On February 10, Lunar New Year celebrations will commence in Seattle as many members of the East Asian diaspora ring in the Year of the Dragon. Called Tet in Vietnam and Seollal in Korea, Lunar New Year festivities can include elaborate dances, the exchanging of lucky red envelopes, and lots and lots of food.
The Seattle metro area has a ton of great Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese and Taiwanese restaurants — check out our maps on them if you like — so with this list below we’re gonna focus on places that do specials for Lunar New Year, either one-off events or unique menu items. If we missed something that should be on here, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucky Envelope Brewing
This Ballard brewery leans into its founders’ Asian heritage, and as usual it is going big for Lunar New Year. On Saturday, February 10, Lucky Envelope is kicking off a week of events with a noon to 10 p.m. party that will include red envelopes to the first guests to show up, food from the Panda Dim Sum truck (from 3 to 8), and intriguing new beers: a dragonfruit wheat beer that’s a collaboration with North Carolina’s Highland Brewing and a oolang tea lager that’s a collab with Austin Beerworks. More info (and info on additional events) can be found here.
On February 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., this Pioneer Square Korean spot is holding a “brunch market” — is there a better combination of words? You can buy goods from local artists, plus get coffee from the Bloom coffee cart and cake from Paper Cake Shop.
The Eastside’s most prominent mall is embracing Lunar New Year in a big way. Dumpling chain Din Tai Fung will hand out red envelopes containing info about Lunar New Year plus a coupon for free noodles to every guest who shows up from February 8 to 12 while supplies last. One guest per store will get a special prize — a “golden ticket” that will get them access to Din Tai Fung’s “VIP Reservation Concierge Service.” See here for more details.
Other specials at the Bellevue Collection include Lady M’s Lunar New Year Gift Set, an elaborately packaged box of treats that sells for $88 and is such a hot deal that it’s already sold out online. Seafood spot Water Grill is doing a Lunar New Year menu that includes shrimp shumai and a whole crispy sea bass.
This Vietnamese restaurant on Bainbridge is pulling out all the stops for Tet — it will be holding a lion dance in front of its doors on Sunday, February 11 (follow Ba Sa on Instagram for details) and is putting some specials on the menu February 9 through 12. What kind of specials? How about banh tet (sticky rice stuffed with pork belly and mung bean wrapped in banana leaves), sweet banana layer cake, and thit kho mang (braised pork belly with bamboo shoots).
This Japanese hot pot spot in Redmond is giving away red envelopes with prizes inside from February 1 to 10. Guests can also build their own tteokguk, a Korean rice cake soup that is traditionally served around Lunar New Year.
The Charlotte Restaurant and Lounge
This restaurant is inside the downtown outpost of Lotte Hotels, a Korean luxury hospitality chain. So naturally, it’s featuring some food and drink specials. From February 5 to 12, it’ll be serving tteokguk and a black sesame cake, plus a cocktail called a Fortune’s Cup of Love and Luck that comes garnished with a paper crane.
Tet at Seattle Center
As part of its Festal series, Seattle Center is once again putting on a Tet festival this year. On February 3 and 4 the Fisher Pavilion and Armory will be jam-packed with dances, singers, eating competitions, and other events. There will also be food on site. Go here for a full list of happenings.
Chinatown–International District Food Walk
Not that anyone should need an excuse to eat in the CID, but on Saturday, February 24, the neighborhood will be hosting a food walk — visit five participating restaurants and you’ll get to take home a gift basket. There’s also a Bruce Lee costume contest. More info here.
One of Seattle’s most well-known Vietnamese restaurants, Monsoon is rolling out a Tet menu from February 2 to 12 that includes banh tet, thit kho (braised pork shoulder), and “Happiness Dumplings,” which have red bean and sweet ginger sauce.
The other restaurant from sibling team Eric and Sophie Banh, Ba Bar, is also serving banh tet from February 10 to 14, and also offering cha que (pork pate with cinnamon), and a “Choco Matcha Lovers Cake,” which is a crossover special with Valentine’s Day.