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The 7 Best Asian Restaurants In Seattle, Washington

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Asian Americans played an integral role in Seattle’s storied history. Chinese men arrived in the 1860’s finding employment on the railroads, in canneries, mines, and sawmills. They needed lodging and set up a community on the waterfront. After a downturn in the economy, anti-Chinese racism, and a fire in 1889, a new neighborhood was born south of Pioneer Square. It became Seattle’s Chinatown.

Japanese immigrants came thirty years after the Chinese and farmed or sold goods. They found it hard to get ahead in Seattle. Still, the second generation of those immigrants could obtain land and start businesses. Their community put down roots slightly north of Chinatown and in rural Seattle.

Pacific Islanders found their way to the city when Captain Vancouver discovered Puget Sound in 1792. Filipinos arrived in the early 20th century; they traveled to get an education and a better life in the United States.

In the 1960’s, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Thai, Hmong, and South Asian immigrants arrived and added to the diverse fabric of the city. When it comes to Asian restaurants in Seattle, there’s no lack of them.

The multi-ethnic neighborhoods, fall under the banner of the International District, which is the heart of the Asian American Community. Seattle’s Chinatown/International District, built around 1909, is on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll find retail stores, grocery stands, bakeries, and incredible restaurants here.

But the Asian influence and cuisine can also be found in many other neighborhoods across Seattle, where you can enjoy the best of Seattle’s Asian chefs. Here are 7 incredible spots to taste the flavors of this ethnically diverse town, but there are even more to explore.

The 7 Best Asian Restaurants In Seattle, Washington

Chinatown/The International District 

Chinatown/The International District 

Hood Famous Café + Bar

504 5th Avenue Suite 107A Seattle, Washington // +1(206) 485-7049

Filipinos arrived in Seattle to work in canneries and farms, and many settled in the historic Chinatown International District. The Hood Bakery occupies the space originally built for migrant workers in the Publix Building.

The café and bar opened in 2019 to offer Filipino-style hospitality and cuisine to a culturally rich Filipino community. By day it’s a bakery-café – serving desserts, baked goods, and meryenda (light snacks) alongside an incredible single-origin Asian-Pacific coffee program. By night it’s a cocktail bar that offers pulutan – Filipino bar food. 

I came for an all-day breakfast made to order until 3:00 pm.

You can choose from egg sandwiches, Ube (a purple yam from the Philippines), sugar toast, classic Mochi Waffles, pastries, cookies, hand-pies, and quiche. My host lured me into trying the Turon Mochi Waffle, topped with creamy jackfruit custard, salted caramel cream, and bruleed banana. It was insanely delicious. 

Asian Restaurants In Seattle, Washington: Unique Pastries at Hood Famous Cafe

The waffles are light as air, and the toppings are subtle-sweet with rich, creamy, salty flavors. The bruleed banana was so tasty. The bite had that combination of crisp from the waffle, cream from the custard, and whipped salty caramel topping. The banana took it over the top.

This is an obsession on a plate and well worth every bite. Alongside my breakfast, I sipped on an iced Pandan latte. Pandan is an extract from pandan leaves with a flavor of vanilla.

My drink was a beautiful purple color and tasted like coffee heaven. I loved the natural vibe with green tiles along the bar and plenty of wood furniture with plants decorating the open café space. A lovely place to indulge. They have a second bakery in Ballard. 

The Hood Cafe's Turon Mochi Waffle and Iced Pandan Latte

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Fuji Bakery

Fuji Bakery -ID 526 S. King St. Seattle Washington // +1(206)623-4050

Fuji Bakery opened in 2009 as one of the first Japanese artisan bakeries in greater Seattle. While this isn’t a typical restaurant, I wanted to include it because this place should not be missed.

The bakery has two locations; the central location is in Elliot/Interbay by the waterfront near the Uptown neighborhood. Outside are small café tables to enjoy your meal. In Chinatown, there’s a small shop with a window. You can order all the same pastries, donuts, and sandwiches to take away. 

Fuji Bakery

The bakery is French and Japanese, and strict attention is paid to each part of the baking process. Quality ingredients, taste, and presentation are at the forefront of their craft.

Along with Japanese Shokupan white bread, croissants, jumbo cream puffs, and milk sticks, their specialty is donuts. I chose the Ube Malasada, a Portuguese-style fried donut. I was amazed by the filling’s color and taste–a bright purple, sweet, creamy filling. It was life-changing.

They have a Japanese curry Kare-Pan, a chewy deep-fried bun filled with beef curry coated in panko before frying. And they have Japanese egg salad and chicken katsu drizzled with house-made katsu sauce on their house Shokupan bread, a slice of heaven.

