March 15

Destination Brunch

Enjoy your day drinking with a side of pancakes in South Lake Union this weekend.

Ahh brunch. Seattle is brimming with restaurants that offer the weekend meal once synonymous with Mother’s Day or Easter. South Lake Union, typically known for its bevvy of weekday lunch spots in the past, has an excellent selection of restaurants serving weekend brunch. Plus, affordable parking ($2.44 gets you 10 hours of parking on weekends and weekday evenings in select garages) makes ordering that third mimosa a for gone conclusion. Below are some options, with ideas for cocktail lovers, individual diners searching for brunch solitude, Southwest flavor seekers, and more.

If you’re looking for: A taste of the Southwest
Try: Cactus
The vibrant, colorful South Lake Union restaurant is Cactus’s fourth iteration. Popular items like huevos rancheros (refried black beans, ranchero salsa, over–easy eggs, avocado, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, crispy tortillas), tres leches French toast (Mexican bolillo bread, dark rum caramelized bananas, maple syrup), and chorizo and egg skillet (roasted breakfast potatoes, three scrambled eggs, house–made chorizo, poblano chilies, white cheddar cheese, house salsa, avocado, flour tortillas, are popular picks here.

If you’re looking for: Southern flavors with a Seattle spin
Try: Serious Pie and Biscuit
Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie and Biscuit on Westlake serves a daily breakfast menu dominated by biscuit sandwiches, with savory hits like “The Zach” (fried chicken and Tabasco black pepper gravy) to sweeter choices like house peanut butter, ripe banana, and honey. The restaurant turns things up a notch with a selection of baked egg skillets and buttermilk biscuit bread pudding.

If you’re looking for: Brunch solitude
Try: Row House Café
If you’re dining solo, belly up to the tiny bar at Row House Café (tables are certainly available if you’re dining with others). Mimosas, bellinis, and bloody Marys all pair well with tasty brunch options like shrimp and grits (spicy New Orleans garlic sauce, poached eggs, Cajun-seasoned baked grits) or the 1000 later French toast (egg-dipped butter croissant, powdered sugar, maple syrup, fruit garnish).

If you’re looking for: Boozy brunch
Try: Re:Public
Savory items such as the breakfast burrito (smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, charred tomato and roasted peppers, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream) or chicken and biscuits (sausage gravy with homemade country biscuit) dot the food menu, but the cocktails from the bar menu highlight the brunch experience here. Try something from the standard cocktail menu, like the French 75 (Bombay Sapphire gin, champagne, fresh lemon juice), or pick from the specials menu, which include thirst quenchers like the Lion’s Tail (Elija Craig Small Batch Bourbon, St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, lime, simple syrup, angostura bitters).

If you’re looking for: Potatoes done right
Try: Brave Horse Tavern
Although its frequented for its fantastic beer selection, don’t sleep on Brave Horse Tavern when making brunch plans—the smashed fried potatoes are divine. Find them served with the traditional breakfast (two eggs any style, toast, choice of Applewood smoked bacon or maple pork sausage), eggs benedict, or smoked brisket hash. You can order them as a side, too.

If you’re looking for: The best pancake toppings
Try: Portage Bay Café
This ever-popular spot on the corner of Terry and Harrison fills to the brim on weekends, so be sure to book a reservation. Many consider the wait a badge of honor to get at the restaurant’s breakfast bar, which is a gratis add-on featuring seasonal fresh fruit, whipped cream, nuts, and more with select menu items. Portage Bay Café’s motto, “Eat like you give a damn,” is a nod to its special relationship with local food producers.

Story by Ethan Chung, Portage Bay Café Photo Courtesy Portage Bay Café, Cactus Photo By Geoffrey Smith, Re:Public Photo Courtesy Re:Public.

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