Seattle’s New Restaurant Openings guide image


Seattle’s New Restaurant Openings

The new restaurant openings you should know about.

If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Seattle, your head might spin. So just read this list instead. These are the new restaurant openings that seem like they have the most potential—although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.

February 2023

photo credit: Nate Watters

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Ox Burger


1523 E Madison St, Seattle
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The greatest dish at Lao restaurant Taurus Ox is the double smashburger. Which means it’s no surprise that the same team transformed their original space into a restaurant devoted solely to burgers. (If you’re looking for Taurus Ox, they moved to 19th Ave.) Expect to find the Lao burger in question, topped with jaew bong mayo, cured pork belly, crunchy taro stem, and provolone, as well as burgers with more traditional American toppings, grilled cheese, fried chicken sandwiches, and fries.

Sugo Hand Roll Bar pretty obviously specializes in hand rolls, and the newest venture next door features fried snacks—think squid leg calamari, vegetable fritters with unagi glaze, panko-crusted shrimp, Japanese crispy chicken, and beer-battered fish with fries. 

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Some may say that it’s shawarma time at all times. But according to this new Ballard halal spot, it’s from 11am to 11pm, and 3am on the weekends. (OK, that’s almost all times). The Mediterranean menu involves kebab plates, wraps, mana’eesh, and a copious amount of loaded Greek fries.

Southpaw, a boxing-themed counter spot on Capitol Hill with so-so pizza, has been rebranded as Cora, a full-service upscale pizzeria-with-small-plates situation. The walls no longer have corny fighting quotes but rather fancy framed wall art with illustrations of Italian tomatoes, and the lineup of dishes ranges from charcuterie and white bean dip to margherita pies and rigatoni bolognese.

January 2023

There’s a new omakase in town—Sushi Suzuki in Madison Valley is a counter that costs $180 a head, which gets you an 18-course nigiri palooza complete with cuts like smoked salmon belly, kamasu, marinated chutoro, and Hokkaido uni.

photo credit: Nate Watters

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Dark Room

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This Greenwood bar has a loose photography theme, as evidenced by both the name and the lambrusco-based “Pisco & Paparazzi” cocktail that comes with a polaroid of yourself. And yes, it is one dark room. The food menu is made up of Korean small plates, from kimchi-spiked pimento cheese with ritz crackers to a pork and shrimp bánh mì-inspired sandwich on a homemade milk bun.

photo credit: Nate Watters

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Kedai Makan

Well, that was fast. We were devastated to hear that Kedai Makan was closing forever in October, only for "forever" to actually only last a couple of months. It was taken over by the Hangry Panda team, relocated to the former Money Frog location, and if that makes your head spin, know that the menu is extremely similar to the Malaysian street food of Kedai Makan's yesteryear: roti jala with curry, prawn chips, and of course, nasi goreng plopped with a fried egg.

photo credit: Mint Progressive Indian

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Mint Progressive Indian

Before Mint, if you wanted an upscale Indian meal Downtown, it simply wasn’t possible. Now, it is—this spot on 1st and Spring specializes in modern riffs like tandoori pineapple burrata salad, butter chicken with dehydrated tomato, duck shawarma kulcha, and more in a dining room that is practically begging for a corporate Happy Hour to happen inside of it.

photo credit: Stephanie Forrer

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Driftwood on Alki Beach has been in the works for a while as a Pacific Northwest restaurant trying its darndest to be more than just another Pacific Northwest restaurant. And their collaboration with native Quinault and Makah tribes is a good sign—you can expect produce-heavy small plates like roasted honey nut squash or homemade pull-apart rolls spread with chanterelle butter, as well as mains like Oregon wagyu with cacio e pepe potatoes. And, of course, plenty of local fish.

