When you’re traveling, the continental hotel breakfast buffet is, of course, appealing for its convenience and predictability. But when you set out to explore Seattle NorthCountry, you owe it to yourself to include a local stop in your morning agenda. Here are a few favorites to consider, whether you’re headed to the coast for an excursion on the water, driving east toward rock climbing and hiking, or spending the day strolling around the shops.
4410 Rucker Avenue, Everett, WA 98203
There are many “diner-style” restaurants around, but if you’re looking for the authentic real deal, you’ll want to visit Everett’s Totem Diner. Slide into a booth, hoist your heavy, brown coffee mug, and start with the gooey, indulgent, dinner-plate sized cinnamon roll. Wait staff will keep your coffee topped off. Enjoy the homemade, tender biscuits and the special potatoes O’Brien: portions are enormous. Please note that wait times for this popular restaurant can be long on weekends.
Everett Public Market
2804 Grand Avenue, Everett, WA 98201
Since 1983, The Sisters Restaurant has been serving up fresh, local fare, in its casual, Northwest-style café. The French omelette, with tapenade and chevre, is a standout choice, as are the banana walnut buttermilk hotcakes. Don’t miss the homemade pie, baked from scratch every morning, Monday through Friday. Also take note of the local artwork on display – it’s all for sale.
621 Front Street, Mukilteo, WA 98275
5602 232nd Street SW #106
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043 (425) 361-1375
Yes, we’re going to recommend breakfast at a brewery. What could be more PNW? At Diamond Knot, it’s all about the smothered hash browns. It’s a platter-sized serving with a crispy exterior, tender interior, absolutely loaded with toppings, and served with eggs and toast.
If you get the veggie option topped with hollandaise, and your dining partner gets the cheddar and bacon, you’ve got the best of everything. Dine in Mukilteo near the waterfront of the Salish Sea or in the heart of little Mountlake Terrace, next to Double D Meats.
101 Union Avenue, Snohomish, WA 98290
Bakery (360) 568-1682, Restaurant (360) 568-1684
In historic Snohomish, with its shops, tasting rooms, hot air ballooning, biking, and more, you might just want a great cup of coffee and perfectly fresh, flaky croissant to start the day. Or you may be looking to fuel up with a hearty breakfast. Luckily, we have the best of both worlds with side-by-side Snohomish Bakery and First and Union Kitchen. On a recent visit to the restaurant, the server said she had never seen a customer eat an entire omelette — although the Roosevelt, with bacon, asparagus, and hollandaise, makes you want to give it your very best shot.
Sit at the bar to indulge in a morning cocktail if it’s that kind of day. The biscuits and gravy feature a chipotle cheddar biscuit. And, don’t worry – if you want the big meal and the pastries, Snohomish Bakery goods are on the menu at First and Union, too.
223 North Olympic Avenue, Arlington WA 98223
Are your adventures taking you down Highway 530? Take an easy detour into downtown Arlington and drop into The Stilly Diner. A relative newcomer to town, they already have a loyal following, and they open early (6:00 a.m.), so you can fill up and get back on your way.
The two-egg breakfast, one of the most modest choices on the menu, comes with a very generous serving of hash browns. And with the “whole hog” plate and “whole kitchen” specials, the Stilly makes it clear they can satisfy even the largest appetites.
10115 Main Street, Bothell WA 98011
Heading to Woodinville wine country? Start at cozy, local favorite Alexa’s Cafe in downtown Bothell. With five kinds of eggs benedict, strawberry Nutella French toast, and their many, many scrambles to choose from, you can fill your belly with something delicious before you start to imbibe. Stroll newly-refreshed Main Street while you wait for your tour driver to arrive.
711 Stevens Avenue, Sultan WA 98294
One last and special mention: if you’re traveling Highway 2 toward a hike or a day on the ski slopes, it’s hard to resist a stop at the Sultan Bakery for a breakfast sandwich or something sweet. It’s freshly made, it’s filling, it hits the spot. Eat there or take it to go, but go ahead and give in!
You may see a line out the door on weekends — an indication of just how popular this “locals only” space is.