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A bowl of beef stew
Bulalo at Kilig
Meg van Huygen

Where to Get Comforting Bowls of Soups and Stews in Seattle

Borscht, ramen, pozole, and so much more

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Bulalo at Kilig
| Meg van Huygen

Seattle doesn’t really get cold-cold in the winter. What happens instead is everything gets damp and dark and mushy and you feel like you’re always wearing a hoodie even when you’re not. When the weather turns, a lot of locals swear by pho or ramen but any good soup is an antidote for the winter blues. Here’s 14 places serving fantastic, heart-warming soup around Seattle.

Know of a spot that we should know about? Send us a tip at seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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Traditional Korean Beef Soup

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You’ll find zero frills at this strip mall stop on 99, where literally any soup on this soup-heavy menu is the thing to order. The star, of course, is the bibimbap served sizzling in the stone pot, but supporting cast members like samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup), ugeoji galbitang (short rib and cabbage soup), or any of the sundubu jjigaes (spicy tofu soup with or without various meats) are just as fragrant and soul-warming. There are no wrong answers here. Just make sure to add an egg to whatever you get.  

Korochka Tavern

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This cozy Russian drinking parlor has a rep for its Soviet-themed cocktails and steamy bowls of dumplings — which, totally understandable. But it means that folks sometimes miss their hearty borscht, and it deserves equal billing. In the summer, Korochka serves a chilled version with yogurt and dill; in fall, it switches over to the warm, meaty, bone-sticking version. The blood-red, beet-based stew is loaded with brisket, carrots, onions, and cabbage, all simmering under a delicious garlic cloud — perfect for the cold seasons, whether in Siberia or Seattle.  

Korean Tofu House

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This excellent Korean restaurant 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.

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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This bagel mini-chain owned by Ethan Stowell Restaurants is known for its bagels (duh), 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 customizable spice levels.

Garzon • Latinx Street Food

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You know it’s autumn in Seattle when the horse chestnuts start falling, your ceilings are full of those little brown house spiders, and José Garzon puts his seco de pollo back on the menu. This rich golden stew is an Ecuadorian specialty that can be made with any kind of meat, and Garzón bases his around chicken thighs and potatoes, with lots of sofrito and garlicky aji sauce as well as a dose of vinegar to punch it up. Then it’s garnished with a serrano- and Thai chili–loaded cucumber relish to make the soup as beautiful as it is flavorful. If you’re feeling more than peckish, the crisp milanesa sando was pretty much made for dippin’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Musang’s Melissa Miranda has teamed up with Amelia Franada to open Kilig, their chill Filipino resto-bar, and the bulalo is at the very top of the menu for a reason. Like Rihanna said, this is what you came for. Bulalo is the ultimate in rainy-day food: it’s either beef shank or mushrooms slow-cooked with charred cabbage, potatoes, and the best and greatest beef bone broth (if you get the beef version), with a a big chunk of corn on the cob plopped right into the soup and rice on the side. 

A bowl of beef stew Meg van Huygen

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.

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.

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.

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

Traditional Korean Beef Soup

You’ll find zero frills at this strip mall stop on 99, where literally any soup on this soup-heavy menu is the thing to order. The star, of course, is the bibimbap served sizzling in the stone pot, but supporting cast members like samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup), ugeoji galbitang (short rib and cabbage soup), or any of the sundubu jjigaes (spicy tofu soup with or without various meats) are just as fragrant and soul-warming. There are no wrong answers here. Just make sure to add an egg to whatever you get.  

Korochka Tavern

This cozy Russian drinking parlor has a rep for its Soviet-themed cocktails and steamy bowls of dumplings — which, totally understandable. But it means that folks sometimes miss their hearty borscht, and it deserves equal billing. In the summer, Korochka serves a chilled version with yogurt and dill; in fall, it switches over to the warm, meaty, bone-sticking version. The blood-red, beet-based stew is loaded with brisket, carrots, onions, and cabbage, all simmering under a delicious garlic cloud — perfect for the cold seasons, whether in Siberia or Seattle.  

Korean Tofu House

This excellent Korean restaurant 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.

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

Rubinstein Bagels

This bagel mini-chain owned by Ethan Stowell Restaurants is known for its bagels (duh), 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 customizable spice levels.

Garzon • Latinx Street Food

You know it’s autumn in Seattle when the horse chestnuts start falling, your ceilings are full of those little brown house spiders, and José Garzon puts his seco de pollo back on the menu. This rich golden stew is an Ecuadorian specialty that can be made with any kind of meat, and Garzón bases his around chicken thighs and potatoes, with lots of sofrito and garlicky aji sauce as well as a dose of vinegar to punch it up. Then it’s garnished with a serrano- and Thai chili–loaded cucumber relish to make the soup as beautiful as it is flavorful. If you’re feeling more than peckish, the crisp milanesa sando was pretty much made for dippin’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kilig

Musang’s Melissa Miranda has teamed up with Amelia Franada to open Kilig, their chill Filipino resto-bar, and the bulalo is at the very top of the menu for a reason. Like Rihanna said, this is what you came for. Bulalo is the ultimate in rainy-day food: it’s either beef shank or mushrooms slow-cooked with charred cabbage, potatoes, and the best and greatest beef bone broth (if you get the beef version), with a a big chunk of corn on the cob plopped right into the soup and rice on the side. 

A bowl of beef stew Meg van Huygen

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.

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.

Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano

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.

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

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