B**ches. Love. Brunch. Come noon on Sunday morning, hundreds of hungover girls sporting athletic leisure wear are flooding into their local eateries, seeking the hair of the dog that bit them, ready for some serious heavy lifting of mimosa pitchers. Speaking of, there is a severe lack of bottomless mimosas in Seattle… but that’s neither here nor there. Here are the five best brunches in Seattle in my humble, non food-critic opinion.
In case you’re wondering what my credentials are to make such a claim well, I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life; minus the 9 months I spent in San Diego for college and the two months I spent living in Idaho (which we don’t speak of). That equals out to a quarter century of experience eating brunch in this town – because let’s be honest, I’m kind of the hangry sort if I don’t get fed in the morning.
#5 Mr. West – The Most Instagram-able Brunch
If your Instagram feed is full of perfectly curated, hipster-chic photos, look no further for your Insta-brunch inspiration than Mr. West. Clear your phone storage and get ready for the likes to pour in with a shot of their ingenious waffle bar against what else but a white marble tabletop.
Mr. West is an all day cafe and bar – brought to us by the owners of Bottlehouse in Madrona. Their brunch runs every Saturday from 9am to 2pm offering signature waffles, simple sides and unique yogurts. Some of the menu highlights include their cereal milk cappucino and a Mediterranean yogurt with Za’atar, farro, pesto, honey and lemon preserve.
#4 Portage Bay – Best Options for the Gluten Intolerant
My boyfriend is a glutard. I swear I can almost hear your tiny violins playing in sympathy. What this typically means for us is no pancakes, no french toast and definitely no biscuits. That was until we discovered Portage Bay Cafe! Bless this gluten-free sanctuary. Seriously.
Portage Bay’s slogan is “Eat Like You Give a Damn”, and boy do I ever… Their menu includes the most deliciously light, buttery and gluten-free Swedish pancakes but it’s their gluten-free bananas foster french toast – yes, you heard me right – that will really make you give a damn. Whatever you do, DO NOT miss a trip to their famous toppings bar with overflowing bowls of fresh fruit and whipped cream. Remember, the toppings bar is a judgement-free zone… if you want the strawberries and the blackberries and the whipped cream and the almonds and the coconut shavings, then you shall have them.
#3 Brimmer & Heeltap – Most Indulgent Bacon
I want you to take a moment and fantasize about bacon… How was it? Hot? Salty? Now I want you to end things because you just met the bacon of your dreams. See that quarter-inch, juicy slab of meat in the top left corner of the photo? That’s him. And trust me, he’s worth writing home about.
Aside from being the most adorable, intimate space with their tucked away outdoor garden patio, Brimmer & Heeltap can’t even make a potato basic; instead they smoke theirs for hours, yielding the most luscious depth of smoky flavor. Other menu highlights include their Ramen Loco Moco (which always sells out) and their hot puffed black rice with fresh mango and warm, sweet coconut milk (think fruity pebbles for adults).
#2 Tarsan I Jane – Best Brunch Tasting Menu
If you’ve never eaten paella for breakfast, have you really lived? After visiting Tarsan I Jane the answer is an indisputable no. Chef Perfecte Rocher serves up modern Valencian and Catalan cuisine cooked over a wood-fired grill, and requires his guests to provide one key ingredient: trust.
“We trust our diners to be open minded, adventurous, and inquisitive eaters. In return, guests can be confident our kitchen will provide a one-of-a-kind cuilinary sampling that draws on local producers, seasonal crops, and a deep passion for mixing modern techniques with traditional cuisine.”
Their one-of-a-kind brunch is served on Sundays from 11am to 2pm as a five dish tasting menu, complete with a hugely gratifying paella course. My boyfriend and I were so awe-struck by the experience and our squid ink paella, that we promptly made a reservation for their dinner tasting menu (which deserves a blog post of its own).
#1 Pork Chop & Co – Best Brunch To Keep In Your Rotation, Indefinitely.
My boyfriend and I had one new years resolution for 2017: to be the first people at Porkchop & Co. the morning of January 1st. Luckily, we were… (can you imagine blowing your only new years resolution on the first day of the new year?!)
Porkchop & Co. feels like your neighborhood spot. It doesn’t have fancy decor. You order at the counter, grab your own silverware and take a seat. What Porkchop & Co. lacks in ambiance it makes up for – tenfold – in flavor. Absolutely everything is done in house from the pickling and smoking, to the curing and preserving. There’s a pork belly hash with rotating seasonal ingredients… Shakshouka served with the most rustic, delicious bread… But the highlight for us (other than the pork) are their ridiculously perfect poached eggs:
“Our slow poached eggs are cooked in a controlled water bath at 65 ° C for one hour. The yolk should be custard-like, but the whites will be soft.”
Bottom line, Porkchop needs to be in your brunch rotation. You’ll know you’ve made it once the chef and owner Paul Osher knows you by name.