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Kau Kau’s barbecued meats are a longstanding favorite near Centurylink Field.
Kau Kau [Official photo]

Where to Eat Around Centurylink Field

Pre-game the Seahawks with Cafe Con Leche’s hearty Cuban food, Dough Zone’s juicy dumplings, and Crawfish King’s whopping Cajun boils

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Kau Kau’s barbecued meats are a longstanding favorite near Centurylink Field.
| Kau Kau [Official photo]

Centurylink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders, has some strong local dining options these days, but the pro move is still to eat a meal before entering an overpriced sports zone. Thankfully, the area surrounding this NFL and MLS stadium — and its nearby neighbor, Safeco Field, home to the baseball team the Mariners — has a ton of fabulous new eateries as well as some old favorites that sometimes get overlooked. Here are a dozen options within easy reach of hungry fans, just in case a $12 beer and a boat of garlic fries won’t cut it.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cafe Paloma

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93 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 405-1920
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This dear little Turkish cafe in Pioneer Square has been here seemingly forever, and it’s still serving reliably lovely Mediterranean dishes. Veggie options abound, such as the grilled eggplant sandwich, the falafel pita, and the meze platter, featuring some of the best hummus in the city. The kalamata-studded lamb shepherd’s salad is a star as well.

2. Casco Antiguo

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115 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 538-0400
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Pioneer Square’s Casco Antiguo keeps it clean, colorful, and classic with tacos, enchiladas, cochinita pibil, and other comida típica mexicana. Its be-muraled alley bar is the perfect place to spend a pre-game happy hour (weather permitting, of course).

3. Altstadt

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209 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 602-6442
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This spacious Pioneer Square restaurant steps up the beer hall concept slightly, serving stylish takes on the cuisine of Germany and Sudetenland with sustainable, organic, Pacific Northwest ingredients. As expected, sausages feature heavily on the menu, but there are a few nice vegetarian and pescatarian options too. The scene is understandably lively, and kids are welcome.

Altstadt [Official photo]

4. Intermezzo Carmine

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409 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 596-8940
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Stately old Il Terrazzo Carmine has been holding it down for decades, but it closes at 4 p.m., right about when a pre-game dinner needs to begin. Thankfully, football fans can go next door to its trendy sibling bar, Intermezzo Carmine, where the atmosphere is less old-guard and clubby and more fresh-faced and Millennial. Chef Juan Vega runs both kitchens, but Intermezzo’s menu focuses on small plates, and as such, the service is a lot snappier.

5. Girin

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501 Stadium Pl S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 257-4259
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Seattle’s answer to Momofuku in New York City, stylish Girin specializes in Korean ssam, usually referring to barbecued pork or fish, wrapped up with chiles inside of leafy greens and accompanied by various banchan side dishes. The set menus are great for sharing with a big group. Some highlights from Girin’s fantastic happy hour are the pork belly ssam cups, the ground short rib burger, and fried oysters with gochujang mayo.

6. 13 Coins

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255 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 682-2513
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This reincarnation of Seattle’s snazziest 24-hour restaurant packs every bit of swingin’ mid-century punch as its original Boren Ave. location did, up to and including the swiveling leather captain’s chairs at the bar. What also followed along to Pioneer Square is 13 Coins’ colossal, ‘60s-era menu: Dutch babies! Calf’s liver and onions! Asparagus in béarnaise sauce! There’s something for pretty much everyone.

7. Dough Zone Dumpling House

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504 5th Ave S #109
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 285-9999
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Eastside-based dumpling chain Dough Zone’s newest outpost, a block north of Uwajimaya in the Chinatown International District, slings its famous xiao long bao and handmade noodles with speed and style. Yi bin noodles and juicy pan-fried jian baos are additional standouts, and everything’s cheap, too.

8. Fort St. George

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601 S King St #202
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 382-0662
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Folks sometimes call this place “the Japanese Denny’s” thanks to its shabby diner aesthetic, its ‘80s vaporware cocktail bar, its deep-fried comfort food, and the late hours it keeps. The yoshoku Japanese-Western menu is a wacky bricolage of American classics like spaghetti — say, topped with soy sauce-butter chicken or bolognese and garlic mayo — and variations on doria (a Japanese casserole of rice, meat, and cheese), ramen, udon, katsu, omelets, Asian fusion hamburgers, and platter-sized pools of curry. It’s always a weird, fun time in here.

9. Kau Kau

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656 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 682-4006
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The name of the game at this Chinatown International District fixture is barbecued meat. One of the neighborhood’s oldest surviving restaurants, Kau Kau started out as a ritzy Chinese-Hawaiian restaurant and is a bit rougher around the edges these days. But the pressed eight-spice duck and roasted side pork are as delectable as ever. Plus, prices mostly hang out below 10 bucks.

10. Crawfish King

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725 S Lane St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-3622
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Ideal for groups, Crawfish King does a bonafide dump-it-on-the-table-style Cajun crawfish boil, with various Vietnamese sides, beverages, desserts, and sauces to add a twist to the experience. The specials sometimes include the rarely seen Pacific Northwestern signal crawfish, which can be the size of a lobster — way bigger than the imported mudbugs from the South — and the menu always has all the usual local crab and oyster suspects too.

11. Paseo

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1760 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 420-7781
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SoDo’s Paseo installation has all the same juicy, messy, marvelous Caribbean sandwiches as the Paseo in Fremont, via the same simple counter service. Just four blocks from the stadium, this location is especially worth knowing about, not only because it’s bigger and less crowded, but also because it has parking.

