Athenian Inn (Downtown)

1517 Pike Pl
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 624-7166

The food is nothing to write home about, but it's worth shoving your way through the Pike Place Market tourists gawping at fish to get to the old-school, unfancy bar at the Athenian. There is a stunning view of Puget Sound, and furthermore, the beer here is the coldest beer in the world. You must get draft beer; they superchill glass mugs and fill them with beer so near freezing that, amazingly, tiny beerbergs form on the surface of your beverage. A sunset here with a cold, cold beer is one of the world's truest delights.
Hours: Mon-Sat 6:30 am-6:30 pm (bar until 8 pm); Sun 9 am-3:30 pm
Categories: Bar, Cafe, Restaurant

Restaurant Details

Bar Details

The Stranger's Reviews of Athenian Inn


Average Rating:
  • 3.20000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (11) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a review of Athenian Inn
First off, I'm not a needy type of customer. As long as my beverage doesn't go empty and the food I receive is what I order, I usually am happy to leave a 20% tip.

What I am not happy about is being deliberately ignored. I know it was busy, so I figured I could save some time and the waitstaffs' hassle by sitting at the bar or counter. When I approached what would turn out to be my server and asked if the wait was just for tables and if I could just go sit at the bar, she looked at me sorta annoyed (like: can't you see I'm busy?) and responded that I'll just have to wait with everyone else until the hostess gets to me.
Ok. kinda rude... but hey, it's busy, i'll give her a freebie.

So we wait for 5 or so minutes, and the hostess seats us at the counter which it turns out, was open the whole time, and guess who's my server? Ms. Surly! So we sit. and I make eye contact with her to let her know I'm here and waiting, she looks at me, and then promptly deals with every other table in her section. fills all their glasses, gets all their food, seats new people and grabs them menus and drinks.... 15 minutes pass by since I was seated. Still no menu, still no water. Now that every single person has been served she finally gets to me, and asks, "would you like to be seated at a table now?" No bitch. I was seated here. And I've been waiting for you. And you've been ignoring me, over and over. And don't think I didn't see you sneaking glances at me to see if I was still sitting there or had gotten fed up and left!
I was so pissed at this point I just wanted to get my egg to go.

And after all this, I find out that the menu has been changed, and scotch eggs are no longer available. What a waste of my time.

Called management and spoke with Eddie, the manager, he kinda made up for shitty shitty lack of service for which I will award 1 star. If it hadn't been for him this would be a no-star review. I'll try this place out once more, as I always believe in second chances, but I better be really damn impressed. And avoid the oysters, I was sitting right in front of the oystershucker (watching for 15 minutes), and honestly, those oysters didn't look that fresh.
Posted by schatzi on July 11, 2009 at 3:09 PM · Report this

View and good food

This is the place I go for their wonderful variety - try the Greek omelettes - wonderful! And on Monday the pepper-steak - delicious. The view of the water and mountains and the quaint bar people are a kick - Seattle can be too yuppie-ish and the Athenian is not slick like that. It is authentic.
Posted by View and Characters on April 10, 2009 at 2:04 PM · Report this

Would not eat here ever again

This was quit the disappointment. After trying several times, my family and I finally were at the market at a time the Athenian was open. The tables were not clean and the food was very bland to include the clam chowder that tasted like it was made of the last days seafood scraps. The worst part of it was the food poisoning we received a day and a half later from the not-so-fresh oysters served on a piece of lettuce!
Posted by shaun on March 26, 2009 at 8:08 PM · Report this

Had high hopes.

We moved to the area a little over a year ago and finally made it to The Athenian..we should have never gone.

We had such high hopes for the destination cafe nestled in the wonderful Pikes Place Market. The fact that it is in that location would lead one to believe it would strive for excellence in either cleanliness, service or food. It lacked in all three. We didn't mind the wait, that meant that people actually wanted to eat there. While being seated the hostess merely brushed the crumbs off our table with her hand, to which my husband had to ask for a towel. The extensive menus, which were like a paper cut fold out..seriously invest in some nice binder menus when you offer 200 items, were sticky and had probably never seen a damp cloth.

