Seattle's Best New Dishes Of 2022 guide image

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Seattle's Best New Dishes Of 2022

Meet our favorite new dishes of 2022.

Seattle lost quite a bit in 2022. We lost Russell Wilson to the Broncos. We lost Kedai Makan. We most certainly lost the season of autumn—because who doesn’t want to jump right from wildfire smoke to windshield frost?

But we’d much rather remember 2022 by the excellent food gained, and this year, there was a lot of it. These dishes range from agnolotti plump with savory lamb in a buttery parmesan reduction to nachos absolutely drenched with yellow queso. We’re over you, Russell. These are the best parts of 2022. Besides, we have Geno now.

THE DISHES


photo credit: Nate Watters

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2362 NW 80th St, Seattle
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Pork Adobo

Beast & Cleaver is a butcher shop in Ballard that shapeshifts into a restaurant after-hours, and yes, it is a palace of beef. But our favorite new dish of the year doesn’t involve steak at all. It’s the pork adobo. This hulking portion of slow-roasted magnificence somehow has as much flavor on the edges as it does in the crimson middle. Underneath, there’s a hash brown-like sheet of crispy rice, which adds an ideal crunch as pan sauce seeps through the grains.


Ronette's Psychedelic Sock Hop is permanently closed

photo credit: Nate Watters

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7.2

Ronette's Psychedelic Sock Hop

Citrus Tiramisu

This wacky Frelard dive bar loaded with neon lights, checkerboard tile, dance parties, and spiked watermelon slushies specializes in fresh pasta. But the game-changing dish is a citrus-soaked riff on tiramisu. It tastes like someone is launching lemons at you with a softball pitching machine, which we promise is a good thing. And to temper all of that acid, there’s creamy mascarpone, splashes of grassy olive oil, and a heavy hand of salt flakes. Essentially, if you wanted to know what would happen if that Flashdance scene dumped limoncello instead of water, wonder no longer.

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Nachos

At Tio Baby’s in Fremont, there’s a framed portrait of Danny DeVito as Ongo Gablogian behind the bar. Figures, since that character is a fine art collector, and the nachos here are an absolute masterpiece. Between sturdy chips that snap like October leaves, smoked tomato, and chile colorado braised beef, this plate absolutely belongs in the nacho hall of fame to begin with. But the real genius here is the combination of melted shreds and queso. That way, you get the best of both worlds—crispy cheddar clinging to each chip and golden cheese sauce to prevent it all from drying out. 


Money Frog is permanently closed

photo credit: Nate Watters

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7.6

Money Frog

Agave Sambal Green Beans

Don’t you dare mentally check out at the sight of “green beans.” Money Frog’s are some of the best vegetables in town. They’re dry-fried and tossed in an agave sambal mustard, served with blended tofu tahini, and sprinkled with sesame seeds and turmeric-pickled cauliflower. It’s sweet and salty, backed by subtle heat, and a superb way to get one of the five daily recommended servings of produce inside your body. 


Pink Pineapple Waffle

The Boat specializes in Vietnamese fried chicken and waffles, and we’re here today to love on the pink pineapple waffle. Each wedge has a brittle surface, airy center, and chewy bits of caramelized pineapple strewn throughout. That’s only half of the equation. On the side is a little dish of salty, whipped coconut that resembles a cloud, topped with peanutty sesame crumbs. It’s so good that we dunk our chicken into it when the waffle is gone. Just kidding. We lick it.

Poke Hand Roll

Sugo’s ahi poke is delicious on its own. But wrapped in seaweed, it’s even better. Between cubes of fresh tuna glossy with soy sauce and sesame oil, sweet onion shavings, chili threads, warm rice, and crackly nori, there’s plenty of seasoning to jazz things up while still letting the fish shine. It’s not only the best thing to order at this waterfront hand roll bar, but it’s our favorite new sushi item of the year. Has a morsel of poke slipped out and into our shoes? Yes. But it was worth it.


Caprese Empanada

All of the baked goods at this Argentine cafe are worth the trip, from sticky dulce de leche-injected churros to pastries filled with ham. Yet, what’s really stuck in our heads like the chorus of “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” is Boca’s caprese empanada. It is what it sounds like—fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes packed inside of dough. But a blazing oven fuses the fillings and makes the whole thing taste like a luxe Totino’s pizza roll. The herbs are fragrant throughout, the tomatoes burst, and the cheese becomes delicious volcanic magma that’s safe to eat. 


Panelle Sandwich

Fried snacks and amaro on the rocks go together like laundry and procrastination, and when it comes to this Columbia City aperitivo bar, you can’t get much better than the panelle sandwich. It’s simply a toasted sesame slider bun with olive oil-seeped chickpea fritter triangles and mayo, along with radicchio leaves and lemon on the side for stacking and squeezing, respectively. But there’s power in the simplicity of a DIY sandwich with a squirt of bright citrus—a soulmate for your Campari soda.


photo credit: Chona Kasinger

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7.4

The George

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Agnolotti

For those days when you just want to dress up and look sexy at the bar with a glass of wine and a bowl of carbs, this is where to go, and the lamb agnolotti is what to get. Yeah, you don't receive many of these little savory meat-filled parcels in one portion. But what little savory meat-filled parcels they are, stuffed with earthy tender lamb lounging in silky parmesan broth like inner tubes on a lazy river.


