One of Seattle’s most famous — and most unique — diners has reopened, and now fans of Ludi’s famous Filipino breakfasts will no longer have to subsist on their memories alone.
As of June 17, Ludi’s Restaurant has reopened at Second Avenue and Stewart, two blocks away from its former Pike Place–adjacent digs. This marks a happy ending to a restaurant saga involving the American dream, one of the roughest bars in Seattle, landlord disputes, and longanisa.
The owner of Ludi’s is “Tito” Greg Rosas, who came to the U.S. as an undocumented worker, according to an old King 5 segment, and got a job as a dishwasher at an infamous dive bar called Turf Restaurant and Lounge. He got a green card, became part-owner in the ‘80s, then took over full ownership in 2012, according to The Stranger. At that point he revamped the place into a Filipino restaurant named after his foster mom. Ludi’s became a neighborhood fixture and Rosas a beloved pillar in the community — he once spent $10,000 of his own money connecting a Filipino orphan with his biological father in the United States. And those bright purple ube pancakes became Instagram stars.
But none of that helped when the landlord declined to renew the lease in 2019. That same year, a kitchen fire hastened the end of Ludi’s. Though Rosas said he was looking for a new space downtown, none materialized. The team operated an on-and-off pop-up called HYUP for the next few years, but didn’t have a permanent home.
The comeback isn’t without its hiccups. Right now the hours run only from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the website isn’t overly functional. But Ludi’s is back, the classic blue-and-yellow sign is back, and Filipino comfort food is back in a big way.