News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


MugShot Monday #4- 24/7 Love at Cafe De L'Amour

August 25th, 2014 by master

Welcome to MugShot Monday: a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafe’s

The timing isn’t ideal. I lost a bet and now I am on a month long coffee cleanse. However, MugShot Monday must continue, and besides, it gives me an opportunity to sample other beverage items besides coffee.

Work in Progress, Cafe de L'amour is just getting started

I walked south down the ‘Ave’ on another hot day not knowing where I would end up. While scanning both sides of the street for signs of coffee I walked right past Cafe de L’amour. They are in the middle of a soft-opening so they haven’t quite nailed down their storefront. I backed-up, went in and chatted up the barista who was happy to tell me about the cafe’s future to come.

For one, Cafe De L’Amour is planning to be a 24/7 business. That means if you are cramming for a final or a deadline, or you are having that insomnia again, this is a destination you will want to know about.

Secondly, Cafe De L’Amour is hoping to connect with the art and music community by participating in the U-district Art Walk, hosting an open-mike and having other music acts put on shows. So if you are looking for a place to try out a new song or put some art up, give them a call!

James the Manager: Talk to him about getting a show or hanging your art!

I ordered an Earl Gray tea and sat down with James the manager to learn what he envisions for the cafe.

He told me that for now they are serving a Somalian French Roast(he wasn’t sure of the brand). They haven’t sourced a local baker yet, but he said that he hopes they will be able to carry some local brands and support local Famers Market sellers such as NuFlour, a gluten free bakery. James also added that Somali Owner Ahmed Ali will be installing a kitchen in the back so they can offer samosas and other menu items round the clock. The goal is for 24/7 hours of operation starting September 20, and until then they are open until 2 AM.

This cafe has a lot of space, brand new super comfortable seating and lot of potential. I really hope they are able to incorporate a local vibe through art, music and their menu offerings. In my opinion, having an independent coffee house in Seattle means supporting local coffee roasters, bakers, tea brewers and the like. I went ahead and put in my own personal requests for a Chai I hope they choose to carry. I encourage you to go down there and offer them some ideas too!

James seemed to be super excited to have this clean slate to work with. It’ll be great to see how he is able to bring it all together!

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The U-District farmer’s market reintroduced

June 7th, 2012 by master

UW News Lab

Seattle Farmer’s Market vendors make their weekly trip to the University District every Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. In the south parking lot of the University Heights Center for the Community, a group of over 50 Washington farmers sell fresh produce, meats, and cheese.

The U-District market was the first farmer’s market in Seattle and was established as a year-round market in 1993 by Chris Curtis, the Neighborhood Farmer’s Market Alliance director and a group of volunteers. According to the NFMA website, the U-District branch is the “oldest and largest ‘farmers-only’ neighborhood market.”

A good way to ease oneself into the farmer’s market atmosphere is to snack on a fresh Honeycrisp apple or grab a bite to eat from one of the weekly vendors in the Market Bites section of the lot. Pre-made plates can be bought there with selections ranging from Indian Naan or tamales to crepes or ice cream from Whidbey Island.

After satisfying grumbling stomachs, begin exploring what the market has to offer. Brace yourself; there is going to be a lot between picking out produce and coming to terms with farmer’s market pricing.

For those new to the locally grown scene, shopping at farmer’s markets can be a bit intimidating because of prices of fresh, organic foods.

“People are usually thinking it is expensive, but what you can do is to walk around and compare prices,” said Thea Preuss, a market volunteer.

So as not to have the wits scared out of them, new visitors (and perhaps UW students looking for a break from dorm fare) should avoid looking at products like foraged chanterelle mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns, each of which can easily be over $20/lb. Instead, try visiting vendors that sell everyday products like apples and salad mixes. Often, bulk mixes of arugula, lettuces, and spinach sell or about the same price as (or slightly more expensive than) supermarket boxed greens. Apples (at about a dollar each) are more costly than their grocery store counterparts, but make up for the price with their fresh flavor. During the average weekend, over 2500 visits come through the market.

However, with peak season approaching for Washington farmer’s markets, shoppers can expect grounds to become more crowded. According to one NFMA staff member, during the summer, the U-District site has about 3500 visitors.

According to Curtis, as a result of the rising Seattle temperatures, summer fruits and vegetables like strawberries, blackberries, asparagus, and greens will be making their debut at the U-District farmer’s market in the next few weeks.

All seven of the farmer’s market venues accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT). For more information about using EBT or food stamps at the markets or to find a location nearest to you, please visit

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Grilling with the masters at U-District Farmers Market

June 23rd, 2011 by master

On Saturday, July 2 the U-District Farmers market will celebrate barbecue season with free master chef and producer classes. Market shoppers can see demos on filleting fish, cutting meat, how to make the perfect hamburger, how to cut a whole chicken, tips on the best types of meat (beef, pork and lamb) for your barbecue…and how to grill it all to perfection. The Master Line-up in includes Becky Selengut, chef and author of Good Fish and the Cornucopiacuisine blog, farmer Janelle Stokesberry (Stokesberry Sustainable Farm) and Lissa James of Hama Hama Oyster Company — just to name a few.

