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. There are countless AAPI restaurants in Seattle that contribute incredible flavor to our local culinary scene. That being said, we rounded up just a few standouts that you ought to know about.
It’s especially important to support these businesses year-round 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 13 AAPI restaurants in Seattle that are owned by Asian/Pacific Islander Americans:
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.
📍 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.
📍 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.
📍 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.
📍 5607 Rainier Ave S
5. Cakes of Paradise, Georgetown
Get your fill of tropical-flavored cake at this Hawaiian bakery in Georgetown. The menu includes vibrant cakes, cream pies, and other Hawaiian desserts. And while you’re in the area, stop by The Kauai Family Restaurant next door for a traditional Hawaiian meal to go with your dessert.
📍 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).
📍 5300 Rainier Ave S
7. Thaiku, 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.
📍 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.
📍 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.
📍 127 N 36th St
10. Dough Zone, multiple locations
First opened in Bellevue in 2014 as a mom-and-pop restaurant, 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.
📍815 Pine St (and more)
11. WeRo, Ballard
This contemporary Korean restaurant in Ballard has elevated comfort food and amazing craft cocktails. Check out their happy hour and heated patio.
📍5210 Ballard Ave NW
12. Pho Bac, multiple locations
The local Pham family owns this popular lineup of Vietnamese restaurants in Seattle. There’s Phở Bắc Sup Shop in the Chinatown-International District (CID), the downtown location with the Vietnamese speakeasy Phởcific Standard Time upstairs, and the Rainier Valley location. Finally they also recently reopened The Boat, a pink boat-shaped restaurant in the CID that now specializes in waffles and cơm gà mắm tỏi.
📍1240 S Jackson St. (and more)
13. Marination Ma Kai, West Seattle
This Hawaiian-Korean restaurant in West Seattle started out as a popular food truck. Now you’ll find their brick-and-mortar locations in West Seattle, downtown (2000 6th Avenue), and Columbia City (3714 S. Hudson Street). The latter has an incredible weekend brunch.
📍1660 Harbor Ave SW
Happy AAPI Heritage month, Seattle—and happy eating!