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Portage Bay Cafe - Ballard

4.2
86 reviews
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$50 and over
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American
Top Tags:
  • Great for Brunch
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Kid-friendly

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About

Portage Bay Caf� in Ballard is located in the Seattle, Washington area and is focused on serving its customers with organic, sustainable food. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch hours, and the concentration on healthy food is a great thing for those looking to get a hearty meal without any negative effects. As an example of what the Portage Bay Caf� has to offer, you can check out their salads, like the domestic prawn and chicken soba noodle salad.

If you�re looking for a sandwich for lunch at the Portage Bay Caf�, there is a nice selection from which to choose. You can see on the menu where the local places that are the sources for the ingredients of the Portage Bay cheeseburger and the Cuban sandwich.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Comfort Food
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Hours of operation
Serving our full breakfast menu
Seven days a week
7:30am to 2:30pm
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Phone number
(206) 783-1547
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Mandy Kraus
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
28th and Market
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Parking details
We share a small triangle parking lot just to the west of our front door.
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Public transit
There are bus stops just a block east of the front door
Additional
Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 86 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.1
service
3.8
ambience
5.0
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined on July 26, 2015

I always enjoy Portage Bay's food..it's one of my favorite places for brunch, however I made a reservation for 11:00 am with the intention that we wouldn't have to wait as long as usual when not making a reservation. We arrived at the restaurant at 10:45 and checked in. They said they would get us in around 11:05. We were not seated until 11:30; 30 minutes past our reservation time. It made me wonder why I even bothered to make a reservation at all.

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5.0Dined on July 19, 2015

The. Best. Brunch. Ever. Toppings Bar= Heaven on Earth! This place puts a smile on your face and makes your tummy super happy. Don't miss out or, you'll be sorry!

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4.0Dined on July 12, 2015

I wish reservations were actually honored. I shouldn't have to wait 40 minutes after my reservation time. The food was good, though, as always, and I will definitely return. I just wish their methods of reservations was different.

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5.0Dined on July 11, 2015

I normally go the Portage Bay with local friends but I had four out of town guest come in and they loved this place as much as the locals do.

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2015

Our family went to Portage Bay for brunch on Sunday. It was our first time, and the place was packed...sounded like it was at least an hour wait for people coming in! We were so pleased to have gotten reservations through Open Table!! My husband and I arrived on time and our table was ready for us about 10 minutes after we got there. Our kids got stuck in traffic, so arrived about 20 minutes later. The waitress never once let us think she was irritated, just graciously told us to relax and enjoy! When we all ordered our food, it came quickly after that and it was all fantastic!! The girls were thrilled with their Mickey pancakes, and even more excited about the whip cream and berries they could slather on top!! I had their corn beef hash, which is one of my favorites, and I can honestly say it was better than any I have had before! Full of fresh, perfectly cooked veggies, and the best tasting corn beef! We will definitely be coming back to Portage Bay, and we will definitely be making reservations first!! Thanks for a perfect brunch!!!

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2015

We were thrilled to find that they take reservations, so we had a very short wait for our table on a very busy Sunday on the holiday weekend. The service was excellent and the food was as well. The breakfast bar was a great way to dress up French toast. The only thing that would have improved the setting would have been a bit of air conditioning or more fans but the heat was forgotten as soon as the food arrived. A definite recommend.

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3.0Dined on July 5, 2015

Good, solid, large breakfast/brunch egg and other dishes in a large, loud, light filled warehouse space down by the Ballard locks. Interesting menu and definitely not pretentious. This is a high volume, busy, busy place. Good breakfast and long line for tables! Make reservations if you can.

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4.0Dined on July 5, 2015

Very good quality, large portions. quick service. pleasant atmosphere

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2015

The food is always great. Suggest making reservations on-line or you may be waiting on the weekend.

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4.0Dined on June 28, 2015

First time using OpenTable which was AWESOME and so easy, used straight from Google the night before. My breakfast (2 pancakes w/ breakfast bar) was outstanding but my husband's first (and now last) experience was horrible. He HATED the Banana's Foster French Toast which I tried and agreed. Service was non existent...we weren't even checked on till it was time to pay. Super busy and extreme close quarters, basically back to back with everyone. Then to top it off a baby was being nursed right next to my husband (which we don't mind one bit and support) but the baby spit up and we smelt it all which really made my husband gag. :( So needless to say he is never going back. I would love to but will want to go later in the day instead of 9:15 AM on a Sunday.

