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