Food & Drink

Where to Eat Near the 2023 SIFF Venues

Make the Most of Your Seattle International Film Festival Experience
May 9, 2023
Round up your crew for a meal at the lively ASEAN Streat Food Hall before viewing a film at Seattle International Film Festival. (Meg van Huygen)
Cinephiles, rejoice—the 49th annual Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is upon us, running from May 11-21 (plus online screenings from May 22-28). Should you want to make the most of your outing and grab a meal before or after your screening, we've compiled this list of our favorite restaurants located conveniently close to the SIFF venues—check out the map below or scroll down to read all about them. For more inspiration, check out The Stranger's guide to the films they loved and hated.

Near SIFF Cinema Egyptian List

(Capitol Hill)

Fogón List
With its vibrant interior and a glimpse of the tortilla-making action up front, this family-owned, Michoacán-style cantina has long been a Capitol Hill staple. You may have even caught the restaurant’s cameo on the latest season of Love Is Blind, where it was chosen as a group dining destination. Fans love the signature street tacos, tortilla soup, and margaritas. Be sure to also check out the business's sibling bodega bar El Lugar List , which stocks all sorts of tasty snacks, from fresh mangonadas and tostilocos to imported goods like michelada-flavored Fruit Gushers.

Tamari Bar List
The Stranger's Rich Smith has endorsed this excellent Japanese izakaya and is a fan of its Suntory Whisky Toki Highball machine. Choose from dishes like spicy pork poutine, chicken karaage, kurobuta dumplings, pork belly bao, and dan-dan ramen and soak up the lively atmosphere. If you're still hungry and have time to spare before heading to SIFF, grab a jewel-like fruit sando or artful soft serve sundae from the spot's resident dessert shop, Baiten.

Near Ark Lodge Cinemas List

(Columbia City)

Geraldine's Counter List
We can't say enough good things about Geraldine's. Hailed as "Seattle's best breakfast," the beloved Columbia City diner slings impeccable French toast, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, scrambles, and other brunch standards, all within a homey setting. Note that this place is not such a well-kept secret, so you may need to factor extra time spent waiting in line into your film-viewing plans.

Island Soul Rum Bar & Soul Shack List
Owner Theo Martin has created a space that is as much a community gathering spot as it is a restaurant. But make no mistake, the people come hungry for the Caribbean and soul food dishes like oxtail stew, Southern fried hens, gumbo, and goat curry. The tiny in-house bar also makes great rum cocktails.

Near AMC Pacific Place List


ASEAN Streat Food Hall List
Named after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, this downtown food hall aims to approximate the flavors and ambiance of a Southeast Asian street food market with menus from Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, so you and your film festival companions will be spoiled for choice. Stranger contributor Meg van Huygen writes, "Basically, it’s now my plan to eat one of everything at ASEAN Streat, and so should yours be. THIS is how you repurpose a giant 7,600-square-foot mall space here in the 21st century, folks. I’m so into it." She recommends the pork massaman curry served over spaghetti from Zaab Eli and the kakigori from Sweet Moon.

Din Tai Fung List
Former Stranger staffer Jas Keimig wrote, "Din Tai Fung is a perfect spot for chowing down on some delicious food, especially if you're with a large group. The international Taiwan-based restaurant chain is known for their xiao long bao, a type of steamed dumpling filled with hot soup. God, are they delicious. The pork xiao long bao are a close approximation to what the food is like in heaven, I presume. Their appetizers are to die for as well—especially the truly holy cucumber salad. When I go with my family, it's a race to see who can eat the most cucumber slices. Be sure to snag a bowl of noodles with spicy sauce, too. Good luck not getting oil on yourself as you hastily slurp those puppies up—it's worth it, though!"

Near SIFF Cinema Uptown
& SIFF Film Center
List List


Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge List
After it first opened back in 2009, this Cajun-Creole spot was featured on the Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate based on the merits of its cured pork cheeks confit hash, and was also named one of the 10 best happy hours in the country by CNBC. That happy hour still holds up, though—deals are available from 3:30-6 pm and 10-11:30 pm and include $12 cocktails and discounts on dishes like Penn Cove mussels and fried chicken andouille gumbo soup. If you go at night, the restaurant is illuminated by 260 votive candles, which cast a romantic glow over the whole affair.

Paju List
This modern Korean restaurant specializes in shareable plates like chicken wings, beef tartare, crispy pancakes, fried rice, and mushrooms with kimchi and truffle aioli, with panna cotta and crème brûlée for dessert.

Near Shoreline Community College List


Yum Yum Thai Restaurant List
You'll find a mix of Chinese and Thai staples like crab fried rice, khao soi, Chinese sausage fried rice, and papaya salad at this cozy family-owned restaurant.

Little Ting's Dumplings List
Former Stranger contributor Naomi Tomky once wrote, "Thick, hearty dough unapologetically smashes around the bold, flavorful meat of the homey Northern Chinese-style dumplings that earn this Broadview strip-mall star its name. A temple to the universal comfort food, each of the more than a half-dozen types of dumplings (all available steamed or fried) are handmade, and the menu holds even more unassuming treasures like the griddle-cooked spare ribs, served with pancake-like fried noodles (or, perhaps, noodle-like pancakes), and the crispy, spice-crusted lamb rib."

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