clock menu more-arrow no yes
Saffron cavatelli with octopus, pickled red peppers, and saffron butter on a white plate.
Saffron cavatelli with octopus, pickled red peppers, and saffron butter.
Il Nido/Instagram

15 Most Important Seattle Restaurant Openings of 2019

From a West Seattle homestead to a pizza pop-up success story to modern Korean in Queen Anne

View as Map
Saffron cavatelli with octopus, pickled red peppers, and saffron butter.
| Il Nido/Instagram

This year, Seattle’s dining scene seemed to be in a bit of transition. Major players closed down outposts, while the outlying neighborhoods continued to see more dynamic newcomers enter the fray. This list of the most significant restaurant openings reflects places that not only had a strong culinary point of view, but also show where the city’s tastes are now — and where they may be going. (Note that these restaurants are not ranked, but listed geographically, from north to south.)

For all the latest Seattle dining intel, subscribe to Eater Seattle’s newsletter.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Eight Row

Copy Link
7102 Woodlawn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 294-3178
Visit Website

Rising chef David Nichols’s new farm-to-table Green Lake restaurant showcases the ingredients, influences, and aesthetics from the Wenatchee, WA, orchards that his family owns and operates. A focus on seasonal, local produce isn’t new to the Seattle dining scene, but Nichols’s versatility and craft (honed at Rider before) shows that he’s one to watch.

A fried fish topped with radishes and other vegetables at Eight Row.
Fried fish with radishes.
Courtesy of Eight Row

2. Samara

Copy Link
6414 32nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 946-6997
Visit Website

Sunset Hill’s handsome, understated new bistro on the block is a warm, farm-to-table spot that has an appropriately Pacific Northwest feel, with dark wood decor and a wood fire stove — something that’s become more common around town. It’s one more piece of evidence that more and more northern neighborhoods are developing into food hubs.

3. Windy City Pie

Copy Link
5918 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 486-4743
Visit Website

Seattle’s best Chicago-style deep dish, once available only for delivery or pick-up in a variety of charming but limited arrangements, established its own permanent outpost in Phinney Ridge. The full menu includes a rotating selection of slices and a few new twists, including the Mamma Mia pie, which has roasted garlic, meatballs, and sport pepper, with Windy City’s signature caramelized crust. It’s a true pop-up success story.

A view of a meaty Chicago deep dish-style pizza, with a cocktail and salad in the background.
Windy City Pie’s deep dish.
Windy City Pie/Facebook

4. Schmaltzy's Delicatessen

Copy Link
928 NW Leary Way Suite #102
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 784-1413
Visit Website

After more than two years of preparation, this highly anticipated lunch restaurant opened in the area most refer to as Frelard. It’s an offshoot of the popular food truck Napkin Friends, serving from-scratch pastrami sandwiches, corned beef, lox, and matzoh ball soup. But Schmaltzy’s is also a welcome reminder that Seattle is stepping up its game when it comes to destination Jewish delis.

Two hands holding a slow-roasted tri-tip, spiced tomato jam, and chimichurri sandwich on a bun.
Slow-roasted tri-tip sandwich.
Courtesy of Schmaltzy’s

5. Bamboo Sushi

Copy Link
2675 NE University Village Lane
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 556-3449
Visit Website

While a Portland-based chain deciding to open a Seattle location wouldn’t normally turn many heads, the ethos behind this sustainable sushi restaurant — showcasing seafood sourced from eco-friendly fisheries — is a welcome trend. Together with West Seattle’s Mashiko, Bamboo Sushi helps continue to conversation about what it means to lower environmental impact in the restaurant industry, while maintaining a high level of quality.

Bamboo Sushi’s kitchen with a colorful mural in the back depicting surfers.
Bamboo Sushi emphasizes sustainability.
Suzi Pratt for Eater

6. Bistro Shirlee

Copy Link
3600 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 775-7050
Visit Website

Renee Erickson’s new restaurant opened this spring in the former home of Saint Helens Cafe. The star chef amended the menu slightly, adding more local and sustainable sourcing, along with new French dishes like steak au poivre and Parisian gnocchi. While fellow titans in the industry (Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell) contracted their Seattle portfolio, it’s worth noting that Erickson was still in expansion mode.