12. Cafe Con Leche

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2901 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 682-7557
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Sharing space with Club Sur, owner Pedrito Vargas’ casual, colorful SoDo restaurant serves killer pan con lechon, media noche sandwiches, puerco asado (roast pork with black beans and plantains), and ajiaco criollo (a Cuban country-style stew with pork, yuca, and corn on the cob), plus plenty of fun specials.

1. Cafe Paloma

93 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98104

This dear little Turkish cafe in Pioneer Square has been here seemingly forever, and it’s still serving reliably lovely Mediterranean dishes. Veggie options abound, such as the grilled eggplant sandwich, the falafel pita, and the meze platter, featuring some of the best hummus in the city. The kalamata-studded lamb shepherd’s salad is a star as well.

93 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104

2. Casco Antiguo

115 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

Pioneer Square’s Casco Antiguo keeps it clean, colorful, and classic with tacos, enchiladas, cochinita pibil, and other comida típica mexicana. Its be-muraled alley bar is the perfect place to spend a pre-game happy hour (weather permitting, of course).

115 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

3. Altstadt

209 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Altstadt [Official photo]

This spacious Pioneer Square restaurant steps up the beer hall concept slightly, serving stylish takes on the cuisine of Germany and Sudetenland with sustainable, organic, Pacific Northwest ingredients. As expected, sausages feature heavily on the menu, but there are a few nice vegetarian and pescatarian options too. The scene is understandably lively, and kids are welcome.

209 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

4. Intermezzo Carmine

409 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

Stately old Il Terrazzo Carmine has been holding it down for decades, but it closes at 4 p.m., right about when a pre-game dinner needs to begin. Thankfully, football fans can go next door to its trendy sibling bar, Intermezzo Carmine, where the atmosphere is less old-guard and clubby and more fresh-faced and Millennial. Chef Juan Vega runs both kitchens, but Intermezzo’s menu focuses on small plates, and as such, the service is a lot snappier.

409 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

5. Girin

501 Stadium Pl S, Seattle, WA 98104

Seattle’s answer to Momofuku in New York City, stylish Girin specializes in Korean ssam, usually referring to barbecued pork or fish, wrapped up with chiles inside of leafy greens and accompanied by various banchan side dishes. The set menus are great for sharing with a big group. Some highlights from Girin’s fantastic happy hour are the pork belly ssam cups, the ground short rib burger, and fried oysters with gochujang mayo.

501 Stadium Pl S
Seattle, WA 98104

6. 13 Coins

255 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

This reincarnation of Seattle’s snazziest 24-hour restaurant packs every bit of swingin’ mid-century punch as its original Boren Ave. location did, up to and including the swiveling leather captain’s chairs at the bar. What also followed along to Pioneer Square is 13 Coins’ colossal, ‘60s-era menu: Dutch babies! Calf’s liver and onions! Asparagus in béarnaise sauce! There’s something for pretty much everyone.

255 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104

7. Dough Zone Dumpling House

504 5th Ave S #109, Seattle, WA 98104

Eastside-based dumpling chain Dough Zone’s newest outpost, a block north of Uwajimaya in the Chinatown International District, slings its famous xiao long bao and handmade noodles with speed and style. Yi bin noodles and juicy pan-fried jian baos are additional standouts, and everything’s cheap, too.

504 5th Ave S #109
Seattle, WA 98104

8. Fort St. George

601 S King St #202, Seattle, WA 98104

Folks sometimes call this place “the Japanese Denny’s” thanks to its shabby diner aesthetic, its ‘80s vaporware cocktail bar, its deep-fried comfort food, and the late hours it keeps. The yoshoku Japanese-Western menu is a wacky bricolage of American classics like spaghetti — say, topped with soy sauce-butter chicken or bolognese and garlic mayo — and variations on doria (a Japanese casserole of rice, meat, and cheese), ramen, udon, katsu, omelets, Asian fusion hamburgers, and platter-sized pools of curry. It’s always a weird, fun time in here.

601 S King St #202
Seattle, WA 98104

9. Kau Kau

656 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

The name of the game at this Chinatown International District fixture is barbecued meat. One of the neighborhood’s oldest surviving restaurants, Kau Kau started out as a ritzy Chinese-Hawaiian restaurant and is a bit rougher around the edges these days. But the pressed eight-spice duck and roasted side pork are as delectable as ever. Plus, prices mostly hang out below 10 bucks.

656 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104

10. Crawfish King

725 S Lane St, Seattle, WA 98104

Ideal for groups, Crawfish King does a bonafide dump-it-on-the-table-style Cajun crawfish boil, with various Vietnamese sides, beverages, desserts, and sauces to add a twist to the experience. The specials sometimes include the rarely seen Pacific Northwestern signal crawfish, which can be the size of a lobster — way bigger than the imported mudbugs from the South — and the menu always has all the usual local crab and oyster suspects too.

725 S Lane St
Seattle, WA 98104

11. Paseo

1760 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

SoDo’s Paseo installation has all the same juicy, messy, marvelous Caribbean sandwiches as the Paseo in Fremont, via the same simple counter service. Just four blocks from the stadium, this location is especially worth knowing about, not only because it’s bigger and less crowded, but also because it has parking.

1760 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

12. Cafe Con Leche

2901 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

Sharing space with Club Sur, owner Pedrito Vargas’ casual, colorful SoDo restaurant serves killer pan con lechon, media noche sandwiches, puerco asado (roast pork with black beans and plantains), and ajiaco criollo (a Cuban country-style stew with pork, yuca, and corn on the cob), plus plenty of fun specials.

2901 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

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