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The 38 Essential Seattle Restaurants, October '14

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It's time to update the Eater 38, the answer to any question that begins, "Can you recommend a restaurant?" Not to be confused with the Eater Heatmap, this group covers the entire city, spans a myriad of cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs. Every quarter, we'll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be at least six months old), or have stepped up their game. (As a reminder, these restaurants are not ranked, they're alphabetized.)

This time, three new inclusions: JuiceboxThe London Plane, and Red Cow. And because we had to make room for the newbies, three eliminations: Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whisky, the now shuttered La Bete, and Aragona. Vespolina, the restaurant that has replaced Aragona, will be up for consideration after it's been open for six months.

Is your favorite restaurant not on the list? Feel free to nominate it for inclusion in the comments or send it to the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Art of the Table

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1054 N 39th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 282-0942
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Chef Dustin Ronspies offers daily tasting menus showcasing organic produce and seafood. A coveted chair at the open kitchen is the most desired seat in the house, or pull up to the bar for seasonal shrubs, sodas, and signature cocktails. A la carte menus are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. [Photo Credit]

2. Brimmer & Heeltap

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425 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 420-2534
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Former Revel chef Mike Whisenhunt has partnered with industry vet Jen Doak to transform the old Le Gourmand space into a neighborhood bistro-pub. The menu spans everything from pork shoulder with kimchi to creamed spinach with rice cakes, braised turnips, and a basket of fried lardo with pickled quince. The staff's family meal du jour is also available on the late-night menu. [Photo Credit]

3. Canlis

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2576 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 283-3313
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A full-on dinner here is definitely a blow-your-paycheck event. Thank goodness for the bar menu, which offers some moderately priced bites. You can also order a plate or two from the main menu and experience the talents of chef Jason Franey without the triple-digit tab. Though the food and service has no peers in Seattle, the cocktails from bar manager James MacWilliams are worth a trip alone. [Photo Credit]

4. Gastropod

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3201 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
Epic Ales' tiny brewpub in SoDo is constantly rotating their tap handles and menu. Chef Travis Kukull, formerly of Solo Bar, Elemental and Tilikum Place Cafe, cooks "out there" food, like profiteroles stuffed with nettle and ricotta; duck breast prosciutto, fennel french toast, and maple syrup; and Italian parsley tagliatelle with rabbit and cardoon ragu. [Photo Credit]

5. Kedai Makan

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1510 E Olive Way
Seattle, WA 98122
The popular farmers market Malaysian street food outfit became a brick and mortar back in January 2013. Some describe this take-out only hole-in-the-wall as the best drunk food in Seattle, but it's good anytime the hunger pangs hit. Hearty dishes you'll want to inhale include Kedai's signature fried rice dish, Nasi Goreng, served with your choice of tofu and sprouts or roast pork, and topped with a runny egg. [Photo Credit]

6. La Carta De Oaxaca

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5431 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-8722
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The only thing better than the mole, the salsa bar and the damn delicious casual Oaxacan food — how little it costs to eat yourself silly. Brace yourself for a crowd, but the end result is well worth it. [Photo Credit]

7. Little Uncle

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1509 E Madison St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 329-1503
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Perhaps no other restaurant represents Seattle's love affair with pop-ups more than one of the original success stories. Little Uncle was founded by chefs PK and Wiley Frank (former sous chef at Lark), who started their Thai mecca as a pop-up called Shophouse. Now, Little Uncle is the go-to for some of the best Thai food in the city. And as of June 2013, the little shack on Madison now has a much larger subterranean sibling in Pioneer Square. [Photo Credit]

8. Mamnoon

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1508 Melrose Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 906-9606
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Located across from the Melrose triangle, where good food is easy to come by, Mamnoon has created its own scorching hot rep with its Lebanese/Syrian cuisine. While the menu can be unfamiliar to those who have not tried this type of food, the entire thing is pretty much rock solid. You can't go wrong with any of the dips or salads - great starting points as you work your way down to more adventurous entrees. [Photo Credit]

9. Matt's in the Market

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94 Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 467-7909
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The place hasn't lost any of its popularity since founder Matt Janke sold the restaurant to Dan Bugge in 2006. The seafood is absolutely fresh and the location overlooking Pike Place Market's famous sign is also about as Seattle as it gets. [Photo Credit]

