8.8 out of 10

Wallingford

Ranked 1st best neighborhood in Seattle
47.6604010677849 -122.32998251074
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Resale or Rental Value
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

5/5 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 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Apr 07, 2016
Editors Choice

"Quaint, walkable, green, and...white"

Wallingford, aka Wallyhood is a combination of small-town vibe and big-city perks. A charming, walkable neighborhood full of green spaces, it has a vibrant downtown with a movie theater, restaurants, pubs, and stores.

Just north of Lake Union, Wallingford is squeezed between parks in the north and south (Woodland/Greenlake and Gasworks, respectively), and highways to the East and West (I-5 and Aurora/99). The main downtown runs along 45th.

In addition to "The Guild," the local movie theater, which is complete with old-style billboards announcing the actors names surrounded by lights, there is a smattering of cute shops. I like the Sock Monster, Wide World Books and Maps, and a mall housed in a quaint red wooden building, full of artisan shops such as a yarn shop, vintage clothing shop, and Trophy Cupcakes, to name a few.

I never thought a grocery store could be iconic until I became a regular at the local QFC on 45th. It has large Hollywood-style lettering on top of the building that spells Wallingford in yellow, and is often decorated for the holidays or the Seahawks.

Speaking of icons, the neighborhood also has an ever-busy Dicks, where people begin lining up for a burger and fries before lunch.

There are quite a few other eating places, such as Fainting Goat gelato, Seattle Tilth restaurant with local ingredients, and Chile Pepper Mexican Restaurant, among others. My all-time favorite is Jhanjay Thai, which is all-vegetarian, and super-fresh. My brother moved to New York a few years ago, and each time he visits, its always our first stop.

Do I even need to mention how many coffee shops there are? I mean, its Seattle. We can be cultish about our favorite window seats. My go-to place is Chocolati, which has house-made hot chocolate, truffles, and my regular order, the Mexican Mocha.

There are plenty of pubs, and a few spots with live music. I like the Octopus Bar, which is decorated inside and out as a pirate ship. Its as cheesy, and as awesome, as it sounds. The place gets packed for holidays like Mardi Gras.

One of the best things about Wallingford is the amount of parks. Gasworks Park, at the South end of the neighborhood, rests on Lake Union, and is the site of the slightly grimy, yet colorfully-painted remnants of a coal-to-gas factory. The best feature, though, is the large grassy hill that is a popular spot for festivals and picnics. The annual sea-fair festival uses the park as home base, and it is also the best place to watch the 4th of July fireworks. Last year, they had a man with a parachute who attached huge sparklers to his feet and spun around the sky, landing near gasworks.

To the north is the large Woodland Park (urban trail runners love it), which includes Seattles Zoo. And a bit further north is Greenlake Park, which is a separate neighborhood, but only a short walk from Wallingford. One of my favorite things to do when friends are visiting is to get a coffee and take a stroll around the 2.8 mile paved path. There are also a few smaller parks sprinkled throughout the central Wallingford area.

Wallingford is know for its walkability, not just because of the stores and parks, but also because walking through the neighborhoods is a simple pleasure. Unlike much of Seattle, Wallingford hasnt yet been filled with large apartment buildings, though thats changing. But for now, it's mainly single-family homes and 2 or 3 story buildings, many of which have veggie gardens and decorate for the holidays.

Traffic: no matter where you go in Seattle, its not going to be great. The bonus for Wallingford is that you have the choice of two main north/south arterials: I-5 and Aurora/99. The Fremont bridge is a nearby third option, if both of those are congested. Also, Aurora/99 has many busses going downtown, including the quick E-line Express.

Theres one last thing to mention that applies not just to Wallingford, but to most neighborhoods north of downtownits very white, and relatively privileged. Seattle has a long history of neighborhood division by race, and remnants of that still linger today. If youre considering living in Wallingford, youd have to be comfortable living in a place that is probably more that 90% white. Im not saying its a bad thing, but its the kind of thing that you dont know until you visit a few times in person.

