Crawl Your Way through Ballard, Boutique Style

Photo: Erik Simkins

Forgo the spring cleaning projects this weekend and visit these trendy Ballard establishments instead.

Check out Ketch on Ballard Ave. Photo: Erik Simkins

Boutiques are certainly nothing new to Seattle, but if you desire to make a day of it without roaming from neighborhood to neighborhood, all the while fighting fellow Seattleites for a parking space, your options are somewhat limited. Enter Ballard. Trendy shops that range in style are blooming with unique clothing and accessories for women, men and baby. Whether you’re on the hunt for that perfect Mother’s Day gift, a new piece of home décor or anything in-between, a boutique lover’s paradise awaits.

So head out to the bustling borough, park the car and spend a weekend afternoon on a boutique crawl. What is a boutique crawl? Think of it as a pub crawl, yet a far less dangerous endeavor — for your pride but perhaps not for your wallet — that won’t leave you wondering how you made it home or sporting a severe hangover the next day.

It’s fashion month at Seattleite so we’ve highlighted some clothing boutiques for your shopping pleasure. But there’s more to Ballard than wearable wares, so we’ve also highlighted places to stop and refuel, wine taste and even pamper your tired feet when you’re finished shopping.

A quick stop in Enlighten Café or Miro Tea for a latte, tea or cappuccino for a necessary dose of caffeine will get your crawl started off right. Bouncing from dressing room to dressing room requires extra energy.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Have a shoe fetish or just need some comfy shoes? Step on into re-souL, 5319 Ballard Avenue NW. They have an array of unique and stylish shoes for women and men from brands like French Sole, MOMA and Alberto Fasciani and also carry a collection of modern jewelry and accessories.

Photo: Erik Simkins

Ketch | 5317 Ballard Avenue NW | Casual, chic clothing and accessory options for women. This is a great stop for that perfect ‘jeans and cute top’ look.

Dolce Vita | 5323 Ballard Avenue NW | Edgy styled women’s shoes and clothing to help you live the sweet life.

Damsalfly | 5338 Ballard Avenue NW | Affordable options for updating your wardrobe — or a full-on renovation. Whichever you are in need of, Damsalfly is here to help.

Other noteworthy boutiques that await you:

Velouria| 2205 NW Market St.| Clothing, accessories and gifts. Velouria is dedicated to featuring items made by independent designers.

Horseshoe| 5344 Ballard Avenue NW| Women’s clothing; think cutesy boutique meets Wild West in a trendsetting way.

Blackbird| 5410 22nd Avenue NW| Hip and trendy clothing for the man — or men — in your life.


Camelion Design| 5330 Ballard Avenue NW |Classic furniture and home décor. You’ll also find gift ideas, soaps, candles and coffee table books.

Monster Art and Clothing | 5000 20th Avenue NW| Features local artwork, clothing for men, women and children, accessories and gifts. Dedicated to supporting local artists and sustainable goods.

Since no shopping excursion is complete without a snack to sustain you while on the prowl for that perfect summer tunic or the ring you “just can’t live without,” here are some options for a light pick-me-up.

We’re quite certain that gelato has qualifications for candidacy to be its own food group. Thankfully you don’t have to wander the cobblestone streets of Italy to find it; there’s a place right in the heart of Ballard called D’Ambrosio. While vanilla and chocolate have their place, you won’t want to walk in here without at least trying the Fichi, Mascarpone and Caramello (caramel and figs) or Variegato Biscotto (crunchy biscotti).

Dolce Vita is a must stop. Photo: Erik Simkins

Not in the mood for gelato? Indulge at Cupcake Royale with April’s Cupcake of the Month: Toasted Coconut Lime. A coconut cupcake with real lime buttercream frosting, topped with fresh toasted coconut. But when it comes to coconut, there are lovers and haters. Might we suggest Salted Caramel or a Dance Party for your mouth? Or perhaps you are a Plain Jane. Whatever you fancy, Cupcake Royale will satisfy the afternoon sweet tooth.

End your crawl — or begin — at Portalis Wines for wine tasting or enjoy a glass of whatever you fancy to celebrate your successful (hopefully) shopping trip. Each Saturday (2-6 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) let your palate explore the unique tasting line-up. Owners Jens Strecker and Julie Howe are friendly and helpful and will guide you through the wine shop, answering any questions you may have.

Prepare ahead of time if you think you may need some post shopping pampering by scheduling a body treatment session with duque salon + spa + boutiqueStop and Smell the Roses with a hydrating sugar-rose-oat scrub and hot towel rub down. You can even have a Booty Call, a deep pore-cleansing and hydrating treatment for your derriere which promises to “perfect your best asset.”

Unique styles inspire at Monster Art and Clothing. Photo: Erik Simkins

If it’s your tired feet begging for relief, walk those barking dogs into HOA Salon for a spa pedicure. As an added bonus, Hoa Salon has a punch card. Purchase nine spa pedicures and receive the 10th free.

By now you’re probably famished — even with your afternoon snack — so here are a few additional options for refueling:

Bastille| 5307 Ballard Avenue NW| (206) 453-5014

Matador| 2221 NW Market St|(206) 297-2855

Portage Bay Café| 2821 NW Market St.| (206)783-1547

Volterra| 5411 Ballard Avenue NW|(206) 789-5100

Happy Ballard boutique crawling!