Food & Drink

Where to Get Soup in Seattle

Chowder, Pho, and More
January 18, 2023
Cozy up with a bowl of matzo ball soup from Dingfelder's Delicatessen. (Dingfelder's Delicatessen)
The thermostat has dipped and rainy weather is upon us, which can only mean one thing: It's soup season. As all Seattleites know, the best way to survive the dreary cold is to curl up with a steaming bowl of something hot and comforting, preferably with some crusty bread on the side for dipping. Below, we've gathered a selection of life-giving broths and stews that will have you muttering "Good soup" to yourself. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

Ba Bar
Stranger contributor Jenn Campbell wrote, "You can get yourself fed—with one of the city’s best bowls of pho, no less—from the morning till the wee hours at this stylish Vietnamese mini-chain, with locations in Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, and U Village. That pho is lovingly, expensively crafted (the oxtail broth takes a full 24 hours to prepare), as are the rest of the noodle soups, protein-laden vermicelli bowls, and street-food-inspired small plates, like fried frog’s legs and grilled lemongrass beef skewers."
Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, University Village
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Dingfelder's Delicatessen Add to a List
Capitol Hill's New York-style Jewish deli has plenty of soups for whatever ails you, with different offerings for each day of the week: split pea on Monday, mushroom barley on Tuesday, lentil on Wednesday, beet borscht on Thursday, cabbage on Friday, and "chef's choice" on Saturday and Sunday. Their lovingly made "grandma matzo ball soup" is available daily.
Capitol Hill
Pickup, delivery

Happy Lamb Hot Pot
The longstanding Chinese tradition of hot pot—communal dining in which diners share the responsibility and pleasure of cooking meats and veggies in a bubbling cauldron of broth—is especially fun (and accessible) at this international chain formerly known as Little Sheep. The selection of ingredients is vast, and the all-you-can-eat option includes unlimited refills of the excellent house-made broths.
Bellevue, Chinatown-International District
Pickup, dine-in

Hoang Lan Add to a List
Former Stranger food writer Angela Garbes wrote, "The specialty at Hoàng Lan is Bún bò Huế, a hearty soup whose spicy, lemongrass-tinged broth is filled with thick rice noodles. The broth here is so rich, it's almost milky, and it comes loaded with an assortment of meat: pork meatballs with black pepper, dark cubes of pork blood, long slippery slices of beef tendon, and, the crown jewel, a big ol' pork knuckle—soft, gelatinous meat wrapped around an intrusive hunk of bone that sits in the middle of the bowl just waiting to be picked up and gnawed on." (Note: Hoang Lan is cash-only, so make sure to come prepared.)
Beacon Hill
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Infinite Soups Add to a List
Denizens of Tacoma have long known the copious comforts offered by this no-frills soup counter. Stranger contributor Jordan Michelman wrote, "Every day, there are more than a dozen varieties, with multiple vegetarian and vegan options alongside meatier brethren, each one distinctly flavorful and unique, and there's always some unknowable combination of ever-changing offerings: Hungarian Mushroom, Hunter's Meatball, Potato Gorgonzola, Moroccan Mushroom, Caribbean Red Bean (my favorite), Spicy Curried Chicken, Cuban Black Bean, Fiery Coconut Pork, Roasted Garlic Tortellini, Santa Fe Queso, and so on."
Pickup, dine-in

Jamjuree Add to a List
Former Stranger associate editor Eli Sanders wrote of the tom kha soup at Jamjuree, "This is my go-to soup for fighting an annoying cold—or just creating warm happiness. It's hot, it's sour, it has flavors of lemongrass and lime and chili, and it has zero coconut milk (and no other phlegm-boosting, dairy-like liquids, either). Perfect for clearing out your sinuses, snapping you out of the malaise, and sending you back out into the world light on your feet and ready for action."
Capitol Hill
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Kamonegi Add to a List
Chef Mutsuko Soma has earned national acclaim for her Japanese restaurant Kamonegi, where she painstakingly makes soba noodles by hand. Try them in a hot, steaming broth for a wonderfully restorative meal.
Pickup, dine-in

Korean Tofu House Add to a List
The Stranger's Rich Smith has raved about the sundubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House, writing, "Seattle is blessed with many purveyors of Big Warm Bowls of Something, but Korean Tofu House's sundubu is the best of the best. It comes bubbling volcanically in a stone cauldron alongside purple rice. Spicy but not too spicy. Filling but not too filling. When I need comfort in the dourest parts of February, I turn to this dish."
University District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

