Strap in. We’re blasting off to the “Center of the Universe” to spend An Afternoon in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood! Last month, I kicked off a new blog series by exploring some of the shops and restaurants on Queen Anne. This month, I’m taking you on a walking tour of the city’s funkiest, quirkiest corner. Where else in the world can you see a giant troll, a mammoth sculpture of Lenin – yes, the communist leader, a Cold War era rocket, and Saturn for Pete’s sake?
Fremont is essentially a neighborhood-wide, outdoor museum. There are kiosks that offer “Walking Guide to Fremont” brochures pointing out various art installations throughout the neighborhood.
Fremont has proclaimed itself The Center of the Universe, and why not. It has the cojones to give a home to a larger-than-life bronze sculpture of Lenin, which, intentionally or unintentionally, lends to an “everyone is welcome here” vibe. (By the way, the sculpture is for sale. You can read more about it here.) This community nurtures creativity, welcomes fun, and thrives on eccentricity (read: a Solstice Parade led by naked cyclists). So, lets take a walk…
Getting Here: I drove and found street parking on Evanston & 35th. (Parking spaces can be tough to come by evenings/weekends)
My afternoon was caffeinated courtesy of the Fremont Coffee Company. This classic neighborhood coffeehouse offers artisan-roasted, Fair Trade, organic coffees as well as some of the biggest almond croissants I’ve ever seen! I am drawn like a moth to a flame to homes that are converted into coffee shops. FCC’s indoor seating area is sectioned off into several rooms, or nooks, that offer a homey atmosphere. You can also cozy up with a warm cuppa outside on the deck.
Marvel at this towering sculpture of the Bolshevik revolutionary on the way down to the main drag, Fremont Ave. A placard details the unusual story about how Lenin landed in Fremont. To think, this gargantuan sculpture was just lying face down in the mud at one time!
Fremont is a hot spot for boutique shopping. Spend an hour exploring the unique clothing, vintage and curio shops nestled in the neighborhood. Here are a few of my favorites:
Dream – Adorable, unique and affordable dresses, sweaters, jewelry and scarfs abound in this dreamy shop. I’m in love with this plaid and houndstooth infinity scarf I picked up for $35. No shopping bag needed… I wrapped it around my neck and trotted on to the next store.
Fremont Vintage Mall – From the mural of iconic characters greeting you in the entryway to the vast collection of vintage clothing, furniture, decorations and knick knacks, this “mall” is oozing with character. There are treasures around every corner. The nooks are separated by similarity, style and era. You can get lost exploring in here!
Burnt Sugar – This boutique has beautiful bags, boots, jewelry, home decor, and cards – seriously, the cards!
4. The Rocket
When you leave Burnt Sugar, head to the corner of the street (Evanston & 35th) and look up. You’ll see two of my favorite attractions in Fremont: A rocket and Saturn!
Foodie alert! Fremont has loads of delicious food. Some of my favorite restaurants are tucked away in this neighborhood. This time around, I had to satisfy a serious Pork Banh Mi craving at Fremont 1AM.
I also recommend: Pie, Homegrown, Hunger, Blue C Sushi, and Agrodolce.
6. The Troll
End your Fremont tour by meeting a questionable character under the Aurora bridge. The Fremont troll lives on Troll Avenue. If you look closely, you’ll see the colossal, beady-eyed troll is clutching a car. It’s an icon of Fremont that’s not to be missed!