Favorite Seattle Eats in 2018

IMG_9389.jpg
For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we’ve all had to become disappears, when we’re confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.
— Anthony Bourdain

I am often amazed that food photography has become part of my career as a photographer. This year I photographed delicious meals all over Seattle, meeting restaurant owners and chefs along the way. I am constantly reminded that sharing food feeds more than the body. There were many of these restaurants who sent me home with meals or shared food with Chief Seattle Club, like Broadcast Coffee, London Plane and inadvertently a few others when they sent me home with so much food I brought it to work to share. These were some of my favorite meals in Seattle in 2018.


kastoori grill was one of the first places I shot for when I moved back to Seattle. I felt like I was destitute the week I moved into my apartment but came back to life after Kastoori Grill sent me home with every single meal I photographed. They became one of my favorite places to dine in or take out and there’s not a month that goes by now that I don’t grab some naan and goat curry from them.

Pasta Caslinga was started by two friends Michela and Nathan who bring their respective Italian and Northwestern roots together to create rustic, homestyle, everyday food to feed and create community. Pasta Casalinga is located in Pike Place Market and has delicious authentic artisanal pasta dishes.

PastaAlPomodoro4.jpg
IMG_0314.JPG

i5 pho a Vietnamese pho restaurant in Pioneer Square, started by three Vietnamese brothers who shared a passion for authentic, homemade Vietnamese food and a vision to provide the same delicious Pho noodle soup that their mom made for them to all who need a bit of love, warmth, and nourishment.
The brothers of i5 Pho grew up in the care of their widowed mother, who lovingly cooked for them elaborate homemade meals while working hard to make a living. Now grown up, the brothers are pursuing the American dream of owning their business and honoring the hard work and sacrifices of their mother.
Their mother’s love is the inspiration. And the love is in the broth.

15 Pho fed me and my girl Sam and we got to stunt on the gram with the elaborate feast of amazing foods they let us share after the shoot.

meowtropolitan wants to create experiences between humans and cats. They further that mission by placing cats in need into nurturing homes, working with cat rescues and shelters, and providing resources to organizations dedicated to improving the lives of cats.

They work with shelter partner Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) to house cats in the cat lounge with the goal of adopting them out to nurturing homes. For every sale, they donate a portion to a shelter, rescue, or other charitable organization focused on helping cats and other animals.

They also let you get your kitty fix with yoga in the cat lounge weekly.

Broadcast coffee has fueled our team at Native Works on multiple occasion. A good cup of coffee can change your whole day and broadcast has generously gifted us bags of their fresh roasted coffee on multiple occasions. Its dark and smooth flavors are the same coffee they use for espresso in their cafes so the caffeine is strong and helpful on production days.

Casco Antiguo A Mexican Cocina, Cantina + Private Event Space In The Heart Of Pioneer Square. They have a great happy hour menu, solid drinks and dope tacos. Their staff is super friendly and somehow even remembered my name every time I came in. This is my favorite taco spot in the city.

London PlaneLocated on Occidental Plaza, The London Plane is a one-stop haven for downtown residents, workers and travelers alike. The project is comprised of multiple spaces (The London Plane, Our Flower Shop, Our Bakery and Plane Bread). The London Plane space on the northeast corner is part cafe, part specialty foods grocery, and part floral workshop. You can stop by in the morning for a coffee and a handmade croissant. Enjoy a menu of vegetable driven cuisine with the flavors of the Mediterranean. You can also pick up a jar of local honey or jam, a bottle of small production wine, a bar of bean to bar chocolate, and a loaf of sourdough baked in our wholesale bakery located in the back of the building. 

walrus and the carpenter Arguably the best oyster bar in all America (it was a BA Hot 10 Restaurant in 2011), it’s got fresh, expertly shucked bivalves; small plates that change weekly; creative cocktails; and a charming marble-topped bar you won’t want to leave. It’s always packed so plan to get a cocktail while you wait from The barnacle, their bar next to the Walrus.

damn the weather has creative cocktails and meals that change often. Once I went there to read the paper and have a drink when I discovered I left my wallet on top of the paper dispenser and couldn’t pay. The staff was super friendly and understanding and it became a running joke every time I visited them afterwards.

IMG_0319.JPG

Jerk Shack is a must if you are visiting seattle. I love everything about Jerk Shack and my only complaint is that they don’t have Pikliz :) “Trey Lamont’s Jerk Shack is a ray of sunshine in the bleak Seattle winter. If the mango-yellow walls, turquoise benches and Technicolor art don’t warm you up, the cordial service and Caribbean-inspired fare definitely will.” The Seattle Times wrote.

soul is a delivery only spot and one of my favorite places when I just want to southern food for dinner after a long day of work.

Blackened catfish salad soul 101 copy.jpg
Soul26.jpg
Soul30.jpg

old stove brewery is also located at Pike Place Market and they make a killer blackberry sour. My dear friend Don and I call this our weekly beer spot and as soon as I sit down to look at art books with him someone brings me a blackberry sour. I don’t care about Michigan State which is the overall theme of the bar but I do care about good beers and good service which they have both.

ten sushi is located in the International District and serves traditional Japanese food and fusion-style sushi rolls with innovative flavor combinations.

