In a Seattle restaurant scene where seemingly every menu option is artisan, elevated, cultivated and expensive, Planet Java Diner in Pioneer Square is an outlier.
“We serve normal, regular food,” said Patti Blue, who opened the diner in 1993 with her husband Curtis.
They pride themselves in offering good food, at a fair price, to a large clientele - including a long list of first-name-basis regulars. Their daughter Ashley waits tables, making this a real family affair, carrying plates loaded with bountiful breakfasts and diner classics like chicken-fried steak, meaty burgers, hefty sandwiches, piles of fries to eager, smiling, hungry customers.
“From the homeless to millionaires, we serve the masses - not the few,” said Curtis through the kitchen window.
He’s the cook and moves quickly, ladling out pancakes, flipping burgers, cracking eggs and dressing salads to keep up with the steady flow of meal seekers coming in the door. And no wonder Planet Java is busy, a sit-down breakfast starts at about $8, including a cup of their namesake java.
“For breakfast, our biggest sellers [is the] California Omelet - bacon, tomatoes, green onions, cheddar cheese, avocado," said Patti.
Regulars we spoke with praised the Blue family and their diner, but Pioneer Square is changing. Planet Java has to change with it. Patti said the old building currently housing their restaurant is due for renovation, set to take place within a year.
“That means this building needs to be completely gutted,” she said. “We are actively looking for a new space, we’re hoping that we find something.”
In the meantime Planet Java diner is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekend. Stop in for a good meal, and check out their menu online.