Lemon curd tarte with meringue pie at Bistro Shirlee.
Lemon curd tarte with meringue.
Courtesy of Bistro Shirlee

7. Off The Rez Cafe

Copy Link
4300 15th Avenue Northeast Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Seattle, WA 98105

Considered the first Native American food truck in Seattle, Off the Rez opened this permanent outpost inside the New Burke Museum on the University of Washington’s campus. Owners Mark McConnell and Cecilia Rikard make fry breads by hand, and have introduced pre-colonial dishes, such as wild rice bowls with braised bison. The intersection of food and history truly resonates in a location built around learning.

A closeup view of a pile of Off the Rez Cafe’s pulled pork fry bread taco inside a paper bowl, topped with coleslaw.
Pulled pork fry bread taco.
Off the Rez Cafe

8. Eden Hill Provisions

Copy Link
1935 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 946-6636
Visit Website

Upper Queen Anne is now home to this family-friendly restaurant from chef Maximillian Petty and wife Jennifer. Conceived as a casual counterpart to their nearby fine dining destination Eden Hill Restaurant, it features some kid-friendly options like mac and cheese with aged cheddar. But adult palates are well-served, too — and the dry-aged “Big Max” burger may just grow into a franchise on its own.

A closeup sideview of Eden Hill Provisions’s “Big Max” burger with a side of fries out of focus.
The “Big Max” burger.
Catherine Abegg

9. Carrello

Copy Link
622 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 257-5622
Visit Website

This Capitol Hill Italian restaurant on East Broadway is a more affordable offshoot of the upscale Altura across the street. It also replaced the much-loved Poppy, so there’s a lot to live up to. Luckily, the light, well-crafted pasta dishes and a roving cart of small plates have been winners so far, showing that this section of East Broadway still has some heat.

A pasta order at Carrello, with three dishes (a meat ragu topped with cheese is in the foreground).
Carrello specializes in pasta and small plates.
Jeremy Paige/Carrello

10. Ba Sa Restaurant

Copy Link
101 Winslow Way E
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 565-3287
Visit Website

Two young Vietnamese chef siblings — who were once refugees — look to the food of their childhood for inspiration at this Bainbridge Island newcomer. There are wings stuffed with ground pork and shiitake mushrooms, clay pot catfish, and sirloin wrapped in betel leaf, along with some fun brunch items, such as taro bubble waffles with fried chicken. It’s modern Vietnamese cuisine from a new generation, filled with passion and precision.

Pictured are siblings Thai and Trinh Nguyen, who will open Ba Sa on Bainbridge Island this summer.
Ba Sa’s chef siblings Thai and Trinh Nguyen.
Kayle John

11. Paju

Copy Link
11 Mercer St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 829-8215
Visit Website

Though it didn’t open to much fanfare, this excellent modern Korean restaurant in Queen Anne could soon develop into a major star. Most all of the dishes are on point, including the smoky fried rice with squid ink and quail egg, and a crispy pancake with some strong okonomiyaki flavors. It’s yet another part of a vibrant Seattle Korean dining scene.

12. Momosan Seattle

Copy Link
504 5th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 501-4499
Visit Website

 “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto opened his new ramen and izakaya restaurant Momosan Seattle in the Chinatown-International District’s historic Publix building this September, the third outpost of the franchise and the first on the West Coast. On the encyclopedic menu are Momosan’s signature broth and noodle dishes, along with an extensive selection of yakitori. There’s celebrity chef spectacle, to be sure, which can turn some off — but it no doubt raises the star power of a sometimes-overlooked dining neighborhood.

A bird’s eye view of three bowls of ramen soup, with chopsticks and a spoon laying on top. From left to right: Tokyo chicken soup, spicy tan-tan, and tonkatsu ramen.
Tokyo chicken soup, spicy tan-tan, and tonkatsu ramen.
Morgan Schuler for Eater

13. Il Nido

Copy Link
2717 61st Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 466-6265
Visit Website

James Beard Award-nominated chef Mike Easton renovated West Seattle’s century-old log house, the Alki Homestead, and turned it into a perfectly PNW dining experience. The Italian menu features plenty of handmade pastas, just like the star chef’s acclaimed lunch-only spot in Pioneer Square, Il Corvo, along with worthy meat dishes, such as the seared ribeye. It’s no wonder that reservations have been so hard to get.

14. Lady Jaye

Copy Link
4523 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 457-4029
Visit Website

This hot new West Seattle smokehouse — from veterans of the uber popular Pike Place Market bar, Radiator Whiskey, and White Swan Public House — is a welcome addition to an often-thin barbecue scene in the city. The pork belly “Porkstrami” sandwiches on rye, smoked bologna, turkey leg with dry rub, slow-roasted brisket, and other meat-heavy dishes served in the warm, countryfied dining room make it feel like a cookout all year long.

