Nov. 10, 2009

Rob LeRoy's Guide to Bellingham, Part 1:Breakfast

For part 1 of my series "Rob LeRoy's Guide to Bellingham", it seems fitting to start with breakfast. After, all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, at least according to elder members of my family and certain medical professionals.  Whether you're a current Bellingham resident or a visitor hoping to become a Bellingham resident, this guide will help you make educated, well-informed choices about where, when and what to eat in this great city.  Like any city, there are hundreds of dining options, and there are some that are better than others, of course.  With no emphasis on objectivity, I have put together a list of the places I think are the best. Why? Because I have exceptional taste…

Part 1: Bellingham's Best Restaurants for Breakfast

  • Diamond Jim's: The quintessential “greasy spoon,” Diamond Jim's is a Bellingham icon. Inside its small, triangular building, you will find a long bar and a half-dozen cozy tables. The menu is vast, and includes some excellent scrambles and some of the best biscuits and gravy you'll ever find.  Be warned: Diamond Jim's is not a quick-fix. It is an experience. Go there with the expectation of relaxing and having a long conversation.   1906 N State StBellingham, WA 98225 (360) 734-8687
  • The Bagelry: A Bellingham staple for over 20 years, The Bagelry is reminiscent of Bellingham's progressive, long-haired roots. With over a dozen varieties of bagels, made fresh daily, and as many flavors of custom cream cheese spreads, The Bagelry is a great place to start the day, or take a quick break. It's also a great place to find out what's happening in town. The tall brick wall at the north end is always covered with fliers and messages advertising local events. Try the “everything” bagel with Italian cream cheese…  1319 Railroad Ave  Bellingham, WA 98225  (360) 676-5288

  • Avenue Bread: Avenue Bread takes bread VERY seriously. It isn't pretentious to call them artists.  They have a wide variety of sandwiches, hot and cold, as well as awesome breakfast sammies (Eggenues) on house-made English muffins. They have a rotating selection of cookies, bars, and cheesy bread twists, all of which will make you happy. Avenue has three locations, and many of their products can be found among the Wood's Coffee locations. Try the Country Eggenue and lemon bars…Try everything, actually... Downtown - 1313 Railroad Avenue, Fairhaven - 1135 11th Street,  Sunnyland - 2301 James St
  • Little Cheerful Cafe: Another of Bellingham's classic icons, the Little Cheerful could easily be described as the “it place” for breakfast, especially among the college crowd.  It is lively, loud, and fast-paced, and the food is really good. It's not the kind of place you go to relax, but you'll definitely feel like you're sitting on the pulse of the town, especially on weekends. The menu is of the “greasy spoon” variety, comparable to Diamond Jim's, and just as good. Try the whole-wheat pancakes…133 E. Holly St. Bellingham, WA  98225 (360) 738-8824

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  • Old Town Café: Located in Bellingham's Old Town (Duh…), The Old Town Café is in a really cool, 100ish-year-old building with wood floors, high ceilings and big windows. With an emphasis on organic, locally grown food, Old Town tries to leave the grease off the spoon.  The walls are covered with local art, and the hirsute wait-staff will pour your coffee faster than you can drink it. 316 W Holly St Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 671-4431
  • The Harborside Bistro at The Hotel Bellwether: The restaurant at the Hotel Bellwether is nice. Very nice. Arguably the classiest, best situated restaurant in Bellingham, the Harborside Bistro is perched above the waters of Bellingham Bay, with a breathtaking view to the South. The brunch, offered on Sundays (breakfast served the rest of the week), combines excellent food with a distinguished, comfortable atmosphere. Regardless of the weather, the views from the dining room will capture your imagination and leave you dreaming of sailing away on one of the many yachts moored in the nearby marina. One Bellwether Way, Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 392-3200
  • Harris Avenue Café: Last, but not least, the Harris Ave. Café is my default setting for a weekend breakfast. It is so good, I usually need a compelling argument NOT to go there.  Though the others on the list have their unique perks, Harris Ave. is my favorite. The menu looks relatively standard, comprised of various scrambles, potatoes-and-eggs sort of stuff…but they do something to them….I don't know what, but it is really, really good. The place, itself, is really cool, in an artsy, funky way. Situated in the heart of Fairhaven, the Harris Ave. Café shares a space with Tony's Coffee (the best coffee in the known Universe), which is convenient when waiting for a table on the weekend. They have a nice patio outside, open during the Summer. Try the Bellingham or Marksville omelets…or the house-made granola. Or just about anything else. They also have a great lunch menu, covered in part 2 of my Guide To Bellingham.  1101 Harris Ave Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 738-0802

Follow these links to read Part 1: Breakfast, Part 2: Lunch, Part 3: Dinner, Part 4: Dive Bars, Part 5: Live Bars, Part 6: Classy Pubs

Thanks for reading!  Please leave your comments below. If you have any questions about Bellingham or real estate, in general, please feel free to email me directly at or call me at 206.883.6668

This post simultaneously published by Rob LeRoy at

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