International Cuisine in Seattle: Top Restaurants to Try


Like so many American cities, Seattle is defined by its diverse population, having welcomed immigrants from across the globe for decades and decades. Seattle's vibrant food scene reflects this delightful melting pot with an equally delightful melting pot of flavors.

If your ideal week includes digging into a warm bowl of Japanese udon one night and then tucking into a plateful of rich, zesty arepas the next, the Emerald City might just be the love of your life.

Whether you’re a world traveler looking to capture the magic of far-off places in your own backyard or a homebody who wants to experience cuisine from anywhere and everywhere without leaving home, Seattle can deliver a foodie experience that will light up your taste buds and feed your soul.

Feast From the East: Asian Cuisine

If you're hankering for a trip to the far east, you don't need a passport. Seattle’s Asian food scene will transport your taste buds in no time! Start your trip abroad with U:Don Fresh Japanese Noodle Station. You’ll find yourself slurping down some of the most authentic udon noodles outside of Japan.

These thick wheat noodles served hot in a soy-based broth, bring a bowlful of comfort on a rainy Seattle day. Vegetarians, fret not! The menu is peppered with meat-free options as well.

Revel (401 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103)

If dim sum is more your vibe, it's time to talk about Jade Garden. This bustling spot in Seattle’s International District is a paradise for lovers of these bite-sized Chinese treats. From shrimp dumplings to pork buns…there's a dizzying array to choose from.

But do save room for dessert! Because their egg tarts will change your life.

Lastly, say annyeonghaseyo (hello in Korean) to Revel — a fusion restaurant redefining Korean cuisine. Indulge in a modern take on classic dishes like bibimbap or their Dungeness crab noodle. You'll love the unique spin they put on every plate.

Baguettes and Beyond: European Cuisine

If you want to taste the flavors of Europe but aren’t too keen on an 11-hour flight, Seattle has you covered with a smorgasbord of continental delicacies waiting to be discovered.

Start with rustic Italian charm at Altura. The restaurant serves a daily-changing tasting menu that sings a love song to Italian food, using Pacific Northwest ingredients.

'Gioello' Wild Mushroom Risotto from Altura (617 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102)

From pasta to risotto, each dish promises a little piece of the Italian countryside with a local flair, making it the perfect mash-up of continental cuisine and hometown comfort food.

Then, travel onward to France as Cafe Campagne transports you to a quaint Parisian café with a delightful spread of classic French dishes. Indulge in duck confit or a simple yet elegant quiche. Their offerings are a testament to the magic of French cooking: simple ingredients transformed into something extraordinary.

Expand your horizons to the deliciously briney border of Eastern Europe for a change of pace. You won’t regret experiencing the hearty world of Eastern European cuisine at Piroshki on 3rd. Get your hands on their savory Russian piroshkies, golden pastry stuffed with a variety of fillings like smoked salmon or mushroom and cheese. It's the perfect handheld comfort food for those on the go.

Spice Up Your Bite: Latin Flavors

When you’re yearning for the sun-soaked warmth of Latin America, we know just the places to satisfy those cravings in Seattle!

Kick off this spicy adventure at Fonda La Catrina, a hub for Mexican cuisine in the heart of Georgetown. Sink your teeth into authentic enchiladas or a colorful ceviche, and don't forget to wash it all down with a refreshing margarita. The vibrantly decorated interiors will make you feel like you're dining south of the border even though you’re just south of Canada.

Fonda La Catrina (5905 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108)

With your Mexican cravings satisfied, jet off to Venezuela without leaving the city at La Cabaña. Here you’ll meet your new favorite food: the arepa — a soft, round cornmeal bread stuffed with all manner of delicious fillings.

From shredded beef to black beans and cheese, there's an arepa for every palate. Paired with a side of fried plantains, it's the Venezuelan comfort food you didn't know you needed.

To round out your tour of South America, swing by Mojito to feel the rhythm of Cuban cuisine. From the iconic ropa vieja to crispy tostones, every bite is a celebration of island life. And yes, their mojitos are as tantalizing as the name suggests!

Mamma Mia: Food From Around the Mediterranean

You don't need a yacht or even a plane ticket for a dash of sun-soaked Mediterranean bliss, although singing along to an ABBA song here and there couldn’t hurt. Seattle has plenty of gems that taste this healthy and vibrant cuisine.

You'll be transported straight to a Lebanese household at Cafe Munir in the Ballard neighborhood. Enjoy gorgeous and varied mezzes like tabbouleh and hummus, or try the lamb shawarma. The atmosphere, like the food, is warm and inviting.

Mamnoon (1508 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA 98122)

Then journey into the heart of Middle Eastern cuisine at Mamnoon. It's not just a restaurant; it's an experience.

From Syria, Lebanon, and beyond, they curate a menu that is both familiar and surprising. If you’re a vegetarian looking to give your taste buds a passport stamp into flavortown, you’re in luck: Middle Eastern cuisine is known for its diverse plant-based options, and Mamnoon embraces that completely.

The last stop on this cruise into Mediterranean deliciousness is Petra Bistro, where you can experience a gastronomic odyssey from Greek moussaka to Moroccan tagine. They serve a diverse array of dishes that encapsulate the spirit of this vast culinary region. Don't miss their baklava — it's the sweet ending your Mediterranean journey deserves.

From Jollof to Jerk: African and Caribbean Cuisine

If you're yearning for an exotic culinary escapade that brings the alluring flavors of Africa and the vibrant soul of the Caribbean to your plate, Seattle has got you covered!

Start your safari in Kenya with a bite at Safari Njema Restaurant. With its warm, welcoming ambiance, Safar Njema offers an immersive experience of Kenyan culture and cuisine. At the heart of their menu is the Ugali — a cornmeal staple that embodies the spirit of Kenyan home cooking.

Island Soul Rum Bar & Soul Shack (4869 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118)

Paired with Sukuma Wiki, a collard greens dish cooked with tomatoes, onions, and spices, it is simplicity perfected. For carnivores, the goat stew is a must-try. Slow-cooked until tender, this dish sings with flavor, offering a meaty delight that would satisfy the heartiest of appetites.

Then, swap the warm, earthy flavors of Africa for the fiery zest of Caribbean fare. Picture this: You’re lounging on a tropical beach with a cool breeze in your hair, the aroma of sizzling spices wafting through the air. Well, the beach may be a few miles away even still…but the tastes and smells are closer than you think, thanks to Island Soul Rum Bar & Soul Shack.

This restaurant brings the spirit of the islands to Seattle with its menu filled with Caribbean favorites infused with a soul food twist. You can't go wrong with their jerk chicken. Marinated in a blend of spices, it's a tantalizing dance of heat, sweet, and savory that's quintessentially Caribbean. And don’t miss out on the oxtail stew — a rich, flavorful dish that's slow-cooked to perfection. It’s comfort food, island-style!

Equally tantalizing is the restaurant's cocktail menu. The place is, after all, a rum bar, and what's a Caribbean feast without a rum-infused libation? Their fruity, potent rum cocktails provide the perfect tropical kick. Try the Dark 'N' Stormy or the signature Island Soul Rum Punch for a true taste of the Caribbean in liquid form.

As you savor the last bites and sips at Island Soul, take a moment to appreciate the journey you've embarked on — from the heart of Africa to the vibrant islands of the Caribbean, right here in the heart of Seattle.

All the World on a Platter

Our gastronomic globe-trotting across Seattle comes to an end. We've tasted our way through Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Caribbean without needing a boarding pass. The international food scene in Seattle is proof that food is about more than flavor. It’s a way of communicating and preserving culture, and the diverse communities within Seattle have done that and then some.

And the story of Seattle is one of diversity, flavor, and unending love for the global cuisine that paints our city's food landscape. In this town, if you want to truly experience the world and have a genuine cultural adventure, all you need is a knife, a fork, and this guide to taste everything international cuisine has to offer.

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