Seattle’s New Restaurant Openings

The new restaurant openings you should know about.
Seattle’s New Restaurant Openings image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

If you tried to keep track of every new restaurant and bar in Seattle, your head might spin. So just read this list instead. These are the openings that seem like they have the most potential. Although, keep in mind, we make no promises about the places we haven't visited yet. Go forth and be a pioneer—or just keep up with our Hit List to see which new restaurants we checked out and loved.

April 2024

Maria Luisa Empanadas

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This takeout and delivery-only kitchen has provided Seattle with Argentinian empanadas for years. Now they have a bright counter location in Ballard with plenty of seating and a case full of empanadas that includes ones stuffed with chorizo and mozzarella or spinach and bechamel. 

photo credit: Din Tai Fung

Plates of Chinese food on a big wooden table, including noodles, green beans, and soup dumplings.

Din Tai Fung


Din Tai Fung at Lincoln Center in Bellevue has relocated to a new space in the mall that’s twice as big and extravagant. The dining room is decorated with chandeliers, fancy wallpaper, and tree installations, while the menu still has the restaurant’s hits like garlicky green beans and xiao long bao.

photo credit: Gabe Guarente

Figurehead Brewing  image

Figurehead Brewing


This Magnolia brewery has added a new (and much bigger) taproom in Fremont with an outdoor patio out back. Here, you can drink pints of saisons and belgian stouts while Midnite Ramen and Ooshiba Yakitori & Sushi provide the food. 

One of our all-time favorite ramen food carts has opened a kitchen inside Figurehead Brewing’s new Fremont location for takeout and brewery customers dining in. Menu options include their rich pork-fat flecked shoyu and snacks like takoyaki, but now you don’t have to wait outside in the rain for it anymore. They even parked the old cart inside the brewery for decoration.

photo credit: M Cozy Fusion Cafe

pandan waffles and fried chicken

M Cozy Fusion Cafe


There’s a new Vietnamese brunch cafe from the same folks behind Coffeeholic and its colorful ube lattes. The counter-service restaurant near University Village serves dishes like fried chicken and pandan waffles, Thai tea french toast, and bánh mì chảo. Of course, caffeinated drinks like tiramisu egg coffee and ube matcha are here, too.

Rockcreek Seafood & Spirits



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One of our favorite restaurants for seafood in Fremont now has a second location in Kirkland. For those with a hankering to eat jerk-marinated grouper among exposed wood beams and an open kitchen, Eastside options just got a whole lot better. 

This Beacon Hill coffee shop now has a Columbia City cafe conveniently located across the street from the Light Rail station. Commuters can grab a pork sausage breakfast sandwich and a brown sugar iced latte inside the mural-covered space before hopping on the train. 

photo credit: Lotus On The Beach

bar seating area at Lotus On The Beach

Lotus On The Beach


If you've ever dreamed about what a phở taco might taste like, you’re in luck. Lotus On The Beach is billed as an “Asian fusion” restaurant on Alki where you can have that dish, plus garlic butter wings as you sip Earl Grey cocktails. 

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant


A well-known Cantonese and dim sum restaurant from Vancouver has set up shop in Bellevue, joining the Seattle area’s ever-growing dim sum scene. The daytime menu includes over 95 items like chicken feet, har gow, and parcels of sticky rice. At dinner time, look for larger entrees like their roasted squab. There are reportedly long waits for walk-ins and reservations at the moment, but a live seafood tank inside the fancy space should keep you entertained. 

photo credit: Halfseas Wine & Bottle Shop

Wine Bar


$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good WineDay DrinkingDrinks & A Light Bite

At this small Ballard bottle shop and wine bar, you can sit down with a glass of frappato and order from a menu of small snacks like radishes with whipped truffle butter and tinned fish rillette. They also offer wine and cheese club memberships that use the space for monthly meetings.

We recently checked out Halfseas Wine & Bottle Shop. Read our first thoughts here.

The Kraken Bar & Lounge


The classic punk rock music venue is back a year after closing due to Seattle-style development reasons. The divey bar that’s hosted bands like The Disorderlies and Ol’ Doris has taken over the old Cafe Racer space. And shows are scheduled to start ASAP. 

photo credit: Doce Donut Co.

Doce Donut Co.  image

Doce Donut Co.


Fans of Doce’s raised brioche donuts in Fremont can now seek them out at the bakery’s second location in South Lake Union. There you’ll find dozens of flavors like tres leches, guava con queso, and tiramisu. 

photo credit: The Redd Dog

The Redd Dog image

The Redd Dog


This self-pour pub chain in Bellevue allows you to help yourself to pints of lagers and stouts with just the swipe of a card. They’ve got long wood tables, outdoor seating, and almost as many TVs as taps. If all that beer makes you hungry, the menu has dishes like chili cheese fries, buffalo wings, and BBQ chicken pizza. 

Hangry Joe's Hot Chicken


Watch out Dave’s, there’s a new Nashville hot chicken spot in town. This nationwide chain has opened its first Seattle location in Sodo where you can order wings, chicken and waffles, and giant crispy chicken sandwiches with spice levels up to “Angry Hot.”

