Elysian Brewing Company (Capitol Hill)

1221 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 860-1920

Categories: Bar, Restaurant

Restaurant Details

  • You know Elysian for its brewpubs with global-pub-grub menus. However, the posh and old-fashionedy Elysian Bar, located downtown where (great) goth club the Noc Noc used to be, has a sweeping stairway and a spendy menu of steaks, seafood, and so forth made by Andrew Gribas (formerly at Volterra in Kirkland), plus a bar program that includes Murray Stenson and other local greats. It’s kind of a strange move for the company, and it’s a big one, with 230 seats.
  • Features: Bar/Happy Hour, Late-Night Dining and To Go
  • Cuisine: New American and Pub Grub
  • Serving Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2 am, Sat-Sun noon-2 am,

Bar Details

Other Locations

Elysian Bar

1516 Second Ave
Seattle, WA, 98101 (Downtown)
(206) 467-4458

Elysian Tangletown

2106 N 55th St
Seattle, WA, 98103 (Green Lake)

Average Rating:
  • 2.41000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (35) RSS

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Beware of bar staff...

If you'd asked me 2 days ago if I'd recommend The Elysian I would have said "absolutely, yes". Not anymore. I stopped in to pick up some beer to go & was subjected to possibly the rudest "service", if you can call it that, that I have ever had the misfortune to experience in Seattle.
My husband & I stood at the bar for some time before the bartender, a smallish, shorthaired brunette, slight accent, chose to shower us with her sparkling personality (sorry, I'm trying hard to be appropriate here). I asked about the availability of growlers. I then asked to get the pumpkin ale. She looked at me like I was mentally challenged & responded "there's 2 kinds". I then asked about them, wanting her opinion as she is employed as a bartender & should be able to give patrons that kind of info....would imagine that's part of the job description. She replied abruptly "one's stronger". I asked stronger how? Higher alcohol content? More pumpkin-y? She looked at me like I had 3 heads. I explained I was going to a beer tasting party & wanted to know more about the beer I was bringing. She could have cared less about that. My husband suggested at that point we just get both. She audibly sighed & went to fill the growlers. While doing so, she pleasantly joked around with the guys at the bar, flicking water at one of them. It seems, when she chose to, she was quite capable of being pleasant. Maybe we were interrupting her time with her buddies, I don't know. The bar was relatively empty as it was around 4 on a sunny Saturday afternoon so she definitely was not frenzied with work stress. When the growlers, which were identical, were plunked down in front of me I asked if she wouldn't mind labeling them so I knew which we would be tasting at the party. She turned her back on me mid-sentence, ripped a piece of receipt paper in half, scribbled the beer names on the paper & slapped them on the bottles with some scotch tape. Then she quite loudly slapped the bill folder on the bar in front of me & walked off. I tried giving her my card & she kind of blew me off for a moment or so, came back & grabbed it. For $44 worth of beer & some very reasonable questions from a customer, I was stunned by how hostile her behavior was.
In tough economic times, with lay offs & cut backs, one would think people would be motivated to keep the jobs they have. Not to mention companies wanting to keep their customers happy & coming back. I question any company that would employ someone like her to represent them. I live just a few blocks away from The Elysian & will not hesitate to tell everyone I know of the experience I had. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. I walked out, honestly wondering what the heck I did that could have provoked such enmity from a complete stranger. My conclusion is...nothing. I had merely asked her for her professional opinion & information.
Way to go, Elysian, you guys went from a BIG thumbs up to an absolute thumbs DOWN.
Posted by caphillres on October 4, 2009 at 8:18 PM · Report this

Great food, nice beer, AWFUL service

I really enjoyed the Elysian's divine sweet potato curry with chicken. The creamy texture, rich lemony flavor was very interesting. It was a little on the expensive side, but kinda worth it. I got started with their Pilsner while waiting for the food, not necessarily the best pairing with the curry, but that was my bad. The beer was nice though. What really ruined the experience was the tremendously awful service. It took a while for our idiot server to take our order, and I think they must have brewed the beer from scratch considering how long it took to arrive - and the place was practically empty at the time, so there was no excuse. What really pushed us over the edge though was the fact that the server decided to sit down and hang out with his girlfriend two tables over from us and never bothered to check back, offer us more beer, or ever deliver the water we ordered. 15 minutes after we finished our food and beer, he finally came to clear our plates and glasses away, we presumed he would be bringing the check as we were done - never happened. He decided to sit back down and hang out with his girlfriend a while longer. My husband had to go up to him and ask for our check, which seemed to really annoy him - sooo sorry to take you away from your date, dude! I guess the Elysian must not pay their servers enough for them to actually work while they're on the clock!
Posted by Janet Okinawa on September 26, 2009 at 3:32 PM · Report this

