On a super cold day in Seattle, I can’t think of anything more heart-warming than to sip some hot drinking chocolate or a double macchiato at Chocolati Café on 45th Street in Wallingford, or Wallyhood, as the neighborhood’s fondly known. You can peer upon the passersby, bundled up against the unseasonably low temps, from the 2nd story windows while your hands are kept warm around your mug.
Afterwards, a short walk across the street for some browsing at the fire truck-red Wallingford Center, maybe pickup a box of Trophy Cupcakes for later while watching the snow fall. Stroll down to TNT Taqueria for a delectable plate of Green Chile Braised Chicken Tacos or a hearty Hominy and Spinach Burrito.
Nearby, Woodland Park Zoo and Gas Works Park, where Seattle sets off its 4th of July fireworks show, provide acres of green walks, fun activities or quiet retreat from the busy town center. Take up French at Alliance Française Seattle in the Good Shepherd Center, a fine example of the Italianate style architecture where artists, a senior center, artistic schools and other nonprofits find refuge as part of Historic Seattle’s creative programs.
Just north of the Wallyhood enclave in Green Lake Village, stop at PCC Natural Market to stock up ahead of the approaching chill. With 90 minutes free parking (validated, that is), you can pack away some groceries for the weekend or check out their roster of in-house cooking classes. I recommend these classes at any of PCC’s locations: Pizza di Napoli or French Pastry: Éclairs and Cream Puffs.
Wallingford is rooted with Pacific Northwest working-class history and remains a vibrant place to get to know with views of downtown that come into focus unexpectedly above the roof lines and side streets lined with charming craftsman-style bungalows. Everything you need to call Wallingford home is just a stroll or so away.