Photo: Gene Bisbee

Columbia City & Rainier Valley

Global cuisines and charming parks flourish in some of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhoods.

A photo of lush green gardens and a red foot bridge at Kubota Garden Kubota Garden Jaime Pharr / Shutterstock


Waterfront Seward Park (5900 Lake Washington Blvd S) delights with 300 acres of old-growth forests and paved walking paths. Kubota Garden (9817 55th Ave S) offers a spot of tranquility with its 20-acre Japanese and botanical gardens featuring several hard-pack gravel pathways for motorized wheelchairs. Artists’ co-op Columbia City Gallery (4864 Rainier Ave S) centers the neighborhoods’ diverse community with juried exhibits and collaborations from locals. Baseball fanatics can get their swings in by booking a baseball or softball lesson at Mariners Training Center (5034 37th Ave S).

Eat and Drink

Dreamy blends of ube, pandan, and coconut make up the caffeine-loaded creations at Coffeeholic House (3700 S Hudson St). Feast on the signature spice-loaded sambusas at Somalian food destination Mama Sambusa Kitchen (8319 Wabash Ave S) or authentic wot, a stew, at Delish Ethiopian Cuisine (5701 Rainier Ave S). Then fill up even more at Jackalope Tex-Mex & Cantina (4868 Rainier Ave S), where the menu features standouts like brisket enchiladas and prickly jalapeño coolers.


Third Place Books (5041 Wilson Ave S) combines two Seattle classics: independent bookstores and craft beer shops. On the clothing front, do as the locals do and buy sustainably with consignment and pre-loved looks from national label Eileen Fisher Renew (4860 Rainier Ave S) and next-door children’s clothing store Chrysanthemum (4860 Rainier Ave S, Ste A).


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