15. The Ruby Brink

Copy Link
17526 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070
(206) 408-7795
Visit Website

As butcher shop-kitchen-bar hybrids become more common in the region, this Vashon Island gem attempts to refine the form. Esteemed local butcher Lauren Garaventa and her partner Rustle Biehn (of the popular Meat and Noodle Soup pop-up) bring creativity to each seasonal menu, with sustainability as a key tenet. The signature meat and noodle soup dish was among the best this year.

1. Eight Row

7102 Woodlawn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
A fried fish topped with radishes and other vegetables at Eight Row.
Fried fish with radishes.
Courtesy of Eight Row

Rising chef David Nichols’s new farm-to-table Green Lake restaurant showcases the ingredients, influences, and aesthetics from the Wenatchee, WA, orchards that his family owns and operates. A focus on seasonal, local produce isn’t new to the Seattle dining scene, but Nichols’s versatility and craft (honed at Rider before) shows that he’s one to watch.

7102 Woodlawn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115

2. Samara

6414 32nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Sunset Hill’s handsome, understated new bistro on the block is a warm, farm-to-table spot that has an appropriately Pacific Northwest feel, with dark wood decor and a wood fire stove — something that’s become more common around town. It’s one more piece of evidence that more and more northern neighborhoods are developing into food hubs.

6414 32nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

3. Windy City Pie

5918 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
A view of a meaty Chicago deep dish-style pizza, with a cocktail and salad in the background.
Windy City Pie’s deep dish.
Windy City Pie/Facebook

Seattle’s best Chicago-style deep dish, once available only for delivery or pick-up in a variety of charming but limited arrangements, established its own permanent outpost in Phinney Ridge. The full menu includes a rotating selection of slices and a few new twists, including the Mamma Mia pie, which has roasted garlic, meatballs, and sport pepper, with Windy City’s signature caramelized crust. It’s a true pop-up success story.

5918 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

4. Schmaltzy's Delicatessen

928 NW Leary Way Suite #102, Seattle, WA 98107
Two hands holding a slow-roasted tri-tip, spiced tomato jam, and chimichurri sandwich on a bun.
Slow-roasted tri-tip sandwich.
Courtesy of Schmaltzy’s

After more than two years of preparation, this highly anticipated lunch restaurant opened in the area most refer to as Frelard. It’s an offshoot of the popular food truck Napkin Friends, serving from-scratch pastrami sandwiches, corned beef, lox, and matzoh ball soup. But Schmaltzy’s is also a welcome reminder that Seattle is stepping up its game when it comes to destination Jewish delis.

928 NW Leary Way Suite #102
Seattle, WA 98107

5. Bamboo Sushi

2675 NE University Village Lane, Seattle, WA 98105
Bamboo Sushi’s kitchen with a colorful mural in the back depicting surfers.
Bamboo Sushi emphasizes sustainability.
Suzi Pratt for Eater

While a Portland-based chain deciding to open a Seattle location wouldn’t normally turn many heads, the ethos behind this sustainable sushi restaurant — showcasing seafood sourced from eco-friendly fisheries — is a welcome trend. Together with West Seattle’s Mashiko, Bamboo Sushi helps continue to conversation about what it means to lower environmental impact in the restaurant industry, while maintaining a high level of quality.

2675 NE University Village Lane
Seattle, WA 98105

6. Bistro Shirlee

3600 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105
Lemon curd tarte with meringue pie at Bistro Shirlee.
Lemon curd tarte with meringue.
Courtesy of Bistro Shirlee

Renee Erickson’s new restaurant opened this spring in the former home of Saint Helens Cafe. The star chef amended the menu slightly, adding more local and sustainable sourcing, along with new French dishes like steak au poivre and Parisian gnocchi. While fellow titans in the industry (Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell) contracted their Seattle portfolio, it’s worth noting that Erickson was still in expansion mode.

3600 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105

7. Off The Rez Cafe

4300 15th Avenue Northeast Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, WA 98105
A closeup view of a pile of Off the Rez Cafe’s pulled pork fry bread taco inside a paper bowl, topped with coleslaw.
Pulled pork fry bread taco.
Off the Rez Cafe

Considered the first Native American food truck in Seattle, Off the Rez opened this permanent outpost inside the New Burke Museum on the University of Washington’s campus. Owners Mark McConnell and Cecilia Rikard make fry breads by hand, and have introduced pre-colonial dishes, such as wild rice bowls with braised bison. The intersection of food and history truly resonates in a location built around learning.

