Best Neighborhood Bar, City

Hattie's Hat

Much has changed in Ballard since Hattie's Hat served its first thirsty roughneck in 1904 (for one thing, the streets are no longer made of dirt; for another, there are way more condos), but you get the feeling Hattie's has stayed pretty much the same. The place no longer opens at 6 a.m. to serve a graveyard shift's worth of dockworkers looking to take the edge off, but the setup of roomy booths along the aisle inside the door, more intimate ones on the other side of a "brawl wall," that magnificent old wooden bar, and Aunt Harriet's dining room in the back remains the ideal watering hole. Amicable bartenders, two prime-time happy hours (3–7 p.m. and 10 p.m.–midnight), a hangover-curing brunch on weekends, a menu that features smoked ribs for $1.50 each . . . there are as many reasons to love Hattie's as years the place has been in business. KEEGAN HAMILTON 5231 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-0175,

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