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Golden brown fried chicken with mayo and pickles in a bun with french fries
A fried chicken sandwich at Pioneer Square D&E
Photo by Justin Oba

Where to Eat Before the Game in Seattle

Hungry sports fans can easily walk to these spots near Seattle’s two major parks

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A fried chicken sandwich at Pioneer Square D&E
| Photo by Justin Oba
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Tailgating a football game can be fun, and Seattle is famous for offering in-stadium food a cut above other contenders’ options, but sometimes the pregame situation simply calls for dining at a delicious restaurant. These 15 places are conveniently located within a 15-minute walk of Seattle’s two major parks, so hungry sports fans can take their pick of family-friendly burger bars, hip oyster saloons, and destination Indian restaurants before or after cheering on their favorite team.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Cafe Paloma

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For more than 20 years, Cafe Paloma has drawn fans to Pioneer Square for a cozy, colorful interior, outdoor seating, and a vegetarian-friendly selection of Turkish specialties. Traditional favorites include lamb pita, falafel, lentil soup, and some of Seattle’s best meze, like hummus and peppery muhammara spread, and thoughtful salads and grilled panini sandwiches round out the menu.

Two triangles of layered flaky baklava
Baklava
Shutterstock

Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus

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Picture a beer hall — massive wooden tables, large mugs of crisp lagers, and a boisterous conviviality — then add Northwest beers and local ingredients, and Pioneer Square’s Altstadt emerges. Indoors or on the sidewalk patio, high-quality plates of sausage and sauerkraut, schnitzel, cheesy käsespätzle, and, of course, soft pretzels with mustard pair wonderfully with German and German-style beers.

An overhead shot of sausages, pretzels and other German pub offerings
Dinner at Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus
Courtesy of Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus

13 Coins Seattle

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In the nicest way possible, 13 Coins shows its age: The restaurant traces its origins to 1967, and although this sprawling Pioneer Square location opened in 2018, it maintains the swingin’ vibe with captain’s chairs on a swivel, high-backed leather booths, long hours, and an open kitchen that serves as much banter as it does classic fare. Steaks, omelets, Dungeness crab Louie, and bananas Foster are but a few of the many crowd-pleasing options, available indoors or out.

Golden brown fried chicken with maple syrup and waffles on the side
Chicken and waffles
Shutterstock

Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar

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Washington’s Taylor Shellfish Farms, aka America’s largest shellfish farm, maintains several hip oyster bars throughout Seattle, including a saloon in Pioneer Square with wine, beer, and cocktails amid original brick walls and wood flooring. The freshly shucked raw oysters — from the tiny native Olympia to the creamy Kumamoto — take center stage, but the company also offers its own delicious clams, mussels, and geoduck, as well as other seafood in forms like shrimp po’boys.

A dozen raw oysters on ice with lemon, ready for eating
Oysters at Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar
Courtesy of Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar

Two Doors Down

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A casual, family-friendly atmosphere prevails at this Pioneer Square burger bar, Two Doors Down’s second location. The burgers feature juicy beef or vegetarian patties, buns in kaiser, brioche, and gluten-free varieties, and creative toppings like hop-garlic mayo and green chile cream cheese. Twenty rotating taps represent the best of the Northwest’s cider and beer producers, and the rest of the menu is small but mighty, featuring fries, milkshakes, deep-fried avocado sandwiches, and an inspired take on the cream cheese-covered Seattle dog.

A cheeseburger, a side of fries and a pint of beer
A burger at Two Doors Down
Courtesy of Two Doors Down

Pioneer Square D&E

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Smoked crab rolls, curry cauliflower, and shrimp and grits all warrant attention at Pioneer Square D&E, but for brunch or dinner, the lowkey restaurant has diners hooked on fried chicken, which comes on a sandwich, as wings, or teamed with a bacon-stuffed waffle. The patio’s a big draw, too.

