Magnolia Bluff Restaurants

  • Josefina's Mexican Grill in the Magnolia Area
    Josefina's Mexican Grill in the Magnolia...
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  • Entrance to Highliner facing Parking Lot
    Entrance to Highliner facing Parking Lot
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  • Blue Heron Sandwiches and Coffee House
    Blue Heron Sandwiches and Coffee House
    by glabah

Best Rated Restaurants in Magnolia Bluff

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    Josefina's Mexican Grill: Small Mexican Restaurant on Interbay Side

    by glabah Updated Sep 25, 2013
    Josefina's Mexican Grill in the Magnolia Area
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    There are a select few places to eat outside the Magnolia village area proper, and a small collection of those are on the downhill side of the sloping hill that faces Interbay, close to the railroad yard. This little Mexican restaurant is one of those places.

    It is quite small, and in fact the restrooms are located in a different part of the building, so you have to go outside and over several stores in order to get to them.

    Despite the compact nature of the place, the food is good and is reasonably priced compared to some of the other places in the Magnolia area.

    This restaurant is extremely new to the area, and has already received very good reviews in a number of locations.

    Favorite Dish: What I had on my first visit was the Chimichanga Vegetarian, for $10.95. However, the next time I am here I will likely order the Burrito Vegetal, which for the same price has a few more items stuffed onto the plate.

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    Village Pub: Lives Up to Its Name

    by glabah Written Oct 2, 2012

    The Magnolia Village area hosts a small collection of restaurants that feature a nice variety for a small and less populated area. Towards the middle of this group you will find the Village Pub, which does indeed seem to live up to its name as serving as the community pub for the Magnolia area. It features several televisions tuned to various sporting events, a pool table (way in the back), a number of tables and booths, and a bar. I will warn you ahead of time that the place advertises itself as the premier Washington State University pub in the area, so if you are a UW fan don't boast about it too loudly here.

    It's pretty much your standard fare USA style pub in terms of interior decorations - no real surprises here. Nor are there many surprises on the menu or drink list. They have a list of the typical pub and bar type food.

    However, one surprise for me was their excellent salads - which are far more than a hunk of lettuce with a bit of dressing on it (which is what a few USA pubs call a salad). Instead, some of these are pretty nice full meals.

    Favorite Dish: What I had was typical pub grub: a Barbecue Burger that came with fries for $11.50. One of my dining companions had a wonderful looking shrimp salad that is not listed on their regular menu on-line, and apparently it was quite good, and less expensive than the burger I had.

    They have ginger beer for $3.50 a glass, which I decided to try. It was OK but not something I was reasonably impressed with.

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    Highliner Pub and Grill: Quiet Little Pub on Fishing Terminal

    by glabah Updated Dec 13, 2012
    Entrance to Highliner facing Parking Lot
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    Located on the somewhat hidden east side of the Fisherman's Terminal main building, this is a relatively small operation during weekday nights. There are a huge number of tables though, so weekend nights may be more popular.

    The restaurant has also gone through a recent ownership change and is apparently now offering a wider variety of menu items, and perhaps it will take a while to establish itself again. The owners are also the same as the seafood market here at Fisherman's Terminal, so that the fish market and restaurant compliment each other in terms of what is available.

    The food varies quite a lot in price, depending on what it is that you order. For example, a 3 Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich is $7, while the more complicated dishes are up in the $18 range. The quantity of food for the price seemed a little bit high but not severely so, but at the same time it turned out to be pretty filling, and it was after all one of the special dishes that isn't always available.

    You can't ask for fish much more fresh that what is available at Fisherman's Terminal (when it is in season and just arrived from Alaska), and so I would suggest trying some of the fish dishes if they are in season.

    There is a reasonably complete bar with a variety of drinks available. Friday nights have a special "Featured Microbrew of the Week". The beer list has some ales that are in a rotating basis so you may want to ask for a current list when you arrive.

    Favorite Dish: Seasonal dishes are posted on the chalkboards near the entrances. I had one of the seasonal dishes that isn't in the regular menu (a Mahi Mahi with grilled vegetables for $13). It was quite good, though a bit small for the price I thought, compared to a other restaurants across the ship canal in Ballard, but at the same time special irregularly offered dishes are probably a bit higher priced than normal.

    To drink I had their hard cider, which was pretty good.

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    La Palma: Great Value for the Price

    by glabah Updated Dec 19, 2012
    La Palma is Hidden from the South, Off the Road
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    Reasonably well hidden, and defying most of the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, La Palma provides a reasonably good value for the price. After climbing all the stairs required to get to the entrance, which is inexplicably located on the second floor, you will most likely be let to a table on the bottom floor and then wind up going back down stairs on the interior staircase.

    The restaurant is extremely popular, especially on weekends, and so you may wind up having to park some distance away as the parking lot is of fairly limited capacity.

    The building, even though it is two floors, is fairly well hidden behind other structures and the shape of the hill, and so it pays to have someone else try to look for it while driving. The building is set a bit off the road and so it sneaks up on you.

