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Hi-Life (the) - 60 Reviews - 5425 Russell Ave NW, Seattle, WA - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (206) 784-7272

Hi-Life (the)

5425 Russell Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 784-7272
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Hi-Life (the) - Seattle, WA


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The Hi-Life has stepped up its game. The service has gotten better and more responsive. The quality and taste of the food has completely improved. It's a good value meal and a gre...


I really wanted to like this place! Three of us went, and after a long wait to get a table we ordered and started the long wait to get our food. An hour later the waiter told us t...

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Awesome breakfast 5/9/2008

the breakfast there is awesome too... about the only two things i miss about having my office in ballard is the matador for happy hour and the hi-life for breakfast... funny i used to go to concerts there back when it was the ballard fire house... the good ol days more

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Fave breakfast spot! 10/6/2006

The Hi-Life is my new favorite breakfast spot in Ballard! We usually go on Sunday mornings, there is always a wait. Everyone from young hip twenty-somethings recovering from a hangover to retired folk migrate here. The atmosphere, food and prices appeal to everyone. The atmosphere itself is wide open and airy. They have kept a few traces of the old firehouse in the decorative touches. Service is always impeccable. Coffee is strong and yummy. There is a twisted spin on the standard breakfast menu. The standard omelette's, biscuits and gravy and the BEST pancakes I have ever had. Breakfast prices range from $4.75-10.50. Happy hour is fun too. Wood fired pizzas for $3, nice plate of spreads and crispy chips for $3, and a variety of drinks for $3. more

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Living the Hi-Life 8/1/2006

The Hi-Life located in Ballard is for me, the place where everybody knows my name. OK, maybe not everybody but a few bodies. The Hi-Life has wonderful food, but especially a great happy hour. On Tuesday's they also have the best and cutest bartender EVER! The girls and I (you know who you are) enjoy meeting on Tuesday after work to rehash the weekend and prior week's events. We are served in this wonderful old firehouse that has great ambiance. The drinks are perfect and flow oh-so-well. I invite you to come out and try their wonderful pizza's, salads and menu that changes every three months or so. Always something new at this neighborhood hang-out including changing art work. Hi-Life is one of my favorite places to go dressed up or in jeans and a t-shirt. Have fun and tell me what you think of the Tuesday night bartender.....yummy! more

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Nice list of dinner options and adult beverages... 7/21/2006

My partner, Michael, and I finally got a chance to go by Hi-Life and we were pleasantly surprised with the transformation of the former firehouse turned band venue now turned restaurant. We'd mistakenly thought when we heard about the pizza being served here that the food would be more Americana style. Weren't we surprised when we finally dined there and learned that there is a strong French influence or at least in terms of the menu layout, names, and some of the food presentations. Michael started his meal with the Ceasar Salad ($6.25) which was sizeable, flavorful, and it met Michael's high Ceasar standards. He followed it up with a spicy sausage pizza ($9.75). It was definitely spicy!! I had just a sliver of it and it definitely got the tongue sizzling. For my meal I ordered the daily special ($18.50), a grilled salmon with a eggplant puree and a red bell pepper sauce. The salmon was nicely grilled (a big piece too) and the portions were big enough that I split the plate in half right away and took the extra home for a full meal the next day. Michael went home with 3 pieces of pizza left over. I was happy to see that there were lots of options for any kind of palate. Several veggie dishes, family style dinner options, single entrees, and family friendly but with a good sized bar area too. Overall, great interior space and layout. Beverages besides water for our dinner consisted of Maritime brew ($4.00 pint) and a Pomegranite martini cocktail ($7.25). Many options on the bar menu made it tough for me to decide what to order but it was nice to see some interesting options besides the standard fare. The service was very good (it wasn't too busy at 9:30pm on a Wed) - we had Rebecca as our waitstaff - and overall we decided it was a good experience and we'd be back, much sooner than it took for us to go the first time. We hear from good friends that the happy hour is great here and our server, Rebecca, told us that the breakfast is good as well. We'll have to go back to check it out....we'll update JB if we do. more

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Unmemorable 5/30/2006

Nice space, but the food was disappointing and hence, overpriced. The pork porterhouse was dry and tasteless, and the accompanying greens and polenta were... so-so. The scallops were ok, but the sauce was weak and watery. Maybe the breakfasts are better, but I doubt we'll give it another chance. Strange, as we've enjoyed the other restaurants in the "family". more

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It says 'DRINK' in enormous letters on the outside... 5/22/2006

...what's not to love? I had a very good dinner here on Sunday. The french onion soup is a little on the sweet side, but excellent and I had the grilled salmon for my entre which I thoroughly enjoyed. The atmosphere in the place is great. Cosy and casual (while still feeling a little upscale). It's not cheap - $15-30/entre, but great value overall. I haven't had their pizzas, but those are next on the list. more

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Hi-Life 5/4/2006

Love the Hi-Life! You need to get the pork chops! Kid-Friendly and trendy atmosphere! What more could a mom ask for. more

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Chow Foods 4/24/2006

I'm never disappointed with the folks at Chow Foods (Jitterbug, Coastal Kitchen, 5 Spot, Atlas, and Endolyne Joe's). Their food is consistently delicious. They staff are great. Their decor is classic. Their remodel of the firehouse is really nice, down to the brass fireman details and the pole that has been cut, but shows you where it used to be. I order the French toast sometimes, but then I bring a toothbrush because it is SO sweet. Other things I've ordered were yummy as well. I also like a menu with personality. I'm happy that Hi Life came to Ballard... more

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Firehouse restaurant - cool... 4/17/2006

I don't know much about Ballard, but I've now been there a few times in the recent past. I had lunch at Hi-life late last week, and was really impressed with the space and the atmosphere. I expect that Hi-life is a great place to go for brunch, or for a beer at the end of the day. Their lunch was good, but not a particular stand-out. I had the Kefta Marrakesh, a dish that supposedly contained spiced beef patties along with a honey-yogurt sauce. The patties were underspiced and barely distinguishable from burgers, but the sauce was quite tasty. Halfway through our lunch, we heard a loud thumping on the high ceiling overhead. As it turns out, the Hi-Life sits underneath a martial arts studio. Kind of cool, but also kind of annoying to hear thumping while you eat. I'll probably try to go back for dinner & drinks at some point, but it isn't at the top of my list for lunch. more

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Breakfast Heaven 3/29/2006

I have only been here for breakfast, but it was a totally excellent dining experience. Wonderful dishes from the mundane (bacon, eggs, hash) to the sublime (French toast with hazelnut mascarpone cream!) The old firehouse location is open, spacious and comfortable. Everything was excellent, and the prices were completely reasonable. Words to the wise though; time your visit carefully, as the place becomes intolerably crowded, with a long wait, starting around ten a.m. on weekends. more

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Amazing Breakfast 3/8/2006

I love their Blueberry Pancakes! It has taken me awhile to find a good breakfast place and this is finally it. This is a great place to take family and friends if they have never been in Seattle. The building is beautiful, an old Firehouse. The food is amazing. The only item I wouldn't recommend is the french toast, its not what you would expect French Toast to be. Other than that everything is good here. Even when it gets really crowded the staff will try their best to get you seated as soon as possible. more

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Great pizzas 9/8/2005

The Hi-Life is the newest restaurant from the same people behind the Jitterbug and Coastal Kitchen. They do a monthly regional menu but so far some of their regions of choice have been questionable. In all, I've been disappointed by their food several times and actually once left for another dinner spot when they were doing large 2-person meals for their Barcelona menu (very strange). However, they do have some great wood fired pizzas ($3 at happy hour!) and some decent drinks (but do NOT ever order sangria here - it's undrinkable). Their breakfasts are very tasty. more

Love that smell! 6/28/2005

This is a fairly new restaurant that was started by someone who KNOWS the restaurant biz. Great location, wonderful atmosphere and wood-fired ovens. This place is located in the old Ballard firehouse and serves a wide variety of foods. The menu changes every quarter or so but they have some classics that stick around. One being their wood-fired pizzas which are fabulous. I have never had a bad meal and I try something new every time I visit. Great for lunch or dinner. Kid friendly at lunch but dinner is more romantic. more

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so THIS is what happened to the ballard firehouse! 4/26/2005

the people who own 5 Spot and Coastal Kitchen have added a new restaurant to their resume - the hi-life. for some reason i thought it was going to be less-nice than it was - probably because it's in the old Ballard Firehouse, which was a wonderful music venue/dive bar. but it was really pretty inside! very open, roomy, warm. the service was really good, starting with our first steps into the restaurant. the hostess took one look at hubby and i with our 2 kids and before we even made it to the table, she'd grabbed crayons for our 2-year old and a koala stand for our 6-month old. the waiter was great, very nice, very efficient. the food was good. not great but good. i had the salmon which itself was great (and, unfortunately, overpriced) but the veggies that it came with were undercooked. hubby and 2-year old had their pizzas which were really good. i liked the fact that the kid's menu had more choices than just mac & cheese and/or pasta. rumor has it that they do a great brunch, which i'll try soon. for dinner i'd be ok recommending the hi-life to someone but if you want great salmon, go another mile and hit ray's boathouse. that's my story and i'm stickin with it. more
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Menu for Hi-Life (the)

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  • The Scene
    Surrounded by local art on the brick walls, diners gravitate to the comfy leather booths. In the summer, the enormous front doors open to let in the milder weather. Once again,...

  • 9/6/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Sun: 8:30am-11pm
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Ballard, Adams