Overall, if youre looking for a home thats a mix of small-town and big-city, close to parks and shops, Wallingford is a gorgeous place to check out.
Pros
  • Vibrant downtown area
  • Large parks
  • Easy busses to downtown
  • Bicycle friendly
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • Lack of ethnic diversity
  • High traffic on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
EmmanuelleAlva
EmmanuelleAlva Thank you for your honest review!
Apr 12, 2016
LatoyaW
LatoyaW WHITE, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
Apr 20, 2016
jisunk
jisunk WHITE, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
6 days ago
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4/5
Apr 07, 2016

"Bikes seem to be plentiful here"

I feel like there’s always a lot of people riding bikes in Wallingford. I’m not sure if it’s because I tend to visit on nice days or because the people of Wallingford prefer to stay fit and protect the environment at the same time. Either way watch for the bikers while you drive through the area because they demand their share of the road. The area is lined with smaller businesses and shops, with more of a pub feel for its nightlife.

Gasworks Park is in the area so Wallingford is hopping during the 4th of July as this is the place to be during our nations holiday. However, my favorite destination in Wallingford is it's closeness to Woodland Park Zoo where for a small admission fee you can wonder around and view wildlife like a flock of Flamencos, African wildlife and so much more. Overall, Wallingford is a really fun place to visit, but bring your bike if you want to be able to blend in with the locals.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 07, 2016

"A Diverse Taste, But Simple Feel"

My wife and I searched diligently for an ice cream shop open past 9pm on Sunday evenings. Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream on 45th Street was one such place. Arriving about 9:30, we were shocked to see so many sharing our idea! We stood, along with many other young adults, to enjoy the flavor of the day served up in a generous waffle cone.

Wallingford offers a plethora of shops along the main strip (on 45th). It is one of the most broad spectrum in dining we have seen. You can explore everything from Dick's Hamburgers to Rain Modern Japanese Cuisine. How about the Pequena Havana Cuban Restaurant or Kabul Afghan Cuisine.

If you want a place to enjoy off the beaten path, then try Cantinetta on Wallingford Avenue It opened last year and features a great young chef, Brian A. Cartenuto. One other location that brings an experience as unique as the culinary skill is Art of the Table on 39th Street. A friend of ours raved about the four hour, multiple course meal he and his wife enjoyed behind closed doors. They arrived at 7pm and the doors were literally locked at 7:30pm to begin the "in house" feasting experience. If you have heard of the Herb Farm in Woodinville, WA, this is very similar, and right in our backyard.

There is ambiguity as to the boundaries of this progressive neighborhood. Some state it includes the "Tangletown" area near Meridian Avenue and 55th Street. Others here are proud to call Gas Works Park home. In fact, tomorrow, which is July 4th, will feature the city's premier fireworks display on the North side of Lake Union. The park is your best view of this spectacle. In fact, if you arrive early enough at Gas Works for the Holiday, you can ascend the hill and sit near the inflatable head of Lady Liberty.

The streets between Gas Works and the commercial district on 45th contain quaint residential streets, ideal for any lifestyle. The architecture is fascinating and proves to be great eye candy for leisurely walks. Good schools provide an ideal place to put down roots as a family. Perks include walking distance to two lakes, the zoo and a couple of spectacular parks. The Wallingford Playfield contains an elaborate play structure uniquely designed for two to five-year-olds. There is even a wading pool for those hot summer days (which are mainly in July/August).

Transportation is another strength of this locale, with easy access to the urban core and bike-friendly routes galore. In fact, the famous Burke-Gilman trail passes through Southern Wallingford on its way to Fremont or to the University District. For that matter, many university students choose to settle here.

If you are fortunate, you may run into musician Dave Matthews who frequents a couple of coffee shops, including Fuel Coffee on the main drag. If you miss him over coffee, he may very well be pulling weeds in the yard of his modest home a few blocks away.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Bicycle friendly
  • Close to major university
Cons
  • High traffic on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
Apr 07, 2016

"Inviting neighborhood with great parks"

The Wallingford neighborhood, a few miles north of downtown Seattle, is bordered by Stone Way N on the west, Lake Union to the south, Interstate 5 to the east, and NE 60th Street to the north.

