Japonessa (near-ish Pike Place Market, Seattle)


February 26, 2016 by Terumi

japonessa 52 weeks of pike place market

When I started my 52 weeks of eating at Pike Place Market project, I never thought about the actual physical boundaries of Pike Place Market and I am not sure where it starts and where it ends.  Do the restaurants have to BE where the market stalls are?  And how far away from the market stalls and up the street or down the street does the market flow?  So Japonessa, the restaurant that I’m counting as this week’s Pike Place Market restaurant may or may not actually be on the Pike Place Market’s eatery list but it’s pretty much across the street and in the same corridor (right next to the Seattle Art Museum) as the market so I would think that it’s technically a market restaurant too.  And because I make the rules of this project AND I heard Japonessa was participating in the Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt I had to make sure I visited when I was at the market this week.

The day I went to Japonessa, the Hello Kitty lunch was a takeout item only.  It took 30 minutes to make so I slipped out and went to an eatery that is definitely in Pike Place Market while I waited, but it’s one I haunt way too regularly to count as a 52 weeks of NEW to me restaurants find. (I could probably do a 52 weeks of eating at this place alone!)

bottega italiana gelato in seattle

Bottega Italiana is my absolute favorite Seattle gelato.  I ordered Strawberry Basil and Coconut because they did not have Mojito, my number one flavor.  If they ever have Mojito when you visit you should get it and count yourself lucky-it is probably the most rare flavor on the menu and I’ve heard that it’s the gelato maker’s favorite too!  Thirty minutes is enough time to savor gelato and wander around the market and look at all the flowers which are totally in full bloom right now!

pike place market tulips in february

After taking in all the beauty of a sunny Seattle day filled with tulips and daffodils, I returned to the restaurant and picked up my Hello Kitty lunch and my commemorative pin.  I liked the decor inside the restaurant-especially some big mirrors with flowery black frames and a cool wooden patio outside that suggests warm summer days to come.  Japonessa is pronounced Haponessa and it describes itself as Japanese with hints of Latino flair.  I’ll have to go back and sit down one day so I can actually try their usual menu and take in all the ambiance.  I am thankful my bento was kawaii and fun and I now need to finish the rest of the Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt before March 18th, 2016!

hello kitty hungry hunt sushi in seattle

(PS. I’ve heard the Bubble Tea and Trophy Cupcake items sell out very quickly!)

(PPS. is anyone else doing the Hungry Hunt in Seattle?)





  1. Natasha says:

    That hello kitty sushi looks so fun, never seen anything like that before!

  2. This looks like a great project to discover new places to eat in your local area. I think I would also be hard pushed to walk past the Bottega Italiana if it served such amazing gelato!

  3. John says:

    I have to admit, I never though “Japanese with a Latino flair” was possible but it looks great 🙂

  4. Sounds like such a fun hunt! I’m not partial to Hello Kitty anything but would love to visit every vendor in the Pike Place Market area as well

    • Terumi says:

      It’s fun to try new places and I do feel like I’m on my own kind of ‘hungry hunt’ for sure

  5. I had lunch here just last week. Roll were impressive. Got great recommendations from server and miso was particularly yummy!

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