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Nate Watters

Quinn’s Pub

Written by
Nate Watters

We all knew this guy in high school. He was the valedictorian, the class president, the mathlete, played the bassoon and the lead in “My Fair Lady,” ran varsity track, volunteered at animal shelters, and had good teeth. He was the best at literally everything. Sounds like the kind of person you would hate the living sh*t out of and fantasize about shoving headfirst into a locker, but he was so popular that everyone had no choice but to worship the hallways he walked on.

Quinn’s is that extremely well-rounded guy from your graduating class, reincarnated into a pub.

Quinn’s knows how to please everybody. We cannot think of a situation where it would be inappropriate, except for maybe “dinner that ends in disaster and sadness,” or “date night with python.” You’ll find every scenario from couples having their first awkward encounter at the bar, to Mom and Dad judging their kid’s new girlfriend over some apps on the second floor balcony, to tables stacked together in the main dining room for a large crowd’s birthday cocktails before a debaucherous Cap Hill night out. Quinn’s is really like the silly putty of restaurants: it’ll mold to your own situation, and is equally as fun by yourself with a newspaper (by which we mean your phone) as it is with a group.

The menu is a solid directory of basic bar food with classy upgrades, without any weird chemistry experiments involving things like garlic foam or chicken pearls. Think french fries but with fontina and veal, and a sloppy joe made with wild boar and topped with crispy sage and a duck egg. Everything has frills where we want them and none where we don’t, and good quality pub snacks that you want to eat with your beer or old fashioned or glass of wine (or three).

Plan to make a reservation -- the website claims that they don’t take them, but if you just call, chances are they’ll put something on the books for you. Not unlike that overachiever you knew in high school, Quinn’s is never too overwhelmed. At least on the outside.

Food Rundown


The kind of disco fries you always want on your table. Fontina sauce and chives on top, crispy frites in the middle, and a veal sauce on the bottom. For four people or more, the group needs at least two orders to kick things off.

The Pretzel

For five bucks, this pretzel is mandatory - either cut in pieces for your crew, or to hog all to yourself. It’s got a nice shell on the outside and fluffiness on the inside, and comes with a welsh rarebit for dipping, which is basically gold in liquid cheese form.

Salted Cod Fritters

A pretty straightforward half-dozen little fried balls of cod and potato, with a lemony sauce for dunking. A great salty bite with a cocktail or glass of wine, but beware: these things are dense if you have more food on the way.

Scotch Egg

Again with the pub classics: this is homemade sausage wrapped around a soft-boiled egg, breaded and fried, served with sauteed brussels sprouts and mustard cream.

Tart Salad

A low point on Quinn’s menu. It’s just a bitter pile of frisee, radicchio, fennel, and endive, no detectable dressing, and a couple of blood orange pieces. Also, it’s stupidly expensive.

Fish & Chips

These might be the best fish and chips in Seattle. That’s all you need to know.

The Burger

Some would say that a pub is only as good as its burger, and this one is f*cking delicious. Bacon, white cheddar, and horseradish mayo on a brioche bun. It’s not intimidatingly large, and it has a fantastic char on it. Approved.

Wild Boar Sloppy Joe

This is the fanciest Sloppy Joe you will ever taste, and it’s what you’re ordering for your main dish. Ground boar in a spicy tomato sauce, served open-faced on a bun with fried onion and sage. It comes with an entire grilled fresno pepper, if you weren’t already physically uncomfortable enough. Also, the fact that the addition of a duck egg is optional is absurd. It should not be optional.

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