In the Bowl - Vegetarian Noodle Bistro

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 24 reviews )

1554 E Olive Wy (at Denny Wy, in Captiol Hill District), Seattle, Washington, USA, 98102

Seattle vegan restaurant. Serves vegetarian and vegan versions of Thai food including appetizers, soups, currys, noodles, fried rice, and more. Brown rice available. Small, well-lit space. Note: Mock meats reportedly contain whey, otherwise all vegan. Open Mon-Tue 12:00pm-9:00pm, Thu 12:00pm-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 12:00pm-9:30pm, Sun 12:00pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Thai, Fast food, Delivery, Take-out

24 Reviews

First Review by folkdiva

Great Place - Edit

Great Pan Asian selection, really tasty, big portions, cool vibe, friendly staff. Only complaint would be it's a bit hard to work out which stuff is fully vegan and which isn't (e.g. some of the faux meats) so you have to ask.

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Yummy & quick! - Edit

Their food tasted great and it was pretty quick, if I lived closer I'd probably go there quite a bit. I loved the Yakisoba.

Pros: Good food, Quick, Friendly staff

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Solid - Edit

Just had dinner here tonight. Ordered the pumpkin wontons, the pumpkin curry—both off the seasonal menu—and the spicy chili noodles. Everything was delicious, although the noodles were a little too damp and sloppy for my liking. The small dessert at the end was a very nice touch. Space was pretty tight. Atmosphere very casual.

Pros: good food

Cons: small space

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So Good! - Edit

I went with a friend 3 years ago and I still remember it as one of my favorite Thai food places in the States. Such good flavors and very reasonably priced.

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Fabulous flavors! - Edit

From the outside, this doesn't look like much, and actually, the interior is modest too. However, the food that comes out of the small kitchen is vibrantly flavored and very fresh. Th grilled eggplant salad a melts in your mouth. The fresh spring rolls with herbs are generously filled with Thai basil. Order a fresh coconut to sip and scoop.

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Cozy and bright with friendly staff - Edit

The food was prepared with care and with fresh ingredients and served with a genuine smile. They were proud of what they were feeding us and you could taste it. We had the Panang curry with mock duck which was very rich but not heavy (delish!). We also had the Spicy Noodle with mock chicken which was light with subtle but well balanced flavours. The Dragon Balls were apparently quite popular with clients but we found them too 'meaty' (we finished them anyway!). They seemed to be that dish you order to 'convince' your meat eater guests that eating veg food can taste just like 'the real thing'.

Pros: friendly, helpful service, casual, bright decor, fresh and delicious

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Great eating in a great part of Seattle. - Edit

I ate at In the Bowl on a recent trip to Seattle. When I asked a friend who lives there where a good place to get a vegan meal was his first suggestion was In the bowl, and after eating there I understand why. The options are great for vegans, our food arrived quickly, was well priced and most importantly tasted great. I ordered a curry noodle dish and asked for it to be moderately spicy but felt that it wasn't really spicy at all when I tasted it, but that's just a personal opinion, next time I will ask for it spicier. In the bowl is also located in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle which is a great part of town. There are plenty of vegan options which is always great. Highly recommended.

Pros: Great tasting food, Good prices, Great area

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Recommended - Edit

I was recommended this place by pretty much every vegan I know in this city upon moving here, and we got to check it out the other night. We went on a weekday around 6:30 and had no trouble getting a table right away. They have a lot of take-away business at that time.

I stayed away from the mock meats due to the warning on happy cow that they contain whey, but still had plenty to choose from, as fresh or fried tofu is option on all entrees.

We had spring rolls, and my veg bf ordered the Ginger Eaters with faux chicken. I tasted the sauce, and it was good. A savory, meatier tasting dark sauce. I had the eggplant curry with fried tofu and brown rice, which I thought was excellent. The free dessert was vegan, which was a nice bonus. Rice, sugar, coconut milk, and a few corn kernels.

The service was very attentive when we were there, and the food came out fairly quickly. We left full and happy. I will definitely return. I really wanted to try the pumpkin wontons, but the had fake chicken paste, and I didn't ask if they could be made vegan, but I will next time.

Oh, and on the heat... We like heat, but ordered 3/5 to be safe. It was spicy, but I'll try a 4 or 5 next time.
Updated from previous review on Saturday December 08, 2012

Pros: So much to choose from, Heat! Yay!, Reasonably priced

Cons: Small, Parking was a pain

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Great Food - Edit

On a trip to Seattle, I tried out some vegan restaurants, but this was one of my favorites. Yes, the restaurant is small, but I'm used to going to restaurants in cities, so it wasn't a huge shock to me. I loved that they had seasonal offerings and tried pumpkin dumplings which were delicious. I do not remember completely what my main dish was called, I know I got tofu, vegetables, and a great spicy sauce. I was glad that when the menu said spicy, it meant it because so many restaurants are afraid to serve spicy food. Everything I got was great, and I had some leftovers for later. I would definitely suggest it for anyone in the area!

