This is a short article talking about every Poke place I tried. I found a few hidden gems and a few pretty mediocre places. I might add to this in the future if I try some new places.
Poke places I tried:
- Mix Poke Bar
- Just Poke
- FOB Poke Bar
- Hello Poke
- Hiroshi’s Poke
- 45th Stop and Shop and Poke Bar
- Seattle Fish Guys
- Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke
- Kuzma’s Fish Market
Places on my “to-try” list:
- ICU Poke
- Big Island Poke
What I look for in Poke
Judging the poke based on:
- Quality of fish
What I usually look for is a more “Hawaii-style” poke with a lot of fish in my poke. I usually get most (free) mixins too if it is there. Also rice is just rice. Don’t need to give me a lot of rice.
Mix Poke Bar
My order: Poke bowl with brown rice, three proteins with ahi, salmon, and spicy tuna for $14
This place is located just outside Bellevue Square mall in Bellevue. I didn’t have high hopes, but it did have a 4/5 on Yelp (so it looked decent).
The quality is about what I’d expect from mall food. It was a bit saltier than I would have liked (maybe cause I got classic shoyu sauce). Three proteins for $14 is on the slightly cheaper side. The bowl is also a little smaller than other places, but that is fine because it is just less rice in this case.
This one is sufficiently filling but just lacks a lot of flavour (other than the salt flavour). It has an abundance of accoutrements via sushi garnishes but the fish should be main star.
My order: Poke bowl with white rice, 3 proteins, ahi tuna, salmon, and spicy tuna for $13.99
For a place called “Just Poke”, I sure did get a lot of rice. I think this place gave me 5% fish in my entire poke bowl, maybe less. Pretty disappointing and the only saving grace is that it isn’t the MOST expensive at $13.99 (but that doesn’t save it by any means). I probably won’t be back.
My order: Poke bowl with white rice, 2 proteins, ahi tuna and salmon for $14.50
This place is a chain. It acts super fancy but in the end it is just an expensive poke chain. It’s only slightly more expensive at $14.50 for the large bowl, but it isn’t great quality. I had a $5 off voucher when I bought it so luckily it was cheaper than normal price, but to pay normal price for this would be a bit disappointing. This place reminded me a lot of Just Poke with maybe 5-10% fish and 90% rice and other stuff.
FOB Poke Bar
My order: Brown rice in large bowl (3 scoops) with salmon, seared ahi, and spicy tuna for $14.99
I walked in this place at around 1pm and no one was in there. No customers ordering or eating there (cause of covid probably) and also no one was manning the register. I exited and had to check they were open. I was very confused. Eventually someone arrived at the front desk.
I will say there is a lot good about the bowl. There were a lot of toppings to choose from, (albeit a large portion of rice too), and the bowl is pretty hefty. The amount of food you get is decent and since it costs $14.99 for the bowl, it evens out. There was more fish in this poke bowl than the other entries on this list so far, but still not much fish as expected from a dish centered around the marinated raw fish.
In a pinch, I would say this place is passable. It is a poke bowl, and isn’t the worst option but it is a bit disappointing. It does have a few centrally located restaurants around Seattle so you can usually find one nearby.
My order: Poke bowl with brown rice and salmon, ahi tuna, and spicy tuna for $13.95
I had skepticism before trying this place in Redmond. This place looks like Just Poke or a chain. I think it only has the one location in Redmond. That being said, it was surprisingly decent. Fresh fish and actually tasted pretty good. The bowl has a fair amount of fish and the rice doesn’t take up the entire space in the bowl. The toppings also aren’t too shabby.
Relatively decent and around the same price as the other chains at $13.95 for the large bowl. Not much to hate about it, and it might be my favourite poke place that does it the “inauthentic” style with “sushi ingredients” as sides.
Yelp, No online menu
My order: Poke bowl with brown sushi rice and lomo lomo salmon, and spicy tuna for $10.99
This place is located in U-district. It has a mix of Japanese and Hawaiin dishes and is only open Monday to Saturday. When I went there was a dead rat outside the restaurant on the sidewalk and the entrance has a weird bead curtain to enter the place (which just hits your face when entering). I don’t think that factors into my rating, but it made my experience less than ideal.