Many Wallingford residents consider QFC, at the corner of 45th and Wallingford Avenue, to be the center of their neighborhood, thanks in part to its large neon sign reading "WALLINGFORD." Along North 45th Street, the main route through the neighborhood, you'll find the original Dick's Drive-In Restaurant, along with numerous other shops, banks, theaters, and shopping destinations.

The southeast corner of Wallingford is near the University District, so you'll find lots of bars, restaurants, and stores targeted to college students here. In fact, much of Wallingford feels like a college town, but with a bit more grown-up appeal, making it ideal for young couples looking to settle down and start a family. Because of its proximity to the University District, many college students also choose to settle here.

Wallingford is full of beautiful historic bungalows, most of which are well-kept, with carefully manicured lawns and flowering gardens. This friendly and safe neighborhood is known for great schools and lots of pedestrian activity, even in the residential areas, giving the area a very relaxed and inviting feeling.

There are plenty of green spaces in Wallingford, including the Wallingford Playground, the Meridian Playground, and the Burke-Gilman Trail. Woodland Park is just off the northern edge of Wallingford, and Gasworks Park is at the southern tip. Many Wallingford community organizations host well-known annual outdoor events, including the Wallingford Kiddie Parade, part of the Seafair festivities.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Mar 10, 2016

"Many festivals and events throughout the year"

This is a very nice neighborhood. The houses are good looking, and it has a friendly environment. The downtown area is full of shops, and restaurants, and the neighborhood hosts many family events. It seems to be a neighborhood that people are proud to live in, and they live here for a long time.

We have gone to one festival at Gasworks Park in Wallingford. It was the SeaFair festival, as well as the Independence Day Celebration. There was music, food trucks, and fireworks late at night. But I don’t know if we will attend again, because the lines for the food trucks were very long, almost an hour for some, which is too long to wait for deep fat fried food with a hungry child.

However we did enjoy the Wallingford family parade and festival in July, one week later. There was a fun parade and several merchants along the main street, 45th Avenue. My daughter liked the marching band in the funny hats. We also learned that any children can be in the parade, which we will do when she is older. The parking is hard to find during the parade however.

We did hear about the “wurst” festival, which is a family event in October with many types of sausage, German style music, children’s activities, and a bake sale. I think we’ll try this one this year.
Pros
  • Family activities
  • Festivals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
Jan 23, 2016

"Very quiet with a couple good pubs"

Wallingford is where friends who are getting married like to live. It’s a little too quiet for me, but it’s fun to go to once in a while. I checked out the area to live, but it’s mostly houses and the apartments are really quiet and not that close to the nightlife, so I didn’t end up here.

One reason I go through this area is when I’m running on the Burke Gilman Trail, that goes all the way from Golden Gardens in Ballard past Fremont and Wallingford, then up Lake Washington. It takes you right past Gasworks park which is a good stopping point.

There are 2 places I like to go to in the evening as well, with my buddies who live in the area:

1. Kate’s Pub: they seriously have the best happy hour. It’s half off almost everything. The food’s not outstanding, but it’s your usual pub grub. Pretty good.
2. Go to Mardi Gras at the Octopus bar. Or really any holiday. Weekends are good too--just in general, this plays gets packed! It’s a lot of fun.

There are a few other places too, those ones are my favorites though.
Pros
  • Large parks
Cons
  • High traffic on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jan 15, 2016

"Walkable and close to both I-5 and downtown"

Wallingford is where I have chosen to make my home. I’ve been here for about a year and a half now, having moved from Lower Queen Anne. So far, I love it. I bought a condo with a view of Lake Union and the city, which was significantly more affordable than buying a condo in Lower Queen Anne, where they easily run in the millions.

