Portage Bay Cafe

Portage Bay Cafe

Local. Organic. Sustainable.

Eat like you give a damn! We serve local, organic, sustainable breakfast, lunch & brunch in four Seattle neighborhoods. We also host private dinner events in our bright, open cafes.

Portage Bay Cafe Lake Union 10k, August 2017!


Sign up for the Portage Bay Cafe Lake Union 10K with our friends at 5Focus and support Girls on the Run of Puget Sound this August!

A great morning run (at your pace, btw), this awesome t-shirt, and a post-race breakfast from Portage Bay Cafe.

Support a good cause and get outside this summer!

lakeunion10k.com Join Portage Bay Cafe and 5Focus, in support of Girls on the Run of Puget Sound. This 10k runs around Lake Union and ends with a post-race celebration and food from Portage Bay Cafe.

The new tees for the Portage Bay Cafe Lake Union 10K have arrived!

The Lake Union 10K Benefits Girls on the Run of Puget Sound.

We only have room for 1500 runners and this year is filling up fast. All participants receive this awesome t-shirt, PLUS a post-race breakfast on-site, provided by us!


Lake Union 10K

Yes! Register before 11:59pm on Friday and get ready for August!

A gentle reminder that registration prices increase on April 15th! Register before 11:59pm on Friday for the best price on a flat, fast, full supported 10K course around Lake Union, gender specific tech shirts, a finisher's medal and a breakfast by Portage Bay Cafe!

If you haven't already, be sure to register now for the Portage Bay Cafe Lake Union 10K this August! Free post-race breakfast provided by us!


Best Three Square Meals in USA by City - Days To Come


Thrilled to make TourRadar's List of "Best Three Square Meals in the USA!"


tourradar.com Travelling through the USA? Then we promise that your mom will never have to worry if you're eating three square meals a day again. Learn why

[03/13/17]   Fifty years ago this winter I walked in to my first restaurant job at the Prime Rib Riverside in Salem, Oregon to "pull" my first shift. I started as a busboy in training and in the years since I've been a server, a cook, a bartender, a host, a dishwasher and a manager. All moves I consider lateral, especially manager. And now, after all this time, I will "pull" my last floor shift this weekend.

When I started in restaurants in 1965, it was a pencil and paper operation. Now there are computers, digital printers and point of sale systems. The food today is better than in the sixties. There is such a great variety today and people are eager to try new things. When I started there was steak and seafood and potatoes. Sometimes all together with tartar sauce. Now we can get any cuisine we want; but no tartar sauce.

But somehow it all seems achingly familiar because throughout the years the people are the same. There are the same bitchy servers, overbearing cooks, too-friendly managers, whining customers and crying babies. By the same token there are caring mother- like servers, outgoing hostesses and understanding diners. The actors have changed but the characters are still on the stage.

Over the years I have enjoyed working with my fellow employees and serving the people I've served. I never hated anyone, I've put up with a few, but genuinely loved and cared for most of the people around me. Some I still work with, others have become close friends and one person I worked with I married.

I've worked early morning to late at night, not in a row. I've cleaned up almost every bodily fluid and some bodily solids. I've sometimes been yelled at or threatened with bodily harm and many times been offered bodily help. I've dried tears of those in the depths of despair and cleaned up after those celebrating something exceedingly happy. Usually I do this during the same shift.

During the past twenty years I've co-owned Portage Bay Cafe. Ownership means one can still do all the aforementioned jobs, but this time with desperation. We have struggled and changed and improved. And now I think we can call "it" a success after all these years. The food is good and the service is commendable.
I have a wonderful, competent staff and the best managers and chefs I've worked with in twenty years. I also have a son who is turning out to be a better manager than I ever was. I know he is already a better person.

Thanks to "the kindness of strangers", which the restaurant business depends on for its existence, I have lived well, made a home and raised a family.

It's a wet, hot, grinding business with highs and lows and tons of pressure. But I think I've loved every goddamed minute of it.
So as I quote from the movie Bull Durham, this Sunday I'm going to "hit my dinger and hang em up."

I'll still be around to oversee the managers. But I will no longer "pull" floor shifts.

Thanks everybody for everything.
John Gunnar

Continuing our 8+ year commitment to Make a Wish, our management team joined John and me tonight to help help raise over $2M.
And..when you ask Zach Scott to take a photo, be careful what you wish for.

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4130 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA
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