7.9 out of 10

Leschi

Ranked 18th best neighborhood in Seattle
47.6000211067862 -122.291327822958
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Mar 27, 2016

"Strikes a good balance"

The Leschi neighborhood is one of those secret little Seattle gems that I love. I admit, I may want to move here one day. It’s away from all the hustle and bustle, has easy access to I-90, reasonable costs of living, parks, a few restaurants, and views of (and access to) Lake Washington. A very pleasing mix and balance overall.

The parks, Leschi and Frink, are really one park (they are connected) and they are both gorgeous. Frink has shady trails that are cool and peaceful in the summer. Some trails have boardwalks, and others are just dirt. It’s the kind of place you want to walk slowly and soak it all up. Leschi is close to the marina, and has a view of the lake and the eastside. Great spot to have a picnic and enjoy the view or read a book.

There aren’t too many dining options in “downtown” Leschi (where Lake Washington Blvd and Lakeside meet) but my favorite is Bluwater Bistro. Of course, Daniel’s Broiler is great for a special event, but Bluwater is affordable enough for a regular treat, and the seafood is wonderful and fresh. Try the parmesan crusted Rockfish. The view over the water is divine! Even though it is facing east, sunsets can still be gorgeous—the light reflects off the Cascade Mountains across Lake Washington, sometimes making them glow pink, if they are very snowy and the light is right. I believe that is called alpenglow. One downside of the neighborhood is the lack of nightlife. However, it is only a 5-10 minute drive from the Pike/Pine corridor on Capitol Hill, which is Seattle's most popular nightlife scene.

I suppose the only other downside is that getting to downtown Seattle, or South Lake Union during rush hour is a drag. As the crow flies, it is not far—only 2 or 3 miles. But realistically, you either have to fight your way through dozens of traffic lights, or struggle with stop and go traffic on the freeways. Neither is a great option, and unfortunately the light rail line does not venture this direction.
Pros
  • Great parks
  • Quiet environment
Cons
  • Lack of nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
Mar 24, 2016

"Comfortable lakeside community"

Leschi is located near where I live in the central district. This sub-neighborhood is roughly south of Cherry, north of I-90, east of MLKJ way, and of course west of Lake Washington.

It has some of the greenest areas of the Central District, due to the steep hilly terrain that has been made into parks. Some of the prime property of the area sits near or even within these greenscapes. Though you won’t see as many of the mansions that are common in other lakeside neighborhoods in Seattle, prices do swoop back up, reaching levels unaffordable to many people, as you get closer to the water and the parks. Most housing is comprised of single-family homes, though there are a few apartment buildings along Lake Washington Blvd.

As for restaurants, Meet the Moon is a quaint, new café on the waterfront that I enjoy. I’ve been there twice, and both experiences have been excellent. I highly recommend the Moroccan spiced cauliflower. Absolutely delicious! They have a small menu, but it includes several robust vegetarian options to suit my needs. Most other restaurants are outside of Leschi, in other sub-neighborhoods of the central district.

The Polkadot Jersey is what I consider my neighborhood bike shop, which is also located near the water. Mike and Bob do not have a large selection of bikes, but they do have expertise in repairs, and also have excellent customer service skills. They can get quite busy in the summer, so I do hope they hire another mechanic, but overall I have been satisfied with the service.
Pros
  • Bicycle friendly
Cons
  • Expensive housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Comfortable, inviting shoreline"

Leschi has a variety of comfortable dwellings which will doubtlessly accommodate anyone who is ultimately interested in moving to the area: lakeside condos to charming bungalows, contemporary to Tudor, bricks, and ramblers. Regardless of where you are or live, the gently winding roads that run around the lake ensure at least a partial glimmer form the reflection of the lake. Parks intermittently dot the area and settle between residencies to lend a respite from what could otherwise be a crowded sort of feeling.

