Seattle’s International District is a cornucopia of foodie finds: from the familiar to the strange, this neighborhood has it all!
I like to start with walking around the ID on a Saturday or Sunday, this gives me plenty of time to wander around, peek into shops, and taste whatever looks yummy. I always start off my explorations with a stop at Uwajimaya. This Asian grocery giant has been in Seattle for what seems like forever and you can always count on them for the freshest fish, great unusual produce, and those quirky fun Asian candies and sodas.
Once I start to get hungry I usually head up to my favorite restaurant in the ID, Green Leaf. Peter and his crew run a great little spot, and you cannot beat this place for their coconut crepe pancakes, green mango salad,and lemongrass tofu. If you want to try something new but don’t know where to turn, give the food blog MSG150 a whirl. This fun group goes out into the ID every day for lunch then blogs about it, rating restaurants by chopsticks. Fun! My assistant Mary is a huge fan of this blog and turned me on to them recently.
When you need a break from all that yummy food, grab a tea and head up to Hing Hay park on 5th and Maynard, you might catch a group doing tai chi. Walk up even further to Kobe Park for beautiful views of Mt. Rainier.
Mary and her husband often eat out in the ID and they shared with me some of their favorites, including Maneki the 104 year-old Japanese restaurant that was the recent recipient of the James Beard Award American Classic. They love the Jo-jo roll and the dubiously named “salmon in foil pouch”. Doors open at 5:30 and expect a line! She also adores Shanghai Garden for their fantastic hand-cut barley grass noodles. Mary swears a big soup bowl of this chock-full of mustard greens and pork will cure any cold!
I hope you find some time to explore this vibrant Seattle neighborhood, and be sure to share what you find with me!