Food News

This Week in Seattle Food News: Hokkaido-Style Soft Serve Arrives, Pho Bac Opens a Speakeasy, and Shaq Brings Fried Chicken to Climate Pledge Arena

October 8, 2021 Edition
October 8, 2021
Pho Bac's new downtown speakeasy Phocific Standard Time slings Viet-inspired cocktails and snacks. (Pho Bac)

This week, Indigo Cow brings creamy Hokkaido-style soft-serve to Wallingford, Pho Bac launches a treehouse-inspired speakeasy with Vietnamese cocktails, and basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal plans to open the first in-arena location of his fried chicken joint Big Chicken inside the Climate Pledge Arena. Read on for all of that and more culinary updates, plus events happening this weekend, like the 20th Annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival. For more inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Indigo Cow
Yoroshiku owner Keisuke Kobayashi opened this pint-sized ice creamery, which he believes to be the country's first Hokkaido-style soft-serve shop, inside his Wallingford restaurant on October 1. The spot's lone flavor, Hokkaido milk, showcases the Japanese region's famed dairy, prized for its creamy, sweet, pure flavor. Toppings include house-made fruit syrups, shiratama kuromitsu kinako (a blend of mochi, brown sugar syrup, and roasted soybean powder), and a Theo Chocolate dark chocolate "wall" (think magic shell but more intense). Other monthly rotating flavors, such as matcha, black sesame, and yuzu, are slated to join the roster eventually.
Wallingford
Pickup, dine-in

Phocific Standard Time
Pho Bac launched this highly anticipated speakeasy-style cocktail bar inside their recently opened downtown location last weekend. The treehouse-like upstairs bar slings craft cocktails with Viet-inspired flavors like fish sauce, pandan, and ca phe trung (Vietnamese egg coffee), as well as beer, wine, and a few snacks.
Downtown
Pickup, dine-in

Semicolon Cafe
This modern, minimalist cafe opened inside Bellevue's One88 Condominium at the beginning of the month. The menu includes espresso, cold brew, matcha, chai, smoothies, sandwiches, and bingsoo.
Bellevue
Pickup, dine-in

Seoul Bowl & Bar
The Korean barbecue bowl food truck and restaurant Seoul Bowl expanded to Bothell with this bar and restaurant at the end of September. Guests can choose from a choice of white, purple, or kimchi bacon rice as a base; Korean bulgogi beef, slow-cooked soy-pork, Korean spicy pork, Korean BBQ chicken, or organic fried tofu as a protein; and toppings like sweet Asian corn salad, pickled radishes, kimchi, caramelized onions, and smashed potato salad. The menu also features Korean fried chicken, bulgogi kimchi cheese fries, mandu, and house-made kimchi.
Bothell
Pickup, dine-in

FUTURE OPENINGS

Big Chicken
Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal posed in a Kraken jersey on Thursday to celebrate the opening of his fried chicken chain Big Chicken's first in-arena location in the Climate Pledge Arena. (Said jersey was custom-made to accommodate Shaq's towering seven-foot-one, 325-pound frame and is likely the largest Kraken jersey in existence.) When it opens along with the arena later this month, the new location will serve specialty crispy chicken sandwiches, such as "The Kraken" (buffalo sauce, cream cheese, and blue cheese), "M.D.E. Chicken" ("Shaq Sauce," chicken breast, bread-and-butter pickles), and "Uncle Jerome" (Nashville hot chicken, mayo and pickles), as well as chicken tenders, candies, sundries, and packaged beverages. The outpost will also use Amazon's Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One, which allows guests to automatically be charged for the items they take without having to check out.
Queen Anne

Buddha Bruddah
The popular counter-service spot in Beacon Hill is preparing to open a second location in Kenmore sometime this month. The restaurant's menu offers an Asian twist on the traditional Hawaiian plate lunch, with items like pad Thai, loco moco, and chicken curry.
Kenmore

OTHER FOOD NEWS

Pike Place Market launches new incubator program
Pike Place Market is launching a new Artisan & Prepared Foods Program, which will support small food businesses that do not have a brick-and-mortar storefront and aims to drive business to local farms by working with vendors who source (or aspire to source) at least 20% of their raw ingredients from Washington growers. As part of the new program, the market's MarketFront expansion will host three pop-ups for the month of October: Zaytuna Mediterranean Catering, Afella Jollof Catering, and Rojo’s Mexican Food.

Distant Worlds Coffeehouse is moving
Roosevelt's geek-themed coffee shop Distant Worlds Coffeehouse announced this week via Instagram that it will move into the former Sunlight Cafe location in spring 2022.

Mai's Kitchen closes temporarily for dine-in after hit-and-run
The Vietnamese restaurant Mai's Kitchen was forced to close temporarily for dine-in earlier this week after three of its glass windows and their frames were destroyed by a hit-and-run accident.

