clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Local Food Writers’ Most Anticipated Restaurants and Biggest Hopes for 2023

The wishlist includes more Dungeness crab rolls and a restaurant workers guild

Close-up of a display of Dungeness crab at Pike Place Market.
Dungeness crabs at Pike Place Market.
Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

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 Year in Eater feedback from the experts, and check out all Year in Eater coverage over the years.

What restaurant or restaurant-related debut are you most excited for in 2023?

Gabe Guarente, senior editor, SEAtoday

One of my favorite patties in town is the pork jowl smash burger from Laotian spot Taurus Ox — and now it looks like there’s a whole offshoot called Ox Burger coming soon to the restaurant’s former location. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Sri Lankan food cart chef Syd Suntha does next with his pop culture-themed pop-ups.

Aimee Rizzo, editor, the Infatuation Seattle

I moved to Seattle after Ms. Helen’s Soul Food closed, so I’m highly anticipating being able to experience this institution’s triumphant return to the Central District this spring. I am also highly anticipating all of her fried chicken wings, greens, and mac and cheese.

Jay Friedman, contributor, Eater Seattle

I’ve heard exciting rumors about a couple of interesting (to me, at least) restaurants potentially opening in Seattle next year. But I have to say that I’ll be more excited if many of our existing restaurants that have faced challenges in the past year or two can rebound in 2023.

Meg van Huygen, food writer

The triumphant return of LUDI’S DINER downtown! I’m so jazzed, I can’t even deal with it.

What is your biggest hope for the restaurant industry in 2023?

Meg van Huygen, food writer

No more lobster roll-focused restaurants! There are four within a block of each other downtown right now, blooming from the craze around The Mar-Ket in 2021, I guess, and plenty more beyond that. The worst part is that they could be leading with local Dungeness crabs on rolls (the Mar-Ket has always served an amazing one), and they’re out here touting lobsters imported from New England instead. It’s madness. No New Lobster Roll Joints in 2023! Down with lobster, up with Dungeness crab!

Sabra Boyd, journalist

There’s been some talk about restaurant workers starting a guild union that would support labor rights for front-of-house and back-of-house employees. Much like the Screen Actors Guild, a restaurant workers guild could potentially provide healthcare coverage, therapy, protections from wage theft, harassment, injury, and other scenarios kitchens and servers are vulnerable to in the industry. Training, continuing education, equipment discounts, brand partnerships, and countless other culinary perks could also develop. It’s an exciting time for labor rights.

Aimee Rizzo, editor, the Infatuation Seattle

My hope is that takeout and year-long outdoor dining continues at full steam ahead instead of fizzling away. As much as things feel normal at the moment for almost everyone, myself included, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that for many immunocompromised and high-risk folks, the pandemic is far from over — and hey, they’d like to enjoy some excellent restaurant meals, too.

Gabe Guarente, senior editor, SEAtoday

I just hope the recovery picks up a little more. Anecdotally, it seems there have been more significant openings than closings in recent months, but it’s clear how tenuous the industry still is. Restaurants could use more government support.

Jay Friedman, contributor, Eater Seattle


Correction: January 10, 2023, 10:26 a.m.: This article was corrected to clarify that some of Seattle’s lobster roll restaurants serve Dungeness crab rolls, even if many prioritize lobster rolls in their marketing.

Taurus Ox

903 19th Avenue East, , WA 98122 (206) 972-0075 Visit Website