This trendy, yet equally laid-back spot is perfect for a simple and delicious brunch. Once you sit down and are served your coffee, you are going to want to stay awhile.
What to order
Order any of the crepes or toasts, and don’t skip on the cup of coffee.
hear myself sigh audibly as I settle in at a corner table at Cafe Barjot. Tucked away from busy Pike and Pine streets, it’s hard to believe I’m in Seattle’s lively Capitol Hill neighborhood right now. Enjoying a morning meal here means breathing a sigh of relief from the hustle and bustle of city life, and taking the time to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures–good coffee, good food, and good conversation.
Money Score: Good
Barjot is French slang for “crazy” or “nuts.” It’s safe to say the only thing crazy about Cafe Barjot is how affordable it is considering how fresh and delicious the food is. Everything on the daytime menu runs from $4-10. Two fried eggs with bacon and baguette only costs $6, at least half of what you might spend on the same plate of food at another trendy brunch place in the same neighborhood.
The only reason Cafe Barjot doesn’t get an ‘excellent’ is because you will probably want a coffee with your meal (it might also be tempting to split a cinnamon roll or scone), which makes the meal a bit more expensive overall.
Community is clearly important to the character of this cafe. Regulars chat endlessly with baristas and the cafe is dog-friendly. It’s one of the few cafes in Seattle that fosters conversation between patrons who are perfect strangers (the dogs definitely help spark the interaction).
One quick glance at their instagram, and it’s clear that Cafe Barjot is tapped into Seattle’s local and sustainable food scene. The simplicity of the menu lets the quality of the ingredients shine, and while I’m sure the avocado and nutella aren’t local to the Pacific Northwest, everything is high quality and fresh. Check out their website for updates on events hosted at Cafe Barjot; this place hosts the occasional pop-up dinner featuring both established and up-and-coming local chefs. In December, the cafe hosted a multi-course dinner that featured ingredients sourced from the San Juan Islands.
All the Feels: Excellent
My first impression was that this place would be Seattle snobby. It’s an instagram-lover’s (or amateur photographer’s) dream with its faux marble tables and mid-century design details, so I assumed that the staff would have a too-cool-for-school hipster attitude to match. I found that the exact opposite was true after just a few minutes at Cafe Barjot. The staff is warm, and willing to accommodate variations to the menu. As I sat at my table, I noticed the staff chatting easily with everyone who came in to order a cup of coffee. It was clear that some of these folks were regulars, which added to the comfortable, community atmosphere.
One part Scandi-cool, one part Parisian je ne sais quoi, and one part Seattle casual, Cafe Barjot manages to strike a perfect balance between classy and comfortable. The handwritten menus change seasonally (seriously, everything is #instagramworthy), and meals arrive on vintage Corelle plates (what did I tell you?).
A large circular bar commands the center of the space, which is small, and you do have to navigate around it to find a table. However, the intimacy of the tables, which are all situated along an L-shaped booth make up for any awkwardness navigating around the bar. Although I was there for brunch, I can imagine bellying up to the red-tiled bar (they have a nightly cocktail menu and wine list) for a nightcap if I lived in the neighborhood.
Menu Run Down
Egg, Arugula, and Beecher’s Cheddar Crepe
Beecher’s Cheese is well-known in Seattle for its signature sharp cheddar cheese, and this tangy cheddar really makes this crepe special. Lightly scrambled egg and cheese are delicately folded into a tasty buckwheat crepe. The arugula is fresh and magically avoided wilting even though it’s sitting on top of a hot crepe.
Smashed Avocado Toast with a soft-boiled egg
Don’t let the picture deceive you. There is more than enough avocado to cover the entire piece of toast. Thanks to millennials, many restaurants treat avocado like green gold, but Cafe Barjot is generous with their portions. The avocado and egg are topped with Aleppo Pepper, which isn’t spicy (it’s more like black pepper) and serves as a nice garnish to the dish. The soft boiled egg is separate, but it’s worth adding to the dish as it makes it a complete meal.
Latte and Cafe Americano
It’s a cafe after all, so I think it’s worth highlighting the quality of the coffee here. Barjot gets all of its coffee from True North Coffee Roasters, a local roaster based in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. True North has its own very Seattle story: it was born when two software engineers quit their jobs to pursue their passion for coffee and totally nav.ed the coffee industry to start True North. The coffee service is quick and the coffee is piping hot. The Americano has a robust flavor with a slightly sweet finish. The latte is as pretty to look at as it is delicious. It has just the right amount of foam, and you won’t come away with your mustache after your first sip (trust me, I checked).