Seattle Neighbourhood Guide: Fremont
One of my favourite neighbourhoods in Seattle is Fremont (possibly because it has a troll!). Fremont was originally a separate city and was annexed over to Seattle in 1891. Sometimes referred to as “The Artists’ Republic of Fremont,” the neighbourhood has a very quirky and creative vibe. For instance, the (18ft tall) Fremont Troll is located underneath the Aurora Bridge and the mythical creature holds a large Volkswagen Bug in its grasp. Fremont is also home to the largest Lenin Statue in the USA!
Start your time in this hood by visiting Milstead & Co. for a great cup of coffee. After that, head West along N34th St and take a right to head up Fremont Ave N. From there you are in the middle of Fremont so feel free to wander. In 1991, a news segment reported that a display of a 1950’s cold war rocket fuselage was being dismantled in neighbouring Belltown. Upon hearing the news, the Fremont Business Association rushed to acquire the rocket and found it a new home in central Fremont. The rocket bears the motto of Fremont, “De Libertas Quirkas” - which means “Freedom to be Peculiar.” The Fremont Rocket can be found on the corner of N35th and Evanston Ave N.
In terms of shopping, there are some great boutiques in Fremont that carry items that you won’t find anywhere else. Two of my essential stops include Liten and Essenza. Liten carries some of the most beautiful jewelry in Seattle (they carry Satomi Kawakita- who created my wedding ring, so I may be a little biased). They have curated a stunningly collection of pieces that are unique and understated. Essenza also carries a selection of jewelry but also extrodinary perfumes and kids clothing. Les Amis (also related to the above two shops) is a wonderful clothing store in Fremont and boasts a beautiful storefront framed by Wisteria (which comes out in early May or so).
Theo Chocolate is almost always on my list as they carry some of my most favourite chocolate on this planet (including their Quinoa bar, Mint bar, and Key Lime Ganache chocolates). Theo offers tours of their chocolate making space and I think they are quite a treat to partake in (also great for kids).
Cafe Turko is a perfect place for lunch and their Turkish breakfast, served all day, should not be missed. Be prepared to wait if you are arriving at peak times, but their menu has ample selection so use the wait time to spy on what other people are eating! Another option for a light lunch would include Pel Meni Dumpling Tzar. I will be very upfront and honest with you- this little eatery is by no means highly rated for atmosphere. The entrance is located in an alley and the shop shares an area with a yoga studio/tattoo parlour- a true hole in the wall. However, the dumplings are great and the staff are fun to listen to as they banter about who is working harder. Our favourite was the Khan bowl (speciality dumplings with pork, cabbage, and hoisin).
Joule, a contemporary Korean steakhouse is a great option for dinner if you are game for new flavour experiences. The Kalbi burger has been heralded as in the running for the best burger in Seattle. If you are Vegan or Vegetarian, look no further than Harvest Beat. This little space serves a set menu each night (4-5 courses) and has some of the top vegetarian eating in Seattle. Expect to pay for the quality, but you won’t be disappointed! A popular place for lunch and dinner is Eve. Featuring an eclectic menu with many vegetarian options and a great cocktail list, it is the perfect Fremont location to kick back.
I highly recommend putting Fremont on your list if you are visiting Seattle (from Downtown it is about a 15 minute drive). Usually, I combine Ballard and Fremont into one day when I am visiting, as the two neighbourhoods are close. This funky destination is the perfect place to spend a sunny day and has enough great shops and eating to spend more than a few hours.