by Chelsea Lin - 273 Reviews - 109 List
Save for Copper Gate's impressive selection of aquavit, there's little viking left in Seattle's old Scandinavian 'hood. Now, Ballard is better known for pickled livers than pickled fish--lucky for us. With one of the city's highest bar-per-hipster ratios, the area boasts some seriously awesome watering holes; below, just a few of our favorite bars in Ballard.
Updated: August 03, 2010
For Prohibition-era cocktails without the pretentious speakeasy vibe, this sliver of a bar--so tiny you've likely walked past a dozen times without noticing--is a perfect venue, whether you enjoy your drinks in the upstairs loft or right at the bar.
It's got a nicer inside than you'd think from walking past and this decidedly Scandinavian bar pays homage to the 'hood with a variety of aquavit cocktails and some delish Swedish meatballs. Prudes may want to head elsewhere--the place is covered in nudie art and has a curtained back area called the Pussy Room, complete with stripper pole.
Four bucks doesn't buy you much in this world, but it will get you quite possibly the biggest beer you've ever seen at this "yacht club" (note suspicion represented by quotation marks) and dive bar. Go for the Slooper-size, and say goodbye to your memory for the night.
It's all about the cocktail at this connoisseur's dream bar, located just behind the equally well-executed Le Gourmand on the Fremont side of Ballard. Look for innovative cocktail ingredients--jalapeno, turmeric and candied fennel--to show up in your drink.
You may not get drunk for ten bucks at this Ballard spot like you could elsewhere in the 'hood, but if you're looking for a classier environment and reasonably priced bottles of wine to take home or enjoy while you're there, this friendly shop is a great place to start. Nearly 50 wines are available by the glass, and a seasonal menu of food is offered as well.