The 5 Point Cafe, located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, is a historic cafe and dive bar which opened in 1929. For almost a century, the no-frills diner has survived prohibition, war, and politics. Today, the cafe is one of the oldest family operated eateries in Seattle and the oldest bar in Belltown. It is also known for being one of the best dive bars in the city.
As the menu states, everyone is welcome no matter your political, social, or religious views. But if you are easily offended by loud music and loud drunks, then chances are you will have a bad experience. At The 5 Point Cafe, portions are large, drinks are stiff, music is loud, and staff are no-nonsense.
With that said, The 5 Point Cafe is popular and you can often expect a small wait for a table. But if you like good food, good drinks, good music, and good people, and you aren’t easily offended, then The 5 Point Cafe might just be for you.
What do you get when you cross a local dive bar with a hole-in-the-wall diner? You get The 5 Point Cafe. The dining room was grungy, dark, and cozy. The décor added to the appeal and unique quirkiness. And, it was a perfect representation of Seattle.
At the center of the dining room was a bar with limited counter seating. The bar was the perfect spot for a drink at any hour of the day. If you want a drink at 6AM, without any judgement, then this is your spot. Surrounding the bar were two dining sections, one with booths and one with tables. On the floors and ceilings were black and white checkered patterns.
If you are easily offended, then you might find the surly signs, provocative stickers and signs, racy photos, loud music, and bras hanging on the wall to be…offensive. As for me, I enjoyed the non-PC, edgy décor. It added to the ambiance. While some might find the décor to be offensive, I thought of it as a breath of fresh air in a city full of cookie cutter bars.
If you want a little sunshine, and the weather is warm, then you can always grab a table on the small covered patio located out front. The outdoor patio, located right on Tilikum Place, was the perfect spot to people watch while enjoying your food and drinks.
In this section, I would usually post photos of The 5 Point Cafe menu. But, the menu was too large and extensive, especially for a dive bar, for me to do that here. Instead of me posting the menu here, you can view it at https://www.the5pointcafe.com/main-menu.
The extensive menu featured an assortment of breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes. For breakfast you had everything from benedicts to omelettes to pancakes. On the lunch and dinner menu, you had sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, steaks, appetizers, and more. As for drinks, you had a good selection of beers, wine, and cocktails. There was something for everyone on the menu.
Chicken and Biscuits with Spicy Corn Gravy
First up was the Chicken and Biscuits ($14.75), a classic dish made with fried chicken strips served on top of buttermilk biscuits. Served on the side, a choice of two eggs served any style. In my case, sunny side up. I also had the choice of white pepper gravy or chorizo corn gravy for an extra $1. I upgraded to the chorizo gravy.
The size of the crispy fried chicken strips surprised me. They were quite large, so I felt I was getting my money’s worth. What also surprised me was the breading of the chicken strips. It was thick and crunchy and the only way I could cut through it was with my knife. Even with a knife it was tough to cut through. I would have preferred for the breading to be less thick. But, better than being soggy.
Hidden beneath the breading was a thin piece of chicken. While thin, the chicken was moist and tender. I was thinking the chicken would be dry with how crispy the breading was. But, it wasn’t.
Poured over each chicken strip was a decadent chorizo corn gravy. As mentioned before, I paid an extra $1 to upgrade from the white pepper gravy. This gravy was my favorite part of this dish. The thick gravy was smoky, salty, and I could taste rich chorizo in each bite. Gravy is delicious on its own, but gravy with chorizo is something special.
On the bottom were buttermilk biscuits. These toasted biscuits were more dense instead of fluffy. But, they weren’t dry. Their firm texture held up to the last bite even with the chicken and gravy piled on top.
Being in the Pacific Northwest, an area known for seafood, I thought the Salmon Benedict ($17.50) was a great choice. This benedict came with English muffins topped with two poached eggs, Alaskan smoked salmon, and hollandaise sauce. Served on the side were crispy hash browns.
The two poached eggs, the most important component of this dish, exploded with yolk when I cut through them. The rich, golden yolk then mixed with the thick, buttery hollandaise sauce. The combination of yolk and sauce was something special and delicious.
Hidden underneath the eggs was a layer of tender yet chewy smoked Alaskan salmon. On its own, the salmon was smoky and very, very salty. I wouldn’t recommend eating the salmon on its own due to the saltiness. But, when I mixed the salmon with the rich yolk and buttery hollandaise, the combination worked. The buttery, rich sauce complemented the salty, smoky salmon.
On the bottom were two English muffin halves. The muffins were soft on the inside while toasted on top. While soft, the muffins held up to the last bite without falling apart. But, I did have to use a knife to cut through each muffin.
Served on the side were simple hash browns. If you like your hash browns golden and crispy on top while soft and tender underneath, order them extra crispy. While simple, these potatoes did not disappoint.
The 5 Point Cafe is a dive bar at its core. It’s not Denny’s. And, it’s not Starbucks. So don’t expect the servers to suck up to you just to get a better tip. And, don’t expect a sugar coated greeting. I’m not saying that the service was horrible, but first timers might find the servers to be cold or unpleasant. The service was no nonsense and straight to the point. With that said, I believe you get what you give. Be a nice person to your server and you will receive friendly service. This was my experience and I don’t think it was too much to ask. My server was friendly, though eccentric, and I had no complaints. He recommended some great food and drinks and was always around to see if I needed anything.
The 5 Point Cafe is a historic cafe and dive bar located in the heart of Seattle. This wasn’t your typical brunch spot. It was dark, grungy, no-nonsense, and offensive to some. If you like stiff drinks, loud music, and whiskey at 6AM, then this is your spot. The food was hearty and the portions were big. There was something for everyone on the extensive menu no matter if you wanted breakfast, lunch, or dinner. While not for everyone, The 5 Point Cafe is a great spot in Seattle for food and drinks, especially if you are looking for something different.
- Hearty food and big portions
- Extensive menu
- One of the best dive bars in Seattle
- Unique yet eccentric experience
- Great bar
- Often a wait for a table
- Offensive to some
- Breading on chicken was a little hard to cut through
415 Cedar St, Seattle, WA 98119
GPS Coordinates: 47.61807,-122.34739