Golden brown fried chicken with mayo and pickles in a bun with french fries
A fried chicken sandwich at Pioneer Square D&E
Photo by Justin Oba

Nirmal’s

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Nirmal’s, a destination restaurant in Pioneer Square with indoor and outdoor seating, pulls inspiration from many regions of India for its excellent dishes, from Mumbai street foods to bell peppers stuffed with stir-fried veggies and paneer to a whole pompano fish marinated and fried in semolina and rice flour. The ambiance is inviting, too, with low lighting and brick walls.

Bowls of Indian curries, rice and roti
Indian curries
Shutterstock

Sushi comprises the bulk of the menu at Pioneer Square’s Matsu, whose striking interior is all high ceilings and polished wood. The list ranges from stripped-down sashimi to decadent specialty rolls stuffed with fish and veggies and piled with additional delicacies, while some simpler rolls like spicy tuna find the middle ground. Hot Japanese bar food has its place, too, such as fried calamari and yakisoba noodles; drinks range from sake flights to Northwest bubbles.

A bowl is filled with fresh raw fish
Sashimi bowl at Matsu
Courtesy of Matsu

Damn the Weather

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A moody Pioneer Square cocktail bar first, Damn the Weather also serves noteworthy food — burgers, handmade pasta in forms like fettuccine with wild mushrooms, duck-fat fries — to complement a wide array of clever drinks and natural wines.

A seeded bun is filled with beef, bacon, mushroom and cheese
A bacon mushroom burger at Damn the Weather
Courtesy of Damn the Weather

Dim Sum King

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The interior of Dim Sum King is unassuming, but the Chinese food is anything but. The menu at this Chinatown-International District restaurant breaks things down into steamed, baked, crispy, and dessert sections, with quick, affordable dim sum classics like fluffy pork buns, tender shrimp dumplings, and flaky egg tarts available by the piece instead of just by the plate.

Steamed soup dumplings on a steaming platter with a  fresh ginger-filled dipping sauce
Soup dumplings
Shutterstock

Dough Zone

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Local Chinese chain Dough Zone has perfected the art of fast-casual dumplings, wowing crowds with unbeatable xiao long bao soup dumplings and juicy jian buns in a modern setting. The rest of the menu rocks, too, particularly the spicy dan dan noodles, pickled string beans, and smoky plum juice.

Silky wontons fill a black bowl with red chili oil
Spicy wontons at Dough Zone
Courtesy of Dough Zone

Fort St. George

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Fort St. George has an old-school divey charm, combining diner and sports bar with a hard-to-find menu of Japanese yoshoku. In this style of East-meets-West comfort food, spaghetti is a vessel for curry chicken cutlets or cod roe and kimchi, and doria casseroles sizzle with bacon and egg or shrimp and mushroom atop rice. A handful of specialty cocktails and shochu options complete the charming effect.

Golden brown fried katsu with white rice and brown gravy
Katsu curry and rice
Shutterstock

Crawfish King

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There’s nothing quite like the experience of a seafood boil, dumped across the table for a crowd to pick through. Crawfish King does it Viet-Cajun-style, where the endless choices span crawfish, Dungeness crab, and Andouille sausage to fish balls and quail eggs, not to mention fried sides, copious sauces, gumbo, and neon-colored cocktails in mason jars.

Steamed lobster, corn, potatoes and clams sits on a table with broth for dipping
A crawfish bake at Crawfish King
Courtesy of Crawfish King

Tai Tung Restaurant

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Tai Tung has two major claims to fame: It’s Seattle’s oldest Chinese restaurant, and Bruce Lee loved coming here for the beef in oyster sauce. Lee lived in the neighborhood, now called the Chinatown-International District, and diners can still sit amid the longstanding wood-paneled walls to try his favorite dish today, alongside other classic comforts like chop suey and egg foo young. 

A platter is filled with chicken, bok choy, peanuts and sauce
Chop suey
Shutterstock

Paseo’s ample outdoor and indoor spaces are nearly as big as their famously juicy Caribbean sandwiches. The best-known version features slow-roasted pork shoulder with caramelized onions, pickled jalapenos, and garlic aioli, but everything else is tasty too, including plates of jambalaya and rice and beans.