December 2022

photo credit: Nate Watters

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Dough Zone

The best dumpling spot in town has expanded once again to include a location just outside of University Village, which means that you can now choose between Dough Zone and Din Tai Fung when looking for post-shopping xiao long bao.

photo credit: Nate Watters

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Marination Columbia City

This iconic Hawaiian staple had a sister spot in Columbia City called Super Six, which has since closed to make way for a third Marination location instead. While open for dinner, this one also serves counter service brunch, with everything from Portuguese sausage breakfast tacos to tocino bowls over garlic fried rice and a runny egg. And if you’re missing Super Six’s signature breakfast, you can still get macadamia nut pancakes, fried chicken on bubble waffles, and kalua pork-loaded hangover fries.

Joining Seattle’s selection of hand roll-focused restaurants is Sushi Nori, a Japanese spot in Eastlake with a sterile white space. Fillings here range from spicy salmon or tuna poke to toro with chives and caviar. But if temaki isn’t your thing, you can also eat chirashi bowls, tempura, or a 12-piece omakase for $68. 

photo credit: AJ Anderson

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There isn’t much in terms of LGBTQIA+ nightlife in Fremont, and Dragster is here to change that with drag shows, DJ sets, and brunch and bingo events. Food-wise, plan on enjoying those happenings alongside Rhein Haus pretzels with cheddar sauce, tacos, smashburgers, and pizza. 

No, it’s not a cool clubhouse constructed out of pillows and quilts. It’s a bar attached to Yoroshiku in Wallingford that specializes in all things yakitori, from chicken thigh to mochi bacon. You can eat these skewers among lamps that look like Super Mario question mark blocks. Please don’t try to smash your head on them to collect coins.

photo credit: Kathmanu Momocha

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Kathmandu Momocha

Kathmandu has gone from food truck to restaurant—in their new South Lake Union space, they serve turmeric noodles, Newari lentil pancakes, and a variety of Nepalese momos filled with things like pork, vegetables, chicken, and a combination of beef and pepper jack.

photo credit: Gemini Room

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Gemini Room

What looks like a retro party scene from an Austin Powers movie is actually Gemini Room, an all-day cafe and bar with an obvious groovy ‘70s theme. By day, they serve coffee and breakfast sandwiches, and once the sun peaces out, the menu transitions to fried snacks (oh, hello, mac and cheese balls and popcorn chicken skewers) as well as a long menu of cocktails.

Mountlake Terrace has a new spot for West African food. Hadiani’s menu is full of specialties like fufu, thieboudienne, afra lamb and chicken, garlic shrimp, and hamza for dessert—all served in a terracotta-painted dining room.

What used to be a pop-up is now a permanent sit-down deli in Pioneer Square that serves Korean banchan like jangajji, mayak eggs, doengjiang tofu stew, and more, and they also have a small retail section for pantry staples and merch.

Replacing the late Sawyer’s massive Ballard space is Rough & Tumble, a sports bar that prioritizes women’s teams on their 18 TVs—thus proving that girls really do rule. On the menu, you’ll find riffs on standard pub food like wings, tater tots, beer-battered pickles, and burgers.

photo credit: Asean Streat

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Asean Streat Food Hall

Few reasons exist to go to Westlake Center, aside from Nordstrom Rack and the Pressed Juicery that we can’t walk past without buying kale soft serve. Now, there’s another reason—Asean Street is a new food hall that focuses on Southeast Asian cuisines like Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Lao, and more. Expect 11 different vendors in a night market-inspired space.

This halal Somali food cart in Rainier Valley has moved into a permanent indoor location that serves dishes like fettuccine alfredo, crispy shrimp tacos, cheesecake, and, of course, plenty of homemade sambusas. And with late-night diners in mind, they’re open until 4am every day.

November 2022

Camp West is camping-themed, but luckily you don’t have to fire up your own weenies, or get in an argument with your significant other over tent stakes. Instead, there’s some tasteful lumberjack-inspired decor, table water stored in thermoses, and dishes like sandwiches, snack boxes, and the occasional cassoulet. Though, we kind of lied about cooking your own food earlier—you do have the option to order DIY s’mores.

photo credit: Etta's Big Mountain BBQ

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Etta's Big Mountain BBQ

Etta’s has transformed from Pike Place seafood institution to a palace of smoked meats. Brisket sandwiches, turkey legs with buttermilk mashed potatoes, ribs with sriracha mac and cheese, and smoked coho salmon are among the bunch, along with appetizers that sound like what would happen if Tom Douglas dove behind the prep station at a suburban chain restaurant. (Think pretzels with pimento cheese or peanut butter and bacon, and sweet onion ring stacks with ranch and BBQ sauce.)

