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Seattle Best Breakfast

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Where to go for a hearty breakfast with great coffee? Hole-in-the wall local spots preferred. Thanks!

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  1. Circa in West Seattle has great breakfasts on the weekend (I'm not sure if they do breakfast every day). They serve hash browns done to perfection, and some unique breakfast items on the menu. Be aware that it can get busy, and they don't take reservations.

    Link: http://www.seattleweekly.com/features...

    1. The place I go for breakfast every time I am in Seattle is Portage Bay Cafe in the University District. Not a hole in the wall, but wonderful organic and creative food.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lauren

        Portage Bay Cafe is really great. All organic food, but not too pricey. I agree, though, that it is not a hole in the wall.

        1. re: PortageBayFan

          I'vev only eaten at P-Bay Cafe once, but it was disgusting and inedible. Off day, perhaps, but the screaming kids would probably keep me out of the place even if the food was super yummy.

          If I was charging those prices for breakfast, I'd have asked me what was wrong with my food--they seemed a lot more interested with turning the table than anything else.

          1. re: allisonw

            My partner, her parents and I went to Portage Bay Cafe this morning for the first time and it was EXCELLENT. Every dish we had was superior. Very fresh, very tasty, very fast. The coffee was hearty & perfect - not over brewed or burned at all. We had:

            Corned Beef Hash & Vegan Hash - both excellent, with lots of vegetables but still hearty yet not heavy.

            Prosciutto omelet - savory and delicious. Salty but not overpowering or heavy. Small thin squares of prosciutto, with spinach, light fluffy omelet, and a light mushroom gravy on top. Potatoes were excellently seasoned.

            What free Rice flour Pancakes - amazingly good! My partner said if she hadn't been told they were rice she wouldn't have known. The best part is you can take these or any other pancake or french toast, etc, up to their toppings bar with a wide variety of toppings, including NOT sweetened fruits like raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, also whipped butter, fresh whipped cream, real maple syrup, nuts, etc.

            Also, very fair price. Each dish was 9-12 dollars, and there was a TON of food. We got there right before the long wait started - we got there about 10 on a sunday and only had to wait about 15 min, but soon the sidewalk was packed with people wanting to get in. There were kids, but none were unruly. And the service was good as well - there were so many servers we could pretty much get whatever we wanted right away and some one was always checking in on us.

            A new favorite! We will definitely be returning.

            Portage Bay Cafe
            4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

      2. I've always been partial to Dish, on NW Leary Way in Frelard. Also the Athenian Cafe in the Market, though the breakfasts there are secondary to the view and ambience.

        1. Not a hole in the wall, but all of the Chow Foods restaurants (local chain) have great breakfast: 5 Spot on Queen Anne Hill, Atlas in U Village, Coastal Kitchen on Capitol Hill and many more.

          I'm also partial to Mom's in U Village. Not sure about their coffee though since I don't drink it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Lisa

            I have to semi-disagree about the 5 Spot, which I otherwise like. Some of their specials (mostly, their specialty large pancakes) are soggy and inedible. If you stick to pigstrips and cackleberries, you'll be okay. Sigh -- I do miss the Western Coffee Shop. . .

            1. re: Robert

              Me too, I used to work there! I still make the hashbrowns at home.

              1. re: 00ranger

                I hope you'll step out to RECIPES and leave us the goods...

              2. re: Robert

                I really like their pancakes, maybe they've gone down hill since I was last there a few months back but I have always thought their pancakes were good. Specifically that they weren't dry as many others can be that having been said they do sacrifice a little fluff. I'm also no pancake aficionado; Eggs Benedict is my specialty.

                The hashbrowns are to die for!

            2. Hi-Spot Cafe has great coffee, pastries and hearty breakfast options. I love this place... and breakfast spots should always be in a little converted house.

              Link: http://www.hispotcafe.com/b_menu.html

              Image: http://www.hispotcafe.com/images/port...

              1 Reply
              1. re: starflyer

                You're going to think I'm making this up, but I worked here, too!
                I didn't even live there a year and I washed dishes in every restaurant in town.

              2. CJs on First Ave. in Belltown does great breakfasts. They have a wide variety -- many standards, plus some unusual but good combinations too, and numerous daily specials. It's not a hole-it-the-wall, but it never disappoints.

                Louisa's in Wallingford is my co-favorite. Also not a hole-in-the-wall, but similary has a nice selection and consistently good quality.

                Both places have very good coffee.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Scarecrow

                  Where is Louisa's in Wallingford? I live there and am always looking for good breakfast spots. My current Wallingford favorite is The Varsity Inn.

                  1. re: Lauren

                    My bad. I said "Louisa's" but meant "Julia's." Thanks for letting me correct that. Julia's is at 4401 Wallingford Ave. N.

