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A bar with hundreds of hockey pucks under glass on the bar top, TVs hang high on the wall above shelves of liquor.
The Seattle Kraken opened its very own 32 Bar & Grill at the Kraken Community Iceplex.
Seattle Kraken

The Hottest New Restaurants in the Seattle Area, September 2021

Including the Kraken’s new bar and grill, Cookie’s Country Chicken, and more

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The Seattle Kraken opened its very own 32 Bar & Grill at the Kraken Community Iceplex.
| Seattle Kraken

As the days get shorter, Seattle’s hottest new restaurants are all about comfort — and fried chicken. Korean chain Pelicana Chicken opened in Capitol Hill, and Seattle pop-up Cookie’s Country Chicken established a brick-and-mortar in Ballard. The Kraken’s 32 Bar & Grill opened at the team’s Northgate training facility and community hub. It’s the perfect destination for hockey fans, or commuters looking for a hearty serving of poutine, burgers, or fish and chips and a beer after work. The Pike Place Market also welcomed Maiz, a new tortilleria with tamales, tostadas, Mexican hot drinks, and more. If we have to do winter, we may as well do it with a bucket of spicy fried chicken wings or piping hot tamales.

Here are some of the most intriguing destinations in the Seattle dining scene to open over the past six months, listed from north to south.

Added this month: the Kraken’s 32 Bar & Grill, Cookie’s Country Kitchen, Maiz, and Pelicana Chicken.

All restaurants listed offer takeout and indoor dining. King County requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours for everyone ages 12+ at indoor establishments, restaurants, and bars. Studies indicate there is a lower exposure risk when eating outdoors, and the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. Please visit King County’s COVID website for resources and current information.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Cubano

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19920 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
(206) 629-4443
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A new Shoreline sandwich maker recently opened its doors for mainly takeout and delivery. As the name suggests, on the menu are a couple of different takes on the Cuban, including a “Tampa” version (with Genoa salami), plus some roasted pork platters, ropa vieja, and tamales. Seattle Times restaurant critic Tan Vinh recently raved about it, and the small counter service spot draws long lines on the weekends.

A closeup of a Cuban sandwich, with ham, roast pork, pickles, and mustard.
El Cubano serves up sandwiches that has already drawn critical raves.
El Cubano

2. Niku Niku Japanese Barbecue

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13200 Aurora Ave N Suite G
Seattle, WA 98133
(206) 588-1027
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North Seattle’s Niku Niku Japanese Barbecue features Wagyu beef, Kurobuta pork, lamb, chicken, seafood, and other Japanese dishes. One of the few Japanese barbecue restaurants in Seattle, Niku Niku offers a relaxed dining experience with a grill-it-yourself option. It’s the perfect spot for a special occasion.

A tray of tender beef slices with a cut lime and sauce ramekin sit on top of an artful display against a black backdrop.
Niku Niku Japanese Barbecue prides itself on its Wagyu beef selections.
Annette Chu

3. 32 Bar & Grill

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10601 5th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125
(206) 279-7770
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The Kraken’s official bar and grill is here. Partly named in homage to the 32,000 hockey fans integral to establishing an NHL team in Seattle, the 32 Bar & Grill has everything a hockey-centered sports bar could hope for: views of two ice rinks, 17 TVs for watching Kraken games, and copious hockey memorabilia everywhere. The menu features dishes like baked pretzel knots, poutine, clam chowder, wings, burgers, pizza, and more. Part of the Kraken Community Iceplex, 32 Bar & Grill will be another destination for a growing Northgate neighborhood.

Wooden tables and plush blue chairs are arranged in front of a window overlooking an indoor ice rink.
32 Bar & Grill offers views of both ice rinks at the Kraken Community Iceplex.
Seattle Kraken

4. Autumn

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6726 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 789-8231
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Pasta pro Brian Clevenger — of restaurants Haymaker, Vendemmia, and Raccolto — has opened Autumn in Phinney Ridge. The new place has a similar vibe to Clevenger’s other locales, with an emphasis on well-crafted pasta dishes, as well as entrees that highlight three main seasonal ingredients, such as duck breast with potatoes, apples, and swiss chard, and black cod with charred allium, puffed grains, and spring greens.