This former pop-up specializes in upscale Turkish food, like yam and chickpeas tossed in tahini and or lamb belly kebabs on fresh lavash, all in a dark Frelard space. Expect an exciting night out, if you can get a table.

photo credit: La Dispensa

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La Dispensa

La Dispensa is a breath of fresh air (OK, salami-scented air) for folks who appreciate a big Italian sandwich. This Capitol Hill deli serves a variety of panini for takeout or dine-in with fillings like porchetta, chickpea fritter, prosciutto, and a heap of Italian cheeses. There are also a few pastas, desserts, and an aperitivo hour featuring stuzzicchini and bitter cocktails.

This Mexican spot in Ballard has a short menu of classics like tacos, enchiladas, pollo mole, and carne asada, all starring homemade corn tortillas. And, it’s just a block from Chuck’s Hop Shop if you’re looking for a One-Two Punch moment.

photo credit: Nate Watters

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After nearly a three-year hiatus, this Downtown Korean gastropub has returned—this time in a new space underneath the Paramount Hotel. Expect the same bulgogi and spicy pork sliders we know and love, with larger dishes like fried chicken, rice cakes tossed with oxtail chili ragu, sot bap, and seafood so-men noodles.

photo credit: Stevie's Famous

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Stevie's Famous

From the team behind Lupo (one of the greatest pizzerias in town) comes a new slice joint in Olde Burien called Stevie's Famous. They specialize in New York-style pies made with a sourdough crust, along with sandwiches and salads, all in a colorful sticker-covered space.

photo credit: Nate Watters

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Bar Solea

Downtown Roman pizza trattoria Bar Taglio has become Bar Solea, an Italian spot by the same team. They've traded their rectangular pies for round ones, and also serve antipasti, roasted seafood and meats, and gelato tartufo for dessert.

This vegan Jewish deli with locations in San Diego and Portland has officially arrived in Seattle, taking over the Capitol Coffee Works space. Expect a fully-plant-based menu of bagels, toppings like carrot lox and Good Planet cream cheese, "bacon" "egg" and "cheese" sandwiches, deli classics like reubens and tuna melts, and treats like black and white cookies, hamentashen, and babka cheesecake.

October 2022

photo credit: Lai Rai

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Lai Rai

Lai Rai is a new spot in Belltown that serves classic Vietnamese food like papaya salad, gà chiên, and bò lá lốt, along with some fun dishes like cheesesteak-style bánh mì filled with shaved short rib, Sprite-marinated pork chops, and ribs with passionfruit-galangal caramel. During its Sunday-only brunch, expect dishes like pancakes with pandan icing, toasted rice biscuits covered in nem nướng gravy, and pork roll sandwiches with cheez-whiz on homemade pineapple buns.

After Phở Bắc Sup Shop moved out of a wooden boat located in their parking lot, it was mostly deserted for years. Now, they’ve reopened the rickety little ship solely to serve Vietnamese fried chicken rice known as cơm gà mắm tỏi, along with pandan and pink pineapple waffles, iced coffee, and cocktails.

photo credit: Sailfish

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Replacing the recently-shuttered Bunsoy is a seafood-focused spot called Sailfish. You'll find a mostly American menu loaded with things like tuna poke, grilled halibut, scallop ceviche, king salmon, and a $35 crab cake that has immediately piqued our interest.

photo credit: Maíz Molino

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Maíz Molino

The newest restaurant from the Maíz team is here. Whereas the Pike Place tortilleria serves quick tacos, sopes, and chilaquiles via counter service, Maíz Molino is their sit-down operation featuring dishes like chalupas, mole, stews, elote risotto, and more.

photo credit: Nate Watters

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If you're a fan of Ooink's ramen stylings, same. Now there's a brand new one in Wallingford. You can expect the same plump gyoza, homemade noodles, and Malaysian fried chicken that the original Capitol Hill location serves.

photo credit: Dave Riddile

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Here Today Brewery & Kitchen

From the team behind Navy Strength and Trade Winds Tavern comes Here Today, a new Downtown brewery that serves their homemade beer alongside bar snacks like fries, chips and queso, wings, burgers, and hot dogs. And if you're not crazy about the hoppy stuff, you can expect wine as well as creative cocktails made with ingredients like banana, five spice, genmaicha, and calamansi.