The lomo lomo salmon was a bit too acidic in my opinion and the lettuce leaf in the poke bowl just felt out of place. There wasn’t much fish in the poke bowl either, but that might be justified. This poke bowl was fairly cheap at $10.99 a bowl. It wasn’t flat out terrible, but it wasn’t my favourite by far. I might give it another shot, but for now it really is just a budget option in U-district.
45th Stop and Shop and Poke Bar
My order: Poke bowl with salmon and ahi tuna for $14
This might be the weirdest location for a poke bar. Situated in the back of a convenience store in Wallingford, there is a poke bar. Cheap/overpriced convenience store doesn’t normally fit with (usually) pretty expensive poke, but I was willing to give it a try. It does cost $14 for two fish, which puts it around the same price as most of these places.
My first thought was that it actually wasn’t terrible. I really had no idea what to expect from getting Poke at the same place where someone is buying cigarettes in the other corner.
The photo showcases the poke front and center but behind it is a lot of greens. You can see from the photo a lot of greens which are healthy, but I didn’t get much of a choice if they would be in my poke bowl. All I got to choose was the two types of fish. The fish are the star of the show here and are cut into “poke style” chunks with a light amount of flavour. That being said I still wanted more fish.
Seattle Fish Guys
My order: Poke bowl with white rice, shoyu tuna and salmon, seaweed salad side for $14.99
The location in the Atlantic neighbourhood is a bit difficult to get to since it isn’t centrally downtown. Even though this restaurant is a little off the beaten path it is worth the trek. The freshness and the marinated taste of the fish is amazing. They give tons of marinaded fish that tastes fresh and is really plentiful. It is the star of the dish and is as barebones as you can get for a Poke bowl. The poke bowl is just the two fish offerings, a side, and rice.
The poke bowl is a little pricier than others at $14.99 for two proteins, but I’d say it is worth it. I love the taste of it and really is one of the best choices in Seattle. The only gripe I have is when ordered you could potentially get a lot of fish, other days you might get a smaller amount. It isn’t always uniform in the amount of food you get. Another small gripe is that the menu for poke bowl is fairly small. You get the choice of salmon, tuna, tako, or scallops (+$2). The menu is static and there isn’t many choices for customization in the Poke bowl.
Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke
My order: Poke bowl with rice, traditional ahi, spicy hamachi, and side of edamame for $15.5
This place is in Edmonds which is by no means close to Seattle (compared to the other ones). The location is a little hard to get to admittedly. It is 100% worth it to go here. Moreso since this place doesn’t even do delivery.
This is the most expensive poke on our list at almost $16 a bowl. Is it worth it? I would definitely say yes for a few reasons. Firstly, the amount they give you is pretty large. That container of poke has tons of fish and a hefty side as well. You get a fair amount of rice underneath but that’s ok when the fish is high quality and is plentiful. The other thing that stands out is the marinaded fish is insanely flavourful. It might have to do with the fact that each day the menu changes and it rotates what is made. I’m a big fan of this poke bowl. In the store they showcase the poke in a big window so you can see your choices.
The only thing I don’t like is that since their menu changes daily, the only way to see their menu ahead of time is to check their facebook page. Honestly, I like that they have a fresh catch and cater the menu daily based on that, but I don’t wanna go check facebook for your menu. That legitimately might be my only gripe. It could be a little cheaper, but if you’re cheaper and miles ahead of competitors in quality, that would be a little unfair.
Kuzma’s Fish Market
My order: Poke bowl with regular ahi and salmon for $10.49. (Base price is $9.99, I paid extra 50 cents to substitue second option ahi for salmon.)
This place is in Edmonds/Lynnwood which is a little difficult to get to. This location is tucked in a little fish market that has tons of locals buying fresh cuts of fish.
The poke is simple here. No sauces, few toppings on top of rice. (Just seaweed salad, ginger, and pickled daikon radish) They are just mildly umami tasting. The killer aspect of this poke is that it is only $9.99.
The standout really is the fish. It’s soft, tender, and almost melt in the mouth consistency. This was my favourite cut of fish out of the poke bowls and rightfully so since it probably came fresh straight from the fish market sources.
I can’t think of a better poke bowl at that price point. It’s a little crazy. The only thing is that the place is a little hard to get to.
That’s all I’ve tried for now. In the future I may find other places. Be sure to try out Seattle Fish Guys and Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke for the absolute best poke in Seattle! Hello Poke in Redmond is still a solid pick for the next best poke that is less traditional. Kuzma’s Fish market is a good pick for budget and fresh poke at $9.99.