Portage Bay Cafe - South Lake Union

4.5
255 Reviews
$30 and under
Breakfast
Located in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Downtown Seattle since 2005, this location continues the Portage Bay Cafe mission of local, organic and sustainable fare. From our Crab Cake Benedict to our signature House-Made Challah French Toast, our items are carefully crafted to use the best seasonal and organic ingredients available. In addition to our famous brunch items, our menus include a variety of amazing salads and sandwiches.

Chef Lauren and her team create weekly specials to further highlight our food-producing partners.

Portage Bay Cafe at South Lake Union is a large, airy, boisterous space with lots of energy and we have outdoor dining all year round. We look forward to serving you soon.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
What 255 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.2
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
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A
Alexa
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious gluten free options with a comfortable dining environment

ST
ShawnT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Rain makes the outside options not very viable but if you can get a seat inside everything is as advertised.

KW
KenW
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience5

As expected, when Portage is busy, open table gets you on a 25 min wait list for table. Better than 90 minutes I suppose. Still always delicious.

SH
SophieHernandez
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had the french toast that was the most amazing french toast I’ve ever had. AND the fresh fruit bar toppings and the biggest bowl of fresh whipped cream will keep me coming back for more! So so good!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience2

I was disappointed that they didn’t check anyone’s vaccination cards even though they say it’s required

SM
ScottM
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time..seated late.. very busy on Sunday .. good food

JJ
JohnnyJohnJohn
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

It was a madhouse for brunch on a Sunday in October -- our first time out for brunch since the pandemic hit 18 months ago. It's a huge place and there were tables in every nook and corner and all along the side walks were full-up with many dozens of people waiting for a table. We had a reservation (thank goodness!!) and were sat within 10 minutes of our res. time. The staff gave the impression of being unflustered by the overwhelming crowds as they checked our vax cards and sat us in a back room where it said "private dining" on the door. It was a little bleak (dark, dull, several drop ceiling tiles missing up above...) but on the other hand we were thankful to be out of the main room with all the noise so we could talk with our friends. The wait person was efficient and effective -- the seems to have figured out a solid operations model! The mimosas are served in large water glasses so the $9 price made sense. The eggs benedicts were fine -- my eggs were poached perfectly, the hollandaise was creamy and lemony, but the house-made english muffin was a bit too chewy for my taste. Overall, nicely done considering the many challenges, but I doubt I'd go back near-term. DEFINITELY MAKE A RESERVATION.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall2food5service3ambience5

I was very disappointed in this location as they had listed that proof of vaccination was required and that I would be contacted a few days before to ensure my parties vaccination status. I included in my additional notes that two people in our party were unvaccinated and that we understood we would be sitting outside per the rules listed on Portage Bay’s web site. When we got there, no one asked us if we were all vaccinated or to show proof of vaccination (I got there late so one of my other friends checked us in). I was disappointed that when we were called for our reservation that we were taken inside after I had mentioned this in my notes. I understand that the owness was on me to say something but I didn’t want to make things awkward and it showed me this restaurant either doesn’t read its notes for reservations or they truly don’t care about keeping patrons or employees safe. It seems like a joke if you aren’t complying with the state’s rules or what you are calling out on your web site for those of us taking everything seriously. Your patrons are relying on you that you are keeping them safe because you are claiming to check vaccination status.

Overall though the service and the food was amazing. I’m just highly disappointed that this restaurant is not taking the COVID protocols that they are “practicing” seriously. I understand that business is tough with the rules and protocols and you want to make as much profit as possible, but don’t claim that you are doing something to keep your patrons safe when you really aren’t.

NV
vipNikkiV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall2food5service2ambience1

Our waiter was lovely and really the best part of our experience but we had to wait over 30 minutes despite having a reservation and the hosts out front were clearly overwhelmed and a bit short.

M
Mike
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Made a reservation for my group and we arrived early to check in. Still ended up waiting over 30 minutes past my reservation time to get seated.

Z
Zanne
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They did everything possible to make our outdoor dining experience comfortable. It is still in a construction area, but we'll worth it.

g
gggg
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall2food1service1ambience2

Server was very rude and slow and didn’t know how to pronounce some items.

ML
MicheleL
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food! Can’t go wrong!

JF
JanF
Cincinnati
7 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In from out of town and meet our daughter there for breakfast. We got there early before our daughter and they seated us and provided our coffee why we waited. Didn’t make us feel rushed. Great service. Fantastic food.

KK
KerriK
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great menu, I'd have to visit several.times to Rey everything that looked good. Loved the Swedish pancakes and awesome variety of gf foods. My husband ordered the biscuits and gravy and it was heaven!

