Christine’s Seattle Food Tour!

Xian street foods, Ethiopian cafe’s, Indian Pizza parlors… Seattle’s got it all and these are my favorites!

Pictured: Xian Noodles, Paseo Sandwiches, Seattle, Bizzarro Italian, Altura

FYI: These foods could be VERY adventurous depending on what you’re used to. Be ready to get out of your comfort zone and be surprised! These are loosely ordered in how frequently I visit, and I will continue to add and edit to this list! The COVID-19 pandemic may impact some of the info here.

  • ⭐ = A special Seattle gem that I would bring a visiting friend to
  1. Xian noodles “Shee-on” (Seattle) ⭐🌶
Their spicy biang biang hand-cut noodles with your choice of meat are my favorite.
  • The BEST Chinese hand-cut noodle place in Seattle. I first went there with my coworker from Xian who insisted that I go with her because it was just like the food she had in her hometown. Can confirm — super good.

2. Cafe Selam (Seattle) ⭐🌶️ 🥬

Veggie combo. Meat combo has stewed meat instead of veggies — yum.
  • My absolute FAVORITE place for Ethiopian food

3. Sandwich House Tres (Bellevue) ⭐ 🥬

They have savory and sweet sandwiches to-go, so good! (Photo credit: Choosy Traveler)
  • BEST Japanese sandwiches to-go, great for lunch take-out, to take on your weekend hike/picnic etc.

4. Yang’s Kitchen (Bellevue) 🌶️

Center: Sliced Fish in Hot & Spicy Gravy, lower right: Szechuan crispy chicken — yum!
  • Sichuan Chinese food — SPICY. Good for take-out: you can cook your own rice to save money (they charge $2 for rice I think)

5. So Tasty (Bellevue)

https://sotastyusa.com/

They have several combo plates that have a great balance of meat and veggies! Love these bento-style plates!
Their signature fried chicken is what I crave on weekends! So crispy, hot and juicy! Get them spicy if you can!
  • This new place opened during the pandemic and has been my new go-to lunch place! My personal favorites are their spicy fried chicken, combo meat/rice plates, and roasted milk tea + pudding!

6. Menya Musashi Tsukemen & Ramen 🌶️

Their miso, red, and red & black ramen are pretty good! Add pork katsu if you want to indulge!
  • My favorite ramen place of late. The pork slices in their ramen is so tender and flavorful! I usually get miso ramen (has pork in it) and then I add pork katsu if I feel like it! Adding pork katsu to dip in the ramen is my personal favorite.

7. Kanishka (Redmond)

https://www.kanishkaredmond.com/

Can I wear naan as a mask? Because their fluffy garlic naan smells and tastes like heaven!
  • This place has the BEST garlic naan. And muttar paneer. And curries in general. Yum! Orders over $50 come with free delivery (in a certain radius) and I’m so down because I can eat their food for days.

8. Paseo (SoDo Seattle)

  • Caribbean sandwiches. Their grilled onions are so juicy. I don’t remember what I usually get here but their sandwiches are truly tasty. Slightly messy, be ready to wash your hands afterward!

9. Pho Bac (Seattle) ⭐ *There is another Pho Bac in Rainier/South Seattle that is supposed to be more authentic*

Pho Bac: my go-to pho place! (Photo credits: Seattle Met)
  • The only place I know where you can get pho with Chinese donut for dipping (Hanoi-style!)

10. Taj Palace (Bellevue) 🌶️ 🥬

  • Best Indian food lunch buffet that I know of. Their fresh garlic naan is the best (free with lunch buffet). Be sure to ask for some! And dip in sweet tamarind (red) sauce and mint (green) sauce.

11. Cedars (U-district Seattle) 🌶️ 🥬

  • Great Indian food in Seattle. Saag/Palak (spinach) paneer is my favorite, coupled with garlic naan: yum. Same as above for recommended dishes.

12. Chaat House, Dosa House — 100% Vegetarian (Bellevue) 🌶️ 🥬

Dosa House and Chaat House both feature 100% vegetarian menus! (Photo credits: Dosa House Bellevue)
  • These are really similar: both vegetarian, with Indian snack foods.

13. Huong Binh “hung bing” (International District Seattle)

#11 Banh hoi thap cam! Sorry vegetarians. I think they do have vegetarian stuff though!
  • The best non-Pho Vietnamese food place I know of. Get the combo with everything (#11 Banh hoi thap cam). It’s a whole bunch of fragrant grilled meat with fresh herbs that you wrap with circular rice paper dipped in hot water

14. Tamarind Tree (International District Seattle) 🥬

  • More Vietnamese food. Their Banh-Xeo “Bon-Say-Oh” appetizer, savory pancake) is pretty good. Grilled pork with lemon grass platter is pretty good, if you have a Vietnamese friend, they might have a better idea of what to order here.

