The classic ramen at Ramen Danbo. You should order the thick noodles. Jessica Stein

Here are some of the dishes that Stranger staffers find themselves eating constantly at Seattle restaurants.


Sun-dried tomato and basil slice at Hot Mama's Pizza

Don't order a pie—you just want to go in and get a slice. Ask the counter person to toss it back in the oven just long enough to toast the bottom. It's the best slice in Seattle. DAN SAVAGE


Tzatziki at Omega

I don't know what kind of yogurt they use at Omega to make their tzatziki, but it is the thickest and creamiest I've ever had. A generous serving of diced cucumber elevates the whole affair, and it's all accompanied by the best pita in town. Order a glass of ouzo with a bucket of ice, and suddenly all the reasons to live are sitting right there on the table in front of you. RICH SMITH


Butter masala chicken at Daawat Grill & Bar

I am in love with Daawat's version of this dish and its rich, mildly aromatic tomato, cream, and ginger sauce. I get it with perfectly tender morsels of chicken, but they also offer beef, lamb, veggies, paneer, tofu, and fish. I never order anything else. LEILANI POLK


Bellissimo at Honey Hole

The Pike Street eatery's name sounds like a portable toilet company, but they actually make the most delicious sandwiches in Seattle. The Bellissimo is vegetarian, served with layers of warm Smoked Tomato Field Roast, roma tomatoes, sautéed onions, banana peppers, fresh basil, and goat cheese on a baguette. Add a side of their perfectly salted fries. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. KATIE HERZOG


Chile relleno at Carnitas Michoacan

The meaty dishes are the main focus at this family-run Beacon Hill taqueria (they also run a carniceria). But for another option, try their Friday chile relleno special. The flavor and texture are amazing, with no sogginess. Hit the well-outfitted salsa/condiment bar to add some spice to your rice and beans. And eat it all with their delicious house-made corn tortillas. Que rico! GILLIAN ANDERSON


A salt bagel with feta and dill spread at Bagel Oasis

When it comes to bagels, it's all about the schmear, and none I've tried comes close to the richness and the variety of flavor in the Ravenna bagel shop's feta and dill spread. Its smell alone makes you salivate. And it's not false advertising. NATHALIE GRAHAM


Quinoa salad bowl at Little Oddfellows

A generous sprawl of moist quinoa, piquant cherry tomatoes, succulent spinach, lettuce, vinaigrette dressing, and cucumber bits (of which I could use more, to be honest), this dish is vegan healthiness incarnate for a mere $9. You finish it feeling full and good about your body and the environment. DAVE SEGAL


Classic ramen at Ramen Danbo

I could write an ode about the broth alone, or the melt-in-your-mouth chsh pork. When it comes to spice, get it any way you like it, it'll be great at Danbo. But you gotta order the thick noodles or nothing. NATHALIE GRAHAM


Beef brisket at Wood Shop BBQ

Brisket should fall apart when you eat it, and be well-seasoned enough that barbecue sauce is unnecessary. Wood Shop's Texas-style brisket wins. You can eat it with the house sauce, which is just fine, or, like I prefer it, totally naked. LEILANI POLK


Crispy duck fresh rolls at Stateside

I've been inhaling this appetizer since Stateside first opened. They're utterly delicious. Pair them with the cumin pork ribs, another of their unique and signature appetizers, and it's a meal. DAN SAVAGE


Steak tartare at the Walrus and the Carpenter

I've never thought of raw beef as "refreshing" before, but that's the first word that comes to mind when I think about the rich, delicate complexities of this dish. A little salt on the yolk. A burst of herbs. I know you're supposed to eat oysters by the dozen here, but I'd rather have 12 servings of this. RICH SMITH


Tacos al pastor at Carmelo's Tacos

The taco stand hidden inside Hillcrest Market is the best one on Capitol Hill, and unlike other taco stands, they make their tortillas to order, right in front of you. They also give you pickled veggies on the side for free. I will never get tired of this place. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE


Kung pao fish at Sichuanese Cuisine

Savory chunks of fried boneless fish mixed with cabbage and crunchy peanuts, all flavored with red chili peppers and a tangy, spicy sauce. The dish comes searing hot straight from the wok, and the light crust on the fish holds the sauce just so for maximum satisfaction. The folks doing the cooking here absolutely know their business. GILLIAN ANDERSON


