My 9 Favorite Restaurants in Seattle

From breakfast to mac and cheese to ramen and pizza, these are the places former Frolic intern Maddy Chow, a Seattleite, can’t live without.


Coming home is always a treat when I know that some of my comfort foods are a quick drive away. From the touristy Pike Place Market to Bellevue, many of these restaurants in Seattle are off the beaten trail from visitor hotspots but still worth a stop. The Emerald City is known for its hugely diverse population, just like Hawai‘i, and the number of unique restaurants showcases some of the most popular foods in Washington.



Beecher’s Mac and Cheese


Beecher's Mac and Cheese pc Maddy Chow

Photo: Maddy Chow


My family and I discovered Beecher’s Mac and Cheese while showing some friends around Pike Place Market. Beecher’s makes their cheese daily, and when visiting their store, you can see them in action. The store sells dozens of handmade cheeses, cheese curds and hot food. We often order the seasonal smoked salmon mac and cheese ($9.99) and the smoked turkey grilled sandwich ($11.59). But my favorite place to get this treat is before I board my flight back to Hawai‘i at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.


Multiple locations,, @beecherscheese



Rupee Bar


Rupee Bar pc Maddy Chow

Photo: Maddy Chow


If you’re looking for something different, Rupee Bar offers Sri Lankan and Indian-inspired dishes that transform the way you crave curry. While it is an intimate restaurant, it’s worth the wait, even on busy nights. Pictured is the naan and lamb shank served over a pool of smoked thool curry. It’s perfect to share between two people, but there are many more options on the menu I’m excited to try when I’m back home. And now that I’m 21, I’m eager to try the unique cocktails their bar specializes in.


Open Sun, Wed and Thurs 5–9 p.m., Fri and Sat 5–10 p.m, 6307 24th Ave NW, (206) 397-3263,, @rupeebar


SEE ALSO: My 12 Favorite Restaurants Off the Strip in Las Vegas


Din Tai Fung


Din Tai Fung pc Maddy Chow

Photo: Maddy Chow


If there is one place I must visit when I’m home, it’s Din Tai Fung. It’s the perfect spot when you want to eat family-style because the portions are huge. The flavors are always rich with the perfect balance of saltiness. My favorite things to order are the xiao long bao, fried rice, Kurobuta pork buns and string beans with garlic. Since this is one of the most popular restaurants in Seattle, its prices have also risen, and a decent meal can cost around $30 a person with tax and a tip. Make sure to go with as many people as you can to try an assortment from their extensive menu.


Multiple locations,, @dintaifungusa



Pho Bac Súp Shop


Pho Bac Seattle pc Pho Bac Seattle

Photo: Courtesy of Pho Bac Seattle


A must-visit for restaurants in Seattle is one of the dozens of Vietnamese shops in the area. In downtown, there is almost one on every corner. After trying Pho Bac Súp Shop, it instantly became my go-to whenever I am back home. The modern interior matches their beautiful plating and huge portions. I like the pho bo, a classic beef pho, which is perfect for cold Seattle days. The restaurant is known for short rib pho with a huge whole short rib sticking out of the bowl.


Multiple Locations,, @phobacseattle



Pagliacci Pizza



Photo: Courtesy of Pagliacci Pizza


One of my childhood favorites for pizza is Pagliacci, a Seattle restaurant chain that started out near the University of Washington campus. Coming here reminds me of my parents because they would tell stories of eating it when they were in college while we sat down at one of the Pagliacci locations. The pizza is simple and classy with huge, filling slices that you can buy individually for around $4 to $5 or as a whole pie for $28 to $36 depending on size and style.  My favorites are the Original Cheese and Funghi Salsiccia with Italian sausage, mushrooms and cheese.


Multiple locations,, @pagliaccipizza


SEE ALSO: ‘Ili‘ili Cash & Carry Debuts New Pizzas by the Slice Every Tuesday




Besides McDonald’s, I rarely go out for breakfast, but Morsel is a must-try. They specialize in biscuits baked fresh every day. Of the three sammies on the menu, I love The Fast Break ($13.25) with bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese and roasted tomato jam. Each bite is full of sweet and savory flavors, and the biscuits are flaky, warm and perfectly filling during a morning crunch.


Open Thurs–Mon 11 a.m.–9 p.m., 5000 University Way NE suite D, (206) 268-0154,, @morselseattle



Kisaku Sushi


Kisaku Sushi pc Maddy Chow

Photo: Maddy Chow


Kisaku Sushi is located near Green Lake, a beautiful area if you want to escape the busy city. It’s the best place to walk around, and we often love stopping by after dinner. Kisaku’s sushi is always fresh and my family’s go-to spot outside of Seattle restaurants, far from the crowds. Their prices are very reasonable with rolls ranging from $8–$13. My favorites are the Wallingford Roll, Alaska Roll, Ume Shiso and the Caterpillar Roll. Pro tip: call to make a reservation a few days in advance, especially on the weekends, because they tend to be busy. We also love to order their food to-go, and it’s the only place my mom will accept for takeout.


Open Mon–Sat 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., Sun–Thurs 5–8 p.m. and Fri–Sat 4:30–8:30 p.m., 2101 N 55th St Suite 100, (206) 545-9050,


SEE ALSO: AYCE Nights: My Favorite All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Spot in Honolulu


Betsutenjin Ramen Seattle


Betsutenjin Ramen Seattle pc Betsutenjin Ramen Seattle

Photo: Courtesy of Betsutenjin Ramen Seattle


Betsutenjin is a small, authentic hole-in-the-wall that deserves more recognition in Capitol Hill. The first time I went here was with my dad, and we fell in love instantly, bringing us back to memories of eating ramen in Japan. It is first-come, first-serve with no reservations, so be prepared to wait around an hour if you go during a busy time. My favorite is the Hakata-style ramen with their house-made pork bone broth boiled for hours daily. You can taste the flavors infused into the broth from simmering for so long. Watching them create each bowl in front of you adds to the delicious flavor.


Open Mon–Sun 5:30 p.m.–1:15 a.m., 954 E Union St #102, (206) 485-7367,, @betsutenjinramenusa



Boba Up


Self Serve Bubble Tea pc maddy chow

Photo: Maddy Chow


The first self-serve boba shop in the Pacific Northwest is located right on The Ave. It’s a central hub for all students and UW. When visiting home, my friends showed me this place because it’s so close to their dorms and makes for a great late-night spot when craving some boba. You can serve yourself a variety of milk teas, slushies and toppings, which is a fun experience, especially because they let you sample. I really enjoyed the rose milk tea and coffee slushy with regular boba.


Open Mon–Sun 11 a.m.–11 p.m., 4141 University Way NE # 103, (206) 547-8800,, @bobaupseattle