When the weather’s nice in Seattle, you could go anywhere to enjoy the sun - even your Juliet balcony. But Ballard’s one of the best neighborhoods to spend some time outside. Maybe that’s because of its proximity to Golden Gardens, but these great restaurants with outdoor dining situations might have a little something to do with it, too. So, if you’re looking for a bite to eat and/or to grab a drink north of Fremont, here are 13 spots open right now with patio seating.
Know of another Ballard spot we missed? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miri’s is not the kind of beachside concession stand selling individual bags of Doritos with a “Best By” date of December 2017. This is a place that serves delicious marinated chicken kebab wraps with hummus and harissa on homemade flatbread, roasted fingerling potatoes with ranch aioli, nettle mint iced tea, and mini Dutch poffertjes. They have a few picnic tables just outside their takeout window, but you also have the entirety of Golden Gardens as your seating area - just pick a socially-distant pile of sand to lay your towel on.
Baker’s is one of our favorite bars in town for outstanding cocktails and a little something to snack on. And it helps that their garden patio, full of green plants and a bright wall mural, is pretty dang adorable. With refreshing drinks, charcuterie plates, and Dungeness crab rolls, you’re set up for a great light dinner under the sun.
Is Ray’s the best seafood restaurant in Seattle? No. But it’s a place we find ourselves at every summer because of their waterfront balcony patio. It’s also because of the irrationally good (and free) bread basket. Ordering a bottle of ice-cold sauvignon blanc and suddenly having a table full of crab cakes and panko-crusted fish and chips is your right as a PNW resident.
You’ll find some of Seattle’s greatest sandwiches at Mean, from thick corned beef with mint and maple syrup to a chicken cutlet with provolone and buffalo mayo. While their entire operation is a takeout counter, they’ve opened up their backyard where you can sit with your paper bag full of good stuff between bread, fried baked potato hunks, and bread pudding.
This bar and sister spot to Mammoth has a few tables set up on the sidewalk that also spill onto the street a bit, too. There’s a lot of great BBQ happening here as well, from smoked jalapeño hushpuppies to big bowls of pulled-pork-topped mac and cheese. Not to mention a bunch of tasty, summery vodka cocktails.
Sawyer made the cut for our Best New Restaurants Of 2018 for the way they made us rethink comfort food, serving things like grilled artichokes dunked in hazelnut anchovy remoulade and wagyu double cheeseburgers with mint mornay. You can reserve a table on their covered patio online, but there’s extra seating out front in a new area they’re calling “Sawyer Food Court.” No matter what, don’t leave without a s’mores choco taco or cookie dough semifreddo bar for dessert.
San Fermo is an excellent spot for fresh pasta and antipasti, and it happens to be located inside one of the oldest historic homes in Ballard. That also means this Italian restaurant has a fantastic porch, covered in leafy shade ideal for twirling bucatini alla gricia and drinking coupes of sparkling wine on a hot night. Right now, the patio is first come, first served, but you can call San Fermo after 5pm at 206-342-1530 to check on availability.
This brewery has a big backyard with plenty of picnic tables to spread out on while you drink pints of tart tangerine hefeweizen. If you’re hungry, Mean Sandwich is next door and will deliver your lunch through the fence like a nosy sitcom neighbor but without the bad jokes. To prepare for your trip, you might want to read through Peddler’s new reopening procedures.
It’s hard to believe that there’s a Ballard brewery with a bigger patio than Peddler, but it exists. Populuxe is a great spot for IPAs and lime sours, and has a huge outdoor area space where you can sit. It’s perfect for staying far away from other humans and remaining very close to what’s really important - your pint glass.
Percy’s is a cocktail spot that you need to keep on standby if you love herbs (literally every specialty cocktail involves thyme, rosemary, mint, sage, lemongrass, or basil). You can drink these out on their covered back patio, and snack on some fried chicken and cornbread or chili-butter popcorn.
Some of the best beer in town comes from Urban Family, a brewery that uses all kinds of fruits to make a bunch of different sours. Their new location in Ballard makes use of the large front area - there are some big tables set up where you can enjoy your tangy beer infused with blueberry and acai.