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A bowl of pho in a metal bowl topped with a whole beef rib.
The beef rib pho at Pho Bac.
Jade Yamazaki Stewart/Eater Seattle

19 Knockout Restaurants in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District

Steaming bowls of pho, juicy xiao long bao, and other outstanding bites in the C-ID

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The beef rib pho at Pho Bac.
| Jade Yamazaki Stewart/Eater Seattle

Seattle’s Chinatown-International District is one of the city’s finest cultural and food destinations. Even as the neighborhood has struggled during the pandemic, its restaurants have remained resilient. In an area comprising Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon with dozens of restaurants, it can be daunting to determine the best places for noodles, dumplings, and other Asian foods. Here are recommendations highlighting some of the best cuisines and dishes the neighborhood has to offer.

As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically. Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Hood Famous Cafe and Bar

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Initially drawing high praise for its famed bright purple ube cheesecake, this café-by-day serves a variety of delectable Filipino treats accompanied by single origin Asian-Pacific coffee drinks. (Try a pandan latte or durian white chocolate mocha.) Now at night, the cafe transforms to a cocktail bar offering Pulutan (drinking snack) bites. Look for flavors like tamarind, guava, and calamansi appearing in the food and drinks.

Dough Zone Dumpling House

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Dough Zone is a chain on the move nationally but with roots in Bellevue. This is the place for small portions of noodles, dumplings, buns, and more, all at reasonable prices with efficient service. The xiao long bao are juicy soup dumplings that give legendary Din Tai Fung’s a run for their money. Dough Zone also serves a fried version: sheng jian bao, called Q-bao here, that are both crispy and juicy.

Chengdu Taste

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The celebrated Sichuan chain from Southern California opened its first Seattle location in 2020, serving popular specialties such as toothpick lamb with cumin, mung bean jelly noodles drenched in chili sauce, and a cold spring onion chicken in pepper sauce. Diners will delight in the ma la (numbing and spicy) aftermath of the Sichuan peppercorn and chili-laden dishes; ma po tofu aficionados should especially give Chengdu Taste’s version a try.

A closeup view of Chengdu Taste’s mung bean jelly noodles with chili sauce.
Mung bean jelly noodles with chili sauce
Amaelinda B Lee

Tsukushinbo

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This unmarked, easy-to-miss place in the historic Nihonmachi, or Japantown, is reminiscent of the many family-owned restaurants in Japan that somehow manage to cook a little bit of everything, really well. There’s a wrap-around sushi bar with eight seats, along with a small scattering of tables. The blackboard lists ever-changing items like the Ika Special (squid simmered in its own guts) and other “snacks” that pair well with sake and beer. Go soon; word is that Tsukushinbo will close and be reinvented as two new restaurants this summer.

A + Hong Kong Kitchen

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This bustling restaurant has an expansive menu featuring the subdued flavors of Cantonese cuisine. Stone pots topped with a variety of meats (spare ribs with Chinese sausage is especially popular) cover many tables in the restaurant, filled with rice that’s fluffy in the middle and crispy along the edges of the pot. Stir-fried rice rolls with XO sauce are kissed by the wok for the perfect pan-sear. For a unique taste of Hong Kong, try the baked pork chop with spaghetti and add a pineapple bun stuffed with a generous pat of chilled butter.

A closeup of Chinese sausage rice stone pot at A + Hong Kong Kitchen.
Chinese sausage rice stone pot
Jay Friedman

Fuji Bakery

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Fuji Bakery is an East-meets-West enterprise, combining ingredients and techniques from Japan and France to create wonders like the mustard bacon epi (shaped like a head of a wheat stalk). With savory breads and pastries, such as kare-pan (curry bun) and brioche saumon (salmon brioche), to sweets, like anpan (bun stuffed with sweet red bean paste), matcha creme croissant, and best-selling crunchy cream malasada, there’s no wrong occasion to stop by for a bite or just ogle the golden treats that tempt from trays in the window.

A golden-brown bun cut in half, filled with red bean paste and topped with a few black sesame seeds.
Fuji Bakery serves Japanese pastries like anpan (sweet bun filled with red bean paste).
Jay Friedman

Maneki has been a mainstay in Japantown for more than 100 years; while eager to resume in-person dining, it remains takeout-only for now. The menu is comprehensive and affordable, with Japanese classics from agedashi tofu to tempura and sukiyaki to sushi. Its signature dishes, like black cod collar miso, will make your home smell like a Japanese kitchen. The tatami rooms, sushi counter, and spirited bar area await reopening.

