Guide to Ballard

Things to Do in Ballard

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This once blue collar, industrialized area has transformed into a trendy urban oasis, boasting some of the city's best shopping, dining and entertainment.

Originally focused on trades such as lumber and fishing, Ballard was incorporated into the City of Seattle in 1907. While most of the mills have long since ceased operation, you'll find an active marina at Fisherman's Terminal, home to many of the boat's featured on the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch."

Historically, Ballard was the center of the Puget Sound's Scandinavian seafaring population. The Nordic Heritage Museum celebrates both the local Scandinavian culture and history of the neighborhood. On May 17 each year, the community celebrates Ballard Seafood Fest and Norwegian Constitution Day with a parade, vendors and live music.

No visit to the neighborhood would be complete without checking out the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks connecting freshwater Lake Union to the saltwater Puget Sound. Known locally as the Ballard Locks, the grounds also include a visitor's center, botanical gardens and a fish ladder where you can view migratory salmon under the surface of the water.

The Ballard Avenue Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is the heart of the neighborhood. Walking through the area you'll find an abundance of quaint brick buildings housing cafés, restaurants and enticing shopping. At night the area comes alive with taverns and venues hosting a variety of music from folk to heavy metal.

Seattle's Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods offer hip, urban vibes, great architecture and history to spare. Ballard takes its identity from the water and the street. The working waterfront is home to the North Pacific fishing fleet. On the city streets there are trendy boutiques and a wide variety of good things to eat. Fremont, the self-described "center of the universe" is a highly walkable neighborhood with loads of public art, cool shops and great food. The neighborhood is home to the Redhook Ale Brewery and Pike Brewing Co. On Sundays, Fremont has a great outdoor market. Hungry? Locals love La Carta de Oaxaca, a Oaxacan-style Mexican restaurant that always seems to be packed. Other must-stops include Ray's Boathouse, Staple and Fancy Mercantile and Hi-Life.

[Photo courtesy of Shutterstock / cdrin]

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Popular Things to Do in Ballard


Ray's Boathouse

6049 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Seafood, Northwest. Hailed as one of the best seafood restaurants in the country and as one of the top romantic places to eat in the world, Ray’s Boathouse features a heart-stopping, postcard view of the Olympic Mountains over Puget Sound. Executive Chef


Moshi Moshi Sushi

5324 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107



5411 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Italian. With a beautiful setting and a fabulous selection of contemporary Italian cuisine that has earned critical acclaim from publications like Bon Appetit, Wine Spectator, Zagat and Seattle Magazine, it’s no wonder that celebrity chef and cookbook au


Bastille Café & Bar

5307 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

French cafe & bar located in Old Ballard twitter: @bastilleseattle


Billy Beach Sushi and Bar

5463 Leary Ave Nw, Seattle, WA 98107

From the executive chef that brought you Japonessa, Billy Beach returns to his roots in this smaller, more relaxed Ballard sushi setting.

American Restaurants

Staple & Fancy Mercantile

4739 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Italian, Seafood. Celebrated Chef Ethan Stowell struck gold again with Staple & Fancy Mercantile, a casual Ballard restaurant set in a beautifully renovated 1900’s building. The menu highlights Stowell’s simple, Italian-inspired cooking style with an arr



5214 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107

STONEBURNER & the Olympic Rooftop Pavilion: Rustic European cooking is coaxed from a stone hearth & pasta counter, small producer wines are sought after & libations are dynamic. Opening late June 2013.


Golden Beetle

1744 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

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Scenes from Ballard
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