With the start of the 2021 NFL season just around the corner, check out these tasty Seattle destinations for your pre-and-post game eats and drinks!
There are always a few things I love about September - school starting back up, seasons changing, but the most important - Football is Back! I've always rooted for my hometown team - the Seattle Seahawks - but I'm just as much of a fan of the game as I am of my team. it's exciting to watch Matchup Thursday through Monday like The Bears vs. Lions, Tom Brady's Buccaneers vs. the New Orleans Saints, and so forth. It's been years since I've attended an NFL game in person, but I have enjoyed the game time atmosphere and excitement around the stadium in Seattle. Lumen Field also has some delicious eats inside the stadium, but you'll be facing obviously inflated stadium prices. IF you want to maximize your dollar, get a meal in before entering the stadium or after the game to wait out post-game stadium traffic. Below I've put together a list of a few wonderful places to enjoy Gameday with lots of food, fun, and laughter.
Located in the Chinatown-International District, Dough Zone is just an easy 10-minute walk from Lumen field, thanks to the pedestrian bridge located on the border of Lumen Field's north parking lot and King Street train station. Dough Zone is widely known for its insatiable good Q-bao, with its soft steamed bun and pan-fried edged. you'll find other tasty Chinese small dishes and dim-sum-inspired treats, perfect for sharing with a group. Reservations are highly encouraged, as this location tends to be more popular on weekends.
Pioneer Square D&E
In case you were wondering, "D&E" stands for "Drinks & Eats," and boy do that bring it! This neighborhood eatery has quietly been making waves as a neighborhood favorite, serving up comfort food with global inspirations that appeal to the neighborhood's diversity. The restaurant recently picked up Chef Anthony Tran, who I believe will be a perfect fit for the restaurant's culture it is trying to achieve. Tran brings his culinary chops from previous stints at Kamonegi and Girin (RIP). From what I am told, the chicken & waffles are a must-have for first-time diners, but if you're looking to share something tasty with your friends on game day, I recommend their fried chicken party box - a 2x1 foot box filled to the brim with crispy shoestring fries, crispy fried drums and flats (comes in spicy or original), and three different sauces to dip everything in.
If you're going to the game with friends from out-of-town, then definitely take your friends here before the game, or at least at some point before their vacation ends. The sandwiches at Paseo are always piled high with staples such as slow-cooked roasted pork and marinated chicken. The place has been made famous thanks to shows on the Food Network, as well as a visit by the late Anthony Bourdain. Of course, there is the whole Paseo vs Un Bien debate, but that's here nor there now. If you want to impress your friends (and your belly) consider the short walk from the stadiums to their Sodo location on 1st Avenue.
The Fry Guys
If you do decide to go to Paseo, you get a two-for-one deal: The Fry Guys! This awesome business specialized in loaded french fries and recently moved, knowing sharing space with Paseo at their Sodo location. Loaded fries might not be something entirely new, but I promise when you see the portions of these creative beauties, you will be drooling. We're talking about menu options like Pizza Fries, loaded with pizza sauce, mozzarella and a thin-sliced pepperoni, or their Surf n' Turf, complete with grilled steak bites, plump and succulent shrimp and a garlic cheese sauce that is velvety and luscious, reminiscent of a perfect alfredo, with sea salt french fries as a canvas.
Elysian Brewing has crafted some of the most well-recognized craft beer in the Pacific Northwest, and for that alone is all the reason I need to visit their Elysian Fields location, just steps away from the Lumen Field north parking lot. You'll find an impressive tap list featuring some of their delicious beers and a food menu that may surprise you it's coming from a brewery taproom of all places. You'll also find plenty of space for larger parties and ample TVs and projectors to watch the game if you choose to enjoy the day from there.
While not exactly close to the stadium, Jack's BBQ in Sodo is only a 10-minute Uber or Lyft ride to Central texas BBQ restaurant's Sodo location. There, you'll find plenty of space for you and your party, an awesome bar with excellent craft cocktails, beer, and wine, and let's not forget the excellent BBQ that owner Jack Timmons is known for. Smoked brisket, Billionaire Beef Bacon, Cowboy caviar, smoked pulled pork, and more - Pre-funk the big game with food and drinks here - your wallet will thank you later for not going for that $15 stadium brat and $20 Coors.
Cookies Country Chicken
What started as a fried chicken pop-up has now found its home in the former Quality Athletics space, just a short walk from Lumen Field. The chicken at Cookies Country Chicken is golden, crispy, and utterly delicious. Sides include creamy mac n' cheese, beer-battered fries, and other tasty eats that will make your mouth water and tastebuds satisfied. I recommend a bucket of chicken to share with the table, or a contest to see how many chicken sandwiches one can eat.
Viet-Cajun Seafood boil?! Say No More Fam!! Get messy with a few cold ones and go to town on these mudbugs at Crawfish King, located in Seattle's International District. Portions come in bags that you can eat straight out bag or pour the delicious contents right onto your table. If you're lucky, they might ever carry Washington State crawfish, originally an invasive species to the region, but are known to be 2-4x the size of the standard crawfish we love to suck on. This is a perfect place to start your game day activities if you and your group have big appetites and wanting an experience to remember. If you're up for a challenge, treat your group to the Royal Feast, Crawfish King's signature $900 feast.
A long-time late-night staple in the Seattle nightlife scene, 13 coins is an excellent choice for those wanting a more diner feel, but with superior service and attention to its food. Honestly, I'd love to tell you more from personal experiences I've had at this place, but I honestly can't do that, because the few times I've been, I've always been hammered or too tipsy to recall much; I have a hazy recollection of being impressed by a plate of Farmer Fries presented as to how you would stack Lincoln Logs and remembering that I ordered steak n' eggs, yet don't remember actually eating them. Regardless, there is always something for everyone at 13 Coins, and for that, it is worth a try.
The People's Burger
This popular burger food truck, located on Occidental Avenue, has been a favorite amongst ballpark regulars looking for good grub before entering Lumen Field or T-Mobile Park. Their service is fast, close to the main entranceways, and prices won't break your entire budget for the day. The menu rotates often, but I'm sure you'll find a burger combo that you'd enjoy, especially if it comes with their signature truck sauce.
Salumi has long been regarded as one of the tastiest destinations in the city, well known for their sandwiches and artisan meats. More recently, the brand has evolved into a bigger location and has expanded into retail, to the delight of charcuterie board enthusiasts all over the Pacific Northwest. I recommend a visit here for gameday for two reasons: First, the sandwiches are ungodly delicious. Think a meaty layer of mole salami, thin-sliced parmesan, topped with peppers and onions, and an artisan ciabatta. Just typing this makes my mouth water. Second, Lumen Field DOES ALLOW food to come in from outside (but no outside drinks). The limits to bringing food in are that it must be in a clear bag or "in a pizza box," and be no more than a single serving. At last, why I bring you to Salumi, where you can get one of the best damn sandwiches in your life, and then bring it with you to the big game. BOOM! I know my mind is blown too. ;)