Three sandwiches filled with ham and onions are piled on a plate
Sandwiches at Paseo
Courtesy of Paseo
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Cafe Paloma

Two triangles of layered flaky baklava
Baklava
Shutterstock

For more than 20 years, Cafe Paloma has drawn fans to Pioneer Square for a cozy, colorful interior, outdoor seating, and a vegetarian-friendly selection of Turkish specialties. Traditional favorites include lamb pita, falafel, lentil soup, and some of Seattle’s best meze, like hummus and peppery muhammara spread, and thoughtful salads and grilled panini sandwiches round out the menu.

Two triangles of layered flaky baklava
Baklava
Shutterstock

Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus

An overhead shot of sausages, pretzels and other German pub offerings
Dinner at Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus
Courtesy of Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus

Picture a beer hall — massive wooden tables, large mugs of crisp lagers, and a boisterous conviviality — then add Northwest beers and local ingredients, and Pioneer Square’s Altstadt emerges. Indoors or on the sidewalk patio, high-quality plates of sausage and sauerkraut, schnitzel, cheesy käsespätzle, and, of course, soft pretzels with mustard pair wonderfully with German and German-style beers.

An overhead shot of sausages, pretzels and other German pub offerings
Dinner at Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus
Courtesy of Altstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus

13 Coins Seattle

Golden brown fried chicken with maple syrup and waffles on the side
Chicken and waffles
Shutterstock

In the nicest way possible, 13 Coins shows its age: The restaurant traces its origins to 1967, and although this sprawling Pioneer Square location opened in 2018, it maintains the swingin’ vibe with captain’s chairs on a swivel, high-backed leather booths, long hours, and an open kitchen that serves as much banter as it does classic fare. Steaks, omelets, Dungeness crab Louie, and bananas Foster are but a few of the many crowd-pleasing options, available indoors or out.

Golden brown fried chicken with maple syrup and waffles on the side
Chicken and waffles
Shutterstock

Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar

A dozen raw oysters on ice with lemon, ready for eating
Oysters at Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar
Courtesy of Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar

Washington’s Taylor Shellfish Farms, aka America’s largest shellfish farm, maintains several hip oyster bars throughout Seattle, including a saloon in Pioneer Square with wine, beer, and cocktails amid original brick walls and wood flooring. The freshly shucked raw oysters — from the tiny native Olympia to the creamy Kumamoto — take center stage, but the company also offers its own delicious clams, mussels, and geoduck, as well as other seafood in forms like shrimp po’boys.

A dozen raw oysters on ice with lemon, ready for eating
Oysters at Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar
Courtesy of Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar

Two Doors Down

A cheeseburger, a side of fries and a pint of beer
A burger at Two Doors Down
Courtesy of Two Doors Down

A casual, family-friendly atmosphere prevails at this Pioneer Square burger bar, Two Doors Down’s second location. The burgers feature juicy beef or vegetarian patties, buns in kaiser, brioche, and gluten-free varieties, and creative toppings like hop-garlic mayo and green chile cream cheese. Twenty rotating taps represent the best of the Northwest’s cider and beer producers, and the rest of the menu is small but mighty, featuring fries, milkshakes, deep-fried avocado sandwiches, and an inspired take on the cream cheese-covered Seattle dog.

A cheeseburger, a side of fries and a pint of beer
A burger at Two Doors Down
Courtesy of Two Doors Down

Pioneer Square D&E

Golden brown fried chicken with mayo and pickles in a bun with french fries
A fried chicken sandwich at Pioneer Square D&E
Photo by Justin Oba

Smoked crab rolls, curry cauliflower, and shrimp and grits all warrant attention at Pioneer Square D&E, but for brunch or dinner, the lowkey restaurant has diners hooked on fried chicken, which comes on a sandwich, as wings, or teamed with a bacon-stuffed waffle. The patio’s a big draw, too.

