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Surprising News and Innovations in Seattle Food in 2022

Mocktails are on the rise, as is a new wave of creative Vietnamese restaurants — and who knew Marshawn Lynch could bake?

Marshawn Lynch holds a camera
Former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch in Atlanta.
Photo by Casey Sykes/Fan Controlled Football/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 was the most surprising Seattle news story in 2022?

Gabe Guarente, senior editor, SEAtoday

Marshawn Lynch is a surprisingly good baker, apparently, and can make a mean lemon drizzle cake.

Sabra Boyd, journalist

Starbucks’ dubious claim that they are closing unionized cafes due to crime is interesting when neighboring smaller coffee shops remain open, profitable, and thriving. Starbucks’ coincidental timing to reopen a location under the management of a grocery store corporation after baristas voted to unionize is another interesting choice. It’s surprising that these decisions will save the company money, rather than choosing to partner with employees asking for fair labor rights.

But maybe this was never about money –– at least not to Starbucks. Having lived halfway between the two closed Capitol Hill locations where I enjoyed open mic nights and other neighborhood events, I’m available anytime if Howard Schultz wants to talk me through the logic of this business model because I’m pretty confused. I’ll even pay for the coffee!

Meg van Huygen, food writer

I don’t know if surprising is the right word, but I was pretty impressed by Syd Suntha (of Kottu) and his eight-hour, 36-course Wu-Tang Clan-themed dining experience in September. What an undertaking! And it was a success! It takes a certain kind of person to have this idea and then to actually set out to do it, to say nothing of slaying it. Total baller.

Aimee Rizzo, editor, the Infatuation Seattle

I was shocked to hear that Kedai Makan was closing — you never expect that any of your favorites are going to turn the lights off, but this one especially hurt. We’ll all miss you, roti jala.

What innovative ideas have you seen emerge this year that you hope continue into 2023?

Aimee Rizzo, editor, the Infatuation Seattle

It’d be great to see more restaurants teaming up for a night — Kamonegi’s “Pizzakaya” situation with Lupo was one of the more memorable meals of the year, in part thanks to a very stupendous sourdough pie topped with black cod kasuzuke, lotus root, and miso sauce. I’ve also been excited to see an abundance of exciting low-ABV and zero-proof cocktail options pop up. Tio Baby’s N/A Negroni as well as Kamp Social House’s booze-free jalapeno pineapple margarita are standout favorites.

Gabe Guarente, senior editor, SEAtoday

This idea emerged well before this year as sort of a pandemic adjustment but seems to be more ubiquitous lately — paying checks at the table with card readers. No more back-and-forth with the paper receipt. Quick and easy. I wouldn’t mind seeing that keep up over the longer haul along with QR menus continuing.

Meg van Huygen, food writer

I’m really into the new wave of Vietnamese that we’re seeing around town. Tons of innovation going on at Pho Bac and the Sup Shop and Phocific Standard Time, of course, in food and cocktails both, and we’re also seeing it in coffee joints like Voi Cà Phê, Coffeeholics, Aroom, and so on. Hella creative new ideas being styled off of this base. I’m expecting a push of vegan Vietnamese joints to show up soon as well, following Mama Đút’s lead in Portland.

Starbucks HQ

2401 Utah Ave South, Seattle, WA 98134 (206) 624-9496 Visit Website


1054 North 39th Street, , WA 98103 (206) 632-0185 Visit Website

Pho Bac

1923 7th Avenue, , WA 98101 (206) 538-0194 Visit Website

Starbucks Reserve Store

2401 Utah Ave S, Seattle,

Pho Bac Sup Shop

1240 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144 (206) 568-0882 Visit Website

Kedai Makan

1449 East Pine Street, , WA 98122 (206) 535-3562 Visit Website


4303 Fremont Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103 (206) 547-2144 Visit Website