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A piece of nigiri made with seared white fish topped with salmon roe.
Sushi By Scratch offers a 17-course omakase experience in Seattle starting this September.
Sushi By Scratch

The Hottest New Restaurants in the Seattle Area

A Michelin-starred sushi bar, a Galician tapas bar in Capitol Hill, and other noteworthy new spots to try in the Seattle area

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Sushi By Scratch offers a 17-course omakase experience in Seattle starting this September.
| Sushi By Scratch

The Eater Seattle Heatmap aims to answer to question “Where should I eat right now?” for people trying to keep up with the city’s constantly changing dining landscape. It focuses on newer restaurants — most opened within the last six months or so — that are reshaping Seattle’s food scene for the better.

Restaurants have endured enormous challenges the last two years, forced to contend with a pandemic that’s made restaurant work more dangerous, caused supply chain disruptions, and contributed, in some part, to labor shortages. Still, each month chefs continue to navigate uncertainty and open restaurants that expand the possibilities for dining in the city. Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

Added this month: Sushi By Scratch Restaurants, Maripili Tapas Bar

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Seabird

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Brendan McGill’s newest restaurant converted the former Hitchcock restaurant space on Bainbridge Island into an inventive seafood and vegetable restaurant called Seabird. Grant Rico, the executive chef, is 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 are shucked and crab legs are displayed. Menu highlights include “seacuterie” boards loaded with cured local fish, like boquerones made with Columbia river smelt. In a bold and hopeful leap away from the pandemic restaurant reality, Seabird is dine-in only.

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine

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This new Vietnamese restaurant in Haller Lake has been impressing local restaurant owners and food writers with its northern Vietnamese dishes. The menu includes noodle soups, vermicelli noodle bowls topped with grilled meat, shrimp, and shrimp cakes, and grilled beef wrapped in betel leaves. It’s regularly packed with families speaking Vietnamese and is a favorite of Monsoon and Ba Bar co-owner Eric Banh. The business already seems to be a success for first-time restaurant owner Anh Le, who previously worked at Tamarind Tree restaurant in the Chinatown-International District.

Tio Baby's

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Former Westward executive chef Will Gordon’s pop-up Tio Baby’s garnered a loyal following during its longterm residency at Capitol Hill’s Rose Temple Bar last year for stoner-friendly snacks like nachos, perfectly-executed wings, and big, meaty, cheesy sandwiches. Now, Gordon has a permanent bar in Fremont, where he's keeping up the late-night drunk food menu and serving up summery cocktails like South of the Border, made with jalapeno-infused tequila, watermelon-jalapeno drinking vinegar, lime and soda. There’s a small fire pit area outside the bar, and slushy machines are coming soon.

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Seattle

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Sushi By Scratch Restaurants, whose California location received a Michelin star, now has a location in downtown Seattle. Reservations are currently all sold out, but more are released on the first of every month at 10 a.m. The restaurant serves a $165 17-course omakase experience, a price point that’s lower than some other omakase around town. Six of these courses are uniquely Californian takes on nigiri from owner Phillip Frankland Lee, a white chef from Los Angeles, including a hamachi nigiri brushed with sweet corn pudding and topped with sourdough bread crumbs. The other 10 courses are unique to the Seattle location and will incorporate local ingredients like geoduck, king salmon, and Dungeness crab.

This Moroccan fine dining restaurant opened in March in Pike Place Market in a space overlooking Western Avenue. Inside Shama, the dining room features indigo-blue walls, intricate tile mosaic on the sides of the bar, and gold-trimmed mirrors. Owner Hamid Majdi, a Seattle restaurant-industry veteran, wants to introduce the city to the flavors of his home country with his first restaurant through dishes like m’rouzia, a meltingly tender lamb shank with honey, almonds, prunes and saffron, and a chicken dish cooked with bitingly sour preserved lemons and briny green olives, both served with fluffy couscous.

The George

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The George is the new full-service restaurant at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, part of a $25 million renovation of the historic hotel’s bar and restaurant areas. The menu, by chef Thomas Cullen, formerly an executive chef for Ethan Stowell Restaurants, is ambitious (he says he wants it to be the “top restaurant” in Seattle). Cullen is serving huge seafood boils, dry-aged Carman Ranch steaks, sashimi, grilled octopus, among other dishes for dinner, using almost entirely ingredients from local farms, ranches, and fisheries. And the restaurant space, with its vaulted ceilings and granite tile floors, is stunning. Eventually, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Boca Argentine Bakery and Pizzeria

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This Argentine pastry shop by day (and pizzeria by night) is the newest project from Boca Restobar & Grill owner Marco Casas Beaux. It’s bringing Argentine pastries like media lunas (Argentine croissants) to the heart of Capitol Hill along with cheesy, thick-crusted Argentine pizza, also known as fugazetta. The business is also serving coffee drinks and some pantry items like wine and mate. The airy space has some indoor tables and a few outdoor seats on a parasol-covered patio.

