Eat * Drink * Play – Ballard

Tucked away in the northwest section of Seattle, the Ballard neighborhood is easily one of the city’s most sought after locations to live. It has a great mix of being a perfect area to raise a family, yet not too far from very popular bars and eateries. Originally founded with a large Nordic population, this cultural influence can be seen still today within small shops, antique stores, and local art celebrations.  At one time, Ballard was known as a great retirement community. Now, young and old call Ballard home with popular tourist locations like the Ballard Locks and local favorite Golden Gardens Beach. Live music is a nightly event at the many bars along Ballard Avenue NW which are great places to visit after eating at one of the dozens of unique restaurants on the same street.Here are my picks for this week’s Eat, Drink, Play!


The Hi-Life

5425 Russell Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107Whenever someone visits from out of town, there is always one surefire place I know to take them for brunch, where they won’t be disappointed. I take them to The Hi-Life in Ballard. It’s an old 1911 firehouse converted into a restaurant and bar. Spacious and historic, it’s also a family friendly place, so feel free to bring the little kids with you. If kids aren’t something that sound good with your Firehouse Benedict and house cocktail there is a very large separate bar area for people 21 and over to enjoy food and drinks.   It was one of the first places I was introduced to when I moved to Seattle and I’ve been a fan ever since. The menu changes seasonally and there are weekly specials if you are up for something different. This is where I once tried a “breakfast pizza,” which was nearly as life changing as it sounds.


Bastille Café and Bar

5307 Ballard Avenue Northwest, Seattle, WA 98107A perfectly place in Ballard for a late night cocktail in a quiet, fun location is The Back Bar at Bastille Café and Bar. Many people know the Bastille for its brunch and dinner service, this French themed restaurant is a great hangout spot for neighborhood locals. What’s not advertised as much is The Back Bar located, not surprisingly, in the back. Down a little hallway you’ll find a cozy 60 seat room, perfectly decorated and ready to serve you with a huge selection of spirits including one of the best tasting cocktails you’ll find in Ballard.


Full Tilt

5453 Leary Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107Full Tilt is the must-visit place for anyone who enjoys ice cream and pinball,  which should be just about EVERYONE! But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill pinball & ice cream shop.  Not only can you get standard flavors like vanilla, strawberry and Mexican chocolate, but you can also try salted caramel, coffee oreo, Blue Moon, or Mudhoney. PLUS, they have a selection of vegan flavors that can be enjoyed. There’s always a fun ice cream collection on hand. If that’s not enough, try out one of their vintage sodas or cold beer. Yes, beer. That’s right! Beer, ice cream, and pinball in one location, I’m really surprised I managed to leave.

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