Welcome to the Eater Seattle restaurant tracker, a regularly-updated post with intel on the latest openings from around the city. In this update, Capitol Hill’s 40-year-old Mexican restaurant expands, a bikini barista coffee stand is now staffed by men, and the U District gets a popular Korean shaved ice chain.
Have intel about a newly opened restaurant, bar, cafe, or other food emporium that’s been overlooked? Tipping is essential: Send Eater the details over the Seattle tipline and we’ll check it out. Meanwhile, check out this other post for more of Seattle’s restaurant openings from 2019.
September 18, 2019
CAPITOL HILL — La Cocina owner Victor Santiago has expanded his restaurant, adding a new bar space and renaming the entire business La Cocina y Cantina. The enterprise, which has served Mexican fare on Broadway for the past 40 years, now serves a wider variety of tequila, which further enhances its already-strong margarita game. Status: Certified open. 432 Broadway E.
U DISTRICT — Korean chain Snowy Village opened a U District location recently. The chain is known for its all-milk shaved ice with various toppings (bingsoo) and fish-shaped pastries (taiyaki) — and it’s all designed to look great on social media. The bingsoo comes in three sizes and the shop has a long list of toppings, from fruit to cookies to red bean. The taiyaki is sold plain or filled with the likes of Nutella, red bean, or a savory bacon and cheese. Status: Certified open. 5264 University Way.
CAPITOL HILL — Bikini barista coffee stand Ladybug Espresso is now Dreamboyz Espresso. Gone are the bikini-clad women pulling shots, and in their place are shirtless men preparing various coffee drinks for customers from inside the 80-square-foot coffee stand at the corner of Broadway and Harrison. Status: Certified open. 324 Broadway Ave E.
September 9, 2019
GREEN LAKE — Green Lake’s dining scene has long lacked for solid options, but things are changing lately. The newest exciting development is the opening of Da Long Yi Hot Pot, a popular China-based chain operating some 200 restaurants around the world. This restaurant’s specialty is the signature “red pot,” spicy boiling broth made of dozens of herbs, chile pepper, and peppercorns that have been fried in beef tallow. Status: Certified open. 7119 Woodlawn Ave NE.
WEST SEATTLE — Alki Chicken & Waffles opened at the end of August, right across the street from Alki Beach, in the former B’s Po Boy. The restaurant’s specialty is the famous Alki Homestead fried chicken, using the original recipe owner Tom Lin has held onto ever since his previous restaurant closed in 2009. The new restaurant sources organic, local chicken and sells it in eight-piece meals. Side dishes include fried mushrooms, fried zucchini , and mashed potatoes and gravy, all for $3. The restaurant also serves breakfast (starting at 7 a.m.), and beer, wine, and cocktails. Status: Certified open. 2738 Alki Ave SW.
NORTHGATE — Next to Northgate Mall is a new Chinese restaurant called Tian Fu. It serves an extensive menu of dishes, including dan dan noodles, pig’s feet soup, Sichuan eggplant, stir-fried chicken gizzards, braised pork knuckle, grilled whole rockfish, and much more. Status: Certified open. 300 Northeast Northgate Way.
August 15, 2019
INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT — An Orlando-based pop-up shop called Dochi specializing in hybrid mochi and doughnut treats will open its permanent outpost at Seattle’s Uwajimaya food court in the International District this Saturday, August 17. Owner Jason Le says the small stand — which has built a loyal following in Florida for its textures and Asian flavors — will feature varieties such as ube glaze, matcha Oreo, and taro with Fruity Pebbles. It has also heralded its coming Seattle debut with an Instagram video that borders on doughnut erotica. Status: Opening soon. 604 5th Ave S.
LOWER QUEEN ANNE — A modern Korean restaurant called Paju recently opened on Mercer Street in Lower Queen Anne (not too far from the recently reopened Korean spot, Cafe Goldinblack), serving up shareable dishes such as garlic wings, truffle bulgogi, and kimchi fried rice. Though it’s still an extremely small sample size, early Yelp reviews are positive. One notes to “save room for the panna cotta,” and also to bring your own booze, as a liquor license is apparently still pending. Status: Certified open. 11 Mercer St.
MADISON VALLEY — Restaurant veteran David Yockey opened his first eatery this summer, Nick’s on Madison, featuring American bistro fare. The rotating seasonal menu has so far included Painted Hills skirt steak, Alaskan halibut, and fried asparagus with tarragon hollandaise, along with specialty cocktails, wine, and beer on tap. Early Yelp reviews dole out some praise. Status: Certified open. 3131 E Madison St.
August 1, 2019
BITTER LAKE — After drawing massive lines in Redmond (as readers can see a few entries down), Buerjia Chinese Sauerkraut Fish has recently opened a new outpost on Aurora Avenue in North Seattle. The Sichuan chain specializes in basically one dish, but does it well — pickled mustard greens fermented for 30 days constitutes the “sauerkraut” that comes with orders of suan cai yu, big bowls of hot-and-sour soup containing a whole fish. Diners decide on the size of fish (from small to “ginormous”) as well as what else to put in the soup. The Richmond, B.C., location is on Eater Seattle’s list of the area’s essential Chinese restaurants. Status: Certified open. 13200 Aurora Ave N.