15. Looking for Chai (Seattle, Bellevue locations)

Chinese meatballs (center) is classic and fried oyster mushrooms with salted egg is more modern (upper right) — all delicious! (Photo Credits: Uber Eats)
  • Authentic Taiwanese food: again, cook your own rice to save money. Chinese/Taiwanese dishes traditionally go with a bowl of white rice, unless it already has rice or noodles in it.

16. Boiling Point (Seattle, Bellevue locations) 🌶️

  • Taiwanese personal hotpot — caution, not very kid-friendly in my opinion, very hot soup is present. Each person orders one hotpot

17. Southgate Garden (Bellevue) 🌶️

  • General Korean food restaurant with KBBQ option

18. Top Gun Seafood Restaurant (Bellevue)

Upper left: a sweet sesame ball — classic. Lower left: siu-mai, steamed tofu rolls. Lower right: savory chicken and sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, fluffy cha-siu bun — also classics. (Photo credits: Dealmoon.com)
  • Weekend only: Best cart-style dimsum on the East side. Servers push carts around, you ask them to give you desired dishes. Traditionally a brunch meal with family, always eaten with Jasmine tea. I come here a lot!

19. Jade Garden (International district, Seattle)

  • Same as above for recommendations. They also have late-night food (different menu). Get dim sum to-go, and eat at the little gazebo or tables at the park nearby during the COVID-19 pandemic.

20. Kau Kau “cow cow”

Their barbecue pork — a classic cantonese favorite. (Photo Credits: Kaukaubbq.com)
  • Best Hong Kong-style BBQ: take-out usually. Usually comes with rice — that’s how you normally eat it. Cook your own veggies to make it a healthier meal! I usually get the classic barbecued pork, roasted duck,

21. So Moon Nan Jib (Federal Way) 🌶️

  • farther south but I make the trip at least twice a year because wow their bbq is good

22. Loxicha Authentic Oaxacan food (Seattle)

  • the BEST tacos, taco stand only, no dine-in

23. Carmello’s tacos (Seattle)

  • pretty solid tacos: al Pastor especially

24. Din Tai Fung (Seattle, Bellevue)

Din Tai Fung’s XiaoLongBao (“sheeow-long-bao”) are world famous! (Photo Credits: cnn.com)
  • World famous buns/Taiwanese food. Google their history!

25. Dough Zone (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond)

  • Most of the same foods as Din Tai Fung, about 70% of the cost

26. Little Sheep Hotpot 🌶️ 🥬

  • Probably best on a cold winter day: Classic Chinese/Mongolian hotpot, one pot is shared between 2 or more people. You order raw ingredients to cook (by yourself) in fragrant broth of your choosing. I always get the split pot (spicy and non-spicy sides) and get beef, pork belly, lamb, fried tofu, king oyster mushroom, napa cabbage, spinach, and quail eggs to cook in it.

27. Taqueria La Estacion (Burien)

  • I’m still looking for a go-to Mexican restaurant. I realized there are many many places in Burien and I recently tried this one which was pretty good.

28. Can Am Pizza (Redmond) ⭐ 🥬

  • Indian pizza! Fusion of cuisines at its best. So good. I don’t remember what I got here in the past, but I remember a chicken one being super good. This is special place! They have non-Indian toppings too!

29. Bizzarro (Seattle) ⭐ 🥬

The best Italian food in Seattle that I know of! (Photo credits: Bizzarro Italian Cafe)
  • Amazing pastas, “Forest floor” (the mushroom one) is amazing, also their Bolognese and caesar salad are great! And their bread. My Italian friend told me to go here. Great ambiance, special decor.

30. Santouka Ramen (Bellevue) 🌶️

  • Also a great ramen place. I get their kara miso ramen with gyoza combo and salad (for health). I get takoyaki (fried octopus) or karaage (fried chicken) for appetizers. Often busy, be ready to wait.

31. 8oz. Burger & Co (Seattle)

  • Probably the best burgers in Seattle. Great milk shakes too. A little pricy, not terrible for Seattle though. Garlic fries are great.

32. Thanh Vy 🌶️

  • My favorite place for Vietnamese sandwiches! I always get grilled prok sandwich with egg.

33. Bai Tong (Seattle, Redmond) 🌶️

  • I am still looking for a go-to Thai restaurant. This one is the best I’ve found so far! Please help me find more Thai places!

34. Salumi (Seattle)

  • Lunch sandwiches are great, salads too. Recommend the salami sandwiches or the lamb sandwich!

35. Annapurna Cafe (Seattle)

Their naan is also one of the better ones! (Photo Credits: Chef Seattle)
  • Per Google: “The traditional dishes of India, Nepal & Tibet are served in a colorful underground room with a bar.” The curry portions are a little on the small side in my opinion but quite flavorful and distinct. Each curry is a little different and not too heavy. A beloved place well-known in Capitol Hill, often has a short wait.