March 2024

photo credit: Chona Kasinger

two sandwiches from Honeyhole Sandwiches

Honeyhole Sandwiches


After tumultuous ownership changes and an abrupt closure over the past year, Honeyhole is back. The folks behind bars like Rumba and Inside Passage have taken over this sandwich shop that has been a Capitol Hill staple for more than 25 years. The Pike Street location remains the same, and the menu has some of the old classics like the pesto and turkey Waverider. There are still plenty of vegan and vegetarian options as well.

We recently checked out Honeyhole. Read our first thoughts here.

This Hawaiian counter spot has opened a space Downtown. As the name suggests, they specialize in musubi—classic versions with spam and egg, plus a few shrimp and eel based versions. If you need a bit more than just a handheld snack, the shop also serves poke, donburi bowls, and canned cocktails.

We recently checked out Musubi Kai. Read our first thoughts here.

photo credit: Sweetgreen

protein plates from Sweetgreen



With a recent Totem Lake outpost and now a South Lake Union debut, this LA-based salad chain is steadily growing its presence in the Seattle area. At the new SLU space, you can expect kale caesars, roasted chicken-topped warm grain bowls, and Macrina Bakery rosemary focaccia. Next stop is a location on Capitol Hill.  

Julia's Of Wallingford



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After 42 years in business, Julia’s abruptly closed at the end of 2023. But the brunch spot is back in the same Wallingford space under new ownership. The menu looks to be keeping its previous brunch selections intact with plenty of gluten-free options, while adding new Mexican dishes to the mix like chilaquiles and loaded burritos.  

After hosting a pop-up in the Nordic Museum, this operation that makes Chinese and German-influenced snacks and drinks opened a cafe in Ballard. Inside the sunlight-filled space, you'll find cardamom rose cookies, apricot and jujube-topped skyr, and seaweed lattes with soy sauce caramel. 

We recently checked out Cardoon. Read our first thoughts here.

Mama Chavez’s Tamales & More


At this Mexican food walk-up window in Belltown, you’ll find tacos, tamales (with lard-free options), burritos, and more. Specials include tacos for $1.50 all day on Tuesdays in keeping with the alliterative celebration.

photo credit: Erin Roberts

chicken tenders from Cookie's Country Chicken

Cookie’s Country Chicken


The popular Ballard fried chicken specialist has opened a second casual-counter restaurant in Pioneer Square. That should be convenient for Mariners fans who want to snack on fried drumsticks and tenders before a game at T-Mobile Park

Bad Chancla is a takeout counter and bodega-style sandwich shop open on Captiol Hill. Look for Latin American dishes like ropa vieja bowls and a “Riki Tiki” sandwich with picadillo beef, plus freshly pressed juices for lunch and dinner.

We recently checked out Bad Chancla. Read our first thoughts here.

February 2024

photo credit: Spice Waala

Spice Waala image

Spice Waala


There isn’t much in terms of quick lunch spots in Columbia City, but Spice Waala is here to change that—and better yet, it’s a lunch for under $10. This casual Indian spot that specializes in kathi rolls is strictly a takeout window, but they’re still serving the full gamut of tasty stuff you’d find at their Ballard and Capitol Hill locations, like aloo tikki rolls, papdi chatt, and yes—the soft serve is here too. 

Little Donkey Mexican Kitchen & Bar


Little Donkey is a sit down Mexican restaurant and bar in West Seattle that has taken over the original Spiro’s Pizza and Pasta location. Inside the revamped space, you can expect menu items like tinga tacos, pozole, and chile relleno stuffed with spinach and mushrooms.

We recently checked out Little Donkey Mexican Kitchen. Read our first thoughts here.

Maíz is an excellent Pike Place lunch spot and one of the best Mexican restaurants in the city. Expect the same food at their new Ballard taquería, too, like chorizo con papas tacos on homemade nixtamal tortillas, fluffy sopes, and tender birria. You can have all of that without being watched through the window by a line of tourists waiting for a limited-edition Starbucks cup. 

We tried Maíz Taquería and added it to the Hit List. Read our thoughts here.

Shikorina Bakeshop & Cafe


Taking over the former Ben & Esther's location is Shikorina Bakeshop, a cafe and bakery that made its way from a small operation in the Central District to Capitol Hill. Inside this colorful space, you’ll find plenty of seating along with homemade pop-tarts, chocolate chunk cookies, and lots more pastries (think special order cakes made with berbere caramel and Swiss vanilla buttercream).

photo credit: Nate Watters

Wild Cat image

Wild Cat



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Musang is currently closed for repairs. But for the time being, their catering space known as Wild Cat (only two doors down from their Beacon Hill location) has opened as a temporary restaurant that serves a similar Filipino menu. You can find Musang classics like the pot roast-y short rib kare kare, delicata squash-packed ginataang gulay, and crispy fried chicken.

After serving Khmer dishes from the kitchen at Oliver’s Twist, folks from the same team have officially opened Sophon in a larger space just a few blocks away. There are plenty of cocktails here too, plus dishes like kroeung-spiced fried chicken, and chinese eggplant stuffed with soy curls.