                    1. re: Scarecrow

                      Is it owned by the same group or person that owns Julia's on Broadway (Capitol Hill)? Because that Julia's is actively bad.

                      1. re: KathyR

                        I really don't know if the two share common ownership/management. But we've always had great food there (Wallingford), if the service was a little slow. They have a bakery next door -- attached really, that makes wonderful treats. I've never been to the Cap Hill place.

                        1. re: KathyR

                          I believe Julia's is a "mini-chain" with 3 or 4 locations. The Capitol Hill one is pretty bad; they participate in Rewards Network (f/k/a iDine) and aren't good for much besides dropping in for drink during mileage promotions requiring a minimum number of transactions. I've never been to the Wallingford location, but would give it a try.

                      2. re: Lauren

                        I'm compelled to disagree strongly about The Varsity Inn. It is terrible. I've happily eaten breakfast in lots of truck stops and greasy spoons across the country and The Varsity Inn is the only place I've ever been where I could not even eat the eggs. And the coffee is also about the worst I have ever had. Go to IHOP instead.

                    2. Glo's on Capitol Hill

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: AimeeD

                        I'm so sad to say this, but I had a very underwhelmed experience at Glo's recently. Been many times in the past and enjoyed them all, but took my folks there and ended up apologizing profusely for the soggy, TINY waffle and overcooked eggs. Felt like I had fallen down the rabbit hole. Very odd. Hope it was just an anomoly...

                        1. re: borntoeat

                          Does anyone else feel like the employees at Glo's don't really care anymore? I feel like over the past 5 years or so that they've all gotten an elitist "who cares, if you weren't here someone else would be" attitude towards their food and customer service.

                          Still pretty good Eggs Bennie but I've stopped going because of the service.

                      2. Great Coffee is a streeetch, to be sure, but with enough cream(er) and sugar, you can get a buzz and live to tell about it.
                        Pncake chef (link below) is about as close as Seattle comes to highway-truck-stop breakfast. The waitress might even call you honey...

                        Link: http://www.evalu8.org/staticpage?page...

                        1. Great Coffee is a streeetch, to be sure, but with enough cream(er) and sugar, you can get a buzz and live to tell about it.
                          Pncake chef (link below) is about as close as Seattle comes to highway-truck-stop breakfast. The waitress might even call you honey...

                          Link: http://www.evalu8.org/staticpage?page...

                          1. k
                            Kim Schnuelle

                            The Dish in Interbay (b/w Ballard and Fremont on Leary Way), or the 5 spot on the top of Queen Anne, Jitterbug on 45th in Wallingford.

                            1. Crave on Capitol Hill for breakfast...
                              .and since it is a small place and you sometimes have to wait to get a table,put your name on the list and take a walk across the new Cal Anderson Park (the Lincoln Reservoir)and go to Espresso Vivace at 901 East Denny Way for your coffee fix! By the time you get back, voila, you have your table.

                              Link: http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/parks/par...

                              3 Replies
                                1. re: Charles

                                  Whoa! Hadn't been back to Crave in a while. Sad. When did they close??

                                  1. re: yumpassion88

                                    The owner Robin Leventhal got cancer and went through treatment. Not sure of her health status now. She wanted to expand her restaurant and renew her lease when the theatre moved from the building, but apparently the owner wasn't interested. I used to love Crave too!

                              1. Geraldine's is at 4870 Rainier Av S, in Columbia City. I think it blows away anywhere else I've been, including in Texas, for biscuits and gravy. It's not a hole in the wall, but it has little pretense and the menu is good -- see link.

                                It is functionally on the way to Seatac from a lot of Seattle and probably from the Eastside, which is why we went first. But I would go out of my way to go back. That part of Columbia City also sports barbecue.

                                Link: http://www.geraldinescounter.com/

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: David Sloo

                                  I'm a foodie and I have to agree that Geraldine's ranks above all the other places I've seen listed here...amazing Southern style food. Not for those watching their weight, but the bakery is killer and great coffee, fast service, funky environment....Just take I90 to Rainier Ave S and go about 3-4 miles south of the 90 overpass...

                                2. Salmon Bay Cafe in on Shilshole Avenue in Ballard--great omelets (try the crab & shrimp), Benedicts, and scrambles.

                                  Wild Mountain Cafe on 85th in Crown Hill--omelets, Benedicts, house-made cinnamon rolls.

                                  1. What about the good old Beth's Cafe. Unlimiteg hachbrowns and big Omlets

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: hickdolphin

                                      Oh, good old Beth's will probably be around longer than my heart will, thanks to those 12 egg omelets.

                                      1. re: mrnelso

                                        Beth's is the best when you have the munchies at 3 am....fun to draw on the placemats and play pinball too

                                    2. Sunflour Cafe in Wedgewood is wonderful...my favorite after Geraldine's....amazing bakery, killer coffee and big ole omelettes.....there can be a wait somethimes but usually it goes pretty fast

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jepes

                                        They changed ownership at some point over the past year, and they've taken their super delicious and buttery biscuits off the menu. (although, I had a scone that was reminiscent of the old biscuit)

                                        Other stuff is ok, but without those biscuits, I'm a little disappointed.

