May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This monthly celebration is meant to shine the spotlight on the many contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans have given to our country. In the Seattle culinary scene alone, there are too many lauded AAPI-owned restaurants to list. That being said, we rounded up just a few standouts that you ought to know about.
It’s especially important to support these businesses now and throughout the rest of the year, since Asian-owned businesses were hit hardest by the challenges of the pandemic. So in the spirit of recognizing their talent and hard work, be sure to visit your local Asian-owned eateries regularly. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi, hankering for dumplings, in search of authentic Thai food, or curious about poke, we have all that and more right here in Seattle.
Here are 10 AAPI-owned restaurants in Seattle:
1. Kamonegi, Fremont
Although there is limited walk-in bar and counter seating, you’ll probably want to make a reservation to snag a table at the tiny but very buzzy Japanese restaurant in Fremont. Chef Mutsuko Soma hand-pulls the soba noodles. Her artistry has earned her a spot as a 2022 James Beard Award finalist.
Where: 1054 N 39th St
2. Musang, Beacon Hill
You’ll find classic Filipino dishes with a PNW twist at Musang. Chef Melissa Miranda was a 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist, and Musang was named Seattle Met’s Restaurant of the Year in 2020.
Where: 2524 Beacon Ave S
3. Paju, Queen Anne
Traditional Korean cuisine gets a modern reinvention at Paju. This cozy eatery offers shareable dishes such as crispy chicken wings and squid ink fried rice topped with bacon and a smoked quail egg. It was recognized by the New York Times’ 2021 list of most exciting restaurants.
Where: 11 Mercer St
4. Archipelago, Hillman City
You can enjoy a ten-course tasting menu at this Filipino restaurant that also made the New York Times’ 2021 most exciting restaurants list. The upscale, intimate dining experience includes Filipino staples such as banana ketchup and sinigang, but made with local ingredients for a PNW flavor.
Where: 5607 Rainier Ave S
5. The Kauai Family Restaurant, Georgetown
Get your fill of authentic, traditional Hawaiian fare at this family restaurant. The menu includes fried chicken, poke, and loco moco. And while you’re in the area, stop by the neighboring bakery Cakes of Paradise for Hawaii-inspired tropical-flavored cakes.
Where: 6324 6th Ave S
6. Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max, Columbia City
Prominent Hawaii chef Sam Choy started bringing poke to Seattleites in a food truck but now has several brick and mortar eateries. If you’ve never tried these marinated raw fish salads, you’re missing out (but you can get other items like ribs and fried chicken there as well).
Where: 5300 Rainier Ave S
7. Thaiku On Phinney, Phinney Ridge
Thaiku is the place to find authentic Thai cuisine in Seattle. Diners rave about the depth of flavor in each dish. Seating is somewhat limited but they do have patio tables outside.
Where: 6705 Greenwood Ave N
8. Shiro’s Sushi, Belltown
Opened in 1994 by master sushi chef Shiro Kashiba, Shiro’s Sushi is practically a Seattle landmark. Go here for an omakase meal (which translates to saying “I leave it up to you” to the chef). You won’t regret it.
Where: 2401 2nd Ave
9. Meesha, Fremont
This inviting space combines contemporary Indian food with modern decor for a lovely dining experience. They offer a cozy patio area as well that can be enjoyed in all weather.
Where: 127 N 36th St
10. Dough Zone, multiple locations
First opened in Bellevue in 2014, Dough Zone now has multiple locations in the Seattle area so you have no excuse for not checking them out. They rely on traditional recipes to create their xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and dan dan noodles.
Where: 815 Pine St (and more)
Happy AAPI Heritage month, Seattle—and happy eating!