Bars in Ballard

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

Bars in Ballard


2311 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

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.


2325 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

This tiny Spanish bar on a busy Market Street corner is THE Ballard destination for sunny summer evening hours, thanks in large part to a cozy outdoor patio, tasty tapas and a $10 margarita that's worth every penny.

Jolly Roger Taproom

1111 NW Ballard Way, Seattle, WA 98107

We're game for anywhere with a pirate theme, particularly this quirky taproom adjoining the Maritime Pacific Brewing Company. The theme may make you crave rum, but you'll fare best with a pint of one of the beers brewed next door.

Balmar Bar & Lounge

5449 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Ballard locals frequent this spacious bar at the critical Ballard Avenue/Market Street intersection for their well-stocked bar, affordable happy hour and bar snacks ranging from mac and cheese to Vietnamese chicken sandwiches.

Peoples Pub

5429 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

This popular pub is equal parts dive bar and diner, serving up cheap drinks and massive plates of German-inspired food like sausages, schnitzels and goulash. Makes for a great Plan B when neighboring La Carta de Oaxaca is just too busy.

Copper Gate

6301 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

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.

The Noble Fir

5316 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

You won't get full at this Ballard bar, but for a solid beer selection and extensive assortment of ciders--complimented with a limited menu of cheeses and small plates--this new addition to Market Street can't be beat.

Ballard Smoke Shop

5439 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

This delightful bar is a nod to the old 'hood, and you'll likely find a few fishermen among the 20-somethings here. Don't expect anything fancy--the lack of pretense is precisely the point.

Sloop Tavern

2830 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

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.


425 NW Market St., Seattle, WA 98107

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.

Portalis Wine Shop & Wine Bar

5205 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

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.