Leschi is certainly known for its calm and idyllic scenery, but there are some very prominent businesses and restaurants in the area. I remember fondly visiting Daniel’s Broiler on the water which can be used not only as a point of interest but also as an allegory for the neighborhood at large. One of the premier steak house brands of the Seattle area, the menu is consistently about quality (and the prices certainly reflect as such), and the experience is one of luxury, style, and class. The lot was formerly a Ferrari dealership, so it’s appropriate that your meal should start with valet service. The wait staff is helpful, charming, and attentive. Appropriately, the view from the wall-sized windows is tranquil yet involved, a near-perfect interlude between conversation or waiting for your dish. Staring out these windows is indeed as if staring straight into the very soul and character of Leschi: beautifully calm, inviting yet not freely accessible.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"The Shy One In The Corner"

If a friend painted a picture of a neighborhood with waterfront access, close to all major interstates, great parks, quiet living and a few "home run" restaurants - curiosity would spike. Leschi in East Central Seattle captures this photo and then some. It's gracefully tucked between Interstate 90, Lake Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and Cherry Street.

History

A landscape chiseled by earthquakes, glaciers, landslides and tsunamis: Leschi is named after Nisqually Chief Leschi http://bitly.com/eewVl0 (1808-1858). Logging activity paved the way for better access, in and out, of the community. Industry activity picked up with the convenience of processing trees shore-side as opposed to hauling them over steep hills to downtown Seattle (http://bitly.com/fwXJkP). After numbers had relocated to the east side of Lake Washington, and especially upon the completion of the floating bridge (http://bitly.com/gT5T45), material and population growth skyrocketed. However, despite the urbanization of Leschi, it has held true to its roots of natural beauty and a place to experience the grandeur of Northwest scenery (the Cascades, the lake, et al.)

Demographics and Income

Income levels are split, depending on which side of the community you reside. Anyone west of Martin Luther King Jr. Way will be drawing an average Seattle salary. On the opposite side is another story, especially in the south end where homeowners are cashing in six figures. This puts the overall Leschi median income well over the Seattle amount. Mostly middle aged couples and families reside here, forty percent of them are married. Around 23% of married couples have children living at home. The two dominant ethnic groups are Whites and Blacks, depending on which side of MLK Way.

Culture

Traveling west to east brings immense change in feel and scenery. A more urban and racially diverse environment exists in the western half of the neighborhood, while a less diverse and resort-like atmosphere dominates the eastern half.

Real Estate

Homes are not quite as maintained (overall), with more of an inner city-like vibe. Around 63% are homeowners, dwelling in structures of 1800 to 2400 sq ft. Home values have dropped by $200K in the last four years, which is no surprise for such a strategically located neighborhood.

Local Business Tour (Restaurants, Pubs, Coffee Houses, Shops and other Amenities)

An attractive "downtown" cluster of shops and restaurants lines the junction of Lakeside Avenue and Lake Washington Boulevard. Some of these include Bluwater Bistro (http://bluwaterbistro.com) - Started by Dan Anderson and Bart Evans who have a commitment to personable service and good food, Pert's A Deli on Leschi (http://bitly.com/f4rLoI) - A simple no-frills diner with a wide selection, and Daniel's Broiler (http://schwartzbros.com/daniels) - Claims to be Seattle's only USDA Prime Steakhouse. Catfish Corner (http://mo-catfish.com) - Featuring a nutrient-rich and healthy selection of catfish since 1985. All Purpose Pizza (http://allpurposepizza.com) - Opened by Kedra and Greg Scott who have a plethora of restaurant and pizza experience. Ruby Asian Dining (http://rubyasiandining.com) - A combination of Asian cooking, creating exceptional pan-Asian cuisine.

If you're up for some unique cuisine, the northwest corner of the neighborhood (Corner of Cherry and MLK Jr Way) plays host to Ethiopian restaurants. One in particular is Lalibela Ethiopian (http://bitly.com/hQfQx3) - Quick friendly service and tasty authentic cuisine. Another is Ras Dashen (http://rasdashenseattle.com) - Named after the highest mountain in Ethiopia. At Assimba Ethiopian Cuisine (http://bitly.com/abc3KR), I dove in with a group of friends and experienced the thrill of an evening sampling tasty vegetarian dishes with bare hands.

