The Seattle Southside is made up of seemingly endless delicious restaurants and dishes. A (very) short Light Rail ride from downtown, it couldn’t be easier to get to! I came here to eat (and it did not disappoint). Bookmark this for your next culinary adventure to the Seattle Southside!
- Old Saigon Pho Restaurant: When I saw a Vietnamese restaurant that opened at 10am I rejoiced, because that meant pho for breakast. (In my opinion, there is no better way to start the day than a steaming hot bowl of noodle soup; especially on a chilly morning). This hole-in-the-wall spot did not dissappoint and I ravaged the bowl set in front of me. 971 Industry Dr., Tukwila, WA 98188
2. dochi: Mochi-cake donuts await at dochi. I had seen these on Instagram literally hundreds of times but still hadn’t managed to try them myself. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the internet hype did, in fact, hold up. They’re located in Lam’s Seafood Asian Market (along with multiple other delicious vendors), and I highly recommend exploring the other offerings and market.
17348 Southcenter Pkwy, Tukwila, WA 98188
3. Sharps Roasthouse: Sitting directly beside the entrance to the airport, Sharps is the perfect place to grab a meal before you return your rental car (or are just in the mood for something delicious). Sister to downtown Seattle’s Von’s 1000Spirits, they share many of the same dishes (on a menu I am all-too-familiar with). I knew when I started planning my trip to this area that I would be stopping here for their incredibly rich Made-To-Order Salmon Chowder. They also boast incredible burgers, tender smoked ribs, and a fantastic collection of spirits and beer.
18427 International Blvd, SeaTac, WA 98188
4. Arashi Ramen: Ah Arash Ramen; we meet at last! Having heard many, many amazing things about this spot from my “foodie” friends, I had just never made the time to visit as it was a bit out of my way when I lived in Seattle. It was everything I dreamed of and more. I practically inhaled my bowl of Spicy Miso Tonkosu ramen. 10 out of 10.
17045 Southcenter Pkwy, Tukwila, WA 98188
5. Auntie Irene’s: This neighborhood favorite was so delightful that I visited twice during my short trip. Friendly staff (who knew many guests by name), perfect breakfast sammies, and great coffee await at this darling, bustling little cafe.
22504 Marine View Dr S, Des Moines, WA 98198
6. Anthony’s Home Port Des Moines: Anthony’s has been a regional favorite of mine since moving to the Pacific Northwest and dining here is always a delight. Stunning water views, hearty clam chowder, and friendly service are always on the menu here. They are committed to sustainability (which is not easy and very admirable given a seafood restaurant group of their size). I indulged in the Ahi Tuna (pictured above) and (of course) the clam chowder.
421 S 227th St, Des Moines, WA 98198
7. Dick’s Drive In: Another Seattle institution I’ve been a fan of since moving to the area, Dick’s is beloved for their cheap (and delicious) burgers and fries. I have never been one to want blue cheese, bacon, or fancy cheese on a burger. Give me a thin patty, melty American cheese, and the burger basics and I’m a very happy girl. This location opens at 10:30 am and I was there waiting for a morning burger (okay, two).
24220 Pacific Hwy S, Kent, WA 98032
8. Din Tai Fung: I was beyond excited to learn that the Seattle Southside had recently gotten a Din Tai Fung. The Taiwanese chain is renowned for its steamed soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) and for good reason. They come ten to a basket and I can easily put away three baskets (this is a judgement-free zone). All of their dumplings are made by hand, and you can watch them do so in the window out front; it’s a truly beautiful act.
181 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila, WA 98188
9. 85°C Bakery Cafe: I could have sat here all day and watched them refill the pastry cases (which were overflowing with delectable treats). Another delicious treasure hailing from Taiwan, you’ll find more sweets than you can imagine along with sinfully delicious coffee treats. I indulged in some chocolate buns and sea salt caramel coffee (swoon).
