Soup's On

Dear Seattle: Have Soup for Breakfast

A hot, brothy start to the day is a cross-cultural morning tradition.

By Rosin Saez December 23, 2019 Published in the January/February 2020 issue of Seattle Met

From left to right, Yenvy Pham, Chester Gerl, and Melissa Miranda.


Rice noodle soup in beef or chicken broth with herbs, and often various cuts of meat.

“Pho really is a weekend meal that your family would make on a Saturday, then it’d be finished by Sunday morning. I think soup is just our type of breakfast. Even pho I remember in Vietnam, it was the most available early in the morning…. My biggest memory of pho is when my parents started opening the [original Pho Bac] boat at seven in the morning…. But now, pho has evolved. It’s hangover food. Now you can get pho with a mimosa.” —Yenvy Pham, co-owner, Pho Bac Súp Shop


A traditional chickpea and beef tripe soup from Mexico.

“Ours contains oxtail and tripe and brisket and pork belly, and a really rich broth made out of all the braises. Mine is just a hyped up one. Traditionally, you’re going to get menudo and that’s, like, beef or pork tripe. And we use beef tripe in ours, which is braised down…. We use smoked chiles and a Mexican oregano, with onion and garlic as the base. It’s my favorite dish that we have. And I’ve had plenty of people who’ll have menudo with eggs on it. A guy had me poach two eggs into his soup the other day!” —Chester Gerl, chef-owner, Gracia

Arroz Caldo

Gingery rice porridge, chicken broth and meat, soft egg, with fried garlic and scallions.

“Growing up Filipino, we are on the savory side [for] breakfast. There’s nothing more comforting for me than just being able to have something hot [and] warm, even in the summer. For myself [and] my cousins, we grew up here in America, but what is the dish that they remember the most? Arroz caldo. We’re super excited with our version at Musang—a mushroom-based stock with soy-cured soft egg. It’s kind of a throwback to our childhood. Especially as most of the team is Filipino.” —Melissa Miranda, chef-owner, Musang

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