September 2022

photo credit: Mini Bar

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Mini Bar

Across from Fremont Brewing is Mini Bar, a Korean spot with Mexican influences—that means that you’ll have mandoo, bulgogi fries, and ssam platters, and also taquitos and gochujang-spiked esquites.

Redhook Brewlab has officially halted their own food menu to make way for Kōbo, a Detroit-style pizza operation run by the chef behind the next-door late-night fried chicken spot Taku. The rectangular, cheese-skirted pies will feature Japanese toppings like karaage with koji hot sauce and cilantro, braised beef, cheddar, and kewpie mayo, and classics involving red sauce and mozzarella. On the side, there are miniature corn dogs, pretzels with miso beer cheese, and other Japanese-inspired snacks.

This popular 10-seat omakase restaurant with locations in California, Austin, and Miami has opened in Seattle, complete with blue and purple club-like lighting and complex bites of sushi. Nigiri here range from bone marrow with grated wasabi root to unagi sizzled in that bone marrow’s fat and topped with poblano yuzu kosho. Reservations open up a month in advance at 10am on the first of every month, and it's already pretty difficult to book.

photo credit: Altitude Sky Lounge

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Altitude Sky Lounge

It might sound like a luxury hangout at SeaTac, but Altitude Sky Lounge is a new rooftop bar at the top of the Astra Hotel in South Lake Union. Along with fire pits, a skyline view, and a lineup of specialty cocktails, the rooftop bar serves charcuterie and other little snacks like olives and nuts.

August 2022

photo credit: Nate Watters

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Gold Bar

You might already know this fun cocktail spot in South Lake Union and their watermelon Aperol spritzes, frosé, and excellent chicken nuggets a.k.a. “gold nugs.” That one’s going to close in October, but the good news is that the new Capitol Hill location is already open. They’ve taken over the former Dacha Diner space, and you can expect the same drinks and snacks as the original Gold Bar.

Replacing Bar Charlie in Fremont comes Tío Baby’s, a former Tex-Mex pop-up that finally got a brick and mortar specializing in wings, nachos, and other fun finger foods. Expect copious amounts of queso, as well as a riff on the Seattle dog that features sriracha cream cheese and crushed potato chips.

photo credit: DEI Creative

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Bar Sur Mer

This new seafood-focused tapas bar comes from the team behind Flintcreek Cattle Co. and Rockcreek Seafood & Spirits. Along with a bunch of small plates like squid salad, wood-fired mackerel, and clams with chorizo butter and fava bean crostini, the restaurant has a long cocktail menu that includes an entire section devoted to different types of gin and tonics (like grapefruit with pink peppercorn or pomegranate with mint).

With over a dozen sauce flavors ranging from mango habanero to BBQ, this West Seattle spot (that also might be named after the hit political drama written by Aaron Sorkin) puts bone-in and boneless wings front and center. They also serve cauliflower bites, burgers, fried appetizers, and three different salads, too.

photo credit: Jay Gordon

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This Bellevue gluten-free bakery has now expanded with a location in Ballard. You can pop in for a wheatless pastry or breakfast sandwich, or grab a birthday cake or pizza dough to go.

Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls

Mason’s is a lobster roll chain restaurant from Maryland, and the Downtown Seattle location marks the only one west of Arizona, which is a fun fact that you can use at parties. Their menu has various lobster rolls dressed in mayo or warm butter as well as mac and cheese, BLTs, and bisque.

The University District has a new Cambodian restaurant called Angkor Wok, and their long menu has noodle soups, curry, bento, and other stews. They also serve Taiwanese popcorn chicken and waffle fries.

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