Seattle's Best New Restaurants Of 2022We spent the year looking for the best new restaurants across Seattle. This is where you'll find them.
Seattle must have collectively decided that 2022 marked the era of dining out in sweatpants, and that’s fine by us. While a wide variety of restaurants opened this year, many of the ones that impressed us the most trend casusal—counters, takeout windows, butcher shops, small wooden boats, you get the idea. And the food? Forget caviar-topped foie. 2022’s best-in-show include spam sliders, waffles, cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, and a truly unhinged amount of exceptional chicken, be it fried, flame-grilled, or featured as a quirky wallpaper pattern.
Then there were a few fancy spots that were good enough to get us out of the sweatpants and into denim, and you’ll find some of those on this list, too. Here are the 11 Best New Restaurants In Seattle.
This year’s best new restaurant isn’t technically a restaurant at all. It’s also not exactly new. Stay with us. Beast & Cleaver is a Ballard butcher shop that debuted in 2020, just before the world got fed through a paper shredder. And in addition to selling links, chops, and patties by day, they introduced after-hours “Wine Bar” nights in January. Not only is it the greatest way to experience this meat shrine, but it’s one of the most unique meals you’ll have in Seattle. The menu changes each week, but there’s always a surplus of beef that you should shape your dinner around, like the browned butter-glistened London broil, or ribeye with enough marbling to be a West Elm coffee table. And the meat options stretch beyond steaks, like a hefty smashburger, sausages, and incredible vegetables. Between the outstanding food, relaxed atmosphere, and diverse bottle selection available without any corkage markups, we’re constantly planning our next visit before dessert hits the table.
We love a comeback story. Like Dunkaroos, Brendan Fraser’s career, or the West Seattle bridge. But there’s no comeback story quite like The Boat, which used to house the original Phở Bắc location. Fast-forward to 2022, when the same team reopened this rickety ship and filled it with phenomenal Vietnamese fried chicken and waffles—a dynamic duo we’ve replayed in our minds like all 92 glorious minutes of George Of The Jungle. Even if The Boat only served their crackly, juicy cornish hen blasted with garlic alongside chrysanthemum salad and phở broth, we’d be content. But then there are the fluffy pandan and pink pineapple waffles, which we could eat for breakfast every day. We can’t think of a better early weekend lunch or quiet dinner before flopping on the couch to watch a movie. Might we suggest The Mummy?
If Youtube videos of baby teacup pigs taking bubble baths have taught us anything, it’s that those pink little rascals love soapy suds—and that the best things come in small packages. And when it comes to small packages of food, a.k.a. tapas, Maripili nails it. This Galician restaurant on Capitol Hill serves some of the best Spanish food in Seattle for a choose-your-own-adventure spread, like gumball-sized croquettas, smoky shrimp paella tahdig covered in socarrat lace, a tortilla de patata that all others in Seattle should bow down to, and perfectly cooked ling cod with manchego gnocchi floating in tangy fish broth. Each dish is a case study in thoughtful simplicity without sacrificing flavor, and the comfortable space has plenty of room to kick back with your pals and several plates involving Iberico ham. Our condolences to the piglet’s family.
This comforting Beacon Hill Korean bar wields two very important tools: a flame-powered grill, and a heated glass case. The former does a stunning job smooching hamburg steak, gingery pork loin, and tender chicken legs with fire. The warming chamber takes advantage of tightly wrapped foil to keep snacks steamy, like spam sliders with scallion mayo, gooey bean burritos, and hulking cheeseburgers covered in mozzarella shreds. Add on a bowl of kimchi stew featuring hand-torn pasta that plumps up in the broth, and you have a meal that slaps a rainy night in its sorry soggy face. We’d truthfully swing into 손맛 By Tae just for an ice-cold Manhattan while watching classic films play in the background, but yeah, why not throw in some of the best casual Korean food in town too?
A few times throughout the course of our lives, we cross paths with a sandwich that bonds to us like a deep friendship, or flagrantly misused Gorilla Glue. Voi Cà Phê’s exceptional bánh mì did it for us this year in the between-sliced-bread department. From seared pork sausage rounds loaded with fresh mint, to a hammy cold-cut sub slathered in pâté, every stuffed baguette coming from this tiny Georgetown cafe is an icon. Voi Cà Phê has also proven themselves a key player in the Seattle caffeine scene—their Vietnamese iced coffees are some of the best in town, whether that’s a frosty cinnamon phin-drip or a phở-spiced latte that thankfully doesn’t taste like beef soup. We’ve had many a summer lunch out on their lemon-yellow sidewalk chairs with bánh mì in hand and mayo on our faces, and it was a summer well spent.