The worst part of the meal was the appetizers. The crab medley was a mixture of, what we hoped was crab, in a glass mixed with cocktail sauce. The oysters were served completely out of the shell on a piece of lettuce. Oh, we should have known better, for those oysters would be our doom and I'll just leave it at that. The rest of the meal was mediocre at best. The waitress actually advised my daughter against getting the clams, with good intentions, but the irony of that was the clams were probably the best tasting thing we ordered.

The obvious rubbing cheeks with Hollywood, location and overall history of the building looses it's appeal after the dining experience. Not on my hungriest day would I ever eat here again.

Posted by Jayla Sevigny on March 26, 2009 at 7:53 PM · Report this

awesome place

I love it there between 5pm-7pm when all the lovely market workers stumble into this place, and cause public nauseance. Its woth just to see out of towner's faces when these kids walk in... Staff is lovely as well!!!
Posted by beer on November 16, 2008 at 3:39 PM · Report this

Worse than going hungry

I just had lunch at the Athenian Inn Restaurant. As a local here in Seattle I have tried a good deal of the restaurants in the Pike Place area, and I have to say, this one was absolutely, positively horrible. I went during lunch and was stunned to sit down to a 200-item menu. After about 10 minutes of mulling through their gigantic selection (which is not a good thing, by the way) I selected the Crab Salad Sandwich. What I got back (in less than 3 minutes... also not a good sign) was a lump of cold crab, celery and cheap mayo mixture on two pieces of what had to be thick WonderBread. It was tasteless, the texture was gross, the presentation was horrible, and to top it off it cost about $3.00 more than it should have (the sandwich was around $5.00). My friend, whom I ate with at the restaurant, got a pastry stuffed with cheese and ham, which was also not only tiny but grotesque in presentation and flavor. I absolutely would not recommend this place to anyone. If you are hungry, and there is nothing else open (IE Lowell's right next door) grab some fresh fruit from across the hallway and be on your way. Trust me, you'll be MUCH better off. Someone should buy out this restaurant, gut it and make it a landmark restaurant. Right now it's just a waste of space and an embarrassment to Pikes Place Market.
Posted by Stella on February 25, 2008 at 2:43 PM · Report this

Good place to check out

I was in Seattle this past weekend, and stopped off here for lunch. I had The Secretary which consisted of smaller portions of fried crab meat, which was amazingly tender and tasteful, fruit salad, and a blueberry muffin. We also had a pitcher of some local beer. They had a decent selection of beer on draft as well. The view of the bay area while dining was really pretty, and the overall vibe of the restaurant was very old school neighborhood and quaint. I had a great time.
Posted by Jenn on February 11, 2008 at 8:46 AM · Report this

I Miss The Athenian

I am from Baltimore, but I have visited Seattle several times over the last 15 years or so. As a tourist I made the trek to Pike Place Market and always made a point of stopping at The Athenian. The breakfast is the best. I really like the strange omelet containing lentils and herring. I don't know the name, but I have tried so often to find a copy of the menu just to see the ingredients so I can try to cook it at home. The next time I visit my son, I'll be sure to head to The Athenian for breakfast again. This time with paper and pen so I can write down the ingredients. I also like the fact that Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner sat on The Athenian stools in Sleepless in Seattle.
Posted by Bob Phillips on July 25, 2007 at 5:52 AM · Report this

It's okay. Keep your expectations low.

My family was in town so, when I dragged them to PPM, we stopped in here for lunch. It was alright; I don't remember what I had but I remember being satisfied with it. It must be noted: they take the oysters out of the shells. My father, who considers the shells part of the oyster dining experience, was disappointed, so I wanted to note that in case that's anyone else's thing. I'd eat here again. A host actually seats people here, so you don't get the crowding problem you see at Lowell's.
Posted by Gomez on June 29, 2007 at 11:54 AM · Report this

One Word, One Star

Posted by CK Dexter Haven on June 6, 2007 at 11:40 AM · Report this

I Love The Athenian

sometimes forgotten when downtown-beer hopping but you MUST stop here. Icy mugs of Pabst or whatever you want. Bar can get crowded, just stand and enjoy yourself. A nice view and dependable fare. Burger, fry, salmon, no problem.
Posted by Food Eater on May 23, 2007 at 7:20 PM · Report this

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Athenian Inn
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