A lumber mill maritime town annexed in 1907, Ballard today is a well-to-do Seattle neighborhood recognized for its picturesque waterfront views and its Scandinavian heritage. Home of the Nordic Heritage Museum, Ballard is a cultured, environmentally conscious, dog-loving neighborhood with a trendy bar and restaurant scene. Read ahead for our 10 favorite bars in Ballard, Seattle.
A perfect bar to sit and enjoy an elegant, non-mainstream cocktail, this place has the feel of a dignified drinking den, with dusty chandeliers, velvet curtains, and romantic outdoor seating, and cozy upstairs seating above the bar. Order delicious and refreshing cocktails and creative drink specialties, like the ‘blackbird cocktail’ or the ‘dark and stormy’. Owner Keith Bartoloni, in his interview with Seattle Eater calls it ‘basically the closest thing to a gay bar Ballard has.’ Every third Sunday of the month is Gayzlewood, a gay dance party.
The Noble Fir, Seattle | Beach House performing at Conor Byrne Pub
The Noble Fir
Developed as a neighborhood tavern where you can share wilderness experiences, The Noble Fir is the perfect place for both adventurers and local outdoor enthusiasts to meet. With an impressive selection of IPAs, hard ciders, and stouts on tap from Washington and West Coast states and bottles of English, Belgium, Spanish, and other international beers and ciders in their cellars, you’re sure to find a refreshing and quality drink and invigorating conversation.
This 108 year old Irish pub is a great place to pair live rock, country, folk, and bluegrass music with your drink. Among other artists and bands, The Head and the Heart, The Maldives, and Damien Jurado have played here. With an attractive century-old back bar and brick walls, the mood is set for enjoying a foamy, dark pint of Guinness or delighting in their 57 whiskeys selection and some craic. Swing dancing is every Tuesday, and there’s a cover fee on nights with live music.
With an impressive, extensive collection of Scottish whiskeys to choose from and a prime location within a beautiful, old brick corner building jutting out where two streets meet, Macleod’s Fine Scotch & Cocktails is a jewel among Seattle pubs. Whiskey lovers are sure to be satisfied with the whiskey selections that run from the Scottish highlands to various isles, from the mild to the satisfyingly smoky and nutty. Macleod’s offers many cocktails as well, from an Inverness mule to Royal Mile house cocktail.
If you love cocktails, you’ll definitely love The Gerald. Serving house favorites like the ‘Hemingway daiquiri,’ made with grapefruit and lime juice, and citrus driven drinks like the ‘lion’s tale,’ made with bourbon, St. Elizabeth allspice dram, lime juice, angostura bitters, and complicated libations like ‘the grass cloud,’ with Zubrovka bisongrass vodka, chamomile vermouth, lemon juice, egg white, and simple, The Gerald’s hand-crafted cocktails are sure to rejuvenate the weariest traveler.
A delightful dive with all the charm one craves in a true-to-the-heart American bar, The Sloop Tavern boasts friendly, unpretentious staff, large, cold beers for cheap, and tasty pub food—including fish tacos and hand breaded fish ‘n chips. There are plenty of beers on tap to choose from and a large selection of domestic and imported bottled beer, plus a rotating selection of microbrews.
This is a whimsical, cozy bar where you can unwind with a glass of wine and perhaps some small select seafood dish of octopus, sardines, or oysters. With a full bar and a keen fondness for Italian aperitivos, Barnacle serves up many tiny and perfect hors d’oeuvres for you to delight in with your drink of choice and is a perfect, relaxing place to meet up with friends.
Serving small plates and hand crafted cocktails, The Sexton charms with its perfect alignment of Southern comfort food, refreshing drinks, and a pleasant atmosphere. You can ‘bet on your bartender’ and order a custom, one-of-a-kind cocktail a bartender will make on a whim based on your choice of booze. Or you can order from a list of tempting drinks, including a spicy and sweet ‘Carlita’s way’ (made with sotol, lemon, elderflower liqueur, aperol, muddled cucumber, and habanero tincture) and some of the best old fashioned mixed drinks in town.
Whether perched on a picnic bench in the outdoor patio amongst the potted plants or crowded by friends into a cushy indoor booth with a backdrop of exposed bricks and mirrors, you’ll find Percy’s and Co. a hip and lively place to enjoy a drink. From the lemon thyme infused bourbon based ‘Sweetest Taboo’ to ‘The Smokey Bandit’ with lapsang souchong infused gin, there’s a fresh summer drink for everyone to relish in this comfortable bar. You can also add free-spirited tinctures like ‘Brain Power’ and ‘Libido’ to your cocktail at no cost. Feeling daring? Tell the bartender your spirit and flavor preferences and an original will be created just for you.
Friendly with a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere, King’s Hardware is just what local Seattleites look for in a bar. With popular burgers, plenty of delicious beers and ciders on tap, and a decent list of cocktails including a few twists on the Moscow Mule, King’s Hardware is a solid place to go for good drinks and a taste of the city. The bar’s exposed brick walls and hardwood floor create a warm, industrial mood that is very Seattle, and the patio, strung with lights and shaded, feels like a private backyard with all the neighbors over for drinks.