Doppio ravioli with cultured butter and foraged purple herbs on a white plate, topdown view
Doppio ravioli with cultured butter and foraged purple herbs.
General Harvest Restaurant Group

5. Cookie’s Country Chicken

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1744 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107

It’s only fitting that Cookie’s Country Chicken has found a home in Ballard, a neighborhood with strong nautical ties. Owner Brian Chandler spent 10 years in the maritime industry, including a stint spent perfecting his fried chicken recipe while feeding oil industry crews in Louisiana. Chandler started Cookie’s as a pop-up almost a year ago, having a consistent spot in Pioneer Square. The new Ballard location is opening in the very near future, and will include even more menu offerings including beer, wine, and expanded biscuit selections.

6. Volunteer Park Cafe & Pantry

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1501 17th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 822-6566
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This Capitol Hill mainstay recently reopened under new ownership as an all-day hybrid coffee shop, bottleshop, and corner market. The popular pastry case is still in place with a variety of intriguing treats from head baker Crystal Chiu (formerly of Canlis), and there are seasonal toasts galore, plus a hearty breakfast sandwich influenced by East Coast delis, a concoction from manager and fellow Canlis alum Melissa Johnson.

7. Ltd Edition Sushi

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1641 Nagle Pl Suite 006
Seattle, WA 98122

For those still not fully comfortable having a dine-in experience, Ltd Edition Sushi is here to meet omakase takeout needs. The wooden boxes are filled with 13 pieces of thoughtfully curated edomae-style sushi, with add-ons that include sake flights and bottles (there are kids’ meals, too, consisting of seafood rice bowls). Private dining and subscription services will arrive eventually, and preorders are available via Tock.

A top-down view of a wooden box filled with various nigiri and other sushi selections
Ltd Edition Sushi focuses on omakase boxes for takeout.
Ltd Edition Sushi/Tock

8. Pelicana Chicken

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725 E Pine St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 402-6510
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Korean fried chicken chain Pelicana just opened in Capitol Hill, serving up expertly-seasoned fried chicken, as well as fries, onion rings, and cheese sticks. Spicy fried chicken aficionados will love Pelicana’s sauce offerings: smoky hot, hot chili, and hot spicy (the hottest). The East Pine Street location, the former home of Bill’s Off Broadway, has beer, wine, and soju — and plenty of TVs to watch sports games. Pelicana is currently open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. everyday.

9. Taku

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706 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 829-9418
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Not long after star chef Shota Nakajima opened his Osaka-influenced street food spot Taku in March 2020, he had to close it again due to the pandemic. Now it’s back, with a menu that revolves around karaage, available as nuggets and wings, with other small sides on offer, such as watermelon salads. On the drinks side are Jell-O shots, kegged cocktails, boilermakers, and highballs carbonated with a special machine. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

10. maíz

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1914 Pike Pl
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 822-3698
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Maiz is Pike Place Market’s new tortilleria, featuring nixtamal tortillas made on site, drinks like the horchata latte and champurrado, and a selection of antojitos, smaller dishes like tamales and tacos. Maiz centers its heirloom corn varieties, soaked in mineral lime before turned into masa. Check out menu items like chilaquiles, pan dulce, tacos de carnitas, or tostadas — perfect for a downtown lunch break.

11. Bourbon Steak Seattle

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1433 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 741-1044
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Chef Michael Mina opened Bourbon Steak on October 1, in the former location of his French steakhouse RN74, which closed during the pandemic. Bourbon Steak is a modern American steakhouse, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from local farms like Redmond’s Sound Sustainable Farms, and hormone-free beef from Double R Ranch. Check out the happy hour, Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring the Bourbon Burger. 

12. TOMO

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9811 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

The much-anticipated White Center restaurant Tomo opened at the beginning of September with eclectic menu offerings reflecting Japanese and Venezuelan influences. Chef Brady Williams is big on creativity and improvisation with locally-sourced ingredients. The seasonal five-course dinner menu (lunch is served on the weekend) includes albacore tuna, pork collar, pluots, and summer squash, with a vegetarian option as well. The name Tomo means “friend” in Japanese, and is also an homage to Williams’ grandmother, Tomoko Ishiwata Bristol.

