Tai Tung – Seattle, Washington - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Tai Tung

The city's oldest Chinese restaurant offers local history and seriously good food.  

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Open since 1935, Tai Tung is a Seattle institution. It’s the city’s oldest Chinese restaurant, opened by Grandpa Quan and still operated by his family 87 years later in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, where many Chinese immigrants moved in the first half of the 1900s. Tai Tung was one of many restaurants that fed the neighborhood’s growing population, and also welcomed Seattle’s Black residents, even during segregation. 

Out front hangs a restored neon sign that reads “Tai Tung Chop Suey” above the restaurant’s name in Chinese characters, which lights up in the evenings to shepherd customers into the dining room that can feel like a time capsule of the country’s mid-century Chinese restaurants. Photos of famous faces line the walls: Bruce Lee, Anthony Bourdain, athletes, local politicians—all current or former patrons of the restaurant, a testament to its popularity and longevity. There’s even an entire room dedicated to Lee, with his photos covering the walls. The story goes that Lee’s favorite dish was the beef in oyster sauce, which the restaurant still serves today. 

Go for the Chinese-American classics here, like egg foo young and chow mein, as well as Tai Tung specialties such as sweet and sour pork, egg rolls, and beef chow fun. The service is always friendly and the place is always full of regulars—a great sign. 

Know Before You Go

Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

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