Even during the continuing challenges of the pandemic, 2022 in Seattle has seen plenty of exciting restaurant openings. Here’s a running list of some notable places in the area that have opened recently. More new restaurants are featured here. Know of a spot that should be on this list? Send us a tip by emailing email@example.com.
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Brendan McGill’s newest restaurant is converting the former Hitchcock restaurant space on Bainbridge Island into an inventive seafood and vegetable restaurant called Seabird, scheduled to open June 9. The kitchen will be led by chef Grant Rico, who’s bringing some Japanese techniques (like using local kelp-based broths) to bring out the best flavors in local seafood. The space features a granite-covered raw bar where oysters will be shucked and art by local artists. In a bold and hopeful leap away from the pandemic restaurant reality, Seabird will be dine-in only.
MONTLAKE — Oxbow, a highly-anticipated bagel shop from Jesse and Kit Schumann, the owners of Sea Wolf Bakers, opened a couple of weeks ago next to Italian restaurant Cafe Lago. The sourdough bagels, served with a few spreads (salmon, sun-dried tomato, scallion) have already gotten a shoutout from food writer and bagel expert J. Kenji López-Alt. The shop is also serving espresso from Hyacinth coffee, beer and wine to-go, and pastries like scones and biscotti. It’s takeout-only for now, but seating will be added later (when the owners feel safer about COVID-19) along with pizza in the evenings.
CAPITOL HILL — Maripili Tapas Bar, the much-anticipated restaurant from former JuneBaby pastry chef Grayson Corrales, is finally open, serving tapas informed by her time recently working at a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Galicia, Spain. Dishes in a sample menu include typical tapas like tortilla de patatas, charcuterie, and of course, Galician-style octopus.
CAPITOL HILL — Sankaku, which means triangle in Japanese, is Seattle’s first restaurant focused on the country’s most famous triangle-shaped food: onigiri, rice balls covered in nori and filled with pickles, preserves, and salted fish. The restaurant also serves home-cooking-style dishes like Japanese curry, vegetable side dishes, and house-made pickles.
SOUTH LAKE UNION — Noodle/Bar is the new restaurant from the owners of Plenty of Clouds, a popular Sichuan and Yunnan restaurant in Capitol Hill. Chef Travis Post is using Washington wheat to make handmade noodles in dishes like dan dan mian. He’s also serving cold and hot chicken buckwheat noodles, all served alongside a robust cocktail list.
SOUTH LAKE UNION — Manna, a new commissary kitchen and daytime cafe from the owners of Mbar and Mamnoon, is scheduled to open this month. The kitchen will supply grocery stores in the area with grab-and-go meals and other snacks, while the cafe will serve salads, sandwiches, pastries, and coffee.
SOUTH LAKE UNION — Bloom is a new fast-casual-style restaurant offering make-your-own bento boxes with choices of protein (like turkey meatballs, king salmon, and glazed tofu) along with grains, vegetables, and pickles) for the SLU lunch crowd. There are plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, and though the business focuses on health, Seattle Met reports the dishes are well-crafted and don’t skimp on flavor.
DOWNTOWN — Salt District, a new casual Italian restaurant from the owners of Metropolitan Grill and Elliot’s Oyster House, is scheduled to open on Pier 55 this month. The menu includes pasta, cured meats and cheeses, sandwiches, and classic Italian entrees like branzino. It’s also going to have a large cocktail and wine list.
PHINNEY RIDGE — Arc is a new restaurant serving food inspired by the mesh of Korean and Mexican cuisines found in Los Angeles, paired with wines from Baja California and cocktails, located in the former Park Public House space. It’s a collaboration between North Star Diner and Shanghai Room owner Travis Clark and a longtime bar manager for Tom Douglas’ restaurants, Todd Hamm.
WOODINVILLE — Cava Azul is a large modern Mexican restaurant scheduled to open June 20 in the center of Woodinville. Its 100-seat dining room will offer views of the kitchen, and it will be open seven days a week with brunch, lunch, and dinner services. Dishes include an aguachile calamari salad with radish and jicama and mole with half a chicken, paired with a selection of agave spirits and cocktails.
KIRKLAND — The owners of Mbar and Mamnoon are also opening a restaurant in Kirland’s Totem Lake this month called Hanoon. It will serve baked goods and lunch items and fast-casual meals for dinner. It was originally scheduled to open February, but the opening was delayed.
CAPITOL HILL — Kent-based restaurant and food truck Paperepas Venezuelan Food is bringing its empanadas, arepas, and plátanos to Capitol Hill. The new restaurant, located in the Broadway Building at 1620 Broadway, is opening in the next few weeks.
CAPITOL HILL — Marco Casas Beaux, the man behind the Boca Restobar restaurants, is opening an Argentine bakery and pizzeria on Capitol Hill. Argentina’s residents come from all over Europe, and Casas Beaux says its bakeries are packed with pastries from all over the continent, along with some uniquely Argentinian creations like medialunas — sweeter, smaller versions of French croissants. The Argentine pizza — a thick, cheesy pie verging on a deep-dish pizza — will be made with a naturally leavened dough and served alongside some classic Italian cocktails. The restaurant should be open in a few weeks and will be located at 426 Broadway E.
CAPITOL HILL — Money Frog, a pan-Asian restaurant from the owners of Taurus Ox and Hangry Panda, serves unorthodox dishes like a yakisoba cacio e pepe, Mongolian sukiyaki beef with chili peppers and chrysanthemum greens, and, staying true to the name, chicken-fried frog legs. Co-owner Khampaeng Panyathong says though the restaurant just opened, it’s moving next month to the former location of Adana, a space with more of a fine-dining vibe that’s closer to the center of Capitol Hill, while the current space turns into another location of Hangry Panda. It’s currently located at 903 19th Avenue E.
HALLER LAKE — Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine is Aurora Avenue’s newest Vietnamese restaurant — and a favorite of Monsoon and Ba Bar co-owner Eric Banh. It serves all kinds of pho and noodles soups, vermicelli noodle bowls topped with grilled meat, shrimp, and shrimp cakes, as well as grilled beef wrapped in betel leaves at 12752 Aurora Avenue N.
DOWNTOWN — Slices USA, a Dallas-based high-end pizza chain owned by Michael Franzese, a former capo of New York’s infamous Colombo mob, recently opened in Downtown Seattle. You can try the the Sicilian-style pies at 809 Olive Way, Suite C.
DOWNTOWN — The George, the new full-service restaurant of Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel opened last month as part of a $25 million renovation of the hotel’s dining and lobby areas. Chef Thomas Cullen says he intends to make it the top restaurant in Seattle by achieving unparalleled breadth and quality in his menu with pasta dishes, sashimi, huge seafood boils and towers, dry-aged steaks, and more. The restaurant’s design, with vaulted ceilings and zigzagging green, black, pink, and white marble tile floors, is stunning. You can find The George at the back of the lobby area of the hotel, which is located at 411 University Street.
CENTRAL DISTRICT — Cafe Avole, an Ethiopian coffee roaster and shop in the Brighton neighborhood, has moved to the Central District’s Liberty Bank Building, right next to chef Kristi Brown’s Communion restaurant. The owners served free food during the pandemic at their last location and regularly hosted popups. The Liberty Bank Building is located on the corner of 24th Avenue and East Union Street.
BELLEVUE — Xi’an Noodles, which serves chewy house-made biang biang noodles drenched in chili oil at a counter-service restaurant with a few tables in the University District, opened its largest restaurant yet at 1075 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue last month. The new restaurant has an expanded menu featuring grilled lamb, beef, and chicken skewers dusted with cumin and chili powder, along with noodles, mango sago, and sweet red bean soup.
KIRKLAND — Kati Vegan Thai, which has a popular South Lake Union restaurant serving all-vegan renditions of classic Thai curries and rice and noodle dishes, recently expanded to The Village at Totem Lake mall in Kirkland. It’s located at 12540 120th Avenue NE #110, Kirkland.
BALLARD — Wero, a new modern Korean restaurant in Ballard, used to be the American gastropub The Gerald, until owner Wes Yoo decided to serve his cultural cuisine instead as part of his journey to embrace his Asian identity. Now, diners can find dishes like wagyu zabuton steak ssam served with a variety of banchan, gochujang wings, and Korean-style steak tartare on the menu. It’s located at 5210 Ballard Avenue NW.
BALLARD — Renton-based brewery Bickersons Brewhouse recently took over the former Peddler Brewing space at 1514 Leary Way NW in Ballard. Like Peddler Brewing, it will continue to host food trucks and monthly events like pun slams and astronomy nights.
SKYWAY — Salima Specialties’ second iteration has quickly turned turned into an important gathering place for King County’s Cham population, a mostly Muslim Indigenous group from Southeast Asia. The halal menu includes dishes like “Cham bao,” made with fluffy dough wrapping around shrimp, jicama, wood ear mushrooms, carrots, and a quail egg all cooked in toasted coconut milk, and a satisfying oxtail soup. It's located at 11805 Renton Ave S.
PIKE PLACE MARKET — Shama is Pike Place Market’s new fine-dining Moroccan restaurant that serves m’rouzia, a meltingly tender lamb shank with Moroccan saffron and a chicken dish cooked with bitingly sour preserved lemons and briny green olives, both served with fluffy couscous. The restaurant overlooks Western Avenue and is located at 1501 Pike Place #200.
WEST SEATTLE — Lillian Anaya Quintanilla has been selling her golden-brown, crispy pupusas and banana-leaf-wrapped tamales at farmers markets around the Seattle area for more than 10 years. In March, she finally opened her first restaurant, Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant, in a spacious location at 2940 Southwest Avalon Way in West Seattle, which also has a full bar serving beer, wine, micheladas, palomas, and margaritas.