For most of America, it wasn't that long ago that "eating ethnic" meant spaghetti and meatballs or bland wonton soup. And even with Chinatown and the International District giving Seattle one heck of an authentic leg up over some cities, our opportunities for eating out ethnically were, for the most part, limited to that one area. But as you've no doubt noticed, the world's gotten a lot smaller lately, and, lucky us, we see that reflected by our plates. Indeed, Seattle has an amazing richness of ethnic cuisine. From Basque tapas and Iranian baked goods to Australian meat pies and Peruvian-style seafood, our restaurants reflect our communities, and, as it turns out, sometimes the most diverse communities are found in the far-flung neighborhoods and suburbs. For this year's installment of our annual Dining Guide, we decided to spotlight 116 of our favorite ethnic restaurants. (We're sure some of you will write in to say we missed your beloved noodle joint or neighborhood Szechuan shop, but we had to stop somewhere.) We wanted this issue to represent a globe-trotting, city-crossing expedition wherein all the world's cuisine would be available to you on a single afternoon. From Kirkland to West Seattle, and from Lake City to Kent; around the world in a day, without leaving the greater Seattle area. Ambitious? Maybe a little, but once we started rattling off the enclaves that make our favorite Ethiopian stews, Cambodian noodles, Armenian breads, and homemade Italian pastas, we realized it could really be done. And hey, New York–style pizza, Southern ribs, and Northwest salmon reflect distinct cultures and ethnic cuisines, too, don't they? So here they are, organized via continent just to further solidify the virtual globe-trotting. (You'll note there are only six continents, though, not seven; if you know of any fabulous Antarctic cafes, do let us know.) From the Old Country to the New World and beyond, these are the bistros, bakeries, and takeout counters we love best. Thanks for making the trip with us. South America
Mixtura and Copacabana. Asia
Sushi, soups, sweets, and savories. North America
Nell's, El Rincon, Northlake Tavern, and more. Africa
Mesob and more. Europe
From Bandeleone to Zaina. Australia
Would you believe only one made our list?