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1. Don’t be dissuaded by the lineup at the Walrus and Carpenter, a restaurant tucked in the back of a converted ship-parts factory. Named after a children’s poem by Lewis Carroll, chef Renee Erickson’s bright eatery has cracked Top 10 lists in Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. Wire buckets laden with fresh local oysters on ice sit below a chandelier fashioned from tendrils of driftwood. After your fill of oysters, move on to mains like clams in a smoked-paprika tomato sauce or steak tartare with wafer-thin pieces of rye toast, finishing with absinthe-infused pannacotta with stewed dates for dessert.

4743 Ballard Ave. NW, 206-395-9227

2. At the Sexton, a restaurant and lounge that has perfected the shabby-chic decor trend, the bar is made of white cassette tapes and a four-track mixing board fused between a set of deer antlers. Order classic American comfort food like buttermilk-fried chicken and hush puppies (cornbread balls), and sip seasonal cocktails, including the Double Bind: bourbon, sage, cider shrub and ginger beer.

5327 Ballard Ave. NW, 206-829-8645

King's HardwareKing's Hardware (Photo: Suzi Pratt)

3. Classic Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin tunes blare from King’s Hardware, a meticulously decorated recreation of a classic American tavern owned by Linda Derschang, Seattle’s Queen of Nightlife. A vintage beer-can collection and 1940s-era black-and-white photos make the former hardware store as comfortably cluttered as a basement rec room. Challenge a friend to a game of Skee-Ball before tucking into cheeky dishes like the After School Special (a salty-and-sweet peanut butter and bacon burger).

5225 Ballard Ave. NW, 206-782-0027

4. Rest up at the Hotel Ballard, where even standard rooms come with king-size beds and balconies that overlook the neighbourhood’s bustling main street. In each of the rooftop suites, a heavy sliding door separates the bedroom from a soaking tub and a separate lounge area. Amenities include a 75,000-square-foot gym and the hotel restaurant, Stoneburner, where star chef/owner Jason Stoneburner serves up hearty Mediterranean dishes, such as porchetta pizza and nettle bucatini.

5216 Ballard Ave. NW, 206-789-5012


5. With its tin-plated ceiling, ornamental fleur-de-lys ironwork and wine bottles nestled on shelves, Bastille has the old-world charm of a traditional French bistro. Cozy up at the bar, in a booth or in the seating area encircling a stone firepit. The menu ranges from burgers to French cuisine staples like rabbit pâté and chateaubriand. Brunch includes Dijon dumpling gratin served in a cast-iron skillet and topped with a poached duck egg.

5307 Ballard Ave. NW, 206-453-5014



Getting There

Air Canada offers non-stop service to Seattle from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, with convenient connections to Air Canada’s extensive network.

Comments… or add another

Candace Thomas

Sunday, June 29th 2014 18:04
I prefer modern, travelled, spa like places & spaces
Good Luck!
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