Best Restaurants in the U-District

The U-District boasts a healthy mix of cheap-and-cheerful ethnic eateries?ideal for the surfeit of cash-strapped students who live in the area?and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants than any neighborhood in the city. The food on The Ave is vibrant, flavorful, and sometimes a little greasy?perfect for soaking up the extra shots that provided liquid encouragement to last night's shenanigans. Read on for our picks for some of the best vegetarian, ethnic, and hangover grub in the U-District, plus one finer-dining pick for a posh evening out.

Updated: September 28, 2010

Best Restaurants in the U-District

Cedars Restaurant

1319 Ne 43rd St, Seattle, WA 98105

Can't decide between hummus and falafel or samosas and curry for a quick weeknight nosh? Save yourself the headache and head to Cedars, a unique, Mediterranean/Indian restaurant on The Ave. This bustling eatery has everything from Vindaloo, Rogan Josh, and Coconut Curry (available with vegetables, chicken, beef, lamb, fish or prawns) to beef or lamb shish kabobs, tandoori meats, roti (unleavened whole wheat bread), naan (white leavened bread), and paratha (unleavened whole wheat bread with savory fillings). Whatever your ethnic leanings this evening, don't leave without trying the cooling kulfi--Indian ice-cream with cardamom and nuts.


5501 30th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Pair is a little fancier than the average U-District restaurant, but a ideal for a quiet date night?or a raucous girls? night. With shareable plates like pan-roasted trout, sweet and savory pancetta-wrapped pears, hearty brisket sliders, moules frites (mussels and fries) with sherry and cream, and seasonable offerings like stinging nettle gnocchi with tomato-basil sauce, the food and the laidback vibe is fitting for a cozy neighborhood joint. A small by-the-glass list, and very reasonable wine list ensures you'll be getting something deliciously quaffable without emptying your wallet.

Araya's Vegetarian Place

1121 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105

Araya Vegetarian Place is one of the hottest spots on The Ave., a Thai restaurant that useth no meat in any of its fresh and healthful dishes. Choose from an array of finger foods to share, like tofu satays, veggie springrolls and potstickers, crunchy salads that sing with the exotic flavors of toasted rice, lemongrass, and bamboo shoots, or classic Thai dishes like Pad See-iew veg-ified with broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and filling pieces of fried tofu. Slightly more exotic signature offerings include Pineapple Curry with tofu, veggie ?meat?, red curry and creamy coconut milk. Whether you're a meatatarian or not, with food this tasty we doubt you'll leave unsatiated.