L'Oursin Add to a List
You'll swear you've teleported to a Parisian bistro with your first bite of L'Oursin's rich, savory "soupe à l'oignon," made with caramelized onions, veal stock, and gruyere croutons.
Central District

Marmite Add to a List
Given that it's named after a type of French cooking pot, it's no surprise that this restaurant from the culinary power couple Bruce and Sara Naftaly does seasonally inspired soups well. The current offerings include radish and rose soup, zucchini soup, and chicken or vegetable broth.
Capitol Hill
Pickup, dine-in

Mike's Noodle House Add to a List
Aside from its wonderful, warming bowls of noodle soups and congee, Mike's Noodle House offers the chance to peer from the dining room through the big picture window into the kitchen, watching the cooks work efficiently among cauldrons of bubbling broth and simmering noodles, and assembling dishes with as much focus as they do ease.
Chinatown-International District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Excellent ramen options abound in Seattle, and one of the most dependable is this non-traditional hole-in-the-wall, which has a location tucked away in Harvard Market and recently expanded to Fremont. Fans rave about the spicy kotteri ramen, which features a thick, rich broth and freshly made noodles.
Capitol Hill, Fremont
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Oriental Mart Add to a List
This Pike Place counter specializing in traditional Filipino food has been around since the '70s and received a James Beard America’s Classics Award in 2020. The spot is famed for its hot, refreshingly sour salmon sinigang, made with market-fresh salmon collars and tamarind.
Pike Place Market

Phnom Penh Noodle House Add to a List
This celebrated Cambodian restaurant is a longtime Chinatown institution. Try the popular special rice noodle soup (gulf prawns, calamari, fish cakes, fish balls, sliced and ground pork, thin rice noodles, green onion, cilantro, and crunchy bits of roasted garlic).
Chinatown-International District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Pho Bac
Dating back to 1982, Pho Bac is the O.G. pho chain in Seattle (as they put it on their social media bio: "Best phở in Seattle. Maybe. Don't really know. Who cares, just eat it"). They have locations all over town, including the hip spinoff Pho Bac Súp Shop Add to a List in Little Saigon.
Various locations
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Pike Place Chowder Add to a List
Eli Sanders wrote, "It's a clam-claim assault, all the plaques and cries of 'Nation's Best!' as you step up to the register at Pike Place Chowder. But then you order and sit at the white-tiled counter with its baskets of oyster crackers and sourdough bread, put a spoonful of perfectly hot soup to your lips, and realize that the proprietors are just stating facts: They make the best fucking chowder anywhere. The Hall of Fame Clam Chowder is the most decorated, and rightfully so. Nothing in this soup is allowed to be larger than the clams, and that is as it should be. Diced potatoes and sliced celery need to know their place. Dill, parsley, red pepper, maybe some zest of orange or lemon—you will taste them all, you will marvel at how the flawlessly smooth and creamy soup brings the brininess of the sea without making you feel like you're licking the underside of a whale, and at the end of it all, you will be extraordinarily happy and surprisingly full."
Pike Place Market
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Polish Home Association Add to a List
Capitol Hill's Polish community center is known for its cabbage rolls, pork hock, and endless varieties of pierogi at its legendary Friday night dinners. Guests can pay a dollar in cash for a "temporary membership fee," which permits them to partake in a variety of specialties. Rich Smith is particularly fond of the pickle soup: "One spoonful of this dill-heavy, hard-to-find dish makes me nostalgic for a life of polka dancing and stern Slavic pleasures I've never known."
Capitol Hill

Situ Tacos Add to a List
Local drummer Lupe Flores' pop-up Situ Tacos, which launched early on in the pandemic and is now open seven days a week inside Jupiter Bar Add to a List in Belltown, may be best known for its Lebanese-inspired tacos, but her soups are worthy of praise in their own right. (As Lupe herself proclaims, "Don't sleep on my soups. People travel far and wide for them. Really.") Options include her crowd-favorite Lebanese vegetable stew, made with cauliflower, chickpeas, carrots, and celery and topped with Greek yogurt and parsley, and a soup and slaw combo, featuring 12 oz of a rotating soup of the week special and 8 oz of spicy Mexican slaw. Past soups have included chicken tortilla, pozole, veggie chili, fideo, lentil stew, and more—don't miss it.
Pickup, dine-in

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