Green star Maneki Restaurant (International District)

304 Sixth Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 622-2631

Hours: Tues-Sun 5:30 pm-10:30 pm
Categories: Restaurant

Restaurant Details

  • Once a sort of secret sushi hangout for the not-so-wealthy, Maneki was named an “American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation in 2008, and rightly so. Maneki’s more than 100 years old; as the Beardos pointed out, it’s “been around through both world wars, Japanese internment, and has even seen one of its former dishwashers become the Prime Minister of Japan.” Furthermore, it’s good sushi at a good price (with hot appetizers that are worth exploring, too). Get some friends together and reserve a tatami room, or else be prepared to wait for a table in the unassuming dining room (the also-unassuming back sushi bar is usually inexplicably closed).
  • Features: Cheap Eats
  • Cuisine: Japanese and Sushi
  • Price Range: $

Bar Details

The Stranger's Reviews of Maneki Restaurant


Average Rating:
  • 3.89000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (9) RSS

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cops and cockroaches

First arrived in Seattle in 1980 and my then wife insisted on eating at this joint every month or 2. Food was usually good. Of course they prefer cash which they pocket sans taxation. An old lady greeted, seated, took orders and collected the bill. She usually mentioned something about 'her tip' at some point. Other folk served and bussed. The place was filthy except for the easily cleaned surfaces, the back areas looked like a Bolivian prison. The get the picture. On our last visit(1986?) we asked for some sugar for the tea. Initally told 'don't have any'. 'There must be some sugar in the kitchen for cooking?'...she brought one of those 16 oz. glass dispensers with the metal screw top with the little swinging door over the hole. It had years of scum and organic matter coating it. We just set it aside and drank out tea without. A moment later my partner saw a little black cockroach wiggling in the sugar jar. Realize that we had just eaten a complete meal. She ran out the front door retching on the sidewalk(yea she's a drama queen). As I walked out after her the old lady hollered for the backroom crew to come chase us, thinking it was a walkout. I just wanted to pay and leave, but my partner grabbed my wallet and demanded that we not pay as she explained why. Old lady said 'I call cops!!' I was alert enough to retreive the sugarjar/terrarium. Cops came, I agreed to go to jail, partner went to hospital and demanded to have her stomach emptied and the contents examined(yes they did it). Cop dropped my off a few blocks from Maneki. As I said, this was our last visit.
Posted by BoxerRob on October 28, 2009 at 11:09 AM · Report this

The best sushi

I have eaten sushi from Alaska to San Diego, in Thailand and a bit in Japan. Others might be close but Maneki is the best.
The first time I went there I was seated in about 5 minutes. I didn't know how lucky I was until I was told the next 2 times that there would be an 1 1/2 and 2 hour wait. Now I make a reservation.
Posted by John Christensen on November 2, 2008 at 1:50 AM · Report this

konbawa! ^_^

It's the next best thing to being in Tokyo. There was some confusion as to whether or not I had a reservation ( I was told I was being put on the "waiting list", which I thought meant we were on the waiting list just to have a reservation), but they called me when we didn't show at the appointed time and moved our reservation back an hour so we could still make it. That is all kinds of awesome. The food is delicious and cheap, though of course I spent lots of money by eating too many of the cheap dishes. The older woman who seems to be matron of the house even came over at one point and showed a friend of mine how to get the meat off a mackerel fillet. "You've got to flip it over honey!" After which she plucked the chopsticks out of his hands and proceeded to show him with one hand. The service is a little slow, but that's just because they are so busy and popular. My only wish is that they surved Katsukare, which I can't find good anywhere else since Takohachi closed.
Posted by thaumaturgistguy on November 26, 2007 at 4:25 PM · Report this

Authentic and Dark Brown Wood

Maneki is my personal favorite Japanese restaurant in Seattle. This place is old school and you can feel it by the Japanese comfort food menu and the bartender/grandmother. No one used to know about this place but it has gotten alot more popular in the last 6 years. Get there early or late or plan on a wait. The unusual dishes and preparations on the menu are really a stand out. They also focus on seasonal items in their daily specials too. Of course, there are safe things for the less adventuring pallet.
Posted by double_fresh on October 7, 2007 at 3:36 PM · Report this


This place DOES take reservations. In fact, if you don't show up on time, they will CALL YOU! If your party is late, of course they will approach you and ask. Just order some appetizers and start chomping while you're waiting. It is very well WORTH the wait because the food is DA BOMB! FRESH, CHEAP and PLENTY! What more can you ask for???
Posted by Fugu on September 27, 2007 at 5:00 PM · Report this

Seriously Folks?

I tried to go here one time with a few of my friends. We were rudely moved from table to table, 3 times! The last time they told us we had to move, they wanted us to go back out to the lobby while they got the 3rd table ready. We left instead. I haven't tried to go back since. I hear they have good food, but with service like that, I'm surprised anyone has ever eaten it.
Posted by D. A. S. on September 27, 2007 at 9:29 AM · Report this

Shhh.... Don't tell anyone...

Maneki is one of my top sushi places to go. Really fresh sashimi, and the oldest Sushi restaurant in town. Apparently this place has been open since 1905, if you doubt me just ask the owner, who also serves as the hostess, she'll tell you how long the restaurant has been in the family. Great prices, fresh fish, old fashoned japonese style.
Posted by la_gringa on August 8, 2007 at 11:03 AM · Report this

Absolutely the best!

So they don't take reservations. And so the service is a little slow. And so the food takes a little while. WHO CARES! The sushi is CHEAP and the pieces are HUGE HUGE HUGE. And it's absolutely delightfully fresh and you are served by the most wonderful staff ever. It's an absolute must-eat!
Posted by sassyhopeful on August 4, 2007 at 2:35 PM · Report this

Maneki is Queen

Jean-San is the most adorable owner ever and Mama has been servin' up your sake for over 30 years. the fish is impeccably fresh, well presented and generous...the oysters miso rockefeller leave me speechless and moaning...
Posted by ring_my_bell on July 12, 2007 at 12:18 PM · Report this

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Maneki Restaurant
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