A lazy-town vibe in the middle of a big city…
Wallingford is really a quiet quaint feeling neighborhood that actually sprawls from just under Green Lake all the way down to the top of Lake Union. In this area you will find many quirky shops, some incredible restaurants, and a few breathtaking parks.
On the top of the list for must see quirky stores would be Archie McPhee. This is an over the top novelty toy store for ALL ages. You can get lost in this store for hours discovering and playing with all sorts of knick-knacks. Each wall and every shelf is fully covered with products from the weird to weirder. Archie McPhee is the ultimate place to go to find any gag gifts, stocking stuffers, party favors, or even just happy day gifts because this is the type of place to go in looking for absolutely nothing and walk out with absolutely everything that you had no idea you needed! Archie McPhee has definitely earned its spot on the top of the list for must see quirky stores, even if your in town for a short time, make time to stop at Archie McPhee’s.
Finding good eats in Wallingford is not a difficult task at all. All the way from coffee to alcohol and from fast food to farm fresh, Wallinford has it for you. The first and most iconic restaurant to think about would have be the beloved Dick’s Drive-in. Located right on 45th, this was the first restaurant opened of the small chain and is always plenty packed offering delicious greasy burgers, fries, and shakes! For the polar opposite experience try Mkt. This is a small intimate restaurant with only 28 seats available. They cater their menu to seasonal and Northwest products so it is constantly revolving to what is fresh and available.
When looking for a good dessert, don’t worry Wallingford definitely can serve you. The most popular place on the block is Molly Moon’s Handmade Ice Cream. They, as the name implies, make all their ice cream by hand and use Smith Brother’s Farm milk and it is AMAZING. Their menu too changes as the seasons do but no matter when you are going be prepared to wait in a line for your ice cream. This place is well known and extremely popular and is always in high demand.
If your looking for something to cool you down and you just need it right now, try Fainting Goat Gelato. This is a small mom and pop shop packing some mighty flavors. Just as delicious as Molly Moon’s however it hasn’t attracted the same large crowd so get in before the secret’s out.
Now that you’re fed and got some cool knick-knacks spend some time in the great outdoors at one of the parks in the neighborhood. The giant grand daddy park of them all is Woodland Park. This park is massive, incorporating tennis courts, a skate park, lawn bowling, a playground, a rose garden, and not to mention, the zoo! Forget the rest of Wallingford you could easily spend the whole day here at this 90 plus acre park.
And there is so much more to do in Wallingford; bars, theaters, parks on the water, ample vegetarian restaurants. The neighborhood has this great feeling of small town community but it really is a huge area full of places to go, see, and things to do. It feels easy to drive right through the neighborhood and not notice a thing (that is not during Seattle’s traffic hours), but next time pull over and check out a store, have a cup of coffee or better, wait out the traffic with some Molly Moon’s!