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Are Chinese restaurants in SEA under-visited?


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Are Chinese restaurants in SEA under-visited?

equinoise | May 6, 2013 01:22 PM

Nancy Leson's twitter feed today linked a great Sea. Times post with demographic survey data about Chinese restaurant patronage, showing the Town dead last in visits:

This is somewhat surprising to me given prior research about the relatively significant Chinese-American population in SEA (#8 nationally), certainly higher than No. 2 in the survey, San Antonio, TX. See

A few thoughts come to mind (hardly unique to me, as they have also been mentioned or discussed in countless prior posts here):

1. Assuming the survey captured only Seattle proper, it would be significant that most of the best Chinese restaurants in this area are not in Seattle, but rather Bellevue (perhaps not incidentally, the sixth-most Chinese mid-size city in the US) and other surrounding municipalities.
2. Somewhat relatedly, the most acclaimed restaurants in the Chinatown/ID zone are often not Chinese, but rather Viet, Japanese, etc. With various worthy exceptions, many ID Chinese restaurants have predictable, lowest-common-denominator menus of Canto-American standards, making for an experience that may be simply too forgettable for a survey subject to later recall.

What do we think? Is this survey consistent with our dining experience?

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