Baleen <3 Seattle

By William Bartels

We love our home town of Seattle and want to share some of our favorite things to do here!  Many feature our hugely adored Ballard neighborhood, because of course, we love it and prefer to rarely leave....but many are in areas all over town, and very much worth the drive. If you're planning a visit, do yourself a favor and hit up some of these spots:


  • El Camion - Really amazing, authentic, ridiculously-affordable Mexican food
  • Ba Bar - Vietnamese street-style food and craft cocktails, in a really great atmosphere
  • Joule - Korean-fusion and fantastic drinks, in a classy setting
  • Maneki - Landmark Japanese spot dating back to 1904 with tatami rooms and very authentic food at a great price
  • Honoré - Snug, artisan bakery serving espresso and flawless French pastries 
  • The Fat Hen - Beautiful neighborhood restaurant serving Italian and new American fare in a relaxed, rustic setting
  • U Needa Burger - Casual, high-quality burger joint


  • The Hideout - A really great bar to get really great drinks
  • Ballard Smoke Shop - A classic fisherman's bar, family-owned since 1971 and luckily hasn't changed much since
  • Essex - Stunning cocktails with homemade ingredients, served up in a neighborhood hot spot
  • Hazlewood - A Ballard favorite, this spot is like home and serves up great drinks and characters, always a good time
  • Twilight Exit - Cozy, neighborhood divey spot with great bar food and atmosphere
  • Stateside - Modern, tropical ambience with superb drinks and French/Vietnamese fusion fare.


  • Prism - A highly curated vintage and independent designer retail experience
  • Moorea Seal - An inviting shop selling handcrafted accessories for the body and home
  • Nube Green - Apparel, home goods and accessories crafted by American artisans
  • Butter Home - A Cozy shop featuring unique housewares and accessories
  • Glasswing - Beautifully curated and merchandised boutique featuring clothing and items for men and women
  • E. Smith Mercantile - Beautiful gift and personal items shop in front, and a great bar in back
  • Totokaelo - High-end, aspirational retail environment, with beautiful, museum-worthy apparel, accessories and home goods.


  • The Ballard Locks and Golden Gardens Beach
  • Volunteer Park Conservatory & Asian Art Museum
  • Vashon Island - Take the 20 min ferry from downtown and explore this magical island
  • Green Lake - Fresh water lake in North Central Seattle
  • Gasworks Park - Public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Co gasification plant
  • Discovery Park 
  • The Ballard Sunday Farmer's Market
  • The Frye Art Museum - FREE admission and excellent exhibitions