Your Seattle Restaurant Questions Answered: Barbecue, Filipino Food and Natural Wines

Plus: Where to get Seattle's best doughnuts, macarons and Turkish coffee
| Updated: March 8, 2019

We love our Emerald City and all it has to offer, but it's a lot of work to keep up with all the restaurant openings, new trends and seasonal menus that keep our city exciting. Thankfully, food and lifestyle editor Chelsea Lin knows Seattle's cuisine scene like the back of her hand and graces us with her knowledge once a week on the Seattle magazine's Insta. Need a place to go pre-concert? Craving soft-serve or oysters? Looking for somewhere to take visiting parents? You know what to do. 

Have a question for Chelsea? Submit here

We love game meats! Any recommendations?
I always send people to FlintCreek for the best use of game meats around, but you’ll find other great examples in town: Café Juanita does rabbit really well, 8oz has a wild boar burger, and Bizzarro has a really great elk Bolognese.

Favorite doughnut spot?
I can’t wait until the Flour Box finally gets a storefront, because those are my favorite! For fancy doughnuts, I love what Mi Kim is doing at Raised—and I love how they’re less sweet and smaller in size. But for your more classic doughnut shop, I really like Donut Factory up in Lynnwood.

Best Indian food in downtown Seattle?
There aren’t a lot of options for Indian food downtown… I’d either order delivery or check out Nirmal’s, which is just a short hike south to Pioneer Square.

Coming back for a visit after being gone for 2 years. Where’s the best new restaurant to try?
Kamonegi is excellent—definitely make a reservation there. Renee Erickson’s new places in the Spheres (Deep Dive and Willmott’s Ghost) are both absolutely worth a visit. And I’ve had excellent meals at Homer, Sawyer and Archipelago, and they’ve all opened in the last 6 months or so.

Best BBQ?
I really love the Asian influence at Central Smoke, where the meat options feel very traditional Texan barbecue but you have options for sides like fried rice. Jack’s BBQ is my usual go-to, and he just opened a South Lake Union location that may be easier for some of you to get to than Georgetown.

Best macarons?
I like the balance of flavor in the Trophy macarons, which don’t feel as sweet as some others. But I’m really excited to check out Lady Yum’s new Pioneer Square shop—it looks adorable and her macarons, which I’ve bought at the airport for gifts more than once, are delightful.

Northeast Seattle’s best hidden gem?
I live in NE Seattle, and I love any excuse to plug the Wedgwood Broiler, which remains one of my favorite hidden gems in town. I also highly recommend Kona Kitchen, which has some of the best Hawaiian food in town.

Best place to grab a bite before a concert in SoDo?
I was going to recommend Café con Leche, but I see that their latest hours are 7pm, and that’s only Thursday and Friday, so I’m guessing that’s not helpful. Pho Cyclo is great too, but also closes early. Your best bet is to stop someplace like Damn the Weather on your drive down, or go further south to Georgetown (Hudson is great) and backtrack.

Do you know of any places that do “industry nights” for restaurant workers?
We got some great response from this… Sounds like Super Six has an upcoming LGBTQ industry night, and Kamonegi does special industry nights a couple times a month, so check in at those places to start!

Do you list any great eats in other counties? i.e. Kitsap?
Not specifically, though I do my best to cover restaurants in the greater Seattle area, and not just the city itself. Bremerton has great food! I love Saboteur Bakery, Noah’s Ark is super kid-friendly and fun, and the musubi at Café Kai can’t be beat.

Best banh mi in Seattle?
I regularly go to Lan Hue—I think they make a very well composed sandwich (I hate when places skimp on ingredients) and they do make everything from the bread to the condiments in house. Yeh Yeh’s in Lynnwood is another favorite.

I occasionally find myself in Lynnwood and never know where to eat. Any favorite spots?
There’s TONS of good Korean food in Lynnwood. I love Katsu Burger, which has a location there, Isarn Thai Soul Food is awesome, and you should definitely try El Rinconsito for a big bowl of pozole.

Best deal for oysters? Are there any good happy hours with oysters on the menu?
There are tons of oyster happy hours around town: Try Tankard & Tun near Pike Place Market, which has $2 oysters (and a variety of other great deals) during their “hoppy” hour 3-6 and 9-close daily.

Any wine bars or restaurants with a good selection of funky orange wines?
If you’re looking for natural wines, not only orange wine, check out L’Oursin, this delightful French restaurant in the Central District. If you want to read about a few other spots you’re likely to find orange wine, click here to read a piece we recently published about natural wine around town.

Best place for original soft serve?
Homer has excellent soft serve, and the flavors change all the time but are much more chef-driven than just vanilla and chocolate. South Paw Pizza has great house-made soft serve as well. And the soft serve floats at Rachel’s Ginger Beer are amazing—I took my daughter just yesterday for one.

Where can I find authentic Filipino eats?
We’re lucky to have some really great options for Filipino food here. I love Fil Cuisine in Kent, which is a very casual, family friendly spot with a huge array of traditional Filipino dishes. And on the total other end of the spectrum, I love Archipelago, which opened recently and is doing tasting menu only of Filipino flavors with Pacific Northwest ingredients. So good, so interesting!

Best spots to take non-foodie parents?
I am all about this, because my parents love food, but are very… shall we say, selective eaters. It’s great to hit up those classic diners, places like 13 Coins, 5 Spot, Geraldine’s Counter or Bay Café, because they have a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for a slightly more upscale experience, try somewhere like Luc or Bastille.

Where to go for Turkish coffee?
I love the Turkish coffee at Café Turko, but if you’re not going for a full restaurant vibe, try Coffeemind in Queen Anne, which is this quirky little boutique that has housewares and accessories and also really great Turkish coffee.

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