Seattle >Food & Dining > Virginia Inn
1937 First Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810147.610889 -122.342449
11:30a.m.-12a.m.Sunday-Thursday, until 2a.m. Friday and Saturday
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Pike Place Market
A popular watering hole that's been around for a long time. Fine spot to sit on the patio on a sunny afternoon.
Old timey Seattle bar with fine pub fare, friendly service and plenty of cold brews to quench your thirst.
Celebrated my wife's birthday tonight at the Virginia Inn. They have a Prix Fix Winter option for $25 that was over the top. Steamed Mussels, Seasoned Pork Belly and Hanger Steak with Pomme Frites for only $25???
Relaxed vibe, good food, great location. – I go to Virginia Inn for lunch pretty frequently, both by myself and with my boyfriend. The one thing that has kept me going back for over 15 years (YIKES!) is that I can go there by myself and not get hassled...no "hey baby" patrons, nor any "just you?" servers. You want a quick lunch because you need to get back to work? No problem. You want to have a leisurely lunch and a glass of wine while you read? No problem, either.
You are going to be hard pressed to find better summer outdoor seating for people watching in Seattle; they are in the perfect spot to watch the locals and the Market-visiting tourists. In the winter, VI's indoor space is a cozy spot to escape from the gloomy rain.
With the remodel and expansion, VI temporarily lost their way in regard to the food. But, they have come back, and I think the food is now better than ever. One of my favorites, the French Dip, is consistently good. The bread for the sandwich is always fresh, fresh, fresh, and they are generous with the roast beef. I have yet to finish a whole sandwich in one sitting. My other favorite on the menu is the Quiche, which changes daily. It's a classic quiche, so its quite rich (and very yummy with the side salad.) If they have the smoked salmon quiche they day you are there, order it...I think its the best one they offer. However, I do have to say the Caesar Salad is not the most consistent. Sometimes its a bit underdressed, sometimes a bit overdressed. But hey, its a lot better than I could do, and for the peace of having a mellow lunch, not much to complain about.
great food and great art – I still love the food but it has lost it's magic with the recent remodel. The gumbo is delightful and the quiche is dreamy.
Even better after the expansive remodel! – As a local who has office space in the Pike Place Market, I always enjoyed lunching at the Virginia Inn, even when it was crammed into a long, skinny space. But now that it's expanded into its "double-wide" space, I love it even more. Somehow they managed to retain the feel of the original detailing while opening up the experience to their new, full kitchen (and new, fancy chef!).
On the menu, they continue to serve many of the old favorites, though some were updated to reflect the new kitchen. However you must try some of the new menu items, for example the new, home-made potato chips. They are crispy and light and yummy. I also enjoyed the crab salad (yes, real crab!) on a bed of curly endive with a hint of grapefruit and orange. Their portion sizes are perfect (for me). Not too big and not too small. It's a European portion size, which I appreciate. I really dislike having to leave food on my plate.
The service is great, as usual. They are efficient, pleasant, and on occasion, pitch a wise-crack or two. They know how to make a customer feel at home.
Overall, it's a great location, great food and relaxed atmosphere. I highly recommend it.
Bon Jour – This is a great nosh place. I enjoyed the cheese plate and the ale. My friends loved the quiche. I recommend this place if your inbetween meals or just want a little nosh. During the warm weather its good to sit outside and people watch. I am definatly putting this place on my regular list.
Terrible Customer Service – I realize that I might be a little too idealistic when it comes to my business. However, I feel that many bad businesses have thrived for too long on the tolerance of their customers. Virginia Inn is one of these places. I can?t believe that this place can even call themselves part of the service industry with a straight face.
I?ve experienced the poor service of this establishment first hand for too long. When a friend of mine (who is new to Seattle) was subjected to rudeness of the bartenders here, I made the decision I?d had enough. After the wait staff continued to disappoint, he was actually told that he was refused service for talking on his cell phone at the bar. I?m probably being a little petty here, but so have been the continuous actions of the staff at the Virginia Inn.
I feel that is extremely important for consumers to reward positive business behavior. When it comes to this industry we must remind ourselves that we can actually voice our opinion by silently refraining to offer our business any longer (at least to put our minds at ease). Unfortunately, I felt that is too little when it comes to this establishment. The next time you are in downtown Seattle, and fancy a drink or a bite of food, keep walking when you see the Virginia Inn. While food here is average, and drinks being the same everywhere, the competitive advantage should be service. There are many establishments in the area that are more worthy of your time and money. Please refrain from rewarding such a poor example of the service industry.
Tourists take a break from the market and residents have a drink after work in this French-feeling tavern. – The Scene
A haunt of local young professionals, the place comes alive right after offices close, then settles into an agreeable sip-and-talk scene. In summer, diners enjoy outdoor seating at this charming and popular corner tavern. Situated on First just above Pike Place Market, this art-decorated pub serves as a lively social center that spills out onto the sidewalk in good weather. Two tables on the Virginia Street side even offer crystalline views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Smokers beware: A sign on the door announces "We Be Smoke Free."
Hors d'oeuvres and petite dinner plates make a perfect snack or light dinner with a glass of wine. The tapenade is tangy, salads are crisp, soups soulful, and the chicken-sausage gumbo is satisfying. However, the heralded crab cake tastes principally of its bread-crumb wrapping.
great location otherwise not so much – Great location. The food can be good- but the portions are ridiculously small for the price. This place is often overcrowded, and it's just not worth the wait. Staff can have lotsa attitude.
Great atmosphere and service! – We came across this little bar on our trek up from Pike Place Market and revisited it every night of our vacation. Our waitress (the same every evening) was wonderful -- friendly, funny and welcoming. A perfect spot for a happy hour drink and snack -- the sun sets over the hill, people are finishing up their shopping and stroll by with huge bouquets of dahlias from the market. Perfect way to unwind. Great people watching.
User review by calamania1979 – received the worst service ever. after waiting 40 minutes for our food to come out without even being checked on, we went to see what was going on. apparently the waiter was busy picking up chicks at the bar and forgot to put the order in. we eventually got our food but never got an apology from the waiter. left no tip. the food was pretty good though.
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