Things to Do Around Roosevelt This Weekend

Now that the light rail is open, go visit this growing North Seattle neighborhood 🚆

📸: Chase Burns

It’s official. Seattle is becoming a big city.

What was once a metropolis made up of disconnected towns and neighborhoods is slowly getting the connective spine it needed decades ago. And what’s that spine? The light rail.

The new light rail stations popping up around Seattle link the city in a way that makes it feel bigger and smaller at the same time. Say you find yourself at Aladdin on the Ave but realize what your tum’s truly craving is some soul-warming, forehead-sweat-dripping hot pot with a side of crispy, perfectly fried duck from Kau Kau. This mouth-watering dream can become a reality in the CID, which is now a hop, skip, and a jump on the Link line. 

Thanks to the Northgate light rail extension, an estimated tens of thousands of riders are using the system daily, and they’re connecting to three new stations: U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate. The U District and Northgate stations understandably got a lot of attention when they opened (The Ave! The Kraken Community Iceplex!), but we here at The Ticket believe in every light rail station, and the Roosevelt station connects you to a neighborhood with lots of character and personality.

We’ve organized a few things to check out during your next trip to Roosevelt, places that will become core pillars in this blossoming transit station relationship.

Atlantic Crossing & Teddy’s Tavern

6508 Roosevelt Way NE

Do you want the happy or sad news first?

Let’s rip it off like a band-aid: Longtime Roosevelt haunts Atlantic Crossing and Teddy’s Tavern will both be closing soon. It hurts to see fav places fall victim to evolution. Seattle will keep changing—and, as evidenced by Roosevelt’s new light rail station, that’s often a good thing. 

Let’s look at the bright side: They’re still standing today! Classic old-man bars a couple of doors down from each other, these beloved bars offer everything you’d want from a local watering hole. You know, the kind of places it’s okay to drink during the day. Soccer matches as the sun rises, baseball games late into the evening. Pool tables no matter the hour. 

These spots never seem to change. They offer reliability in the face of the Amazonification of our city. Time capsules filled with imported beers, soccer flags and jerseys, and ’70s wood-paneled walls. A local refuge for guests from all walks of life. I hope they stay exactly as they are until their final day. Friendly staff, generous pours.

Green Lake

📸: Getty Images

Docks at Green Lake in Seattle, WA

You’re in the center of a parkgoer’s paradise here in Roosevelt.

North Seattle’s signature park, Green Lake, used to be hard to access if you lived south of Lake Union and I-5, but those days are no more. It’s now a quick jaunt or brisk bike ride away from the Roosevelt station—thanks to the city’s recently completed two-lane protected bike lanes on the road ringing the lake’s eastern half.

Equally beautiful in the fall and summer, Green Lake has everything a signature park requires. Surrounding the 2.9-mile concrete loop are grassy fields galore, where you can picnic, read, play lawn games, and dodge the occasional goose excrement landmine. Tennis courts, baseball fields, pitch ‘n’ putt, and paddle-boarding on the lake are just some of the activities at your disposal. 

The poop scoop: Don’t let the lake’s murky reputation stop you. Despite the rumors, Green Lake is clean and safe for swimmers, according to routine testing by King County. Take it from me, I’ve swam in the infamous lake many a time and came out fine. I have four thumbs now to prove it. And each one of them gives it a thumbs up.

Ravenna and Cowen Park

📸: Gary Kavanagh

A creekside trail with steps and a wooden creek crossing Ravenna Creek, winding through the lush greenery and moss covered trees of the Pacific Northwest in the forested Ravenna Park in Seattle, Washington.

Snuggled between two sleepy neighborhoods, Ravenna and Cowen Park create a green oasis primed for strolling. The two parks stretch above many valley trails, with bridges creating a cohesive and wondrous experience between them as if you’re traversing the moving staircases at Hogwarts. Get lost on a stroll, or find a quiet place to relax. Enjoy this escape nestled within the bustling neighborhoods. And be on the lookout for barn owls. They’re known to nest throughout the area. 

Sunlight Cafe

6404 9th Ave NE Suite 100

Whether you’re stumbling in hungover, just had a life-changing stretch at yoga, or somewhere in between, the Sunlight Cafe is ready for you with the sustenance your body craves. 45 years and counting, it is the longest-standing vegetarian restaurant in Seattle. Everything on their menu is either made in-house or sourced locally. And you won’t find white flour or refined sugars in their food. It’s a place of delicious flavors and good intentions

As a proud dabbler (past dabbles include vegetarianism, veganism, pescetarianism, chicken parm-ianism, etc.), I’ve dabbled in it all. This vegetarian eatery will forever be one of my favorite Seattle spots even as a current meat-eater. 

Standouts include The Nutburger, a grilled patty of roasted nuts, organic rice and vegetables topped with melted cheddar and served with lettuce, tomato, radish sprouts, mayonnaise & mustard. Onion on request. Also the Sesame Crunch Waffle, with bananas, blueberries, yogurt, and maple syrupy goodness.

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6411 12th Ave NE

When you’re getting on or off the light rail and you have some moments to spare, you might as well stop at Daiso. The giant Japanese franchise of “100-yen shops” is basically a Japanese Dollar Tree, if Dollar Tree was also in 25 countries like Daiso. They’ve got three locations around Seattle, one in the Chinatown-International District next to Uwajimaya, another at the Southcenter Mall, and a third one a block from this new sparkling light rail station

With its curious selection of kitschy toys wedged between scores of everyday household items, Japanese stationery, and snacks such as the addictive Tohato Caramel Corn, they have everything from the practical to the highly impractical to the I don’t know what that is but I think I need it in my life.

Maybe it’s the fact that rewarding yourself for your hard work is justification enough for an impractical purchase, or that paying a small amount hurts the wallet less… or maybe simply the heart wants what it wants. However you choose to justify your decisions, Daiso has something for you.

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Scarecrow Video

5030 Roosevelt Way NE

Ever spend hours endlessly scrolling on Netflix only to realize there’s nothing you want to watch and all you’re left with are questions about where your life went sideways? (Asking for a friend.) If so, Scarecrow is the resuscitator your heart needs. It’s a Seattle institution, the largest independent video store in the country, and allegedly the largest physical media library in the world

Standing determinedly in the face of digital transformation, Scarecrow is committed to growing its library of 140,000+ titles—bigger than all the streamers combined. As video stores become a relic of the past, it is one of the last great places to get lost in the nostalgic bliss of evenings spent browsing through movie aisles. Scarecrow is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

Don’t have a DVD player? Swing by a Goodwill. They often have VCR+DVD player combos for pretty cheap. (Or use the player on your gaming system!)


David Dossett Aberg

David is a multimedia writer covering stories on culture, sports, and goings-on around town. He resides between Seattle and Los Angeles, balancing writing for television and keeping his own sanity.

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