The bar at Tomo, lined with bottles and glasses, with orange accent lighting and dark paint on the walls.
Opening recently in White Center, Tomo is a restaurant big on creativity, with a distinctly Seattle flair.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

13. MyungIn Dumplings

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33310 Pacific Hwy S Suite 408
Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 838-1180
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Los Angeles’s Koreatown star Myung In Dumplings opened its first location outside of California, serving a variety of its popular handmade boiled, fried, and steamed offerings that were once featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown” (all the recipes are the same, says owner Yu Jin, who is personally overseeing the expansion). The king dumplings are appropriately enormous, and diners shouldn’t sleep on the fantastic fried chicken, either.

A collection of steamed dumplings on a slatted wooden tray, seen close up.
MyungIn Dumplings in Federal Way is an expansion of a popular LA restaurant.
MyungIn Dumplings

1. El Cubano

19920 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133
A closeup of a Cuban sandwich, with ham, roast pork, pickles, and mustard.
El Cubano serves up sandwiches that has already drawn critical raves.
El Cubano

A new Shoreline sandwich maker recently opened its doors for mainly takeout and delivery. As the name suggests, on the menu are a couple of different takes on the Cuban, including a “Tampa” version (with Genoa salami), plus some roasted pork platters, ropa vieja, and tamales. Seattle Times restaurant critic Tan Vinh recently raved about it, and the small counter service spot draws long lines on the weekends.

19920 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133

2. Niku Niku Japanese Barbecue

13200 Aurora Ave N Suite G, Seattle, WA 98133
A tray of tender beef slices with a cut lime and sauce ramekin sit on top of an artful display against a black backdrop.
Niku Niku Japanese Barbecue prides itself on its Wagyu beef selections.
Annette Chu

North Seattle’s Niku Niku Japanese Barbecue features Wagyu beef, Kurobuta pork, lamb, chicken, seafood, and other Japanese dishes. One of the few Japanese barbecue restaurants in Seattle, Niku Niku offers a relaxed dining experience with a grill-it-yourself option. It’s the perfect spot for a special occasion.

13200 Aurora Ave N Suite G
Seattle, WA 98133

3. 32 Bar & Grill

10601 5th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
Wooden tables and plush blue chairs are arranged in front of a window overlooking an indoor ice rink.
32 Bar & Grill offers views of both ice rinks at the Kraken Community Iceplex.
Seattle Kraken

The Kraken’s official bar and grill is here. Partly named in homage to the 32,000 hockey fans integral to establishing an NHL team in Seattle, the 32 Bar & Grill has everything a hockey-centered sports bar could hope for: views of two ice rinks, 17 TVs for watching Kraken games, and copious hockey memorabilia everywhere. The menu features dishes like baked pretzel knots, poutine, clam chowder, wings, burgers, pizza, and more. Part of the Kraken Community Iceplex, 32 Bar & Grill will be another destination for a growing Northgate neighborhood.

10601 5th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125

4. Autumn

6726 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Doppio ravioli with cultured butter and foraged purple herbs on a white plate, topdown view
Doppio ravioli with cultured butter and foraged purple herbs.
General Harvest Restaurant Group

Pasta pro Brian Clevenger — of restaurants Haymaker, Vendemmia, and Raccolto — has opened Autumn in Phinney Ridge. The new place has a similar vibe to Clevenger’s other locales, with an emphasis on well-crafted pasta dishes, as well as entrees that highlight three main seasonal ingredients, such as duck breast with potatoes, apples, and swiss chard, and black cod with charred allium, puffed grains, and spring greens.

6726 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

5. Cookie’s Country Chicken

1744 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

It’s only fitting that Cookie’s Country Chicken has found a home in Ballard, a neighborhood with strong nautical ties. Owner Brian Chandler spent 10 years in the maritime industry, including a stint spent perfecting his fried chicken recipe while feeding oil industry crews in Louisiana. Chandler started Cookie’s as a pop-up almost a year ago, having a consistent spot in Pioneer Square. The new Ballard location is opening in the very near future, and will include even more menu offerings including beer, wine, and expanded biscuit selections.

1744 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107

6. Volunteer Park Cafe & Pantry

1501 17th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

This Capitol Hill mainstay recently reopened under new ownership as an all-day hybrid coffee shop, bottleshop, and corner market. The popular pastry case is still in place with a variety of intriguing treats from head baker Crystal Chiu (formerly of Canlis), and there are seasonal toasts galore, plus a hearty breakfast sandwich influenced by East Coast delis, a concoction from manager and fellow Canlis alum Melissa Johnson.

