My girlfriend and I are moving to Seattle in the spring, but are flying out in about a month to scout out apartments, jobs, and to eat! We are staying in Ballard only for four days, and reccomendations of great places to eat ad drink, we are on a budget, but want maybe to splurge once. We are from Cleveland, so some fresh seafood seems to be in order. Thanks.
Search the board for recommendations, but since you mention Ballard specifically, be sure to check out La Carta de Oaxaca. Definitely NOT a typical mexican joint and it also won't bust your budget.
I second La Carta de Oazaca; Seattle's International District offers great seafood. Don't miss the Szechuan crab at Seven Stars Pepper restaurant. (Just don't wear your good shirt.)
Ballard is flush with interesting dive pubs. On Old Ballard Ave:
- Connor Byrne has a nice microbrew selection and fantastic live music at night
- Old Town Alehouse is a more upscale pub with amazing fish & chips
- Bad Alberts has a divey atmosphere, but two of my favorite foods in all of Seattle: a fried crawfish (no shells) appetizer with delicious wing sauce, and the Dock St Burger with handcut, homemade french fries.
La Carta de Oaxaca is fantastic - they have small plates so you can order several items tapas-style. They also offer a nice selection of tequilas. I always get a glass of Don Julio Añejo to sip. It's delicious!
Not Ballard, but nearby, in Fremont, at 43rd and Fremont Ave., is Paseo. (Plenty of recs on this board). On Splurge day, consider Senor Moose (not really all that much of a splurge, and very tasty). Definitely splurgey is Volterra. Yes to La Carta de Oaxaca, but your budget is going fast, so grab a Happy Hour burger at Hales. There's an inexpensive mexican place up behind the bank(s) called Malena's - pretty good carne tacos. Do not miss Cafe Besalu for coffee and pastries. There will be a line and it might end up a little pricey, but is very French pastry and nice - have a croissant.