36. Dingfelder’s Delicatessen (Seattle)

Kosher foods! YAY!
  • Their pastrami is so good. Also matzo balls. Also latkes. Disclaimer: I’m not that familiar with this type of cuisine, partly because there’s almost none in Seattle! A little more expensive than I expected, but in my opinion well worth it. Quality food.

DESSERT & DRINKS

I would really like to expand this part of my list…this is what I have so far! Hoping to discover beer, wine, cocktails eventually.

  1. Molly Moon Ice cream (Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle)
  • The best ice cream. Better than Salt and Straw in my opinion (too sweet).

2. Happy Lemon Tea

  • Best modern Chinese-style teas

3. Meet Fresh (Seattle, Bellevue locations) ⭐️

  • Taiwanese desserts. Pretty authentic: you can get purple taro balls, golden yam balls, grass jelly, red bean soup…hot, cold, in all sorts of combinations!! Classically, in the summer you get the cold version, hot version in the winter.

4. Black Ball (Seattle)

  • Slightly cheaper, solid alternative to Meet Fresh. Same foods and recommendations!

5. Ellenos Yogurt (Pike Place Market Seattle)

Nibble on some fresh yogurt at Pike Place, or bring a larger container home! (Photo credits: the Shelby Report)
  • Their marionberry pie flavor: so good. Get fresh yogurt while walking around Pike Place Market!

6. Nana’s Green Tea (Seattle)

Their matcha parfaits are $9 each but SO GOOD — share it…or treat yourself! (Photo credits: Eating with Kirby)
  • Get the matcha (green tea) or hojicha (roasted green tea) ice cream and mochi (chewy rice balls) parfait. It’s about $10 so don’t let that catch you by surprise. Worth it all the way. Comes in a nice tall glass. They have a variety of other green tea goods but I always get the parfait! Much higher quality than less expensive counterpart Mako Green Tea in Westlake in my opinion!

7. Hood Famous Bakery (Seattle)

  • Amazing cheesecakes with traditional Asian flavors: matcha (green tea) is my favorite

8. Dochi (Tukwila)

These light, airy mochi donuts are easily breakable into 8 fluffy bites! (Photo credits: Seattle.eater.com)

Beautifully packaged tasty donuts, a bit pricy but great for special occasions! Airy and slightly chewy at the same time, these mochi donuts are pretty special! Great for sharing too — each donut can be easily broken into 8 bite-sized puffs. Yum!

9. Timeless Tea (Seattle, U district)

http://www.timelessteaseattle.com/

Whoa what is going on here? I’ve only tried one drink and I love it. I haven’t even tried the fancy looking stuff!
  • Yellow milk tea: Questionable name, DELICIOUS drink. It has a roasted flavor which goes so well with pudding as a topping! Use reusable straws please :) Still haven’t even tried any other drinks yet! But if I can try one random drink and it’s amazing, it makes me super excited to try their other stuff!

Late night food

Not many options in Seattle, here are the ones I go to!

  1. Hong Kong Bistro (International District)
  • Cantonese/Hong Kong-style food: My favorites: beef chow-fun, house special chow-mein, spicy pork lo-mein, garlic honey spare-ribs, cheese-rice, cheese/spaghetti.

2. Tapioca Express (Bellevue)

  • Chicken katsu curry is good (fried chicken with curry and rice). Has lots of Taiwanese snack foods: boba milk tea, fried popcorn chicken etc.

3. Jade Garden (International District)

  • Hong-kong style late night food: chow mein, pork lo-mein, similar to Hong Kong Bistro.

$$$$ Fancy fancy special date night food

  1. Canlis
Canlis — where there’s a view to match the food. (Photo credits: Virtual Restaurant Concierge)
  • Probably the most famous and well-known fancy restaurant in Seattle. The only one with a view to match the food. See if you can request a table by the windows. This is the ultimate fancy Seattle restaurant experience.

2. Altura

  • Been here once, great tasting menu. Fancy and tasty.

3. Adana

  • Great tasting menu — Japanese-themed. The owner is Japanese American and I think he does a great job of capturing Japanese flavors in modern and classic forms. The dishes tasted very homey for me (grew up with a good amount of Japanese food).

4. Sushi Kashiba

  • I’ve never actually been, but Chef Shiro was trained by legendary sushi chef Jiro, and my close friends and family swear it’s the absolute best authentic Japanese sushi experience. You may want to look up Omakase: the traditional sushi experience may be completely different from what you’re used to at your typical basic sushi place. In short: traditional sushi is lots of raw fish, and you’re not supposed to have any sauce with it because the chef already flavored it for you.

5. Space Needle Restaurant (Seattle)

  • A special revolving restaurant experience. The food is okay, it’s all about the view. Try and time it so that you can see Seattle light-dark (sunset-past twilight, probably not summer because it gets fully dark at as late as 11pm).

Thanks for reading and please share food recommendations! Let’s keep our beloved restaurants open!

*Photos are from Google and Yelp

Badminton player, artist, traveler, foodie, bird watcher, cat lady, medical student.

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