SEAGuide

The 11 Most Exciting Dinner Spots In Seattle Right Now

A night out at one of these places—whether it’s for a catch-up with a friend or an impressive date night—feels overwhelmingly of the moment.

For anyone wondering which sit-down restaurants are currently hot in Seattle right this second, you have arrived at the right figurative Internet place. What does “hot” mean, you ask? Well it’s safe to say that we put on relatively cute outfits to dine at each restaurant below (possibly even eye makeup and our “good deodorant”). A night out at one of these places—whether it’s for a casual catch-up with a friend or an impressive date night—feels overwhelmingly of the current moment. Plenty of them are newer, but there are also old favorites who’ve been exciting from day one.

And, as always, we wouldn’t be recommending any of these restaurants simply for having a memorable scene. We’ve been to each and every spot and loved the food they serve—so you can plan your dinner confidently.

THE SPOTS

We have a theory that it’s impossible to be sad while eating Bunsoy’s crunchy lumpia stuffed with pork, shrimp, and cheese curds dunked in pineapple sauce. Though this theory does assume that you’re not actively getting dumped or thinking about the season two finale of Euphoria. Ballard’s newest Filipino spot would succeed if all they specialized in were bar snacks. But they also serve a lineup of comforting entrees too, like duck confit adobo with crispy skin and delicious potatoes. Eat it all chased with creamy purple ube painkillers in a tropical-inspired space that’s fit for catching up with a friend or sitting at the bar for a solo meal.


Eating dinner at Musang is like being a guest at someone’s home—and we’re not just saying that because this Filipino restaurant is located inside a renovated craftsman. Throughout our many visits here, we’ve joined in on dining room-wide toasts and “Happy Birthday” singalongs, which would be enough to make Musang an exciting place to have a meal. But we’d also sit in a dark coat closet just to eat their outstanding food. From juicy pork and shrimp lumpia with a crackly shell to a flame-seared short rib kare kare basted in peanut butter bagoong, these are dishes that make us want to stop everything and sing about them as if life were a movie musical. It’s possible to have a memorable evening celebrating virtually anything at Musang, even if the occasion is, “I composted my coffee grinds today instead of dumping them down the drain.”


After a year or so consuming naturally-leavened pies, Detroit squares, and Neapolitan margheritas, we can definitively say that Blotto serves the best new pizza in town. Their crust is a gorgeous cross between sourdough and New York-style, with a brittle crispness throughout the bottom and puffed ends that resemble pool noodles (but taste a whole lot better). Between the small dining room on Capitol Hill that’s decorated with shelves of pantry items for sale like Rancho Gordo beans, red and white-checkered pizzeria tablecloths, and refrigerators stocked with natural wine, Blotto already makes for a fun place to hang out with friends. Add phenomenally blistered pies topped with things like spaghetti all’amatriciana ingredients or roasted kale with breadcrumbs and lemon (not to mention tasty slice dips like Calabrian chili vinaigrette and dill-flecked ranch), and you’ve got more than a neighborhood hang—you’ve got a dinner destination that’s worth braving potentially horrendous Capitol Hill parking.


We don’t have many tips on how to grab a table at the eternally booked Communion, other than to check their online reservations often and/or to show up the millisecond they open. But your perseverance pays off with a delicious journey involving outstanding soul food influenced by Ethiopian and Vietnamese cuisines. The crisp, cornmeal-crusted catfish should make its way to your table no matter what, whether it’s in maki roll form with pickled vegetables and watermelon hot sauce, stuffed in a baguette as a cross between a po’ boy and bánh mì, or on top of parmesan grits with a deep red shrimp Creole gravy. Round out the spread with some terrific cocktails, like an apple mint julep or a rich bourbon drink made with toasted pecan liqueur. Communion is a fantastic addition to the entire city (let alone the Central District) for a celebratory dinner out.


We’d find an evening at the Alki Homestead exciting if all we did was sit on the floor and eat cereal among the exposed beams and moody lighting. Luckily, the Italian food that fills this historic log cabin is way more excellent than a bowl of Cheerios. Booking a table here back when they first opened in 2019 used to require staying up until midnight and getting a reservation a month in advance, but now it’s easier. Which means that fresh pastas, like curly busiati with peppery wild boar ragu, thick focaccia, and garlicky-tart kale salads are well within reach, all inside a grand-but-calm space with a lot of rustic wood and stone. For a special date night or big group dinner, don’t miss the excellent smoked pork chop—it has great char and comes with salsa verde, bitter radicchio, and some pear to sweeten things up.