Sweet 'n' Sour Belong Together at In the Bowl

If you like your vegan fare fast and cheap, In the Bowl's offerings will sate you with their LP-sized plates. This dish is a sweet-sour-sauce-drizzled stir-fry medley of cucumber, tomato, onion, carrot, bell pepper, pineapple, and sesame seeds. Get it with the silky/spongy tofu and brown rice. Even the "medium" spice will kick your taste buds' ass. DAVE SEGAL


Everything you can fit in your face at Ivar's Seafood Restaurants

No matter what you think of corporate food, the fish at this local chain is just too damn dependably good to hate on. Be wary of their kitschy history, but dive into their fish stand's plethora of fish-and-chips options (halibut, salmon, cod, oyster, clams, prawns, scallops), or get more dressed-up seafood at one of their three sit-down restaurants. LESTER BLACK


Pickle soup at Dom Polski

One spoonful of this dill-heavy, hard-to-find dish makes me nostalgic for a life of polka dancing and stern Slavic pleasures I've never known. RICH SMITH


If you've never had a pupusa before, get your butt to Guanaco's. Their No. 1 features a pupusa filled with ingredients of your choosing (I usually go for cheese, jalapeños, and chicharrón), one pastelito (a type of croquette), and yuca, either boiled or fried. It comes with a spicy pickled slaw. Wash it down with an ice-cold beer. JASMYNE KEIMIG


Nicoise salad at Mr. West Cafe Bar

There is something about this salad—a variety of greens tossed with green beans, olives, capers, soft-boiled egg, smoked chicken, and small potatoes—that looks damn wild. And there is nothing I love more than food that has the appearance of wildness, like it was tossed into a bowl or onto a plate by the manic force of a forest wind. Civilization, sophisticated arrangement of colors, delicacy—these are not my favorite things. Give me potatoes that look a little angry and greens that were uprooted by rude hands. That's how this excellent and filling salad looks and even tastes. CHARLES MUDEDE


Lamb biryani at Kanak Cuisine of India

The rice is moist, and there are decadently seasoned medallions of lamb mixed in like tender treasure troves. I've had biryani at a couple of places around Seattle, but nothing matches Kanak's. NATHALIE GRAHAM


Sundubu-jjigae at Korean Tofu House

Seattle is blessed with many purveyors of Big Warm Bowls of Something, but Korean Tofu House's sundubu is the best of the best. It comes bubbling volcanically in a stone cauldron alongside purple rice. Spicy but not too spicy. Filling but not too filling. When I need comfort in the dourest parts of February, I turn to this dish. RICH SMITH


Double cheddar broccoli soup at Whole Foods

I did not want to be a person who likes Whole Foods, but I'm afraid the double cheddar broccoli soup has done me in. I am a Whole Foods convert. I'm there daily, unsuccessfully attempting to stop myself from eating this miracle of a soup. The key is the double cheddar. It is both yellow and sharp. I'm also betting the richness has something to do with its broth, made up of turnips, mushrooms, dill, black peppercorns—they go all-out. I've started carrying dairy pills in my pocket so I can indulge and not offend. CHASE BURNS


Tom yum soup at Jamjuree

This is my go-to soup for fighting an annoying cold—or just creating warm happiness. It's hot, it's sour, it has flavors of lemongrass and lime and chili, and it has zero coconut milk (and no other phlegm-boosting, dairy-like liquids, either). Perfect for clearing out your sinuses, snapping you out of the malaise, and sending you back out into the world light on your feet and ready for action. ELI SANDERS


Grilled wild salmon at Nordstrom Grill

The three things you need to know are: I love salmon, I am trying to avoid carbs, and I despise shopping. Whenever I do have to go shopping downtown, I try to treat myself to lunch at Nordstrom Grill, the restaurant in the Nordstrom men's section (in the basement, not to be confused with Cafe Nordstrom on the third floor). The salmon comes with sweet corn, lacinato kale with bits of applewood-smoked bacon, peppers, green onion, and a mustard vinaigrette. Yes, it's a whopping $24, but it's a good hunk of fish, it's only 660 calories, and they give you free bread (which I try not to eat—though I usually fail at that). CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE