SEATTLE — Tai Tung Restaurant claims to be Seattle’s oldest Chinese restaurant in continuous operation. The restaurant opened in 1935 and has five generations of customers.
Here are five fast facts about Tai Tung, Bruce Lee’s favorite Seattle restaurant:
Tai Tung’s owner Harry Chan is always there to greet you
You can’t miss Harry Chan; he is the third-generation owner of the restaurant. Not only will he likely answer the phone, but he’ll also greet you at the door. He may even serve your meal.
When asked about retiring, Harry said he wouldn’t know what to do with his time because his customers have become his friends. Chan has worked at the restaurant since 1968 and is a staple in the community.
There’s a Bruce Lee Memorial Booth in the back of the restaurant
Chan said Bruce Lee loved sitting in the back of Tai Tung, that way he wouldn’t have anyone behind him. The booth includes a blue, plush bench as well as many pictures and a cut out of Bruce Lee himself.
Bruce Lee loved to order the same dishes
Bruce Lee loved eating oyster sauce beef and garlic shrimp. Every dish is also served with cabbage soup. Chan said Bruce Lee would walk into the restaurant, sit at his booth, and the waiter would bring out his dishes to him without ever taking his order.
Tai Tung has hosted a lot of celebrities
Pictures of celebrities line the wall when you first walk in the restaurant. It’s been reported that the second stool from the wall is a favorite of Seattle celebrity chef Tom Douglas.
Anthony Bourdain, Apollo Ono, and Linda Lee Caldwell are just a few of the national celebrities who’ve visited the restaurant.
The restaurant serves classic comfort Chinese dishes and late night hours
Some of the dishes have been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 1935. Christmas is often the restaurant’s busiest day. The restaurant will validate parking if you park behind the restaurant and write down your parking space number.
The restaurant does not deliver, however, you can order delivery through Postmates but the service is not always available.
Tai Tung is located at 655 South King Street in Seattle.