8 Quintessential Cafes, Diners, and Hole-in-the-Walls of Seattle

Ah, Seattle, a city of clashing cultures – tech industry and mountain ranges – and a city of food (and, yes, beer). Brimming with a plethora of hip, trendy, and don’t get me wrong, delicious restaurants, Seattle is a national Foodie hub. But among the startling urban growth, the metropolis still has its heart. You can find it beating in places that some may describe as “dive”. Places that, in pure essence, are America – Tom Petty on the Jukebox, chortling men at the bar, a kitchen fixing up everything from pancakes to cheese steaks. With all the ambiance comfort food, friendly conversation and rain falling steadily out the window provides it’s hard to imagine how “Seattle Freeze” became coined. (More on that, here.) The cold, metropolitan setting of Seattle is its greatest facade, like a bad boyfriend hurt in the past and keeping a safe distance as an unintentional defense mechanism, the Emerald City has a lot of warmth to it under a seemingly aloof exterior. Take the time to discover the quaint corners of Seattle, tucked away in its many charmingly different neighborhoods. These are the quintessential cafes, diners, and hole-in-the-wall bars and pubs of this urban oasis of Washington.

8. Tim’s Tavern At the far reaches of the Greenwood neighborhood rests Tim’s. Someone must have penned “You rock. Don’t ever change.” in Tim’s yearbook, because this neighborhood favorite has been operating since 1937.

This photo of Tim’s Tavern is courtesy of TripAdvisor.


7. Lockspot Cafe Lockspot is an old fisherman’s hang-out. Go inside and bask in the glory of wood-paneling and cozy booths, or order from their window and take a seat at the charming picnic tables.

This photo of Lockspot Cafe is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

6. Eastlake Zoo Tavern Live music, dart boards, pinball machines, and cash only – is there anything else to add?

This photo of Eastlake Zoo Tavern is courtesy of Zoo Tavern’s website.

5. Sloop Tavern Just across the street from the Locks, Sloop rests, unassumingly, among condos and coffee shops, drawing you in with its iconic mural, multiple pool tables, and ruggedly-friendly bar staff.

This photo of Sloop Tavern is courtesy of

4. Pacific Inn Pub This Fremont (or Wallingford, depends who you ask) staple offers one of the more popular fish and chips baskets, plus an atmosphere that The Stranger dubs “unpretentious”.

This photo of Pacific Inn Pub is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

3. Beth’s Cafe Right off 99 on Green Lake, Beth’s, originally a gambling parlor, has been serving one of the most comforting breakfasts (and burgers!) in town since 1954.

This photo of Beth’s Cafe is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

2. Ballard Smoke Shop Located in Ballard and operating since the early ’70’s, the Smoke Shop is a great choice for anyone looking for a stout, STOUT, pour to wash down their pancakes.

This photo of Ballard Smoke Shop is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

1. The 5 Point Cafe Open since 1929 and located in Belltown, 5 Point survived the ugliness of the Prohibition so we can continue to enjoy deep fried cheese curds and a good beer. Amen!

This photo of Five Point Cafe is courtesy of TripAdvisor.



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