1211 N State St
Bellingham , WA 98225
(360) 715-8324


Every day 11:00 AM - 2:30 AM


The Pel’ Meni restaurant offers basically three things: Pel’ meni, quick simple service, and an exceptionally late closing hour. Pel’ meni, the origin of the restaurant’s name, are small tasty filled dumplings, a simple comfort food that originated in the peasant heartland of old Russia. Often compared to the more familiar Italian tortellini or Polish perogi they deserve to stand on their own merits.

Entering the restaurant’s small storefront among the eclectic and historic facades of State Street in Bellingham begins your dining experience. Past a scattering of tables an open kitchen and serving counter dominates the center of the long narrow somewhat dimly lit room. Walk up and place your order. No need for menus, your choice of filling is simple, meat or potato. If you’d like a beverage with your order, select it yourself from the cooler. In a few minutes, your piping hot bowl of pel’ meni will be ready.

Every order is served the same way. Packed inside a recyclable container you’ll find your pel’ meni tossed with a spicy sauce and topped with freshly chopped cilantro. Though the sauce’s recipe may be a carefully guarded secret you’ll notice a distinct and pleasant note of curry. Additionally a small container of sour cream, a slice of rye bread and even a plastic spoon are provided. Dine in, take home, visit a sick friend, or find a pleasant outdoor setting, what could be simpler.

Dining in will give you the chance to enjoy your dish at its freshest and hottest. On a nice day, at the staff’s discretion, there’s often a table set up outside by the entrance. A good place if your companion is a well behaved pooch. Inside, the sparse decorations feature large interesting paintings hung along the long walls. Every painting that you see was created by the owner’s sister during a single 36 hour period. In the daytime, a couple of skylights set in the top of the two story room brighten things up a bit. Playing unobtrusively in the background you’ll hear selections from the extensive vinyl disc collection (they were called records). The selection changes every day and features performances that were popular during the pre-digital age.

Not to complicate things, but if you’re only placing one order for yourself and you can’t decide which filling to order, you may be able to get a combination serving with some of each type, but don’t count on this extra service if things are busy.

A local favorite for quick downtown lunches the clientele can become more interesting as the night wears on so take that into account as you decide when you want to visit. So if you’re tired of reading menus that seem longer than a novel, or maybe you’ve finished a marathon of late night celebration, or even running the Pel’ Meni restaurant may be the perfect stop. Glowing in the late night darkness (or equally dark early morning) the little entrance may seem like a welcoming oasis in an otherwise inhospitable world.
Written By: Bud Hardwick
On: 6/30/2009


From I-5 take the Lakeway exit (No. 253) downhill and continue as it becomes Holly Street. About five blocks down Holly turn left at State Street (one-way). In less than a block look for the restaurant on the right; street-side and metered parking are available.


Dinner | Kid Friendly | Lunch | Take-Out


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