The aptly named Central District is located right in the middle of the city—and is beloved not just for its central location, but as the historic center of Seattle’s black community.
The Central District is at the very center of many conversations about gentrification and displacement in the city. The community went from 73 percent black—a product of a legacy of redlining that forced black residents into specific neighborhoods—to less than 20 percent since the 1970s.
But the neighborhood is fighting for its identity with projects like the Liberty Bank Building and Africatown Plaza, both community-led projects with affordable housing and space for small businesses. Black Dot, now in its second location, provides space for entrepreneurs of color to build their businesses.
Writing in to nominate the neighborhood, resident Jacob Lee pointed to the city’s great public transit access (“I have five bus lines within three blocks of my house”) and great food and drink, including Ezell’s original location, sister bars Twilight Exit and Neighbor Lady, and a whole lot of Ethiopian food. (We here at Curbed Seattle are partial to Selam and Meskel.)
Also: Beer. “Chuck's Hop Shop for all the taps,” said Lee. “Standard Brewing for a great neighborhood brewer.” And like any great Seattle neighborhood, there’s also great coffee. Le recommends Cortona Cafe, Union Coffee, Squirrel Chops, Peloton, and Broadcast.
The Central District also has its share of parks. Lee recommends Judkins: “It's on-par to Woodland Park, not counting the zoo.”
The Central District is a strong contender in this competition for the depth of its history, the resilience of its community, and the breadth of its future.
North Seattle neighborhood Greenwood is equal parts long-term homeowners and new renters—and has a homegrown, small-town vibe all its own.
This neighborhood is fun-loving and creative. The Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company funds the Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, which provides drop-in tutoring. While arcade bar Goat on Greenwood recently closed, another one, Coindexter’s, immediately popped up nearby. Neighborhood institution Gordito’s has burritos the size of literal infants.
Greenwood is also underrated for some of the best karaoke in town, from the Baranof right at the center to the Rickshaw at the northern edge.
This neighborhood recently got a little boost from Anthony Bourdain, too, telling the world about North Star Diner and Shanghai Room—which, despite being relatively new, seek to preserve a slice of old Seattle.
Oh, and Greenwood has the other Chuck’s, too, plus Naked City Brewery. So if you’re voting on beer access alone, this is a toughie.
Which neighborhood should advance this week? This poll closes Friday, December 14 at 11:15 a.m., so get those votes in. (Not seeing the poll? Try exiting Apple News or Google Amp.)
This article has been updated since its original publication to avoid confusion with the East Coast chain Barcade.