Golden brown fried chicken with mayo and pickles in a bun with french fries
A fried chicken sandwich at Pioneer Square D&E
Photo by Justin Oba

Nirmal’s

Bowls of Indian curries, rice and roti
Indian curries
Shutterstock

Nirmal’s, a destination restaurant in Pioneer Square with indoor and outdoor seating, pulls inspiration from many regions of India for its excellent dishes, from Mumbai street foods to bell peppers stuffed with stir-fried veggies and paneer to a whole pompano fish marinated and fried in semolina and rice flour. The ambiance is inviting, too, with low lighting and brick walls.

Bowls of Indian curries, rice and roti
Indian curries
Shutterstock

Matsu

A bowl is filled with fresh raw fish
Sashimi bowl at Matsu
Courtesy of Matsu

Sushi comprises the bulk of the menu at Pioneer Square’s Matsu, whose striking interior is all high ceilings and polished wood. The list ranges from stripped-down sashimi to decadent specialty rolls stuffed with fish and veggies and piled with additional delicacies, while some simpler rolls like spicy tuna find the middle ground. Hot Japanese bar food has its place, too, such as fried calamari and yakisoba noodles; drinks range from sake flights to Northwest bubbles.

A bowl is filled with fresh raw fish
Sashimi bowl at Matsu
Courtesy of Matsu

Damn the Weather

A seeded bun is filled with beef, bacon, mushroom and cheese
A bacon mushroom burger at Damn the Weather
Courtesy of Damn the Weather

A moody Pioneer Square cocktail bar first, Damn the Weather also serves noteworthy food — burgers, handmade pasta in forms like fettuccine with wild mushrooms, duck-fat fries — to complement a wide array of clever drinks and natural wines.

A seeded bun is filled with beef, bacon, mushroom and cheese
A bacon mushroom burger at Damn the Weather
Courtesy of Damn the Weather

Dim Sum King

Steamed soup dumplings on a steaming platter with a  fresh ginger-filled dipping sauce
Soup dumplings
Shutterstock

The interior of Dim Sum King is unassuming, but the Chinese food is anything but. The menu at this Chinatown-International District restaurant breaks things down into steamed, baked, crispy, and dessert sections, with quick, affordable dim sum classics like fluffy pork buns, tender shrimp dumplings, and flaky egg tarts available by the piece instead of just by the plate.

Steamed soup dumplings on a steaming platter with a  fresh ginger-filled dipping sauce
Soup dumplings
Shutterstock

Dough Zone

Silky wontons fill a black bowl with red chili oil
Spicy wontons at Dough Zone
Courtesy of Dough Zone

Local Chinese chain Dough Zone has perfected the art of fast-casual dumplings, wowing crowds with unbeatable xiao long bao soup dumplings and juicy jian buns in a modern setting. The rest of the menu rocks, too, particularly the spicy dan dan noodles, pickled string beans, and smoky plum juice.

Silky wontons fill a black bowl with red chili oil
Spicy wontons at Dough Zone
Courtesy of Dough Zone

Fort St. George

Golden brown fried katsu with white rice and brown gravy
Katsu curry and rice
Shutterstock

Fort St. George has an old-school divey charm, combining diner and sports bar with a hard-to-find menu of Japanese yoshoku. In this style of East-meets-West comfort food, spaghetti is a vessel for curry chicken cutlets or cod roe and kimchi, and doria casseroles sizzle with bacon and egg or shrimp and mushroom atop rice. A handful of specialty cocktails and shochu options complete the charming effect.

Golden brown fried katsu with white rice and brown gravy
Katsu curry and rice
Shutterstock

Crawfish King

Steamed lobster, corn, potatoes and clams sits on a table with broth for dipping
A crawfish bake at Crawfish King
Courtesy of Crawfish King

There’s nothing quite like the experience of a seafood boil, dumped across the table for a crowd to pick through. Crawfish King does it Viet-Cajun-style, where the endless choices span crawfish, Dungeness crab, and Andouille sausage to fish balls and quail eggs, not to mention fried sides, copious sauces, gumbo, and neon-colored cocktails in mason jars.

Steamed lobster, corn, potatoes and clams sits on a table with broth for dipping
A crawfish bake at Crawfish King
Courtesy of Crawfish King

Tai Tung Restaurant