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Bill Frisell's Guide to Ballard

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Jazz great Bill Frisell shows us around Ballard, the Seattle neighborhood that brings him musical inspiration. Historically, Ballard was the heart of Seattle’s Scandinavian seafaring community, and its residents still boast Nordic pride. Rock out at the Tractor Tavern or savor wine and nibbles at Portalis Wine Bar. On weekends, you might even run into Frisell browsing the local produce at the Ballard Farmers Market.
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5345 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
“You can get anything—fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey—at the market. It feels like everybody in the neighborhood comes.” -Bill Frisell 5345 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 781-6776. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Read more about Bill...
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3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
“To move between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, salmon swim through the locks. There’s a fish ladder with an underwater viewing window. In the late summer and fall, it’s mayhem.” -Bill Frisell 3015 NW 54th St. This appeared in the March/April...
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5239 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
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“The smoked meats at Bitterroot are as close as you can get to something from Texas. The first time I walked in, they were playing Hank Williams. That always softens me up to like a place.” -Bill Frisell 5239 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 588-1577. This...
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4905 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
“This place sells big cruising bikes like you see in Amsterdam. I go for the coffee. They make really good espresso drinks, and on Fridays and Sundays they serve biscuits and gravy.” -Bill Frisell 4741 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 789-1678. This...
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4739 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
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“Order great Italian pasta and meat dishes or let chef Ethan Stowell’s kitchen invent a unique family-style meal.” -Bill Frisell 4739 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 789-1200. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Read more about Bill Frisell's...
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5213 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
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“The Tractor was one of the first places I played when we moved to Ballard. It’s an oasis for certain kinds of music—Americana and folk rock—and they have Monday night square dances.” -Bill Frisell 5213 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 789-3599. This...
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5313 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
"Before I stopped eating sugar and flour, I used to go to this bakery-café for the macarons they make in different flavors and colors. It's a place where you want to sit and hang out." -Bill Frisell 5313 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 706-3338. This...
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6754 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117, USA
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“My wife is the wine expert, so when we go to Portalis together, she can order for us. When I’m by myself, the servers suggest wine pairings for small plates such as lobster ravioli and lamb kebabs.” -Bill Frisell 6754 15th Ave. NW, (206)...