A Morning Walk Down Ballard Avenue

Begin at the terminus of Ballard Avenue at Market Street . Walk down the west side of the street. Get into gear at Kavu (5423 Ballard Ave), an independent retailer of active wear that’s appropriate for dense woods or dinners out. Cross the street to Marley’s Snowboards (5424 Ballard Ave NW) if you’re considering a ski trip to the Cascade Mountains. Where 22nd Avenue meets Ballard Avenue is a large brick belltower, rebuilt from the original when Ballard’s City Hall tower was destroyed by Seattle’s devastating 1965 earthquake. At 5344 Ballard Avenue, Olivine Atelier entices with a luxurious boutique featuring local and European designer clothing and makeup. At the next intersection, you’ll notice the highly stylized roof crest of what’s now the Starlight Hotel (5300 Ballard Ave NW), which still has “Bank Building” across the top a full century later.

Cross the street. Look for Tractor Tavern , a musical outlet for local and touring musicians who play jazz and country rock. Second Ascent (5209 Ballard Ave NW) special­izes in clothing and gear for budget-minded fans of outdoor recreation. Find a remnant of days gone by at Dock Street Brokers (5101 Ballard Ave NW), whose signage matches the style of its century-old structure at 5109 Ballard Avenue. If you’re hungry, turn back and stop in The Other Coast Cafe (5315 Ballard Ave NW) for East Coast-style sandwiches.


  1. Turtle Press

    Shop for hand-carved art stamps, hand-bound books and journals, tree-free and recycled decorative papers, and other artful tools perfect for inspiring creativity. The outlet also sells toys and gift items themed with its mascot, the turtle.

    • 2215 NW Market St

  2. Cookies

    From edible adornments such as multicolored sprinkles to cutters and storage jars, this tiny store’s shelves are fully stocked. It also sells the best chocolate-covered macaroons in town.

    • 2211 NW Market St

  3. Me ‘n’ Moms

    This supply store for mothers and children sells cribs, consignment clothes, and imaginative toys at bargain prices.

    • 2821 NW Market St

  4. La Tienda Folk Art Gallery

    Markets fine handmade crafts and artifacts from all over the world, including jewelry, ceramic bowls, carved wooden utensils, music and instruments.

    • 2050 NW Market St

  5. Olsen’s Scandinavian Foods

    One of several Scandinavian import shops – this one specializing in their own smoked fish and homemade lutefisk – the traditional delicacy of cod soaked in lye.

    • 2205 NW Market

  6. Archie McPhee’s

    Call on the famous mail order gag gift company, which sells items in the rubber chicken category of humorous gifts.

    • 2428 NW Market St

  7. Metropolis III

    This store has an enviable and loyal clientele of women in the age (or attitude) range of 25–55. The owner-operator specializes in updated contemporary fashions, using comfortable and versatile natural fabrics such as cotton and stain-resistant tencel.

    • 2318 NW Market St

  8. Imagination Toys

    This store stocks plenty of kid stuff from entertaining and inspiring puzzles, spy and detective toys, to inexpensive novelties that are appropriate for gifts.

    • 2236 NW Market St

  9. Ballard Used & Rare Books

    Have the staff search for an elusive out-of-print book, or browse the shelves for old but not forgotten favorites.

    • 2232 NW Market St

  10. Dandelion Botanical Company

    Opened in 1996, this urban herbal apothecary stocks organic herbs, medicinal oils and tinctures, teas, and bath and body supplies.

    • 5424 Ballard Ave

Order direct from Archie McPhee’s fabulous funhouse website,

Places to Eat

  1. Lockspot Café

    This eatery combines American staples at the busy take-out window with a bar and a restaurant inside.

    • 3005 NW 54th

    • 206 789 4865

  2. Ray’s Boathouse & Café

  3. Anthony’s Homeport

    Diners find excellent service, and fresh seafood that includes king salmon, Dungeness crab, and local oysters.

    • 6135 Seaview Ave NW

    • 206 783 0780

  4. Le Gourmand

  5. Burk’s Café

    Loyal clientele come here for Burk’s southern cuisine, specifically Cajun and Creole styles. Order alder-smoked barbecue, jambalaya, or blackened rockfish to your heart’s content.

    • 5411 Ballard Ave NW

    • 206 782 0091

  6. Hattie’s Hat

    A great source for huge breakfasts and American rib-sticking dinner standards with a twist: Guinness stout meatloaf, homemade creamed corn, sweet potato fries, and braised southern greens.

    • 5231 Ballard Ave NW

    • 206 784 0175

  7. Other Coast

    Bridge the distance to New York City-style delicatessens by grabbing a sandwich here. Stick to basics such as the reuben with stone-ground mustard or the 12-inch meat or vegetarian subs.

    • 5315 Ballard Ave NW

    • 206 789 0936

  8. India Bistro

    Relish meat and vegetarian plates prepared in North Indian style. Recommended dishes include spinach or mustard greens with paneer, spicy daal, succulent lamb or chicken tandoori and naan.

    • 2301 NW Market St

    • 206 783 5080

    Delicious tempting naans
  9. La Carta de Oaxaca

    Beeline to this Mexican bistro with tremendous flair, and select from several entrees. The spartan decor is unusual, too – wall art consists of backlit photos of the region where all the flavors originate.

    • 5431 Ballard Ave NW

    • 206 782 8722

  10. Salmon Bay Café

    This bastion of inexpensive eats attracts blue-collar workers and a large youth crowd. Great four-egg omelettes.

    • 5109 Shilshole Ave NW

    • 206 782 5539

    • Breakfast & lunch only

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