MAGNOLIA — In a neighborhood often overlooked for its dining and drinks options, Pink Salt brings Peruvian flavors to West McGraw Street. Chef Marco Baldoceda — who was a line cook at Palace Kitchen — has created a concise seafood and red meat-leaning menu for the restaurant and bar, featuring dishes such as causa de cangrejo (whipped potatoes topped with Dungeness crab and avocado cream) and anticucho (angus beef tenderloin in smoked panca chili sauce). Cocktails include pisco sours and chocolate espresso martinis. Status: Certified open. 3321 W. McGraw St.
CAPITOL HILL — After turning a VW bus mobile operation into a permanent vegan bake shop in Greenwood (with some bumps along the way), The Cookie Counter has now expanded to Capitol Hill. Like its other location, the shop’s dairy-free baked goods (cookies, brownies, muffins, and crispy bars) are available, but the ice cream has always been a crowd favorite, with rotating flavors such as lavender, chai, and fluffernutter. Status: Certified open. 517 E Pike St, Suite A.
July 23, 2019
EASTLAKE — Ballard-born Poke Square has added an Eastlake location, the second restaurant in the company’s portfolio. Poke Square claims to offer “the freshest ingredients in support of healthier choices for our community” with sourcing from local farmers. Owners Daniel Pham and Loc Nguyen, who come from the mortgage and banking industries respectively, fell in love with poke in Maui and learned to make it from Nguyen’s Hawaiian relatives. Bowls are made to order, with white or brown rice or a green salad as the base; proteins like tuna, salmon, shrimp, or scallops; housemade sauces; and add-ins seaweed salad, edamame, and pickled ginger. For a slight departure from the norm, Poke Square offers the option of seared fish. Status: Certified open. 1823 Eastlake Ave E. #153.
U DISTRICT — The University Village shopping mall is scoring the second location for downtown’s popular all-day cafe, Mr. West, which will open on Saturday, August 3. The combination bar and cafe, from the owners of Madrona’s Bottlehouse wine bar, is setting up shop in the former home of the Mrs. Cook’s kitchen supplies store. Like the downtown location, owners Soni Davé-Schock and Henri Shock will encourage diners to bring a laptop and order an espresso, or share a bottle of wine and a charcuterie plate with friends. Other menu selections will include coffee cocktails, egg sandwiches, wine-based spirits, curried avocado toast, salads, and beer. Status: Opening soon. 2685 NE Village Lane.
WOODINVILLE — There’s a new beer bar in Woodinville called Route 522 Taproom, which has 29 beers and ciders on tap—most made by producers in Washington and Oregon. The bar is owned by the same folks behind Route 2 Taproom in Monroe. There’s karaoke on Thursdays, trivia, brewers nights, and a dog-friendly patio. Status: Certified open. 17802 134th Ave NE, Woodinville.
July 17, 2019
WEST SEATTLE — Alki Beach-goers now have another option for dining and drinking with the opening of Locust Cider and Brewing Co.’s new taproom. The ever-expanding operation, which recently merged with Dirty Bucket Brewing Co., is pouring beer and cider from 16 taps, serving gluten-free food, and offering free retro video games—all with a view of Alki Beach. The new taproom seats about 50 people and has a larger kitchen than some of the company’s other locations. There is also a dedicated kids’ area to help the spot appeal to customers of all ages. Status: Certified open. 2820 Alki Ave SW.
LOWER QUEEN ANNE — Boulder, Colo.-born fast-casual chain Rush Bowls is opening a Seattle outpost on July 29. The chain specializes in bowls of blended fruits and vegetables, topped with granola and honey, plus smoothies. This store is the first of a planned five for the area from franchisee Fred Shank. Status: Opening soon. 25 W. Mercer St.
FREMONT — Fremont’s new Taiwanese spot 19 Gold specializes in malatang, a soup flavored with 19 spices, including Sichuan pepper. Early Yelp reviews rave about the dish, along with other menu options like duck wings, dan dan noodles, milk tea, and the 19 Gold Fries, which involve French fries topped with honey mustard, ketchup, and condensed milk for an oddly salty-sweet combination. Status: Certified open. 3601 Fremont Ave N., Ste 101.
July 9, 2019
BELLEVUE — Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream has opened its first ice cream shop in Bellevue. The small walk-up scoop shop serves the familiar menu popular around Seattle: flagship and seasonal ice cream in cones and cups, plus sundaes and pints. Status: Certified open. 10045 NE 1st St.
REDMOND — There’s frequently an hour-long line on the weekends to get into Chinese Sauerkraut Fish, a new Sichuan restaurant in Redmond. The menu centers around hot-and-sour fish soup, which comes in several sizes meant to serve multiple diners. Starters like century eggs, beef shank, Chinese doughnuts, and fried chicken wings round things out. Status: Certified open. 15163 NE 24th St.
