Mardi Gras, which translates from French as “fat Tuesday” has roots in the Christian liturgical calendar. The day after Mardi Gras is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent–a time of fasting and denial, repentance, and alms giving that lasts until Easter Sunday (47 days later). So, Mardi Gras is one last night of overindulgence in rich foods, drinking, and revelry.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the country’s most celebrated location for Fat Tuesday, with traditions that include parades, masks, beads, and King Cakes. The colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold, representing (respectively) justice, faith, and power. Everything from clothes to cakes to beads will bear these colors.
In the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, you can find the Cajun/Creole cuisine of New Orleans, southern cooking, and seafood boils at the following restaurants where you bring a little bit of the Mardi Gras spirit to your corner of the Northwest.
For more revelry, see the calendar after the restaurant list for upcoming Mardi Gras events.
Seattle-Tacoma Cajun/Creole and Southern Restaurants
(Listed alphabetically by city. In Seattle, listed by zip code.)
The Quarters, 721 W Main St, Auburn, WA 98001. Cozy, welcoming atmosphere with a solid menu of Cajun/soul food and cocktails fused with Midwestern cuisine, such as gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, po’ boys, mac & cheese, cornbread, and more. Cash only. More info: https://www.thequartersfusion.com/
Where Ya At Matt (food truck), rotating locations in Bellevue and Seattle. Owner and NOLA native Matthew Lewis grew up helping his mom and grandmother in the kitchen prapring traditional Creole dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffee and fishing with his grandfather and dad to bring home fixin’s for a southern fish fry. Matthew brings New Orleans soul food to the streets of Seattle. Find Matt: http://whereyaatmatt.com/
Boiling Crawfish, 4301 S Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98373. Great seafood boil spot with several combos, sides, sauces, beer, and wine. More info: http://boilingcrawfishwa.com/
Bourbon Street Bar & Grill, 401 S Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371. The menu features gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp etouffée, Cajun shrimp and grits, blackened catfish, cochon de lait, and po’ boys along with beer and craft cocktails. More info: https://www.facebook.com/Bourbon-Street-Creole-Kitchen-Bar-1381773648744625/
Crawfish House, 9826 16th Ave SW, Seattle 98106. Chef/owner Hiep is a Vietnamese-American cook who originally came from Louisiana and decided that he wanted to give the Northwest a taste of the south. He opened Crawfish House to share Cajun cooking, crawfish, and seafood boils. It’s considered one of the best spots in Seattle for seafood boils. More info: http://www.crawfishhouse206.com/
Toulouse Petit, 601 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle 98109. The menu is centered around the cuisine, decor and imagery of the French Quarter in New Orleans, creating the feel of the Big Easy. You’ll find traditional Creole and French Quarter menu choices as well as Parisian and French countryside preparations to more innovative dishes that are entirely unique to Toulouse. More info: https://www.opentable.com/r/toulouse-petit-kitchen-and-lounge-seattle
Simply Soulful Café, 2909 E Madison St, Seattle 98112 menu of hometown foods are prepared in the traditional southern way and served with southern hospitality. Owner Lillian Rambus features a menu she enjoyed at her grandmother’s house using locally sourced, organic ingredients (such as Alm Hill Farm, Falls Brand, Olsen Farms, Kirsop Farms and One Leaf Farm). More info: http://www.simplysoulfulcafe.com/
JuneBaby, 2122 NE 65th St, Seattle 98115 features an inspired menu of soul food that is nothing short of beautiful. Award-winning James Beard Chef Edouardo Jordan’s menu captures food in a historical context by showcasing the cuisine of the South, his family, and his ancestors. More info: https://www.junebabyseattle.com/
Island Soul, 4369 Rainier Ave S, Seattle 98118. This family business is best described as Caribbean-inspired soul food. It is a fusion of native Caribbean foods with traditional soul food from Louisiana Bayou. They also offer a vast selection high-end rums to sip alone or enjoy in one of their numerous rum cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices and house-made syrups. (Tip: be sure to ask about their seasonal Mojitos.) More info: https://www.islandsoulrestaurant.com/
Jude’s Old Town, 9254 57th Ave S, Seattle 98118 by the owner’s of Lottie’s Lounge in Columbia City offer a southern-inspired menu at their cozy spot in Rainier Beach. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood bar, featuring great food, draft beer, Washington state wines, and locally-distilled craft cocktails. More info: http://www.judesoldtown.com/
Geo’s Cuban Creole, 10515 Greenwood Ave North, Seattle 98133. It’s a little corner of Cuba serving authentic dishes as well as a fusion of Cuban & Creole cuisine in a cozy setting. Everything is homemade right down to the stocks for soups, roux for the gumbo, marinades and sauces. More info: http://www.geoscubancafe.com/
Dragon’s Crawfish, 750 S 38th St, Tacoma, WA 98418. Great seafood boils, garlic butter dipping sauce, and friendly service in a welcoming hole-in-the-wall. More info: https://www.facebook.com/Dragon-Crawfish-476580162515578/
2019 Mardi Gras Events
As always, we focus on free and cheap events.
(If nothing is listed below, all events have passed for this year. Since Mardi Gras is 47 days before Easter Sunday and Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25, we usually begin updating Fat Tuesday events in January or February for the current year. )