Mike's Noodle House

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Mike’s Noodle House may be the ultimate in C-ID Chinese comfort food. For a quick and inexpensive meal, it’s hard to beat bowls of wontons, dumplings, and toothpick-thin egg noodles. This place gets especially crowded on weekends, when diners start their day choosing from a wide variety of congee bowls (choices include preserved egg, rock cod, and pork liver), paired with a youtiao (savory Chinese cruller).

Soup with a light broth, wontons, and meat from Mike’s Noodle House
Mike’s Noodle House is known for its great soups.
Jay Friedman

Tai Tung

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Tai Tung is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Seattle where you can sit in the Bruce Lee Memorial Booth and have his cut-out watch as you eat his beloved beef with oyster sauce. The extensive menu is full of classics from chop suey to egg foo young to chow mein, especially fun to eat family-style.

Sizzling Pot King

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This Hunan-inspired restaurant uses pickled chilies in contrast to the dry chilies synonymous with the numerous Sichuan restaurants in the area. Mortar and pestle-pounded eggplant with bell pepper and century egg is a must-order, as are the customizable dry pots with a wide variety of meats and vegetables. Smoky plum juice is a nice pairing to the sourness, salt and spiciness of the food.

SUSU Dessert Bar

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Arrive before opening (advised to get the best selection, as lines form early) and you’ll see the team baking fresh-baked goods that glisten like jewels in the window display. Selections such as savory scones, crumbly cookies and fruity financiers vary week to week, but make sure to order the durian pate a choux, which is with bold pungent durian flavor, full of cream, and topped with a crunchy craquelin layer.

Gan Bei 21 and up

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This international-district restaurant (open until 2 a.m. most days) is a favorite among Seattle restaurant industry folks for its comforting rice claypots filled with sausage, chicken, bok choy, and other ingredients, and for its fried chicken — served with rice and gravy. The XO-sauce-covered green beans are also not to be missed. The intimate bar at the restaurant is the perfect spot for a shot, a beer, and conversations with strangers after a long shift. Despite being one of Shota Nakajima’s favorite restaurants in Seattle, Gan Bei is not well-known outside of those who work in the restaurant industry. 

Ton Kiang Barbeque Noodle House

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It’s easy to overlook this sliver of a storefront, but the compelling sight of hanging meats and the thwacking sound of cleaver against chopping block draw attentive diners in, while the amazing flavors ensure they return. Roasted duck has crackly skin, while poached free-range chicken comes with a superb ginger-scallion sauce. With a week’s notice, the restaurant will even set you up with a roasted whole pig for an at-home party.

A closeup of roasted duck from Ton Kiang.
Roasted duck is among Ton Kiang’s specialties.
Jay Friedman

Phnom Penh Noodle House

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This long-revered Cambodian restaurant has enjoyed a revival in a slick new space after a two-year closure. Longtime staples, including the honey-black pepper chicken wings, mee katang (wide rice noodles in gravy), and beef lok lac (wok-tossed marinated steak cubes), satisfy old and new diners alike. Soothingly porky bone soup is available in limited quantity, along with plenty of freezes and shakes for a cool finish.

Phnom Penh Noodle House’s soup, with prawns, sliced pork, fish cakes, and calamari, topped with cilantro.
Phnom Penh Noodle House reopened in 2020 after a two-year hiatus.
Kong Lu

Dong Thap Noodles

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Named for a Vietnamese province known for rice production, Dong Thap turns rice into fresh noodles that form the foundation of the menu, including soup noodles and dry “bun” bowls of vermicelli topped with meat, vegetables, and egg rolls. Diners can order pho with a choice of two noodles — one is a wide, flat version that is traditional in pho but hard to find locally. The noodles are soft and slippery, yet slightly chewy; they’re also available to buy at the counter to cook at home.

ChuMinh Tofu

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While many banh mi places offer tofu as a non-meat option, Chu Minh’s entire deli is vegan, including ten banh mi varieties. Choices include roasted “pork,” BBQ “duck,” lemongrass “chicken,” and sesame “beef.” (Don’t skip the unique “pork” skin sandwich!) All come slathered with chili sauce and vegan mayonnaise. During the pandemic, the deli stepped up to feed Little Saigon with free hot meals.

