Home > Restaurants > The Viking Tavern – 10/8/11

The Viking Tavern – 10/8/11


Location: 6404 24th Ave NW


Mon-Sat: 11:30am-2am

Sunday: 11:30am-12am

On the window of The Viking Tavern, it proudly announces “Opened in 1950”. Walking through the door feels a bit like going through a time warp. Vinyl booths line one wall with a row of mirrors and black and white photos of the Viking over the years above them. The bar runs along the other side with old school, spinning bar stools under the chipped counter. The Viking is another piece of Old Ballard that has managed to survive. On one wall near the entry is one thing I, as a former library worker, can appreciate, a shelf of spy, detective, and romance novels.

The Viking Tavern is a bar with food rather than a restaurant that serves booze. While their specialty is house-smoked meats, preparation isn’t of primary import since the food is warmed up in a microwave.

The Service:

When we came in, the bartender was acting as server as well. He was friendly and bus but the food came out fairly quick.

The Drinks:

I ordered the Silver City Hefeweizen, which was pretty good even though it had a slight, musty flavor that I’ve noticed in a few other Hefeweizens.

J had a Long Island Iced Tea that he could smell before even lifting it to his lips. It was so well mixed that he dubbed it the third best Long Island in Ballard.

The Food:

I chose The Number One, hickory smoked, thinly sliced beef brisket, with house sauce and served with Tim’s Cascade chips and a pickle. The brisket was fairly tender and nicely flavored, even if it was warmed up in the microwave. It was okay but I like my brisket a bit moister and in thicker slices. I liked the onion roll on which it was served. The sauce was just the right consistency, with a nice, delayed spicy kick. A good barbeque sandwich for the price.

J had The Number Two, slow-smoked, shredded pork butt with house pork sauce on an onion roll. He thought it was really good barbeque. The pork was less shredded and more like moist, flavorful chunks of meat. He was kind of surprised how good it was.

The Price:

Silver City Hefeweizen: 4.75

Long Island Iced Tea: 7.00

The Number One: 8.75

The Number Two: 8.75

The Verdict:

The Viking Tavern provides good barbeque and drinks at a very reasonable price in a neat piece of Old Ballard. We liked the barbeque better than what’s sold at the Lock & Keel, the only other barbeque we’ve had thus far in this project. The meat was smoky, fairly moist, and flavorful. The sauce was really good. Their Long Island Iced Tea, surprisingly, comes in at third best in Ballard.

Our opinions of the remaining Ballard barbeque joints (Smokin’ Petes and the maybe opening before the end of the year, Bitterroot) will determine whether we return to The Viking. It is a bit out of the way from where we live in Ballard but if it’s the best, we’ll be back.

  1. October 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I like Smoke’n Pete’s. You mentioned that you were headed there. Get a rack and take it home. Great value. The place is a little too smoky for us but we love their ribs and sauces. Been there four times and all good. The smell just means that it is a serious BBQ place!

    Great project guys! Hope you parlay it into a paid gig somewhere!

    Maybe your next project could be Food Trucks?

    – Marty

  1. February 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

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