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Kitty Korner.jpg
(Image: Kitty Korner)

7 of the Best Places in Edmonds You've Never Heard Of

Edmonds is one of the cities that you think you know pretty well. Yes, you’ve driven down to the ferry docks noticing different businesses along the way. You might have dined at Arnies or Anthony’s Homeport and you are even aware that there is a Top Pot Doughnuts nearby. But did you know that Edmonds is home to one of best (and unique) parks in the state? Or that the town houses a theatre dedicated only to comedy? Read on to find out more of what you’ve been missing right in your own backyard.

1. Kitty Korner

9605 Firdale Ave.
Edmonds, WA. 98020

Kitty Korner brings cat adoption to a whole new level. Unlike your typical animal shelter, there are no cages or smelly litter boxes. It’s more like a living room with comfy couches, cat trees and toys at the ready. And unlike "Cats" the movie, this place isn’t a dud. Go ahead, come on in, take a seat and a kitty will be with you shortly. Seriously. Most of the cats who hang out here are very sociable and will come to you ready to be petted. They might stay for a couple of minutes and then visit another guest or they might settle in for the long haul. You never know with cats.

Kitty Korner has recently celebrated their third year in Edmonds and during that time, they have saved the lives of 500 cats and kittens who have come from high kill shelters in California. However, before you get attached to any of them, know that about seven or eight of the cats here are actual long-term residents of the place and are not up for adoption. While Kitty Korner is not a café, they do offer soft drinks and a few snacks during your visit and they do a number of special activities each month including “Meowie” Nights (cat-themed movies), Paint and Sip nights (for adults only), Kitty Kraft days, bingo – you name it. You just might meet that special feline that’s been missing from your life.

Kitty Korner is open Wednesdays and Thursday from 12-6:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 12-8 p.m. and 12-6:30 p.m. on Sundays. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Entrance fees are $8 for adults (ages 16-54), $6 for seniors (ages 55 and up) $4 for kids (ages 3-15) and kids age 2 and under get in free.

2. Walnut Street Coffee

410 Walunt St.
Edmonds, WA 98020

When the weather is cold and dark outside, it's always bright and sunny inside Walnut Street Coffee. And when the weather is good, the garage-door-like-wall goes up, letting even more of the light in. It’s part living room, part backyard patio. This is a cheery place serving up fine coffee beverages with beans roasted by Espresso Vivace, created with Fresh Breeze Organic dairy products and served in compostable cups. Pam and Steve Stuller’s dream of crafting delicious coffee “with an authentic smile” has been a reality since they first opened their doors in 2006. It’s a labor of love they say.

Though it would be easy to miss them since they're not located on Main Street, this place is always hopping. And that makes sense since they are enmeshed with the local community. In addition to great beverages, Walnut Street Coffee is proud to represent other local businesses in their shop. You’ll find tasty items from Macrina Bakery, Mighty-O Donuts, Flying Apron, Revolution Tea and Dancing Women Meals. Whether you’re vegan or full dairy, or gluten-free or gluten-full, there is plenty to choose from here.

Walnut Street Coffee is open Monday through Friday 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

3. WhirlyBall

23401 Hwy 99
Edmonds, WA 98026

If you have driven down Highway 99, you have no doubt have seen the WhirlyBall building and wondered what it is all about. In short, it’s a venue where players play a version of basketball using smaller balls and a scoop, while driving around in a “WhirlyBug,” which is similar to a bumper car. This isn’t an intimate place. WhirlyBall is a place for groups to play - whether it be for a birthday party or just a bunch of friends wanting to try something different.

It’s a hit with people from the very young to the very old and (almost) everyone who’s ever tried it think it’s genius. And it is. There really isn’t anything else like it. But even if you find that you’re not a WhirlyBall fan, you might enjoy the virtual reality experiences that are offered here as well. All that playing can work up an appetite, or thirst, or both. WhirlyBall boasts having a large selection of alcoholic and soft drinks and their bottled beer selection is HUGE. They also have an extensive menu of meal and snack options including pizza, Panini sandwiches, chicken strips, onion rings etc. You can also order food for your whole crew including Mexican, barbecue and pizza buffets.

Whirlyball is open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., Saturdays from 12 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m.-10 p.m. Visit their website to pricing.

