The crowds line up around the corner on weekend mornings at The Dish (4358 Leary Way NW, 206/782-9985, 7 a.m.–1:45 p.m. daily, $12) for good reason. This tiny little diner griddles up the best breakfasts in town. The place is cramped, so if you’re serious about your morning meal, stop in during the weekdays.
When the wait is too long at Dish, walk down the block to Vera’s (5417 22nd Ave. NW, 206/782-9966, 7 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Sat., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun., $12), a classic stool-and-counter diner that’s been flipping flapjacks for locals since the name Sven was more common than John ’round these parts. Just be prepared with some of the green stuff — this place is so old-school that it still works on the cash-only model.
A home-away-from-home kind of neighborhood joint, Kiss Café (2817 NW Market St., 206/789-5477, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $8) offers up a slate of sandwiches, salads, and comfortable café faves in a spot equally perfect for sipping coffee or beer.
If Dr. Frankenstein had opened up a restaurant it very well may have looked a lot like Lunchbox Laboratory (7302 15th Ave. NW, 206/706-3092, www.lunchboxlaboratory.com , 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Wed.–Sun., $18), a haven for monstrously sized burgers custom designed by diners. Pick between a choice of meats such as prime rib, buffalo, lamb, and even “dork”, a duck-pork combo. Then add on a range of cheeses, rolls, veggies, and sauces to make a creation of your very own. Just be prepared; science is not cheap and the Lab isn’t either. Once you’ve picked out all those add-ons it is possible to have created a $20 burger. And that’s without fries.