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Korean fried chicken and other goodies at Bok a Bok, which now has White Center and Capitol Hill locations.
Korean fried chicken and other goodies at Bok a Bok, which now has White Center and Capitol Hill locations.
Suzi Pratt for Eater

The Hottest Restaurants in Seattle, March 2018

Where to eat right now

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Korean fried chicken and other goodies at Bok a Bok, which now has White Center and Capitol Hill locations.
| Suzi Pratt for Eater

While the Eater 38 is a resource that covers old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not necessarily a chronicle of the "it" places of the moment. Thus, the Eater Heatmap, which changes every month to highlight where the food nerds are flocking.

The Heatmap is a reflection of the buzziest restaurants and places so new, they might not be on the collective radar yet. It's the answer to the eternal question, "Where should I eat right now?" This month, the answer includes new International District dumpling restaurant Jaozi and Nine Hats Wines' Sodo restaurant partner Nine Pies Pizzeria. Departing the list are Betsutenjin and Poke Wai.

Note: Map points are listed geographically, not ranked by preference. Did we miss a spot you think is blazing hot? Show it some love in the comments or send us an email.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dough Zone Dumpling House

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504 5th Ave S Ste 109
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 285-9999
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The Eastside’s dreamiest dumpling chain, delicious and wallet-friendly Dough Zone Dumpling House, finally made the leap across Lake Washington, opening its first and most modern-looking restaurant in Seattle's International District to great anticipation. Menu highlights include the xiao long bao, or soup dumplings — just as good as the famous ones at Din Tai Fung, but typically without the two-hour wait — as well as their cousins, crispy-yet-juicy pan-fried pork buns, listed on the menu as “Q-Bao.”

2. Kamonegi

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1054 N 39th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-0185
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Chef-owner Mutsuko Soma's Wallingford restaurant is a looker with white walls, light wood, and Japanese flourishes like a sake barrel. But Soma's handmade buckwheat soba noodles are the real draw, magnificent cold or hot in combinations like the signature kamonegi, with duck tsukune, leek, and mitsuba. Delicate seasonal tempura preparations, like beef tongue oden, eggplant natto, and parsley root, and snacks like tsukemono and chawanmushi round out the concise menu.

3. Fremont Bowl

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4258 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 504-3095
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The newest restaurant from the owners of I Love Sushi is a relatively stripped-down affair with light wood tables and a casual atmosphere. The focus is squarely on Japanese-style donburi rice bowls piled high with seafood like tuna, yellowtail, albacore, salmon, eel, shrimp, and roe, complemented by toppings like fresh wasabi, yuzu, homemade soy sauce, and seaweed salad. There are a few poke bowls for good measure, and it’s all priced under $15, which has the food world buzzing appreciatively.

4. Bok a Bok

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925 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 708-6532
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Like the popular White Center original, Brian O'Connor's bright Capitol Hill restaurant is small and bare-bones, with minimal seating at a counter and a few tables. There's not even booze at this location, limited to alcohol-free options like Korea’s popular toasted-barley sweet tea. But the menu of Korean fried chicken breast, drumsticks, thighs, and wings dipped in sesame soy garlic or Korean barbecue sauce is also served at The Runaway, Barboza, and adjacent Neumos, all of whom pour drinks to wash down the spice of kimchi mac and cheese.

5. Supreme

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4521 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
The latest West Seattle hit from chef-owner Mark Fuller features New York-style pizza heaped with toppings like pepperoni and Carolina reaper chiles, as well as a fried chicken and kimchi option that nods to sibling restaurant Ma'Ono. But despite the serious food program, Supreme, like Chinese-American sibling New Luck Toy, is decidedly a bar, restricted to customers 21 and over and featuring a game room with pinball machines and Big Buck Hunter. Four machines churn out boozy concoctions like a tequila, passion fruit, and habanero slushy, alongside original cocktails, negronis on tap, and an assortment of beer, cider, and wine.

6. Pho Bac Sup Shop and Vita Uva

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1240 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 568-0882
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At Little Saigon's upbeat, neon-tinged update to the venerable Pho Bac family of restaurants, Seattle's original pho is served alongside Vietnamese bar snacks like pho rolls (with pho noodles fried in a brown-rice wrapper), prawn ceviche, and pork sausage sliders. A full bar serves cheap beer and off-the-wall spirituous concoctions, like a shot that combines whiskey with pho aromatics chased by broth, but also features natural wines by the glass and bottle from Vita Uva, whose owner, Eater Young Gun Suzi An, has a retail counter in the restaurant.

