Seattle hockey fans are ecstatic that the city will be getting an NHL team in 2021 (name still TBD). But, of course, the newly-renovated Key Arena will need some great food and drink options to go along with the action — which also includes the reigning WNBA World Champions, Seattle Storm. On that front, and many others, NHL Seattle has recently launched a fan portal to take polls and solicit suggestions from the public. In the food category, fans can vote for what kind of cuisine they want to see at the new place: Classic (dogs, burgers, onion rings), Fancy (sushi, pasta, steaks), Healthy (vegan, wraps, stir fry), or “all of the above.”
That’s a little vague, so here are some more specific recommendations that might be good as write-in candidates. Consider this the NHL Eater Seattle Dream Team Lineup.
Poutine from The Angry Beaver
Over the past eight years, this Canadian-themed bar and restaurant in Greenwood has been a destination for the city’s puckheads. In fact, owner Tim Pipes may have been instrumental in moving the NHL’s expansion to Seattle forward. But, besides the legit hockey cred, the Angry Beaver is also Seattle’s undisputed poutine king. There are four different kinds of the fries-drenched-in-gravy dish, all made with Beecher’s Homemade cheese curds (and poutine flights as well, for true connoisseurs). There may not be a more perfect food for hockey, and while it may be unlikely that a single bar would have the resources to open up an outpost in the new arena, there’s no harm in dreaming big.
Burgers from Katsu Burger
While this could fall under the fan portal’s Classic section, the massively popular fast-casual Japanese chain — on Eater Seattle’s 38 Essential Restaurants list — would be a great fit for those looking for something a little different than the usual sports venue burger stand. The crunchy, panko-breaded, deep-fried meats (fantastic with tonkatsu sauce) are perfectly portable, and plenty filling enough to last all three periods. With the way Katsu Burger is expanding — the latest outpost is in Federal Way — it wouldn’t be a surprise to eventually see one at any of Seattle’s sports venues. If that doesn’t happen, Shake Shack, Dick’s, or Little Big Burger would be pretty cool, too.
Porters from Stoup Brewing
Beer is not technically food, but is it essential to this mix. Stadiums and arenas have long since moved on from the days of watery light beers at concession stands, and there are plenty of great beer options to choose from in Seattle. But the Ballard-based Stoup has an award winning Robust Porter (flavored with chocolate and coffee) that should hit the spot on those cold winter nights when the Seattle Sockeyes or Kraken or whatever-they-get-called struggle to get the damn puck out of their zone.
Tacos from Little Neon Taco
Every sports destination worth its salt needs a good taco spot, and there may be no better option than Little Neon Taco. The First Hill restaurant blends traditional tacos like lengua and adobada with new twists, like the cueritos with soft pork rinds. And the newly-revamped KeyArena could be a great venue for chef Monica Dimas, who has plenty experience running small stands and walk-up windows, including Westman’s Bagels and Neon Taco’s original temporary digs inside Nacho Borracho.
Sandwiches, gyros, and wraps from Plum Bistro
For those looking for options under the Healthy category, this vegan restaurant — which has an outpost in Seattle Center, not too far from the arena — would be a solid bet. Some of the Bistro’s most crowd seat-friendly options include a lemon dill gyro with seitan on spinach naan and a barbecue pulled mushroom po’ boy with pickled cabbage and ranch aoli. That should be a great shift change from the other meaty offerings around.
Did we miss anything you’d want to see at the home of Seattle’s new NHL team? Feel free to send us a tip.