Best Neighborhoods: 24th Avenue Northwest, Ballard

From Northwest Market Street to Northwest 65th Street, a peek at the insider's Ballard.
Shannon O'Leary  |   March 2011   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION

PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE: Indie traditionalists

It’s a familiar syndrome in many families: the spotlight-craving, showboat sibling versus the spotlight-dodging, quietly confident one. Just north of Ballard’s more look-at-me venues on historic Ballard Avenue NW and mainstream NW Market Street lie the subdued, tree-lined offerings of 24th Avenue NW. Here you’ll find colorful coffee shops and a chic wine bar mixing with old-school taverns and a traditional barbershop, along with the newfangled On The Park apartments, complete with an expansive QFC supermarket offering a far more impressive selection of produce, fish and meat than the old QFC store it replaced.

1. Classic Consignment
Eclectic, wearable clothing (arranged by color), accessories and furniture in stock. 5514 24th Ave. NW; 206.781.7061; classicconsignmentseattle.com

2. BikeSport
Gotta love their sense of humor. Among the 10 reasons cited for why you should buy a bike here is No. 4: “Every model we choose to stock is stress-tested, race-tested, flame-tested, taste-tested, water-tested, marinated in basil-pesto-soy sauce and tested for its ability to make you attractive to the opposite sex.” 5601 24th Ave. NW; 206.706.4700; ilovemybike.com

3.Aster Coffee Lounge
Transcendent Clover-brewed coffee, happy-hour wine and beer, freshly baked goodies and occasional movie nights. 5615 24th Ave. NW; 206.784.0615; astercoffeelounge.com

4. Scooter’s Burgers

Beyond fast-food burgers and shakes (try the peanut butter). 5802 24th Ave. NW; 206.782.2966

5. Haven Salon

Owner Sasha Moon is a specialist in the European balayage hair-coloring technique. 5810 24th Ave. NW; 888.504.2836; haven-salon.com

6. The Tea Cozy Yarn Shop
Sign up for knitting classes, or search for just the right skein. 5816 24th Ave. NW; 206.783.3322; teacozyyarn.com

Vintners Ballard7. Vintner’s Annex Tasting Room & Wine Shop (pictured left)
A tasty Seattle space to sample artisan Woodinville wines (dogs and children welcome). 5818 24th Ave. NW; 206.906.9128; vintnersannex.com

8. O’shan Sushi
There was a time when “Ballard” and “sushi” were as oxymoronic as “jumbo” and “shrimp.” Not anymore. This elegant little family-owned gem is the sort of place you want to keep a secret. So don’t tell another soul. 5809 24th Ave. NW; 206.420.3737; oshansushi.com

9. Java Bean
A can’t-beat combo: sweet, spicy cafe mole and the “Eggel” breakfast bagel. 5819 24th Ave. NW; 206.788.9677; javabeancoffee.com

10. The Stepping Stone
Organic beer on tap, sports on the tube, hummus-and-cheese plates on order. 5903 24th Ave. NW; 206.420.3723; ballardsteppingstone.com

Tall Grass Bakery11. Tall Grass Bakery
Mmmm-eliciting homemade granola and a fougasse bread that’s delectable as a loaf, but even more fun twisted into a pretzel. 5907 24th Ave. NW; 206.706.0991; tallgrassbakery.com

12. Cafe Besalu
Paris-worthy almond croissants and—our underdog favorite—the freshly made ginger biscuits. 5909 24th Ave. NW; 206.789.1463; cafebesalu.com

13. Copper Gate-- CLOSED
Pinup-girl décor meets Scandinavian cuisine and cocktails. Fjellbek, anyone? 6301 24th Ave. NW; 206.706.3292; thecoppergate.com

14. The Viking
A 1950s watering hole dishing up hard-core drinks, eats, tunes and shuffleboard. 6404 24th Ave. NW; 206.784.3662

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