1501 17th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

7. Ltd Edition Sushi

1641 Nagle Pl Suite 006, Seattle, WA 98122
A top-down view of a wooden box filled with various nigiri and other sushi selections
Ltd Edition Sushi focuses on omakase boxes for takeout.
Ltd Edition Sushi/Tock

For those still not fully comfortable having a dine-in experience, Ltd Edition Sushi is here to meet omakase takeout needs. The wooden boxes are filled with 13 pieces of thoughtfully curated edomae-style sushi, with add-ons that include sake flights and bottles (there are kids’ meals, too, consisting of seafood rice bowls). Private dining and subscription services will arrive eventually, and preorders are available via Tock.

1641 Nagle Pl Suite 006
Seattle, WA 98122

8. Pelicana Chicken

725 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122

Korean fried chicken chain Pelicana just opened in Capitol Hill, serving up expertly-seasoned fried chicken, as well as fries, onion rings, and cheese sticks. Spicy fried chicken aficionados will love Pelicana’s sauce offerings: smoky hot, hot chili, and hot spicy (the hottest). The East Pine Street location, the former home of Bill’s Off Broadway, has beer, wine, and soju — and plenty of TVs to watch sports games. Pelicana is currently open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. everyday.

725 E Pine St
Seattle, WA 98122

9. Taku

706 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

Not long after star chef Shota Nakajima opened his Osaka-influenced street food spot Taku in March 2020, he had to close it again due to the pandemic. Now it’s back, with a menu that revolves around karaage, available as nuggets and wings, with other small sides on offer, such as watermelon salads. On the drinks side are Jell-O shots, kegged cocktails, boilermakers, and highballs carbonated with a special machine. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

706 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122

10. maíz

1914 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

Maiz is Pike Place Market’s new tortilleria, featuring nixtamal tortillas made on site, drinks like the horchata latte and champurrado, and a selection of antojitos, smaller dishes like tamales and tacos. Maiz centers its heirloom corn varieties, soaked in mineral lime before turned into masa. Check out menu items like chilaquiles, pan dulce, tacos de carnitas, or tostadas — perfect for a downtown lunch break.

1914 Pike Pl
Seattle, WA 98101

11. Bourbon Steak Seattle

1433 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Chef Michael Mina opened Bourbon Steak on October 1, in the former location of his French steakhouse RN74, which closed during the pandemic. Bourbon Steak is a modern American steakhouse, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from local farms like Redmond’s Sound Sustainable Farms, and hormone-free beef from Double R Ranch. Check out the happy hour, Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring the Bourbon Burger. 

1433 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

12. TOMO

9811 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106
The bar at Tomo, lined with bottles and glasses, with orange accent lighting and dark paint on the walls.
Opening recently in White Center, Tomo is a restaurant big on creativity, with a distinctly Seattle flair.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

The much-anticipated White Center restaurant Tomo opened at the beginning of September with eclectic menu offerings reflecting Japanese and Venezuelan influences. Chef Brady Williams is big on creativity and improvisation with locally-sourced ingredients. The seasonal five-course dinner menu (lunch is served on the weekend) includes albacore tuna, pork collar, pluots, and summer squash, with a vegetarian option as well. The name Tomo means “friend” in Japanese, and is also an homage to Williams’ grandmother, Tomoko Ishiwata Bristol.

9811 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

13. MyungIn Dumplings

33310 Pacific Hwy S Suite 408, Federal Way, WA 98003
A collection of steamed dumplings on a slatted wooden tray, seen close up.
MyungIn Dumplings in Federal Way is an expansion of a popular LA restaurant.
MyungIn Dumplings

Los Angeles’s Koreatown star Myung In Dumplings opened its first location outside of California, serving a variety of its popular handmade boiled, fried, and steamed offerings that were once featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown” (all the recipes are the same, says owner Yu Jin, who is personally overseeing the expansion). The king dumplings are appropriately enormous, and diners shouldn’t sleep on the fantastic fried chicken, either.

33310 Pacific Hwy S Suite 408
Federal Way, WA 98003

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