by Mark Van Streefkerk
Seattle Restaurant Week (SRW) is the city’s largest biannual dining promotion celebrating our local restaurant industry and diverse culinary communities. Taking place in the spring and fall, SRW typically features over 200 restaurants, pop-ups, food trucks, caterers, and other small food vendors, all with special curated menus, often at varying price points (from $20 all the way up to $65). Menus feature some of their most popular dishes or some best-kept secrets.
It’s free to participate for restaurants and food vendors, and for diners, it’s a great opportunity to explore restaurants you’ve always wanted to try. Plus, it’s a tasty way to support local businesses continuing to recover from the pandemic.
SRW happens from Oct. 23 to Nov. 5, so there’s still time to enjoy some of the best dishes in Seattle — and there’s plenty to choose from in the South End.
Read on for some incredible South End spots to check out during SRW. For a full listing of all participating restaurants and interactive map, check out SRWeek.org.
If you’re craving spicy, authentic Sichuan dishes, try Chengdu Taste. Their $35 lunch special includes an appetizer, rice, entree (choices include toothpick lamb with cumin, mapo tofu, and stir-fry beef with crispy rice), and a drink.
Check out Itsumono in historic Nihonmachi (Japantown) for inventive takes on Japanese cuisine, often with a Hawaiʻian twist, courtesy of chef Sean Arakaki. Their $65 SRW special includes a three-course menu with options like hamachi crudo with yellowtail sashimi, Tikka Tonkatsu Curry, and Bananas Foster Andagi with Okinawan doughnuts.
Check out Crawfish King’s $65 meal special with your choice of appetizer (jambalaya, oysters, or calamari); mains like lobster, crab, and prawns; and dessert choices like beignets, caramel flan, and macaron ice cream.
Purveyor of Chinese comfort food, Gan Bei is offering a SRW special that includes wonton soup for two, clay pot with braised pork belly and Chinese sausage, Ong Choy, and a custom cocktail for $65.
Hillman City and Rainier Valley
Fans of Ethiopian food have two amazing spots in Hillman City and Rainier Valley for SRW. Hillman City’s Delish Ethiopian Cuisine has a special $35 menu that includes your choice of veggie or meat combo. Further South, Kaffa Cafe has a lunch special for $20 (samosas and vegan sampler), and a dinner menu at $35 or $50 that includes samosas, either a vegan or meat and veggie sampler platter, dessert, plus two glasses of wine included in the $50 option.
Worker-owned Jude’s Old Town is offering special lunch ($35) and dinner ($65) menus featuring some of their classic Creole inspired dishes like gumbo, po’boys, and a grits plate. There’s also vegetarian and vegan options.
Sure, West Seattle has fine dining options here like Salty’s on Alki and Haymaker, but don’t miss out on two excellent family-run ghost kitchens operating out of Distinguished Foods Commercial Kitchen: Taste of Mumbai and Aroy Mak Thai Food, both offer SRW specials available for pick-up or delivery.
Taste of Mumbai specializes in regional Indian dishes. For SRW, Taste of Mumbai is offering dinner for two for $50, including a choice of appetizer, two curry dishes, a naan selection, and dessert.
Aroy Mak Thai Food makes food based on recipes passed down from the family’s matriarchs, and is especially known for their fried chicken. For SRW, they offer a $20 lunch special with options like Thai-fried chicken (or grilled Northeast style) with ginger rice and winter melon soup.
Popular local spot Now Make Me A Sandwich started out as a food truck, which is still in regular rotation around town, and established a brick and mortar in Burien this year. Now Make Me A Sandwich is an ode to American and Latino cuisines featuring scratch-made ingredients packed in a hoagie or telera roll. Check out their $20 lunch menu featuring popular sandwiches like the Fidel Cash Flow made with braised pork belly, sliced ham, and pickle chips; and El Duderino with chicken breast and chorizo. Available at their food truck stops and their Burien location.
Theary Cambodian Foods at Spice Bridge global food hall in Tukwila isn’t just another restaurant. Chef Theary Ngeth also provides free community meals (with support from Good Food Kitchens) — mainly to members of the Cambodian community, many of whom are refugees like her. For SRW, Theary Cambodian Foods is offering a special $35 menu featuring ox tail with steamed meat egg roll and a side Chinese donut. ($65 makes the meal for two and adds two beef curry pastries).
A destination for vegans and vegetarians, Renton’s Blossom Vegetarian is offering special SRW lunch ($35) and dinner ($50) menus. Selections include veggie takes on Vietnamese classics like fresh rolls, pho, fried rice, vermicelli bowls, and sticky rice for dessert. There’s a robust selection of teas and wine.
Editors’ Note: This article was updated on 10/31/2022 to correct a name misspelling.
📸 Featured Image: A veggie combo at Delish Ethiopian Cuisine in Hillman City. Delish is one of over 200 restaurants participating in Seattle Restaurant Week. (Photo: Jaidev Vella)
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