The best thing about spicy food is that it is not relegated to one ethnicity. Every type of cuisine has at least one spicy dish that gets the blood pumping. From Caribbean to Chinese, Seattle has some of the hottest dishes from across the globe. Put the passport away and travel to the best spicy spots in town.
Price: $20 and under
Hours: Thurs – 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sat – Noon to 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sun 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Trinidad and Tobago are a pair of Caribbean islands that developed from a multitude of cultural influences and created a cuisine that is deliciously unique. At Pam’s Kitchen, owner Pam Jacob reaches back to her root and serves up some of the spiciest Caribbean dishes in town. From the Jerk chicken to the spicy green beans, this joint is kickin’. The Roti is where the real spice comes into play with a delicious punch. Tender, savory meat and cumin-spice garbanzo beans and potatoes all meld into one scrumptious mouthful. If things are not hot enough, add a dollop of the habanero sauce served on the side.
Price: $10 and under
Hours: Mon to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun – 1 to 8 p.m.
Finding a seat at Thai Town might be a hard thing to do, but it’s well worth the effort. Nestled into a small building in the University District, this tiny restaurant is really heating things up. With flying woks flipping on top a 4 burner stove, it is it is dinner and a show all in one place. The pad Thai is well seasoned, the house noodles are kicked up with spicy chili oil and the garlic chicken really ignites a fire, the favorite among the heat seekers. After one meal at Thai Tom, it’s easy to understand why there is always a line out the door.
Price: $11 – $30
Hours: Mon to Thurs, Sat – 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Southern Style BBQ does exist in the Pacific Northwest and it is in an old garage of all places. The décor may not be fancy, but it isn’t the decorations that keep patrons coming back again and again; it’s the food. Pulled pork, brisket, cornbread, slaw; it’s all here and all outstanding. Those in the know ask for a touch of “The Man” with every order. Named after the owner, Gene, this sauce is hot enough to singe hair, so tread lightly. It is definitely worth a try (in small doses.) Saddle up and meet the Man at Dixie’s. Yee Haw!
Related: Best Barbecue in Seattle
Spicy Talk Bistro
Price: $15 and under
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri – 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sat – Noon to 9:30 p.m., Sun – Noon to 9 p.m.
Chinese Szechuan food is famous for its bold flavors and use of generous applications of garlic, chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns. And in a small strip mall just outside of Seattle, there is one chef doing it very well. Spicy Talk Bistro is anything but run of the mill. Chef Cheng Biao Yang’s dishes are so spicily delicious that word of mouth advertising is all he needs. It is continually the talk of the town. With hand shaved noodles and sauces, all made from scratch, this place is the real deal.
Price: $10 and under
Hours: Mon, Fri and Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tues to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
At Wing Dome, there is wing sauce in all sorts of flavors and heat profiles. With choices of Western BBQ, honey mustard, and Thai sweet chili, it is not the typical wing joint. But for those that like Buffalo wings and only Buffalo wings, this is the place. From 1 alarm, “mild and flavorful,” to 6 alarm, “I can’t feel my face,” no wing lover will leave disappointed. The 7 alarm challenge is only for the truly brave, or truly stupid. Just eat seven 7-Alarm wings in 7 minutes and win. If you don’t succeed, it’s $7.77. Don the bib and bring it on.
Related: Best Places for Oysters in Seattle
Denise LaCaille is a freelance writer living in Seattle. She graduated from the University of Washington and is passionate about the local food scene. Every weekend you’ll find her at farmers markets scouring for the freshest ingredients to create healthy dishes for her food blog she writes with her twin sister. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.