Seattle is called the Emerald City due to its year-round lush greenery resulting from a rainy climate. Rainy grey days are a constant Seattle backdrop and could be the source of the emotional angst so present in grunge culture, which originates in Seattle.
Rainy days may evoke a gloomy melancholy, but they have also inspired a coffee culture unlike anywhere else in the world. So what better way to enjoy a steamy cup of joe than with a delicious brunch? Seattle’s brunch spots serve food on par with the quality of their coffee and offer a variety of excellent dining experiences to bring sunshine to your mornings, even when cloaked in grey. When I visited Seattle recently, I got to enjoy some spectacular weekend brunches in all their varieties. I have thus compiled a list exploring my favorite places to get the best brunch in Seattle. No matter what kind of cuisine or atmosphere you’re looking for, you’ll find something that checks all your brunch boxes on my long list of brunch spots.
4872 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Geraldine’s Counter is a Columbia City family-friendly neighborhood favorite located just south of the PCC Community Markets, offering daily breakfast, brunch, and lunch from open to close. They use locally sourced ingredients and make most of their condiments from scratch. They deem their cuisine Americana comfort food, serving a slew of continental breakfasts, pancakes, French toast, sandwiches, and salads with delicious dressings made in-house.They have a great menu with all the American favorites and full brunch cocktail bars with way more than your standard mimosas and bloody marys. I tried the coffee with a kick a rich Bailey’s coffee drink topped with whipped cream, and it definitely woke me up. I also recommend their pesto scramble, consisting of eggs scrambled with housemade pesto, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and parmesan with a side of perfectly crispy hashbrowns.
1621 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98102
Named for Seattle native owner Gloreen Raineri, Glo’s Café has been a staple of home-cooked breakfasts, fresh coffee, and a cozy, welcoming coffee house representing the original Seattle coffee culture. Glo opened the café in 1987, so you know it’s a true authentic Seattle coffee house experience. You can also be sure that they’ve had over thirty years in the business to perfect their breakfast dishes. The signature dishes at Glo’s are their long list of different egg benedicts. I tried the Eggs Californian with fresh avocado, grilled tomato, and two poached eggs on English muffin halves topped with homemade hollandaise sauce served with hash browns. It did not disappoint.
1519 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Nue is a Japanese mythological creature made up of various members of the animal kingdom, assuming the best aspects of each animal. Nue Seattle owners chose the name to reflect the restaurant’s concept of creating a menu comprised of various world cuisines that come together in one cohesive menu.Nue Seattle serves brunch every day of the week along with lunch, dinner, and cocktails. Their wildly diverse and colorful menu features cuisine from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. I had the South African Sunny Bunny, with tender chicken Indian Masala and lime topped with a fresh farm egg. You can get the Sunny Bunny in a Pullman bread bowl, but I opted for a regular bowl so I could order a large slice of pineapple cornbread made with pineapple, coconut, and butter.
Portage Bay Cafe
The motto at Portage Bay Café is “Eat Like You Give a Damn,” a nod to their sustainable, locally sourced, and organic menu. You can nourish your stomach with fresh ingredients from a local bounty while also nourishing the local economy. Portage Bay has restaurants in South Lake Union, Ballard, Capitol Hill, Fremont, and downtown Seattle.Portage Bay Café has an extensive brunch menu with classic continental breakfasts, large seasonal veggie bowls, egg benedicts, scrambles, omelets, and a breakfast bar menu. The menu consists of pancakes, granolas, and French toast varieties that you can take to a buffet of fresh fruit, whipped creams, and maple syrup to garnish them as you wish.
Tilikum Place Cafe
407 Cedar St, Seattle, WA 98121
Tilikum Place Café strives to elevate breakfast to the level of fancy dinner status, which they achieve with great success. The beautiful industrial-chic interior, refined wine, cocktail menu, and beautifully presented breakfast plates make for an incredibly classy brunch for an adult family or group of friends.Tilikum Place Café also serves dinner and cocktails, but its brunch offerings keep the customers coming back. Their Dutch Baby pancakes served in a cast-iron skillet and dusted with powdered sugar are the best things I’ve ever tasted. You can choose from various flavors, including classic lemon and maple, blueberries, lemon ricotta, or, if you prefer savory, bacon, broccoli, or cheddar.
