Seattle >Food & Dining > Ravenna Varsity Restaurant
2300 NE 65th St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9811647.675855 -122.303354
Neighborhoods: Northeast Seattle, Northeast, Ravenna
Best breakfast café around. I've been to most of the best breakfast places around and I've been coming back here for 2 years because the food is great, the people are friendly and helpful and the place is warm and cheery. I highly recommend the egg dishes, especially the omelets and eggs benedict. Don't miss the California Eggs Benedict.
I agree with others, food id good/OK, service non-existent – I read a few reviews before giving this place a try, and was not put off by the recurring theme of slow/bad service. We had a lot of time to spare, and its always great to find a really good breakfast place. I called before heading there on a Sunday morning, and was told that they had space but was warned that the service would be slow. Well, their warning was right.
The real trouble is that the food was pretty bland/not cooked well/not so tasty (but also not downright bad either). So, there was no compensation for the really slow service. Also, after waiting forever, they screwed up my daughter's omelette and put something she did not want in it. They verified that it was wrong, but did not offer to immediately fix it, so she ate is (even though she doesn't care for mushrooms) rather than wait another 45 minutes.
The big question I have for myself - why go back? I don't have a good answer.
Really??? – I gave this restaurant 3 stars mostly for great food! I came in on a Sunday and ordered the Joe special. Although the food was great, my service not so much. My waitress seemed to know many costumers in the restaurant. I'm pretty sure her name is Sandy, also the owner. She must be new at this because the whole time i saw her sitting down, eating,talking on the phone and on her laptop!! She did know how to order people around though!! I saw about 2 young girls in there and she yelled at them like they were her own daughters! I've eaten here mostly on Sundays and i recommend to seat in the back where the other waitstaff is! I will come back again, just never sit in the front!!
Deserving of 5 Stars! – This place definitely deserves more than 2.5 stars. The Varsity is a great restaurant with a warm atmosphere and delicious meals. The menu has a wide variety of foods; even the pickiest eater will be able to find something to their liking here.
I come to The Varsity for time with my family, to catch the latest sports game on TV, or just to have a great, satisfying meal with friends. This restaurant is versatile and has stellar ambiance. It's kid-friendly, and my twins love the coloring books & crayons that are available for them.
It's a bummer that people write this place off just because they feel the service is slow. For a typical dining facility, the service is fine and the waitstaff is very welcoming & friendly. My coffee cup was never empty and I always leave full and happy. I've come to this place for years and I absolutely love it! If possible, I would give The Varsity TEN stars, because it's that awesome.
Great Family Restaurant! – I have been going into the Varsity for years. I remember when it was back in the old building, many of the same workers are still their today. It is owned by Sandy, who has been working their since i can remember. Most of the other workers are her children, family and friends. This is truly a family run business.
I have tried many things on the menu and have loved everyone of them. I love that i can subsitute a fresh fruit cup for my hashbrowns, and they will let you modify anything on the menu. I always get exactly what i want.
They serve Zoka coffee and espresso, which is a great local coffee roaster.
Overall the varisty is a great place to get some friendly service, great homestyle breakfast and good coffee!
Mediocrity and familiarity – Varsity presents all that one would want in a breakfast/diner. That is, on the surface. Good coffee typical decor. But the staff are offputting and the food mediocre, at best. Pushy staff welcome you and ask three times what other drinks you would like for the kids, when they have opted for water several times. Food was bland at best and it didn't help that I ended up wearing some of it as the sauce was spilled on side of the table. Pancakes were good, so was the strawberry waffle. Hash browns looked like they were recently deceased and needed serious browning and eggs benedict were equally lifeless.
Waitstaff were way too friendly and too fond of touching me and slapping my shoulder for a 9 am call.
All a bit haphazard for more than 50 dollars for one adult and two kids for breakfast.
Nice Neighborhood Place – I like this place because it is walking distance to my home, has friendly service, is very kid friendly, has pretty good French toast, and decent coffee. I have been there numerous times, and have never had a bad enough experience that I would take the time to write a 400 word essay on how bad it is. I worry about people that give reviews of family run neighborhood places like this based on one experience. I swear, people go to a place once, have a bad experience, then tell everyone that it is the worst place ever and not to come within a half mile of it. The service is inconsistent because they have a lot of turn over due to hiring primarily high school and college kids. Some reviewers just need to chill. If the coffee doesn't come round right away, they won't complain if you get up and serve yourself. It's that kind of place.