    Unfortunately there isn't too much to see from the restaurant other than the parking lot and the busy 15th Avenue traffic. There are a few Mexican themed artworks around to provide some interest on the walls.

    Favorite Dish: Vegetarian fajitas for $13.99 include the rice and beans and could be a meal for two, or two meals for one.

    The Margarita Cadillac is pretty good and provides a nice pre-meal warm-up for $6.95

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    Serendipity Café and Lounge: A Little Bit of Everything

    by glabah Written Jul 1, 2013
    Serendipity is Popular Spot for All
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    People have a preconceived notion of what a café is, and you will probably find some of that at Serendipity. However, you will also find that there is a bit more than that here. The place fits the needs of the neighborhood very well, it seems. Part breakfast nook, part night spot (with beer and wine), there are breakfast items, various pastries, a small section of ice cream, and an assortment of other things that make it so that no matter the weather or the time of day it is a good time to visit.

    There is free wifi available here, but I was not able to get it to work.

    There is a small indoor children's area that has a gate to prevent the children from wandering too far, which seems to be extremely popular with the local mothers.

    The artwork on the wall is by a local artist, and is for sale. The scenes shown as of June 2013 are all within a 20 minute walk of the café, and are mostly along the viewpoint pathway of Magnolia Blvd.

    Favorite Dish: The scrambles are a decent breakfast, though not as large as available in some other area restaurants. The Magnolia Scramble is $10 and includes a side and some toast.

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    Time 4 Pho: Time for Pho?

    by glabah Written Dec 13, 2010
    Time 4 Pho on Thorndyke in Magnolia
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    The menu and concept is simple: Vietnamese style soup in a selection of styles. There are also noodle dishes and other options available, but the primary interest here is the Vietnamese style soup. One of the things I read in the Seattle Post-Intelliger review was that the they really liked the concept of the self-service bar where visitors are able to add various condiments to their bowls.

    I managed to make quite a mess by thinking that I had to take the bowl over to the condiment bar, but I was supposed to have grabbed a plate from beside the condiment bar.

    The interior decoration is simple but adequate, and you will find three televisions where various programs are offered.

    Favorite Dish: I decided to get the Seafood Pho at $8, and decided on the larger bowl, though the smaller bowl would probably have been the better option - the large bowl is quite huge. I found that it was quite good, and as far as I am concerned this is the best value in terms of quantity and quality for the price I've probably had in the Seattle area.

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    Pronto Pizza and Pasta: Pizza and Pasta, even late at night (for Magnolia)

    by glabah Updated Jan 19, 2011
    Pronto Pizza and Pasta in Magnolia
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    I honestly think that this little and apparently family owned establishment may be on the edge of trying to do too much with what they have. The menu offerings include an extensive line of pizza, pasta, burgers, fish, and many other delicacies, it is hard to imagine all of it being excellent.

    To top it off, the place offers delivery in Magnolia, Queen Anne and a few nearby areas, depending on the hours and the quantity of the order ($10 minimum for some areas, $25 minimum for others).

    Based on teh talk behind the counter, it appears that the family is Italian, and speaks that pretty much exclusively to eachother.

    The interior is reasonably attractive as well. Unfortunately, the only view offered by the restaurant is of a fairly busy section of McGraw Street, so that on many occasions the view is of the side of a parked car.

    Some drinks are offered out of a glass fronted refrigerator.

    While it isn't extremely close to my friend's house in Magnolia, it isn't far enough not to walk there, and it is nice to add another place to the list of restaurants that are within an easy walking distance from there.

    The closing time is somewhat later than many of the restaurants in the Magnolia area, with a closing time of midnight on some days and 3 in the morning on others.

    Favorite Dish: I haven't eaten here enough to say for certain what my favorite is. However I do like their Spaghetti Primavera (which is a reasonably new dish according to the menu) for $11.45. This is served with a soup or salad plus garlic bread. I chose the soup and found it to be really good, but unfortunately I don't remember what type of soup it was.

    Stawberry lemonade and various other beverages are available for the $1.50 to $2 range.

    However, I realized after eating it that I really do prefer Spaghetti with some sort of tomato sauce, and most likely I will order something different the next time I visit this restaurant.

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    Seattle Pie Company: Come for Dessert and Stay for Even More Dessert

    by glabah Written Jan 20, 2011
    Desserted Island: pie with fruit mixture for $3.50
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    While the name of the place pretty much says it all, the restaurant also offers some actual food, such as sandwiches and other lunch and snack type items. However, obviously the focus is on the wonderful dessert items, and the owner of Seattle Pie Company has spent time with several other Washington State pie company owners in order to learn from the best there is.

    It's a good thing too: one is now since passed on and the other is retired from the business, but the owner of Seattle Pie Company continues the traditional baking learned in those old-school pie companies and their owners.

    If the interior of the Seattle Pie Company seems as though it is particularly well suited for the needs, the fact is that is exactly the case: the owner of the Seattle Pie Company has a husband that is a residential home builder and developer. Thus, the interior of the establishment was built specifically by him for her and her restaurant. If it seems that the features are particularly well suited for baking, displaying, selling and eating pies, it is in fact designed to be that way. There are a number of other personal touches that keep this restaurant from being a simple cookie-cutter establishment. For example, take a look at the "pitchfork fork" seat backs in photo 2.

