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Old Fashioned American Brekafast in North Seattle?

  • j

I am looking for a place with big omlets, stacks of pancakes and never ending coffee in or near Greenlake.

Anything ring a bell? I love some of our city's more evolved breakfast spots but would like something that a-la iHOP but with quality food...

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  1. You might check out the Original Pancake House on 15th NW (a little north of 80th) in Ballard. I have had some good pancakes there (the also make a dutch baby and apple pancakes that are good), and it is more of the old fashioned American style place. I know they have egg dishes but haven't had them. I wouldn't say the quality is top notch (ie you are not going to get Niman Ranch bacon here) but it's better than IHOP for sure.

    1. This is a noble quest that you are on jbaum! I long for more places as you describe--anywhere in Seattle. One spot that seems overlooked and still has character is the Bay Cafe at the
      Fisherman's Terminal, 1900 W Nickerson,(206) 282-3435. Access from Elliot. Omelettes are good and big and there is plenty of coffee. Afterward, it's great to walk along the docks of fishing boats. Open 7 days, too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: itsonlyfood

        I will have to second the Bay Cafe

        1. re: jdestes

          Here's another vote for the Bay Cafe, although it's about a 10 - 15 minute drive from Greenlake. Especially good are the oyster dishes - omelets and benedict for example.

      2. Voula's. beneath the I-5 bridge, is a distinctly old-style breakfast/lunch cafe. I imagine the menu features patty-melt with fries, and like that. I never found it to be a particularly good value, or culinarily interesting, but sure, they got hash browns...
        Up at 65th on Roosevelt is the sunflour (?) cafe, which surely fancies itself evolved, as it should, and has many good goodies in the fare.
        There's a Swedish pancake place north of 85th on 15th, in Ballard, though we've never been there so can't vouch for it.
        The Wild Mountain cafe is way over the top, in price and organic pretension, but tasty enough and aspiring to invention. Some are not amused, but de gustibus non disputandum.
        Zoka and the Elysian, in Tangletown, have the great benefit of a built-in Plan B, with Mighty-O Doughnuts right across the street. Again. we've not tried to breakfast there, but they have possibilities.
        Hales Ales serves-up a pretty fine weekend brunch. The potatoes served with breakfast items are quite good, though you do yourself a favor to avoid the potatoes served with lunch items, oddly.

        1. For a plate of delicious pancakes - and lots of little cups of weak coffee - I really, really like Cyndy's House of Pancakes at 105th & Aurora.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Janer

            Yes! Cyndy's rules. I don't think there's a better old-fashioned breakfast joint in North Seattle. And it's a real BREAKFAST joint: they close at what, 3 PM? I don't like pancakes, but I like theirs.

            There are other good ones, but they're far away: whatsitsname in Edmonds, The Lil Pancake Chef near the airport (my favorite), Randy's by Boeing Field.

            1. re: fnarf

              "whatsitsname in Edmonds" = Family Pancake House?

          2. You guys are missing the best choice out there and it is the closest to Greenlake out of what has been posted so far - Pete's Egg Nest at 7717 Greenwood Ave N (just south of the Greenwood neighborhood). Great tasting food, huge portions - I'd call it Old Fashioned American if it weren't owned by a Greek Family, lol, but don't let that fool you - it is great - one of the best Breakfast places in all of Seattle in my opinion.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chrome_CW

              Pete's!!!! Great food, great value!

              I like breakfast at Mae's (65th & Phinney) better, but it's more expensive and generally a longer wait. If I'm organized and out the door before 9:30, Mae's, If I'm late, Pete's.

            2. Best breakfast in Seattle--no question--Salmon Bay Cafe, 5109 Shilshole Ave. N.W. in Ballard. It's down on the waterfront in a mostly-industrial section, and on weekdays it's full of blue collar folks--the yuppies and pleasure boaters and college students only outnumber them on the weekends. The coffee is strong and free-flowing, and the omelets are huge and stuffed with good things. The crab and shrimp are always fresh and plentiful, and they load them in a couple of the omelets as well as a seafood Benedict. Service is fast and competent. Lunches are okay, and they don't serve dinner, but breakfast is where this place shines.

              3 Replies
              1. re: MsMaryMc

                Back in the day, Salmon Bay Cafe was my go-to breakfast place. Then they changed owners (at least once since I used to go - um, 12 years ago!). and the food has never been the same. It sounds like they might be back on track so I'll have to give them a try.

                1. re: Lauren

                  A major lament for me, as I have lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. At one time, this joint attracted a lovely cultural melange of starving artists from Fremont, Fishers from Fisherman's Terminal, and workers from Industrial Ballard. The servers were a delight and the cook was right out of a storybook and though never saw him with a ciggy hanging off his lip he surely looked like would have fit there. He made pancakes to die for, often featuring syrups of local seasonal fruits, home fries with caramalized onion,and fresh juices. Mmmm. Truly great plain food made them the top of my personal list for years. The new owners serve "hash browns" from Costco and OJ from a box, and they now totally own the botom of the list. Dish, nearby, does a good job, though absent the cultural diversity. It's a bunch of well-scrubbed rich kids, but nice enough and the hash is nearly as good as its press.

