Seattle-style teriyaki is an icon, “the closest this city comes to a Chicago dog,” as the New York Times put it years ago. The teriyaki recipe said to have originated in chef Toshi Kasahara’s kitchen in the 1970s is usually sweeter, thicker, and more heavily spiced than what you’d find in Japan, not subtle but satisfying. Popularized by Kasahara and spread by Korean immigrants, teriyaki was fast-casual dining before “fast-casual dining” was a thing.
Though there are fewer teriyaki shops than their used to be (a possible consequence of Seattle’s long-ongoing gentrification) it remains the lifeblood of the city, a lunch you can get in nearly every neighborhood for less than an hour’s worth of minimum wage. It’s food you eat in your car, or on your 30, or when you don’t have time to eat anything else. The finely sliced, glazed, and grilled chicken meat over steaming rice is as timeless as the logo on a can of Rainier. The following is a collection of the top teriyaki in the city, and a call to appreciate the sweet-savory goodness that isn’t gone but risks being forgotten.
As usual, this list is organized geographically rather than ranked. If you want to tell us about your favorite teriyaki place, or talk about anything else, email our tipline at email@example.com.Read More