Lakedale’s Favorite Friday Harbor Restaurants

by | May 31, 2017 | Explore San Juan Island

Who loves to eat? Us! We are complete foodies and over the years have scoped out all the best eats on the island, and we’d love to share our insider island eating tips with you! From the moment you step off the ferry, you’ll have great choices all day long, so let’s get an early start.

Breakfast Spots in Friday Harbor

Salty Fox CoffeeIf you need a fast jolt of java after that exhausting ferry ride, Salty Fox Coffee is the place. Located immediately in front of you (as you drive or walk off the ferry) in a quaint white Victorian house with a great deck out front, their coffee offerings are equal to Seattle’s best. They also serve home-baked pastries and quick breakfast goodies from bagels to burritos, AND they have online ordering! Open daily from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm.

After some Friday Harbor shopping, you might need a mid-morning pick-me-up with baked goods (and more coffee) at Café Demeter Bakery on Nichols Street. Known for Pam’s amazing pastries (personal favorites are the sinful cinnamon buns, bird seed muffins, cream cheese Danishes and ginger scones), Café Demeter will also tempt you with breakfast pizza, freshly baked bread, and quiche. Plan on stocking up Tuesday-Saturday, as they are closed Sunday and Monday. Plan on stocking up Tuesday-Saturday, as they are closed Sunday and Monday. Phone: 360.370.5443

Rocky Bay Café is located on Spring Street (Friday Harbor’s main street) directly across from the drug store and is usually distinguished by the line out the door, especially in the summertime. This is where we go when we need a hearty bacon and eggs kind of breakfast, and in addition to the staples (hashbrowns are wicked good), try the Eggs Benedict, biscuits & gravy and Joe’s Scramble. Kids love the pancakes and while you wait, you can get a donut from the counter inside. Open every day from 6:30 am – 2:00 pm, as they also serve lunch. Phone: 360.378.5051

Lunch In Friday Harbor

Food in a deli glass caseOpen from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, the iconic Market Chef, just 2 blocks from the ferry, is an island institution, serving incredibly creative foods with global influences. No picnic would be complete without their curried turkey pasta salad, roast beef and arugula sandwich, and iced shortbread cookies. Plus, their key lime pie is the best we’ve ever had…anywhere. Besides the ever-changing deli counter, Market Chef serves lunch and has a wonderful garden out back in the sunny season. Open daily from Monday-Friday. Phone: 360.378.4546

Downrigger’s Restaurant is located just to the north of the ferry landing. The original restaurant was destroyed by fire a few years ago but has recently reopened in a new, contemporary and airy building with extensive outdoor eating areas…perfect for watching all the action in the Friday Harbor Marina. True to Northwest form, the menu is heavy on fresh seafood, but there are lots of items for meat lovers as well. Try the seafood Cobb salad, crab and artichoke dip, or spicy prawn mac and cheese! Can be a little pricey, but worth it. Open daily for lunch, dinner, and drinks from 11 a.m. to close. Phone: 360.378. 2700

Right across the street from Downrigger’s is the Cask and Schooner Public House and Restaurant, also open for lunch and dinner, but with a more nautical flair. They highlight local, sustainable and delicious food, and have a fun bar with some great beers on tap and craft cocktails. You can’t beat their Razor Clam Chowder, Smoked Chicken Salad, Poutine, Fish and Chips or Lamb Burger made with local lamb. Open daily from noon – 9 p.m., and at 11 a.m. on the weekends. Phone: 360.378.2922

A relatively new addition to the island is San Juan Island Cheese on Nichols Street, the perfect place for a light lunch or some picnic supplies. With a cut-to-order cheese counter with amazing cheeses from around the globe, delicious salads and cheese boards, and a charming outdoor patio, you’ll feel like you are in Paris without the jet lag. (And did I mention craft beers, a nice wine selection and homemade cheesecakes for dessert?) Open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Phone: 360.370.5115Friday Harbor Crabhouse

Friday’s Crabhouse, located in front of the ferry landing and adjacent to Salty Fox Coffee, is three levels of seafood lover’s fun. Think fresh cracked Dungeness crab, grilled oysters, salmon, and steamers all devoured in open air pavilions that overlook the harbor. Grab a cold beer (or something from the full bar) and watch the world go by! Leashed dogs are welcome too. Phone: 360.378.8801

