I can think of no better pick-me-up after a long week than Sunday brunch. And yet, not all brunches are created equal. Depending on who you’re going with and how much you want to spend, it’s great to have a number of options at your disposal. Here are my go-tos:
For casual meet-ups: Oddfellows Cafe, Capitol Hill
It almost goes without mentioning, but no list of Seattle’s best brunches would be complete without giving Oddfellows a mention. From its eclectic salvaged decor to its plaid-wearing patrons, you’d be hard-pressed to find any spot that’s as quintessentially Capitol Hill as this one. Prices are reasonable and seating is plentiful, though it does tend to be uncommonly loud–your parents’ patience may wear thin, so save this one for get-togethers and casual dates. Try the $5 beignets with jam for a succinct yet decadent breakfast.
For a bit of solitude: The Crumpet Shop, Downtown
I love this Pike Place hole-in-the-wall despite its limited seating and high ratio of tourists to locals. And how could you not? Bottomless tea, a plethora of sweet and savory crumpets and a friendly staff could make up for any shortcomings. At just a few bucks a crumpet–one with walnuts, honey and ricotta is particularly yummy–this is a great option for treating yourself on a budget. Bring a book for some grade-A ‘me’ time.
For a special occasion: Coastal Kitchen, Capitol Hill
Often overshadowed by Broadway, 15th Avenue is the lesser-known, but no less charming, commercial center of Capitol Hill. The charming, unpretentious Coastal Kitchen is more than worth a jaunt in that direction. Thanks to its rotating specials, Coastal Kitchen always feels up-to-date, yet classic. Their smoked salmon scramble is the perfect breakfast, particularly alongside a pile of their spicy hash browns. With entrees hovering around $12, this is a great spot for a birthday brunch with friends.
For a pilgrimage with friends: Cafe Besalu, Ballard
This Ballard cafe is more than a little out of the way, but once you sink your teeth into one of their croissants, you’d be willing to go all the way to Paris for them. Some call them the best croissants in the country, and while I’m no authority on the subject, I’m willing to believe it. Though all look divine, don’t even bother with the other options in the pastry case. Just get a classic croissant. Or twelve. Trust me. Because of the distance, this is a great place to go with a group–but be prepared to wait in line and take your order to go.
For parents’ weekend: Cafe Campagne, Downtown
Though it’s conveniently located on the outskirts of Pike Place Market, a morning at Cafe Campagne could make you swear you’re in France. Parisian through and through, Cafe Campagne offers the quintessential French breakfast lineup, all meticulously prepared–with a high price to show for it. This is one to keep in your back pocket for when your parents are in town and want to treat you. Go for the delectable croque madame, their take on the classic ham, gruyere and fried egg sandwich.
For a date: Grand Central Bakery
This Pioneer Square bakery is where President Obama chose to get breakfast when he came to Seattle. Take a hint from the Commander in Chief: this one can’t be missed. Try a cheddar egg biscuit with black coffee. Their seating area inside the historic Grand Central Arcade, replete with fireplaces and armchairs, is a great place to snuggle up with a newspaper and a cute human of your choosing on a rainy Sunday morning.