4300 15th Avenue Northeast Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Seattle, WA 98105

8. Eden Hill Provisions

1935 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
A closeup sideview of Eden Hill Provisions’s “Big Max” burger with a side of fries out of focus.
The “Big Max” burger.
Catherine Abegg

Upper Queen Anne is now home to this family-friendly restaurant from chef Maximillian Petty and wife Jennifer. Conceived as a casual counterpart to their nearby fine dining destination Eden Hill Restaurant, it features some kid-friendly options like mac and cheese with aged cheddar. But adult palates are well-served, too — and the dry-aged “Big Max” burger may just grow into a franchise on its own.

1935 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

9. Carrello

622 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102
A pasta order at Carrello, with three dishes (a meat ragu topped with cheese is in the foreground).
Carrello specializes in pasta and small plates.
Jeremy Paige/Carrello

This Capitol Hill Italian restaurant on East Broadway is a more affordable offshoot of the upscale Altura across the street. It also replaced the much-loved Poppy, so there’s a lot to live up to. Luckily, the light, well-crafted pasta dishes and a roving cart of small plates have been winners so far, showing that this section of East Broadway still has some heat.

622 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102

10. Ba Sa Restaurant

101 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Pictured are siblings Thai and Trinh Nguyen, who will open Ba Sa on Bainbridge Island this summer.
Ba Sa’s chef siblings Thai and Trinh Nguyen.
Kayle John

Two young Vietnamese chef siblings — who were once refugees — look to the food of their childhood for inspiration at this Bainbridge Island newcomer. There are wings stuffed with ground pork and shiitake mushrooms, clay pot catfish, and sirloin wrapped in betel leaf, along with some fun brunch items, such as taro bubble waffles with fried chicken. It’s modern Vietnamese cuisine from a new generation, filled with passion and precision.

101 Winslow Way E
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

11. Paju

11 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

Though it didn’t open to much fanfare, this excellent modern Korean restaurant in Queen Anne could soon develop into a major star. Most all of the dishes are on point, including the smoky fried rice with squid ink and quail egg, and a crispy pancake with some strong okonomiyaki flavors. It’s yet another part of a vibrant Seattle Korean dining scene.

11 Mercer St
Seattle, WA 98109

12. Momosan Seattle

504 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
A bird’s eye view of three bowls of ramen soup, with chopsticks and a spoon laying on top. From left to right: Tokyo chicken soup, spicy tan-tan, and tonkatsu ramen.
Tokyo chicken soup, spicy tan-tan, and tonkatsu ramen.
Morgan Schuler for Eater

 “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto opened his new ramen and izakaya restaurant Momosan Seattle in the Chinatown-International District’s historic Publix building this September, the third outpost of the franchise and the first on the West Coast. On the encyclopedic menu are Momosan’s signature broth and noodle dishes, along with an extensive selection of yakitori. There’s celebrity chef spectacle, to be sure, which can turn some off — but it no doubt raises the star power of a sometimes-overlooked dining neighborhood.

504 5th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

13. Il Nido

2717 61st Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

James Beard Award-nominated chef Mike Easton renovated West Seattle’s century-old log house, the Alki Homestead, and turned it into a perfectly PNW dining experience. The Italian menu features plenty of handmade pastas, just like the star chef’s acclaimed lunch-only spot in Pioneer Square, Il Corvo, along with worthy meat dishes, such as the seared ribeye. It’s no wonder that reservations have been so hard to get.

2717 61st Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

14. Lady Jaye

4523 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

This hot new West Seattle smokehouse — from veterans of the uber popular Pike Place Market bar, Radiator Whiskey, and White Swan Public House — is a welcome addition to an often-thin barbecue scene in the city. The pork belly “Porkstrami” sandwiches on rye, smoked bologna, turkey leg with dry rub, slow-roasted brisket, and other meat-heavy dishes served in the warm, countryfied dining room make it feel like a cookout all year long.

4523 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

15. The Ruby Brink

17526 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070

As butcher shop-kitchen-bar hybrids become more common in the region, this Vashon Island gem attempts to refine the form. Esteemed local butcher Lauren Garaventa and her partner Rustle Biehn (of the popular Meat and Noodle Soup pop-up) bring creativity to each seasonal menu, with sustainability as a key tenet. The signature meat and noodle soup dish was among the best this year.

17526 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070

Related Maps