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4.0Dined on June 27, 2015

Consistently excellent food with generous portions. Service is always prompt but can occasionally lag when they get busy. Only negative is that the facility can become quite warm during the summer months. But always a great dining experience.

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2.0Dined on June 26, 2015

I was with a group of three other people of color, and after brunch we asked one another if they felt the server was rude and we all agreed. She threw the napkins and silverware on the table, never smiled, and communicated in a cold abrupt way. One never knows what was going on, but it felt like the server was treating us rudely because we weren't white. We will never be returning to the Boat Street Café in Ballard and will be telling others about our experience.

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4.0Dined on June 21, 2015

I made a reservation for Father's Day well in advance knowing that this place gets packed, esp on a weekend. When I arrived, I was told the wait would be a few minutes. What's the point of a reservation, I thought. We needed up waiting about 15-20 minutes, not too bad. The saving grace of all this was the food came out with lightning speed. Probably only 10 minutes after we ordered. And the guava mimosas were tasty. We will probably be back but not to the Ballard location, only cause it's such a pain to get to. We may opt to go to the Roosevelt or Lake Union locations next time. Portions are large, food is good and the prices fair.

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4.0Dined on June 21, 2015

Reasonably priced, very large portions (might consider splitting an order) and always delicious.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2015

Very good, irganic food. Friendly service and vibrant atmosphere. Great spot to have brunch and then go explore Ballard. Make sure to make a reservation though, because it gets very busy!

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4.0Dined on June 6, 2015

The food was great, but our waiter took forever to take our order and then got distracted when another party came in next to us. We ended up getting our check from the host who happened to be doing a loop around the restaurant.

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2015

Simple food made exceptionally well from locally-sourced ingredients: a recipe PBC should be proud to serve.

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2015

Portage Bay is definitely one of my favorite breakfast spot! The staff are friendly and the service is quick!

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5.0Dined on May 24, 2015

I've been to this restaurant twice and both times was extremely impressed with their fresh ingredients, original menu and excellent service. Definitely a must-try for anyone who appreciates locally grown ingredients prepared well. Make reservations though, this place fills up fast in the mornings.

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2015

Usually brunch at this (or any other Portage Bay ) location is a bit noisy. By the time my mom and I rolled in at 1:00, the noise level was perfectly tolerable and we could have a nice conversation without shouting at each other. The good and service, as always, were outstanding.

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4.0Dined on May 10, 2015

Made reservations was seated before time of reservation, but seated in a hot stuffy corner. Not the best ambiance.

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2015

All of their food that I have tried has been very good but I love being able to put whatever I want on my french toast. Good gluten free options.

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2015

We love to eat out for breakfast and the Mother's Day breakfast/brunch at Portage Bay was one of best meals I have had. We ate off both the regular and Mother's Day menus, and all tasted great. We had reservations, so not a long wait. Although it is extremely busy and crowded, service is prompt. French toast, Crab Eggs Benedict, Halibut Hash, and Swedish pancakes all amazing. And the breakfast bar is to die for.

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4.0Dined on May 10, 2015

We had reservations for Mother's Day, which is a hugely busy day for restaurants catering to the weekend breakfast/brunch crowd. When we arrived, we had to wait about 10 minutes for our table, which seemed fair on such a busy day. Food arrived extremely fast after we ordered, and it was hot and fresh. The flavors were delicious. Loved the fruit bar for pancakes/French toast. Very nice. Coffee refills could have been a bit better.

My only suggestion for Portage Bay cafe is that, particularly considering the location in Ballard, they must have a bike rack. We biked, as did other families, and we all had to lock our bikes together on the ground or up against bushes. This would seem to be a simple solution for the biking community.

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4.0Dined on April 19, 2015

Beautiful day, with bright vibrant light in the restaurant, great windows. Great service. At brunch, the berry bar is terrific for french toast and pancakes.

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4.0Dined on April 19, 2015

Great neighbourhood brunch place. I always bring friends and family here because you're always guaranteed great good and great service.

