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Bugis on University Way serves up Korean rice bowls and hot pots in a stylish setting.
Matthew Lombardi for Eater

Where to Eat in Seattle's U District

A guide to the University of Washington's neighborhood, for Huskies and visitors alike

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Bugis on University Way serves up Korean rice bowls and hot pots in a stylish setting.
| Matthew Lombardi for Eater

With more than 40,000 students and 20,000 faculty and staff, University of Washington is one of the biggest urban universities in the country. The University District, known more simply as the U District, functions like a big college town tucked inside a city, and the Ave (aka University Way) is its Main Street, where Huskies gravitate when they're craving an off-campus meal. U District restaurants fall roughly into two categories: no-frills places catering to students on a budget, and marginally more frilly places aimed primarily at college staff or visiting parents with a bit more money to spend. Here’s a guide to get you started, from graduation season and beyond. These places are not ranked, but listed geographically, from north to south. If you think there’s anything we missed or would like us to add for next time, send us a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Alcove

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5628 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 922-3557
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In 2018, after two decades as a U District standby, the homey Tempero do Brasil was reborn as Alcove Dining Room. Chef Emme Ribiero Collins, daughter of the Tempero owners, has given the space a handsome remodel while continuing the family tradition of serving food that highlights the underappreciated diversity of Brazilian cuisine.

Matthew Lombardi for Eater

2. Xi'an Noodles

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5259 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 522-8888
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Diners come to Xi’an for one thing: wide, chewy, delectable biang biang noodles, made by hand every morning and at their best when adorned simply with a dose of hot oil.

3. Village Sushi

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5211 University Way Northeast
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 985-6870

The U District’s most satisfying sushi is found at this laid-back oasis at the north end of the Ave. The nigiri is spot on, the creative roll combinations are mostly triumphs, and the appetizers include some unusual specialties you won’t find at a typical sushi bar.

4. Thai Tom

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4543 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 548-9548

The open kitchen takes up half the space in the tiny, intense Thai Tom; those sitting at the counter can feel the heat from the flaming woks. But, for decades, the seared noodles have made this place the most popular Thai spot on the Ave.

Matthew Lombardi for Eater

5. Udon

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4515 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 453-3788
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Choose your own toppings as you work your way through the cafeteria line at this bustling emporium of handmade udon. There are some worthy deep-fried dishes, too, including the tempura chikuwa, which is fishcake in the shape of a tube.

6. Bugis

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4241 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 547-1918

Bugis is a one of a handful of new restaurants aiming to bring some interior style to the U District dining scene. The setting is tastefully casual, with big windows, clean lines, and exposed brick, while the short, Korean food menu features rice bowls and hot pots.

A closeup of chicken in an orange sauce with lettuce and sliced egg. Matthew Lombardi for Eater

7. Chili's South Indian Restaurant

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4220 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 412-0874
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The U District has several serviceable Indian restaurants, but Chili’s stands out for its well-executed southern Indian dishes. The dosas — crepes made from a batter of house-ground and -fermented lentils and rice — are a highlight.

Matthew Lombardi for Eater

8. Byrek and Baguette

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4209 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 632-3864
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The name here is an executive summary of the menu, which features six kinds of byreks (Albanian stuffed pastries similar to spanakopita) and a dozen baguette sandwiches, including four for breakfast. This is Mediterranean-style comfort food, served in a plant-filled dining area that’s well suited for lingering.

Matthew Lombardi for Eater

9. Korean Tofu House

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4142 Brooklyn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 632-3119
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For a classic student-friendly, no-frills restaurant, it’s hard to beat Korean Tofu House. In an unadorned basement dining room, the hardworking crew serves up cheap, filling, savory Korean specialties, including kimchee tofu soup, bibimbap, and bulgogi.

10. Aladdin Gyro-Cery

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4143 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 632-5253

Among the numerous gyro joints on and along the Ave, Aladdin is the perennial student-favorite, serving tender meat and light, crispy falafel late into the night.

11. Samurai Noodle

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4138 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 547-1798
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If ramen is your craving, your destination in the U District is Samurai Noodle. There’s a long list of ingredients to choose from, and everything comes bathed in a luxuriously rich broth.

12. Portage Bay Cafe

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4130 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 547-8230
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Portage Bay Cafe serves high-quality breakfast and lunch with organic, sustainable eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, and salads. A few blocks removed from the rough and tumble of the Ave, the attractive, casual dining room is an ideal place for students to bring visiting parents.

13. Shultzy's Sausage

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4114 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 548-9461
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Shultzy’s has grown over the years from a modest takeout joint into one of the most colorfully decorated places on the Ave: Walls and ceilings are bedecked with memorabilia showcasing themes of beer, boating, and college. It makes a pleasant setting for digging into the meat-centric menu of burgers, cheesesteaks, and, especially, the signature sausages.

14. Guanaco's Tacos Pupuseria

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4106 Brooklyn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 547-2369
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This spot serves tacos and burritos, but the unquestioned star of the menu is the pupusa, El Salvador's famous masa flatbread that resembles an overgrown tortilla and comes stuffed with cheese, meat, and vegetables.

Matthew Lombardi for Eater

15. Little Duck

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4100 Roosevelt Way NE UNIT B
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 695-2564
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This tiny, inconspicuous spot is a hidden gem serving some of the U District’s best Chinese food, with an emphasis on the cuisine of northeast China. Cabbage and pork dumplings are tender and juicy, and the many vegetarian options are executed with impressive finesse. 

Matthew Lombardi for Eater

1. Alcove

5628 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Matthew Lombardi for Eater

In 2018, after two decades as a U District standby, the homey Tempero do Brasil was reborn as Alcove Dining Room. Chef Emme Ribiero Collins, daughter of the Tempero owners, has given the space a handsome remodel while continuing the family tradition of serving food that highlights the underappreciated diversity of Brazilian cuisine.

5628 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

2. Xi'an Noodles

5259 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Diners come to Xi’an for one thing: wide, chewy, delectable biang biang noodles, made by hand every morning and at their best when adorned simply with a dose of hot oil.

5259 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

3. Village Sushi

5211 University Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105

The U District’s most satisfying sushi is found at this laid-back oasis at the north end of the Ave. The nigiri is spot on, the creative roll combinations are mostly triumphs, and the appetizers include some unusual specialties you won’t find at a typical sushi bar.

5211 University Way Northeast
Seattle, WA 98105

4. Thai Tom

4543 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Matthew Lombardi for Eater

The open kitchen takes up half the space in the tiny, intense Thai Tom; those sitting at the counter can feel the heat from the flaming woks. But, for decades, the seared noodles have made this place the most popular Thai spot on the Ave.

4543 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

5. Udon

4515 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Choose your own toppings as you work your way through the cafeteria line at this bustling emporium of handmade udon. There are some worthy deep-fried dishes, too, including the tempura chikuwa, which is fishcake in the shape of a tube.

4515 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

6. Bugis

4241 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
A closeup of chicken in an orange sauce with lettuce and sliced egg. Matthew Lombardi for Eater

Bugis is a one of a handful of new restaurants aiming to bring some interior style to the U District dining scene. The setting is tastefully casual, with big windows, clean lines, and exposed brick, while the short, Korean food menu features rice bowls and hot pots.

4241 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

7. Chili's South Indian Restaurant

4220 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Matthew Lombardi for Eater

The U District has several serviceable Indian restaurants, but Chili’s stands out for its well-executed southern Indian dishes. The dosas — crepes made from a batter of house-ground and -fermented lentils and rice — are a highlight.

4220 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

8. Byrek and Baguette

4209 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Matthew Lombardi for Eater

The name here is an executive summary of the menu, which features six kinds of byreks (Albanian stuffed pastries similar to spanakopita) and a dozen baguette sandwiches, including four for breakfast. This is Mediterranean-style comfort food, served in a plant-filled dining area that’s well suited for lingering.

4209 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

9. Korean Tofu House

4142 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

For a classic student-friendly, no-frills restaurant, it’s hard to beat Korean Tofu House. In an unadorned basement dining room, the hardworking crew serves up cheap, filling, savory Korean specialties, including kimchee tofu soup, bibimbap, and bulgogi.

4142 Brooklyn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105

10. Aladdin Gyro-Cery

4143 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Among the numerous gyro joints on and along the Ave, Aladdin is the perennial student-favorite, serving tender meat and light, crispy falafel late into the night.

4143 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

11. Samurai Noodle

4138 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

If ramen is your craving, your destination in the U District is Samurai Noodle. There’s a long list of ingredients to choose from, and everything comes bathed in a luxuriously rich broth.

4138 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

12. Portage Bay Cafe

4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Portage Bay Cafe serves high-quality breakfast and lunch with organic, sustainable eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, and salads. A few blocks removed from the rough and tumble of the Ave, the attractive, casual dining room is an ideal place for students to bring visiting parents.

4130 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

13. Shultzy's Sausage

4114 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Shultzy’s has grown over the years from a modest takeout joint into one of the most colorfully decorated places on the Ave: Walls and ceilings are bedecked with memorabilia showcasing themes of beer, boating, and college. It makes a pleasant setting for digging into the meat-centric menu of burgers, cheesesteaks, and, especially, the signature sausages.

4114 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

14. Guanaco's Tacos Pupuseria

4106 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Matthew Lombardi for Eater

This spot serves tacos and burritos, but the unquestioned star of the menu is the pupusa, El Salvador's famous masa flatbread that resembles an overgrown tortilla and comes stuffed with cheese, meat, and vegetables.

4106 Brooklyn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105

15. Little Duck

4100 Roosevelt Way NE UNIT B, Seattle, WA 98105
Matthew Lombardi for Eater

This tiny, inconspicuous spot is a hidden gem serving some of the U District’s best Chinese food, with an emphasis on the cuisine of northeast China. Cabbage and pork dumplings are tender and juicy, and the many vegetarian options are executed with impressive finesse. 

4100 Roosevelt Way NE UNIT B
Seattle, WA 98105

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