Phòcific Standard Time and Phò Băc Sup Shop


Phòcific Standard Time, referred to less formally as PST, is the collaborative work of sisters Yenvy and Quynh Pham—who grew up in their family’s multi-location Phò Băc chain of soup shops. Guests at PST enter first through the soup shop, then up a flight of stairs into a space that feels like a secret. There are around 10 drinks on offer at any given time, a comfortable cluster of two-tops and bar seating, and a tight selection of satisfying snacks, including a sweet, creamy, savory crab dip served with Vietnamese “Sky Flakes” saltine crackers, as well as pho from downstairs offered in an oversized Cup O’ Noodles bucket. The bar feels dark, date-y, with flickering candles and the ebb and flow of conversation. There will be Viet pop on the stereo. You will lose track of time. (JORDAN MICHELMAN)

More pho-vorites: Pho Than Brothers (various locations), Ba Bar (various locations), Pho Viet Anh (Belltown), Pho Bac (Mt. Baker), Dong Thap Noodles (Chinatown-International District)

Cycle Dogs


Cycle Dogs is the place to be for fast-casual vegan comfort food and fancy cocktails. If it’s brunch, you’re eating the French Tourist. Imagine, a hot, sloppy sandwich with juicy vegan sausage patties, perfectly seasoned tofu scramble, onions grilled golden, and a combination of cheese and mayo that you won’t believe will spare you IBS symptoms, all on a buttery brioche bun. If you go for dinner, you’re getting the Elote Dog. It’s a Field Roast hot dog between a bun with a crisp outside and soft inside covered with corn, a drizzle of mayo, a sprinkle of cayenne, and green onions. If you’re feeling fancy, add pickled jalapenos and Tapatío. I recommend eating it with a fork and knife like a filet mignon at a Michelin-star restaurant. That’s the respect it deserves. (HANNAH KRIEG)

More vegetarian and vegan favorites: Plum Bistro (Capitol Hill), the Wayward Vegan (Roosevelt), Cafe Flora (Madison Valley), Georgetown Liquor Company (Georgetown), Araya’s Place (University District)



The New York Times put it on their Restaurant List 2021. Condé Nast Traveler named it one of the 12 Best New Restaurants in the World 2021. Communion is a place to meet old friends, make new ones, and foster community while celebrating the singular, very specific culinary heritage of the Central District, both past and present. You’ll find soul food in the CD, yes, but also Vietnamese cuisine, Middle Eastern food, and Ethiopian restaurants. Communion’s menu serves as a historical document. A food pedigree. Chef Kristi Brown nods to the neighborhood’s diversity, for example, with the catfish po’mi, a bánh mì made with cornmeal-crusted fried catfish, cukes, pickled daikon and carrots, grilled jalapeños, pté, and tangy remoulade. The award for Best Thing I’ve Ever Put in My Mouth probably goes to their neck bone stew. Don’t skip the banana pudding. (MEG VAN HUYGEN)

Even more excellent Black-owned restaurants: Cafe Campagne (Pike Place Market), Plum Bistro (Capitol Hill), Fat’s Chicken and Waffles (Central District), Osteria La Spiga (Capitol Hill), Island Soul Rum Bar and Soul Shack (Columbia City)

Mee Sum Pastry


A hum bao from Mee Sum Pastry is the OG broke-joke Seattle snack. The classic barbecue pork is The One—something about how the liquid fat from the pork and the red, umami-heavy char siu barbecue sauce mixes with the steamy, slightly sweet Chinese roll. The chewy edges of the meat, the delicate crust of the bread, and the pillowy texture. A singular and specific heaven. One hum bao is a big snack, two’s a meal. Walk down the Ave or through the Market, whichever, with one in your hand and one in the waxed paper sack, feeling like you have everything in life figured out. (MEG VAN HUYGEN)

More cheap—but great!—eats: Xi’an Noodles (University District), Saigon Deli (Chinatown-International District), Emerald City Fish and Chips (Mt. Baker), Taqueria la Fondita (White Center), Pho Than Brothers (various locations), Piroshky Piroshky (Pike Place Market and Downtown)

ASEAN StrEAT Food Hall


Yes, it’s essentially a mall food court, but the unified concept—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, with cuisine from each of the 10 member nations represented—is what makes this click. It’s about half lunch-dinner stalls and half dessert stalls, and a handful of them are dolled up like carts you’d see at a night market in Bangkok, with fake wheels on the front. A highlight is Rolling Wok’s mee goreng kee mow, spilling forth from a styrofoam Cup Noodle vessel. This Malaysian dish involves stir-frying thick, curly noodles in a spicy sauce along with your choice of shrimp, pork, or veggies, and there’s the option to crown it with a fried egg. It’s a wonderful, extremely Instagrammable spectacle. (MEG VAN HUYGEN)

Sushi Kashiba


When you sit down at the sushi counter or a table at Sushi Kashiba, perched above the fish vendors of Pike Place Market, the smartest thing you can do is surrender to chef Shiro Kashiba’s lifetime of knowledge and order the omakase sushi dinner (the price changes based on the market prices and availability; recently it was around $175 per person). Omakase, from the Japanese characters meaning “entrust,” puts you entirely in a chef’s hands. Food at Sushi Kashiba will taste exquisite whether you’re sitting at the sushi bar, in the small dining room, or the lounge. But if you’re lucky enough to secure seats at the sushi counter, each course will be served to you by Shiro-san himself, along with a generous helping of his benevolent expertise and humor. (Because of high demand, the sushi bar is seated exclusively on a first come, first served basis. Plan to get there before the doors open at 5 pm, or be prepared to wait. Either way, plan to be there for a few hours—don’t worry, it will all be worth it.) (ANGELA GARBES)

More sushi and seafood favorites: Shiro’s Sushi (Belltown), the Walrus and the Carpenter (Ballard), Kisaku Sushi (Green Lake), Sushi Kappo Tamura (Eastlake), Local Tide (Fremont), Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar (various locations), Ltd EditionSushi (Capitol Hill), Maneki (Chinatown-International District)



Prepare your brain for razzle-dazzle because James Beard Award-winning chef Brady Ishiwata Williams is fucking bringing it at TOMO. For 86 bucks you get a five-course prix fixe, either veggie or meaty, plus usually an amuse-bouche or two. The menu is always changing by the season, but expect Michelinesque food sculptures and an exquisite cocktail and wine list. They don’t hand out James Beard awards for nothin’. They also offer an á la carte menu with prices ranging from $6-$12 for a small starter to $135 for Wagyu for two. (MEG VAN HUYGEN)

More restaurants for when you’re celebrating, or just want to splurge: Canlis (Queen Anne), Altura (Capitol Hill), Bateau (Capitol Hill), Copine (Ballard), Lark Restaurant (Capitol Hill)

There are literally hundreds of amazing places to eat. For more restaurant recommendations, go to