Readers’ Choice: Top 10 Best Things in South Seattle

Readers’ Choice: Top 10 Best Things in South Seattle

Hundreds of loyal Rainier Valley Post readers and south-end residents recently voted in the fourth annual Best of Southeast Seattle Reader’s Choice Awards – the definitive list of who to know, where to eat and what to do in one of America’s most diverse zip codes. But with only 42 categories, we’re bound to miss something. Hence the final category, “What We Missed: The Best Thing in Southeast Seattle That’s Not Included Here.” What follows is a list of the top 10 best things in southeast Seattle, according to RVP readers. What are your favorites?

1. Columbia City Farmers Market (Columbia City)
Each May, the Columbia City Farmers Market (CCFM) – what CNN calls one of the best in the country – kicks-off with loads of farmers and food vendors selling a vibrant assortment of early spring greens, organic poultry and meats, fabulous cheeses, fresh eggs, wild salmon and seasonal cut flowers. The market runs every Wednesday through October providing a regular opportunity for local families to picnic in the bucolic Columbia Park adjacent to the market, Columbia Library and Rainier Valley Community Center. (37th Ave S. & S. Edmunds St./206-547-2278)

2. King Donut-Teriyaki-Laundromat (Rainier Beach)
Where can you get a cheap date, sage advice and a big apple fritter for just $1.50? King Donut in Rainier Beach. Voted Best Thing in Southeast Seattle in the 2013 RVP Readers Choice Awards and awarded Business of the Year in 2014 by the Rainier Chamber of Commerce, King Donut is the place to be. Co-owner Davie Hay recently started writing an advice column for your RVP: Real-World Advice for Your First-World Problems. (9232 Rainier Ave. S./206-721-3103)

3. Ark Lodge Cinemas (Columbia City)
Everybody’s favorite neighborhood movie house reopened in 2012 nearly two years after the previous owner closed the cinema under a cloud of public drama, unpaid debts and multiple building code violations. The plucky theater was one of only two hundred across the country willing to show The Interview on Christmas Day, which created some much-needed buzz for the struggling cinema. (4816 Rainier Ave. S./206-721-3156)

4. Retroactive Kids (Columbia City)
Featuring vintage, classic, and one-of-a-kind toys and gifts, Retroactive Kids is a fun, creative, nostalgic store to shop for toys, kid’s books and baby gifts. There’s even a salon, Columbia City Cuts, located in the back of the store and they’re great with both kids and adults. (4859 Rainier Ave. S./206-932-3154)

5. Hillman City Collaboratory (Hillman City)
A non-profit, cooperative multi-purpose space shared by grassroots organizations and individuals focused on social change, creative expression, and community building. “The Collab” is made up of several unique spaces, including a co-working office, “mixing chamber,” learning kitchen, community garden, and drop-in center. (5623 Rainier Ave. S./206-799-8428)

6. Buy Nothing Southeast Seattle Facebook Group (Online)
An adult-only, hyper-local gift economy. The Buy Nothing movement encourages giving freely and sharing creatively. Neighbors post anything they’d like to give away, lend, or share, and ask for anything they’d like to receive for free or borrow. There is no buying or selling, trades or bartering or soliciting for cash. One local woman recently tried to give an entire neighborhood away.

7. Platinum Plush (MLK Jr. Way)
Nikita Mathis opened the tres fashionable Platinum Plush in 2002, catering to diverse, young and active men and women with the newest trends. She promotes her wears through fashion shows, hosts special events at local nightclubs and concerts, and throws community block parties. (6511 Martin Luther King Junior Way S./206-579-2651)

8. The Royal Room (Columbia City)
One of the city’s best music venue, restaurant and bar hosting jazz and other sounds & serving a Southern-influenced menu. Opened in 2011 by musician and composer Wayne Horvitz, longtime Seattle bar, restaurant and venue owners Tia Matthies and Steve Freeborn. (5000 Rainier Ave. S./206-906-9920)

9. Emerald City Fired Arts (Mt. Baker)
A fired arts studio specializing in paint-your-own pottery, clay art, mosaics and glass fusion. Pop in anytime or sign up for classes and workshops. A fun place to host birthdays and other special events. (3333 Rainier Ave. S./206-721-0450)

10. Full Tilt Ice Cream (Columbia City)
Full Tilt features delicious all-natural ice cream, new and vintage arcade and pinball machines, an eclectic mix of sodas, an amazing mix of music on the stereo, and some of the finest beers the Northwest has to offer. What else is there?  (5041 Rainier Ave. S./206-226-2740)

Find a full list of winners in the results of the 2014 Best of Southeast Seattle Reader’s Choice Awards – the definitive list of who to know, where to eat and what to do in one of America’s most diverse zip codes. Photo/Columbia City Farmers Market tulips (Diana Vergis Vinh)


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