                                      2. Geraldine's in Columbia City does a mean corned beef hash! I love their bacon and they have a great raspberry jam on the tables from a place in Kirkland.

                                        I've only been to Glo's on Capital Hill once but ever since I've been dreaming of that hot buttered coffee cake sprinkled with powdered sugar . . . .

                                        Definitely not a hole in the wall but Lola on 4th has a great breakfast. Tom's Big Breakfast is especially tasty, I never thought octopus would be a good morning nom but it's surprisingly good!

                                        1. Salmon Bay Cafe! Vera's! Glo's(Pesto Omelet and Veggie Biscuits and Gravy)! Portage Bay Cafe! Wild Mountain Cafe! Kingfish Cafe! and... The Dish!

                                          Underwhelmed by- Beth's, Julia's, Rusty Pelican, Tilth, Coastal Kitchen, The Varsity Inn

                                          RIP- yummy Crave!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: natalie.warner

                                            We used to go to the Salmon Bay Cafe religiously some years ago, but heard it had changed hands and no longer served those delicious omelets and breakfasts. Has it returned to its previous state of deliciousness? I'm thinking of the crab and shrimp omelet of the old days and excellent hash browns.

                                            1. re: bbqer

                                              Salmon Bay is no longer yummy or delicious.

                                              1. re: bbqer

                                                Debatable--it's not as good as it was eight or ten years ago, but it's still good. I think the service has slipped more than the food. The omelets are still huge and the crab and shrimp are still fresh and tasty.

                                            2. Divine......in the Maple Leaf neighborhood is open for breakfast now on weekends and the food is very well prepared using quality, fresh ingredients. The menu is standard American breakfast items with "greek" influences. Don't miss it.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: staffstuff

                                                I agree. I stopped by Divine for brunch on Sunday. I have been several times to Divine for dinner, finding the food reliably good but not exceptional, with return visits based on convenience and value. Basically, a nice neighborhood spot, even if not a destination restaurant. For brunch, I had the “Odysseus” – thick country toast under a mixture of house-made sausage and artichoke hearts, topped with two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. The eggs required a do-over by the kitchen (the yolks were overcooked on the first go around), but the end-result was very yummy. The sausage was so tasty that I found myself digging out the pieces and eating them separately to better appreciate their flavor. The hollandaise was superb. The potatoes had been cut into large chunks, parboiled, then quickly deep-fried to add a nice, light uniform crunch on the outside. I thought they were terrific. I also had an order of spanakopita that was tasty, although I have some mixed feelings about whether it is too gussied up with the spicy feta and the balsamic glaze. Good brewed coffee by Pegasus. All in all, very nice. I’ll be back.

                                              2. I just tried Lola and was thrilled with the delicious brunch food. My special came with the best poached eggs I have ever had and my dining friends pancakes- which I am not a fan of- were very tasty. Her entrees homemade sausage was to die for.

                                                1. Got a car? Head to the Maltby Cafe. Homemade baked goods and very generous portions. Be prepared to wait - it's worth it!

                                                  Or, head north to La Connor for a great breakfast at Calico Cupboard. Again, a wait, but sooooo worth it!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: firecracker

                                                    There's a Calico Cupboard just off I-5 in Mount Vernon, too (with an interesting little indy bookstore right next door--always a plus!), and I think one more in Anacortes. I agree--great breakfasts, fabulous baked goodies especially. They're great lunch as well--the house-made soups and sandwiches are excellent. It's a little far for me to be a regular, but I try to stop at the Mount Vernon location anytime I'm driving north.

                                                    Calico Cupboard Old Town Cafe
                                                    121 Freeway Dr Ste B, Mount Vernon, WA 98273

                                                  2. Mmmm, this thread is making me hungry.

                                                    My fave place for breakfast in Seattle is the first breakfast place I ever went here, Easy Street Records in West Seattle (@ the Junction). Not only is the food pretty good, it's a fun place to go, I really like the idea of eating within the store. And, when you have to wait for a table (which is pretty much all the time), you can browse the music selection, which is much better than standing around in the rain on the sidewalk.

                                                    My number 2 choice is Saint Cloud in Madrona. Many here have already recommended the estimable Geraldine's -- I would say Saint Cloud is very similar, but for me more geographically desirable.

                                                    One final rec -- I had a killer chicken fried steak and eggs at Norm's in Fremont!

                                                    BTW, I can't especially recommend the coffee at Norm's, but it's OK at the other two.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: pusherman

                                                      Pusherman should eat and write for a living! This is the most accurate and well written commentary posted.