Where to Eat in Seattle Right Now
The triumphant return of a Top Chef and a taco favorite.
Spring is the season of renewal, and in the Seattle food scene things are coming back with a quickness. Whether it stems from the vaccines, the governmental trickery that let King County restaurants avoid going back to phase 2 capacities, or simply everyone being stoked on sunshine, great food is popping back up everywhere in the city. A favorite mini-mart taco counter reopened in its own full location, a Top Chef contestant reformatted his restaurant that opened only briefly pre-pandemic, and a bakery resurrected an old shipyard space and reunited a team from another local favorite. This spring, great food is bouncing back in Seattle, in the form of new restaurants and old favorites, and they all need your support.
The gist: A sweet Lebanese restaurant that embodies the charm of a neighborhood restaurant while serving some of the city's best Middle Eastern food and keeping a killer whiskey list.
The food: Seasonal mezzes incorporate local ingredients like kale, pears, and yogurt into traditional Lebanese dishes, while stars like the lamb-topped hummus and chicken skewers stick around all year.
The cost: Mezzes run $7 - $9, mains around $18
How to order: Call 206-472-4150 for pick up, check recent Instagram posts for a menu.
The gist: The only poke place among the city's many that will rival those in the dish's Hawaiian homeland.
The food: Fresh ahi flown in from Hawaii, Pacific Northwest salmon, and Japanese hamachi let them keep the focus squarely where it belongs—on the raw fish salads.
The cost: Poke bowls start at $11.50, with rice or salad, and a side.
How to order: Call 425-361-7064 for pick up, check recent Facebook posts for a menu.
The gist: When Renee Erickson added this lakeside gem to her Sea Creatures restaurant group, she got rid of the Wes Anderson-esque boat behind the bar but kept the Mediterannean and seafood theme on the menu and the waterfront fire pits surrounded by Adirondack chairs.
The food: Go big with a seafood tower featuring pristine shellfish and a flight of house-made hot sauces or stick to simple snacks like the spicy clam dip and marinated mussels. Mains include crispy duck leg with aioli, chickpea fritters, and saffron clams.
The cost: Small plates are about $15, entrees range from $20 - $38, and seafood towers are $80 or $150.
How to order: Order on Toast for pick up, or dine at their extensive outdoor setting.
The gist: Congee, or rice porridge, goes from basic breakfast to canvas for creative cooking at this tiny takeout window. Using dishes from around Southeast Asia as inspiration, the congee bowls come packed with flavor and toppings.
The food: Don't stick to the basics here—grab the Thai-inspired tom yum shrimp for spicy seafood or the barramundi and chinese herbs for a curative concoction.
The cost: Congee bowls start at $10.
How to order: Order on their website for pick-up or delivery.
The gist: This beloved taco shop earned its reputation operating from a counter inside a mini-mart. Now, they moved across the neighborhood into their own shiny new digs but serve the same housemade tortillas and tender al pastor that kept the line out the door.
The food: Grab the campechana tacos for a taste of the fresh corn tortillas and al pastor with a little extra heat from the chorizo.
The cost: Tacos go for $2.90 a piece
How to order: Hop in line!
The gist: London Plane co-owner Yasuako Saiton brought a few of his former employees back into the fold with this gorgeous new spot on Portage Bay. The eclectic mix of breakfast and lunch foods mixes Japanese sandwiches, German meats, and Scandanavian sweets.
The food: The breakfast sandwich on melonpan shows off how simplicity makes for the best food, but the lunch sandwiches offer more variety, along with pastries and salads.
The cost: Pastries run $3 - $6, the breakfast sandwich with cheese is $8, and the menu tops out at $11.
How to order: Currently counter ordering only, with outdoor patio seating.
The gist: Shota Nakajima's kushikatsu restaurant barely opened its doors before the pandemic closed them. Since then, Nakajima's closed his fine-dining restaurant, Adana, and competed on Top Chef. Now he has reopened Taku as a simplified concept featuring karaage—Japanese fried chicken.