the way I see it

Too packed on weekends to enjoy. Good for you Elysian. The nachos are great, the come with a peanut sauce that's just addictive. The field greens with I think* a rosemary lemon vinegarette was really perfect the last time I was there. Beer best had in the bartender's sampler. Big windows lined with booths. I love the smell of the pumpkin beer brewing in the fall. Smells like pumpkin pie. I agree about the small menu and pricy pub food. More realistic and well executed faire would be appreciated. There is one really wierd waitress I always seem to get that creeps me out in a pyscho ex girlfriend on lithium (but not today) kind of way. Scary cheerful and fake.
Posted by transplantsonamission on February 27, 2009 at 9:20 PM · Report this
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The Stench

I live near by the Elysian and I find it hard to walk near the place because of the stench of hops brewing. The City needs to do something about it. I ate there once and found the food okay but not memorable. There are so many great places to eat on the hill that I never returned for dinner. I would give the place zero stars but that is not an option.
Posted by seadickrun on June 18, 2008 at 5:41 AM · Report this

it's so small now

Oh Elysian! Where did your menu go? Have you lost it? Do you need help finding it? Your specials are why we went. Your beer is good, but can be got almost any place else in town. And what is up with the new partitions between the bar and the rest of the restaurant that made you lose a captain's table? Did Fatty McNickels make you do that? Did the cost of those partitions make you cut you menu down to boring? You used to be so good.
Posted by thaumaturgistguy on March 28, 2008 at 4:04 PM · Report this

it's so small now

Oh Elysian! Where did your menu go? Have you lost it? Do you need help finding it? Your specials are why we went. Your beer is good, but can be got almost any place else in town. And what is up with the new partitions between the bar and the rest of the restaurant that made you lose a captain's table? Did Fatty McNickels make you do that? Did the cost of those partitions make you cut you menu down to boring? You used to be so good.
Posted by thaumaturgistguy on March 28, 2008 at 4:04 PM · Report this

you're not a gastro-pub

i've always liked not loved the elysian in the past. the eggplant parm sandwich was good, so's the beer, and it's close to where i live. i was craving said eggplant parm last weekend so we dropped by. their menu has shrunk down to one page, while the prices have ballooned. it's like just because all these fancy pants places started moving in with the condos, elysian suddenly thinks it's hot shit. well, elysian, you're no gastro pub. $7 for a plate of fries? you've got to be kidding. this is standard pub fare, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. so what happened to the normal menu? we were planning on having dinner there, but had two beers instead and moved on. i'm not paying $14 for some watered down curry at a pub. wake up, elysian. you're no gastro pub.
Posted by dallas on March 9, 2008 at 11:04 PM · Report this

Love the place despite lousy food

I wish they'd revise the menu to offer more classic pub grub instead of so many varied offerings. I have yet to have a truly satisfying meal at The Elysian. Last night I had their split pea soup and it was awful. Their chicken nachos featured congealed cheese on top of a pile of dry chips. It's too bad. I love the space, their service is generally friendly and fast, and the beer is almost always up to par.
Posted by Snarky on February 18, 2008 at 12:26 PM · Report this

Good for Tourists Maybe

Gotta start out with the frites... they're pretty tasty and make you feel all different shades of guilty for eating them. Elysian is always busy for some reason. Every time I go there's been a long wait. The actual entrees are rather bland and I haven't found one that I would call "good". Burger was bland, pulled pork was okay after I took the pork off the sandwich and ate it alone. Recommended for large parties however, as there is ample space if properly reserved, and service is good. Overall very average and unimpressive for a brewpub.
Posted by no on January 29, 2008 at 11:39 AM · Report this

Horribly Inconsistent

I've been to Elysian dozens of times, mainly because the beer is really good, but I've come away disappointed in the food at least 60% of the time. Several times, I've refused to go back for months at a time, and end up deciding to try it again to see if they've improved ... and they haven't. When they're busy, service can be slow, the food can take forever to come out of the kitchen, and what you do get will be almost inedible. They they're slow, service can be slow, the food can take forever to come out of the kitchen, and what you do get will be pretty good. For whatever reason, they tend to be out of a lot of things on the menu, but they won't tell you until you've sat for fifteen minutes reading the menu and the server finally shows up to take your order. I've learned to avoid most of the specials on the menu, as the cooks tend to screw those up most often, and stick with "safe" things like the burgers and fish 'n' chips, but even those come out bad at times; soggy fish, cold chips, and incorrect burger orders. ***** for the Beer ** for the Food
Posted by Jeff on December 29, 2007 at 5:31 PM · Report this

Elysian Rules!