BT
vipBrandoTan
Minneapolis
30 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Please see my Yelp review for full description, but they had the best French Toast of my life and I have searched the world for the best! Oatmeal cobbler French toast, has a crunching top, drizzled with a berry compote and lemon curd creme. Just Wow!!

BF
BenF
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience! Awesome service, outside seating with heaters and blankets and the berry bar is back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Great food and super busy at brunch. We made a reservation in advance which took our wait time down from 45/60 minutes to 20min. The crab cake Benedict was delicious as was the burrito. Will definitely be back! Eat outside if possible., the the decibel levels inside will blow your ear drums.

AG
AdamG
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food is really, really good. The service is excellent. The coffee however, is ordinary; I can make better at home and that lets this place down. It would be a truly five star cafe if the coffee was anywhere near being good.

4 out of 5

L
Lisa
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall3food1service5ambience5

The chef cannot follow the most basic request to hard poach the eggs, so I had a runny mess. Otherwise, the rest of the food was good, but I really don't like liquid egg yolks, and they got all over the whole otherwise lovely mushroom toast entree.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

My parents were in town this past weekend and I was super excited to try this place after numerous people recommended it. We arrived immediately at 8 to which they wanted to ask for our cards proving the ouchie (we all have it). Given that King County doesn’t put that rule into effect until later this month, I didn’t instruct my parents to bring their cards. The host was extremely rude and refused to seat us inside even though the sign on the door said starting 10/1 they would only ask and not require the card. After talking with the bro dude manager, he replied “Weeeeeelllll maybe I can let you in just because there’s no one here yet.” Fearing retribution from the rude staff, we left. I’m so sorry I didn’t get to try you, PBC, but I will not be back and this pain was self-inflicted.

KK
KarenK
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Great food, great service, but it was difficult for the 4 of us to hear each other. Next time, we'll request an outdoor table.

VV
ViviV
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Service was bad, and food wasn't good. i barely touched my food and the server knew nothing about the menu and wasnt helpful at all.

LV
LisaV
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall4food2service4ambience3

This place is always busy! Made a reservation, but still had to wait a bit because they were trying to seat people clogging up at the counter. Finally seared: Our server was really nice and prompt at getting our drinks and food order. The pitcher of mimosas was pretty good balance of oj/sparkling. Our collective breakfasts were deemed ok by all. Taste was good, but portions were small and over priced for quality and amount of ingredients. Decent breakfast place, just make sure to book a reservation and don't come too hungry!

EJ
EJack
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Making the reservation was so easy, which was a great start.
We were early, and staff had our table set up early. With our large party of 9 we were in the executive dining area which wasn’t as cute as main seating but nice and private. Food was fantastic!! The breakfast bar was a showstopper for taste and photos. My friends wished there had been more sauce on their serving but that’s the one complaint.
Best part was that it was peanut free restaurant, so I would highly recommend to any peanut sensitive people and family, and I already have!

S
Sarah
Edmonton
17 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing benedicts! We had the crab cake and the Seattle

s
sarula137
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The food was just ok. Typical brunch food. Certainly not worth the prices charged

KT
KeerthiT
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing brunch place, with a great selection of scrumptious food.. My husband is a vegetarian, and he tagged the veggie gravy and biscuits "the best veggie gravy he has ever eaten".. I'm glad they take reservations. The place is clearly popular; it was so jam packed Sat morning that even with reservations it took us 30 mins to be seated.

CC
CissyC
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good service. Glad that the outdoor also needs reservations.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So sorry we have to cancel. Thank you!

V
Verity
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding, we live nearby so it will be our new neighborhood brunch.

GY
GillianY
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food! The best service. Courtney is amazing! All the staff was just phenomenal. Food came out hot and delicious! You could taste the fresh locally sourced ingredients and love they put in their food! Just make sure to make a reservation otherwise you'll be in for a long line, but worth every minute!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience! So delicious! And great welcoming staff.

KS
KathyS
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great brunch place for Seattle residents and visitors, special item always a good choice

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had a great time - food was delicious. The noise level is a bit too high for our taste - but the food and service was wonderful.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were awesome. Smoked salmon and avocado toast was bomb!

LH
LaurenH
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Always love going to this awesome brunch spot! Will return soon

KF
vipKirklandFoodie
Seattle
65 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was amazing as usual. Had the Seattle Benedict which was great.

CP
CarlyP
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is always so fresh and so good! One of the best brunch places in Seattle

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great coffee. Attentive but not obtrusive service. Really liked the crab Benedict and the herbed potatoes.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Portage Bay Cafe - South Lake Union using the Order Online button. Portage Bay Cafe - South Lake Union also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (206) 462-6400.

Portage Bay Cafe - South Lake Union is rated 4.5 stars by 255 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.