10. Revel

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403 N 36th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 547-2040
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The continued hype surrounding Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi's Fremont spot is well-deserved. This follow-up to the popular Joule is casual, largely Asian street food inspired and a fantastic (reasonably priced) experience for brunch, lunch or dinner. Grab a cocktail at adjacent bar Quoin after dinner. [Photo Credit]

11. Sitka and Spruce

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1531 Melrose Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 324-0662
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This is about as Seattle as it gets: Chef Matt Dillon; Northwest ingredients; and dishes that seem disarmingly simple, until you realize you could never recreate them yourself. Sitka's location inside the Melrose Market is also absurdly quaint. [Photo Credit]

12. Cascina Spinasse

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1531 14th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 251-7673
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Jason Stratton has made this trattoria inexorably his own with memorable pastas and Piedmont-influenced fare. Make sure to stop by the adjoining Artusi bar for a cocktail before you say, 'Ciao.' [Photo Credit]

13. Terra Plata

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1501 Melrose Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 325-1501
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One of the anchors of the Melrose Triangle, Terra Plata is about a commitment to local producers. In chef/owner Tamara Murphy's words: "We’re not Spanish. We’re not Italian. It’s about what’s fresh and what we feel like cooking that day. The menu will always be changing, always evolving". Don't miss the rooftop garden, where Murphy is often found grilling during the warmer months. [Photo Credit]

14. Tsukushinbo

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515 S Main St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 467-4004
A tiny, unmarked hole in the wall, Tsukushinbo is the go-to for authentic Japanese food in the International District. There's a sushi bar and a handful of tables that fill-up within moments of the doors swinging open. If you don't have a reservation, your wait might be a long one (and there's no waiting room). Needing your GPS to find the place is part of its charm, because you won't want people knowing where it is. [Photo Credit]

15. The Walrus and the Carpenter

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4743 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 395-9227
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Yes, the oysters are delicious (just ask Frank Bruni). But Renee Erickson's oyster bar also offers seemingly simple small plates of seafood and beautiful in-season fare that keep the tucked-away dining room reliably packed. Show up the minute doors open or settle in for waits of an hour or more. [Photo Credit]

16. Westward

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2501 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 552-8215
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Josh Henderson's restaurant (and oyster bar Little Gull) on north Lake Union sits across the water from downtown Seattle. Have drinks in an Adirondack chair around the outdoor fire pit, come back for Mediterranean-inspired food like halibut crudo and wood-baked gigante beans in a whimsical, beautiful dining room that was just nominated for a 2014 James Beard nominee for Outstanding Restaurant Design. [Photo Credit]

17. The Whale Wins

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3506 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-9425
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Erickson's Walrus follow-up made a big splash when it opened in the Fremont Collective in October, 2012. Recently, Bon Appetit named it one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America 2013. Here, in this charming, cheery place, expect an abundance of delicious seasonal vegetables, wood oven-fired meats and fish, pickled treats and fresh baked desserts — favorites from Erickson's childhood and European travels. [Photo Credit]

18. juicebox

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1517 12th Ave., Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 607-7866
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What started as a weekend pop-up at the now shuttered La Bate has become a refuge for Capitol Hill's ultra healthy and remedy seekers. Go for fresh juice in vivid color poured in vintage glassware. Also, salads, bowls of congee that sticks to the ribs, and cherry pumpkin seed granola with coconut milk yogurt. [Photo Credit]

19. Bar Sajor

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323 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 682-1117
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Matt Dillon's first Pioneer Square project, credited for helping to revitalize the neighborhood, is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that is big, bright, airy and downright gorgeous. Plates are just as pretty: chilled Dungeness crab with garlic mayo, king salmon cured in honey & camomile, and lamb leg cooked on the rotisserie have all made an appearance on the menu. Don't leave without ordering the homemade sourdough bread. [Photo Credit]

20. Cafe Campagne

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1600 Post Aly
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-2233
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A longtime favorite respite for locals who like to duck into Seattle's answer to Paris for a carafe of wine and some frites, this quaint Pike Place Market bistro is a little slice of baguette heaven complete with cobblestone patio for those rare sun-soaked extended lunches. [Photo Credit]

