Soak up the old-school Ballard vibes along with a coffee and a stack of hotcakes at Hattie’s Hat (5231 Ballard Ave NW). A neighborhood favorite since 1904, the friendly dive is open until 2am and hosts regular trivia and karaoke nights, making it a fun place to end your day, too. Housed in a 108-year-old former fire station, The Hi-Life (5425 Russell Ave NW) serves American classics made with local ingredients morning to night—try the chicken pot pie or the Ballard Market Scramble with seasonal veggies from the year-round Ballard Farmers Market (22nd Ave NW and NW Market St). Tender wagyu tacos make Mexican steak house Asadero (5405 Leary Ave NW) a prime spot for meat lovers, while the beer-battered avocado tacos at vegan tiki bar No Bones Beach Club (5410 17th Ave NW) are delicious enough to sway even dedicated carnivores. Many of the city’s food trucks serve street eats in the brewery district, where you can sample beers at Peddler Brewing* (1514 NW Leary Way), Stoup Brewing* (1108 NW 52nd St), or nine other taprooms within walking distance.
Browse the shelves of used and rare books under the watchful eye of the shop’s resident cat, Beau, at Twice Sold Tales (1708 NW Market St), or trawl through seemingly endless bins of vintage vinyl at Bop Street (2220 NW Market St) and Sonic Boom* (2209 NW Market St) record shops. Geek out over the selection of board and roleplaying games for sale at Mox Boarding House (5105 Leary Ave NW), where you can also order pub fare and borrow a game from the hop’s library. Portage Bay Goods (621 N 35th St) is a must-stop for quirky gifts and souvenirs from local makers.
The National Nordic Museum* (2655 NW Market St) explores Scandinavian culture and the impact immigrants from those countries have had around the world, and in Ballard particularly. A few minutes’ walk west, Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (3015 NW 54th St) offers the chance to watch ships navigate through the canal that links Puget Sound to Lake Union and to watch salmon pass through the fish ladder from an underwater viewing window (viewing season is mid-June to October, with peak viewing in September). From there, locate one of the brightly colored dockless bikes dotted around the neighborhood and take the Burke-Gilman Trail to Golden Gardens Park (8498 Seaview Pl NW) for beach strolls, forest trails, and views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
*Visit Seattle Partner
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