I wasn’t initially planning on buying, but when I discovered how quickly rent was increasing in Seattle, I decided it would be a good investment. So far I’m pleased with my decision.

One thing that attracted me to Wallingford is the access to parks and running paths. I take my dog to Gasworks Park, the Burke-Gilman walking trail, or Woodland Park at least two or three times a week. He loves it.

It’s also nice to be in a neighborhood with houses and small buildings, rather than skyscrapers. Though I do enjoy being in a city, I also like the feeling of a smaller community. If I decide to move in the future, I’d probably get one of the cute little houses nearby.

In Wallingford, I can walk through the neighborhood to eat out or do some shopping. It’s only a few minutes to Fremont as well, where I often meet friends for happy hour at one of the pubs. Capitol Cider is my favorite, especially since I’m trying to cut down on my gluten.

Another reason I chose this neighborhood is the access to the bike path that goes to South Lake Union. Working at Amazon, I bring my dog with me to work (he sits under the desk). Unfortunately though, the bus drivers don’t always like when I bring my dog on the bus, and I don’t like to drive to work every day. So some days in the summer, I bike to work, and Max runs alongside. It’s good exercise, plus it wears him out so he’s quiet at work.

The last reason I like Wallingford is the proximity to Interstate 5. I ski at Steven’s Pass quite frequently in the winter, and I wanted to live somewhere that would be a bit closer to I-5. It only takes about 5 minutes to get on the freeway from my condo, though rush hour slows it to 15. The secret is to take 40th instead of 45th, which skips the lights and the traffic.
Pros
  • Bicycle friendly
  • Great restaurants
  • Large parks
Cons
  • High traffic on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
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 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"What a fantastic neighborhood!"

Everyone thinks of Wallingford as the area near 45th - near QFC, the Wallingford Center etc be we extend our view of Wallingford all the way to the banks of Greenlake. Even though Greenlake is technically a different area the two are so interconnected that I believe Wallingford can claim all the wonderful benefits of Greenlake and Tangeltown in addition to its own great neighborhood.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Georgeous homes and great schools"

Located between the University District, Fremont and north of Lake Union and downtown, Wallingford is known for its gorgeous bungalows and craftsman-style homes. There are also condominiums, modern designs and apartment buildings sprinkled amidst the early- to mid-century houses. Corners seem to sprout some enormous magnificent houses and a few Victorians were spotted as well. The new construction is tasteful, and respects the going style.

Many of the homes are propped up off the street, seeming to reach for views that can go east or west, north and south: to Lake Union, Green Lake, or to either of the mountain ranges. Steep and curved cement stairways run up to porch entrances.

Two main arteries run through Wallingford: 45th Street and 50th Street. The main downtown district is the always-bustling 45th Street, a busy thoroughfare that runs east-west and is filled with pedestrians. People from all over the city come here for the wide array of restaurants, coffee shops, a tea house, movie theaters and funky retail stores.

Wallingford is packed with good schools, and has been a tight-knit community for years. Another main thoroughfare is the Burke-Gilman Trail, a paved recreational path for bicyclists, runners and walkers. The trail begins at the nearby Gas Works Park, off Lake Union. And the zoo, in nearby Woodland Park is a short drive or manageable walk for those north of 45th.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Wallingford

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47.6613849004922 -122.340391549947
"Street with parks at both ends"
47.6646564999928 -122.344562500026
"Walk or Run Around Green Lake, A Seattle Tradition"
47.6646564999951 -122.343742500029

Unranked Streets in Wallingford

"No lake views, but great connections"
47.6608941336938 -122.347079937664
"Mosaic Parks and Gasworks trails"
47.6646280000032 -122.329067000016
"Narrow, quiet street in the heart of Wallingford"
47.6639364483025 -122.328260553163
"Great student housing!"
47.661731329694 -122.318417144731
"big garden of the city"
47.6595881970457 -122.335010204498
"Really narrow street!"
47.6579890216388 -122.337603975895
"A quite street with housing"
47.6606717261694 -122.344478318537

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