Urban Safari: 2nd Ave in Belltown

Long known for its nightlife, Belltown

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Long known for its nightlife, Belltown’s Second Avenue has always had something for everyone—whether you’re up for burritos at Mama’s Mexican Kitchen and pinball at Shorty’s, tapas at Txori and jazz at Tula’s, or an evening of fancier fare at Tavolàta or Restaurant Zoë. Of late, a new crop of nightspots has emerged, adding to the neighborhood’s pull as a premier place to play long into the night.

EAT & DRINK >>The tasty Neapolitan pizzas at Via Tribunali (2200 Second Ave. 206.441.4618 viatribunali.net) make it the ideal spot to grab dinner (served until 1 a.m.) before a rock show at the adjacent Crocodile Café. We love the Piazza Dante with prosciutto and arugula ($16). 
Northwest-Italian fusion restaurant Branzino (2429 Second Ave. 206.728.5181 branzinoseattle.com) has been pleasing local foodies since 2008 with signature dishes like the gnocchi with rabbit ($17). 
Late-night revelers seeking a side of Chinese noodles with their DJ music should head to V-Bar (2122 Second Ave. 206.441.8227 vbarseattle.com), open since August in the former Saito’s space and offering affordable Asian-fusion dishes (such as the chicken chow fun, $9). It stays open until 4 a.m. Wed.–Sat. Bathtub Gin (2205 Second Ave. 206.728.6069) entered the scene last summer, boasting a speakeasy-style ambiance (complete with a hidden entrance in the alley between Blanchard and Bell streets). Cozy new Clever Bottle (2222 Second Ave., Suite 100 206.915.2220 cleverbottle.com) features an intimate space and, well, clever cocktails, such as the Savory Rosemary and the Pomegranate Rouge (both $7). Formerly known as Viceroy, The Rob Roy (2332 Second Ave. 206.956.8423 robroyseattle.com) pours traditional drinks like the Cuba Libre (rum, Mexican Coke and lime, $9) with a midcentury-mod-meets-hunter’s-cabin vibe. Funky new java spot Bedlam Coffeehouse (2231 Second Ave. 206.910.2300 bedlamite.com) serves teetotalers and late-night coffee addicts until 3 a.m. Fri.–Sat (until 10 p.m. Sun.–Thurs.).

SHOP >>Damaged Goods (2316 Second Ave. 206.728.6624 damagedgoodsseattle.com), a vintage-record and -clothing shop opened in January by Seattleite and former Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel, offers everything from snap-front cowboy shirts to rare vinyl records to live-music shows.
Iconic grunge music venue The Crocodile (2200 Second Ave. 206.441.7416 thecrocodile.com) reopened in March 2009 after a hiatus, with new ownership and a major facelift. It’s still considered one of the primo spots to hear local bands. Feeling theatrical? Freehold Theatre (2222 Second Ave,. Suite 200 206.323.7499 freeholdtheatre.org) stages all manner of acting classes, including an intro course (May 9–June 27). A mainstay of “pop-surreal” art, Roq la Rue Gallery (2312 Second Ave. 206.374.8977 roqlarue.com) showcases local artists such as Lisa Petrucci and Jim Blanchard, featured in the Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright show opening May 14.

Insider Tip:
Caffe Lieto’s (1909 First Ave. 206.441.7999