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A pizza with vibrant greens, bubbling cheese, sauce, and a rustic crust sits on top of a peel.
Watershed Pub & Kitchen features hand-tossed pizzas, and a welcoming neighborhood vibe.
Watershed Pub & Kitchen

Everything You Need to Eat Around the Northgate Transit Center

Seattle’s recent Light Rail expansion means faster and more convenient travel up North. Here’s where to eat around Northgate TC

On October 2, tens of thousands of people gathered to witness the opening of Seattle’s Northgate TC, the northernmost point of the Link Light Rail — now called 1 Line. From Northgate, riders can access downtown in 14 minutes, and the SeaTac International Airport in as little as 45 minutes.

Besides the Northgate Community College and a shopping complex, the main attraction is the Kraken Community Iceplex, the base for Seattle’s new NHL team. Part of the Northgate Mall was cut away to make room for the Iceplex — an eight-minute walk from Northgate TC — and the area still includes mall mainstays like Red Robin and local chain Azteca Mexican Restaurant, but that’s only part of Northgate’s restaurant offerings. As the area continues to grow into a transit-oriented urban center, expect more restaurants to open as time goes on. Read on for a selection of restaurants all within walking distance of Northgate TC, from inexpensive quick bites, beer, and appetizers, to steak dinners and inventive curry dishes.

All restaurants listed offer takeout and indoor dining. As of October 25, King County will require proof of vaccination for everyone ages 12+ at indoor establishments, restaurants, and bars. Studies indicate there is a lower exposure risk when eating outdoors, and the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. Please visit King County’s COVID website for resources and current information.

Where to go solo for a quick bite

A handful of restaurants in the Thornton Place apartment center, just to the east of Northgate TC, are perfect to grab a quick meal or caffeinated beverage before hopping on the 1 Line. Visit Sushi Tengu for quick, conveyor belt-style sushi; Japanese chain Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya; and Jewel Box Cafe for sweet and savory crepes, light breakfast options, smoothies, bubble teas, and espresso drinks.

To the north of the Iceplex is Poke Cafe, an unassuming counter-service cafe with bubble tea, banh mi sandwiches, and poke bowls.

A silver sign with “Poke Cafe” hangs above an outdoor sidewalk seating area.
Poke Cafe sells a selection of banh mi, poke bowls, and bubble tea at their counter-service location.
Mark Van Streefkerk

Where to go for a sit-down meal

Saffron Grill is to the west of the I-5 freeway and on the northern side of Northgate Way. With a blending of North Indian and Mediterranean flavors, diners come to linger at this sit-down restaurant, one of Seattle’s best for Indian cuisine. Try their okra masala, shahi korma, or Kashmiri specialty curry with sliced apples, almonds, and raisins. Also to the north of the Iceplex is Tian Fu, a Chinese restaurant with traditional selections like hot and sour soup, kung pao chicken, and beef and broccoli.

Stanford’s is a Black- and woman-owned Pacific Northwest chain of steakhouses, and its Northgate location is about a 10-minute walk from the transit center. This family-friendly restaurant has classic steakhouse fare like rock salt roasted prime rib and pork chops, as well as salads and pasta like the cajun prawn linguini. You can’t go wrong with the filet mignon. Stanford’s also plans to open a downtown Tacoma location later this fall.

Filet mignon, a scoop of mashed potatoes, and green beans are artfully displayed on a white plate.
Stanford’s serves classic steakhouse fare like filet mignon, pasta, and some seafood entrees.
Ascend Hospitality Group

Where to go in a group

Whether taking the family to an event at the Iceplex, or just unwinding with friends at the end of the day, you’ll want to fuel up at Watershed Pub & Kitchen. The welcoming, family-owned pub and restaurant is a neighborhood watering hole with 23 rotating taps, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads, pie folds, and other desserts. Their indoor and outdoor seating areas accommodate all ages, while a designated bar area is for diners 21 years and older. Watershed serves weekend brunch and has an active calendar of events with live music, trivia, community events, and more.

Saffron Grill

2132 North Northgate Way, , WA 98133 (206) 417-0707 Visit Website

Watershed Pub & Kitchen

10104 3rd Avenue Northeast, , WA 98125 (206) 729-7433 Visit Website