Revel (Fremont)

Photo: Revel

You’ll immediately feel casually hip when you walk into Revel. The restaurant is filled with bright art and music, and is best enjoyed with friends so you can sample a variety of dumplings, savory pancakes, noodles, and rice bowls. You can sit at the communal bar or at tables along the wall, but either way you’ll feel part of the community spirit.

Chaco Canyon (U Dist/Ballard/West Seattle)

Chaco Canyon’s three sites are all lovely, though I am partial to the original University District location. Chaco was conceived to create a cafe that could nourish the community while also being a powerful voice for sustainable business practices. Whether customers want/need a raw, vegan, gluten, soy, or allergen-free diet, their taste buds will delight in interesting, healthy, and delicious food, all delivered by passionate staff who care deeply about what they serve, Chaco Canyon’s mission, and your experience. Visiting Seattle in the chilly rain? Get the Flu Buster — it’ll ward off the grey and keep you loving the Seattle experience!

Country Dough (Downtown)

Photo via Country Dough

Country Dough is Sichuan street food — a hot and spicy local favorite. It’s owned by a father and son who sold the three restaurants they had to start a new business together, and you really feel the labor of love in the atmosphere and the cuisine. The Szechuan tradition from which the Yangs cook goes back a long way: “Over 1,800 years of history,” reads their sign. When you watch the noodles being shaved by hand into a gigantic pot of boiling water, then slurp the freshly-made noodles minutes later, you really taste that history. Check out the flatbreads, but don’t shortchange the “Chinese crepe” — it’s a wonderful meld of ingredients and textures.

Tsukushinbo, (International District)

Even locals love the challenge of finding Tsukushinbo in the International District. It is easy to miss, but pass by during the daytime on a Friday, and you won’t be able not to see the long line of people who are there for the bowls of home-style ramen served for lunch just that one day a week. Tsukushinbo’s quality menu goes well beyond just noodles and broth it’s the place Japanese tell their white friends to go for the real deal. There’s no sign, and finding Tsukushinbo can be an urban traveler’s adventure in and of itself. Walking in, your successful hunt success sustained by the fantastic food: Sushi, tempura, chirashi, a lunch combo that features a mini katsudon and a mini tanaki udon — and shoyu ramen.

Super Six, (Columbia City)

Photo: Super Six

Super Six is a former auto-body shop that grooves with old-school Americana: a diner counter with bar stools, a TV with the game on, and if you listen closely, you’ll hear Sam Cooke crooning in the background. The feast is American playing with pan-Asian. The nighttime vibe can be raucously engaging, like being at a tailgate barbeque. And with espresso in the mornings, weekend brunch, a full bar and expansive outdoor beer garden, Super Six is the perfect neighborhood joint.

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