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Dinner in Ballard, WA area

Hi all,

I'm staying at a friend's house for a couple of days, and figured I should take him out to dinner. His tastes run more towards the quantity end of things (and I would prefer quality). So, I'm looking for a good restaurant with large portions...all ethnicities considered; no particular price range, but under $40 pp would be preferred.


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  1. Senor Moose is a good Mexican place. I haven't been there for dinner, but their brunch offerings are substantial.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PAO

      Volterra is great Italian food.

    2. I would suggest these places depending upon where you are from.

      I would second Senor Moose. They have great fresh mexican food which is much different than most mexican restaurants. The website is http://senormoose.com/

      There is also Ray's Cafe if you would like a nice view. The website is http://www.rays.com/new/. This palce is more upscale then the others I have suggested.

      For Indian there is India Bistro. It isnt as good as the Indian food in Kent or Bellevue or Vancouver, BC but is great for a neighborhood spot. The website is http://www.seattleindiabistro.com/bal...

      La Isla is a Puerto Rican restaurant. They have a real good happy hour http://www.laislaseattle.com/

      For Thai - Thaiku is good.

      Some others on the Board might be able to speak to Volterra.

      1 Reply
      1. re: New York Michele

        I've only been to Volterra once and it was only slightly memorable, mostly because of the price. I'm not sure you'd keep to your $40/pp. My guess is their menu is on-line, though, so you could check it out. Senor Moose is good but REALLY loud and, when I went at least, quite smokey from the kitchen. I also like Esperanza at 80th and 32nd, so north Ballard. Decent (Americanized) Mexican, more pleasant ambiance than Senor Moose, I think, decent mortion sizes, easily under $40/pp. And India Bistro is my weekly haunt. It's probably not fanTAStic. But I think it's plenty tasty... clearly.

      2. Yanni's is a Greek restaurant in Phinney Ridge (very close to Ballard) which serves excellent food and the entrees are fairly large. Their potatoes are to die for!

        1 Reply
        1. re: violiness

          I second the Yanni's vote - we order from there all the time because they're on the neighborhood. Their potatoes are absolutely amazing! If you go there, make sure to request potatoes instead of rice...the last time we ordered our standard (Chicken Skaras) they put rice on the side instead of potatoes and we howled.

          As an alternative, Ray's is great as well (especially if the weather is nice).

        2. Volterra is excellent and more of a foodie restaurant- but thier portions are not on the large side. La Isla is also a foodie place but more on the laid back hidden gem side. Their portions are larger and come with many fun sides. Brad's Swingside is a neighborhood gem Italian restaurant on Fremont ave that is great flavors too. Their portions tend to be very large- or look normal but can be hard to eat it all.

          I vote take him to La Isla! or Brad's Swingside!

          1 Reply
          1. It would be a shame if you don't go to Ocho. Just saying.

            1. Although there are more and more choices in Ballard, few are stand-outs for a nice "thank you" dinner in that price range. Ray's or Ray's cafe have good food and nice views, as does Anthonys (they are right next to eachother by Shilshole). If you'll be in the area on a Sunday you could take him to Anthony's for the crab feed - all you can eat Dungeness (hot or cold). YUM.

              If you like big Mexican food portions, I love Michoacan up on 15th and 85th (across from the Safeway up there). They serve all their food on giant platters and I think it's quite tasty (but then, I LOVE melted cheese and guacamole).

              I've been to Senor Moose once for breakfast and wasn't impressed (especially after having to wait outside for so long). I've had one amazing brunch and one disappointing dinner at Volterra - but the dinner was on VD, so I'd give them another shot for sure. I haven't ever liked Thaiku too much - very greasy. For Thai in Ballard, I prefer Mae Ploy on 15th and 65th. India Bistro is good. If you like german food, I've enjoyed eating at the People's Pub (yummy beet salad...). There is also Sam's Sushi - I haven't been there in years, but it used to be pretty good.

              I am surprised that no one's mentioned la carta de oaxaca (or however it's spelled). Their food is great, but for large portions, I'd skip it.

              One more note, though - do NOT go to Lombardi's...

              1. No love for Lunchbox Laboratory? Sure, it isn't a sitdown affair (Well, you do sit down) but, the quality of the burgers are top-notch and the quantity is... well... disturbing.

                1. Austin Cantina in Ballard is a good choice for what you're looking for.