21. Delancey

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1415 NW 70th St
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 838-1960
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Brandon Pettit's perfectly fired seasonal pizzas and cunningly simple sides make this a Seattle institution. Don't miss the desserts, either. Some come for the salted chocolate chip cookies alone. [Photo Credit]

22. Fonda La Catrina

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5907 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 767-2787
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One of the most common complaints heard is that Seattle lacks authentic Mexican food. This Georgetown semi-newcomer is where you should bring the complainers who can watch as their tortillas are made fresh right in front of them. The pozole and pork tamales are clear winners. [Photo Credit]

23. Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant

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418 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 340-1388
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There are a lot of hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurants in Seattle, but this is the spot discerning diners keep coming back to. There's something very comforting and satisfying about the food. The fresh salads, noodle dishes and spring rolls have a cult following. The portion sizes here are plentiful and cheap, so come hungry. [Photo Credit]

24. Il Corvo

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217 James St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 387-3556
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Mike Easton's hand made pasta and charcuterie has become a regular habit for lunch goers, who now have more than twice as much space to nosh in (and stand in line) with Il Corvo's new home in Pioneer Square. [Photo Credit]

25. Joule

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3506 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-5685
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It may no longer be the buzziest restaurant in town (although Bon Appetit named it one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America 2013, along with neighbor Whale Wins), but this French/Korean fusion restaurant continues to inspire. Weekend brunch is also notable: an urban barbecue format that features a communal table filled with all sorts of buffet goodies.

26. La Medusa

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4857 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 723-2192
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Columbia City and its environs are rather short on dining destinations, but La Medusa offers a frequently changing market-driven menu of Sicilian fare that would be a gem in any neighborhood. [Photo Credit]

27. Lark

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926 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 323-5275
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Considered required eating by many a food type around town, Lark is elegant, intimate and special without being pretentious. The small plate style of dining takes the stress out of ordering, as it's protocol here to order a bunch of things and share, family-style. The menu is heavy on vegetables, grains, meat and fish: all innovative, classic, familiar and delicious. [Photo Credit]

28. Le Pichet

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1933 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 256-1499
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This French bistro possesses both a legendary roast chicken and an informal charm that makes you want to linger all afternoon with some charcuterie and cheese. [Photo Credit]

29. The London Plane

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300 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 624-1374
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Bakery, flower counter, grocer, and cafe, Matt Dillon and Katherine Anderson's London Plane opened in March across from their “Little London Plane.” Grab lunch during the workweek, or go for weekend brunch featuring biscuits, croissants with fruit preserves, and savories made with bread baked on-site. [Photo Credit]

30. Maneki

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304 6th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 622-2631
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Getting seats at this 107-year-old Japanese restaurant can be an utter puzzlement, but should you crack the code, the mind-boggling list of specials are where it's at. [Photo Credit]

31. Marination Ma Kai

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1660 Harbor Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98127
Go for breakfast burritos in the morning, Spam sliders for lunch, and kimchi fried rice and boozy shaved ice at night. Sit in the dining room overlooking Seattle or outside on one of the best patios in Seattle. [Photo Credit]

32. Paseo Caribbean Restaurant

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4225 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 545-7440
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NOW CLOSED The messy Cuban-style sandwiches have developed an epic fan base, and a reliable line of people waiting for their fix. [Photo Credit]

33. Red Cow

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1423 34th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 454-7932
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Ethan Stowell’s latest in Madrona opened in February of 2014 in an 1,800-square-foot space most recently occupied by Restaurant Bea. The meat-centric menu features French brasserie classics like pate de campagne, moules frites, and (of course) steak frites: Red Cow serves its crispy fries with four different cuts of beef paired with any of four sauces, including red wine reduction and horseradish cream. [Photo Credit]

34. Roux

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4201 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Sighs of relief all around when Matt Lewis finally opened his New Orleans-inspired restaurant in Upper Fremont last November after years of teasing. Turtle bolognese, gator wings, pig ears, and shrimp & grits are standouts. In short, Roux is worth the epic wait. [Photo Credit]