4300 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Rockcreek is a high-end seafood and spirits restaurant that uses sustainably sourced catches from around the world and locally from the Northwest Pacific’s own bounty. They serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday brunch, featuring a seafood-centric menu and a long list of creative cocktails in their stunning two-story restaurant built with reclaimed wood from old Seattle urban and rural constructions.Rockcreek’s brunch is a high-end new American menu with delicious fusion items combining world flavors with traditional American classics. I recommend the wild Carolina prawns in brown butter atop spicy serrano rosemary grits. The crispy fried oyster po boy with cabbage slaw, arugula, peppers, red onion, and bacon comes in a close second.
Fat’s Chicken and Waffles
2726 E Cherry St, Seattle, WA 98122
Fat’s Chicken and Waffles is a New Orleans-inspired southern comfort food restaurant located in Seattle’s bustling Central District. Not only will you get the most authentic chicken and waffles, but they also have other southern and creole favorites like fried okra, red beans, and rice, and fried catfish, to name a few. In addition, their retro wood and orange barstool-lined interior and R&B and soul soundtrack playing in the background further epitomizes southern comfort.You must try their signature chicken and waffles and their southern-style biscuits. Their biscuit sandwiches are pure perfection. I recommend the Biscuit sandwich with fried chicken breast, a fried egg, sausage gravy, and bacon with a side of southern grits.
7 Boston St, Seattle, WA 98109
Bounty Kitchen uses Washington’s bounty of fresh organic produce in its healthy and colorful menu, using every cooking technique imaginable to provide a wealth of textures and flavors that will excite your taste buds. Their innovative and inclusive vegetable preparation and cooking style has won them acclaim from Zagat, local Seattle press, and The Stranger magazine.If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast option, I recommend trying one of their bowls to sample all the fresh local vegetables. The Marrakech Market Bowl with kale, arugula, mint, Ras el Hanout, couscous, dried currant and apricot, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, Harissa, carrots, cauliflower, almonds, and cilantro with a preserved lemon vinaigrette was bursting with flavor.
6201 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, Watson’s Counter is a Korean-influenced restaurant that offers traditional Korean favorites along with southern American classics infused with Korean flavors. Of course, Korean fried chicken is just as delectable as Southern-style fried chicken, so it isn’t a far stretch to make Korean-style chicken and waffles or sandwiches. Watson’s Counter has a weekend brunch menu that features fun dishes like a cereal-crusted French toast with orange-rosemary whipped cream and traditional Korean pork belly with kimchi. I recommend the K-Poutine, consisting of thick-cut French fries topped with local Beecher’s cheese curds with a brisket gravy and fried egg on top and garnished with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
Dough Zone is a Chinese dumpling house that began as a small establishment in Bellevue, Washington, in 2914 and was so popular that it has since opened seven different locations around Seattle. They offer traditional steamed dumplings, buns, and noodle bowls in a contemporary and lively setting. While they don’t have a specific brunch menu at Dough Zone, they open at 11 am which is prime brunch hour. I started with their savory green onion pancakes with infused oil and had an order of their signature steamed dumplings stuffed with pork and shrimp and served in a traditional circular wooden container.
Super Six Seattle
3714 S Hudson St, Seattle, WA 98118
Super Six Seattle is a Pan-Asian and American comfort food fusion restaurant located in the Columbia City neighborhood in an old auto body shop on Hudson Street. They drew the inspiration for their name from the old car shop and the street name. Hudson was also the name of an automotive company known as the Hudson Motor Company that manufactured a model called the Super Six. Many menu items are Hawaiian favorites, including the Hawaiian donut known as the Malasada filled with either mango or coconut cream. They also make a Hawaiian-style French toast using the malasada loaf with bacon crumble, macadamia nuts, coconut, and salted toffee syrup.
