6.6 out of 10

Phinney Ridge / Greenwood

Ranked 43rd best neighborhood in Seattle
47.685203461166 -122.357213511831
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Safe & Sound
  • Public Transport
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Nightlife
  • Cost of Living
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5
Mar 04, 2016

"Great Zoo"

We went to Phinney Ridge neighborhood to go to the Woodland Park Zoo twice. It is fun to see the animals, especially the tiger, orangutan, gorilla, and penguins. We are planning to do the “zoo sprouts” class. This teaches you and your young children about different animals.

There was just a baby gorilla born at the zoo. We hope to see it soon. It looks very cute and adorable in the photographs.

We heard that they will soon be opening a night exhibit, which will be very interesting to see the nighttime animals.

We also have been one time to the “wildlights.” This is where they cover the pathways with lights and create animal shapes with the lights. It is beautiful in the winter. We also did the indoor “snowball fight” with fake snowballs. Since Seattle doesn’t usually get snow, they have to make fake snow.

Other than the zoo, we also went to the Woodland Park. It was nice, but Green Lake Park is nicer.

One other feature are the walking bridges over aurora. I have seen people taking photograph portraits here, which is a good idea.
Pros
  • Big zoo
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Feb 24, 2016

"Standard North Seattle neighborhood"

Phinney Ridge and Greenwood both sit just west of Highway 99/Aurora. They’re pretty typical for north Seattle neighborhoods, full of single family homes, a few condos and apartments, cute downtown areas, and middle/upper-class residents.

Being just far enough away from the city center, there are lots of families that enjoy settling down here. Not everyone who lives here is in a family though. There are plenty of couples, and a smattering of singles who prefer the quiet life.

When I was apartment hunting I looked at a few places nearby, and one thing that I liked about both neighborhoods is that they each had a small-town vibe to them. They have neighborhood associations with events, and it doesn’t feel as impersonal as a city. But that also made me feel a bit young for the area.

The neighborhood center for Greenwood (at 85th and Greenwood) is quite small, only about 2 blocks, but it’s enough to cover the bases of some good food, good bars, and good coffee. For groceries, there’s a big Fred Meyer, which is super convenient.

Phinney Ridge’s downtown runs down Greenwood ave all the way until you get to Woodland Park Zoo (personally not a fan), and also along 65th, between Green Lake and 8th ave. It’s a cozy neighborhood stroll to walk around the business district, getting occasional glimpses of Green Lake.

When it comes to housing, both are popular, but Phinney Ridge is probably in higher demand, because it’s just a bit closer to Green Lake, and to downtown. It’s easy to grab a bus (E line) down Aurora, which takes you straight to downtown Seattle, most of the way in a bus lane so you don’t have to wait in traffic. But getting east to west is a challenge on public transit.

The PhinneyWood art walk is definitely worth checking out-- it’s the 2nd Fridays from 6-9 and includes food! (The motto is ‘art up and chow down’). One cool thing is they make an effort to have most artists on site. Since it’s north Seattle, you’ll always find something funky too like on-site Reiki sessions and aromatherapy. Plus there are discounts on the art.

In the end, I didn’t end up getting a place here because even though the E-line runs right downtown, it still would add a 30-35 minute commute to get downtown, and that wasn’t worth it for me. Plus I felt I'd get a bit restless with how quiet it is, though I can see the appeal for others.
Pros
  • Choice of restaurants and cafes
  • Relatively quiet
Cons
  • A bit too quiet
  • Expensive to buy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Feb 18, 2016

"Very quiet neighborhood"

Greenwood is a cute little neighborhood. I contemplated living here, because at the time there were more reasonably-priced (for Seattle) condos for sale than in the neighborhoods closer to the city center, like Fremont, Wallingford and Green Lake. Greenwood is just north of Green Lake, and far enough away that the prices are a smidge, but only a smidge, lower.

But when I factored in the extra time it would take to get downtown for work, as compared to Wallingford where I ended up, it seemed a burden that I did not want to carry on a daily basis.

Also, if you live in Greenwood, you’d have to be comfortable with not being part of the downtown Seattle community. It’s really too far out to feel like it’s part of Seattle’s urban core. Plus, it has it’s own downtown center with everything you’d likely need. In my opinion, it’s a lovely neighborhood for families and couples, but probably a bit isolating for most singles, unless you prefer that lifestyle.

There is a fun little brewpub I’ve been to a few times that I can recommend. It’s called the Naked City Brewery and Taphouse. I like the atmosphere there, and the food is quite good.

Another favorite that I’ve tried is the Stumbling Goat Bistro. Take Greenwood Ave south until you hit 67th and it’s on your left. What I love about the Stumbling Goat is that many of their ingredients are local, and the freshness and preparation is superb. And for dessert—the “salted caramel bomb” is stunning. I would go there just for that.

