Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


5517 Seaview Ave. NW (NW Market St.) Send to Phone

Lunch Tues.-Sun., Dinner Wed.-Sat.

* Click here for rating key

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Baithouse Cafe Restaurant Review

: The first time someone asked us if we had eaten here, our response was, Heavens, no! Conjuring with images of small, smelly fish and big, smelly fisherman, eating at a bait house didn’t sound very appealing. Then an invitation to lunch came and we accepted. Parking over retired railroad tracks, we walked across a dusty parking lot and followed the signs down a steep, outdoor flight of stairs to a patio perched above the Ballard Locks. There we found a secret hideaway that only a handful of locals and a few adventurous suits seemed to be aware of. We got in line to review the reader-board menu and couldn’t resist the decadent open face crab sandwich, a mountain of Dungeness crab meat on a piece of toasted bread and topped with bubbling cheese with a small salad on the side. Other favorites include the classic French dip and the Caesar salad. Wine and beer accompany the limited but perfectly tuned menu. In the evenings, spectacular sunsets and live jazz add a little something extra to the ambience. In an increasingly corporate world, the family operated Baithouse remains sui generis, and endearing for it.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.