7. Tacos Chukis

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1608 S Roberto Maestas Festival St
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 971-1250
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Beacon Hill is the lucky recipient of this Capitol Hill-born taco shop's third location, which sticks to the tried-and-true menu of tacos and mini-burritos like pork adobada with grilled pineapple. The spot is conveniently located near the Beacon Hill light rail station, and it's pretty bare bones, so the emphasis is more quick service than leisurely experience. The company has also partnered with Mollusk Brewing to offer two house beers for now, Cerveza Chukis (a Mexican-style light lager) and Cerveza Obscura (a Mexican-style dark lager).

8. The Shambles

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7777 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
This moody Maple Leaf beer bar, butcher shop, and restaurant is a 21-plus establishment inspired by the timeless, wood-lined pubs of England. Lovely cocktails and 32 taps of carefully curated beers complement a selection of sandwiches, small plates, charcuterie (like country ham, bacon, and coppa), and steaks from the in-house butcher shop, all overseen by chef Seamus Platt. Some highlights include a can’t-believe-it’s-vegan chickpea stew with romesco, a black lime-rubbed tri-tip sandwich with pickled peppers, and crispy candied almonds with tandoori spices.

9. Westman’s Bagel and Coffee

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1509 E Madidon St
Seattle, WA 98122
Given Seattle's dismal Jewish food scene, the arrival of a bagel shop from dynamic chef Monica Dimas (Neon Tacos, Tortas Condesa) and baker Molly Westman has caused a mighty stir. For now this cute, teeny-tiny Capitol Hill cafe is facing steady lines for bagel varieties including Maldon salt and cinnamon and currant, schmears like dill and black pepper or lox, sandwiches toppings like whitefish salad, and traditional sweets like rugelach and babka. The downside? It's only open weekdays for now.

10. Jiaozi

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414 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 602-6253
At this casual, unprepossessing International District newcomer, chef/owner Elaine Song specializes in the restaurant’s eponymous potsticker-style Chinese dumplings, which she learned how to make (obviously very well) from her grandparents. The menu is made up mostly of said jiaozi, with 11 different filling options from pork and shrimp to lamb and carrot, but there are also spicy seared noodles, salt and pepper squid, popcorn chicken, and more.

11. Nine Pies Pizzeria

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3861 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 582-0777
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Wine and pizza play nicely together, and Nine Hats Wines has a tasty addition to its Sodo tasting room thanks to Cary Kemp, who's traded the wood-fired Neapolitan pizza of his West Seattle fan-favorite Pizzeria 22 for calzones and New York-style pies here. In a light, bright, open space with white-tiled walls and plenty of mirrors, award-winning wines go down easy alongside meatball sandwiches, spaghetti bolognese, Nutella stromboli, and foldable pizzas like the Bacchetta, topped with pepperoni, pineapple, roasted jalapeno, chili oil, mozzarella, parmesan, and tomato sauce.

1. Dough Zone Dumpling House

504 5th Ave S Ste 109, Seattle, WA 98104
The Eastside’s dreamiest dumpling chain, delicious and wallet-friendly Dough Zone Dumpling House, finally made the leap across Lake Washington, opening its first and most modern-looking restaurant in Seattle's International District to great anticipation. Menu highlights include the xiao long bao, or soup dumplings — just as good as the famous ones at Din Tai Fung, but typically without the two-hour wait — as well as their cousins, crispy-yet-juicy pan-fried pork buns, listed on the menu as “Q-Bao.”
504 5th Ave S Ste 109
Seattle, WA 98104

2. Kamonegi

1054 N 39th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Chef-owner Mutsuko Soma's Wallingford restaurant is a looker with white walls, light wood, and Japanese flourishes like a sake barrel. But Soma's handmade buckwheat soba noodles are the real draw, magnificent cold or hot in combinations like the signature kamonegi, with duck tsukune, leek, and mitsuba. Delicate seasonal tempura preparations, like beef tongue oden, eggplant natto, and parsley root, and snacks like tsukemono and chawanmushi round out the concise menu.
1054 N 39th St
Seattle, WA 98103

3. Fremont Bowl

4258 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
The newest restaurant from the owners of I Love Sushi is a relatively stripped-down affair with light wood tables and a casual atmosphere. The focus is squarely on Japanese-style donburi rice bowls piled high with seafood like tuna, yellowtail, albacore, salmon, eel, shrimp, and roe, complemented by toppings like fresh wasabi, yuzu, homemade soy sauce, and seaweed salad. There are a few poke bowls for good measure, and it’s all priced under $15, which has the food world buzzing appreciatively.
4258 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