4. Edmonds Underwater Park

Main St. and Railroad Ave.
Edmonds, WA 98020

If you're a diver, you are well aware of underwater parks, but for us landlubbers, this is a spectacular find that only a few will ever experience. This park is exactly what it says it is - a beautiful park located on the ocean floor just north of the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry Landing. And it’s older than you would think. The Edmonds Underwater Park was established in 1970 and is the most popular of the state’s 10 underwater parks. (Who knew?) In fact, it is estimated that around 25,000 scuba divers visit the park each year. It's more than 27 acres long, of which half has been developed with special features and “trails.” Here you’ll find a variety of man-made reef structures built in-between various sunken vessels and all connected by a network of fixed guide rope anchored to the bottom.

You’ll also find a surprising amount of sea life as well - including lingcod, cabezons, spotted ratfish, various greenlings and rockfish, seaperch, gobys, sculpins, flounders, sole, eelpouts, Dungeness, red rock, kelp and hermit crabs, horse clams, geoducks, scallops, heart cockles, moon snail, giant pacific and red octopus, sea cucumbers, anemones, sea stars, urchin, nudibranchs, shrimp and seaweed. On-land facilities at Brackett’s Landing Park include showers, foot-wash stations, restrooms and a dry changing area.

The “overwater” park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the summer and 6 a.m.-10 p.m. during the rest of the year.

5. The Phoenix Theatre

9673 Firdale Ave.
Edmonds, WA 98020

Like the legend of the unique bird who died and then rose again from the ashes, so has the career of Melanie Calderwood. After 17 years of productions, The Edge of the World theatre closed up shop without warning in 2008, leaving the actress high and dry. She took matters into her own hands and reopened the place as The Phoenix Theatre. With her partnership with Debbie Palomera, Calderwood has created the only theatre in the Puget Sound that is dedicated to comedy.

“Our goal is to entertain, inspire, and enrich our audience’s lives by using humor to illuminate our common humanity,” says Calderwood. It’s as they say, “comedy without all of the drama.”

This theatre produces five shows a year, including many favorite plays such as The Foreigner, Neil Simon’s Rumors, and The Underpants. Even so, their comedy is serious business. The Phoenix Theatre wants to do more than just put on a good show. They care about the growth of people and offer a variety of high-quality classes, interactive workshops, internships, and community service opportunities. Because of this, the theatre has earned recognition regionally and nationally for providing meaningful experiences through live comedy theatre. It is definitely a “must-see.”

6. The Papery

412 Main. St.
Edmonds, WA 98020

The name of this store is actually pretty misleading. Yes, they do carry tons of items having anything to do with paper (rows of greeting cards, rolls of wrapping papers, stacks of calendars and lots of party supplies) - but there is so much more stuffed in this tasteful shop, a favorite gift shop of many.

Though you’ll always find something new - timed with whatever holiday or season is coming up next - it’s not kitschy. They feature a great selection of journals, stationary, wall signs, tableware, soaps, candles, scarves, wallets and lots of decorative items. Nautical gifts and décor are always in season here, and you don’t have to live near the water to appreciate. For some, the real treasures can be found down the stairs to the bottom floor where clearance items can be snagged for a fraction of the original price.

The Papery is open Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

7. Chanterelle

316 Main St.
Edmonds, WA 98020

Located within the building that once housed the town’s first hardware store during the turn of the 19th century sits Edmonds’s Hometown Bistro.

“We have always wanted Chanterelle to be the kind of place people would enjoy at any meal, and for any occasion, including if there’s no real occasion at all” says Randy and Brooke Baker, the restaurant’s owners.

The prices here are very reasonable and the service is top notch. Don’t be surprised to see a line of people forming outside of the door on a Saturday morning. Whether you are in the mood for just a “little something” or hungry for a four-course meal, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Start your day with a hot espresso beverage and a plate of Cinnamon Raisin French Toast or a Crab Avocado Omelette. For lunch, dive into a Double Salmon Mango Salad or a Chicken Mozzarella Caprese Sandwich. For dinner, enjoy anything from the humble Main Street Meat Loaf to the New York Steak with Martini Tapenade and everything in between. In addition, Chantrelle offers a happy hour Monday-Saturday from 4-6 p.m. with food and drink specials from just $3.

Chanterelle is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (The restaurant closes from 3-4 p.m. on Saturdays)