Exploring Ballard: bites and sights in Seattle’s brunchiest neighborhood

Ballard is one of my favorite neighborhoods to explore. The ‘core’ is super walkable, there are cute shops everywhere, and you can’t go wrong with pretty much any of the brunch spots.

Since I was out with the awesome Asa of Lace and Pearls we decided to do more than a bit of exploring. Here’s what we got up to!

The bites

Asadero Steakhouse: This place is all about the steak. You should not even consider bringing a vegetarian along who’s game for the visit; there’s not enough for them on the menu to make a real meal. And while they have a smattering of chicken and chorizo options, it’s clear that they, and you, are here for steak. Large amounts of steak.

Ballard brunch and sights - Asadero Steakhouse

That’s how much steak was in one taco.

$17.99 got me four huge wagyu zabuton tacos, which arrived as four rolled up flour tortillas (so soft!) filled with chunks of steak (so much!). I appreciated the hearty char and bites of salt on the steak, which was soft but not too buttery. Though I think what I loved the most was the toppings bar, which you can visit as many times as you like to reach taco perfection. And the options are solid: caramelized red onions, cucumbers, radishes, a ton of salsas. Get everything, try everything? (Cheese is an additional charge, but sometimes you just have to get some cheese.)

As we were leaving we saw people getting some of the steaks, which arrived sizzling and looked awesome. But at $30 and up I’d only get one with a friend.

Ballard brunch and sights

Miro Tea: Tea lattes are magical and they’re using a gorgeous assam that deserves way more attention. We got added vanilla syrup and the final drink was smooth and creamy and wonderful. Asa called it better than coffee. Just order one already.

Also, as a heads up, while most of Ballard was super quiet while we were visiting, Miro was packed. Ordering your drinks to go isn’t a bad idea.

Ballard brunch and sights

Also worth a visit:

Hood Famous Bakeshop: The shop requires going down a small flight of steps, but you’re rewarded with mango calamansi cheesecake, marshmallows, and all the ube desserts you can imagine.

Hot Cakes: You’re going here for the hotcakes, or lava cakes with huge scoops of ice cream. And while I love the fact that the Capitol Hill shop rarely has lines, the original store is adorable and usually has cake. Just saying.

Sweet Mickey’s: They have fudge and candy from your childhood. Have fun.

Ice cream: You’re either going to Full Tilt for pinballs and ice cream or Parfait for farm to table style treats. I’m not going to ask you to pick.

The sights

Let’s be honest: we were to Ballard to browse. And there are so many good options! (And almost everywhere had a sale when we were visiting?)

Some of the places we checked out:

Studio RA: ‘Seattle cocoon chic’ in a store. Minimalist jewelry, soft draped sweaters, chunky booties. If you like Asa’s blog, you will love this place.

Ballard brunch and sights

Scout and Molly’s: Super cute everything! Very Seattle chic, but with way more color. (And a higher price range, with $200 sweaters.) Worth visiting for possibly one of the better hidden Instagram-worthy couches in the dressing area, stay for the cute clothing.

Ballard brunch and sights

Lucca: This shop is so fun to explore! We’re talking ‘taxidermied’ paper mache animals, surprise balls, so many notecards, fancy tea, and a tiny garden full of statues out back. I just wish I wasn’t so scent sensitive so I could really take it all in, because there is so much going on – and a lot of incense or perfume.

Also worth checking out:

Buffalo Exchange: Not my usual spot, still a good selection of thrifted finds.

Market Street Shoes: So many comfy-cute options!

Where do you like to visit in Ballard?

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