Our favorite is Elysian Fields-EXCELLANT! Aso love the one on the hill. Beer, food and service is great, never had a problem. I guess we're the lucky ones because their beer is the best in town! Oh, we're also regulars maybe that's why we're treated so sweet!
Posted by ipa on December 12, 2007 at 11:35 AM · Report this


So much potential with this place. I still go there once in awhile, but almost every time I'm let down by terrible service and hit or miss food quality. The beer is good, but why is it so expensive when its brewed on site? The food always sounds good, but why is it horrible most of the time? There are waitresses, I see them around, but where do the disappear to when I need to order, or pay the check? It sucks, this could be a great place. For some reason I keep going. Why?
Posted by S Rock on October 24, 2007 at 9:38 AM · Report this

Not THERE again!!!

I agree with the 3 previous reviews. I'm an actor so after EVERY show someone always insists on going to the Elysian. I am a hopeless optimist but JAAAAYSUSS... I just can't keep a candle lit for this place. It seems like somewhere you'd want to go because it seems so popular with THRONGS of people seated... but then I realized there are SO many people there all the time is that their turnover rate is SO friggin' SLOW... too bad.. too sad is right... (sigh)
Posted by Finklestein on August 20, 2007 at 5:44 PM · Report this

After Much Thought

What's Wrong With The Elysian? Bad Service and Bad Food. The service is generally adequate for dinner when you're lounging and not in a rush. However for lunch waiting 20 minutes for food after you've already waited 10 minutes for water and 5 minutes to have your order taken is UNACCEPTABLE. Add that to a few bad apple waitresses and the service is just bad. Bad. BAD. And then we have the food. The main thing to know is that the cooks are perpetually hungover, underpaid and hate their jobs. They are given NO RECIPE in which to follow, just a list of ingredients and a vague idea of what goes where. It's a total, complete and utter crapshoot. How To Fix What's Wrong With The Elysian: Dump the crappy waitresses. Add another server at peak hours. Keep your kitchen staff but give them strict instructions, guidelines and standards. Also give them raises and (more) free beer. BONUS: Get WiFi and have bands play there again. ALSO: Your beer is perfect. Don't fuck with the beer.
Posted by PGC on August 10, 2007 at 4:09 PM · Report this

poor service - every time.

i can't say i've been here for dinner, maybe it's better than lunch? but i can tell you that you will get some of the slowest, most inadequate service during your lunch break. the last time a friend and i went to the elysian, i didn't get my water until my food came. the waitress walked by three times and made eye contact, finally by the third pass by i had to ask for water. i'll give most things a 2nd chance. so i took another friend to eat lunch there today. our food took 1/2 hour to get to us. everyone in the restaurant, (people there before us and after) were eating. same waitress didn't apologize for forgetting to key in our order (obviously), and the food came out luke warm. i will never go back and would not recommend this restaurant to anyone i would wish a pleasurable dinning experience upon.
Posted by a_upstairs on August 10, 2007 at 3:53 PM · Report this

So Sad - This place should be great

But the food is just awful. I've had fish and chips here that were absolutely inedible. And the curry-crap was limp. So sad, since with the beer and the design of the room and the location this place should be great. Instead it's just sad.
Posted by Brecky Brown on August 2, 2007 at 12:05 AM · Report this

How can you NOT like it?

The food is better than described, and a cut above normal pub-grub. Recommended: Steak Tacos, or the Elysian Burger. The tacos are unique, with some spicy-chunky tappenade-ish thing going on...VERY spicy and good. The burger with blue cheese and caramelized onions, washed down with a Prometheus IPA. mmmm mmmm good.
Posted by HockeyBoy29 on July 22, 2007 at 11:50 PM · Report this

thronging in beerland

always hopping. all manner of cute patrons and their friends. great beer on tap. numerous vegan options appetible and diverse. beer flag décor a treat. some waiters better than others—some superb—but never awful.
Posted by josh on July 19, 2007 at 11:17 AM · Report this

it was alright...