Honestly there's not really anything wrong with Greenwood (or Phinney Ridge) it just seems like there's not very much in the way of entertainment or events, as compared to other nearby neighborhoods. Which is certainly appealing to some people, particularly families, but not to all.
Pros
  • Choice of restaurants and cafes
Cons
  • A bit too quiet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Eating Out 5/5
Feb 11, 2016

"Excellent restaurants"

I want to write a review for Greenwood just for Chaco Canyon Organic Café. There are three Chaco Canyon locations in Seattle, but the one in Greenwood is my top choice for brunch.

They accommodate many food restrictions here, not just vegan. They also have 100% gluten free options, as well as raw-prepared food. Plus, there is a full ingredients list of on their website where you can check ahead to investigate if it suits your particular food restrictions. For people with allergies or hard-to-accommodate diets, this is amazing.

And of course, it’s all organic.

This location is different from the other two Chaco Canyons because it’s mainly a bakery, and brunch location. I cannot recommend their brunch highly enough. Some of my favorites are the eggless mushroom spinach quiche, and the maple chia pudding.

Their regular “bakery café” menu has plenty of real food options as well, not just baked goods and smoothies.

After a good meal at Chaco Canyon, it’s enjoyable to walk around downtown Greenwood for a little while, maybe get a coffee at the airy Green Bean Coffee House. We also like heading to Magnuson Park or Golden Gardens afterwards to stretch the legs.

The second restaurant in Greenwood that I can recommend is The Olive and Grape, at Greenwood and 85th. They’re Turkish-style food is delicious, particularly on Tuesdays, when it is “happy hour” all day. They have many vegetarian options, alongside meat and seafood. I highly recommend the stuffed portobello mushroom.

Lastly, the Olive and Grape has a garage door style wall, which opens up in the summer and is lovely on the hot summer nights.

Overall, there are quite a few high-quality restaurants in Greenwood, for all types of people.
Pros
  • Choice of restaurants and cafes
4/5
Jan 05, 2016

"Living next to the zoo"

One of the defining characteristics for Phinney Ridge residents is their backyard: Woodland Park Zoo. You might hear locals complain about sleepless nights—waking up to monkey hoots, elephant blares or wolves howling at the full moon. But Phinney Ridge draws animal lovers. One estimate says there are three dogs for every fire hydrant! Phinney Ridge even has a do-it-yourself Dog Wash.

Homes are large bungalows and single-family styles. They’re often perched on steep streets and come in a range of colors and designs. Homeownership pride shows itself in the well maintained and tended landscapes, lush gardens, and home improvement projects. This is the kind of neighborhood where everyone knows each other’s names, and kids gather in the streets to play. Over the years, Phinney Ridge has attracted many first-time home buyers and new families.

Phinney’s ridge is on the east side of one of Seattle’s many slopes, giving this neighborhood beautiful views to the Olympic Mountains and over the Puget Sound.

One of the top spots to visit while in Phinney Ridge is Red Mill Burgers, where they serve some of the best burgers in Seattle.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jan 05, 2016

"Ten Minutes to Everywhere - An Urban Community with Convenience and Conviction"

It is hard to commute through North Seattle and miss this dynamic neighborhood. The area gently nudges the western shore of Green Lake, an acclaimed center for fitness and family fun. Head south a bit for a day at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo featuring rare wildlife. After visiting the animals, you can stroll Phinney/Greenwood Avenue to select a tasty spot to dine, also grabbing a pint at the plethora of pubs. Explore the attractive vintage architecture nestled either side of the Ridge. Getting around is no issue with access to multiple bus routes, bike routes and major arterials. Singles, couples and families alike will enjoy a visit or relocation here.
Pros
  • Choice of restaurants and cafes
  • Relatively quiet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Jan 05, 2016

"Packing as many businesses and homes into an area as possible"

The Phinney Ridge neighborhood is actually bigger than most people think. Mostly populated with homes crammed in right next to each other, the main streets and intersections also sport a few boutiques and small-community retail businesses. To outsiders, residents of Phinney Ridge seem very aloof and standoffish, including the business owners. It's almost like the area tries to extend the eccentricity of Fremont, but doesn't. Many people who live in this area are avid outdoor fanatics, loving everything from water to mountain sports. And the area is conducive to their passions, bordering Green Lake, which offers over 2 miles of walking trails around the lake and surrounded by a park and several recreation facilities. Woodland Park Zoo is also to the southeast of the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, providing the residents with a very green feeling, lots of huge trees and sometimes a not-so-pleasant smell when the wind blows just right. The homes are pretty, single-family houses, a bit expensive, but offering quick access to the highway and downtown Seattle.
2/5
Jan 05, 2016

"Not a lot happen in Phinney Ridge/Greenwood area"

It’s never a good sign when you visit an area and all you notice is the “night out against crime” signs. Yikes. Besides the crime signs the park in the area Woodlawn Park is known to be the home of some packs of coyote’s so don’t leave your children or pets unattended when visiting the park. Phinney Ridge has a farmer’s market which is okay, but not as spectacular as some that other Seattle neighborhoods have to offer.

