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Why Hawaiians Love the Pacific Northwest and the Best Hawaiian Restaurants to Try in Seattle 

Have you ever wondered why such a thriving Hawaiian community exists in the Pacific Northwest? The historical ties between Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest and the region’s natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle have attracted many Hawaiians to settle in the Seattle area. With a significant presence of Hawaiians in the city, it’s no surprise that Seattle has become a hub for Hawaiian culture and cuisine. If you’re searching for the best Hawaiian restaurants in Seattle, look no further.

In this article, Trending Northwest contributor Quia Bethea shares the top three establishments where you can experience the authentic flavors of Hawaii, from Sam Choy Poke to the Max’s sustainable seafood to Seattle Fish Guys’ fresh catch and Buddha Bruddah’s hearty mixed plate lunches. Get ready to satisfy your cravings and embark on a culinary journey through the Aloha State in the Emerald City!

Have you ever been curious why so many Hawaiians live in the Pacific Northwest when they could be living in paradise? Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest have had a long history consisting of trade and cultural exchange. In the early 20th century, many Hawaiians migrated to the Pacific Northwest to work in the lumber and fishing industries. As a result, a Hawaiian community began to form in the Seattle area. Many Hawaiians have also served in the military, with some stationed at military bases throughout Washington state. After their service, many Hawaiians settled in the area and raised their families.

The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the outdoor lifestyle are attractive to many Hawaiians. The mild climate, abundance of parks and outdoor recreation opportunities, and proximity to water make it a desirable place to live. The prestigious University of Washington is also a significant draw for many Hawaiians. The university has a growing student population, and many choose to stay in the area after graduation.

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All of these factors have contributed to the growth of the Hawaiian community in Seattle and have helped to make the city a hub for Hawaiian culture and cuisine in the Pacific Northwest.

Therefore, if you are ready for a taste of Hawaii, it comes as no surprise Seattlites love flavors from the Aloha State. Seattle’s culinary scene is a melting pot of diverse flavors, and Hawaiian cuisine is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. If you’re looking for the best Hawaiian restaurants in Seattle, make sure to bookmark this list!

Taste of Hawaii in Seattle: Unveiling the Best Hawaiian Restaurants in the Emerald City

Sam Choy Poke to the Max

Sam Choy Poke to the Max is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for authentic and elevated Hawaiian flavors in Seattle. Sam Choy Poke to the Max sets itself apart from other Poke restaurants with a commitment to sustainability. The restaurant uses only sustainably-sourced seafood, so you can enjoy your meal knowing its stance.

best Hawaiian restaurants in seattle

Photo courtesy of Sam Choy – Poke to the Max. Photo credit: Rea Mizuta

In addition to its Poke bowls, Sam Choy Poke to the Max also offers a variety of other Hawaiian dishes, including Kalua Pork, Spam Musubi, succulent fried chicken, and Loco Moco—and everything tastes even better with a scoop of fluffy white rice and refreshing mac or seaweed salad. Whether you visit the brick-and-mortar establishment or brave the justifiably long line at the food truck, one bite will have you yearning for more.

You can learn more about Chef Choy’s delectable menu here and check out their new location at 7705 168 th Ave NE in Redmond, Washington. The grand opening is on June 10th!

Seattle Fish Guys

If you’re a fan of seafood, you do not want to miss Seattle Fish Guys. The Seattle Fish Guys also share a commitment to sustainability. This Hawaiian-inspired seafood market and restaurant offer some of the freshest seafood in Seattle. The restaurant only sources seafood from sustainable fisheries and works closely with local fishermen to ensure avid support for the local economy.

best Hawaiian restaurants in seattle

Photo courtesy of Sam Choy – Poke to the Max. Photo credit: Rea Mizuta

Seattle Fish Guys is a great place to try some of Hawaii’s most popular seafood dishes, like Ahi Poke and Mahi Mahi. But the restaurant also offers a variety of other seafood dishes, including fish and chips, clam chowder, grilled octopus, shrimp, and an assortment of pastries, rice, and salads.

Regulars shop at the inviting marketplace in addition to dining in or grabbing takeaways. The incredible staff is friendly even at their busiest hour, and the high-quality offerings will make you wish you had tried the establishment sooner.

Buddha Bruddah

If you are craving hearty and satisfying Hawaiian food reminiscent of home cooking, Buddha Bruddah is the place to be. This family-owned and operated restaurant offers a variety of mixed plate lunches, ubiquitous in Hawaiian cuisine — and each bite feels like the warmest and softest hug from a loved one.

best Hawaiian restaurants in seattle

Photo courtesy of Buddha Bruddah

At Buddha Bruddah, the hearty plates, loaded with steamed jasmine rice, macaroni salad, and savory noodles are enough for two people. Choose from different proteins, including mouthwatering Kalua Pork, tender Teriyaki Chicken, and savory Loco Moco or short ribs. In addition to its plate lunches, Budda Bruddah also offers a variety of other Hawaiian dishes, like Spam Musubi, Poke bowls, and Shave Ice. And if you have a sweet tooth, try their homemade Haupia (coconut pudding).

Whether you are in the mood for Poke, or soulful mixed plate lunches, these three Hawaiian restaurants in Seattle serve the best Hawaiian cuisine. While each one offers its unique take on Hawaiian cuisine, all three are committed to using fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients and keeping the Aloha spirit and their beautiful cultures alive in Seattle.

Quia Bethea

Quia Bethea enjoys writing about culture, food, wellness, and social impact. Born and raised in New York City, she considers Seattle a home away from home. You can connect with her at [email protected] or @writebyquia on social media.


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