Microhoods | A look at changing neighborhoods, a block at a time A look at changing neighborhoods, a block at a time

Share story

See all those dog walkers and baggy-shorts-clad students hovering around 55th and Meridian north of Wallingford? They’re not all just passing through on the way to Green Lake. Tangletown, as the strip is called for its intertwining streets, has become a hangout for parents to meet up for coffee or buddies to throw down a couple of cold ones.

1. Luau Polynesian Lounge and The Bora Bora Room, 2253 N. 56th St. You’ve gotta love a place that starts happy hour at noon — on a weekday.

2. Hiroki, 2224 N. 56th St. Japanese-European fusion desserts, with its signature green tea tiramisu. Hiroki faithfuls can rejoice: The ginger-pear biscuits are now sold daily, not just on weekends. If you’re lucky, you might catch baker Inoue Hiroki making croissants, which he doesn’t do much anymore.

3. Eva Restaurant and Wine Bar, 2227 N. 56th St. Swanky, underrated restaurant. Best people-watching is out front, where diners cross paths with patrons from the dive bar a few steps away. The look of horror.

4. Leny’s Tavern, 2219 N. 56th St. Dive bar where locals come for burgers, hand-cut fries and the 33-ounce mug of beer.

5. Kisaku, 2101 N. 55th St. Every year sushi fanatics anoint Seattle’s best hidden sushi joint, and every year Kisaku seems to win that title. The place is always packed. How secret, really, can this place be?

6. Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Co., 2200 N. 56th St. Two words: Clover machines. But you’ll never find a seat. It’s like study hall for University of Washington students in here. This studious bunch gets prop for not succumbing to Luau’s noon happy hour. No, wait a minute. There’s a rowdy threesome here who looks hung over.

7. Mighty-O Donuts, 2110 N. 55th St. Vegan doughnuts galore. I get it if you’re a vegetarian. But won’t the deep-fried, cookies-and-cream chocolate doughnuts kill you anyway?

8. Tangletown, 2106 N. 55th St. Brew pub and the commercial strip’s namesake, run by Elysian Brewing Co. Longtime locals will always know this site as the former Honey Bear Bakery.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com