In Seattle, we are very fortunate to have many wonderful farmers markets. Each one offers a unique setting and experience, and Susan and I have been lucky enough to have been to most of them.
I am always impressed by those who spend their lives working the Earth or raising animals all for our benefit. Not to mention, the craftspeople and musicians always round-out any farmers market. But, for my money, the Ballard Farmers Market offers everything and more plus the setting (Ballard Avenue and the surrounding area) offers lots of before and after dining options and shopping.
The Ballard Market is especially important to Susan and I as it was our first destination, our very first morning in Seattle. We had driven into town late the night before, the rain had come down and come down hard for hours, making the drive through Snoqualmie pass and the last 60 miles of I-90 a nightmare. Add fatigue and two meowing cats and you get the picture.
So, the next morning, the sight of fresh produce, the smell of fresh donuts cooking combined with the smooth sounds of the folk groups lining the street was a welcome sight. So, from that point forward, we try to get to the market on a regular basis.
Like any market, the selection varies based on the time of year. So, returning month after month is always a unique experience. You can always find fresh finds like jars of roe and salmon most of the year. In addition, the market offers plenty of ready to eat options like gyros and stir fry. So, grab a bite and eat as your shop.
This past weekend when we toured the market, we found old favorites and new items like buffalo mushroom which is absolutely delicious if sliced about a 1/4″ thickness and just panned seared with some good olive oil. I paired mine with a sharp cheese and a dry white wine.. yum!
After walking around, taking in the colors and smells of the market and meeting new vendors, exploring new brands, like a fantastic artisanal salt or we stopped in for lunch at the new restaurant Stoneburner.
Susan and I went in just looking for a small bite and found ourselves eating a bit more than we had expected, mostly because the menu is really great. Now, two things I really love about Weiman and Maclise is their insane attention to detail and their ability to hire a really attentive and professional staff.
Susan had some incredible beef carpaccio topped with artichoke chips that looked incredible.
We shared some roasted brussel sprouts topped with walnuts (amazing!)
and two crab cakes perfectly joined with two soft boiled eggs,
all accompanied by glasses of both red and white wine, so we could experience both against this amazing food.
Beyond the food, the creators of Stoneburner did a amazing job at sourcing rare finds from around the world (literally) which provides a unique dining atmosphere. When you go, know that you are walking on an old gymnasium floor procured from Ballard High School, the back wall is from a former Italian embassy in Buenos Aires and the pressed tin ceiling is from an old schoolhouse.
Also, don’t miss on the way out, the fantastic meat carver they have on display. I never thought I would be so entranced by a meat carver, but this thing is a thing of beauty.
We are looking forward to returning sometime for drinks because Stoneburner has a pretty cool bar and for those coming in from out of town wanting to stay in Ballard, Stoneburner is attached to Hotel Ballard, which is really charming.
The Ballard Farmers Market is every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., year round, so you can’t miss it.
Address: 5214 BALLARD AVE NW, 5214 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm