The 10 Best Breakfast Spots In South Lake Union, Seattle

Photo of Catrina Pang
6 November 2016

Thanks to a recent revitalization and the opening of the new Amazon campus as well as other corporate offices, Seattle’s South Lake Union has become one of the city’s most trendy neighborhoods, attracting a number of hip new restaurants with the best quality foods. If you’re in town and looking for a great breakfast or brunch, check out our favorite places to go, from old institutions serving up classics to trendy new spots with unique dishes.

© RosieTulips/Flickr

Nollie’s Café

Cafe, Bakery, American, Coffee, Tea , Pastries, Fast Food, 0

In 2009, Nollie’s youngest son and daughter-in-law, their daughters, and lifelong friend and trained chef Clifford Fuller decided that South Lake Union was lacking something, and thus, Nollie’s Café was born. Nollie’s mission was to find out what the people in the neighborhood wanted and needed and to give it to them. Today, they serve up delicious fresh baked goods, breakfast all day, espresso, and even vegetarian options to meet the needs of their neighbors. A humble interior, fair prices, generous portion sizes, and fantastic food set the cafe apart from all of the modern and expensive new restaurants that have been cropping up around South Lake Union in recent years. Patrons love the light and fluffy pastries, the homemade comfort food, and especially the fact that everything they give you is compostable. With a cozy, welcoming environment and friendly staff, it’s no wonder that Nollie’s is the favorite breakfast place of many Seattle residents.

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Serious Pie and Biscuit

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, Charcuterie, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Fast Food, $$$
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A multi-storied building brimming with delectable pizzas, buttery biscuits, and a great bar, Serious Pie and Biscuit is one of South Lake Union’s most popular breakfast and brunch spots. Their pizzas, with deliberately browned crusts topped with things like house made charcuterie, foraged mushrooms, and imported cheeses, are crowd pleasers, and there’s nothing like trying the restaurant’s homemade buttermilk biscuits before work. The restaurant is divided into two sections; Serious Biscuit is the cafe area where you can pick up orders of delicious coffee and biscuits, and Serious Pie is more of a sit down place with a bar area that mainly serves wood fired pizza and salads. Serious Biscuit is also open for weekend brunches, when it offers amazing baked egg skillets, vegetable frittatas, and buttermilk biscuit bread pudding cooked fresh from their wood oven.


Charcuterie, Restaurant, Bar, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
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With a mission of navigating the shortest distance between the farm and your table through a creative seasonal menu, re:public (regarding the public) sits in a gorgeous warehouse space with exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and beautiful lighting fixtures throughout. Locals love stopping by for breakfast or brunch on the weekends to order a Bloody Mary and the delicious breakfast plate, which comes with French toast, homemade jam, your choice of eggs, bacon, apple slices, and crispy potato wedges. Patrons also love the Breakfast BLT and the Arctic Char Benedict that comes with amazing caramelized onion potatoes, as well as the crispy, eggy, and tasty large poutine to share with a big party. The granola and yogurt parfait is considered one of the best, and the Turkey Melt and Chilaquiles are other favorites. The restaurant also offers a wonderfully huge French toast made with huge slices of French baguette. Not too many people know about brunch at this place, so it’s an especially great option if you’re looking to avoid crowds.

La Toscanella

Bakery, Cafe, Italian, $$$
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La Toscanella, Seattle
La Toscanella, Seattle | © SpizzicainSalento/Flickr
Established in 2012, La Toscanella Bakery is the brainchild of owners Teresa and Enrico. Enrico, the authentic Italian, is also the head chef and baker of the cafe, and is the man responsible for all of the amazing food inside. Teresa is the face of the company, working hard everyday to make sure that everyone has a wonderful experience and leaves both happy and satisfied. La Toscanella originally started as a wholesale company, supplying over 52 cafes and shops all over Seattle, and this is the couple’s fist storefront, though they hope to open many more in the future. The cafe specializes in authentic Italian pastries and pastas. The croissants and quiches are baked fresh every morning and are handed out to customers hot and delicious. The cannoli are also made fresh every day with ricotta cream, and they usually sell out before the shop closes. Freshly grilled paninis are favorites at lunch, though the entire menu is available all day long. La Toscanella’s goal is to be a friendly, cozy, and comfortable place for people to come and enjoy great Italian food and coffee with friends and family.