Accommodations

Staying overnight in Leschi can be a pleasant experience, provided you find a comfortable room. Knowing some friends who reside in the neighborhood is a plus, considering that only one bed and breakfast can be found: Leschi Garden Guest House (http://leschigardenguesthouse.com) - Offering comfortable and picturesque short term lodging, primarily on a monthly basis.

Schools

For those seeking a more unique education for their daughters, the Seattle Girls School (http://seattlegirlsschool.org) is within reach on the western side of Leschi. Garfield High School (http://ghs.seattleschools.org) - To build confidence in students to achieve academic excellence and become active citizens. Leschi Elementary School (http://leschischool.com) - Fostered on a belief of quality instruction and an environment promoting the active participation of learners. Canterbury Academy (http://canterburyacademy.com) - A project based, experiential academic environment for complex and curious students. Meter Music School (http://metermusicschool) - Offering private lessons, birthday parties, Kindermusik (http://kindermusik.com) and more.

Recreation

Leschi and Frink Park lie to the southwest. Leschi Park (http://1.usa.gov/hzcVaP), formerly an amusement park around the end of the 19th century, is eighteen acres of manicured bliss. Paths to walk, woods to explore, play area and boat moorage make it ideal for that next "staycation". Divided only by a road, Frink Park (http://1.usa.gov/ea8Uie) is a more primitive twin. Less developed by city standards, but a generous length of hiking trails. Powell Barnett Park (http://1.usa.gov/e7Hqzv), further north, may draw more young families with its modern play structure and wading pool (http://1.usa.gov/i78x2T).

The lake front and major bicycle trail interweaving the streets of Leschi, make for a fit community. However, many of these enthusiasts are probably on their way through from other parts of the city (like me). Once a month I ride my bike through this area to commute to a meeting south of Interstate 90. A bike trail traverses the heart of Frink and Leschi parks, even allowing cyclists to ride under the old cable car bridge. The spider-web like road design around the parks can easily disorient any rider or driver.

Medical and Wellness Facilities

While no official medical facilities are within Leschi, Harborview Medical Center (http://bitly.com/i5vBtu) is in Yesler Terrace (http://bitly.com/fTfA8Y) and Swedish Hospital (http://swedish.org) in Minor (http://bitly.com/fPUGhv) and the Central Business District (http://bitly.com/fwXJkP) are just a couple of miles to the west.

Spiritual Centers and Churches

During your stay (or residency) be sure to investigate a spiritual community: St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church (http://stmatthewmbc.com) - Featuring Reverend Dr. Thomas E. Tobin, Sr.; Evangelistic Center Church of God (http://evanctr.net) - Offering a ‘full cycle’ ministry of reconciliation and wholeness; and Walker Chapel AME Church (http://walkerchapelame.org) - Pastor David Aaron Johnson leads the charge to be a “beacon of hope for all.”

Transportation Access and Tips

Commuting to downtown is a cinch, considering the Interstate 5 and Interstate 90 junction are just blocks away. Surface streets prove even better much of the time. Leschi even keeps die hard Mariners (http://mariners.com) and Seahawks (http://seahawks.com) fans happy with a manageable game commute.

Summary

Leschi has found a variety of cultures within its borders, so anyone could sensibly settle in this shyly located neighborhood. The next time you pass through this community, make sure you make it down to the lake for beautiful views, friendly folk and well-deserved exercise.
Pros
  • Ethnically diverse
  • Quiet environment
  • Bicycle friendly
Cons
  • Expensive housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Quiet Lakeside Retreat"

The Leschi neighborhood, named after the Nisqually Tribe's Chief Leschi, is located on the shores of Lake Washington, with Interstate 90 to the South, Martin Luther King Jr. Way to the west, and E. Cherry Street to the north of the neighborhood. There are many parks in Leschi, including the well-known Leschi park on the lake, and Frink Park, featuring huge trees, natural trails, and a waterfall.