Good food, nice people, SLOW service – I live just around the corner from the Varsity and would go there weekly if it weren't for the glacial pace of service.
The food is excellent, the coffee is good, the staff are genuinely nice people and work very hard. Perhaps they're short-staffed: no bus-boys, only one or two wait-staff when the owner is not around. I've never seen the staff dawdling or gossiping or hiding out from the customers. And still...
Expect to be seated rather quickly and then wait five minutes or so to be asked if you want anything to drink. Ask for a cup of joe and someone will be back to fill your cup in another five, Alas, that person can't take your order, and you'll finish your coffee waiting for the person who can. You'll order and ask for a refill on the coffee. The refill will not come until you flag someone down on their way to another table.
A day or two later, the food will arrive. If you've ordered toast, the waitress will promise that it'll be along shortly (i.e. after she puts it in the toaster). When she delivers it, she'll make a big deal about how "piping hot" it is. Your eggs are cold by now, but whatever. Can we have some more coffee? Sure, the waitress will reply, I'll send the other girl over. (By this time, the coffee girl has graduated from the U and is enrolling in a Masters program out-of-state.)
The owner is a very nice lady. I've spoken with her about the service on four separate occasions, but not noticeable change.
It's a shame, because the food is great and the location is very convenient for neighborhood folk. But it's faster for me to drive down to Pike Place or Cap Hill and get a great breakfast served quickly. If the traffic isn't heavy and I catch the lights I can LITERALLY get there and back faster than if I go to the Varsity.
Real people, basic food, good place – I'm surprised by the tone of some of the reviews posted here. I've eaten in restaurants all over Seattle and all of them have the occasional off day or wait person who is not on his/her best game. For a breakfast joint, the Varsity is as good as any place in terms of price, quality, service, location, decor, etc. Just look at the people waiting on weekend mornings....that tells you that most of the time they are doing a pretty good job of what they do.....basic American breakfast and lunch menu at reasonable prices.
I notice that none of the highly critical folks named a different restaurant that embodied their idea of what a good place would be. I suspect that is because such folks are universally cranky and critical. Anyway, I've eaten many times at the Varsity in the past 25 years and I'm a purchasing agent by trade...which makes me focus on value...that is, is what you get for the price a good deal and does it match up with a reasonable expectation? The answer is yes. Remember all those people waiting on weekend mornings.
The owner of the Varsity is a friend of mine and many of the people who work there are here sister, daughters, etc. It's a family business. If you aren't happy with something, try talking to one of them about it. They care a lot about customer service.
Worst Service Ever In MY WHOLE LIFE – Let me first say that I'm not particularly picky or needy when dining, but if I could give this place a minus 5 rating, I really would. My husband and I had breakfast on a Saturday morning at 9am. The place was not busy (many tables were available) and there was no wait in being seated. We waited 15 minutes for our order to be taken. I opted to have my beverage served at the time of the meal. We waited 30 minutes for our orders. My meal was delivered first (without the beverage) and then, my husband's meal was delivered 5 minutes later. After we were completely finished eating, our server then showed up to ask if we needed anything. And, then, had the freaking nerve to ask if I had forgotten that I'd wanted my beverage. Since she literally disappeared after delivering our plates, how could I have reminded her? My meal tasted strange and my husband's meal was obviously from a can. My husband then went to the cash register to pay. The server had made up her own pricing for our meal but miraculously had removed the cost of my beverage from the bill. A relatively new employee verified the charges and our total ended up being different (less) from what our server had initial had on the slip. I'm never going back to this place and if my husband suggests it again, I will have very strong words to use when reminding him of this debacle. If the server hates her job, then she should quit and find some other more satisfying work elsewhere. Like where she doesn't have to actually talk to people, fake caring about anything and/or having responsibility for anything. When the best part of the meal is the nice dog sitting in the grass outside our window... I cannot say anything further about this place other than if after reading this posting you still decide to go, good luck, my friend. It looked like there were nicer and more attentive servers there so pray you get one of them.
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