Seattle >Salmon Bay Cafe
With history on it's side, it will always hold a soft spot in my brunch heart. Salmon Bay is the kind of diner that should be in every neighborhood! A breakfast destination that holds it's own in the increasingly trendy joints in Ballard.
Elegantly simple and tasty to boot!. Located right smack in the light-industrial area of Ballard, this is one of the few places where you can still spot a real-live fisherman. Look past the rough exterior and duct taped seats and you'll find good coffee that's fresh, hot and rapidly refilled, a broad menu (eggs served with anything under the sun) and expedient, friendly service. I was sold when I discovered that their "side of fruit" is actual fruit - fresh red grapefruit, orange, banana, apple and pineapple. At breakfast my eggs arrived quickly and were perfectly cooked and the toast was still hot. At lunch my hot turkey sandwich was piled with real turkey, had a tasty crispy exterior and was steaming hot. Yum.
Great Breakfasts & Lunches!. Love this place; have eaten there a lot. Great service (service was a bit slow last year when they had almost all new staff - but it's back to normal great again now), MAGNOLIA omlette is incredible (although would do for about 3 meals worth of food just the omlette alone, let alone w/ the sides). If you care that that some of the booths are torn a bit, etc, then this is not the place for you. If you want good food (it's a value considering the volume of food), a nice view of sailboats & the cut to the Locks (from the back room) & a no-frills diner atmosphere, this is the place for you. Great to bring kids because it's noisy & they blend right in. Definitely try one of their specialty omlettes (the Magnolia is our favorite). Even our teenager & daughter in her 20's like eating here. Something for everyone.
last non-pretentious place in Seattle. I just wanted to say 'thank you Salmon Bay Cafe.' Whenever I am having a gloomy day and in need some quality comfort food, you are always there for me. You keep the coffee coming (good coffee!), your atmosphere is casual and inviting, and your servers are real people. And the food! YUM! I love the home fries instead of cheap hash browns, and the omlettes that I have tried so far are packed full of fresh seafood, ripe avacado, fresh spinach etc. I also commend you Salmon Bay for staying the same cute little restaurant all these years and not getting all 'yuppy' on us. I can still dine in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt and not think twice about it. Thanks again!
Avoid at all costs. I have never in my life been treated so badly by waitstaff at a restaurant. During the meal, the service was terrible and we were pretty much ignored by the staff. We had to beg for water and coffee refills (the waitress actually glared at me when I asked for a glass of water). But the worst came when we went to pay; because we were in a group of seven, she flatly refused to let us pay separately. Instead, she insisted that we have one person pay for the entire group (a 90-dollar bill!). She kept repeating to us, "our rule is that for groups of six or more we don't split up bills and we include a 20% gratuity" over and over. We tried to reason with her by saying that we didn't need her to split up the bill, we all knew how much we owed and wanted to pay separately. I think what made her angry was that three of us needed to pay with debit. But it would have only taken a couple minutes - and there was no line at the register, only our group. I really have no idea why she was so rude to us, we did nothing to deserve it. In the end, my friend had to cover the entire bill with his card and we all had to pay him back. The food was average and certainly not worth all the trouble. Nothing could persuade me to go back to this place.
Maybe I'm too "yuppie". If being a "yuppie" means expecting to have silverware before my food arrives, and maybe get a coffee refill before the check comes, then I guess this just isn't the place for me. To be fair, I've been a few times before and had decent service, but either they are under new management, or they just hired a BUNCH of new people, because my wife and I were ignored so many times by so many different people (the host, the server, the water/coffee refiller, the busser) that we just decided that the food was too expensive and the atmosphere too cheap to ever go back.
not as great as you've heard. I work just down the street from this place, and so have been there for lunch quite a few times. To be fair, I've only eaten a few things on the menu : steak & eggs, omelets, french dip, and fish/chips. I don't know where they get their beef, but I highly recommend that you STEER CLEAR OF IT (get it...steer? ok, bad joke). The "sirloin" steak & eggs was downright gross. Seriously, the actual taste of the meat (not necessarily texture) was disgusting - I couldn't eat more than 2 bites of it. Otherwise, the eggs and potatoes were very good. Also, the meat in the french dip is the most gristly stuff I've ever encountered. I'm baffled why this place is always slammed at lunchtime. My guess is most folks go for standard breakfast fare. However, there is a plus side - they have some of the best hand-battered fish & chips I've had in Seattle (I got some today). Be wary, but don't write this place off altogether...there may be other stuff on the menu that's good.
A pleasant surprise!. We tried this place after reading about it in a book about breakfasts in Seattle. It's probably got the best stuffed french toast I've ever had in my life. The hubby loves the huge omelets and unlimited and frequent coffee refills. Great for families with kids too! The wait staff is always pleasant and all of the food is fresh- the fruit and any dishes with seafood in them are spectacular! It's not a fancy dress place- channel you inner fisheman, wear your jeans, and let your beard grow- you'll be better for it anyhow! :-)
A far cry from Belltown and Madison Park's yuppified eateries, this place is the real down-home deal..
Salmon Bay is a real-life reminder that Ballard was once a fishing village. Local denizens in commercial fishing gear fill the place most weekdays, but the kind, no-nonsense waitresses aren't above serving their diner-style fare to the Patagonia crowd or the multi-pierced types.
In the tradition of great coffee shops, the larger-than-life breakfasts come with bottomless cups of coffee. The omelettes, named after local neighborhoods, could satisfy a starving angler--and often do. Expect to wait in line on weekend mornings, but the wait will give you all the more time to work up the immense appetite required for the cafe's generous greasy-spoon fare.
best of everything!!. I have been having breakfast at Salmon Bay Cafe for years and have never been disappoionted to say the least. The service is so friendly and inviting and the menu is just as fantastic. I always leave with a big smile of satisfaction and money leftover in my wallet. Thank you Salmon Bay for remaining one of Seattle's greatest landmarks and not giving into the modern influences currently taking over Seattle's restaurant community.
World's Best omlet. Without a doubt the best mexican omlet within 1000 miles. Its around $8, but you absolutely get your money's worth. I have never left hungry or unsatisfied. The size of the omlet is only matched by the quality.
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