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A ceramic plate with steak topped with micro greens, lettuce, a small bowl of red-brown sauce, and a few side dishes, including kimchi.
Wero’s steak ssam is made with kalbi-marinated American wagyu zabuton and served with a variety of banchan.
Wes Yoo

The Hottest New Restaurants in the Seattle Area, May 2022

A new restaurant from the owners of Taurus Ox and Hangry Panda, a modern Korean restaurant serving wagyu steak ssam, and other noteworthy new spots to try near Seattle

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Wero’s steak ssam is made with kalbi-marinated American wagyu zabuton and served with a variety of banchan.
| Wes Yoo

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 massive 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: Money Frog, Wero, and Salima Specialties.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bunsoy

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2221 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 829-8963
Visit Website

After almost 20 years of working in Seattle-area restaurants, Chef Rhabbie Coquia is finally cooking the dishes he grew up eating in Manila at his new Ballard restaurant. Inside Bunsoy, diners sip cocktails with Southeast Asian flavors like calamansi, pandan, ube, tamarind, and various tropical fruits at a long bar surrounded by palms in pots or snack on appetizers like pork lumpia, musubi made with house-made spam, and isaw (Filipino grilled meat on sticks). Entrees include brisket bulalo (stew), lechon porchetta with pork liver sauce, and a duck confit adobo, a dish which shows off Coquia’s French culinary training. Half or whole Dungeness crabs — sourced locally along with most of the other ingredients used in the restaurant — are served with a balaw sauce (fermented shrimp and coconut butter) and strewn with fresh herbs.

A spread of food from Bunsoy including pork sisig, roasted bone marrow, crispy pancit, Dungeness crab with balaw sauce, and two types of lumpia on white plates on a wood surface.
Some dishes from Bunsoy, Ballard’s new Filipino restaurant, including two types of lumpia, crispy pancit, pork sisig, roasted bone marrow, and Dungeness crab with balaw sauce.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

2. WeRo

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5210 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 432-9280
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Chef Wes Yoo officially turned The Gerald, an American gastropub on the main strip of Ballard Avenue, into a modern Korean restaurant in March after finding a newfound love for his Korean identity — and the food he grew up eating in Seoul — during the pandemic. Now, diners find dishes like steak ssam with kalbi-marinated wagyu zabuton steak, ssamjang (spicy-sweet fermented bean sauce), lettuce, and perilla leaves; saucy tenderloin tartare served with Asian pear; and crispy gochujang wings at the former bar. The cocktail menu features house-made shrubs and bitters and East Asian liquors like makgeolli (rice wine), soju, and Japanese whiskey, paired with creative ingredients like shiso, sesame oil, and pine nuts.

3. Lily's Salvadorean Restaurant

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2940 SW Avalon Way
Seattle, WA 98126
(206) 397-3429
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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, drawing customers willing to wait up to an hour for her food and Salvadoran-style horchata. On March 9, she finally opened her first restaurant, Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant, in a large space in West Seattle, which will have a full bar serving beer, wine, micheladas, palomas, and margaritas soon. The chile rellenos on the menu, unlike the Mexican version which are filled just with cheese, are stuffed with pork or chicken with green beans, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. The Salvadoran carne asada plate has thicker cuts than those at most Mexican restaurants and is served with chorizo sausage, fresh cheese, rice, beans, and avocado. But Quintanilla’s specialty is still her pupusas and the horchata de Morro, made with ground peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and rice.

A white plate with a griddle-marked sausage, a couple thin steaks, avocado, a pile of rice, and pico de gallo
The carne asada plate at Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant
Luis M. Flores

4. Shama

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1501 Pike Pl #200
Seattle, WA 98101
(000) 000-0000

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.

5. Señor Carbón Peruvian Cuisine

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625 1st Ave Ste 100
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 588-0046
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This Pioneer Square restaurant serves a mix of traditional Peruvian dishes and a cuisine forged by Nikkei, Japanese immigrants in Peru and their ancestors. The Peruvian menu offers a variety of ceviches and lomo saltado, while the Nikkei menu includes sushi rolls and nigiri with Peruvian garnishes and sauces like aji amarillo. On the menu too is chaufa, a fried rice dish from a cuisine called chifa created by the Chinese immigrants in Peru, topped with a shrimp omelette.

6. The George

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411 University St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 621-7889
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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.

7. Money Frog

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903 19th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 487-9886
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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. Co-owner Khampaeng Panyathong says that 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. 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.

