by AMBER CAMPBELL, editor, Rainier Valley Post
[Ed. Note: Cross-posted at RVP. We know you’re looking for excuses to ride Link, so here’s something for you to do. Previously: the Mt. Baker Walking Tour.]
Columbia City – a historic community tracing back to 1889 – was a separate city until Seattle annexed it in 1907. Now it’s the gem of the Rainier Valley with improvements that have given the district a turn-of-the-century look while creating even more hometown appeal.
For the station hugger, Rainier Vista neighbor and Seattle Transit Blog editor Martin Duke recommends the pan-Asian fast-food joint Maki & Yaki – just one-third of a mile north of the the Columbia City station on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. “It’s really inexpensive with a broad selection,” he said.
Indeed, Maki & Yaki serves teriyaki (beef, chicken and pork), sweet & sour chicken and pork, short ribs, some seafood plates and assorted sushi rolls, all in a bright, clean setting for less than $10 a plate.
Meanwhile, the urban explorer will want to head two long blocks east on South Edmunds Street from the station to the historic Columbia City business district on Rainier Avenue South, which boasts an eclectic mix of retailers, restaurants and entertainment options.
More after the jump.
If you go on a Wednesday afternoon between 3 and 7 pm, you’ll run smack dab into the Columbia City Farmers Market held from May through October at Columbia Plaza on Rainier Avenue South (known to many locals as “RAS”) and South Edmunds, where you’ll find lots of lovely local produce, awesome African crafts and some way-overpriced ice cream that – if you have children in tow – will be an aggravatingly unavoidable purchase.
Back on Restaurant Row on RAS, even the most discriminating foodie will be overwhelmed with the bounty of choices available, including authentic Caribbean, Ethiopian, Halal, Sicilian, Mexican, BBQ, Neapolitan, French-inspired, Filipino-American and more. Some of your RVP’s personal choices include Island Soul Caribbean Cuisine (an RVP sponsor), Roy’s BBQ and Full Tilt Ice Cream.
After all that food, you’ll definitely need a walk, and who better to guide you than the Rainier Valley Historical Society with its Historic Walking Tour of 37 different historic sites and buildings? Go here to download the printable map, which includes everything from Columbia Library to the old mill, barber shop, confectionery and more. Hesitant to go home empty-handed? There’s plenty of great shopping to be had in Columbia City, choose from real buffalo from Bob’s Meat (serving the community for three generations), fun fashions and gifts from Gather or Andaluz and local art from Columbia City Gallery, an artist-run cooperative gallery showing the work of member artists.
Music lovers will enjoy BeatWalk, one of the most diverse and unique music events in Seattle. For a small cover, several different venues, including restaurants and retailers, feature high-quality performances of blues, pop, rock, jazz and world music selections.
Photos/do communications, inc.