Hidden Gems and Delicious Destinations

Out on the road to find inspiring, less-well-known nabes devoted to the fresh, the local, the sustainable—and the drinkable.

Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood
Photo: Thomas Barwick

Northwest: Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood

The Pacific Northwest’s historic maritime traditions merge with today’s landlubbing locavorism in Ballard, home port for those who prowl North Pacific waters in search of salmon, halibut, and Dungeness crabs. This north Seattle neighborhood is a testament to how much the region’s fisheries have evolved to serve its selective palates.

Sustainable seafood is offered throughout Ballard, often appearing on menus with other local items like foraged mushrooms or wild blackberries from the neighborhood’s celebrated Sunday market. But the nexus of culinary creativity is Staple & Fancy, where Chef Ethan Stowell plates family-style feasts, featuring grilled sardines and geoduck crudo. Bivalve fans migrate to The Walrus & the Carpenter (pictured), perhaps the Northwest’s finest oyster bar.

If you really want to experience what fishing-dock neighborhoods can feel like in this age of sustainability, buy directly from boats at Fishermen’s Terminal. Each shimmering chinook salmon is a reminder that, for the North Pacific’s fleet, Ballard is where the sea begins. —Hanna Raskin

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