A small puffy Margherita pizza on a wooden peel in front of a wood-fired oven.
The traditional mozzarella pizza at Boca Argentine Bakery and Pizzeria.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

MariPili Tapas Bar

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This new Galician tapas bar in Capitol Hill offers gorgeous, gussied-up takes on classic Spanish dishes. The owner, Grayson Corrales, was the pastry chef at JuneBaby before spending a couple of years training at a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain. The menu includes Spanish cured meats and cheeses, Spanish pork steak cooked with Galician cider sauce, braised oxtail with broken spaghetti, and of course, patatas bravas and croquettes. The wine comes from Spain and Washington, the cocktails are intricate, and Estrella Galicia beer flows from the tap.

Sodam Chicken

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Sodam chicken is a standout among the many Korean fried chicken spots that have recently opened in Seattle. The batter is crispy, the chicken is well-flavored, and the bright kimchi is the perfect side to cut the grease. If you’re looking for something besides fried chicken, the kalbi is also well-executed. You can get the chicken without sauce, with a soy-garlic sauce, with sweet sauce, and gochujang sauce (yangnyeom).

Money Frog

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This new Capitol Hill 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. Like at Taurus Ox, the flavors at Money Frog are bold, with salt, acid, sugar, and heat pushing against each other in a fine-tuned balance. Though it’s been open for only a couple of months, it relocated in July to the former Adana location in Capitol Hill, a space with more of a fine-dining vibe and closer to the center of the neighborhood compared to its original location on 19th Avenue.

Sea Wolf Bakers’ long-anticipated Montlake bagel shop is finally here, and though it’s only been open for two weeks, it’s already got a shout out from food writer and bagel expert J. Kenji López-Alt. The blistered, shimmering crusts on these bagels are sure to impress, and the shop is also serving a variety of spreads, quiches, pastries, and coffee to-go.

Fang's Noodle House 芳饺子馆

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This new Northern Chinese restaurant in Kirkland’s Totem Square mall serves a large array of boiled dumplings with filling options including pork and fennel and chive, egg and shrimp, as well as wonton’s swimming in hot oil. The flat wheat noodles here, which a chef hand-pulls in an open kitchen, are chewy and served glistening with chili oil with a choice of chicken, beef, or pork belly.

Seabird

Brendan McGill’s newest restaurant converted the former Hitchcock restaurant space on Bainbridge Island into an inventive seafood and vegetable restaurant called Seabird. Grant Rico, the executive chef, is 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 are shucked and crab legs are displayed. Menu highlights include “seacuterie” boards loaded with cured local fish, like boquerones made with Columbia river smelt. In a bold and hopeful leap away from the pandemic restaurant reality, Seabird is dine-in only.

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine

This new Vietnamese restaurant in Haller Lake has been impressing local restaurant owners and food writers with its northern Vietnamese dishes. The menu includes noodle soups, vermicelli noodle bowls topped with grilled meat, shrimp, and shrimp cakes, and grilled beef wrapped in betel leaves. It’s regularly packed with families speaking Vietnamese and is a favorite of Monsoon and Ba Bar co-owner Eric Banh. The business already seems to be a success for first-time restaurant owner Anh Le, who previously worked at Tamarind Tree restaurant in the Chinatown-International District.

Tio Baby's

Former Westward executive chef Will Gordon’s pop-up Tio Baby’s garnered a loyal following during its longterm residency at Capitol Hill’s Rose Temple Bar last year for stoner-friendly snacks like nachos, perfectly-executed wings, and big, meaty, cheesy sandwiches. Now, Gordon has a permanent bar in Fremont, where he's keeping up the late-night drunk food menu and serving up summery cocktails like South of the Border, made with jalapeno-infused tequila, watermelon-jalapeno drinking vinegar, lime and soda. There’s a small fire pit area outside the bar, and slushy machines are coming soon.

