Why We Picked It
When the community study came out in 2014, we learned that 13 percent of the Jewish community was located in northwest Seattle, including Ballard, one of Seattle’s hippest and fastest-growing neighborhoods. By this time next year, you might find artisan challah and house-made cholent on menus in this hipster hood. Though historically considered a Scandinavian neighborhood, as more and more Jewish families move in, Ballard has become an under-the-radar hub of Jewish life in Seattle. As it continues to grow, signs of Jewish life have begun to blossom into the public eye, with a Chabad founded there this year. Average home value: $540,200
Best Place to Walk Around
One of the city’s best tourist attractions and the neighborhood’s worst-kept secret has something for everyone: salmon-watching, gardens, pathways, and an endless parade of boats. Harking back to Ballard’s origins as a fishing village, the locks let landlubbers look at what life on (and in) the water is like. 3015 NW 54th St.
Find this hummus hot spot hidden in the northwest corner of the neighborhood, serving an endless colorful parade of Middle Eastern small plates featuring mezzes like pears in tahini and cauliflower tabbouleh. The menu leans heavily vegetarian and extremely kid-friendly. Later at night, the families fade away and lights lower for a romantic feel. 2408 NW 80th St.
For nearly 40 years, this sweet little store has made its name in the community by recommending the best reads. While they stock books for everyone, the focus on children’s lit makes it perfect for the families in the neighborhood. 2214 NW Market St.
Best Live Music
Something about the laid-back vibe and simple, Americana-style décor at this Ballard Avenue bar makes it the perfect place to rock out to alt-country, sway in place to some old-school bluegrass, or belt along with some Celtic-Canadian folk songs, depending on the night. The eclectic array of music provides part of the feel here, but the casual atmosphere is what makes it the best place in town to commune with a tune. 5213 Ballard Ave. NW
Where to Meet Other Jews
If your board game collection stops at Scrabble and Monopoly, it’s time to check out this game café, where you can drink a beer or sip a latte while you discover a gem of a game, like Splendor (there’s a pun intended in there that you’ll get when you try it out). 5105 Leary Ave. NW
When we say we want to hang out, we mean to literally “hang” out at this climbing gym. You don’t even need to know what you’re doing to try bouldering — that’s climbing puzzles that don’t require you to go too high. (But if you’d like to learn, there are classes.) Entrance also includes weights and exercise equipment. 2839 NW Market St.
Do These Things
Go to the Beach!
Golden Gardens glitters all year round — and lights up with bonfires on Lag B’Omer.
Check out exhibits, story time, dance lessons, and even a knitting conference at the Nordic Museum.
Try the Beer
Ballard’s craft beer scene is hopping. Start at the Maritime Pacific Brewing Company. The taproom is open to all ages.