4. Bok a Bok

925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
Like the popular White Center original, Brian O'Connor's bright Capitol Hill restaurant is small and bare-bones, with minimal seating at a counter and a few tables. There's not even booze at this location, limited to alcohol-free options like Korea’s popular toasted-barley sweet tea. But the menu of Korean fried chicken breast, drumsticks, thighs, and wings dipped in sesame soy garlic or Korean barbecue sauce is also served at The Runaway, Barboza, and adjacent Neumos, all of whom pour drinks to wash down the spice of kimchi mac and cheese.
925 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122

5. Supreme

4521 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
The latest West Seattle hit from chef-owner Mark Fuller features New York-style pizza heaped with toppings like pepperoni and Carolina reaper chiles, as well as a fried chicken and kimchi option that nods to sibling restaurant Ma'Ono. But despite the serious food program, Supreme, like Chinese-American sibling New Luck Toy, is decidedly a bar, restricted to customers 21 and over and featuring a game room with pinball machines and Big Buck Hunter. Four machines churn out boozy concoctions like a tequila, passion fruit, and habanero slushy, alongside original cocktails, negronis on tap, and an assortment of beer, cider, and wine.
4521 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

6. Pho Bac Sup Shop and Vita Uva

1240 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144
At Little Saigon's upbeat, neon-tinged update to the venerable Pho Bac family of restaurants, Seattle's original pho is served alongside Vietnamese bar snacks like pho rolls (with pho noodles fried in a brown-rice wrapper), prawn ceviche, and pork sausage sliders. A full bar serves cheap beer and off-the-wall spirituous concoctions, like a shot that combines whiskey with pho aromatics chased by broth, but also features natural wines by the glass and bottle from Vita Uva, whose owner, Eater Young Gun Suzi An, has a retail counter in the restaurant.
1240 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98144

7. Tacos Chukis

1608 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, WA 98144
Beacon Hill is the lucky recipient of this Capitol Hill-born taco shop's third location, which sticks to the tried-and-true menu of tacos and mini-burritos like pork adobada with grilled pineapple. The spot is conveniently located near the Beacon Hill light rail station, and it's pretty bare bones, so the emphasis is more quick service than leisurely experience. The company has also partnered with Mollusk Brewing to offer two house beers for now, Cerveza Chukis (a Mexican-style light lager) and Cerveza Obscura (a Mexican-style dark lager).
1608 S Roberto Maestas Festival St
Seattle, WA 98144

8. The Shambles

7777 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
This moody Maple Leaf beer bar, butcher shop, and restaurant is a 21-plus establishment inspired by the timeless, wood-lined pubs of England. Lovely cocktails and 32 taps of carefully curated beers complement a selection of sandwiches, small plates, charcuterie (like country ham, bacon, and coppa), and steaks from the in-house butcher shop, all overseen by chef Seamus Platt. Some highlights include a can’t-believe-it’s-vegan chickpea stew with romesco, a black lime-rubbed tri-tip sandwich with pickled peppers, and crispy candied almonds with tandoori spices.
7777 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115

9. Westman’s Bagel and Coffee

1509 E Madidon St, Seattle, WA 98122
Given Seattle's dismal Jewish food scene, the arrival of a bagel shop from dynamic chef Monica Dimas (Neon Tacos, Tortas Condesa) and baker Molly Westman has caused a mighty stir. For now this cute, teeny-tiny Capitol Hill cafe is facing steady lines for bagel varieties including Maldon salt and cinnamon and currant, schmears like dill and black pepper or lox, sandwiches toppings like whitefish salad, and traditional sweets like rugelach and babka. The downside? It's only open weekdays for now.
1509 E Madidon St
Seattle, WA 98122

10. Jiaozi

414 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
At this casual, unprepossessing International District newcomer, chef/owner Elaine Song specializes in the restaurant’s eponymous potsticker-style Chinese dumplings, which she learned how to make (obviously very well) from her grandparents. The menu is made up mostly of said jiaozi, with 11 different filling options from pork and shrimp to lamb and carrot, but there are also spicy seared noodles, salt and pepper squid, popcorn chicken, and more.
414 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

11. Nine Pies Pizzeria

3861 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
Wine and pizza play nicely together, and Nine Hats Wines has a tasty addition to its Sodo tasting room thanks to Cary Kemp, who's traded the wood-fired Neapolitan pizza of his West Seattle fan-favorite Pizzeria 22 for calzones and New York-style pies here. In a light, bright, open space with white-tiled walls and plenty of mirrors, award-winning wines go down easy alongside meatball sandwiches, spaghetti bolognese, Nutella stromboli, and foldable pizzas like the Bacchetta, topped with pepperoni, pineapple, roasted jalapeno, chili oil, mozzarella, parmesan, and tomato sauce.
3861 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

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