The Fat Hen
1418 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117
The Fat Hen is a small neighborhood café with gourmet seasonal breakfast and brunch menus to accompany their craft coffee beverages. If you value coffee as much as Seattleites do, then The Fat Hen will easily become your favorite spot to savor a delicious coffee and a high-quality, locally sourced brunch in a quaint and welcoming environment.They have a full espresso bar and make delicious Italian flavored coffee drinks like the Italian Nutella Cold brew infused with Italian chocolate and hazelnut spread and topped with fresh cream. I recommend one of their skillet egg dishes, my favorite being the Alla Boscaiola made with local cage-free eggs, housemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, braised pork shoulder, and beech mushrooms.
5214 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Stoneburner is a high-end contemporary Italian bistro that uses locally sourced sustainable ingredients to create a rotating seasonal menu. Located in the beautiful and historic Ballard Hotel, Stoneburner has a gorgeous interior with a modern design incorporating rich wood floors and bar with black leather bar stools and booths and interesting light fixtures hanging from an intricate white wood-carved ceiling. Their outdoor patio is incredibly charming and a constant site for wedding parties.They only offer brunches on Sundays from 10-3 pm, with a wide variety of classic American and wood-fired Italian sweet and savory favorites. I recommend their steak and sunny eggs with mojo picon and crispy potatoes.
Appropriately named, Biscuit Bitch is a southern comfort food restaurant with a lot of attitude and some seriously decadent dishes and specialty coffee drinks. You’ll leave Biscuit Bitch bursting at the seams after delighting in one of their plate-sized biscuit sandwiches. The menu uses the word “bitch” every chance it gets and is sure to make you laugh out loud as you peruse it.I recommend trying their Easy Bitch biscuit classic, a giant biscuit topped with two over-easy eggs and slathered with sausage gravy. However, if you want the full overindulgent “bitchtastic” experience, order a side of the cheesy garlic grits.
Skillet Capitol Hill
1400 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122
Skillet Capitol Hill is an all-day breakfast and lunch counter that originated as one of the first food trailers and pioneers of Seattle’s street food movement. The Skillet Capitol Hill is a brick-and-mortar establishment in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that still stays true to the chef-driven, urban street food concept they spawned. I’m a sucker for grilled cheese, so I had to order their Ultimate Grilled Cheese with Brie, cheddar, American cheese, and bacon jam on brioche bread. If you’re into Mexican breakfasts, I recommend their Chilaquiles with tomatillo salsa-smothered corn tortilla chips topped with avocado, queso fresco, sour cream, pico de gallo, and two jammy eggs on top.
The London Plane
300 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
The London Plane is a delightfully bright floral shop, wine bar, and coffee and tea house in Downtown Seattle, just south of Smith Tower near Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. They offer delicious baked goods as well as shareable small plates and full breakfast meals. It’s fun to peruse the specialty tea and food shop and ogle the scrumptious pastry counter before sitting down to brunch. I recommend trying their baked egg dish with braised cranberry beans, mushrooms, garlic, and breadcrumbs with country bread.
1101 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
Café Pettirosso began as a simple Italian café coffee bar with two old espresso machines run by owner Robin Wright.
right soon employed an eager barista apprentice named Miki Sodos, who took over as the owner of this quaint European-style bakery and streetside café. With more than 15 years as a Capitol Hill favorite, they now offer cocktails, dinner, and brunch, along with the spectacular baked goods and espresso that put them on the map to begin with. For a decadent and rich savory brunch at Café Pettirosso, I recommend the duck confit hash with roasted potatoes, mushrooms, fine herbs, fried duck egg, and chipotle aioli. Their Country Breakfast is also delicious, with braised brisket, roasted vegetables, greens, potatoes, a poached egg, and toast.