1341 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila, WA 98188
10. Copperleaf Restaurant: Located in the lovely Cedarbrook Lodge, Copperleaf is serving up Northwest Fare in a picturesque setting. I’ve had the pleasure of dining here before and it never disappoints. I was utterly impressed with both of the things I ordered: Chanterelle Mushrooms with Gnocchi de Ceci, Rosemary, Preserved Lemon Butter, and the Fennel-Pollen Honey Roasted Duck Breast with Plum Risotto, Fennel Confit, Wild Plum Gastrique.
18525 36th Ave S, SeaTac, WA 98188
11. Mini… The Dough-Nut: Fresh, fluffy doughnuts fried right before your eyes and covered in your favorite things await at this darling little doughnut stand in Des Moines. It’s family-owned (and absolutely delicious). I opted for vanilla and chocolate glazed doughnuts covered with sprinkles, but I don’t think you can go wrong here.
21925 Marine View Dr S, Des Moines, WA 98198
12. Contrivance Meadery (okay a place to drink): Take a break from eating and sip some mead at Contrivance Meadery! I wasn’t super familiar with mead (which is made from honey) and really enjoyed tasting my way through all they had to offer. This husband and wife-owned small-batch meadery also makes wine.
611 Industry Dr, Tukwila, WA 98188
13. Miyabi Sushi: Don’t let the humble appearance fool you; Miyabi Sushi is bringing it, y’all. With outstanding ratings on Google and Yelp, I knew that I was going to be in for a treat dining here (and I was right). Since it was cold and rainy when I visited, I opted for Soba over sushi (but the fresh rolls and sashimi coming out of the kitchen looked so incredible that I would definitely go that route if and when I return).
16800 Southcenter Pkwy, Tukwila, WA 98188
14. Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar: Bomb tacos, enchiladas, and margaritas are in store at this stunning spot in the Southside. Forgive me for inhaling my queso without taking a photo first. (What can I say? I have a cheese problem.) They even have non-alcoholic margaritas here for those abstaining!
1150 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila, WA 98188
What To Do (in Between Eating)
Seattle Chocolate Tour: Take a break from eating and learn all about chocolate at the Seattle Chocolate production facility. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this. I had never held a cacao bean or pod and learning about the process in which it is transformed into chocolate firsthand was fascinating. You get to tour the factory Willy Wonka style, and all tour guests get a discount on chocolate at the end!
Des Moines Beach Park: Even on a dreary day, this is such a beautiful spot (and a perfect place to take some Instagram-worthy pics). Enjoy the nature trails, water views, or a picnic in this picturesque setting. I would have explored more if I’d had a little better weather (the photos may be deceiving but it is actually raining in this shot).
The Museum of Flight: This is a perfect rainy day activity. It wasn’t my first visit here, and I doubt it will be my last. You can easily spend hours here walking the grounds filled with aviation relics and artifacts from space. Having a grandfather that flew fighter planes in World War Two made me especially interested in the World War Two section, and I found the Spacecraft exhibits fascinating as well. The Museum of Flight is the largest independent, non-profit, air and space museum in the world.
Hop on the Light Rail: It’s so easy to get to downtown Seattle from the Southside with the Light Rail (and it will save you the headache of both paying for and finding parking). I spent one of my afternoons taking it to downtown Seattle to visit my old neighborhood haunts, Pike Place Market, and (more specifically), Storyville Coffee there. This will always be my favorite coffee shop as it overlooks the iconic sign in Pike Place Market and they serve the most amazing chocolate cake that I’ve ever had anywhere. Walk the Market once you’ve indulged in some caffeine and a treat.
Where To Stay
Four Points by Sheraton Seattle Airport South: A very quick five-minute drive from the airport, this is the perfect home base for your Seattle Southside adventure. The rooms are spacious and the Olympus Grille on-site serves a mean omelet. Conveniently located near lots of yummy restaurants, shops, and parks, it’s a great place to stay when you want easy access to the airport (or to escape the craziness of downtown Seattle). The staff is incredibly welcoming and the beds extremely comfy.
Learn more about the Seattle Southside and plan your trip here!