We recently checked out Sophon. Read our first thoughts here.

photo credit: Golden Roosters

spread of chicken wings, fries, gyoza, burger, and mozzarella sticks

Golden Roosters


If the 180-inch projector TV, Sounders gear hanging from the ceiling, and basketball court flooring didn't tip you off, Golden Roosters is a sports bar. This Pioneer Square spot serves fried chicken, fries, and more fried stuff. Which, honestly, is not a bad combination when spending a full day watching people efficiently move a ball around.

Bon is a casual Japanese-Korean counter spot inside M2M Mart on Capitol Hill. This means that after you spend 15 minutes enamored by the very impressive instant ramen aisle, you can head upstairs to sit down with a bowl of jajangmyeon, Korean-style fried chicken, or cheese tonkatsu. 

January 2024

The wildly popular San Francisco chain Daeho Kalbijjim has made its way to Bellevue. This Korean spot is known for sizzling skillets of kalbijjim, a beefy short rib stew that you can get with toppings like rice cakes, glass noodles, and a mountain of melty cheese blowtorched tableside. Expect long wait times right now—Seattle loves a good cheese pull.

We tried Daeho Kalbijjim and added it to the Hit List. Read our thoughts here.

photo credit: Eric Tra

Renee Erickson (chef/owner of The Walrus And The Carpenter, Westward, Deep Dive, and more) has opened her 10th restaurant in Seattle. And true to form, this small Italian wine bar in Phinney Ridge serves fresh oysters. You’ll also find snacks like salsa verde-dressed clams, oil-cured anchovies, and beef and pork meatballs in red sauce. Reservations for Lioness are available 30 days in advance and are already pretty limited, so you'll have to act quickly (and strategically) if you’d like to sip Lambrusco at a marble stand-up bar.

We tried Lioness and added it to the Hit List. Read our thoughts here.

photo credit: Sweetgreen

interior of Kirkland Sweetgreen location



This LA-based salad chain has finally made its way to the PNW with a Totem Lake location in Kirkland. You’ll find a long menu of bowls, like broccoli and spinach-filled green goddess salads or wild rice situations with sweet potatoes and more healthy things. Expect a Capitol Hill and an SLU location at some point later this year. 

Ginger & Scallion is a new Ballard spot that has taken over the old Raiz location. Here, they specialize in Hainanese chicken rice prepared three different ways—traditionally poached with tons of fresh herbs, drunken-style served swimming in rice wine, and shredded chicken with curry sauce and fried shallots. They also have a small lineup of appetizers like fried chicken skin chips and cucumber salad. 

We tried Ginger & Scallion and added it to the Hit List. Read our thoughts here.

This local tofu company has opened a Vietnamese bakery and deli in Rainier Valley. At Sun Ta, there are plenty of soybean-based stuff for sale like crispy fried tofu and fresh soybean pudding, but it's not a vegetarian restaurant. Carnivores can still have proteins like grilled beef and pork meatballs, all packed inside bánh mì, noodle bowls, or rice plates.

Our favorite Burien pizza spot and one of the best new restaurants of 2023 is bringing its delicious New York-style pies to Seattle proper. Stevie’s Famous’ second location is a small counter operation inside the Clock Out Lounge on Beacon Hill—you can pop in for live music or a Buffy The Vampire Slayer trivia night while eating hot honey-drizzled slices with coppa and burrata. 

We tried Stevie's Famous and added it to the Hit List. Read our thoughts here.

photo credit: The Kitchen

The Kitchen image

The Kitchen



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At this 10-seat private dining spot in Green Lake, you can experience a different kind of food prepared by a different chef every night. This doesn’t mean that every day someone quits—it just means that you can choose whether to eat Vietnamese food on a Tuesday or Jamaican food on a Friday. Seating only happens twice a night, and you’ll need to use their booking site to snag a reservation and put down a deposit.

The team from Fob Poke Bar has a new venture that still involves lots of raw fish. Fob Sushi Bar is a weekday counter spot in Belltown that features a self-serve buffet of sushi and sashimi sold by the pound, like sliced bluefin tuna or chili crisp salmon nigiri.

The folks from Evoke Espresso have brought another attractive space to South Lake Union, but this time it’s a restaurant and bar that serves fancy American food like balsamic-glazed brussels sprouts and braised beef with roasted potatoes. This self-proclaimed “sexiest restaurant in Seattle” has cocktails with cheeky drink names too, like the “Forbidden Fruit” with tequila and apple liquor, or an espresso martini called “Less Bitter Than Your Ex.” 

We recently checked out House Of Eve. Read our first thoughts here.

When Lao restaurant Viengthong closed its doors after 30 years in Mt. Baker, everyone panicked. Now, Magnolia Pho has taken over. While the space hasn’t changed too much, Magnolia has a huge menu of Vietnamese dishes like woven vermicelli bowls, butter garlic chicken wings, and over 20 different kinds of phở and noodle soups.

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Suggested Reading

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The 25 Best Restaurants In Seattle

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We checked out these new restaurants and loved them.

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Our running list of Black-owned spots in Seattle.

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