Hilliard’s in Ballard Has Great Beer in the Can

It’s not easy to distinguish oneself as a brewer in this microbrew-soaked city. But Ryan Hilliard is off to a good start before his Ballard brewery, Hilliard’s Beer, is even open. Hilliard, thanks to a relatively new small-scale packaging machine called the ACS 3.5 (by Cask Brewing Systems), is putting his prize-winning home brew-turned-professional-project craft…


Old Ballard Hotel Gets Extreme Makeover

Hotel Ballard is back with exciting modern updates and its original Old World elegance.

Ballard residents, rejoice: A new boutique hotel gives visitors an alternative to sleeping on your couch. Built in 1902 for the American Scandinavian Bank (the words “Bank Building” still appear on the façade), the two-story building at the heart of Ballard Avenue became a hotel in 1920. In more recent decades, it served as a…


Golden Beetle Could Be Better

Maria Hines' much-anticipated new Ballard restaurant fails to impress.

Maria Hines’ Northwest cuisine–focused Tilth was only the second Oregon Tilth–certified organic restaurant in the country when it opened in 2006.  Within a year, the New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni called it one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country, and Hines has since been named the James Beard Best Chef…


Vertical Garden Art at Ballard Floral Shop Midnight Blossom

In the April issue I reported on the vertical gardening trend currently climbing Seattle walls. Now Ballard floral design, plant and gift shop Midnight Blossom is offering its arty take on the trend with tillandsia (air plant) wall gardens (like the one pictured above). They’re “living art,” Amoreena Herbage told me by phone. She’s one-half…

Maria Hines portrait in Hagia Sofya, Istanbul

Maria Hines to Open the Golden Beetle in Ballard this Friday

Eastern Mediterranean flavors will be the draw at the nation's third certified organic restaurant.

It’s old news that chefs in this town put their fancy foot forward with their first restaurants, making a splash with more elaborate dishes, a more formal dining room approach, and a “I take my food seriously” aire. But with the second restaurant? Well that’s where they have some fun. Things are taken down a…


Staple and Fancy Mercantile is “Pretty Good”

Is chef Ethan Stowell's new Ballard restaurant his best yet? Dining critic Allison Scheff finds out.

In big cities like ours, there are a lot of “pretty good” restaurants. It takes something to really shine, to be great. Union, Ethan Stowell’s first restaurant, which opened way back in 2003, was a great restaurant in the beginning. But it was always a little too stiff for an any-night stop. Still, Stowell built…

Seattle Coffee Guide: Kid-friendly Coffee Shops

For parents in search of a cup of coffee and some grownup conversation—and a way to keep kids occ

Firehouse Coffee With its rustic décor and cozy chairs, this Ballard coffeehouse (which uses beans from Caffé Vita) creates a cabin-like atmosphere for parents and their energetic toddlers. Gymboree is right next door, so having a designated playroom for kids makes a lot of sense. The room has tons of toys for the kids, plus…

Where to Get a Tasty Sandwich: Ballard’s Paseo

Paseo’s newest sandwich shack in Ballard raises the bar for picnic-perfect beach eats.

Hey, anyone want to join me for a day of playing hooky and having lunch at the beach? Great, we’ll just stop at this pink roadside shack in Ballard for onion sandwiches and hit Golden Gardens. Wait, did he just say onion sandwiches? Oh yes, he did. The pink roadside shack is the Ballard outpost…

Trend: Green Education

Local schools are bringing green education out of the books and onto the campus

Last spring, students at Ballard’s Adams Elementary School toted some of their science lessons outdoors. On the lawn beside the building’s front steps, landscape architect David Minnery involved first-, second- and fifth-graders in the design process—including model building, site analysis and mapping techniques—for the school’s new rain garden. The resulting landscape feature (which helps manage…


Lifestyle: Desktop Storage Solutions

Kelley Moore goes back to school in style with simple storage solutions for little scholars

Between the math assignments, art supplies and ever-mounting piles (backpack, sweatshirt, soccer cleats—wait, what is that green thing?), it can be tricky enough to organize your kids, let alone your entire home. In the spirit of students going back to school, I created a homework-ready desk with a few stylish, savvy ideas to aid busy…

Food We Love: Gelato

D’Ambrosio Gelato is making small-batch gelato so good that the lines are out the door, even on not-

In the last few years, myriad frozen-treat shops have come onto the scene, so D’Ambrosio Gelato’s opening (5339 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.327.9175; registered only a tiny ripple on my radar. That was before I got my first lick of the thick, dense, velvety stuff. Owners Marco and Enzo D’Ambrosio—Enzo is a university-certified master gelataio—are…

Summer Guide 2010: Ballard & Greenwood/Phinney

Ballard continues to boom, with new restaurants, bars and shops still opening on a regular basis, a

Ballard continues to boom, with new restaurants, bars and shops still opening on a regular basis, a thriving art walk and farmers’ market, and, of course, the summer Seafood Fest (this year, July 10–11;, where the salmon booths pack ’em in like sardines. BallardAll-star Farmers’ MarketThe Ballard Farmers’ Market (Ballard Avenue NW between 20th…

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