35. Salumi

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309 3rd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 621-8772
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Braving the lines for cured meat sandwiches and hot fare like porchetta is a Seattle rite of passage. Salumi is open just a handful of days and only for lunch, so come prepared for crowds. And yes, it's worth it. At least once. And probably more. [Photo Credit]

36. Miyabi 45th

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2208 N 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-4545
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The former Chez Shea chef is producing handmade soba noodles, but the entire menu shines. Don't miss the smaller snacks (uni shooter, smoked hamachi kama) and salads. Best bet: order omakase style and let the kitchen cook for you. Always a good bet. [Photo Credit]

37. Mkt.

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2108 N 55th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 812-1580
Ethan Stowell's tiny Tangletown restaurant sandwiched between a doughnut shop and a pub opened last August, and predictably the 600-square-foot space has been filled ever since. Sit at the chef's counter for full view of the kitchen crew preparing, tangine, ceviche, and bowls of vegetable fritters with pesto. [Photo Credit]

38. Rock Creek Seafood & Spirits

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4300 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 557-7532
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Former Toulouse Petit chef Eric Donnelly has given Seattleites what we've been waiting for—expertly prepared seafood in a space that's equal parts accessible and stunning. RockCreek's ultra fresh menu doesn't disappoint. Neither does brunch. [Photo Credit]

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1. Art of the Table

1054 N 39th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Chef Dustin Ronspies offers daily tasting menus showcasing organic produce and seafood. A coveted chair at the open kitchen is the most desired seat in the house, or pull up to the bar for seasonal shrubs, sodas, and signature cocktails. A la carte menus are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. [Photo Credit]
1054 N 39th St
Seattle, WA 98103

2. Brimmer & Heeltap

425 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
Former Revel chef Mike Whisenhunt has partnered with industry vet Jen Doak to transform the old Le Gourmand space into a neighborhood bistro-pub. The menu spans everything from pork shoulder with kimchi to creamed spinach with rice cakes, braised turnips, and a basket of fried lardo with pickled quince. The staff's family meal du jour is also available on the late-night menu. [Photo Credit]
425 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107

3. Canlis

2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
A full-on dinner here is definitely a blow-your-paycheck event. Thank goodness for the bar menu, which offers some moderately priced bites. You can also order a plate or two from the main menu and experience the talents of chef Jason Franey without the triple-digit tab. Though the food and service has no peers in Seattle, the cocktails from bar manager James MacWilliams are worth a trip alone. [Photo Credit]
2576 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

4. Gastropod

3201 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
Epic Ales' tiny brewpub in SoDo is constantly rotating their tap handles and menu. Chef Travis Kukull, formerly of Solo Bar, Elemental and Tilikum Place Cafe, cooks "out there" food, like profiteroles stuffed with nettle and ricotta; duck breast prosciutto, fennel french toast, and maple syrup; and Italian parsley tagliatelle with rabbit and cardoon ragu. [Photo Credit]
3201 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

5. Kedai Makan

1510 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122
The popular farmers market Malaysian street food outfit became a brick and mortar back in January 2013. Some describe this take-out only hole-in-the-wall as the best drunk food in Seattle, but it's good anytime the hunger pangs hit. Hearty dishes you'll want to inhale include Kedai's signature fried rice dish, Nasi Goreng, served with your choice of tofu and sprouts or roast pork, and topped with a runny egg. [Photo Credit]
1510 E Olive Way
Seattle, WA 98122

6. La Carta De Oaxaca

5431 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
The only thing better than the mole, the salsa bar and the damn delicious casual Oaxacan food — how little it costs to eat yourself silly. Brace yourself for a crowd, but the end result is well worth it. [Photo Credit]
5431 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

7. Little Uncle

1509 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122
Perhaps no other restaurant represents Seattle's love affair with pop-ups more than one of the original success stories. Little Uncle was founded by chefs PK and Wiley Frank (former sous chef at Lark), who started their Thai mecca as a pop-up called Shophouse. Now, Little Uncle is the go-to for some of the best Thai food in the city. And as of June 2013, the little shack on Madison now has a much larger subterranean sibling in Pioneer Square. [Photo Credit]
1509 E Madison St
Seattle, WA 98122

8. Mamnoon

1508 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA 98122