Sample Donut Selections
National Press: Bon Appétit ranked Mighty O on its list of the Top 10 Best Places for Donuts in the country.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Prepare your sweet tooth with a savory prelude at Diggity Dog Hot Dog & Sausage Co. (5421 Meridian Avenue N).
After: Walk off those chocolate glazed and lemon poppy donuts at Woodland Park (1000 N. 50th Street).
The aromas of peanut sauce, lemongrass, and spicy chili pastes drifting throughout the dining room at Araya's Place may seem familiar at first, but the eatery isn't like most Thai restaurants. It eschews meats and dairy entirely, forging a distinctive menu that led The Stranger to hail Araya's University District location as "Thai vegan heaven."
Working exclusively with GMO-free tofu and produce sourced from local farmers whenever possible, the chefs cook classic Thai dishes as well as a handful of slightly more imaginative creations. "I do not want to be only Thai vegetarian food," owner Araya Pudpard explained to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2008, "I want to be international vegan food."
The international twists are evident throughout the menu's otherwise familiar selection of stir-fried noodle dishes and aromatic curries. A mélange of assorted garden vegetables, deep-fried and served with sweet-and-sour sauce, make up the veggie tempura, and the jasmine-tinged creme brûlée conceals a vegan and gluten-free custard beneath a one-molecule-thin layer of crisp sugar.
But even with these occasional twists, Thai staples still dominate the menu's pages. One of the restaurant's more iconic dishes, the tom yum soup, is so spicy that it has appeared on the Food Network show Heat Seekers, which features two chefs who travel around the country looking for mouth-burning dishes and ice sculptures to lick afterward.
In keeping with the rest of the Plum Restaurants family, Plum Burgers food truck has no meat products on board. Its burgers are entirely beef-free, organic, and vegan—but within these restrictions, the cooks have gotten more than a little creative. The Jerk + Yam burger piles yam and Jamaican-spiced grilled tofu with caramelized onions, whereas the 8-ounce Mediterranean burger layers mint-kissed seitan with pickled figs. Other patties incorporate lentils, portobello mushrooms, and panko-crusted tempeh as meat substitutes.
Also on the menu are a variety of sandwiches and sides, including the popular Mac & Yease, which is a vegan version of mac and cheese that can also go gluten-free upon request. Milkshakes made with vanilla coconut ice cream conclude meals with cool, sweet sips. To track the truck's location, customers can refer to its homepage. It even takes pickup orders via phone call, text, or really loud yelling from across town.
A health-food emporium, Thrive offers gluten-free, vegetarian, and 95% raw and organic meals. Along with its lush, natural inventory, Thrive offers local community members the tools to create meals from those foods on their own. From the kale-packed raw juices to the cooking-with-kale classes, Thrive aims to make healthy eating delicious by dispelling myths that eating kale is the first step in turning into a garden gnome.
Monika Kinsman is the founder behind the scenes at Thrive, and she has always been ambitious. She drew inspiration as a child from her jet-setting single mom and entrepreneurial grandmother, and set her sights on joining the FBI after graduating high school. The unfortunate setbacks of her and her mother’s poor health momentarily altered her ambitions, opening her eyes to the healing powers of raw foods and the inspiration of community dining. Two master’s degrees and an internship with the FBI later, Monika realized that what she really wanted was to work for the betterment of herself and her community, and with that, Thrive was born.
There was once a pair of friends who shared the same name. These friends—the Gregs—also shared the belief that even casual food should be fresh. So they put their heads together to found Zaw Artisan Pizza, where seasonal, organic, and locally sourced ingredients top carefully crafted take-and-bake pies. Diners can watch over the counter as pizza artistes decorate white, whole wheat, or gluten-free crusts with toppings such as free-range chicken breast, hearty spinach, and fresh artisan cheeses. Each pie leaves the shop unfrozen—as evidenced by the lack of freezers in all six stores—to be baked to a golden crisp inside the customer's oven or backyard iron forge. To further their commitment to quality, the Gregs strive to source local ingredients from neighborhood farmers' markets whenever possible, and craft each batch of dough with Bob's Red Mill flours.
Turnpike Pizza specializes in New York–style pizza and northwestern brews. The restaurant takes on an air similar to a cafe, with floor-to-ceiling windows, brick walls, a handwritten menu sign. The staff even reserves a corner booth for a family of whirring bean grinders. Chefs use a paddle to remove thin-crust pies from the oven, instead of using it to swim through the stream of marinara sauce that flows through the kitchen. They can craft pizzas to fit dietary restrictions by sprinkling on fistfuls of vegan cheese or bakingthe best tasting gluten-free crusts. Gelatiamo gelato and sorbets cool tongues after hot meals, and pitchers of craft beers and glasses of Italian wine can cool them during meals.