Roasted Potatoes

You don’t need to pull a bunny out of a hat or shove swords down your gullet to prove to us that magic is real. Just show us the 24-hour butter-roasted potatoes from Wero instead. We’re convinced that these miniature Yukon gold balls are actually croquettes, complete with a velvety middle and deep-fried outer shell. We find it hard to believe that they are, in fact, 100% potato. We could pop these steamy spheres like M&Ms, but not before dunking them in the chivey gochujang mayo that comes on the side. 


Bacalo Á Mariñeira

This ling cod with a stunning sear is this Capitol Hill tapas spot’s greatest contribution to the universe. It’s served with manchego gnocchi and fresh English peas, but the puddle of fish broth might just be the best part. It seasons the gnocchi, provides ample tang for the cod, and serves as a sauce for crusty homemade rolls to sop up. 

Boudin Egg Rolls

Sausage, rice, and pepper jack don’t sound particularly groundbreaking to begin with. But pipe the trio inside a spring roll and you have a hit on your hands. The flaky shards of wrapper add texture, the molten cheese adheres the rice to boudin crumbles, and a side of jammy mango chutney cools down lasting spice from the sausage and pepper flecks. For a restaurant like Kamp that really succeeds in the finger food department, this is the appetizer you can't miss.


The Stick

Bones are important when it comes to things like forensic television procedurals, calcium absorption, and fried chicken. As for the poultry, we can’t deny that the juiciest meat is bone-in. This Filipino counter, though, has cracked the code to making boneless breast meat just as moist. The stick involves heavily-marinated cubes of white meat skewered together, dredged in a trifecta of tapioca, rice, and potato flours, and deep-fried to the heavens. It’s the best meat-on-a-stick in the whole city, especially when dipped into the spicy vinegar on the side.


House Gnocchi

This Beacon Hill restaurant serves food that pairs well with Champagne, be it pomme frites with sichuan peppercorn mayo, charcuterie, or weekend brunch. But don’t ignore the house gnocchi at The Coupe & Flute. With an impeccable sizzled crust and fluffy interior, they’re like edible pillows that we would sleep on at night if not for the fact that we’d prefer to eat them alongside a glass of bubbles instead. Plus, they’re too small to rest your head upon, and romesco sauce has no place in a bed.

Causa Crocante Nikkei

This Peruvian spot’s causa crocante Nikkei might be the greatest bite of food we’ve eaten in Pioneer Square. It’s a panko-dredged potato cake topped with tuna tartare, sesame oil, unagi sauce, and pops of fresh avocado and radish. When the juxtaposition of cold vs. hot, crunchy vs. creamy, salty vs. sweet, and spicy vs. cooling combine, it’s a beautiful battle royale, only with more mashed potatoes.


Calabrian Chili Cream Cheese

Yes, one of the best new dishes of the year is cream cheese. When calabrian chili and cream cheese join forces on a bagel at Sea Wolf’s latest Montlake venture, it’s the spread that steals the show. There’s just something about the vinegar-y, almost electric pickled pepper heat folded into fatty dairy that enhances a hot garlic bagel like frilly bows enhance a toy poodle. Oh, and a close second? Literally any scone on the menu.

Pork And Chive Dumplings

Noodle/Bar is a cozy South Lake Union Chinese spot that’s very clearly devoted to noodles. However, their finest dish is not a noodle-based item at all—it’s the pork and chive dumplings in hot and sour broth. Each dumpling is a pouch of flavor-blasted ground pork made even tastier by sauce that’s equal parts spicy, tangy, and rich.

Tavern Pie

Sometimes, a pizza comes along that really tugs at our heartstrings. This year, that pizza is the tavern pie at West Of Chicago. Between the cracker-thin crust, tomato sauce with oregano depth, ideal layer of bubbly cheese, and toppings like custardy ricotta dollops or charred pepperoni cups, we'll always pick this over deep dish.

Cà Phê Tini

2022 hasn’t just been a good year for restaurants—it’s been a good year for bars, too. And Phởcific Standard Time, a new speakeasy above Phở Bac’s Denny Triangle location, is the best new place to grab a drink. If we had to choose between all of the Vietnamese-inspired concoctions, we’d go with the cà phê tini, shaken with vodka, sweetened condensed milk, cold brew liqueur, and topped with pandan dust. Creamy, smooth, ice-cold, and just stiff enough, this frothy cocktail is precisely what the Nesquik Rabbit would order after a long day of advertising chocolate milk to children. Next time you’re in the mood for a classic espresso martini, reject that impulse and try a cà phê tini instead.

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Money Frog review image
7.6
Review
Money Frog

Money Frog on Capitol Hill has a long menu that takes inspiration from Taiwanese and Laotian cuisine. It works well for a last-minute group dinner.

Tio Baby’s review image
8.0
Review
Tio Baby’s

Tio Baby’s is a Tex-Mex-influenced temple of fantastic bar snacks and queso. Be sure to grab some nachos at this Fremont bar.

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