New Ballard Eateries To Try: Spring and Summer 2018

Ballard is full of excellent eateries. From novel restaurants to craft beer, this neighborhood has a great array of cuisine to offer. If you are looking for something new and different to try, you’re in luck! A number of new bars, restaurants, and specialty food stores have recently opened in Ballard. Be sure to add these hot spots to your list of places to eat in this neighborhood!

Locust Cider

Whether you are a cider connoisseur or you are looking for some delicious gluten-free beverage options, Locust Cider is the place to be. They recently opened a new location in Ballard offering an array of delicious ciders on tap. They also donate a percentage of their profits for research to benefit children with hydrocephalus!

Salt and Straw

This welcoming Ballard ice cream parlor will curb your sweet tooth! With rotating seasonal ice creams you’ll find local novelties and classic flavors alike. Named one of Thrillist’s Top 21 Ice Cream Shops in America, Salt and Straw is well-worth a visit.  

Verve Bowl

If fresh smoothies, acai bowls, and kombucha are your calling, you should give Verve Bowl a try. Full of fresh fruit concoctions with fruity flavors from around the world, this newly-opened Ballard eatery should be on your list!

Coming Soon

Skål Beer Hall

Connecting Ballard with its Nordic roots, Skal Beer Hall will be a Viking-themed gathering space planned to open in summer 2018. Owner Adam McQueen will combine his Norwegian heritage and knowledge of beer to create this bar that speaks true to Ballard’s roots!

Trailbend Taproom

Owners of two Seattle favorites, The Dray and The Yard, are opening a new taproom and restaurant in the heart of Ballard. Located in Ballard’s brewery district, this space will be a sit-down restaurant with 42 beers on tap!

Bonus: Geo’s Bar and Grill in Greenwood

Geo’s Cuban and Creole, a Ballard favorite, has a new bar and grill 15 minutes north on the corner of Holman Road and Greenwood Avenue! This sit-down restaurant will transport you to Havana for the evening, and is a great place for a date night or fun sit-down meal. With live music on weekends and a speakeasy-style lounge in the back of the restaurant, Geo’s is another delicious restaurant to try. Consider also checking out a new microbrewery in this area, Broadview Taphouse, if you head north!


A Nordic Ballard Weekend

Ballardites: Norwegian events are happening this weekend in downtown Ballard! Even if you’re not into lye-soaked, fermented fish (aka lutefisk), there will be something for all of us to choose from, starting tonight Friday, March 16th, and running through Saturday, March 17th. Here’s a summary of what’s happening, and where to read more information:


Photo: Scott Radford

Tonight from 8 pm-11 pm, the Ballard Elks #827 are hosting Viking Bingo Night for a good cause. Add flair by coming in costume. Or come as yourself. Or better yet, come as yourself in costume. Either way, enjoy cash prizes, commeraderie, drinks and snacks.

Viking Bingo Facebook:
Ballard Elks site:
Ballard Elks Facebook:



Start with a 5k Run at 9 am, then immerse yourself in all things traditional Nordic after that. Does life get any better? Listen to live Norwegian music, learn about the beautiful murals in the Ballard Sons of Norway’s Leif Erikson Lodge, sample or watch authentic Norwegian cooking demos (lutefisk not required), as well as dance, clothing, handicrafts, genealogy, and more.

Funds from the run/walk go toward Leif Erikson Lodge repairs/upgrades and the Ballard Senior Center. Registration/Check-In is at 8 am, Run is at 9 am.  $10 for adults, $5 for children.
Run/Walk’s Facebook:


Norwegian Heritage Day Facebook:
Ballard Sons of Norway/Leif Erikson Lodge site:

Proudly wave your Norwegian flag, and enjoy a culture that helped shape Ballard!







4 Stunning Ballard Wedding Venues Where You Can Say I Do

Whether you are recently engaged, a parent of a soon-to-be bride or groom, or simply someone daydreaming about saying yes to the dress, Ballard has many excellent wedding venues to consider. Our Seattle neighborhood boasts a coastal escape in the heart of the city and is an ideal backdrop for a Pacific Northwest wedding.

For Ballard natives and transplants alike, this neighborhood is home to several popular Seattle wedding venues. Offering the perfect setting for a seaside summer wedding or a cool sunset backdrop for your winter celebration, there are many reasons to make Ballard the place you say “I do.” For anyone planning on exchanging their vows in Seattle, be sure to consider some of these spectacular wedding venues in Ballard!  

Ballard Bay Club

If you are seeking an elegant and romantic wedding venue, Ballard Bay Club should be on your list. This space is a versatile setting that can be configured to create the experience you are looking for. The Ballard Bay Club is equipped for events large and small, with full dining options for 150 up to 400 guests and cocktail style receptions for up to 1,000 guests. With beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound, this is a picturesque venue for a wedding any time of the year. This space also offers:

  • Views and easy access to Shilshole Beach
  • Hardwood dance floors
  • Outdoor patio
  • Private bridal suite
  • Beverage and dessert service

Olympic Rooftop Pavilion

For couples who picture their special day on a rooftop that overlooks the city they call home, Ballard’s Olympic Rooftop Pavilion is the place to be. This space is located on the rooftop of Hotel Ballard in the center of Market Street. Guests will enjoy spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains, the Puget Sound, and the city skyline. Equipped with audio-visual equipment, outdoor fireplaces, and seating for up to 130 guests, this is an optimal location for a beautiful wedding. Hotel Ballard also offers discounted rates for groups to simplify lodging for out-of-town guests! Additional features include:

  • Options for food and wine pairings
  • Space and be configured for open-air or indoor seating
  • Full bar and customized cocktails

The Canal

The Canal is a spacious, open venue in a historic Ballard setting. Encompassed by forest and water, this is an ideal location for a true Pacific Northwest wedding. The happy couple and their guests will enjoy indoor and outdoor features of this venue including a landscaped courtyard, banquet style seating, outdoor cocktail tables, and more. The Canal includes a number of amenities to simplify your wedding process and create maximum enjoyment for the wedding party and their guests including:

  • Flexible event start and end times
  • Food and beverage catering, if needed
  • Banquet hall-style seating with waterfront view

Ray’s Boathouse

No list of Ballard wedding venues is complete without including Ray’s Boathouse. Situated at the edge of Ballard just south of Golden Gardens park, Ray’s offers a beautiful venue for any couple interested in a seaside wedding. This space has a private banquet room that seats up to 120 guests. Couples can also get married in an open, outdoor seating area if weather permits! Not only does this venue have an incredible view but it also boasts a delicious menu of seafood and other Pacific Northwest culinary delights. Ray’s Boathouse also offers:

  • Rehearsal walk-through
  • Dressing area
  • On-site event planner
  • Expert wait staff and hospitality

Ballard has no shortage of beautiful views to see and spaces to enjoy, many of which make a perfect backdrop for a wedding! Best of luck to you and your future spouse in finding your ideal wedding venue.

Image courtesy of

Ballard Events: Things to Do in March

Are you looking for some fun and exciting activities during the final weeks of March? Whether you are seeking family fun, outdoor activities, or all of the above, our neighborhood has a ton of engaging activities for couples, families and more. If you are looking for a few fun events to participate in, be sure to add some of these local activities to your list!

March 15-April 8: Moisture Festival

Times vary | Hale’s Ales Palladium

Anyone interested in a stage performance like no other should consider attending Ballard Moisture Festival! This showcase is a unique comedy/variete. This fun spectacle is made up of 3-15 minute performances by magicians, jugglers, acrobats, strong men and women and more! You can catch these novel performances now through April 8.

March 22-24: Ballard High School Playmakers Present “Damn Yankees

Times vary | Earl Kelly Performing Arts Center at Ballard High School

Don’t miss your chance to get tickets to Ballard High School’s presentation of “Damn Yankees!” This musical is a comedy with classic songs such as “Whatever Lola Wants” and “Heart.” Preformed by Ballard High School actors and orchestra, this play is a must see! You can purchase your tickets at

March 19: Games for Good

5:30 – 7:30pm | Lagunitas Taproom

What better way to spend a Monday than with beer, games, and more?! Plus, this event benefits charity. Games for Good at Lagunitas Taproom will feature live music, cornhole, giant Jenga, trivia, and more. For a $5 cover, guests will gain access to all of the games plus two slices of pizza. Proceeds from this event go toward FamilyWorks, a food bank and resource center for families in need. Be sure to get your taste of many delicious varieties of Lagunitas beer while also supporting your community.

March 31: Easter Egg Coloring Party

11:30am | Ray’s Cafe

Easter is right around the corner! For anyone seeking a great place to get together with their community, consider attending Ray’s Cafe Easter Egg Coloring Party. This event will take place on Ray’s covered patio, starting at 11:30 a.m. Children will have access to dyeing kits and hard-boiled eggs to make unique creations. Ray’s full menu will also be available during this event. Families will be asked to provide $10 donations to Mary’s Place, a center that empowers homeless women, children, and families, as the cost of entry.


Irish Eyes Are Smiling! Seattle Center’s Festal presents the 2018 Irish Festival

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to celebrate the beauty and depth of the Irish culture, and Seattle Center’s Festal is gearing up to do just that!

Head to Seattle Center on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th and find a serious taste of the Emerald Isle right here in the heart of in the Emerald City. Festal’s Irish Festival will bring to life a multifaceted, in-depth adventure through Ireland, its history and traditions, no passport necessary.

Enjoy a fun and fascinating exploration of Irish cultural heritage, past and present, through visual arts, live performance, games, activities, and of course, food! Explore the market place featuring Irish handicrafts, live Irish music and that famous and oh-so-impressive Irish step dancing.

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Find out by tracing your own roots in geology workshops (yes! That’s at the festival!), and learn a bit of the Celtic language while you’re at it. The festival also promises Irish movies and short films, cultural exhibits and live demonstrations and maybe even a few Irish celebrities!


Festal is a series of multi-cultural events presented by and at the Seattle Center each year. Now in its 21st year, Festal continues to shine a light on the beauty and majesty of cultures across the globe by showcasing their rich and complex traditions, histories, art, music, dance, food and much more. Festal’s Irish Festival is presented in partnership with the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle.


Whether you’re looking to learn more about your own heritage, wanting to learn more about Ireland and its culture in general, or you’re simply tired of leprechauns and green beer and looking for a more authentic experience, Festal’s Irish Festival is sure to be a fun and fabulous way to spend your St. Patty’s Day weekend.

Seattle Center Festál
Irish Festival
March 17-18, 2018
Armory Main Level