Ube Malasada Donut Fuji Bakery

Dough Zone

504 5th Ave, S. Suite 109 Seattle, Washington // +1(206)285-9999

Dough Zone is a west coast chain Asian restaurant started in Bellevue, Washington, in 2014. The menu is based on traditional homemade Chinese comfort food – small bites to share, and the focus is on dumplings of all kinds, noodles, and buns. Mix and match dumplings or order a variety to sample the entire menu.

The pricing is meant to be affordable without sacrificing quality and taste. The sleek, modern setting on 5th Avenue makes it the perfect stop for lunch or dinner, especially with a group. 

I adore Xiao Long Bao, also known as soup dumplings, steamed in a traditional bamboo basket, a specialty here. The skin surrounding the soup dumpling is perfect, not too thick or thin.

You can easily bite into the dumpling and slurp the rich broth first, then devour the savory filling. When steamed, the aspic melts and creates that incredible broth.

I chose chicken soup dumplings, minced chicken, perfectly spiced, and a chicken-aspic soup inside the tiny vessel. They were delicately flavored but enhanced by my generous douse of chili oil. 

Soup Dumplings from Dough Zone

I also sampled the Q-Bao or pan-fried buns. I chose Berkshire-Duroc pork buns wrapped in a fluffy dough, steamed, and then pan-fried on the bottom. The top of the bun is soft while the bottom is crisp, the perfect vehicle for the flavorful filling. The pork was well-seasoned, tender, and juicy.

The menu includes Dan Dan noodles and pot stickers–pan-fried or steamed in various flavors. While I usually focus on locally owned spots, this chain started as a mom-and-pop, and their food is delicious.

Pork Stuffed Buns At Dough Zone

The Boat

1314 S. Jackson St. Seattle, Washington // +1(206) 323-4387

The Boat is a simple, modern dining concept and one of the best Asian restaurants in Seattle. The menu has two signature items–pressure-fried Cornish game hen slathered in a sticky-sweet fish sauce glaze, studded with garlic and served with pandan, turmeric rice, a small cup of chicken broth (with sliced onions), and a side salad.

The other is the same chicken with soup and egg noodles. Com ga mam toi–the garlicky chicken, or Mi Ga Chien– the chicken egg noodle soup is what Vietnamese people eat on one plate: rice, protein, veggies, and súp (soup). This simple meal is delicious.

The Boat

Sisters Yenvy and Quynh Pham’s parents opened the first Pho shop in Seattle’s Little Saigon neighborhood in 1982 in a pink building shaped like a boat. After opening more locations and expanding into other ventures like a coffee shop and cocktail bar, the “boat” was vacant.

The sisters wondered what to open there next as Pho Bac (their pho shop across the street), a recent James Beard award semifinalist, has made its mark in Seattle. This simple meal in a fast-casual setting hits all the right notes – crispy, moist, garlicky, and salty. It’s a perfect foil for the other items on the plate.

I ordered Tra Da La Dua or pandan iced tea to wash it down, but I didn’t leave room for the waffles, the other food item on the menu. 

The Boat's Garlic Chicken, Rice, Soup, and House Salad

Capitol Hill

Biang Biang Noodles

601 E. Pike St. Unit 100 Seattle, Washington // +1(206) 809-8999

They say “Biang Biang” is the sound this hand-pulled noodle makes when the chef slams the dough on the table. The wide noodle originated from Shaanxi cuisine and are thicker than ramen.

They have been likened to a belt because they are so broad and long. At Biang Biang Noodles, a great Asian restaurant, you can order them dry (stir-fried) or in soup. They also have tempting starters like spring rolls, dumplings, pot stickers, and chicken wings.

I ordered the Mala Spicey Beef Soup, which had a generous serving of sliced beef swimming in a hearty pork bone soup brimming with thick, chewy, hand-pulled noodles.

The soup was tinged red (due to the chili oil) but was not excessively spicy. In fact, I added more chili oil. I found the bowl so huge that no matter how hard I tried to slurp, I couldn’t get to the bottom of this massive portion. The noodles were indeed the perfect chew, and the soup was satisfying.

Beef Biang Biang Noodle Soup

I also nibbled on fried pork dumplings. The dumplings were so crisp and tasty; I enjoyed the filling and chew of the dumplings too. The industrial setting is modern and chic and has a young, energetic vibe. They also serve cocktails.

