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Pho Bac: Great Little Place Shaped Like Boat
Once you pass under Interstate 5, the nature of the International District changes. This area is more a traditional working poor Asian community rather than tourist center. However, this also means that it has the economical and still excellent Asian cooking that some would like to find.
Pho Bac is one of the more eccentric of these locations, as it is located in a recreated Asian fishing boat. However, in the past (2011) it was also once voted Seattle's best Asian restaurant and best pho by SeattleMet.
So, keep in mind that it is very much an old style China town restaurant that is really designed to serve the working people of the area, and not really somewhere tourists go - usually they stay on the opposite side of Interstate 5, in the touristy "International District" area.
I will also tell you that recent reviews have been far less favorable since the 2011 award, and restaurants do change over time as cooks and other staff move on to other jobs. However, I had to problems here.
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Food Court at Uwajimaya: An Assortment to Fill Your Needs
One of the famous stores in Seattle, Uwajimaya has expanded well beyond its roots in the International District, and has stores in several cities. However, this tip is not about the store itself, or the deli that is part of the store.
It is about the collection of restaurants that are located inside the store, in the northwest corner for the most part. Here, in an unassuming location at Weller and 5th (see photo 2) that has little hint it has an interior hallway link to Uwajimaya, you will find a number of food vendors. In terms of quality for the price, this is probably one of the better locations, and you have your pick from a number of places - especially weekday lunch hours.
A plus is being able to watch your food prepared in front of you.
The bad news is that it is something like a regular shopping mall food court - though there are no big familiar fast food chain restaurants here.
Toi: Great Thai Experience!
A great place to go for lunch or dinner for the best thai food in Seattle! Located in the old Dahlia Lounge building, this restaurant has added its own stamp to the place. There are cozy, high-backed booths (and I mean high) shaped in semi-circles, red walls, hanging glass dragons - an ambiance that adds to your authentic thai dining experience.
Also a bar and club after 11, this restaurant was named one of the top ten sites for singles in Seattle. However, during the day for lunch or dinner this is simply an excellent restaurant for friends or families.
Favorite Dish: Best dish on the menu is the curry! My favorite curry is the Seafood Curry - a red curry. For non seafood lovers, the best is the Panang Chicken Curry - golden curry.
The Phad Toi Thai is also a favorite.
Pan-Asian and Pacific Rim Cuisine: Visit the International District
Go to Uwajimaya at the International District. Inside the building, you will find an array of different restaurants from Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese, Italian, Mexican to Chinese. The food over there is inexpensive and it is delicious!
Favorite Dish: Try the Filipino/Chinese food! It is absolutely delicious!
Todai: Seafood & sushi buffet
Having quantity as the main draw for people to dine unlimited buffet restaurants normally are disappointing when it comes to the quality of the food itself.
Todai is different as I find the food is really good.
You pay $30 including tax & tip and the buffet includes:
- Fresh Prawns and Crablegs
- Warm meals like fried rice, tempura shrimp, beef teriyaki
I went to their outlet at Pacific Palace - a spacious restaurant with the food being placed at different spots so you don't have to wait in line for too long.
Overall Todai is recommended!
Hawaiian Breeze: Really Fresh and Tasty Hawaiian / Japanese Food
At first it looked like a Teriyaki place, but it is not. I am from Hawaii and find the other Hawaii food places are like eating out ni Hawaii. Hawaian Breeze was like eating at home in Hawaii. It did take a little longer than I expected, but the food was worth it.
Favorite Dish: I went there for the Chicken Katsu Curry, but the Hamburger Steak is good. Also, I made things by mixing, like Katsu Curry Rahmen. Get the Chicken Katsu Curry and a Saimin and mix it together. It's good.
Thai Tom's, Vietnamese/Thai #1, etc.: University District's many flavors
The University District, and particularly The Ave (University Avenue) has a multitude of restaurants to choose from. There is something for everyone. Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Mongolian, Tibetan, Middle Eastern, Russian, Greek, Scandanavian, American. All on one little street!
My personal favs are Thai Toms (University & 47th, next to the Rite Aid) and Vietnamese/Thai #1 (University and 42nd, across from RadioShack). Thai Toms a little hole in the wall, that is packed everyday because it simply has great food for cheap prices ($6.00 a dish, cash only) and you can sit at the low bar and watch Tom or one of his cooks flame up the dishes. Around dinnertime, expect a 10-30 minute wait. Vietnamese/Thai #1 is a small place that is owned by a very nice Vietnamese family. Great food, also cheap. The ambience isn't great (flourescent lights and a TV), but who cares!
Favorite Dish: Thai Toms: Pad Thai, 3 stars; the house salad with secret dressing.
Vietnamese/Thai #1: #44 on the menu, or the pho.
Dragonfish Asian Cafe
Dragonfish Asian Cafe
Great place to meet and mingle. Complete menu served until 1 a.m. Happy hour pricing from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly. My kind of place! (I'm an owl.)
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