A Visit to The Splintered Wand in Seattle

Calling all witches and wizards! There’s a new bar and restaurant for the magically inclined in the heart of old Ballard. An homage to The-Franchise-That-Must-Not-be-Named, The Splintered Wand offers something more than the typical night out. 

splintered wand bar

The space lends itself to a unique experience. Situated in a flatiron-style historic building, the proprietors capitalized on the location’s quirks by creating little dining nooks and leaning into the shadowy spaces by displaying bizarre and eclectic objects and artifacts. If Charles Darwin was also a wizard, this is what his home would’ve looked like. 

splintered wand
splintered wand
splintered wand

In this place, the devil is in the details: cloth napkins folded like wizard hats, tarnished sterling silverware, mismatched dishes, menus printed on oversized parchment paper, and shelves filled with everything from Egyptian statuettes to telescopes. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a giant skeleton suspended from the ceiling – true to the theme, the bones belong to a mythical sea creature, rather than a recognizable animal. Thankfully, the staff encourages their diners to explore around. One server even took an unsolicited moment to explain a bit of the restaurant’s “history” while we were poking around upstairs.

splintered wand

From Cellar to Euphorium

Each level of this multi-story building offers something different. The top floor, called the Euphorium, has an open dining area that would be perfect for larger gatherings. The cluttered, super saturated walls deserve your attention – look out for the moving portrait! On the mezzanine, you’ll find the Wand Shop and a small, dark seating area that overlooks the floor below. The main level affords a spectacular cross section view of most of the restaurant, plus an iconic dragon’s head mounted to the wall above diners. Finally, the lowest level is all about the bar and features a cellar-like atmosphere. 

splintered wand

Wander the Wand Shop

A highlight is the Wand Shop, a Disneyesque experience where you’re given the history of the Splintered Wand, information about wand lore, and even shown what type of wand would best suit you. The person who was sharing information with me was generous with their time, providing a rundown of wand ingredients and going into great detail about the mythology of wand making. You can of course purchase a wand, but the true joy is in having a chat with the wand experts. The restaurant created an elaborate canon and mythology that underpins the aesthetic world that they created. It’s this extra step that made the visit feel truly immersive.

splintered wand

Food and Drink

Even if you’re not a fantasy enthusiast, you’ll enjoy the food and libations. The fare could be described as British comfort food — think heavy pasties, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes — all served up on a hodgepodge of antique dishware. Where the menu truly shines is in its elaborate drinks and extensive absinthe selection. Served with fire and fog, the drinks are novelty items to be sure, but they’re also delicious. Don’t miss From the Depths, a rum drink served in a fish-shaped vessel that the server brings to your table with a theatrical swimming motion. 

Somehow, this place would be perfect for any type of outing — a bachelorette dinner, cocktails after work, birthdays, or (as in our case) a casual early evening meal with a toddler. Opening during the pandemic would be a risky affair for most, but this experiential restaurant offers an escape that we were all desperately needing. Though it’s a charming outing, and very worth the effort it takes to snag a table, it’s not easy to make a reservation. Spots book out super far in advance, so we recommend being flexible and looking for mid-week slots. Thankfully, as of Spring 2022, the bar area is now open for walk-ins. 

Online booking is available through Open Table.

Britt Board

Britt Board (she/her) is a compulsive explorer based out of Tacoma, WA. She enjoys weird roadside attractions, family-friendly adventures, historical spots, and nature.When she’s not traveling, she’s planning future travels and hanging out at home with her husband, precocious toddler, and unemployed pug.

1 Comment

  1. Erik K on June 10, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    What a compelling review of what seems like a very interesting restaurant! We will be sure to visit next time we find ourselves in Seattle!

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