Forget the South King County Jokes; Why You Should Head to Burien

This often-underrated town is full of charm, character and promise<br><a href=http://www.seattlemag.

Category: Shopping + Fashion Articles


Just south of Seattle, nestled between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Puget Sound, is Burien, one of the area’s oldest, longest-established communities. Any town with a 100-plus-year history is apt to have tales to tell, and Burien does: It languished for decades after Southcenter Mall, built in nearby Tukwila in the late ’60s, lured shoppers away and forced local business owners to close their doors. Several years ago, though, a trickle of new establishments set up shop in the historic shopping district of Burien along SW 152nd Street and ushered in a fresh generation of merchants and restaurateurs. Now, this friendly destination burg brims with charming boutiques and eateries, with more to come: a $200 million town square, which, when completed in 2010, will offer more stores and restaurants as well as a grassy, 1-acre park, library and city hall.

Eat >>
The Tin Room Bar (923 SW 152nd St.; 206.242.8040) delivers true vintage charm with a convivial vibe in a spot formerly occupied by the old Hi-Line Tin Shop, established in 1930. Check out the original store sign above the bar while feasting on burgers, seafood and salads. Down the street, locally owned Australian Pie Co. (425 SW 152nd St.; 206.243.4138) makes portable pies fragrant with meat, barbecued chicken and more, while Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub (255 SW 152nd St.; 206.246.4211), an off-shoot of the original West Seattle location, earns raves for its award-winning boutique brews quaffed with organic-beef burgers, fish and chips, and ahi tuna sandwiches. If it’s comforting bistro food that you crave, head to Mark Restaurant and Bar (914 SW 152nd St.; 206.241.6275) for smoked pork tenderloin or vegetable risotto; Osteria da Primo (631 SW 152nd St.; 206.246.5561) is a true local fave for fine wines and authentic Italian cuisine. Hoping to sate a sweet tooth? The Danish Bakery’s (825 SW 152nd St.; 206.242.5111) self-serve coffee is humble—Boyd’s drip, warming on a burner—but the kringle, almond rolls and apple tarts are divine.

Named after a Tuscan town, Poggi Bonsi (901 SW 152nd St.; 206.859.6401) is a cozy, golden-walled haven brimming with majolica pottery, French soaps and Italian jacquard linens. Across the street, Zizia’s (827 SW 152nd St.; 206.242.2646) mocha walls iced in pale pink showcase vibrant, locally crafted jewelry and art, including mosaic renditions of the Northwest nemesis—the slug—by Vashon artist Elaine Summers. The mood is lively at Goodie Gumdrops (816 SW 152nd St.; 206.838.1099), where toys tower high and candies tempt near the back party room used for staff-hosted birthdays. Swing by urban nursery Grassroots Home and Garden (913 SW 152nd St.; 206.242.5552) for a fine selection of plants and gifts, and browse Two French Hens Antique Market (107 SW 160th St.; 206.246.0047) for vintage treasures of every kind. The brand-new boutique Howard and Marge (2118 SW 152nd St.; 206.453.5454) offers casually chic styles for men, women and children.

Play >>
909 Coffee & Wine (909 SW 152nd St.; 206.243.7909) serves breakfast, l