Ravenna Varsity Restaurant
2300 NE 65th St, Seattle, WA 98115
Primary Phone: (206) 588-2574
Phone: (206) 588-2574
Ravenna Varsity Restaurant - NE 65th
Good For Family: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Family Style, American, Coffee House, Cafeterias, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch
Alcohol: Beer, Wine
Bike Parking: Yes
Takes Reservations: No
Outdoor Seating: No
No coupons available
08/07/2011Provided by Citysearch -
I read a few reviews before giving this place a try, and was not put off by the recurring theme of slow/bad service. We had a lot of time to spare, and its always great to find a really good breakfast place. I called before heading there on a Sunday morning, and was told that they had space but was warned that the service would be slow. Well, their warning was right.
The real trouble is that the food was pretty bland/not cooked well/not so tasty (but also not downright bad either). So, there was no compensation for the really slow service. Also, after waiting forever, they screwed up my daughter's omelette and put something she did not want in it. They verified that it was wrong, but did not offer to immediately fix it, so she ate is (even though she doesn't care for mushrooms) rather than wait another 45 minutes.
The big question I have for myself - why go back? I don't have a good answer.
01/09/2011Provided by Citysearch -
I gave this restaurant 3 stars mostly for great food! I came in on a Sunday and ordered the Joe special. Although the food was great, my service not so much. My waitress seemed to know many costumers in the restaurant. I'm pretty sure her name is Sandy, also the owner. She must be new at this because the whole time i saw her sitting down, eating,talking on the phone and on her laptop!! She did know how to order people around though!! I saw about 2 young girls in there and she yelled at them like they were her own daughters! I've eaten here mostly on Sundays and i recommend to seat in the back where the other waitstaff is! I will come back again, just never sit in the front!!
01/08/2011Provided by Citysearch -
This place definitely deserves more than 2.5 stars. The Varsity is a great restaurant with a warm atmosphere and delicious meals. The menu has a wide variety of foods; even the pickiest eater will be able to find something to their liking here.
I come to The Varsity for time with my family, to catch the latest sports game on TV, or just to have a great, satisfying meal with friends. This restaurant is versatile and has stellar ambiance. It's kid-friendly, and my twins love the coloring books & crayons that are available for them.
It's a bummer that people write this place off just because they feel the service is slow. For a typical dining facility, the service is fine and the waitstaff is very welcoming & friendly. My coffee cup was never empty and I always leave full and happy. I've come to this place for years and I absolutely love it! If possible, I would give The Varsity TEN stars, because it's that awesome.
03/09/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I have been going into the Varsity for years. I remember when it was back in the old building, many of the same workers are still their today. It is owned by Sandy, who has been working their since i can remember. Most of the other workers are her children, family and friends. This is truly a family run business.
I have tried many things on the menu and have loved everyone of them. I love that i can subsitute a fresh fruit cup for my hashbrowns, and they will let you modify anything on the menu. I always get exactly what i want.
They serve Zoka coffee and espresso, which is a great local coffee roaster.
Overall the varisty is a great place to get some friendly service, great homestyle breakfast and good coffee!
02/28/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Varsity presents all that one would want in a breakfast/diner. That is, on the surface. Good coffee typical decor. But the staff are offputting and the food mediocre, at best. Pushy staff welcome you and ask three times what other drinks you would like for the kids, when they have opted for water several times. Food was bland at best and it didn't help that I ended up wearing some of it as the sauce was spilled on side of the table. Pancakes were good, so was the strawberry waffle. Hash browns looked like they were recently deceased and needed serious browning and eggs benedict were equally lifeless.
Waitstaff were way too friendly and too fond of touching me and slapping my shoulder for a 9 am call.
All a bit haphazard for more than 50 dollars for one adult and two kids for breakfast.
07/28/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I like this place because it is walking distance to my home, has friendly service, is very kid friendly, has pretty good French toast, and decent coffee. I have been there numerous times, and have never had a bad enough experience that I would take the time to write a 400 word essay on how bad it is. I worry about people that give reviews of family run neighborhood places like this based on one experience. I swear, people go to a place once, have a bad experience, then tell everyone that it is the worst place ever and not to come within a half mile of it. The service is inconsistent because they have a lot of turn over due to hiring primarily high school and college kids. Some reviewers just need to chill. If the coffee doesn't come round right away, they won't complain if you get up and serve yourself. It's that kind of place.
03/15/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I live just around the corner from the Varsity and would go there weekly if it weren't for the glacial pace of service.