Bibimbap is located near Pioneer Square and is always busy, seriously, make sure you have a minute because the secret is out about how good this place is. I participate in MealPal and would try to order their food for lunch as soon as the kitchen opened and without fail their meals would be sold out before I had the chance. Just a wonderful place to go for some serious flavors.

Pork Bibimbap8.jpg

yellow leaf The Yellow Leaf is a small batch, modern micro-bakery/ cupcake boutique in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. For Tony and his partner Michael, the Yellow Leaf is a labor of love.  After leaving the corporate world in Los Angeles, the two ventured off to the great Pacific Northwest.  Here they took to redefining the cupcake…a little less sweet and a bit more sophisticated.  Presentation, style, and flavor are what have set The Yellow Leaf apart. They sent me home with a big box of the most delicious Macrons that we ate with coffee at Native Works the next day.

Skillet Regrade makes riveting comfort food. Meals are made from local ingredients & from-scratch cooking. Their Chicken Sandwich has haunted me, even after eating the chicken sandwich when I photographed their meals I had to order their food for take out while editing their photos because the chicken sandwich tasted even better than it looked.

friedchickensammy9.jpg

Piroshki Piroshki this Seattle staple allows me to get a taste of the mother land on rainy afternoons. Borscht and Savory Piroshki is a perfect way to warm up.

hero00002.jpg

Dao Tai house is really good Chinese food in Capitol Hill. I shared an amazing meal and even better conversations with the staff while I was there and it remained one of my favorite places to get authentic and delicious Chinese food.

FOB Poke my go to spot for good Poke in Belltown.

FOBPOKE0002.jpg

roll pod delights customers with yummy, fresh and balanced Indian food assembled in a ROLL or a BOWL, easy to carry and eat. Each portion of their food has been delicately crafted to give you a mouthwatering experience.

halfricebowlchickenandmangolassi0001.jpg

Nirmals is the culmination of a life long dream and desire of owners Oliver and Gita Bangera to showcase the true diversity of Indian cuisine. Located in the historic Interurban building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, Nirmal’s surroundings reflect the same mix of tradition, adventure, and exciting culinary options that is a hallmark of our Owner’s extraordinary vision. To translate this vision, Executive Chef Ashish Bagul combines fresh local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest with traditional ingredients and spices from across India. The tastes are at once familiar, yet new and exciting. Prepare for a dining experience with diversity and subtlety of flavors not available in any other Indian restaurant!

Hyderabadi Murgh Korma 0001.jpg

Mirandos is in Spokane but I loved it so much I added it to the list. I shared meals there when visiting my parents multiple times before covering them for Kodak and I loved their attention to detail and friendly staff.

Mirandos.jpg

Noi Thai is so good I went there for my Birthday this year. My favorite thing about Not Thai is that In addition to the traditional Thai culinary, they decided to offer “royal” Thai dishes to its fine dining menu, which is known for its refinement, cooking techniques, presentation, ingredient, and flavors to serve the Thai royal household. They bring this royal experience to the community of Seattle and they do not disappoint.

noithai0042.jpg
noithai.jpg
IMG_8899.jpeg

Kukree “After winning on the Food Network’s Chopped and beating Bobby Flay, Aarthi Sampath looked for her next move: a food truck that combines her Indian heritage with her Asian cooking expertise, along with a few other flavors she picked up on the way from Mumbai to New York City and on to Seattle. The star of the brightly-colored truck’s menu is the BBF biryani (the one that beat Flay), using her Kukree grain blend of quinoa, millet, and Amaranth as a vehicle for traditional biryani flavors -- along with cucumber-mint yogurt, eggs, and chicken. Other dishes, like the Asian Hanger steak, are a bit more eclectic, with cherry kimchi dressing, miso cauliflower, chard, and yellow beans. All, however, go great with her signature “very hot” sauce.” from the Thrillist

Pork Banhmi Rice bowlKurkee.jpg

Urara Authentic Japanese food restaurant dedicated to serve tourists and locals the highest quality foods and services at Pike Place Market.

Salmon Poke Bowl15.jpg

Thai Curry Simple is “concentrating on being true to the old ways of cooking styles.” Thai Curry Simple is family owned and operated, located in Seattle’s historic International District. They make their own curry paste, importing herbs and spices directly from Thailand to meet their high standards with more than 30 years cooking experience.

Thai Curry Simple9.jpg

The Big Chickie is located in Hillman City, in the refurbished Rudy's Service station. Big Chickie is a modern roadside chicken shack serving charcoal rotisserie chicken, homemade sides, salads, sandwiches, beer & wine.  

thebigchickie1.jpg

Vovito believes an exquisite cup of coffee or a sumptuous meal should be a luxury everyone can afford. Like the small neighborhood cafes loved in Italy, Vovito is a place where food and drink are a passion and each item is made fresh each day. A place where you can taste the freshness and quality of the ingredients in every sip, every bite. A place where you can escape for a few moments to savor life’s little pleasures. You have to try the Chicken Pesto Alfredo pizza.

vovito0019.jpg

Ziyas Turkish kitchen another spot that is delivery only but so good! Ziyas meals are full of flavor and share the story of their origin. Perfect for a night in.

Alicia Diamond