The service was slow. The food was bland. But the beer was tasty... can't really screw that up though! The one thing I did enjoy was the atmosphere and the neighborhood where it's located...
Posted by fergie078 on July 17, 2007 at 5:17 PM · Report this

Best beer in town

The beer is terrific, so who gives a good goddamn about the food or atmosphere or service or yadda yadda yadda? I go there to get drunk on great beer made by a great brewer. It works every time. End of story.
Posted by Randy on July 17, 2007 at 3:48 PM · Report this

A stalwart.

This place is consistent, if nothing else. Decent beer (some of the seasonal stuff is actually very good); waitstaff pleasant enough; atmosphere a little like Costco but, hey, there's usually place to sit even when it's busy and there's certainly a lot of people to look at.
Posted by Ryan on July 16, 2007 at 6:46 PM · Report this

Nah, not so great.

Beer = Good. Food = Sketch. The fish and chips, seriously? Good until you're about halfway through, then it just tastes like grease. Someone in the kitchen should be assigned the duty of removing any rotting greens from their salads, too.
Posted by Pizzle on June 26, 2007 at 12:30 PM · Report this

I agree with Chubhead

I agree with Chowderhead, or Chowderbert... no it's CHOWBERT. The Elysian SHOULD be better, because it's a beautiful space, great service, good location, but the food isn't fit for a lizard. The beer? Brew pubs seem to get away with a lot (like the berry flavored beer craze of some years past), like vegetarian restaurants that serve shiite stew with raw chunks of eggplant and you can't send it back because you don't want to hurt any sorry hippy feelings. Sometimes I've had flat, nasty beer at the Elysian and I'm too afraid to go, "Hey lady, this beer tastes like shiite. And just cause I can't wax eloquent about exactly WHY it tastes that way doesn't mean I don't know that maybe it's the backwash from bottom of the barrel and your manager just told you to, "sell it anyway! We're on our last legs here!" then went to the bank to try to get an extension on the loan keeping the place afloat. Because the food is so crappy, The Elysian has an air of desperation.
Posted by Hans Hackenstackerbundt on May 30, 2007 at 6:23 AM · Report this

I actually like the place

For me, the beer and food are great - it's the service that's a bit lacking at the Elysian. The nachos are some of the best i've had in this city, the vegetarian curry dishes are great, eggplant parm is rock-solid. I haven't bothered with the more-traditional pub fare because, well, they have a pretty interesting menu. And, of course, the beer is really good too.
Posted by Kinkos on May 22, 2007 at 5:33 PM · Report this

Bar Food Disguised As Bar Food,

This is where you eat if you work at Chop Suey or Piecora's and you're too lazy to walk down to Ballet. Either that or you know someone who works there (discounts turn a 2 star into a 3 every time). I think they've served me nachos before and I'm pretty sure they sucked. Go with the fish and chips.
Posted by Chambers McSween, Nacho Critic. on May 19, 2007 at 6:06 PM · Report this

Elysian ain't so bad!

Seeing Bloodhag there a few years ago is something I'll never forget. I'm also addicted to their Eggplant Parmesan sandwich. The food can be wildly varying in quality but on the whole, a great place to lunch it up.
Posted by M.F.er Food Eater on May 17, 2007 at 8:11 PM · Report this

good beer. really bad food.

The place should be great: Nice big open space; really good beer; nice location. But the food is horrible. Their chicken whatever sandwich has the smallest piece of chicken I've ever seen. Their weird lamb stew thing is gross. What's the problem?
Posted by Chowbert on May 17, 2007 at 7:28 PM · Report this

Please get better

Ok, waitaminute. "Above average pub fare"? You kiddin' me The Stranger? This place torments me. The beer is wonderful. The fries, also wonderful. But lord, the food can be rotten. Fish n' Chips so rubbery, my teeth could not do their job. And hamburgers filled with sawdust. Why? Why does it gotta be this way? Granted it's been a long time since I've given them a chance- maybe they've improved. But man, it's a game of roulette I am not inspired to play. Does anybody have a different experience?
Posted by Jimmy on May 15, 2007 at 2:51 PM · Report this

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Elysian Brewing Company
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