Judging from how fantastic the many vegetables are at Homer, we’re convinced that if Hidden Valley were a real place and not just a beautiful work of ranch dressing-born fiction, this Beacon Hill spot would be the most successful restaurant in town. While we’d gladly swan dive into a bowl of their lamb ragu over tahini, fresh produce is the true star of the show— from winter squash with fermented poblanos and almond broth to wedges of charred cabbage topped with things like salmon ‘nduja and blueberries or stracciatella and peanuts. Come here to be among the ostrich-patterned wallpaper, warm oven constantly baking pita, cozy bar, and people cradling pét-nat and eating things that came from the ground. We highly recommend a swirled cup of housemade soft serve—that is, after you finish your vegetables.


Tomo serves the kind of meal that makes us wish time travel were real. Not just to see a stegosaurus, but also to go back a few weeks and replay our first dinner here. This tasting menu spot with Japanese influences coaxes intense flavor out of seemingly simple ingredients. A totally vegetarian barley porridge with eggplant and dill pollen could take on any meaty stew, and geoduck is transformed into a deeply rich xo sauce that supports salted seared scallops and potato puree effortlessly. To match these exciting dishes is an equally-as-lively space with brunette walls, dramatic lighting, and speakers that blast calming whale noises in the wood-paneled restroom. Add it all up, and you have the ideal restaurant for your next big night out. One that starts with a clarified milk punch and should end with a sorrel kakigori add-on topped with hazelnut butter and funky whipped cheese fluff.


We still feel giddy when securing a reservation at Bateau, and that’s because everything at this exceptional steakhouse never gets old. The little French onion barley croquettes dunked in fermented fish-sauced egg yolk? Always a treat. A stupendously fat burger alongside pomme frites soaked in tallow? We welcome them with open arms any day. Feeling like royalty watching your server take a yard-long staff fitted with a nub of chalk and ceremonially cross out the specific steak you just ordered? An experience meant to be replayed. Between the new cuts available every night, servers that know basically everything about beef anatomy and red wine, and a space that has both fine china and raw segments on display being actively butchered, we’re still overjoyed that Bateau exists. Upgrade date night or a team dinner by booking a table here.


You can always expect a line to start forming shortly before Delancey opens their doors for the night, and that's because they’ve served some of the best wood-fired pies in town for years. Yes, you might have to wait outside for a bit or kill some time next door at Essex, but once you make it in the dark, buzzing space with smells of charred crust, broiling fennel sausage, and raw grana, you’ll know that a fun pizza party is about to start. Share some good wine, mountainous salads slick with herbed Italian dressing, balls of burrata with pesto and pepitas, and as many margheritas and prosciutto-topped white pies as your table can fit.


Walk into Jackalope during peak dinner hours, and don’t be surprised if the wait for a table is longer than a flight to California. This Columbia City Tex-Mex spot from the team behind Jack’s BBQ is a perpetually busy party, complete with a soundtrack of sizzling fajita platters and chatty groups squeezed into large booths. But with a little planning, you too should be able to secure excellent tequila- and mezcal-based cocktails and delicious smoked brisket-focused plates. In particular, seek out the brisket and guajillo enchiladas. There's a great smoke-on-smoke moment that happens when the pit-barbecued bark of beef meets the chile, as the flavors come together in a way that will make you want to hoard it all for yourself. If you are amenable to sharing, pass around an order or two of guacamole and saltine-accompanied campechana loaded with shrimp and plump pieces of Dungeness crab.


Much like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Weird Al Yankovic, The Pink Door has been around since the early eighties. And yet, every time we sneak through Post Alley, step inside, and take in the nightly energy of this place, it feels like a grand opening celebration all over again. There’s an ever-packed dining room, candlelit darkness, aerial performers dangling from the ceiling, and stellar Italian food that’s been consistently incredible for over 30 years. Whether you’re with a big group toasting conical glasses of prosecco and snacking on fontina-stuffed arancini, or having a solo meal at the bar headlined by a haystack of cream-spiked pappardelle bolognese, you’re in for a big evening out that’s just as thrilling on the first visit as it is the twentieth. Whatever you do, an order of fettunta and the hall-of-fame-worthy spinach lasagna layered with pesto, velvety besciamella, and marinara must make their way to your table and mouth.

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