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Light Rail!

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With light rail opened up, those of us who work downtown now have an easier and quicker time getting to places like Beacon Hill, Columbia City, and Rainier Beach for lunch. What places near the light rail stations should I be checking out for the first time?

Here's the map:


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  1. Lots of interesting Vietnamese Choices around the Othello station, see my post below.

    1. This is the start of a great thread.
      I'm 3 minutes from the Chinatown station and curious about what chow I can reasonably hope to reach at lunch
      Anybody know any good chow to be had by the stations?
      Beacon Hill
      Mount Baker
      Columbia City
      Rainier Beach

      1. Sadly, there isn't much decent chow to be had in the vicinity of the Tukwila station--not within walking distance, anyhow (and I don't know that I'd want to walk far from the station in that neighborhood, anyway). I live about a mile and a half away, and I'm hard-pressed to think of even a decent latte drive-thru in the vicinity (note to anyone looking for a place to open a latte stand: here's your chance, probably the only part of western Washington not already over-saturated, and now there's a brand-new magnet drawing commuters to the area!)

        3 Replies
        1. re: MsMaryMc

          Thank you.
          I think this might be the beauty of the thing, though.
          As of right now, that locale is minutes away for thousands, and this might be just the moment for that budding restaurateur to open up for business. Hope springs eternal.

          1. re: mrnelso

            From your mouth, to God's ears...

        2. Can't say that I've tried all the places, but the Beacon Hill station has a Golden Daisy (?) Chinese BBQ place, Inay's Filipino Restaurant, Deelite Filipino Bakery, and a Baja bistro all within walking distance.

          1. Great thread idea.

            On opening day Saturday, the proprietress of Kallaloo Caribbean restaurant in Columbia City was handing out samples of her yummy Jamaican patties (curry chicken in a pastry dough) at the station, and as I was super hungry by that point, I made a bee line for her place. Had the goat roti (great) and callaloo, which was a bit like creamed spinach. Also great. I'll be back next time I'm in the area.


            And here are my pics of the day -- the last shot is actually in this restaurant's loo. I couldn't believe they thought the warning was necessary.


            1 Reply
            1. re: jjmccoy

              enjoyed your pics, thanks for sharing!

            2. Pho My Chau offers some of the best pho around:

              7101 Martin Luther King Jr S

              1. Had lunch today at El Quetzal, about 3 blocks South of the Beacon Hill stop. Not super close, but interesting. Had the Pombazo Loco, which was huge and flavorful. It's not your typical Tex-Mex place. The menu features regional and even pre-Columbian dishes. I'm definitely curious to try more on future visits.


                1 Reply
                1. re: jjmccoy

                  I'm big Quetzal supporter. In addition to the Pambazo I reccomend the huaraches, especially the nopal version. Near Quetzal is [formerly Galaxie now Victrola], which is/was a slick coffee shop with good pastries and light sandwiches. They had a cool neghborhood map where customers could pin their location. (Haven't been in since the change).

                  About 5 blocks south of the Columbia City station on MLK is Taqueria Huarachito's. They serve good tacos, etc. with a bit of DF flair sort of like Quetzal. On weekends they may have an al pastor spit spinning, and you can get carnitas pig miscellany to order.

                  There are numerous places along Rainier in Columbia City, just a few minutes from the station. For lunch I reccomend Roys BBQ, Geraldine's Counter (solid diner) and Kallaloo (pan-Carib; maybe not open then).

                  3 blocks north of the Othello station on MLK is Thai Palms, a restaurant that has a good selection of authentic Lao items, including housemade sausage with lemongrass, laab salads, "sunshine beef" jerky, funky and fiery jaew, and some great noodle dishes. In the same Vietnamese strip mall as the Pho place mentioned above, there is Tammy's deli, which is known for its bahn mi.

                  El Quetsal
                  3209 Beacon Ave S # 2, Seattle, WA 98144

                  Roy's BBQ, Columbia City
                  4903 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

                  Thai Palms
                  6715 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Seattle, WA

                  Huarachito's Mexican Taqueria
                  5418 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle, WA

                  Geraldine's Counter Restaurant
                  4872 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

                2. I had breakfast at Geraldine's Counter this morning, and they had a stack of flyers showing all the neighborhood businesses that are offering specials for people who arrive by Light Rail. Show your ticket or Orca Card and you can get all kinds of deals, including quite a few at neighborhood restaurants. The list is online at the ColumbiaCitySeattle.com website.


                  1. What about Mount Baker stop? Must be some hidden gems?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Charles

                      Close by there is Vieng Thong, a Lao-Thai place that makes some great, fiery Lao dishes and good Thai stuff, without a very expansive menu. In the same strip is Jasmine, a Tamarind Tree copycat that does a decent job with upscaled Viet. If you have time to walk or bus east on McLellan, you can visit Italian cafe Mio Posto; I've never been so I can't comment. 6-7 blocks S. of the station on Rainier is the popular taco bus El Asadero #2.

                      1. re: equinoise

                        Jasmine has some super cheap lunch specials - and the food is tasty and the portions are big. I liked it!