Though one of the smallest and most condensed neighborhoods in Seattle, any Fremont resident will tell you that their corner of the city is the “center of the universe.” The neighborhood slogan may seem prideful, but it is not completely unfounded. Not a square foot is spared among Fremont’s superlative cafes, bars, restaurants, sculptures, parks, and shops where excellence and progressive thinking are the currency of success.
Originally founded as a separate city and annexed in 1891, Fremont gave Seattle its first library. The neighborhood also operates the oldest school within the city limits. Throughout most of its history Fremont has remained a source of educated eccentricity that makes it as much the center of the universe as the twilight zone. A giant bronze statue of Lenin, a 1950s Cold War rocket, and a massive concrete troll are just a few of the area’s more popular residents. At the heart of these odd ornaments is a legacy of thriving artists who created an exceptionally fun and inviting neighborhood, where costumed pub crawls are normal and a typical Summer Solstice Celebration is turned on its head when nude cyclists ride through Fremont’s epicenter. Suffice to say, Fremont has soul, and it couldn’t be more apparent than in the food.
Find Greek, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, and Spanish establishments within a hundred yards of each other. Sample sandwiches, sushi, steaks, curries, kebabs, and gyros until you burst. Go organic, go sustainable, go anywhere. If it’s in Fremont, it’s probably good. For a suggestion on where to start, try the following – Cuban sandwiches at Paseo, a Belgian brew at Brouwers, a simple crepe at Anita’s, and souvlaki at Costa’s.
Once you’ve had your fill, wander through the quaint shops, malls, and boutiques of Fremont’s tightly knit streets. The Fremont Vintage Mall maintains several floors of clothes, gadgets, furniture, and knick-knacks from yesteryear. Open year-round, the Fremont Sunday Farmer’s Market is a well-known destination for those seeking fresh produce, handmade goods, and excellent street food when other markets are closed.
As the sun winds down, visit a local spa or sauna for a relaxing massage or gentle facial. You may even consider going to one of Fremont’s holistic healers or acupuncturists. After you’ve refreshed, prepare for Fremont’s dynamic nightlife. The crowds shift from the restaurant-heavy Fremont Ave to the bars and night clubs featuring live music on 36th St. On any given night of the week, the High Dive and Nectar host local, national, and international music acts ranging from silky-smooth jazz to brain-crushing metal.
While astronomers and physicists may argue whether Fremont truly is the center of the universe, they cannot deny the force with which this little neighborhood pulls people in, drawing them from across Seattle’s sprawling urban galaxy.
- • Fremont Chamber of Commerce: www.fremontseattle.com/coc.html
- • Fremont on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont,_Seattle
- • Fremont Sunday Market: www.fremontmarket.com/SplashMay.html
- • Fremont News Blog: www.fremontuniverse.com
- • Fremont Fair: www.fremontfair.org
- • Paseo Cuban Restaurant: www.paseoseattle.com
- • Brouwers Cafe: brouwerscafe.blogspot.com
- • Anitas Crepes: www.anitascrepes.com
- • Costas Greek Restaurant: www.costasopa.com
- • Fremont Vintage Mall: www.fremontvintagemall.com
- • High Dive Lounge: www.highdiveseattle.com
- • Nectar Lounge: www.nectarlounge.com