Our neighborhood play-in match pits the Northeast (University District, Ravenna, Wedgwood, Lake City and Roosevelt) against the Southeast (Central District, Madrona, Mt. Baker, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, Columbia City and Rainier Valley.) Which is the better eating district? File your vote by Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
Sara Billups is backing the Northeast.
Northeast Seattle is brimming with restaurants frequented by the working class, upper crust, student body, family-centric, and most everybody else. The U-District stretches its arms from Agua Verde on the Ship Canal past the buzzy U:Don Fresh Japanese Noodle Station on 45th until it hits the bottom of Ravenna. That's where bookworms and kids co-exist over tzatziki at Vios while students and cozy couples order mugs of microbrew in the basement at The Pub at Third Place.
Wedgwood plays host to restaurants with every last bit of pretension gnawed off their bones so all that's left to think about is the food. The timeless meat-and-potato mecca Wedgwood Broiler and more friendly than browbeaten Fiddler's Inn are case
For Asian fare that's as good as the ID with much easier parking, Lake City's Chiang's Gourmet and Toyoda Sushi are always busy, not because they're trendy but tried-and-true. A few blocks west, Roosevelt's Thrive serves the raw and vegan crowd while Flying Squirrel Pizza Company adds a hip factor to the northeast with its rock and roll heart.
Southeasterner Nina Shapiro is standing up for her neighborhood -- and the five 'hoods surrounding it.
What can't you find in the Southeast Super Region? In a city that pays lip service to diversity, but in many neighborhoods has precious little of it, this area's got almost everything.
Almost, because the one thing it lacks is super high-end places. Who needs them? Not when you can go to Columbia City's La Medusa, a place that executes its Sicilian menu with items like duck breast, farro and risotto croquettes. Hungry for more humble Italian fare? The Southeast region's got an astounding array of superb pizza places--Georgetown's Stellar Pizza and Via Tribunali, Mt. Baker's Flying Squirrel and Mioposto, Beacon Hill's Bar del Corso, Columbia City's Tutta Bella, Rainier Beach's Pizzeria Pulcinella.
Columbia City offers great diner fare (Geraldine's in Columbia City), elegant Thai food (the Spice Room) and a Caribbean joint that serves up yams and plantains (Island Soul). Columbia City Bakery's bread is justly sought after by restaurants around the city.
Want Ethiopian food? There's Meskel in the Central District. Indian? Try Travelers Thali House on Beacon Hill. Dim Sum? The Rainier Valley's Jumbo Seafood Restaurant & Lounge easily matches more celebrated places in the International District. And Vietnamese? There are too many holes in the wall to name, and one of the delights of this region is discovering them yourself.