Pros: Spicy means spicy here, Season Offerings

Cons: Small Restaurant

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  Contributions +86

the real deal! - Edit

This is my new favorite place in Seattle!
I love authentic Thai food and this place serves it up. So far, I've tried both of the pumpkin curries and the spicy green beans with noodles. I loved them all, especially the green beans! They serve your choice of white, brown, or wild blend rice, as well as three types of rice noodles. My favorite are the wide noodles. They have just two options for gluten-free, the angel curry and the fresh roll, and my gluten-free friend gave it the thumbs up. The tiny portion of black rice with coconut milk they give you for dessert is just the perfect amount for a sugar treat on top of their generous enteree portions, and its free with your order. If you love spicy Thai food and are tired of some of the places in Seattle that make their food too rich, then this is the place!
Many non-veg Thai places here that my friends like just don't deliver on flavor when they take out the fish sauce. This place has authentic yummy full spectrum Thai taste and I am a convert! If you are on a tight budget and not a ravenous monster you could split an enteree, otherwise expect to pay around $15 each or more with drinks.

Pros: super yummy, they can serve you thai spicy if you want it, casual, good vibes, good people watching

Cons: tricky parking

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Tasty and Adorable Little Restaurant - Edit

I LOVE this place! Everything is vegan, which can make reading the menu a little confusing for someone who isn't used to it (like my mom), but makes it so much easier for us. The first time I went, I had the potstickers, which were great, and a coconut curry special, which was amazing. The second time I went, I had the potstickers again, but this time they weren't as good. They tasted more greasy and less flavorful. The second time, I had the Bombay Curry special, a peanut curry with chickpeas, coconut, broccoli, peas, carrots, and bok choy. My mom, an omni, had the pineapple fried rice. I loved both dishes.

There's a sign on the wall that warns you that their food is spicier that what is typical. Pay attention to this!

It's a small, crowded little restaurant, but the decor makes it look like your Hindu and Buddhist grandmothers moved in: There's religious knickknacks, everywhere, so it's kind of fun to check those out. Also, the bathroom is glorious.

Pros: All vegan, authentic, Fast

Cons: Greasy somtimes

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In a bowl feastro - Edit

From the perspective of a meat-eater this palce was great! My friend and I split two dishes and an appetizer. The dishes were perfect, noodles, rice, veggies, even the tea we had was good. The place was packed but the wait wasn't long. The kitchen area was clean, and the atmosphere was pleseant. For me as a meat eater I avoid immitation meat as much as I can, but the beef was superb. They like most places use a protien base. Also try the seasonal menu items for a real taste of the season.

Our bill came to about 17.50 per person with tip.

Our only complaint was the service was very slow. there were only two of them working but the place is small and should be managable for the two of them.

I will be going back to try other things.
Updated from previous review on Saturday December 11, 2010

Pros: good food, big portions, good variety

Cons: slow service, big menu can be overwhelming, wasn't quite worth the money

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Overrated greasy noodle joint - Edit

The good:

It reminds me fondly of so many places in NYC, where the tables are stacked tight together, the cold wind blows in bc no one shuts the door, the service is charmingly awful (as opposed to most other Seattle cafes where it is just awful) but the food comes out quickly.

The bad:

Perhaps the food comes out a bit too quick since it was all very greasy and not too appetizing. It was on the verge of inedible with its overbearing undefined sauce. I was afraid the veggies listed on the menu would not be a true factor in the dinner, simply third fiddle to the noodles and sauce, which was a fact.

I suppose if I were in the area and very hungry I would try it again but to be very clear I would NOT seek it out as a destination. These reviews here are very misleading. I sought this place out and found it to be akin to street fair food (not a compliment). It did not sit well with us either. I basically ate it bc I had to at that point. Don't have too many suggestions either since they seemed to be well established in what they do.

Another Seattle letdown....

Cons: Greasy, Service

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Delicious, quick service, but little wheat-free - Edit

The food is tasty and the serving size is reasonable. However, there are only one or two wheat-free options on the menu; soy sauce and gluten are the staples in this small, cozy Capitol Hill restaurant. I recommend they offer the option of using wheat-free tamari, as many Asian restaurants now do. For most vegans though, this place is an excellent option.

Pros: Yummy, Fast

Cons: Not good for low wheat or gluten free

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Fantastic - Edit

It was our first visit to In The Bowl so we left it to our waitress to suggest entrees to us. We both had curries, one with tofu, one with faux beef. Delicious! The staff was very nice and clearly took pride in the dishes being presented. The food was great and the portions were generous. Easy to find as it is on a main road.

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Great Thai - Edit

So happy I visited In the Bowl. Very very casual. Huge menu. I ordered a phad tai and it was so so but I really think if I went back I'd hit on something I liked. My companion had vegetable fried rice. I'm not a vegetable fried rice person but it was a lot better than my dish and made me realize that I did order the wrong item. The fried rice was super fresh and not at all oily. Great place for a casual dinner or lunch.

Pros: not oily

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Variety and Spice - Edit

Don't feel like you have to like noodles to go here. The menu is filled, actually, it's overflowing, with so many non-noodle options that just about anyone can find something tasty here.

There is fake meat that will satiate most non-veg*ns and will certainly satisfy veg*ns! Nice texture, well-prepared.