BELLEVUE — New restaurant Dumpling and Noodle serves soup dumplings, baos, pot stickers, and wonton soup in a small space with only a handful of tables. Early reviews are mixed — it sounds like the place has potential, with some Yelpers saying they loved their food, but others describing a few misses. Perhaps the kitchen will work out the kinks. Status: Certified open. 11000 NE 10th St.
July 3, 2019
WALLINGFORD — A new tapas restaurant in Wallingford aims to be a destination for anyone looking to brush up on their Spanish skills. Olé Café serves a small menu of sweet and savory dishes like tortilla española, hummus and olive tapenade, and other tapas, plus coffee, wine, and a handful of adult beverages. Owner Amanda Reichert, who is also a Spanish teacher, encourages patrons to practice their Spanish when ordering and conversing. Status: Certified open. 5421 Meridian Avenue N.
WHITE CENTER — Innuendos abound at White Center’s happening new gay bar, The Swallow, which is boosting the neighborhood’s nightlife scene with drag shows and disco parties. The bar’s nautical leanings include plenty of suggestive sailor photos. The Swallow is working on adding a patio, but for now it serves “Cocky Tails” indoors, with happy hour every day until 8 p.m. Status: Certified open. 9608 16th St. SW.
MOUNT BAKER — Mount Baker cocktail bar The Saloon was sold and is now The Velvet Elk. New owners Kim Beecroft and Sofia McKee have retained the bar’s vintage interior that so many fans have come to love — they’ve even added new antique furniture to keep the vibe going strong. The bar doesn’t have a kitchen, but there are a few snack options, most notably savory Japanese-style fried bread stuffed with beef curry, jerk chicken, or vegan lentils from local producer Umami Kushi. The drinks menu includes classics, originals, and amaro cocktails, plus beer and wine. Status: Certified open. 3605 S. McClellan St.
June 25, 2019
CAPITOL HILL — Betting that the poke craze isn’t over yet, Aloha Cup Bap has expanded with a new location on Capitol Hill. The business operates a flagship restaurant in the Central District, near Seattle U. The new outpost serves only poke bowls, not the Hawaiian-style plate lunches that the original also specializes in. Poke bowl options include a daily raw fish selection, raw salmon, or a spicy Korean-influenced bowl with gochujang. Status: Certified open. 212 Broadway E, Unit A.
DOWNTOWN — There’s a new location of Hawaiian chain Matcha Cafe Maiko on the third level of the Westlake Center mall. Most of the menu — as the cafe name suggests — involves matcha green tea-flavored ingredients in some fashion, including lattes, frappes, floats, and ice cream. The company also has locations in California, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Houston. Status: Certified open. 400 Pine St, Suite 324.
CAPITOL HILL — By the Pound, the beleaguered deli and speakeasy on Capitol Hill, is now Rose Temple Bar, an eclectic bar from co-owners Austin Polley, who was previously the manager at Westward, and Benjamin Smith. The bar mixes jungle-inspired decor, hip hop, Jell-O shots, and cocktails. There’s even a “Sharknado” shooter involving gummy sharks and edible glitter. Inside the bar, Odin Star East serves Asian-inspired food like mapo tofu on challah bread and brisket fried rice. It’s a spin-off of Odin Star, the sandwich food truck from chef Seth Richardson, former sous chef at Rock Creek. Status: Certified open. 1801 E. Olive Way.
June 21, 2019
U DISTRICT — Agua Verde Cafe, the waterfront Mexican restaurant on Portage Bay that sees swarms of customers on warm-weather days, has a new owner and a new configuration. The business is now owned by Travis Rosenthal, who also owns Rumba, Tango, and Sand Point Grill. Rosenthal is putting his spin on things; he redesigned the restaurant’s interior, hired a new chef, added new menu items (including adobo marinated rockfish tacos), and built a 13-seat, U-shaped bar indoors. But the exterior sports the biggest change of all: a 60-seat patio called Marina Cantina, just a few feet from the waterfront. Here, diners can order from a bright orange food truck and sip Rumba-designed cocktails. This space is open seasonally, from May 1 to October 1 going forward. Status: Certified open. 1303 NE Boat St.
QUEEN ANNE — Lower Queen Anne restaurant Cafe Goldinblack was temporarily closed for a while due to construction on the building it resides in, but it’s now reopen with the same intriguing menu that has built a cult following since the restaurant’s founding in 2013. The menu draws influences from Korea and beyond, with options like kimchi fried rice, bibimbap, ramen, bulgogi hand rolls, and a handful of sandwiches on Macrina bread with a choice of bulgogi beef, chicken, or garlic-marinated pork. Status: Certified open. 621 Queen Anne Ave NE.
FRELARD — A new bar called S/T Hooligans serves Southern food like barbecue, gumbo, jalapeno-cheddar hush puppies, raw oysters, and Cajun mussels in the former Leary Traveler space in West Woodland/Frelard. There’s plenty of beer on tap, with Washington breweries like Reuben’s Brews and Bale Breaker featuring prominently. The bar serves a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to close. Status: Certified open. 4354 Leary Way NW.