Old School Bar in Old Ballard.
All hail The Viking! As others have noted, The Viking is still a bastion of unpretentious alcohol serving. While much of Ballard has been overrun with trendy bars seeking the right "ambiance", The Viking just does its thing (and, apparently, since 1950) - serve good, strong drinks at great prices with a welcoming and open atmosphere.
Great throwback to old Seattle.
What Seattle used to be before bars like Copper Gate (down the street) moved in. A crowd of hipsters and weird Ballard people coexist peacefully. There's booths. There's games in the back. There's cheap Rainier and--get this--bargain-priced barbecue ribs that are amazingly delicious, consdiering they just came out of the microwave. And best of all? nothing is required of you at all, and you can come as you are. My kind of place.
Old Seattle lives on at easygoing Ballard bar.. The Scene Open since 1950, seemingly little-including some of the customers-has changed at this classic neighborhood establishment. The ruby vinyl booths aren't the originals, but they certainly go well with the array of weathered photos chronicling the Viking's early days. Despite its age, a cleaner and more brightly lit watering hole you're unlikely to find; the attitude is relaxed, but funny business just isn't tolerated. Patrons seated at the bar are often glued to a ballgame. A shuffleboard table attracts more active sorts.
The Draw Pangs of nostalgia for a bygone Seattle are soothed here, yet there's much more about the place that's appealing. Though the kitchen area is tiny, the Viking churns out some uncommonly fine, cheap food. Meats-turkey, pork, beef brisket, and ribs-are smoked on the premises, and provide the ingredients for some tasty sandwiches. A full bar is now offered and the beer is cold and priced to sell; the wine list is short, but informed.
A pleasant suprise!.
This little bar isn't much to look at. In fact I've lived in the neighborhood for years and never went there until recently. It looks like any dive bar from the outside. However, it's a little gem. They have a small , but excellent wine list. The owners are wine reps. You can get a pour of wine about $3.00 that most places would charge you $6.00 or more for. The menu is simple bar food, but good. The owners are sweet and charming. It's worth a look.