Eating out in Seattle? First, Consult Our Expert

Plus: Where to take groups and out-of-towners. Our food and dining editor tackles your culinary questions

By Seattle Magazine Staff


December 12, 2018

Every Wednesday, our food and dining editor, Chelsea Lin, takes to our Instagram (@seattlemag) to answer your burning questions about Seattle’s cuisine scene. Questions from the last two weeks are compiled here, and cover topics from places to trust with your holiday, to where to find those foods you’re homesick for (chili burgers, Turkish food, teppanyaki, oh my!). Be sure to check out Chelsea’s recs for the next time your out-of-town family and friends visit — you’ll need to keep them fueled during all the sightseeing. Want to ask Chelsea a question? Submit here

Reader: Best soul food restaurant in Seattle?
CL: Simply Soulful is a super charming little family-run place in Madison Park. Don’t miss the fried catfish dinner, and make sure to score a piece of the legendary sweet potato pie there.

Do you know any Korean restaurants that make budae jjigae?
I love jjigae but had to look up this variation—it sounds so good! I see it’s on the menu at Sam Oh Jung, which is one of my favorite Korean restaurants in Lynnwood. Everything there is great, so I’m guessing this would be, too.  

Best nachos in Shoreline/Lynnwood/Edmonds?
I phoned a friend on this one, who lives in Edmonds and loves nachos, and she says Bar Dojo has honey pork belly nachos on the bar menu that are her all-time favorite. They have pork belly, housemade pickles, cilantro aioli and Beecher’s, and now I have to immediately go there and eat them.

Looking for a special occasion restaurant with out of town guests and kids
For kid-friendly places that don’t feel like they only cater to kids, I always recommend Ethan Stowell’s restaurants—they’re all really family-friendly, but somewhere like Rione XIII would be great.

Best chili burger with two buns?
The ultimate chili everything can be found at Mike’s Chili Parlor. There are indeed two buns, but it’s also piled in chili, so it’s definitely the sort of thing you need a knife and fork to eat.

Best teppanyaki?
I feel like Hamanasu downtown you probably know about, but it’s the best option I know of for teppanyaki.

I’m having the hardest time finding a casual rehearsal dinner spot for 20 people! Just good food/drinks/people?
My first inclination is to contact Eric Rivera at Addo… He’s great at this kind of thing and can make an event as casual or elaborate as you need. Also, Brimmer & Heeltap have a wonderful little studio out back that I think sits about 20, so contact the owner Jen there, too!

What’s your favorite restaurant?
People always ask me this, and I wish I had a more concrete answer. The very nature of my job means I don’t get to go back to the same restaurant over and over again, because there are about 20 new places that open every month. But I will say that the restaurant I would always choose to spend a lot of money at is Wataru, and I’ve been there for two birthdays and an anniversary, so I feel like that says something.

Good foodie/cocktail ideas for NYE ’18?
Canon and Canlis always host some of the most fantastic (and expensive) New Years Eve celebrations. Deep Dive—Renee Erickson’s fancy new bar in the Spheres—is throwing a party this year, too, and you can even rent the private library there for you and five friends. 

Best cooking class?
I love the cooking classes at both the Pantry and Hot Stove Society. Both have really robust calendars with all kinds of different classes offered, and you’ll want to keep an eye on when new classes become available, because they sell out quick. 

Is there anywhere in Seattle area to get good New Mexico green chili?
Yes! Bang Bang Café in Belltown has an awesome version made with hatch chiles that I particularly love on their breakfast burritos.

Best eggs Benedict in Seattle-Lakewood area?
In Columbia City, Super Six has a great benedict called the Big Blue Benny on their weekend brunch menu, or try Smarty Pants in Georgetown. 

Best gifts made in WA?
Not all of these are food related, but you can read all about the local gifts we recommend purchasing for your loved ones this year in our annual gift guide

Best Turkish food?
I love Café Turko in Fremont for the rainbow hummus plate and amazing assortment of entrees. Plus, the Turkish coffee can’t be beat.

Best place for holiday themed tasting menus?
OK, it’s not food necessarily, but until Christmas, Rob Roy in Belltown turns into Miracle on 2nd, and it’s the most delightful excuse to go drink holiday-themed cocktails out of ridiculous mugs. 

Best place for birthday and food with a big group?
This is hard, as I’m not sure how many constitutes a big group… If you want send a message, I may be able to give a more specific recommendation.

Turning Hate Into Healing

Rob Smith

Seattle’s First Woman of Whiskey

Stefanie Ellis

The Dessert Daredevil

Stefanie Ellis