One of Seattle's older residential neighborhoods, the housing options seen on these tree-lined steets include everything from historic homes and million-dollar lakefront mansions to condo buildings. As you get closer to the water, the homes become more elaborate. Despite its pricey lakefront reputation, Leschi offers plenty of affordable housing options. Off the marina, there is a small shopping district with several restaurants and businesses catering to those living in the neighborhood.

Those who live in Leschi often stay for many decades in the same home. Popular among families with young children, retirees, and everyone in between, Leschi is a tight-knit community with many residents fighting to preserve its character. As a result, Leschi is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, and you're sure to see children riding their bikes or playing in the many green spaces residents enjoy here. For those living elsewhere in the city, the street-ends offer public access to the lake and a quiet refuge.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
2yrs+

"Two Parks to Choose From, with the Lighter Crowds"

I find Leschi to be one of those unique areas that’s host both expensive waterfront homes, high and low priced apartments/condos and smaller homes with a diverse culture of people. Several restaurants, markets and shops are in the area, everything from fast food to the popular Daniel’s Broiler can satisfy your dining needs and Leschi Market is one of the oldest family-owned markets with an impressive wine sections.

Leschi is not like other Seattle neighborhoods, hopping with people out on the town; instead it’s more of a hang out area as it borders Lake Washington. Home to two parks Leschi Park & Frink Park. Unlike most parks in Seattle, Leschi Park is busy on a nice day but doesn’t seem to be overrun with walkers, joggers and other’s trying to burn off calories while taking some sun, at least it wasn’t on my recent visit. It’s really grassy with several picnic tables, a playground and tennis courts, it was also the home of the first Seattle Zoo before it moved to its current location. A small marina with about 200 slips is located near the park for small boats who want to cruise Lake Washington.

Where Leschi Park is grassy Frink Park is more like a wilderness oasis with Frink Creek and some ravines. Frink Park is going through some renovations with re-forestation projects taking place by a group of volunteers trying to protect the wetlands and trails of the Park. Volunteer work groups can often be found restoring trails.

One of the two Parks in the Leschi neighborhood is a nice way to spend some time, but not a lot seems to be happening in this area of Seattle.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5
2yrs+

"A diverse neighborhood with a community pea patch!"

Lake Washington’s marina community, Leschi is settled along the lake and up into the windy forested hills to the west. Another revitalized community, it still offers a diverse neighborhood mix, but the closer you get to the water, the pricier and fancier the real estate.

Residences in Leschi include condominiums (especially along the lake), refurbished bungalows and craftsman, contemporary styles, bricks, Tudors and mid-century ramblers. Curvy streets wind away from the lakefront, which means many residences get at least a partial lake view. There are parks too—from a popular lakeside park to pocket parks sprinkled up in the slopes. Don’t miss the community pea patch, the tennis courts and the historical beach cottages.

Leschi town center is about two blocks long and vacation-esque. Set off the marina, there’s a local grocery store, restaurants, small businesses, condos, a deli and a Starbucks. On the weekends, Leschi is a resting stop and watering hole for tribes of recreational and competitive cyclists.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Leschi

1

Lake Dell Ave

4.5/5
"Great quiet winding street that leads right to the water"
47.6032858306988 -122.290144338063
"Lake Washington Boulevard - The Most Scenic Route in Seattle"
47.6039718887869 -122.284011137459
"Quiet yet curvy street near the water and surrounded by parks"
47.6000467264959 -122.289585617056
4

East Yesler Way

3.5/5
"Leafy neighborhood with a park located nearby"
47.6016475396508 -122.292908004662
5

30th Ave

3/5
"Number Thirty in a City Well Known for Numbered Streets"
47.605048206498 -122.293689733615

Unranked Streets in Leschi

Erie Ave

3.5/5
"Half million dollar homes are considered ghetto in this neighborhood"
47.6035164923984 -122.285850612812
"Boring, but great thrift shopping"
47.5957672180968 -122.292443668658

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