    The establishment is also a supporter of the Seattle Children's Theatre, and you will find their latest advertisements for shows on the walls here.

    Favorite Dish: I'm trying to think if there is some possible combination of fruits and pies from this place that would qualify as not my favorite, and quite honestly I'm not coming up with much.

    However, what I did settle upon was the "Desserted Island" which is a combination of

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    El Ranchon Mexican Restaurant: Reasonably Good Mexican Value

    by glabah Written Jan 27, 2012
    Interior of El Ranchon is Attracive, Unique
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    There are only so many restaurants in the Magnolia "village" area, and this happens to be one of them. Like just about everything else in Magnolia, it is somewhat off the beaten path and is still fairly popular with local residents.

    The reputation of the place highly recommends the Carne Assada, though I decided to try the Vegetarian Fajitas. While the fajitas were good, I tried one of my friends Carne Assada and it is most certainly good food.

    Favorite Dish: Without a doubt, try the Carne Assada, in the $14 range. The margaritas are good too.

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    Niko's Gyros: Greek Food across from Drug Store

    by glabah Written Nov 29, 2009
    Niko's Gyros on 32nd, across from Drug Store
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    There's really quite a variety of price ranges and food offerings here.

    The decorations and certainly the owners are certainly have a Greek flare to them.

    This restaurant is not open on Sundays, but on other days operates from 11 AM to 9 PM

    It appears that a considerable portion of the business here is call-in, but it seems to get crowded after about 6. You may have a bit of a wait, as the food preparation has a lot of orders to keep up - the restaurant has earned some reasonably good reviews.

    Favorite Dish: Vegetarian Gyros ($4.75, with eggplant $5.25) is a reasonably good sized plate for the price for this part of Seattle.

    The "Greek Fries" ($3.25) is a pile of sliced potatoes with cheese, and is a fairly nice switch from how the average American restaurant would prepare fried potatoes.

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    Boxcar Ale House: The Place to Go for Football, or Outdoor Ping-Pong

    by glabah Written Sep 18, 2010
    Boxcar Ale House as seen from South Side

    The food here is pretty much standard pub grub: sandwiches with fries or salad, and of course great gobs of stuff on tap.

    The atmosphere is definitely football of any sort. Professional and university football was playing on several screens tonight and, that was certainly the talk of the place.

    The consist of the patrons seems to be about 70% young male. There were a few women that wandered in and out, but definitely this is a mostly male hangout.

    The bar has one pool table, and an outdoor ping-pong table under a canopy for those wishing to play those.

    There are occasional live music events, karaoke and a few other special events, but the web site on Myspace is nearly useless for finding the schedule. Or a menu, for that matter.

    Favorite Dish: I'm not fan of bar food, but I did have the Greek burger. Toss in a hard cider and sales tax and the total is in the $13.50 range before the tip.

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    Maggie Bluffs: Hidden Place with View of Downtown Seattle, Marina

    by glabah Updated Oct 8, 2010
    view of downtown Seattle from Maggie Bluffs
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    The restaurant is in the daylight basement of a two floor building that serves as the restaurant establishment for the Elliott Bay Marina, and the restaurants are open to the public.

    The restaurant on the "ground level" floor whose entrance faces the parking lot is a very expensive looking place with valet parking and an entrance that just simply screams "you must have money to eat here".

    Maggie Bluffs (a play on the old community name of Magnolia Bluffs) is downstairs, and though it is basically in the basement, it is a daylight basement that overlooks downtown Seattle and the Elliott Bay Marina. Everything about Maggie Bluffs says "this just just a plain old restaurant where anyone is welcome" and the prices appear a lot better than what you will probably find upstairs (though I certainly didn't both checking!)

    Favorite Dish: Swiss mushroom burger with soup or salad for $12 was a pretty good meal. The stawberry lemonaide was $4, but there is a free refill provided.

    Currently, happy hour is available 7 days a week, and this means 1/2 price on appetizers and $4 beer and wine.

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    Blue Heron: Economical Option at North End

    by glabah Updated Oct 9, 2013
    Blue Heron Sandwiches and Coffee House
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    Part convenience store, part deli, and part coffee house, Blue Heron is serves a number of needs in the northern end of Magnolia. However, it does not do so on Wednesdays, nor is it open very late during the week.

    The convenience store part of the facility has a few prepared items plus drinks in refrigerated shelves that people can grab and pay for at the register.

    However, their sandwiches and chowder / soup combinations are a wonderful lunch selection and very economical for this area of town. The sandwich and chowder I had came to $7.65 after taxes.

    As with most coffee houses that are independent, the Blue Heron has an unusual selection of interior pieces that gives it a unique personality. They have chosen to use large wire or rope spools repainted and recycled into tables. There is a possibility that they are surplus from Fisherman's Terminal for ship rope, as that facility isn't too far away - though the more likely and less romantic image is just castoffs from the electric utility.

    There is a drive-though lane here, but it seems to be rarely used.

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