White multi-story buildingFive miles north of Lakedale (and 9.5 miles north of Friday Harbor) is the celebrated marina at Roche Harbor, which is a wonderful place to while away an afternoon, walk the docks and check out the historic lime kilns. Food options are great as well…the Lime Kiln Café has a casual breakfast and lunch menu and is famous for their donuts (available until they are gone) and, as a chowder lover, their clam chowder ties with Cask and Schooner’s for best on the island! For more upscale food, try the deck at Madrona, overlooking the marina. Best to get your name in first and wander until your table is ready. Start off with a couple of Crab Quesadillas for the table (and maybe a Fluffy Duck cocktail or Fireworks Bloody Mary with Shrimp), and then some Lopez Island Clams, a Chop Chop Noodle Salad with crab and shrimp, or some Korean Short Ribs. And if you’re still at Roche for dinner, upstairs from Madrona is McMillin’s Dining Room, with a more traditional white-table cloth vibe and great food. Numerous seafood options as well as 40-day aged Prime Rib which is served on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Time your meal to watch the Colors Ceremony, held every night at 20 minutes before sunset! Phone: 360.378.2155

Friday Harbor Top Dinner Picks

Vinny's Ristorante in Friday HarborVinny’s Ristorante, the only true Italian restaurant on the island and the one we return to again and again for “Modern Comfort Italian” fare. The food is consistently good and features wonderful cocktails, local seafood, fresh salads, a great riff on calamari, and my personal favorite, the Chicken Piccata. Ask for a “Mini-Jack” for dessert and they’ll think you’re a local! Always good to have a reservation here. Vinny’s is open 5 days a week from Tuesday through Saturday, from 4 p.m. until closing. Phone: 360.378.1934

A little hard to find (there are good directions on their website) The Backdoor Kitchen is well worth the search! The restaurant is small, but in the summertime, it makes use of a garden that used to house a nursery for outdoor seating. Start off with a craft cocktail like the “No.11” – Hendrick’s Gin muddled with fresh Thai basil and lime, paired with a Corn Masa Cake. The “multi-ethnic” menu includes unbelievable Pan-seared Scallops with sesame scallion rice cakes and marinated Lamp Chops you will later dream about! Make sure you make a reservation here as seating is limited. Open Thursday through Sunday only and on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. for “Noodle Bowl Mondays”.  Phone: 360.378.9540

Coho RestaurantCoho Restaurant on Nichols Street next to Café Demeter, serves “Island grown Pacific cuisine with a Mediterranean flair” in a quaint Craftsman house, with white tablecloths (something we’re a big fan of!)  Their wine cellar is extensive and reasonably priced, and besides the always delicious menu (look for the Arctic Char and grilled octopus), Coho also sponsors special dinners throughout the year. Open from 5-9 p.m., but check seasonally for days of operation. Phone: 360.378.6330

Perched on a bluff overlooking Friday Harbor sits The Restaurant at Friday Harbor House, open for brunch through dinner. Sip a craft margarita on the patio overlooking the San Juan Channel and then tuck into some Crispy Brussels with bacon jam or luscious Duck Fat Fries. Chef Jason Aldous’ creative cuisine includes Pork Belly Congee, PNW Carnitas with pork cheek and fiddlehead ferns, or my personal favorite, fork-tender Duck Breast with coconut cream. If only there were more meals in a day! Open every day but Tuesday and Wednesday. Phone: 866.722.7356

Last, but certainly not least, is the renowned Duck Soup Inn, conveniently located about ¼ mile north of Lakedale’s entrance. With a charming pond out front, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to eat at your Grandma’s cozy cabin in the woods…only this is not your Grandma’s food. Duck Soup recently changed hands and has done a contemporary update to the interiors, making them wheelchair accessible. The new menu, from Chef “Dutch” Bouwman, will feature produce, seafood and meats from local farms. Opens in early June and reservations are a good idea. Phone: 360.378.4878

Give us a call before your stay and our front desk will be thrilled to help with your Friday Harbor restaurant reservations (and share their love of island eating!)


Call now: 800-617-2267
4313 Roche Harbor Rd,
Friday Harbor, WA