The food is excellent, the coffee is good, the staff are genuinely nice people and work very hard. Perhaps they're short-staffed: no bus-boys, only one or two wait-staff when the owner is not around. I've never seen the staff dawdling or gossiping or hiding out from the customers. And still...
Expect to be seated rather quickly and then wait five minutes or so to be asked if you want anything to drink. Ask for a cup of joe and someone will be back to fill your cup in another five, Alas, that person can't take your order, and you'll finish your coffee waiting for the person who can. You'll order and ask for a refill on the coffee. The refill will not come until you flag someone down on their way to another table.
A day or two later, the food will arrive. If you've ordered toast, the waitress will promise that it'll be along shortly (i.e. after she puts it in the toaster). When she delivers it, she'll make a big deal about how ""piping hot"" it is. Your eggs are cold by now, but whatever. Can we have some more coffee? Sure, the waitress will reply, I'll send the other girl over. (By this time, the coffee girl has graduated from the U and is enrolling in a Masters program out-of-state.)
The owner is a very nice lady. I've spoken with her about the service on four separate occasions, but not noticeable change.
It's a shame, because the food is great and the location is very convenient for neighborhood folk. But it's faster for me to drive down to Pike Place or Cap Hill and get a great breakfast served quickly. If the traffic isn't heavy and I catch the lights I can LITERALLY get there and back faster than if I go to the Varsity.
09/25/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I'm surprised by the tone of some of the reviews posted here. I've eaten in restaurants all over Seattle and all of them have the occasional off day or wait person who is not on his/her best game. For a breakfast joint, the Varsity is as good as any place in terms of price, quality, service, location, decor, etc. Just look at the people waiting on weekend mornings....that tells you that most of the time they are doing a pretty good job of what they do.....basic American breakfast and lunch menu at reasonable prices.
I notice that none of the highly critical folks named a different restaurant that embodied their idea of what a good place would be. I suspect that is because such folks are universally cranky and critical. Anyway, I've eaten many times at the Varsity in the past 25 years and I'm a purchasing agent by trade...which makes me focus on value...that is, is what you get for the price a good deal and does it match up with a reasonable expectation? The answer is yes. Remember all those people waiting on weekend mornings.
The owner of the Varsity is a friend of mine and many of the people who work there are here sister, daughters, etc. It's a family business. If you aren't happy with something, try talking to one of them about it. They care a lot about customer service.
09/06/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Let me first say that I'm not particularly picky or needy when dining, but if I could give this place a minus 5 rating, I really would. My husband and I had breakfast on a Saturday morning at 9am. The place was not busy (many tables were available) and there was no wait in being seated. We waited 15 minutes for our order to be taken. I opted to have my beverage served at the time of the meal. We waited 30 minutes for our orders. My meal was delivered first (without the beverage) and then, my husband's meal was delivered 5 minutes later. After we were completely finished eating, our server then showed up to ask if we needed anything. And, then, had the freaking nerve to ask if I had forgotten that I'd wanted my beverage. Since she literally disappeared after delivering our plates, how could I have reminded her? My meal tasted strange and my husband's meal was obviously from a can. My husband then went to the cash register to pay. The server had made up her own pricing for our meal but miraculously had removed the cost of my beverage from the bill. A relatively new employee verified the charges and our total ended up being different (less) from what our server had initial had on the slip. I'm never going back to this place and if my husband suggests it again, I will have very strong words to use when reminding him of this debacle. If the server hates her job, then she should quit and find some other more satisfying work elsewhere. Like where she doesn't have to actually talk to people, fake caring about anything and/or having responsibility for anything. When the best part of the meal is the nice dog sitting in the grass outside our window... I cannot say anything further about this place other than if after reading this posting you still decide to go, good luck, my friend. It looked like there were nicer and more attentive servers there so pray you get one of them.
05/02/2008Provided by Citysearch -
A friend and I have had lunch here on a fairly regular basis (3 or 4 times a month) for the past five years or so. Every once in a while we go somewhere else just for a change, but we're always happy to come back. We're both especially fond of their Cobb salad and their French fries. The breakfast food is also consistently very good (though they do have a tendency to overcook their breakfast sausages). Delicious clam chowder too. I've also always been very happy with their coffee -- seems like a trivial thing perhaps, but even in Seattle it's becoming a rare experience to have a cup of drip coffee that doesn't taste burnt, sour, weak, or all three.
