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Experts Select Seattle’s Most Exciting New Restaurants of 2022

The best newcomers include a Turkish pop-up’s Ballard restaurant and an Indigenous cafe in Pioneer Square

A man cuts pulls pieces of grilled chicken off of a skewer over a charcoal grill under a pop-up tent.
Chef Berk Güldal grills chicken over charcoal at a Hamdi pop-up at Fair Isle Brewing. Hamdi opened a restaurant in Ballard this fall.
Jade Yamazaki Stewart/Eater Seattle

As is tradition, Eater closes out the year by surveying local writers and editors on various restaurant-related topics. Come back each day this week for more feedback from the experts, and check out all of Eater Seattle’s Year in Eater coverage over the years.

What newcomer on the scene excited you this year?

Sabra Boyd, journalist

ʔálʔal Cafe (pronounced “All-All”) opened November 29 in Chief Seattle Club’s building in dzidzəlalič, or Pioneer Square. The new space has brightened the neighborhood and features Indigenous cuisines from all across Turtle Island, as well as locally sourced ingredients from Coast Salish tribes. In just a few short weeks, tourists and communities have embraced ʔálʔal Cafe in a way that few new restaurants are welcomed in Seattle.

Corinne Whiting, travel/lifestyle writer and copyeditor

Otium Grill & Greens, a welcoming, light-filled space in South Lake Union that serves fresh, seasonal fare with a Mediterranean twist.

Gabe Guarente, senior editor, SEAtoday

Unfortunately I never caught Hamdi when it was a pop-up, but I recently had dinner at the new Ballard space (formerly Tarsan i Jane). They seem to be settling in there nicely, and I can’t wait to see how it evolves in 2023.

Aimee Rizzo, editor, the Infatuation Seattle

I love bánh mì, but unfortunately have been cursed with the soapy cilantro gene. Enter Voi Cà Phê, this little takeout window in Georgetown that takes advantage of other green herbs to add that fresh brightness I miss out on when omitting cilantro. Think juicy pork patties infused with lemongrass and snips of mint. Their chicken sausage sandwich is a home run as well, and they without a doubt serve some of the best Vietnamese iced coffee in the city—especially the cinnamon phin latte.

Meg van Huygen, food writer

I’m infatuated with everything that Jose Garzón (Garzón Latinx Street Food and Ekéko) does, man. He’s got the innovative drunk food dialed IN, and he changes it up all the time. Whatta genius.


4012 Leary Way Northwest, , WA 98107 Visit Website

ʔálʔal Cafe

122 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 Visit Website

Tarsan i Jane

4012 Leary Way Northwest, , WA 98107 Visit Website