If chain stores just don't cut it and you're looking for an authentic Seattle shopping experience, head to Ballard. Located just north of downtown, Ballard is an urban little neighborhood lined with coffee shops, bars and some pretty great boutiques. Here's a round-up of our favorite places to shop, spa and socialize.
HorseshoeLocated on Ballard avenue, Horseshoe prides itself on providing clients with "down home" customer service. Originally from Denver, owner Hill Andersen regularly stocks women's apparel and accessories from a variety of contemporary brands including Veronica M., Prairie Underground, Suzabelle, Sol Angeles, Bailey 44 and more.
5344 Ballard Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107
Since 2010 Ketch has been providing Ballard shoppers with casual apparel that is perfect for the Pacific Northwest. Labels include Joie, Callahan, Capulet and more. They even carry gameday gear including Seahawks tees, UW sweatshirts, and loungewear. Guys, don't worry, they've got a small section of merchandise from brands like Retro and Obey for you too.
5317 Ballard Ave. NW Seattle, WA 98107
Part retail space, part gallery spot, Prism in Ballard is a unique and highly curated shopping experience. Shoppers will find a mix of apparel for men and women plus grooming supplies, accessories, housewares and even gifts.
5208 Ballard Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107
With the goal of promoting and supporting artists that live and work in the city, Venue is a Seattle-centric collective featuring retail space and studio/office space for artists. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Venue highlights everything from handmade art to artisanal chocolates and other creative gifts. This is a great place to shop locally during the holiday season.
5408 22nd Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107
This elegant one-of-a-kind gift shop has a distinctive European style and specializes in stocking an edited assortment of home decor, stationary, vintage furniture, books, tea and skincare. In stock now you'll find vintage apothecary jars, bath and body products by Tokyo Milk, Potluck Paris jewelry, Sweet Petula soaps (great local line!), and a full alphabet of porcelain letters. Gift wrap is also available making gift-giving easy and fun.
5332 Ballard Ave. N.W. Seattle, WA 98107
Hands down my favorite restaurant in Ballard, Bastille serves its signature French cuisine using ingredients sourced from local "farmers, foragers and fisherman". The menu includes frites & aioli, a heavenly Bastille burger featuring arugula and pickled onions, heirloom carrot salad, chickpea fries, and even local oysters. Don't miss the cool ambiance of the back bar. Head back for a drink while you wait for a table or play it cool and dine in the back with the locals.
5307 Ballard Ave. N.W. Seattle, WA 98107
Dubbed as Seattle's only Minnesota-style pizzeria, Zayda Buddy's serves up delicious pizzas, midwestern fare and has a full bar. On the menu you'll find cheddar cheese and chili fries, a tater tot casserole, and a "Ballard Bridge" pizza which is a local favorite. The restaurant is part bar, part booth-style seating for families, so feel free to bring the kids. This is a great spot for Sunday brunch after hitting the Ballard Farmers Market.
5404 Leary Ave. N.W. Seattle, WA 98107
A delicious spread of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine awaits at La Isla in Ballard. The restaurant started as a Fremont Sunday market food vendor and quickly grew a loyal following. The rest is history. The La Isla menu includes empanadas filled with pulled pork, ground beef and tender chicken, camarones (butterflied prawns sautéed in olive oil, garlic and white wine) and Pernil Divino (marinated pork shoulder) served with rice, beans and tostones.
2320 NW Market St. Seattle, WA 98107
If you've got a sweet tooth you'll definitely want to check out the decadent treats at Cupcake Royal. Since 2003, Cupcake Royale has been serving up tasty treats that are made from scratch every single day. They even have gluten-free cupcakes, baby cakes, cake pops and bakeshop-inspired ice cream. This year's seasonal flavors include White Chocolate Cranberry, Maple Sweet Potato, Eggnog Snickerdoodle and of course, classic Gingerbread.
2052 NW Market St. Seattle, WA 98107
The Ballard Farmers Market happens every Sunday rain or shine from 10am-3pm between Vernon Pl NW and 22nd Ave NW. The street is shut down to cars but there's plenty of parking available on side streets and around the neighborhood. On Sundays, all meters are free.
The Ballard Art Walk happens on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 6-9pm.
If you're looking for skin care in Ballard, check out esthetician Susan Grace and her Partly Sunny Skin Care line which is specially formulated for Pacific Northwest skin conditions. www.susangraceskincare.com
For spa services in Ballard, check out Habitude, located just down Market street. The spa offers express massages starting at $65 and have services from massages to reflexology for men and women.