I was surprised to see such negative reviews here, as this is one of very few restaurants that I am willing to go to on a regular basis. Of course it is crowded and there is a wait on weekend mornings, the place is fantastically busy, but even so it's a shorter wait and a better experience for less money than, say, the Original Pancake House in Ballard... there just don't seem to be very many places to have a nice, casual, GOOD, inexpensive, and unpretentious breakfast in this area.
Come to Ravenna Varsity Inn any time during the week, and you'll discover that it's just about the best sit-and-chat spot in town. It seems that my friend and I are constantly asking for special 'tweaks' to our food, week after week (as in, can I get that burger on unbuttered rye, tartar sauce for my fries, a half-size salad on a full-size plate, bacon cooked nice and dark but not dry, etc), and not only are the servers always happy to go to bat for us, but the kitchen always seems to deliver right on target.
04/27/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I've been to this restaurant a few times and have had a few different experiences. There's ALWAYS a pretty long wait to be seated because it's a small place. It's also across the street from an old-folks home so it's CRAWLING with old ""regulars"". These are the people who are getting the attention from the staff. Once you're seated, you're pretty much ignored for the next half hour. I saw a table actaully get up and leave after about 40 minutes today and NO ONE even noticed. The hostess just thought an open table suddenly appeared and just sat some new people. She didn't even bring new waters. In her defense, she was only about 10 years old. Why is there a 10-year-old working there, you ask? I have no idea. There were about 10 hostesses and bussers and only 2 waitresses. Someone finally came to take our order after I was throwing around the stink-eye for about 10 minutes. That was the last time we saw her. Someone else brought us our food, took our plates and brought us our bill. The 10-year-old rang us up. Sweet girl. :)
The food is pretty good. LOVE good breakfast food and good burgers and sandwiches. It's a good price too.
So if this place can GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER and start providing some good service to us ""non-regulars"", then I'd reccomend it. However, the service was so over-the-top crappy today, that I wouldn't feel right recommending this place to anyone unless they want to spend about 2 hours in a restaurant, being ignored. :)
12/09/2007Provided by Citysearch -
We had horrible service for breakfast on a Saturday morning. Took at least 15-20 minutes to get our food after we ordered, and they messed up 2 of our 8 orders. No one ever came back to refill water and coffee, or to even check on how we were doing. When we had been sitting waiting for our bill for a while, we finally went up and got it ourselves. As we were waiting to pay, one of the other customers went behind the counter and started taking our leftovers off our plates! She was apparently collecting food for her dog, but seems like a health code violation to me. She said the employees let her go behing the counter and around to tables all the time to collect food scraps. Does the manager know about this? It looks very strange to other customers in the restaurant. We won't be going back there ever again. Too bad, it used to be a decent restaurant several years ago.
05/30/2007Provided by Citysearch -
The only redeeming quality of this restaurant was the coffee- good Zoka coffee and my cup was never empty. Too bad the same could not have been said for the food or service. By the time I had my food I was starving and so hopped up on caffeine, I was literally shaking. I had the ""Wild Caught Salmon"" burger which was mushy and tasteless, whereas my sis had the huevos rancheros, which was similarly flavorless. We were seated quickly, but then waited 30 min for our waitress to even ask if we wanted anything to drink. Once we finally got our food 70 minutes later, there were no other patrons that we entered the restaurant with (and trust me, we had a LOT of time to look at everyone). There are many better breakfast/lunch places out there for a similar price (Blue Star cafe is awesome) that are way more pleasing. I'm sorry I wasted a meal at this place.
11/09/2006Provided by Citysearch -
Got seated and the server asked if we were ready to order. We said we needed five minutes and she came back about 20 minutes later and asked sheepishly, ""Did I forget to take your order?"" I ordered a Reuben Sandwich. Anyone that's ever eaten a Reuben knows that it's pretty basic. Corned Beef, Kraut and some Thousand Island Dressing. The corned beef at every other place I've ever had it is deli sliced and pink in color. This Reuben, however, was brown roast beef slices. Very disappointing. Also, the wait was really long and considering the waitress forgot about us, it doesn't surprise me.
07/02/2006Provided by Citysearch -
I loved the old location, and spent many mornings enjoying great food and decent service. I have now gone to the new location about ten times, and been disappointed each time. The service is usually extremely slow and the staff seems disinterested and distracted. As for the food, well it is not even close to what it used to be. The food is often overcooked and something in the order is almost always forgotten. My wife gave up on this place a long time ago, and teased me for holding out hope, but my hope is now gone. Sadly, I will not be returning.