National Nordic Museum cafe operator opens new cafe and bar, Cardoon, in Ballard Yards

The former operator of Freya Cafe inside the National Nordic Museum has opened a new venture just down the street called Cardoon.

Co-owners Jacilyn Watts, Alexander Sippel, and Tiffany Hu operated Cardoon out of the museum’s Freya Cafe for about a year from fall 2022 until October 2023. Sippel and Hu are married—Hu is Cardoon’s chef—and Watts is their close friend and business partner.

They branched out on their own late last year, and the new cafe is now open at the Ballard Yards at 2423 NW Market St. serving Chinese- and German-inspired coffee, tea, non-alcoholic cocktails, cookies, cafe, fresh bread rolls.

The cafe is named for artichoke flowers, which the owners say were in full bloom when they dreamed up the concept for the cafe.

Think Chinese mooncakes alongside German lebkuchen, topped off with non-alcoholic drinks such as the “Shiso Salty” featuring Wilderton botanical spirits, oat milk, spiced blueberry, shiso syrup, lemon juice, and a shiso salt rim. 

The owners have been building out the space for several months:

“Building out our own space has been a multi-year, ongoing project with as many ups as there are downs. In November we started construction, and seeing our vision turn from pure idea to physical reality day by day has been nothing short of amazing,” they wrote on Instagram.

Cardoon’s hours are Thursday to Monday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Photo: Cardoon on Instagram