scene since 1974, eastlake zoo Tavern’s (2301 Eastlake Ave. E 206.329.3277 eastlakezoo.com) five pool tables, darts, shuffleboard and vintage snooker table guarantee a spirited night out.

Catch the fly-fishing bug at Patrick’s Fly Shop (2237 Eastlake Ave. E 206.325.8988 patricksflyshop.com), where group casting clinics start in May.

Originally Published in April 2010