Fried Pork Dumplings At Biang Biang Noodles

Taku

706 E. Pike St. Seattle, Washington // +1(206)829-9418

If you’re a fan of top Chef, you might remember Shota Nakajima from season eighteen, when he finished in the top three. This Japanese American Chef and T.V. personality opened Taku in 2020 it closed during the pandemic. It reopened in May 2021 as a fried chicken (karaage) restaurant and bar. Here’s why it’s one of the best Asian restaurants in Seattle.

Karaage is marinated, battered, and twice-fried protein. The process creates a moist, crunchy bite. Nakajima is a three-time James Beard Award semifinalist. He expanded his empire recently when he opened Kōbo, an unusual pizza restaurant combining Detroit-style pizza and Japanese ingredients. This eatery is next door to Taku in the Redhook Brewlab.

Taku has a relaxed vibe. It’s a funky dark bar with a rainbow of colored chairs and bar stools. On the walls are vibrant Japanese comics and posters pasted and overlapped like a jumble. Japanese lanterns offer low lighting, and Anime cartoons play on a large-screen T.V. 

Taku

Its menu focuses on Karaage nuggets served with your choice of flavors ranging from dry –salt and pepper, bonito and soy, and curry. Or wet– Teriyaki, Spicy Teriyaki, and Umami Hot dip sauce.

There’s a fried chicken sandwich or rice bowl topped with chopped nuggets and sides like furikake fries, fried rice, or charred edamame (to name a few). Or you can taste what I ordered, General Shota’s Chicken.

It’s a stir fry of seasonal veggies like kale and zucchini tossed with garlic and teriyaki sauce topped with a few of his famous nuggs. It was so delicious.

Taku General Shota's Chicken

The veg was vibrant, and the dish was flavorful–a totally addictive plate. Since it’s a bar, I ordered a Dirty Shirley, a Shirley Temple with homemade grenadine and vodka.

The bar crafts its shrubs too. There are Sake offerings and beers, as well as non-alcoholic sips. It’s well worth a visit in the afternoon or late at night.

Ooink Ramen is one of the best Asian restaurants in Seattle too and should not be missed, even though I couldn’t visit. It’s got a cult following for signature pork bone broth and hand-crafted noodles by chef Chong Boon. Boon recently expanded to a second location in Fremont.

Beacon Hill 

Musang

2524 Beacon Avenue South Seattle, Washington // 1(206) 708-6871

While all the Asian restaurants mentioned above are excellent, Musang is a true stand-out. Chef Melissa Miranda’s childhood memories inspired the dishes from this Filipino kitchen.

Her business started as a pop-up, but by partnering with Filipinx community leaders, Miranda enhanced her goal of educating others about her culture and food. In 2018 she found a permanent place in Beacon Hill. Musang (and partners) also run a community kitchen to provide meals to needy community members. I would support this restaurant for that alone.

We made our way to the back patio at Musang’s tiny restaurant. Even on a chilly, rainy, day was warm and inviting. After asking many menu questions, we ordered fried lumpiang or spring rolls stuffed with pork, shrimp, water chestnuts, and a house-spiced sawsawan.

Crunchy and crisp, the rolls were so tasty, and the sauce was light with a vinegar flavor. We also ordered corn bibingka, an incredibly moist cornbread drizzled with warm honey and finished with Maldon salt. 

Musang - Lumpian Shanghai With House Spiced Sawsawan

We moved onto mains like the Musang joy fried chicken. This moist crisp chicken with creamy house gravy on the side was comforting. It made a fantastic sauce, but the chicken was incredible either way. Accompanying zucchini turmeric pickles were the bright bite that offered a zing. 

Musang Joy Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs With Musang Gravy

Finally, we dug into the short rib kare kare, braised until the meat fell off the bone, and smothered in a peanut butter bagoong sauce.

The dish came with eggplant, okra, and haricot verts. We ate and sipped crafted cocktails like the Lima with vodka, coconut milk, lime, pandan, guanabana, and pepper tincture. It was sublime. The food is created with heart and soul, as is the mission of Musang.

Wrapping Up The Best Asian Restaurants In Seattle

In conclusion, Seattle, Washington boasts a diverse and vibrant culinary scene, with a remarkable selection of Asian restaurants that are sure to delight any food enthusiast.

The best of these establishments stand out for their exceptional dishes, authentic flavors, and excellent service, creating unforgettable dining experiences for their guests. Places such as Musang, Taku, and Biang Biang have earned their reputations as top destinations for Asian cuisine, offering a wide array of dishes that span from traditional to modern fusion.

As the city’s culinary landscape continues to evolve, these restaurants represent the pinnacle of Seattle’s Asian dining scene, promising a satisfying and memorable experience for those who choose to explore the rich and varied flavors of Asia.

Visiting other destinations in Washington State? Check out our other guides:

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