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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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.)

      1. 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!

        1 Reply
        1. re: frygirl

          I agree about the fish & chips at Old Town--the fries are fabulous! Also, their sandwiches are excellent.

          Bad Albert's does a very good weekend brunch, too. If you like the crawfish appetizer, try the Crawfish Benedict!

        2. 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.

          1. go to one of the fish/seafood restaurants in Ballard.....Ray's Boathouse Upstairs Bar/Cafe..and revel in being on the coast.....finally!

            1 Reply
            1. re: staffstuff

              For us natives, not really "the coast". The coast is the ocean; Seattle is on Puget Sound . . . .

            2. I live in Fremont- basically reall around the corner from Ballard. Here are my recs based on experience, your budget, and having fun.

              Mike's Chili Parlor- was on Diners- Dives- and Drive~Ins (not typical chili- it is just meat and onions with awesome midwest east coast style seasoning)- Get just the chili and make sure to add jalapenos (this is what the owner recomends)- large portions and inexpensive
              Spuds Fish and Chips- Greenlake area... one of the best in Seattle
              Roxy's Diner- for breakfast- E.O.G(egg on bagel) is $1.95 with extra meats and topping to be added on for $. They use Bagel Oasis- best bagels in Seattle and also have a extensive NY jewish style menu offering
              Jolly Roger Taproom- for sliders!! and the sampler of local brewery Maritime (they have a HH)
              La Isla- in Ballard... something a little different that has been getting great reviews
              Kwanjai Thai- Great, inexpensive, and the best Thai in Fremont
              Quazi Curry House- Very nice inside with linens and fine service- under $10- extensive menu with many wonderful options
              Tandoor- On University Ave.- voted best Indian lunch buffet over and over again
              Rancho Bravo- Taco truck on 45th by I-5- one of the best
              Dicks- Go hungry... get fries, a shake, and a cheeseburger- cash only- cheap! and very local
              Mighty-O donuts- In tangletown (between Wallingford and Greenlake... beyond worth the effort to find... I love even just their plain donut (favorite is french toast and pumpkin) and after 4pm they are half priced
              Musashi's Sushi- on 45th in Wallingford... the fish is fresh and you can get take out- one of the best cheap eats in Seattle
              Trophy Cupcake- on 45th as well- you will not find better... do not bother with Cupcake Royale... try the cupcake of the day, green tea, or hummingbird. The triple chocolate is very decadent
              Brouwer's Cafe- Biggest selection of beers to try in a Belgium style setting
              Mad Pizza or Zeek's Pizza- for a slice
              Caffe Ladro- for a local coffee experience
              Yak's in Fremont- best teryiaki for take-out- mix in specials and items like salmon and asparagus on the menu
              Than Brother's- pho under 5(cash only)! delicious and many locations- veggie and chicken are my favorite
              Gordito's Healthy Mexican- in Greenwood... order the larger burritto(big as a baby... really!)- split it- and make sure to order it wet and fajita style. All for under $10 total
              Hi- Life- Ballard... brunch is suppose to be amazing
              The Dish- Ballard...suppose to be one of the best breakfasts in Seattle

              Volterra is reasonable for Brunch or your splurge meal
              Senor Moose (Mexican regional dishes) is very original and a must try
              Paseo can not be missed... it sometimes runs out of sandwiches early so go for a lunch or take home to eat later- the Midnight Cuban and the Prawn sandwich are the favorites
              Ray's Boathouse has HH in the cafe upstairs- all food based!

              Downtown recs-
              HH at cascadia, umi sake house, gragonfish
              Green Leaf
              Crave
              Black Bottle for tapas and wine
              Del Rey for fun swanky enviro and HH

              Here are some links...
              http://www.yelp.com/list_details?list...
              http://www.yelp.com/list_details?list...
              http://www.yelp.com/list_details?list...

              3 Replies
              1. re: natalie.warner

                These are great, and very well thought out, recommendations.

                As to be expected - There's one on the list that I vehemently disagree with: Mighty-O donuts (if you can call them that) are some of the most vile things I've ever put in my mouth. Heavy, dry and in no way flavorful.

                Other than that, the list is great :)

                1. re: natalie.warner

                  great list--thanks for posting

                  1. re: natalie.warner

                    How about Ballard Brothers, near the Ballard Bridge on 15th. I've only had their halibut and chips, but omygod what fish! They do other things and I've heard good things, but every time I keep ordering the fish and have never tasted the other offerings.

                  2. I had a great burger at MexiBurger on first ave in lower queen anne. The Jojo potato wedge fries we hot and good. Great service, good staff, good people. Interesting menu. Will definitely go back soon.