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Seattle

Sushi By Scratch Restaurants, whose California location received a Michelin star, now has a location in downtown Seattle. Reservations are currently all sold out, but more are released on the first of every month at 10 a.m. The restaurant serves a $165 17-course omakase experience, a price point that’s lower than some other omakase around town. Six of these courses are uniquely Californian takes on nigiri from owner Phillip Frankland Lee, a white chef from Los Angeles, including a hamachi nigiri brushed with sweet corn pudding and topped with sourdough bread crumbs. The other 10 courses are unique to the Seattle location and will incorporate local ingredients like geoduck, king salmon, and Dungeness crab.

Shama

This Moroccan fine dining restaurant opened in March in Pike Place Market in a space overlooking Western Avenue. Inside Shama, the dining room features indigo-blue walls, intricate tile mosaic on the sides of the bar, and gold-trimmed mirrors. Owner Hamid Majdi, a Seattle restaurant-industry veteran, wants to introduce the city to the flavors of his home country with his first restaurant through dishes like m’rouzia, a meltingly tender lamb shank with honey, almonds, prunes and saffron, and a chicken dish cooked with bitingly sour preserved lemons and briny green olives, both served with fluffy couscous.

The George

The George is the new full-service restaurant at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, part of a $25 million renovation of the historic hotel’s bar and restaurant areas. The menu, by chef Thomas Cullen, formerly an executive chef for Ethan Stowell Restaurants, is ambitious (he says he wants it to be the “top restaurant” in Seattle). Cullen is serving huge seafood boils, dry-aged Carman Ranch steaks, sashimi, grilled octopus, among other dishes for dinner, using almost entirely ingredients from local farms, ranches, and fisheries. And the restaurant space, with its vaulted ceilings and granite tile floors, is stunning. Eventually, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Boca Argentine Bakery and Pizzeria

A small puffy Margherita pizza on a wooden peel in front of a wood-fired oven.
The traditional mozzarella pizza at Boca Argentine Bakery and Pizzeria.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

This Argentine pastry shop by day (and pizzeria by night) is the newest project from Boca Restobar & Grill owner Marco Casas Beaux. It’s bringing Argentine pastries like media lunas (Argentine croissants) to the heart of Capitol Hill along with cheesy, thick-crusted Argentine pizza, also known as fugazetta. The business is also serving coffee drinks and some pantry items like wine and mate. The airy space has some indoor tables and a few outdoor seats on a parasol-covered patio.

A small puffy Margherita pizza on a wooden peel in front of a wood-fired oven.
The traditional mozzarella pizza at Boca Argentine Bakery and Pizzeria.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

MariPili Tapas Bar

This new Galician tapas bar in Capitol Hill offers gorgeous, gussied-up takes on classic Spanish dishes. The owner, Grayson Corrales, was the pastry chef at JuneBaby before spending a couple of years training at a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain. The menu includes Spanish cured meats and cheeses, Spanish pork steak cooked with Galician cider sauce, braised oxtail with broken spaghetti, and of course, patatas bravas and croquettes. The wine comes from Spain and Washington, the cocktails are intricate, and Estrella Galicia beer flows from the tap.

Sodam Chicken

Sodam chicken is a standout among the many Korean fried chicken spots that have recently opened in Seattle. The batter is crispy, the chicken is well-flavored, and the bright kimchi is the perfect side to cut the grease. If you’re looking for something besides fried chicken, the kalbi is also well-executed. You can get the chicken without sauce, with a soy-garlic sauce, with sweet sauce, and gochujang sauce (yangnyeom).

Money Frog

This new Capitol Hill 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. Like at Taurus Ox, the flavors at Money Frog are bold, with salt, acid, sugar, and heat pushing against each other in a fine-tuned balance. Though it’s been open for only a couple of months, it relocated in July to the former Adana location in Capitol Hill, a space with more of a fine-dining vibe and closer to the center of the neighborhood compared to its original location on 19th Avenue.

Oxbow

Sea Wolf Bakers’ long-anticipated Montlake bagel shop is finally here, and though it’s only been open for two weeks, it’s already got a shout out from food writer and bagel expert J. Kenji López-Alt. The blistered, shimmering crusts on these bagels are sure to impress, and the shop is also serving a variety of spreads, quiches, pastries, and coffee to-go.

Fang's Noodle House 芳饺子馆

This new Northern Chinese restaurant in Kirkland’s Totem Square mall serves a large array of boiled dumplings with filling options including pork and fennel and chive, egg and shrimp, as well as wonton’s swimming in hot oil. The flat wheat noodles here, which a chef hand-pulls in an open kitchen, are chewy and served glistening with chili oil with a choice of chicken, beef, or pork belly.

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