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Leavenworth Oktoberfest Markt
Leavenworth is switching up the format of its annual Oktoberfest extravaganza in favor of a festive "street fair vibe," with 100 local artists, vendors, and artisans for the first three weekends in October. In addition, you can expect classic German food, souvenirs, and a "kinderplatz" area for kids.
Leavenworth, Friday through October 17

Washington Beer Fresh Hop Festival
This festival featuring 26 breweries will bring the harvest of Yakima Valley's famed hop country to Seattle. Each brewery will pour at least one fresh offering alongside other seasonal favorites. In between sips, nosh on food truck fare and check out a stage with live music.
Marymoor Park, Friday-Saturday

East Out West Fest
Bale Breaker Brewing and Yonder Cider are celebrating the fall harvest at their new collaborative taproom with a Fresh Hop Beer Tap Takeover, new cider releases on tap, guided hop and cider sensory experiences, rare apples for sale with recipes, a hop crown making craft activity, and more.
Bale Breaker & Yonder Taproom, Friday-Sunday, 3-10 pm

20th Annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Port Angeles's nationally recognized crab extravaganza, which boasts the claim to fame of having been featured in a question on Jeopardy!, offers copious crustaceans, as well as specials from local restaurants, a Dungeness crab dinner, a chowder cook-off, cooking demonstrations, local beer and wine, craft vendors, live music, arts and crafts, a 5K fun run, and more.
Downtown Port Angeles, Friday-Sunday

Second Annual Pumpkin Pop-Up
Can't make the trek to a farm with a pumpkin patch? Head to this Pioneer Square pumpkin patch party hosted by the London Plane. The cafe and restaurant will sell pumpkins, flowers, warm spiced cider, freshly made apple cider doughnuts, fall pastries, spooky treats, and artisan bread from the pop-up KLSN Bread. Should you need some butter to go with that bread, they'll also be selling the season's first shipment of Le Beurre Bordier (a coveted French butter widely considered to be the best butter in the world).
The London Plane, Saturday, 10 am-4 pm

Book Larder's 10th Anniversary Celebration
Seattle's premier community cookbook store is celebrating a whole decade of business! Help them toast to the occasion with slices of cake from Coyle's Bakeshop and cookies baked by the store, and draw from a prize basket for a chance to win a mystery book or a discount on your total purchase. A mystery book will also be included in all online purchases while supplies last. 40% of all sales from the day will be donated to the nonprofits LIRS, United Indians of All Tribes, World Central Kitchen, and Planned Parenthood.
Book Larder, Saturday, 11 am-6 pm

Seattle Fresh Hop Beer Festival 2021
This festival features an extensive selection of fresh hop beers from around the Northwest, in addition to food trucks, games, competitions, an awards ceremony, and even a dog costume contest.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Saturday, 12-9 pm

The Kraken Viewing Party
The Ballard Station will show the Kraken Game on all six of their TVs with full sound and will run an all-day happy hour ($1 off drafts, wells and wine). They'll also host a raffle for some Ballard Station swag and offer Kraken-themed drink and food specials.
Ballard Station, Tuesday

In Store Author Talk: Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple by Aran Goyoaga
Local food blogger, photographer, cook, food stylist, and two-time James Beard Award finalist Aran Goyoaga has earned scores of fans from all over the world for her gorgeous images of food and simple, elegant cooking. At this event, she'll chat with local food blogger and cookbook author Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt about her new book, Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple, which contains gluten-free recipes for cozy baked goods like double melting chocolate cookies, honeyed apple pie, buttery shortbread, baguettes, brioche, and more.
Book Larder, Wednesday, 6:30-8 pm

Omnivorous Outdoors
Scoop up bites and drinks from an array of restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries, including Cafe Avole, Communion, Frankie & Jo’s, Hello Robin, L’Oursin, Marjorie, Matt’s in the Market, NuFlours, OOLA, Optimism Brewing, Plenty of Clouds, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Revolver, Soul & Spice Catering Company, and Terra Plata, at this annual fundraiser for Community Roots Housing. KEXP DJ Riz Rollins will supply the tunes. There's also a free short virtual program for those who'd rather participate from the comfort of their homes.
Capitol Hill Station Plaza, Thursday, 5:30 pm

A Nightmare on Wall Street
As a spooky-season tradition, Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength temporarily transforms into a “fully immersive haunting experience" each October, with libations inspired by classic and modern horror flicks. Staff will dress up in costumes, and there will be a different theme this week if you want to join in. Frightening horror-film soundtracks contribute to the spine-chilling milieu. This year's lineup includes cocktails inspired by Sleepaway CampItCarrieThe BabadookA Nightmare on Elm StreetJaws, and more, available for both takeout and dine-in.
Navy Strength, through October 31

Oktoberfest Northwest
Enjoy a Munich-inspired Oktoberfest celebration filled with German-style food, bier, and live entertainment, including traditional music and dance and performances from '80s cover bands. The festivities include the "Bavarian Bier-lympics," a hammerschlagen tournament, and a "sports haus." Families can also enjoy wiener dog races, a Stein Dash 5K, a root beer garden, and more.
Washington State Fair Events Center, October 8-10

SPECIALS

Hood Famous Cafe + Bar
In honor of Filipino American History Month, the bakery and cafe is offering freshly made pandesal (Filipino bread rolls) each day in October. The shop will serve a filled version with longanisa, cream cheese, and chive filling and a version smothered with ube butter.
Chinatown-International District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Molly Moon's Ice Cream
The local ice cream shop chain is scooping up four seasonal flavors for October: milky moon bar (a Halloween candy bar-inspired flavor with chocolate-covered mini marshmallows, milk chocolate ice cream, and ribbons of vanilla bean caramel), pumpkin clove, sunbutter cup (a sweet cream ice cream with sunflower seed butter cups made with Theo Chocolate), and vegan strawberry burst (a pink Starburst-inspired flavor with strawberries and coconut milk). 
Various locations
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Saint Bread
Just in time for soup season, the Portage Bay bakery has introduced a new "blushing cod chowder" special with cod chunks, red miso, Yukon gold potatoes, bacon, mirepoix, dill, tepache habanero hot sauce, and a side of bread with butter.
Portage Bay
Pickup, dine-in