Caffè Torino

Cafe, Italian, $$$
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Caffè Torino, Seattle
Caffè Torino, Seattle | © Malingering/Flickr
Celebrating the warmth and flavors of the beautiful Northern Italian city from which it gets its name, Caffè Torino serves up amazing coffee, tea, sweets, sandwiches and salads to hungry locals. Offering Lavazza beans in all of its coffee beverages, the cafe’s menu includes both the usual favorites, like Americanos and cappuccinos, and uniquely authentic Torino drinks like the Torinese, a macchiato with cocoa powder served in a small glass, and the Bicerin, a mix of Italian hot chocolate, coffee, and cream. They also offer a drip coffee in either a light medium or a dark roast, both with great flavor. For those who don’t like coffee, the cafe also serves Steve Smith Tea from Portland, Oregon. All of the cafe’s sweets are baked in-house by their very talented pastry chef, whose signature cookies are made with polenta flour and perfectly accompany a steaming cup of Italian hot chocolate. In addition, the menu includes both meat-filled sandwiches and vegetarian or vegan options made with gluten free Udi bread.

Portage Bay Café

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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Portage Bay Cafe - South Lake Union, Seattle
Portage Bay Cafe - South Lake Union, Seattle | © ethan john/Flickr
Thanks to its proximity to the Amazon campus, Portage Bay Café is always crowded, but it’s definitely worth your time. Established in 1997, Portage Bay’s primary ethos when it started out was to raise the bar on quality in sourcing local and organic produce for its food. The walls of cafe are covered in pictures of some of the local farms, bakeries, and coffee and grain producers that source the restaurant. Their popular thick and hearty pancakes and French Toast can be smothered in any assortment of berries, syrup, whipped cream, and other delicious toppings from their topping bar, and they also make great fresh juice and coffee that is not too strong or too bitter. The patio is the perfect place to sit and enjoy your breakfast or brunch on a beautiful Seattle morning.

Brave Horse Tavern

A popular spot for brunch on the weekends thanks to its fun cowboy theme and delicious skillet dishes, Brave Horse Tavern has great service, a constantly changing menu, and community tables great for large groups of friends. The chorizo skillet, with eggs, tortilla chips, and just the right amount of spice, is a great choice, as is the Denver omelet skillet, smashed potatoes, and Chipotle eggs Benedict. The restaurant also has amazing brunch drinks like spiked coffee with house made Baileys, orange juice with melon flavored Grey Goose, Beermosas with Miller and orange juice, and the spicy Bloody Scotsman, a version of the Bloody Mary with scotch. The restaurant is often not too crowded during brunch, thanks to its 21 and over policy, but it does get very crowded on football days because of its many TVs perfect for watching the games.
Address & telephone number: 310 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA, USA, +1 206 971 0717

13 Coins

With a name that comes from a Peruvian love story, 13 Coins has been a Seattle institution since 1967, famed for its high backed booths, swiveling captain’s chairs, and exhibition kitchen known for lively counter-side exchanges and 24 hour menu. Fruit lovers and French toast fans find a favorite in the Monte Cristo for breakfast or brunch, and the huge portions of french onion soup with finely made bread, frittatas, and scrambled eggs make for great early morning meals to share. The Eggs Benedict is another popular choice, with its deliciously creamy and slightly tangy Hollandaise sauce, and they also even have a fantastic Crab Eggs Benedict option. Thanks to the restaurant being open 24 hours, people enjoy breakfast at 13 Coins at all times of the day or night.
Address & telephone number: 125 Boren Ave N, Seattle, WA, USA, +1 206 682 2513

Row House Café

Restaurant, American, 0
Row House Café, Seattle
Row House Café, Seattle | © Michael Allen Smith/Flickr
Occupying three historic arts and craft cottages built in 1904 and one of the last remaining relics of Seattle’s early maritime history, Row House Café is a bistro and bar that offers a regularly changing menu. Though a bit more expensive than other breakfast places, it is definitely worth the visit. The Prosciutto Benedict with a fantastic Hollandaise sauce, the delicious Eggs Sardou, and the huge breakfast wraps are all favorite menu items at breakfast. They also have great ‘build a breakfast sandwich’ options if you don’t see anything else you like. The staff are very friendly and know how to make a great brew, and the cafe is always less crowded than many of the other restaurants in town. With its cozy atmosphere and adorable decor, Row House Café is the perfect spot for breakfast dates and outings with friends or family.

Yellow Dot Café

Sandwich Shop, Dessert
Map View
Established in 2010, Yellow Dot Café takes pride in its freshly baked cookies, organic breads and soups made from scratch daily. Made-to-order hearty breakfast burritos that are served piping hot, delicious bagels and cream cheese, and wonderful breakfast muffins like the Morning Glory make Yellow Dot a popular stop in the morning. They also make excellent mochas, including the amazing Hawaiian Mocha, and the honey almond latte, the house specialty, is another favorite. The staff are always friendly, and during non-peak times will be very quick. In addition, the cafe has a reward card for regulars, who can get a free sandwich or combo after buying ten. Like many great places in the area, the Yellow Dot gets particularly crowded during Amazon’s lunch hours thanks to the company’s abundance of hungry employees, so if you want to avoid a long wait, it’s wise to visit the cafe at different times.

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