Saigon Vietnam Deli

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The barbecue pork banh mi here is a treat, but don’t overlook the “lunch box” of two or three entrees and a ton of rice for just a few bucks more. Beef stew, stuffed bitter melon, and coconut chicken are among the top picks. As with the other nearby delis, diners can also buy fresh spring rolls, banh cuon (rice crepes), and other Vietnamese bites, including neon-colored sweets.

A spread of various soups, vegetable stir-fries, noodle dishes, and other foods in metal trays or containers in a deli.
The deli at Saigon Vietnam Deli.
Jay Friedman

Hue Ky Mi Gia

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Almost everyone who comes here orders the fried butter chicken wings; crusted with garlic, green onion, chili, and salt, they’re delicious to eat alone, or dipped in the tangy, sweet chili sauce served on the side. The wings are the perfect appetizer ahead of one of the many noodle dishes on the menu, which includes egg or rice noodle soups (braised duck is especially popular), chow mein and chow fun, and stir-fried vermicelli plates.

A top-down view of fried butter chicken wings at Hue Ky Mi Gia
Fried butter chicken wings
Jenise Silva

Pho Bac Súp Shop

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Pho Bac Sup Shop shares a Little Saigon parking lot with currently closed sibling restaurant Pho Bac (they’re both owned by the same family, with the Pho Bac building shaped like a boat), but there’s a lot more on the menu than soup noodles. The pho tron (“dry pho”) is outstanding, and there are tasty bites like pho fries and twice-fried chicken wings with tamarind fish sauce glaze. Before or after your meal, head upstairs to the speakeasy-style bar, Phocific Standard Time, which opened last year for drinks made with Vietnamese ingredients.

Hood Famous Cafe and Bar

Initially drawing high praise for its famed bright purple ube cheesecake, this café-by-day serves a variety of delectable Filipino treats accompanied by single origin Asian-Pacific coffee drinks. (Try a pandan latte or durian white chocolate mocha.) Now at night, the cafe transforms to a cocktail bar offering Pulutan (drinking snack) bites. Look for flavors like tamarind, guava, and calamansi appearing in the food and drinks.

Dough Zone Dumpling House

Dough Zone is a chain on the move nationally but with roots in Bellevue. This is the place for small portions of noodles, dumplings, buns, and more, all at reasonable prices with efficient service. The xiao long bao are juicy soup dumplings that give legendary Din Tai Fung’s a run for their money. Dough Zone also serves a fried version: sheng jian bao, called Q-bao here, that are both crispy and juicy.

Chengdu Taste

A closeup view of Chengdu Taste’s mung bean jelly noodles with chili sauce.
Mung bean jelly noodles with chili sauce
Amaelinda B Lee

The celebrated Sichuan chain from Southern California opened its first Seattle location in 2020, serving popular specialties such as toothpick lamb with cumin, mung bean jelly noodles drenched in chili sauce, and a cold spring onion chicken in pepper sauce. Diners will delight in the ma la (numbing and spicy) aftermath of the Sichuan peppercorn and chili-laden dishes; ma po tofu aficionados should especially give Chengdu Taste’s version a try.

A closeup view of Chengdu Taste’s mung bean jelly noodles with chili sauce.
Mung bean jelly noodles with chili sauce
Amaelinda B Lee

Tsukushinbo

This unmarked, easy-to-miss place in the historic Nihonmachi, or Japantown, is reminiscent of the many family-owned restaurants in Japan that somehow manage to cook a little bit of everything, really well. There’s a wrap-around sushi bar with eight seats, along with a small scattering of tables. The blackboard lists ever-changing items like the Ika Special (squid simmered in its own guts) and other “snacks” that pair well with sake and beer. Go soon; word is that Tsukushinbo will close and be reinvented as two new restaurants this summer.

A + Hong Kong Kitchen

A closeup of Chinese sausage rice stone pot at A + Hong Kong Kitchen.
Chinese sausage rice stone pot
Jay Friedman

This bustling restaurant has an expansive menu featuring the subdued flavors of Cantonese cuisine. Stone pots topped with a variety of meats (spare ribs with Chinese sausage is especially popular) cover many tables in the restaurant, filled with rice that’s fluffy in the middle and crispy along the edges of the pot. Stir-fried rice rolls with XO sauce are kissed by the wok for the perfect pan-sear. For a unique taste of Hong Kong, try the baked pork chop with spaghetti and add a pineapple bun stuffed with a generous pat of chilled butter.

A closeup of Chinese sausage rice stone pot at A + Hong Kong Kitchen.
Chinese sausage rice stone pot
Jay Friedman

Fuji Bakery

A golden-brown bun cut in half, filled with red bean paste and topped with a few black sesame seeds.
Fuji Bakery serves Japanese pastries like anpan (sweet bun filled with red bean paste).
Jay Friedman

Fuji Bakery is an East-meets-West enterprise, combining ingredients and techniques from Japan and France to create wonders like the mustard bacon epi (shaped like a head of a wheat stalk). With savory breads and pastries, such as kare-pan (curry bun) and brioche saumon (salmon brioche), to sweets, like anpan (bun stuffed with sweet red bean paste), matcha creme croissant, and best-selling crunchy cream malasada, there’s no wrong occasion to stop by for a bite or just ogle the golden treats that tempt from trays in the window.

A golden-brown bun cut in half, filled with red bean paste and topped with a few black sesame seeds.
Fuji Bakery serves Japanese pastries like anpan (sweet bun filled with red bean paste).
Jay Friedman

Maneki

Maneki has been a mainstay in Japantown for more than 100 years; while eager to resume in-person dining, it remains takeout-only for now. The menu is comprehensive and affordable, with Japanese classics from agedashi tofu to tempura and sukiyaki to sushi. Its signature dishes, like black cod collar miso, will make your home smell like a Japanese kitchen. The tatami rooms, sushi counter, and spirited bar area await reopening.

Mike's Noodle House

Soup with a light broth, wontons, and meat from Mike’s Noodle House
Mike’s Noodle House is known for its great soups.
Jay Friedman

Mike’s Noodle House may be the ultimate in C-ID Chinese comfort food. For a quick and inexpensive meal, it’s hard to beat bowls of wontons, dumplings, and toothpick-thin egg noodles. This place gets especially crowded on weekends, when diners start their day choosing from a wide variety of congee bowls (choices include preserved egg, rock cod, and pork liver), paired with a youtiao (savory Chinese cruller).

Soup with a light broth, wontons, and meat from Mike’s Noodle House
Mike’s Noodle House is known for its great soups.
Jay Friedman

Tai Tung

Tai Tung is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Seattle where you can sit in the Bruce Lee Memorial Booth and have his cut-out watch as you eat his beloved beef with oyster sauce. The extensive menu is full of classics from chop suey to egg foo young to chow mein, especially fun to eat family-style.

Sizzling Pot King

This Hunan-inspired restaurant uses pickled chilies in contrast to the dry chilies synonymous with the numerous Sichuan restaurants in the area. Mortar and pestle-pounded eggplant with bell pepper and century egg is a must-order, as are the customizable dry pots with a wide variety of meats and vegetables. Smoky plum juice is a nice pairing to the sourness, salt and spiciness of the food.

SUSU Dessert Bar

Arrive before opening (advised to get the best selection, as lines form early) and you’ll see the team baking fresh-baked goods that glisten like jewels in the window display. Selections such as savory scones, crumbly cookies and fruity financiers vary week to week, but make sure to order the durian pate a choux, which is with bold pungent durian flavor, full of cream, and topped with a crunchy craquelin layer.

Gan Bei 21 and up

This international-district restaurant (open until 2 a.m. most days) is a favorite among Seattle restaurant industry folks for its comforting rice claypots filled with sausage, chicken, bok choy, and other ingredients, and for its fried chicken — served with rice and gravy. The XO-sauce-covered green beans are also not to be missed. The intimate bar at the restaurant is the perfect spot for a shot, a beer, and conversations with strangers after a long shift. Despite being one of Shota Nakajima’s favorite restaurants in Seattle, Gan Bei is not well-known outside of those who work in the restaurant industry. 

