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A view of a bowl of pozole, with tortillas, lime, and sauces on the side.
Pozole from Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano
Jenise Silva

Where to Get Comforting Bowls of Soups and Stews for Wintry Seattle Weather

Pho, ramen, pozole, French specialties, and more

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Pozole from Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano
| Jenise Silva

Winter is here in full force — but Seattle’s food scene is ready. Those looking to warm up with simmering bowls of broth have plenty of options: the city’s ubiquitous pho scene, ramen shops, Cambodian noodle soup in the International District, French specialties, pozole, and beyond. Even as the city reopens for limited dining, takeout still reigns, and the comfort food dishes hold up well while hunkered down at home. Here are a few favorites, listed from north to south.

Though all the restaurants and bars on the list offer takeout, a number have resumed limited outdoor or dine-in service as well, per the current state mandates. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the King County’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Korean Tofu House

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This excellent Korean restaurant — which has outposts in Edmonds and the U District — is known for fiery bowls of soondubu-jjigae, filled with a variety of beef, pork, seafood, dumplings, and vegetables. Each order comes with a side of rice and a selection of banchan. Available for takeout, delivery (via Doordash, Postmates, and Uber Eats), and limited dine-in.

Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House in a pot with sides in the background
Soondubu jjigae
Korean Tofu House/Facebook

Rubinstein Bagels

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Bagels are the main name of the game at this new cafe inside the Via6 luxury apartment building across from the Amazon Spheres — but don’t sleep on the matzo ball soup. While many other delis around town have versions that hew closely to the classic, Rubinstein has decided to go with a duck fat twist (blended into the matzo, not the broth), and the extra oomph works.

Capitol Hill’s low-key counter above the QFC on Harvard Avenue serves some of the best ramen around town, with silky broths and noodles that soak up the flavor nicely. The shoyu variety is a favorite, but for those that don’t mind a little more heat, the spicy kotteri ramen certainly delivers — with spice level customizable. Takeout kits are available via the website.

Marmite

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Chophouse Row’s rustic French bistro always delivers on the comfort food front. The seasonal soups on offer include a delectable potage de légumes-racines (root vegetable pureed) and a soupe de deux potirons (pureed kabocha and cinderella pumpkins). Perfect for scooping up with generous pieces of baguette. Open for takeout and limited dine-in.

Pike Place Chowder

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Though it’s usually considered a tourist trap, the Pike Place mainstay really does have some of the best chowder in town, whether in clam, salmon, scallop, and crab and oyster varieties, all served in a sourdough bread bowl. It’s a New England classic with plenty of Pacific Northwest spirit. Available for takeout.

Oriental Mart

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After years going without a menu, the three generation family-owned Pike Place lunch counter is getting a little more structure during the pandemic. But the famed salmon collar sinigang from beloved chef Leila Rosas remains unchanged in all its sour glory, and helped earn this spot a James Beard Classics Award. Open for takeout.

Pho Bac Súp Shop

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The famed Pho Bac Boat’s hipper, younger sibling is still serving the same quality pho the Pham family has been known for over the years. Tenderized slow-cooked beef chunks fall right off the bone for a spiritual pho experience, and it has added an excellent bun bo hue to the menu. Open for takeout and in-house delivery.

Phnom Penh Noodle House

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The much-admired Cambodian restaurant in the International District that closed for two years got a revival in 2020. A fan favorite is the “special rice noodle soup,” made with prawn fish cakes, fish balls, and pork, swimming in a fragrant broth. But the tamarind-flavored samlaw machou is stellar as well, and both are available as to-go kits for heating at home.

Ho Ho Seafood Restaurant

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There are plenty of places around the city to get hot and sour soup, but the longtime International District probably has one of the most sought-after versions: silky, with a pleasant balance of tang and spice. The minced crab meat with fried fish maw soup isn’t a bad alternative, either. Available for takeout and delivery via Grubhub, Doordash, and Postmates.

Gourmet Noodle Bowl

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The menu at this International District favorite is robust, from fried noodles to soup noodles, so it’s hard to go wrong with any choice. But one particular standout is the laksa curry noodle soup, with its Malaysian flavors. Available for takeout via the official website, or delivery through Grubhub, Caviar, and Uber Eats.

Island Soul Rum Bar & Soul Shack

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This lively Columbia City spot serves up a variety of excellent Caribbean and New Orleans-influenced dishes, such as a fall-off-the-bone oxtail stew. But the gumbo is a true star, with a generous medley of shredded crab, prawns, hot links, and chicken, as well as heat to spare. Available for takeout and limited outdoor seating.

Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano

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There are certainly other good hominy and pork stew options around town (including Ballard’s La Carta de Oaxaca), but El Paisano keeps things admirably simple. The hearty pozole at the unassuming White Center spot brims with tender meat (it’s neighbors with a butchery, after all), and the service is cheerful. Available for takeout and delivery via Doordash.

A view of a bowl of pozole, with tortillas, lime, and sauces on the side.
Pozole
Jenise Silva

Korean Tofu House

Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House in a pot with sides in the background
Soondubu jjigae
Korean Tofu House/Facebook

This excellent Korean restaurant — which has outposts in Edmonds and the U District — is known for fiery bowls of soondubu-jjigae, filled with a variety of beef, pork, seafood, dumplings, and vegetables. Each order comes with a side of rice and a selection of banchan. Available for takeout, delivery (via Doordash, Postmates, and Uber Eats), and limited dine-in.

Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House in a pot with sides in the background
Soondubu jjigae
Korean Tofu House/Facebook

Rubinstein Bagels

Bagels are the main name of the game at this new cafe inside the Via6 luxury apartment building across from the Amazon Spheres — but don’t sleep on the matzo ball soup. While many other delis around town have versions that hew closely to the classic, Rubinstein has decided to go with a duck fat twist (blended into the matzo, not the broth), and the extra oomph works.

Ooink

Capitol Hill’s low-key counter above the QFC on Harvard Avenue serves some of the best ramen around town, with silky broths and noodles that soak up the flavor nicely. The shoyu variety is a favorite, but for those that don’t mind a little more heat, the spicy kotteri ramen certainly delivers — with spice level customizable. Takeout kits are available via the website.

Marmite

Chophouse Row’s rustic French bistro always delivers on the comfort food front. The seasonal soups on offer include a delectable potage de légumes-racines (root vegetable pureed) and a soupe de deux potirons (pureed kabocha and cinderella pumpkins). Perfect for scooping up with generous pieces of baguette. Open for takeout and limited dine-in.

Pike Place Chowder

Though it’s usually considered a tourist trap, the Pike Place mainstay really does have some of the best chowder in town, whether in clam, salmon, scallop, and crab and oyster varieties, all served in a sourdough bread bowl. It’s a New England classic with plenty of Pacific Northwest spirit. Available for takeout.

Oriental Mart

After years going without a menu, the three generation family-owned Pike Place lunch counter is getting a little more structure during the pandemic. But the famed salmon collar sinigang from beloved chef Leila Rosas remains unchanged in all its sour glory, and helped earn this spot a James Beard Classics Award. Open for takeout.

Pho Bac Súp Shop

The famed Pho Bac Boat’s hipper, younger sibling is still serving the same quality pho the Pham family has been known for over the years. Tenderized slow-cooked beef chunks fall right off the bone for a spiritual pho experience, and it has added an excellent bun bo hue to the menu. Open for takeout and in-house delivery.

Phnom Penh Noodle House

The much-admired Cambodian restaurant in the International District that closed for two years got a revival in 2020. A fan favorite is the “special rice noodle soup,” made with prawn fish cakes, fish balls, and pork, swimming in a fragrant broth. But the tamarind-flavored samlaw machou is stellar as well, and both are available as to-go kits for heating at home.

Ho Ho Seafood Restaurant

There are plenty of places around the city to get hot and sour soup, but the longtime International District probably has one of the most sought-after versions: silky, with a pleasant balance of tang and spice. The minced crab meat with fried fish maw soup isn’t a bad alternative, either. Available for takeout and delivery via Grubhub, Doordash, and Postmates.

Gourmet Noodle Bowl

The menu at this International District favorite is robust, from fried noodles to soup noodles, so it’s hard to go wrong with any choice. But one particular standout is the laksa curry noodle soup, with its Malaysian flavors. Available for takeout via the official website, or delivery through Grubhub, Caviar, and Uber Eats.

Island Soul Rum Bar & Soul Shack

This lively Columbia City spot serves up a variety of excellent Caribbean and New Orleans-influenced dishes, such as a fall-off-the-bone oxtail stew. But the gumbo is a true star, with a generous medley of shredded crab, prawns, hot links, and chicken, as well as heat to spare. Available for takeout and limited outdoor seating.

Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano

A view of a bowl of pozole, with tortillas, lime, and sauces on the side.
Pozole
Jenise Silva

There are certainly other good hominy and pork stew options around town (including Ballard’s La Carta de Oaxaca), but El Paisano keeps things admirably simple. The hearty pozole at the unassuming White Center spot brims with tender meat (it’s neighbors with a butchery, after all), and the service is cheerful. Available for takeout and delivery via Doordash.

A view of a bowl of pozole, with tortillas, lime, and sauces on the side.
Pozole
Jenise Silva

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