West Of Chicago has midwestern mise en scène down to a science, with ridged ramekins pumped full of neon-orange liquid cheese, red plastic tumblers for fountain soda, and Italian beef-scented air circulating throughout the dining room. Luckily, the pizza lives up to the Chi-Town vérité that unfolds at this former pop-up’s permanent West Seattle outpost. Their deep dish has a great cornmeal chew and mozzarella that could maybe stretch around the whole planet. But you’re making a trip for the tavern pie, with its cracker-thin, earth-shattering crunch, oregano-flecked sauce, and additions like crispy-edged pepperoni cups and creamy dollops of ricotta. Though, the starters don’t play second fiddle either, from Mama Lil’s-spiked sausage dip to doughy breadsticks dusted in parmesan. Pass the pitcher of Goose Island, baby—all homesick Chicagoans are welcome here.
Wero is this year’s situational swiss army knife. Only instead of coming in the clutch with tweezers and nail files, this Korean bar that specializes in ssam platters is handy for virtually any social scenario. Last minute group dinner, and one of your buddies is vegetarian and gluten-free? Easy. Solo highball and sweet-spicy wings at the bar with your laptop? Done. Third date cuddled up in a corner booth while you feed each other lettuce-swaddled hunks of melty pork belly dolloped with fermented bean paste? Get a room, but yes. It all works in the serene space, which is filled with steam from 24-hour butter-roasted potatoes. The excellent food and drinks are the cherry—er, the banchan on top.
This takeout-heavy Filipino chicken joint in Greenwood decided that fried wings and drumsticks should be for everyone, regardless of whether or not gluten wreaks absolute havoc on your insides. And the gluten-free poultry here is not just sensational despite getting dredged in tapioca, rice, and potato avalanche. It’s sensational because of that. Thighs are draped with chicken skin superhero capes that crunch like potato chips, skewers of cubed white meat are juicy enough to make us swear off tenders forever, and don’t get us started on the sides. OK, fine—we can’t help but also daydream about coconutty collard greens topped with pickled shallots and roasted peanuts, creamy monggo beans, and “Stephen’s butter mochi” that’s so chewy and decadent with maple-packed warmth that we’ve officially demoted Colbert from being our number-one favorite Stephen.
Think of Lotus Pond like a diner, only one with Vietnamese classics instead of pancakes and grilled cheese. The menu at this cozy Haller Lake restaurant is longer than one of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s signature polkas, and it’s stacked with hit after hit. The spam bánh mì is a nuanced sandwich with its crepe-like egg and a good dose of salt, and the lemongrass grilled chicken over jasmine rice has the capacity to reverse a garbage day. Serotonin, meet imperial rolls. Want wontons in hot broth, tapioca dumplings, escargot-studded sausage, or cured pork belly shoved in a split bao with pickled vegetables? They’re going to be delicious. And much like a diner, you could also just pile in a booth for a basket of fries with gravy alongside a round of Cokes. Only here, the gravy is phở-spiced. Just the thought of a Lotus Pond meal dominates our casual weeknight cravings.
There’s a reason why the most popular commercial jingles were written for pizza bagels, candy bars, and hot dogs—and it’s because finger foods rule. And nobody understands this better than Kamp, a Jamaican and Caribbean-influenced spot with a stellar appetizer showing, from boudin sausage egg rolls with mango chutney and cheeseburger sliders topped with sticky onion jam to peppered shrimp tostadas with smashed plantains in place of corn tortillas. And for dessert, Kamp doubles down on the playful motif with soft serve ice cream in flavors that range from ras el hanout to white chocolate. With a comfortable space inundated with wacky wall art and neon signs, it’s the ideal venue for a snacks-and-drinks palooza, especially considering that their cocktail lineup devotes the same real estate to zero-proof concoctions as the boozy ones.
At most Seattle omakase counters, silence is as golden as the lightbulbs cranked up to sunshine-levels. Nodding overpowers speaking, you’ll enjoy that pristine Hokkaido scallop in the privacy of your own thoughts, and the tippity-tap of a chopstick is loud enough to make you twitch. Jump-cut to: Sushi By Scratch, where the speakeasy-style dining room glows indigo, sushi chefs spew profanity, you’ll make friends with the chatty Magnolia Moms next to you, and the nigiri is topped with funky spreads like corn pudding and sourdough breadcrumbs, red beet mustard and puffed quinoa, or paste made from shrimp brains and olive oil. If that sounds like an expensive gimmick, it is—but in a city that takes raw fish so seriously, it’s nice to escape that for a night of blowtorched debauchery. One where the otoro is just as buttery as the other guys, only loaded with caramelized pineapple and brown sugar.