10 Best Mom and Pop Restaurants in Washington State By
Unpretentious. Nostalgic. Cozy. That’s the mom and pop restaurant. Washington State is home to an array of these home-style eateries serving up all kinds of comfort food. Whether you’re craving café classics or retro drive-in eats, check out our favorite mom and pop restaurants in Washington State.
Award-winning Homeskillet might be small, but they’re big on taste. Located in Bellingham, Washington, this unique little mom and pop diner is about as comfortable as you can get, and they serve breakfast all day. Eating here is like eating at your best friend’s house, they have one chef who hand-prepares and cooks everything himself, they request no parties over four people, and you may have to wait on your order in this very popular eatery. The wait is worth it, and like their website says, they’re not fast food…just good food.
If you want good old-fashioned American comfort food, you’ve come to the right place at Old Milwaukee Café & Dessert Company in Tacoma, Washington. Open Tuesday through Saturday, this quaint mom and pop restaurant has been around for so long that it’s part of the local community décor. Breakfast is the best meal of the day, and the tables in this establishment are always filled with hungry and happy customers. The house specials, hotcakes right off the griddle, and fresh omelets are to die for.
You don’t have to travel to New England to get great clam chowder, when you stop at Captain Bob’s in Long Beach, Washington. With a love for all things related to the beach and the desire to serve great food, Captain Bob’s opened many years ago and has grown into one of the best places in the area to get chowder. Besides clam, they have salmon, tuna and corn, crab, lobster, scallop mushroom, seafood medley, and a tomato seafood medley available at various times. You can also email or call in your order and have it sent directly to you any day of the week except Wednesday.
Corner location, no frills, and lots of coffee. That’s what you’ll find when you visit Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Café in Bremerton, Washington. Open daily from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., you can order breakfast, lunch, and the best coffee in the neighborhood. This little diner serves a nice selection of favorites like the standard eggs any style, potatoes, choice of meat, and toast, but they also have house specialties like Green Eggs and Ham, Moon Biscuits and gravy (where the biscuits are made in a waffle iron), and Belgium waffles so light and fluffy that they almost float. Lunch is equally impressive with your selection of breads, meats, cheeses, and condiments that combine into your perfect sandwich served with a pickle, fruit, or side salad. Kids aren’t excluded from the fun either, and there’s a menu featuring kid-friendly favorites.
Mom and pop restaurants aren’t limited to just American comfort food. Freeland Café in Freeland, Washington is a great example of that. With a blend of Hawaiian and Asian foods, this quaint little eatery has daily lunch and dinner specials and they can even accommodate most special requests for those with food allergies or sensitivities. In business since 1974, this family-owned diner has breakfast all day every day with all your favorites and then some.
It’s not surprising that Miners Drive-In Restaurant has a drive-thru window because they’ve been open since 1948. This nostalgic and retro look and feel of this mom and pop place is like stepping back in time. Offering fresh food cooked while you wait, you can get a burger the way you like it with a side of fries or onion rings, and a shake or soda. Kids have a menu of their own, too. Stop by any day of the week and see what all the fuss is about.
The Cottage Café in Cle Elum, Washington, is more than just a local diner with good food. It’s a place for hungry travelers to stop, rest, and enjoy some great comfort food served by friendly people. It’s like your home away from home with a kitchen that’s open every day from 6 a.m. until midnight. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner—you name it, they have it. There’s even a bakery where you can order your favorite pie, cinnamon rolls, cobblers, cookies, or crisps to take home in case you don’t have room right then.
What could be better than a burger, fries, and your favorite shake? A burger, fries, and shake from Ice Burg Drive-In in Walla Walla, Washington! This small drive-in is a vision of the custard stands from the 1960s, but it’s earned a place as the area’s go-to place for burgers. Another specialty is frozen lemonade, but if you crave a creamy thick milkshake, you have a nice variety from which to choose. Always active is supporting the community, that’s another reason to stop by Ice Burg Drive-in.
Rustic and vibrant is the way some describe the Blue Moose Café located in Port Townsend, Washington, and its high praise when you get social media reviews stating that a place is the best because it’s run by the best people, but with Blue Moose Café, it’s all true. Start your meal off with a great cup of coffee, followed by bacon and eggs if you’re craving breakfast, or a perhaps a bacon-cheddar burger served between glazed donuts is more to your liking. With daily and weekend specials to try, stop by any day and see what your favorites are.
Looking for a twist on traditional American food from a local mom and pop diner? Try Tsukushinbo in Seattle, Washington, for a culinary treat that will satisfy your taste buds. This isn’t your typical mom and pop establishment, but this casual diner has been around for a long time and offers traditional Japanese foods for lunch and dinner, including hand-rolled sushi, a comfortable atmosphere, and reasonable prices. They have daily specials Tuesday through Friday, and several choices of Donburi and noodle dishes. Open every day, Tsukushinbo is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets.