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Seattle Food Writers Pick Their Favorite Restaurants of 2023

Neighborhood bars with incredible wings, new outstanding pho joints, and more

A cookie dusted with green dust and flower petals artfully plated.
The rosette cookie at Atoma
Kyler A. Martin

As 2023 is flushed down the toilet of time and 2024 comes to take its place, Eater Seattle is once again surveying a panel of food writers and industry insiders about the year that was and the future of Seattle dining.

We’ve already delved into the trends that elicited exhaustion and exhilaration, so now let’s talk about the restaurants we loved to revisit in 2023 — either long-standing faves or newcomers that we quickly embraced:

Gabe Guarente. editor at SEAToday

I found myself continually drawn to the slices at Stevie’s Famous in Burien, particularly ones drizzled with hot honey. As for newcomers, I was excited to eat at Atoma in Wallingford, which revived Tilth’s old Craftsman space with a similar warmth.

Meg van Huygen, food writer at The Stranger, Eater Seattle, and elsewhere

Oliver’s Twist was my go-to laptoppin’ hangout all year long. They have a dark and stormy made with Black Strap Cruzan and freshly pressed ginger juice that I require in my bloodstream at least twice a week, and I crave the kroeung chicken bowl with jasmine rice and pickled carrots + daikon whenever I’m cold.

I also spent a lot of time at Hattie’s Hat and learned to quit sleepin’ on their fat, spicy pork ribs. Took me way too long to find this out. Hattie’s forever.

I was floored by the Ba + Mẹ popup, which has flitted between Rose Temple and Donna’s so far! Especially the ca kho to — caramelized trout on jasmine rice — and the banh ca ri ga, buttery little pot pies filled with Vietnamese chicken curry. Chef Lisa Bi is so much fun, too. She’s just getting started and I can’t wait to see what else she does.

Aimee Rizzo, senior editor at the Infatuation Seattle

We have to talk about Miss Pho. This little strip mall spot that opened in the spring (and happens to be one of 2023’s best new restaurants on our site) serves spectacular Vietnamese dishes, like silky pho jazzed up with peanuts and chili oil, crackly salt and pepper tofu, and grilled chicken I’d write haikus about. In fact, I did:

Lemongrass and love
Charred poultry that surpasses
“Meh” expectations

Syd Suntha, owner of Kottu and host of the Seattle Restaurant Podcast

Vindictive Wings. It makes no sense. They don’t have any culinary background. The sauce they use is super basic. They don’t serve ranch. However the Vindictive Wing boys have created something that a lot of chefs haven’t nailed yet, and that’s craveability. As someone that talks about new restaurants every week, it’s important for me to go to new places constantly — however, if I’m ever in Belltown, VW always pulls me in. The food is simple, but perfect. The atmosphere is not just friendly, but they make you feel like the bar wouldn’t be what it is without you and you belong there. Almost like if Paddy’s Pub was functional.