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Bookstore Bar & Café

200 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Great for Brunch (247)
  • Great for Lunch (190)
  • Neighborhood Gem (157)

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The newly expanded and improved Bookstore Bar & Cafe is now open and accepting reservations for all meal periods. We feature family friendly dining in a cozy, warm, brick-lined cafe with low seating and a communal dining table as well as high seating in the main Bookstore Bar. Chef Chris Lobkovich will delight your palate with his modern interpretation of classic American dishes featuring a Double-cut Pork Chop and Roast Duck at dinner or his take on Fried Chicken and Waffles at lunch.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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American, Contemporary American, Northwest
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Hours of operation
Breakfast M-F: 7:00am - 10:30am
Brunch S-Sun: 8:00am - 2:00pm
Lunch M-F: 11:30 - 2:00pm
Dinner Daily: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Happy Hour: 2:00pm - 6:00pm & 10:00pm - midnight

The Library Bistro Restaurant is now closed. Your reservation will be accepted for the new Bookstore Bar & Cafe.
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Phone number
(206) 624-3646
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Chris Lobkovich
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We can easily accommodate all types of meetings, business functions, social events and wedding celebrations.
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Cross street
First Avenue @ Madison
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Parking details
Valet parking is available to guests for $7.00. There is plenty of street parking and nearby private lots.
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Public transit
Metro Bus #16, Post/Madison stop
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Special events & promotions
It's not just the space... all touch points of the experience are special. Whatever the request, we're quick, nimble, and attentive so each custom event is worth repeating. Your guests will enjoy a true culinary experience every time.

From unexpected, locally inspired cocktails to thoughtfully presented food, and green-friendly standards, we're happy to perk up your event as usual.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 200 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0  based on all time ratings
Noise · Quiet
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RetailManager (Hawaii)
4.0  Dined on August 19, 2014

There are 3 parts to this restaurant. The bar area with high top tables is small but nice area for lunch or a snack. There is a back area of the bar that has a larger tables to spread out. The Bar has an extensive Whisky collection. The mixed I had drinks were well made.

The main dinning area is a bit noisy but works for most occasions. They have an outside dinning area, which I preferred (weather permitting).

The food was very good , well seasoned and well presented. The food was consistently good (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
The service was good to outstanding depending on the time of day.

Overall it surprised me by the great food and very good service both at the bar and restaurant.

Jules (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on August 7, 2014

Food was good and the atmosphere is very nice. Service was inattentive and slightly rude, unfortunately.

jopo (Vancouver)
3.0  Dined on August 2, 2014

We had brunch here several years ago when we stayed at the Alexis Hotel. The experience we had that time was very good and so we decided to try it again since we were in Seattle for the weekend. Unfortunately we had to arrive late because of Seafair road closures. The brunch menu was not being served by the time we arrived and they had a limited menu, which was very limited. Apparently since the last time we were there, changes had been made and not for the better. Food was only Ok and service, considering we were basically the only people there could have been better. All in all, not a terrible experience, but also nothing to write home about. We probably won't be back anytime soon as there are plenty of other restaurants to try.

vipeatingSeattle (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on July 11, 2014

I've been meaning to check out Bookstore Bar & Cafe for months...I'm a writer and I love bookstores, so I had really hyped this place up in my head. It didn't meet any of my expectations. The menu was pretty much all over the place, and wasn't particularly compelling. We had the mushroom and hazelnut "pate" and the fried chicken and waffles. The fried chicken was very good; the waffle was bland and boring, the gravy was odd and didn't add much. The "pate" didn't have much flavor (the tomato spread on top had more flavor than the pate itself!). The service was slow, despite a nearly empty dining room, and we thought the drinks were quite expensive--and very heavy on whiskey. And absolutely zero play on the bookstore theme, which was sad!

vipJodi (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on July 6, 2014

I was meeting a friend for breakfast and when deciding between options, we chose Bookstore because they took reservations and my friend had a positive experience the last time she went there and I'd never been. When my friend arrived, she waited a pretty long time before being greeted - it seemed like they were short staffed. Then when we finally got our table, our server took a very long time to come out and was downright sour - each time we had an interaction it took a few reminders and a long wait to get to the next step (menus, ordering, coffee refills, the check, etc.). The food wasn't great - some things were overcooked, and the winter squash and kale was very bitter. Disappointing- hopefully it was just one day, not "the usual".