Brown rice galore! Lots of stir fry dishes, veering slightly closer to Chinese food in this area.

The soups and noodle options are outstanding! So often, veg*ns can't have soup and noodles at Asian restaurants because of the broth. Here, you can go wild! Not only are there a huge number of options on the menu, you can then choose what type of noodle and what type of protein you'd like with these noodle dishes. If you do the math, it might come out to a bazillion permutations of yumminess.

As others have noted, please beware of the spiciness. They warn you on the wall with a few notes, so the patrons are forewarned. All of us chose the middle ground and were certainly surprised that the middle ground was far from the "normal" medium spice. Still, the flavors are extraordinary.

The portions are plenty for anyone who's hungry. If you have a truly insatiable appetite, you could opt for adding on an appetizer and still stay in a very reasonable price range.

The service is unbelievably fast, so no need to ponder if you should've ordered something else! By the time you might consider whether your option wasn't the best, your food comes out and you are assured that any option would've been wonderful!

The only real down-sides are the imbalances in carbohydrates and veggies (the protein amount seems just right). If you choose a veggie dish, you might not get enough carbs. If you choose a noodle dish, you might not get enough veggies. I'd like to see a happier balance to bump this place to 5 stars.

Pros: Portions, Spices, Speed

Cons: Carbs, Space constraints

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Very Good! - Edit

I ate a lot here. the portions are big and the food is tasty, maybe too much spicy for somebody, but ok for me. the dessert is included ordering a first plate. water is free and a girl will fill your glass as soon as she can. 11$ for appetizer, first plate and dessert is a very good price for me!

Pros: cheap, big portion, veg thai

Cons: a bit too spicy, small

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In The Bowl - Convenient and Good Eats - Edit

I stumbled upon In The Bowl when I was in Capitol Hill. It's a tiny restaurant located in a tiny strip mall stretch with a coffee shop and a haircut store nearby. I decided to try it since I was in the neighborhood.
The staff is really nice, and the place was crowded (always a good sign), so we had to wait for a table. I'm told it's usually not this busy, but it was worth the wait.
The menu is diverse, the prices were reasonable (I agree it was mentioned that the prices were going up), but you can eat well for under $10 each.
The faux meat was good, and would probably pass the "non veg friends" palate. Some dishes are better than others. I loved the curry, but some of the stir fry dishes were just adequate in flavor. The option of brown rice is always a plus.
The free dessert is a great touch, but I personally do not care for a sweet bean dessert. If you like sweet beans then it's simply a bonus.
The only complaint is that the place is really ORANGE and it's sort of blinding. It's super small so if you feel confined in tiny spaces, I wouldn't go there.
PRICES = Average to Slightly On The Higher End

Pros: Friendly Staff, Yummy Curry, Faux Meat Options

Cons: Small Space, Orange Walls, Stir Fry Dishes Just OK

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Best vegan food in Seattle - Edit

In the Bowl is my favorite restaurant in Seattle. The yellow curry is incredible (and comes with roti rice flour bread) and the tom kah soup superb! Dessert is always included. They offer a great variety including monthly specials. The 1-5 spice scale is hotter than most places - keep this in mind when ordering and consider stepping it down at least one notch from your usual spice level preference. Also, know ahead of time that the place is small and popular. I've never had to wait for a table, but it seems likely I am lucky in that.

Pros: all vegan, consistently delicious food, variety

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Yummy in the tummy - Edit

I searched long and hard foe this place, I scaled a large hill and it was all worth it! The food was so good! The only thing negative was some of the pricing. The entree was $7.00 but to add 3 SMALL veggie dumplings to the meal it was $3.00... Other then that, I HIGHLY recommend this place.

Pros: Outstanding Variety, Cost in general was reasonable, Friendly Service

Cons: Add-ons are overpriced

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Favorite - Edit

This is probably my favorite vegan restaurant in Seattle. They have some of the best veg meat I've ever had so don't be afraid to take your omnivorous friends. Anything with wide rice noodles is delicious (I love their garlic noodle).

The names of their dishes are charming and they have free dessert.

I also suggest getting extra noodles. Worth it.

Pros: delicious, large portions, large variety

Cons: small tables, sometimes too spicy

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HOORAY! - Edit

This place just recently openend and I have to admit that I probably eat there twice a week right now. I've got them on speed dial. The food is fresh, healthy, delicious and creative! The black bean sauce is out of this world, dark and succulent. The menu is extensive and varied. There is one big drawback, though: they have so few tables and so much business that getting a table is a near impossibility. I recommend doing take-out. It's the best use of $7.53.

Pros: delicious, healthy, free surprise dessert

Cons: too few tables, overwhelmed waitstaff

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Yummy yummy! - Edit

I visited In The Bowl twice during my visit to Seattle. The food was very tasty, very reasonably priced, and all vegan! The second time I went the food was too spicy for me, I was advised "next time say zero" when they ask how spicy on a scale from 1 to 5. Other than that, their noodles are delicious! I especially liked the coconut milk noodle soup.

Pros: tasty food, great prices, good location

Cons: too spicy, orange walls

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