8. Jackalope Tex Mex & Cantina

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4868 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 420-4796
Visit Website

Jackalope is the newest project of Jack’s BBQ owner Jack Timmons, an ode to the Tex-Mex food he ate while growing up in Dallas. The menu features tacos and enchiladas stuffed with Texas-style brisket and appetizers like grilled quail with a guajillo-tequila glaze as well as more Mexican-influenced dishes like enchiladas with mole and rockfish ceviche. The brick-walled dining room has long counter tables where diners can sip cocktails like ranch water with prickly pear.

9. Muriel's - A Kosher Jewish Restaurant

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5041 Wilson Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

This new kosher restaurant and pareve bakery from the owner of Zylberschtein’s opened in Seward Park in January in the same space as a new location of Chuck’s Hop Shop. The menu features owner Josh Grunig’s chewy bagels with a hint of tang from sourdough starter, challah, lox, and whitefish salad, as well as Middle Eastern-inspired dishes like a mezze plate with hummus and pita and chickpea-carrot fritters with yogurt dukkah sauce. The large building, with an arched wood-panelled ceiling, provides plenty of indoor dining space, and there’s more seating on a patio outside.

Two halves of lox bagel with onion, tomato, and cream cheese in
The lox bagel at Muriel’s is made with Cholov Yisroel certified kosher cream cheese.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

10. Salima Specialties

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11805 Renton Ave S
Seattle, WA 98178
(206) 906-9331
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Since opening in Skyway in March, the second iteration of this halal restaurant has quickly turned into an important gathering place for King County’s Cham population, a mostly Muslim Indigenous group from Southeast Asia. Cham cuisine crosses borders, taking influences from Vietnam, Malaysia, North Africa, and the Middle East, while maintaining a unique cultural identity. Dishes include “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. For drinks, Salima Specialties serves traditional Malaysian teh tarik (pulled tea) and bandung (a rose syrup drink) as well as fun, sugary inventions like a matcha cookie blended ice drink.

A spread of food from Salima Specialites, with chicken skewers on a banana leaf, thin-cut fried potato on a banana leaf, a bowl of dark red stew, a Vietnamese baguette on a white plate, and blue and mango-colored drinks in plastic cups on a wood surface.
Some of the dishes and drinks at Salima Specialites in Skyway, including the rotato (spiral-cut fried potato), the chicken satay, and the oxtail soup
Chona Kasinger/Eater Seattle

11. Fang's Noodle House 芳饺子馆

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12085 124th Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98034
(425) 608-1258
Visit Website

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.

1. Bunsoy

2221 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
A spread of food from Bunsoy including pork sisig, roasted bone marrow, crispy pancit, Dungeness crab with balaw sauce, and two types of lumpia on white plates on a wood surface.
Some dishes from Bunsoy, Ballard’s new Filipino restaurant, including two types of lumpia, crispy pancit, pork sisig, roasted bone marrow, and Dungeness crab with balaw sauce.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

After almost 20 years of working in Seattle-area restaurants, Chef Rhabbie Coquia is finally cooking the dishes he grew up eating in Manila at his new Ballard restaurant. Inside Bunsoy, diners sip cocktails with Southeast Asian flavors like calamansi, pandan, ube, tamarind, and various tropical fruits at a long bar surrounded by palms in pots or snack on appetizers like pork lumpia, musubi made with house-made spam, and isaw (Filipino grilled meat on sticks). Entrees include brisket bulalo (stew), lechon porchetta with pork liver sauce, and a duck confit adobo, a dish which shows off Coquia’s French culinary training. Half or whole Dungeness crabs — sourced locally along with most of the other ingredients used in the restaurant — are served with a balaw sauce (fermented shrimp and coconut butter) and strewn with fresh herbs.

2221 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107

2. WeRo

5210 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Chef Wes Yoo officially turned The Gerald, an American gastropub on the main strip of Ballard Avenue, into a modern Korean restaurant in March after finding a newfound love for his Korean identity — and the food he grew up eating in Seoul — during the pandemic. Now, diners find dishes like steak ssam with kalbi-marinated wagyu zabuton steak, ssamjang (spicy-sweet fermented bean sauce), lettuce, and perilla leaves; saucy tenderloin tartare served with Asian pear; and crispy gochujang wings at the former bar. The cocktail menu features house-made shrubs and bitters and East Asian liquors like makgeolli (rice wine), soju, and Japanese whiskey, paired with creative ingredients like shiso, sesame oil, and pine nuts.