                  1. re: mrnelso

                    You do a great job of capturing the feel of the old Salmon Bay Cafe. I miss it!

                    And thanks for the update on the food. It's the same as the last time I went. I won't be going back.

              2. I love The Dish across from the Fred Meyer on the way out to Ballard. The best eggs in Seattle (try the "my favorite" or the "hula" scrambles... mmm!) If you're looking for cheap and consistent, I used to live down the street from The Varsity, which is on 65th (between 20th and 25th) and does basic diner breakfast. If you're looking to go more upscale, try Portage Bay Cafe on Roosevelt (great pancakes, oatmeal, etc) for organic fare. Brunch is my favorite meal (besides happy hour)!

                1. Near Greenlake:

                  Ask around for Beth's Cafe. It was on Food Network's like top 5 greasy spoons in the nation. The 12 egg omelet's and all the breakfasts have bottomless hashbrowns. 24 hrs a day and has been a friend to me and my drunk friends in college.

                  Patty's Egg Nest is also pretty good, down in Ballard or up in Mill Creek. Good food.

                  1. Noooooo! Beth's is a horrible restaurant. Please don't eat there, unless it is 2 AM and you happen to be a drunk college student.

                    Not too close to Greenlake, but Baker's on Lake City Way is the real deal.

                    1. Sorry Snapdragon,

                      I don't know what it is, but whenever it's last call and I'm up north, I feel the urge to get some country fried steak at Beth's. I pay for it later, but I can't get it out of my system. It's not that bad is it? I've never actually been there when I'm totally sober...

                      1. Am afraid that Beth's really is that bad. They're coasting on their reputation.
                        Normally, I love a greasy spoon, but on a recent visit the floor was grimy, the table was sticky, the hashbrowns were lank and oily, and the toast was cold. I went in there w/fond memories of Beth's, but I must've been drunk on my earlier visits.

                        1. hahah too funny that people think Beths is good food!
                          Good breakfast can be found at the Bluwater, but an even better one is at the Blue Onion on Roosevelt.

                          1. I agree Beths is gross and dirty,it's mostly a homeless kid hangout.Up aurora a little further about 1 mile take a left at Kmart and go down about a block,on the right is Mr.Bills 50s style resturant)you won't believe the size of the portions,biggest ive seen for the money,the girls wear shortest skirts i've ever seen too.They got a 5lb hamburger if you can eat it all you get it for free,GOODLUCK!

                            1. In it's defense, I just think of Beth's as nostalgic, kind of like Dick's. I'm not really sure it's for homeless kids... it's not a soup kitchen. But it's definely a place I went as a teenager, usually in the middle of the night to eat a big plate of mashed potatoes. So it's got a place in my heart.

                              I had breakfast at Beth's a month or two ago because I was having trouble with my car in the PCC parking lot across the street, and it was actually better than I expected. An colorful crowd was willing to wait 30+ minutes for a table, including the aforementioned teenagers, a party of of 6 that included three generations of a family, bikers, yuppies, frat boys, a soccer team and everyone else in between. The eggs were cooked well, the hash browns were kinda cold, but the coffee was actually pretty good, and the waitress (who was very nice) kept it coming.

                              So I'm just saying, it's not as bad as all that. :)

                              1. Had a beer and a sandwich from Beth's next door at their bar, Duck Island. The whole experience was very uninspiring. Lots of good beers at Duck Island, but the place coupled with Beth's kitchen, left me hankering for some place with a minimal amount of ambience, some comfort, and some care given to the products they sell. Perhaps a bit harsh, as Beth's seems to fulfill the late night need, but don't go there, or to Duck Island looking for quaint, charming, or even inviting!

                                1. To Fnarf: If you mean the restaurant on 99/Aurora just N of the county line, then yes. If you mean the restaurant in downtown Edmonds in the Petosa's grocery store center, that's Pancake Haus.

                                  1. Mr. Bills is not that great. Their CFS was greasy when I tried it. They do however serve beers in goldfish bowl sized goblet's or glasses if you ever feel like besting your highest ba level.

                                    Bluwater is a meat market. The food does not live up to the level of sophistication that they wish to portray. Food and drinks reflect the cost of operating on the water. On nice summer days, it's a free for all bar with delusions of being a restaurant.

                                    After reading the original posters question, I forgot the name of the place, but there is a small restaurant on the north side of 45th in Wallingford that served a decent breakfast. Fresh squeezed orange juice and a good bread from what I can remember. Thick slices of homestyle bread. Could be what you're looking for.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MightyMac

                                      That was probably the Jitterbug, though it is a location that apparently kills restaurants, as it is in probably its fifth incarnation in a decade, as "Ebb 'N' Flow."