Faijose (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on June 23, 2014

Good service, great environment for groups. No gratuity for party of 8+, separate bills made individual billing efficient.

vipOpenTable Diner (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on June 14, 2014

We came here after a work event that was downtown. Very comfortable and cozy atmosphere.

vipbpmcfarSeattle (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on May 16, 2014

Love the renovated space and new menu - I ordered the grilled veggie/chevre/pesto sandwich with fries, and it was delish!

vipmmmseattle (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on May 10, 2014

My boyfriend and I hit the Bookstore Bar and Cafe at 11:30am on a Saturday. Granted, it's not quite tourist season yet, but the place was quiet and relaxed - just like what you find in a Seattle neighborhood. Fantastic food - I had the eggs with toast, potatoes and chicken sausage and my boyfriend had a plate of beautifully displayed French-toast. The Americanos were great as well as the service. We will definitely go back regularly.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on April 14, 2014

We love the ambience and decoration, however, the food was off par. We selected The Bookstore Bar & Cafe because we wanted something simple and with easy access to get to during lunch. Our food took over 30 minutes to be prepared for a party of 7, and it was not up to par. Two of my colleagues ordered burgers and it was extremely dry. The fries were good, but no seasoning on the meat and it was dry. Sad.

anne (Naples)
3.0  Dined on March 19, 2014

we ate in the dining room which was excellent for conversation. the bacon jam appetizer was okay but not spectacular. the fried chicken and waffle were tasty, but the ginger soy gravy was tasteless. the clam chowder was a wow because the tiny shells were in the bowl. it was thinner than I usually would prefer, but the flavor was very good. the kale salad topped with ahi tuna was very good. the coconut panna cotta was too thick and did not have a strong coconut flavor. the flourless chocolate cake was dense and yummy. unfortunately, the two strawberries were probably previously frozen. the whipped cream was delicious. the apple crumb had a oatmeal (?) topping which should have been a flour/butter/sugar mix.

JenR (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on March 12, 2014

Place as awesome ambiance but the service was awful. We ended up with the wrong salad, my soup (supposed to be my entree) and her entree all at the same time. No pacing at all. When they brought the wrong salad, the waiter didn't even apologize, he just rolled his eyes and went to get the correct one. When we told the manager, he said "the least he could do" was give us a free glass of wine. Yes, that was indeed the LEAST you could do... the food didn't even end up being that amazing. I do know these guys recently re-opened in this location but this was pretty bad.

Allie (New England)
3.0  Dined on March 7, 2014

The food was good but they were unclear about happy hour offerings. (If they're only available in the bar they should say so on their website or when you make a reservation!) It was also INCREDIBLY loud and the staff seemed a little bit overworked.

bibabe (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on March 5, 2014

A group of three of us had lunch here recently. The service and ambiance were wonderful. One of us ordered the tuna steak special really liked the meal. The other two of us were disappointed in our choices: burger and fish and chips. On a previous visit to the Library Bistro, we all loved what we had ordered.

vipDigitalSingularity (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on February 23, 2014

We went to the Bookstore Bar & Cafe after they were completed with their renovation and expansion. I had never had brunch here until now. We were here to celebrate my wife's birthday with a bunch of friends.

The food was absolutely delicious. I had a wild mushroom crepe that was wonderful. The service was great... our waters were refilled regularly and everyone had plenty to eat and drink. I'm totally coming back.