The Hawaiian fish dish poké (it rhymes with “okay”) has been a staple of island cuisine for centuries, but it’s only recently become a big trend in the Lower 48.
Think of it along the lines of deconstructed sushi—chunks of raw, marinated fish usually served on a bed of rice and seaweed salad with mixed-ins like cucumber, green onion, jalapeno and pineapple.
Thanks to Seattle’s relative proximity to Hawaii, poké is nothing new here but it’s definitely surged in popularity lately, with a host of new poké restaurants opening around town joining a local original: Sam Choy's Poké to the Max. Launched by the Hawaiian-born “godfather of poké,” who founded a festival dedicated to the dish back in 1991, Poké to the Max has locations in the stadium area and Columbia City, as well as three food trucks you can track online.
More places to taste the sunshine:
Poké Bar: Head to the downtown or Capitol Hill locations to create your own bowl from a menu that includes tofu, scallop and octopus options.
goPoké: Locally owned and operated by Hawaiian brothers, this Chinatown spot is a popular lunchtime destination.
FOB Poké Bar: The name refers to the "Fresh Off the Boat" fish at this lively build-your-own bowl Belltown fave.