Take a step to the right over into the Greenwood part of the area and things are a little bit more interesting, but with a rash of arsons that took place a while ago it’s still not one of the safest parts of Seattle. Tons of restaurants, coffee shops and bars are in the area and the night time action is pretty busy with 85th Street being the place to be seen.

I was completely underwhelmed on my visit, and left after two hours having not found anything to drawn me in further.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jan 05, 2016

"Seattle Favorites All in One Place"

The Phinney Ridge and Greenwood area is a green neighborhood, with lots of foliage in the form of big trees. The residencies are mostly single family homes on the expensive side because of the demand of the environment and the streets are dotted by small businesses, boutiques and shops that concentrate on some of the more trafficked roads. A seasonal farmer’s market is offered, but it’s not the biggest or best compared to other markets in the Seattle area. There are a lot of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that contribute to a pretty good night life, especially along Greenwood Avenue. Among the restaurants is Red Mill Burger, a passport of sorts for Seattelites to prove their citizenship, and a featured spot for variety and nicely sized burgers. Lots of major arterial roads, bike routes, and bus routes will easily get patrons around town.

Woodland Park is one of the biggest draws and houses a lot of wildlife. A full predator-prey relation was built between the descendants of released domestic rabbits feed in the park, and a pack of coyotes feed on the rabbits. While not a draw within the neighborhood, Green Lake is just next to the area and the proximity perpetuates an outdoorsy feel that penetrates not only the neighborhood, but also the residents. In keeping with the celebrations of nature, the number one reason to come to Phinney Ridge is to visit the Woodland Park Zoo.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Dec 31, 2015

"PhinneyWood is a wonderful place for families and first time buyers"

Phinney Ridge and Greenwood are actually two separate neighborhoods connected by the same street that bears the name of each neighborhood. That street changes from Phinney Ave N around 67th to Greenwood Ave N. The two are so intertwined they’re often combined into PhinneyWood, there is even a website called phinneywood.com.

Both neighborhoods have a main business district along their main drag, with Greenwood having slightly more shopping options, including chain grocery and drug stores. Each neighborhood is mostly single family homes with some smaller apartment buildings and condos.

Being closer to downtown, the zoo, and offering some spectacular sunset views, the homes in Phinney Ridge command a much higher price than those in Greenwood. According to Zillow.com the median home value in Phinney Ridge is $672,600 compared to $481,900 in Greenwood. Since Phinney is actually built on a ridge and is an older neighborhood these homes have more charm and prettier views. Greenwood is a terrific neighborhood for someone looking to purchase their first home.

Some of my favorite places in PhinneyWood are:

Mr. Gyros – The best Gyros and Greek food in Seattle!

Red Mill Burgers – The burger battle is highly debated around the city and Red Mill is one of the first and best. They only take cash and are closed on Mondays.

Pete’s Egg Nest – A little hole in the wall breakfast spot, no frills, just good food at a fair price.

Gorditos – Massive burritos full of flavor, a Seattle favorite.

Herkimer Coffee – There are a lot of coffee options in PhinneyWood and Herkimer is my favorite. They roast their own beans in the Greenwood location.

Alamode Pie – Who doesn’t like pie? Classic and seasonal varieties by the slice or whole pie.

Naked City Taphouse – A great neighborhood pub in Greenwood.

Chucks’s Hop Shop – Think beer garden meets beer store and throw in rotating food trucks. An awesome place to sit outside in the summer.

Greenwood Classic Car Show – Takes place on the last Saturday in June, if you like cars this event is a must.

I lived in neighboring Wallingford for several years, my first time walking along Phinney Ave I was taken back by the sheer number of strollers on the sidewalk. Phinney is very much a family neighborhood, and one of the best Seattle has to offer with great parks and the Zoo so close. Greenwood currently has a slightly younger, newly wed/first home buyer vibe in my opinion. I know two couples that are recently married and both have bought their first home in Greenwood and a coworker just purchased a condo in the neighborhood.

I think anyone interested in buying a home in a classic neighborhood would enjoy living in either Phinney Ridge or Greenwood. Who should avoid PhinneyWood area? Anyone who wants the urban high-rise feel of Seattle should look elsewhere. Anybody trying to live without a car might have a hard time getting around the city being based in PhinneyWood.

The bottom line is that PhinneyWood is a great neighborhood with a classic neighborhood feel, combining homes and local shopping. The area is prefect for families and those looking to buy their first home.
Pros
  • Nice homes
  • Choice of restaurants and cafes
  • Relatively quiet
Cons
  • Expensive to buy
Recommended for
  • Families with kids

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