The Virginia Inn

Editor’s Pick

$$ French

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Up there with Seattle’s timeless treasures—the University of Washington, Mount Rainier on a clear day, Sylvester the Mummy at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop—stands the inimitable Virginia Inn, which for over a century has held down the corner of First and Virginia on the sheer, soul-satisfying strength of arty atmo, terrific beer, and a legendarily populist heart. (When owners revamped the seedy joint three decades ago they froze prices for all the fixed-income old-timers who depended on it.) Now there’s even more to love, as the pair expanded the bar into the neighboring space, upgrading from a galley to a full kitchen and extending the classy brick-walled, wood-boothed, lavishly windowed space into an area twice its original size, but no less intimate. And now that kitchen is turning out food worth eating: flawlessly moist chicken wrapped in prosciutto, moules-frites, a terrific bouillabaise, and other Frenchified items. Still, we love the Painted Hills beef burger with fries best. (No, we love Dennis Hopper’s autograph on a movie poster in the men’s room best.)

Last updated: 06/13/2012