The U-District Farmers Market is open every Saturday, year-round at University Heights Center on the corner of University Way NE  and NE 50th.   Hours are 9 am – 2 pm.

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New concept at U-District Farmers Market

June 5th, 2011 by master

The University District Farmers Market announces the Grand Opening of “Market Bites at U-Heights” – a new concept food court that will take place every
Saturday outdoors at U-Heights Center Plaza (right next door to the Farmers Market.)

Every week, market shoppers can enjoy hand-crafted meals and snacks made from market fresh local ingredients. There will also be free concerts, a kids playground and crafts.

Participating food vendors include: Rolling Fire Pizza, Lone Pierogi, CitiZen, Half Pint Ice Cream, Tandoozy, Patty Pan and House of the Sun.

Market Bites at U-Heights takes place every Saturday outdoors in the open plaza at University Heights Center. Hours are 9 am – 2 pm. University Heights Center and the U-District Farmers Market are located on the corner of University Way and NE 50th.

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University Heights Open Space project

May 24th, 2011 by master

The U-District Farmers Market will soon have a new look. You’re invited to check out plans for the University Heights Open Space Project that will change the southern part of the property. The plan is to integrate the Farmers Market and P-Patch into a space that will also contain park features and recreational uses. You can read more about the project here.The U-District Farmers Market is the oldest and largest “farmers-only” market in the state.

Started in 1993, the U-District market is a weekly event that celebrates local farms and builds community.

Public Meeting 1 at University Heights Center:
Monday June 6th – 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Room 104

Public Meeting 2 at University Heights Center:
Monday July 11th – 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Room 104

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Green Up at the U-District Farmers Market this Saturday

December 1st, 2010 by master

Bring the family to the U-District Farmers Market this Saturday (12/4) to make your own free holiday wreaths.  The city is donating trimmings from the Cedar River watershed for the event which is now in its 5th year.  Neighborhood merchants are also donating ribbons, ornaments and other fun stuff  (Gargoyles is donating 20 “gargoyle” ornaments). 

The event runs from 9am to noon and is sponsored by the University Chamber of Commerce, University Heights Community Center, and the U-District Farmers Market.

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AppleLooza at U-District Farmers Market this Saturday

October 27th, 2010 by master

If you love apples, the U-District Farmers Market is the place to be on Saturday (10/30) for AppleLooza.  The event features over 40 varieties of apples from across our state.  You can vote on your favorite and learn which types are best for baking, sauces, or just eating raw.  There will also be free apple cider and a pie making demonstration by Kate McDermott, Seattle Weekly’s winner of the best cooking class. 

The farmers market hours are 9am to 2pm on the playfield of the University Heights Center at the corner of University Way and NE 50th.  The apple tasting is from 9:30 to 11am.  The pie making demo starts at noon.

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Incredible Feast at U-District Farmers Market

August 20th, 2010 by master

Just a reminder about this weekend’s big event at the U-District Farmers Market.  Incredible Feast, the annual dinner where Seattle’s top chefs team up with local farmers, takes place Sunday (8/22) from 5pm to 8pm at the farmers market site (U-Heights Community Center). All proceeds support the Good Farmer Fund and educational programs that help consumers learn about local, sustainable farms. For a complete list of chefs and farmers taking part, click here. You can also order tickets here.

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Young gardeners return to U-District Farmers Market

July 27th, 2010 by master

You may have noticed Seattle Youth Garden Works (SYGW) selling produce and plant starts at Seattle Tilth events and at the University Farmers Market in years past, but we hadn’t seen them this year.

We learned from Seattle Tilth that SYGW suspended operations temporarily in January, after it became fiscally independent from the Church Council of Greater Seattle. Recently Wallingford-based Seattle Tilth announced that it’s adding SYGW to its programs.

We are joining forces to ensure that the valuable job-training in urban agriculture that SYGW provides for homeless and at-risk youth in Seattle will not only continue to operate, but will be able to grow and expand…

The two organizations discussed combining forces and determined that the partnership between Seattle Tilth and SYGW will enhance both organizations’ missions. As part of Seattle Tilth, SYGW will continue working with homeless and marginalized youth, concentrating on job skills development at our mini farm at the UW Botanical Gardens, and selling our fruits and vegetables at the University District farmer’s market.

Seattle Tilth is throwing a party tomorrow evening at the Center for Urban Horticulture to welcome SYGW. Take a tour of the ¾ acre plot, aka “The Farm,” hear a program update from both organizations, and enjoy champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Get more information about the Farm Party here.

Learn more about the Seattle Youth Garden Works program and how to support it on the Seattle Tilth site

This story was written by Marina Gordon from our sister site My Wallingford.

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U-District Farmers Market gets visit from "Friends"

July 5th, 2010 by master

Friends of the Seattle Public Library will be making three trips to the U-District Farmers Market over the coming months to help increase awareness of library budget issues.  In an effort to stop library hours from being cut, they’ll be selling green reusable bags for $1 at farmers markets across Seattle.  Be on the lookout for Friends of the SPL at the U-District market on August 14, September 18, and October 9.

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