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5.0Dined on April 18, 2015

I love Portage Bay- and the Ballard location with its large light filled dining rooms is a great place to celebrate food and the people around you. Plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as choices for the carnivore in your group. When I'm not getting a delicious fritatta or scramble, I go straight for the french toast for my trip to the "berry bar", where I can load up on fresh whipped cream, berries, almonds, and lots of other toppings. I loved being able to make a reservation via OpenTable, it made the process so much more streamline.

Can't go wrong with Portage Bay.

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5.0Dined on April 18, 2015

As a diner with special dietary needs, going to brunch can often be daunting. At Portage Bay, I am able to make substitutions with ease, and their friendly staff often make suggestions about what swaps would be better, etc. I've been coming to this and their Roosevelt location for four years, and have never been disappointed. A real Seattle must-eat!

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4.0Dined on April 12, 2015

THe food was very tasty, although the cook's opinion of over medium on the eggs was different than mine. I thought they were perfect over easy but not what I ordered. My wife and daughter enjoyed their meals. We had a reservation for 11:45 Sunday morning but it was well after noon before we were seated due to the large crowd. I would recommend the pancakes next time to utilize the delicious looking topping bar of fruits and whipped cream!

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4.0Dined on April 6, 2015

My only disappointment on this trip was that the fruit bar didn't have fresh berries. I went to the Roosevelt location 2 days earlier and they had beautiful fresh strawberries and blueberries.

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4.0Dined on April 4, 2015

The food was really excellent. The place was packed for brunch and it felt pretty crowded. Even with reservations we had a several-minute wait.
Service is good and the food came out really fast.

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4.0Dined on April 4, 2015

Our experience at Portage Bay was great. We had reserved 9:30, but called in that we were running late, and they moved it to 9:45, very helpful! when we arrived it was packed! Packed! a line out the door waiting to be seated, but they got us in in less than 5 mins and out table was ready.
They didn't have the high chairs we had asked them for but brought them pretty quickly. Servers were way too busy but food came out pretty quickly.
Its a mix between a cafeteria and really nice delicious brunch spot.
Food is great, pancakes are huge! huge! they have an amazing fruit bar where you can top off your pancakes, French toast, etc.
oh and the eggs benedicts were amazing!
Noise level was too high for my liking, making everything a bit crazy but all in all it was a great experience and i'd definitely recommend it.

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2015

This restaurant is very popular because it has such great organic and gluten-free options! Word to the wise -- don't go unless you have a reservation!! Service was good, food came out fast and was delicious for brunch!

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2015

I knew the restaurant would be busy Sunday morning so I was really excited to be able to make a reservation. We ran a few minutes late but I was relieved this wasn't a problem, and we were sat less than 10 minutes after checking in. The staff seemed to work really well together, between servers, bussers, and food runners. My goat cheese and mushroom omelette was just what I expected (delicious!), and I received a coffee refill just before it ran out . It was a really enjoyable meal.

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5.0Dined on March 14, 2015

Reservation for 6 arrived on time table not ready, push it together, bring the chairs, bring the napkins... Also, took them too long to offer coffee

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4.0Dined on March 7, 2015

Make a reservation if you go on the weekend. Lively breakfast spot. Swedish Pancakes are delicious. Service is good, friendly and attentive even when it's super busy. Coffee can't be beat. Great Ballard spot.

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5.0Dined on March 1, 2015

This is a great place to meet up with friends or just to great place to grab breakfast after a run. The food is delicious, and the ambiance is very welcoming and warm. I would highly recommend this place.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2015

As always it was a wonderful experience to come to Portage Bay Cafe in Ballard. We love coming to the Cafe. It never ceases to amaze me how great the food and service are.

We were seated within 5 minutes of our reservation time, And given the number of people there and waiting in line that was incredible.

The staff was friendly. And they were so efficient.

We will, of course, return for more of your great food and service.

Thank you so much.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2015

While the Roosevelt location won me over originally with its scrumptious fresh fruit breakfast bar, palpable energy, and decorations that pay homage to the sea, the new location is just as great. There was no sacrifice in the quality of ingredients and dedication to preparation that makes this cafe a must-visit spot for locals and visitors alike. With the new-to-me addition of being able to make online reservations, I eagerly await the next opportunity to enjoy it again and share my fav spot with family and friends.

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4.0Dined on February 22, 2015

Was expecting more based off word of mouth. Food was just ok and the service wasn't great. The varity of mimosas were nice. But I don't think it matched up to all the hype.

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