The food: The marinated, twice-fried Japanese-style chicken comes in a variety of sizes, wet or dry, in various flavor options, with curry, or on rice, but it's pretty much all they serve here—plus a few sides.
The cost: Chicken ranges from a "lil snack" for $3.75 to a "F*ck it Bucket" for $30.
How to order: Get in the (likely long) line for pick-up.
The gist: A food court featuring a rotating group of immigrant entrepreneurs from the non-profit Food Innovation Network brings a global feast to diners while helping launch new small culinary businesses.
The food: Cambodian stuffed chicken wings, Argentine cookies, Congolese grilled mackerel, and so much more.
The cost: Prices vary, but even large entrees stay under $15
How to order: Varies by stall, see the FIN website for schedules and individual info
The gist: Long-time local caterer Kristi Brown's (That Brown Girl Cooks) edible ode to the Black community that built the neighborhood, a showcase of her personal cooking achievements, and a rebuttal to the area's ongoing gentrification.
The food: Brown calls it "Seattle Soul," bringing together influences from around the city and her own background into her signature black eyed pea hummus, po'mi sandwich mash-up, and a pho-like soup with roasted rib tips.
The cost: Sandwiches and soups are $16, entrees run in the $20s.
How to order: Open for covered, heated patio dining or pre-order for pickup online.
The gist: Mutsuko Soma's handmade soba remains the star it has always been, and an expanded supporting cast of sides and starters makes it even more enticing.
The food: The buckwheat soba noodles, made fresh daily, comes in a multitude of creative forms -- anything with seafood is a sure bet.
The cost: Appetizers like broccoli miso caesar run about $6, while noodle bowls are $18-20
How to order: Stop in, call (206) 632-0185, or order online for pick up. Delivery via Uber Eats.
The gist: Filipino cuisine, interpreted through a personal, Northwest filter by chef Melissa Miranda, resulting in a creative but comfortingly familiar menu.
The food: A "summer in a bowl" version of pancit with peas and squash, MusangJoy fried chicken with house gravy and pickles, and similar
The cost: A main dish for $15-20, sides for $5 - $12.
How to order: Order online for pick-up, dine-in, and patio dining available.
The gist: This cute cafe always leaned hard on its Georgian roots, but just recently refocused solely on their specialty, varieties of the country's famous cheesy breads.
The food: The cheese and egg filled adjaruli khachapuri catch the most eyes, but the stroganoff and lobiani (bean) versions offer an even heartier meal.
The cost: Khachapuri start at $15
How to order: Order for pick-up or delivery online.
The gist: When Covid closed this Northwest-Filipino tasting menu spot, it reopened with a hybrid CSA and meal-kit balikbayan box. Now, a year on, they have reopened reservations for dining in with meals starting June 12.
The food: Chef Aaron Verzosa uses local ingredients to imitate the Filipino foods he grew up with, like sinigang made with green apples.
The cost: The 9 - 12 course menu runs $167
How to order: Reserve on Tock
Lil Red Takeout
The gist: This slip of a place on the side of Rainier Ave brings big heart and big flavors to Jamaican and soul food, including the newly added breakfast menu.
The food: Curry chicken, pork rib tips, oxtails, mac and cheese, plantains.
The cost: Sandwiches from $12.99, meals from $17.99.
How to order: Order for pickup or delivery through Grubhub or UberEats.
Kin Len Thai Night Bites
The gist: Though the ethos behind the name (literally "eat and play") loses a little with takeout, the fun and creativity behind the restaurant shines through in the Thai-inspired small plates.
The food: Dishes like banana blossom fries and spicy octopus carpaccio bring the flavors and techniques of Thai cuisine into unique dishes.
The cost: The size and style range of dishes is all over the place, but entrees are $15 - $20.
How to order: Open for dine-in or order online for pickup.