5210 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

3. Lily's Salvadorean Restaurant

2940 SW Avalon Way, Seattle, WA 98126
A white plate with a griddle-marked sausage, a couple thin steaks, avocado, a pile of rice, and pico de gallo
The carne asada plate at Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant
Luis M. Flores

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, drawing customers willing to wait up to an hour for her food and Salvadoran-style horchata. On March 9, she finally opened her first restaurant, Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant, in a large space in West Seattle, which will have a full bar serving beer, wine, micheladas, palomas, and margaritas soon. The chile rellenos on the menu, unlike the Mexican version which are filled just with cheese, are stuffed with pork or chicken with green beans, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. The Salvadoran carne asada plate has thicker cuts than those at most Mexican restaurants and is served with chorizo sausage, fresh cheese, rice, beans, and avocado. But Quintanilla’s specialty is still her pupusas and the horchata de Morro, made with ground peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and rice.

2940 SW Avalon Way
Seattle, WA 98126

4. Shama

1501 Pike Pl #200, Seattle, WA 98101

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.

1501 Pike Pl #200
Seattle, WA 98101

5. Señor Carbón Peruvian Cuisine

625 1st Ave Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98104

This Pioneer Square restaurant serves a mix of traditional Peruvian dishes and a cuisine forged by Nikkei, Japanese immigrants in Peru and their ancestors. The Peruvian menu offers a variety of ceviches and lomo saltado, while the Nikkei menu includes sushi rolls and nigiri with Peruvian garnishes and sauces like aji amarillo. On the menu too is chaufa, a fried rice dish from a cuisine called chifa created by the Chinese immigrants in Peru, topped with a shrimp omelette.

625 1st Ave Ste 100
Seattle, WA 98104

6. The George

411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

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.

411 University St
Seattle, WA 98101

7. Money Frog

903 19th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

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. Co-owner Khampaeng Panyathong says that 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. 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.

903 19th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

8. Jackalope Tex Mex & Cantina

4868 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Jackalope is the newest project of Jack’s BBQ owner Jack Timmons, an ode to the Tex-Mex food he ate while growing up in Dallas. The menu features tacos and enchiladas stuffed with Texas-style brisket and appetizers like grilled quail with a guajillo-tequila glaze as well as more Mexican-influenced dishes like enchiladas with mole and rockfish ceviche. The brick-walled dining room has long counter tables where diners can sip cocktails like ranch water with prickly pear.

4868 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

9. Muriel's - A Kosher Jewish Restaurant

5041 Wilson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Two halves of lox bagel with onion, tomato, and cream cheese in
The lox bagel at Muriel’s is made with Cholov Yisroel certified kosher cream cheese.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

This new kosher restaurant and pareve bakery from the owner of Zylberschtein’s opened in Seward Park in January in the same space as a new location of Chuck’s Hop Shop. The menu features owner Josh Grunig’s chewy bagels with a hint of tang from sourdough starter, challah, lox, and whitefish salad, as well as Middle Eastern-inspired dishes like a mezze plate with hummus and pita and chickpea-carrot fritters with yogurt dukkah sauce. The large building, with an arched wood-panelled ceiling, provides plenty of indoor dining space, and there’s more seating on a patio outside.

5041 Wilson Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

10. Salima Specialties

11805 Renton Ave S, Seattle, WA 98178
A spread of food from Salima Specialites, with chicken skewers on a banana leaf, thin-cut fried potato on a banana leaf, a bowl of dark red stew, a Vietnamese baguette on a white plate, and blue and mango-colored drinks in plastic cups on a wood surface.
Some of the dishes and drinks at Salima Specialites in Skyway, including the rotato (spiral-cut fried potato), the chicken satay, and the oxtail soup
Chona Kasinger/Eater Seattle

Since opening in Skyway in March, the second iteration of this halal restaurant has quickly turned into an important gathering place for King County’s Cham population, a mostly Muslim Indigenous group from Southeast Asia. Cham cuisine crosses borders, taking influences from Vietnam, Malaysia, North Africa, and the Middle East, while maintaining a unique cultural identity. Dishes include “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. For drinks, Salima Specialties serves traditional Malaysian teh tarik (pulled tea) and bandung (a rose syrup drink) as well as fun, sugary inventions like a matcha cookie blended ice drink.

11805 Renton Ave S
Seattle, WA 98178

11. Fang's Noodle House 芳饺子馆

12085 124th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034

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.

12085 124th Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98034

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