Ton Kiang Barbeque Noodle House

A closeup of roasted duck from Ton Kiang.
Roasted duck is among Ton Kiang’s specialties.
Jay Friedman

It’s easy to overlook this sliver of a storefront, but the compelling sight of hanging meats and the thwacking sound of cleaver against chopping block draw attentive diners in, while the amazing flavors ensure they return. Roasted duck has crackly skin, while poached free-range chicken comes with a superb ginger-scallion sauce. With a week’s notice, the restaurant will even set you up with a roasted whole pig for an at-home party.

A closeup of roasted duck from Ton Kiang.
Roasted duck is among Ton Kiang’s specialties.
Jay Friedman

Phnom Penh Noodle House

Phnom Penh Noodle House’s soup, with prawns, sliced pork, fish cakes, and calamari, topped with cilantro.
Phnom Penh Noodle House reopened in 2020 after a two-year hiatus.
Kong Lu

This long-revered Cambodian restaurant has enjoyed a revival in a slick new space after a two-year closure. Longtime staples, including the honey-black pepper chicken wings, mee katang (wide rice noodles in gravy), and beef lok lac (wok-tossed marinated steak cubes), satisfy old and new diners alike. Soothingly porky bone soup is available in limited quantity, along with plenty of freezes and shakes for a cool finish.

Phnom Penh Noodle House’s soup, with prawns, sliced pork, fish cakes, and calamari, topped with cilantro.
Phnom Penh Noodle House reopened in 2020 after a two-year hiatus.
Kong Lu

Dong Thap Noodles

Named for a Vietnamese province known for rice production, Dong Thap turns rice into fresh noodles that form the foundation of the menu, including soup noodles and dry “bun” bowls of vermicelli topped with meat, vegetables, and egg rolls. Diners can order pho with a choice of two noodles — one is a wide, flat version that is traditional in pho but hard to find locally. The noodles are soft and slippery, yet slightly chewy; they’re also available to buy at the counter to cook at home.

Related Maps

ChuMinh Tofu

While many banh mi places offer tofu as a non-meat option, Chu Minh’s entire deli is vegan, including ten banh mi varieties. Choices include roasted “pork,” BBQ “duck,” lemongrass “chicken,” and sesame “beef.” (Don’t skip the unique “pork” skin sandwich!) All come slathered with chili sauce and vegan mayonnaise. During the pandemic, the deli stepped up to feed Little Saigon with free hot meals.

Saigon Vietnam Deli

A spread of various soups, vegetable stir-fries, noodle dishes, and other foods in metal trays or containers in a deli.
The deli at Saigon Vietnam Deli.
Jay Friedman

The barbecue pork banh mi here is a treat, but don’t overlook the “lunch box” of two or three entrees and a ton of rice for just a few bucks more. Beef stew, stuffed bitter melon, and coconut chicken are among the top picks. As with the other nearby delis, diners can also buy fresh spring rolls, banh cuon (rice crepes), and other Vietnamese bites, including neon-colored sweets.

A spread of various soups, vegetable stir-fries, noodle dishes, and other foods in metal trays or containers in a deli.
The deli at Saigon Vietnam Deli.
Jay Friedman

Hue Ky Mi Gia

A top-down view of fried butter chicken wings at Hue Ky Mi Gia
Fried butter chicken wings
Jenise Silva

Almost everyone who comes here orders the fried butter chicken wings; crusted with garlic, green onion, chili, and salt, they’re delicious to eat alone, or dipped in the tangy, sweet chili sauce served on the side. The wings are the perfect appetizer ahead of one of the many noodle dishes on the menu, which includes egg or rice noodle soups (braised duck is especially popular), chow mein and chow fun, and stir-fried vermicelli plates.

A top-down view of fried butter chicken wings at Hue Ky Mi Gia
Fried butter chicken wings
Jenise Silva

Pho Bac Súp Shop

Pho Bac Sup Shop shares a Little Saigon parking lot with currently closed sibling restaurant Pho Bac (they’re both owned by the same family, with the Pho Bac building shaped like a boat), but there’s a lot more on the menu than soup noodles. The pho tron (“dry pho”) is outstanding, and there are tasty bites like pho fries and twice-fried chicken wings with tamarind fish sauce glaze. Before or after your meal, head upstairs to the speakeasy-style bar, Phocific Standard Time, which opened last year for drinks made with Vietnamese ingredients.

Related Maps