Brand-New and Perpetually Popular Seattle Restaurants Creating Major Buzz

In recent decades, the Emerald City has become renowned for its consistently innovative and delicious food scene, delighting diners from near and far. With its location on the shores of Puget Sound and its access to Pacific Rim and Alaskan fisheries, Seattle has long been a seafood savvy city. The popular sustainable and farm-to-table food movements took root here long ago, too, and they continue to flourish, thanks to chefs who have their own produce farms or simply grow herbs in planters on restaurant patios. In the hearty Northwest, steak has a stake as well; ethnic restaurants also abound, with chefs often using Northwest ingredients to put creative local twists on other cultures' traditional fare. 

The food scene here is forever evolving, and recently it seems that new hot spots open every time we turn our head. Whether you're looking for a chic eatery with a "see and be seen" vibe or a low-key gem that blends a casual, under-the-radar feel with sneakily sumptuous dishes, we've gathered delicious–and fun–ideas on where to explore. Come see what's new on the Seattle culinary circuit; we promise you'll leave happily satiated.



Ciudad Grill
Photo courtesy of Ciudad Grill

This vibrant venue celebrates community in Seattle's thriving Georgetown neighborhood, south of downtown. You'll find two spaces inside the Oxbow Building�Ciudad Grill (a happening restaurant and bar with colorful murals and soaring skylights) and neighboring Bar Ciudad, a coveted cocktail bar and rotisserie. Ciudad Grill's menu focuses on tasty meats and vegetables cooked over a charcoal grill, with sharable plates offering good value and a fun, relaxed dining environment. Standout dishes range from flatbread sandwiches, pomegranate honey chicken wings and pork belly with grilled pineapple and cabbage to grilled delights like harissa-marinated chicken and beef and lamb kofta. At the bar, order a cocktail through the windows to enjoy outdoor seating as you watch planes landing at nearby Boeing Field.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Price/The Walrus and the Carpenter

Award-winning Chef Renee Erickson (The Whale Wins, Bateau, Barnacle, Bar Melusine) partnered with Business Manager Jeremy Price and Developer Chad Dale to realize her long-time vision for an oyster bar. It makes perfect sense then, that she would do it in her own neighborhood. The Walrus and the Carpenter blends the elegance of France with the casual comfort of a local fishing pub. "The idea is to serve the highest quality food and drink in a space that is stripped of pretense and feels like home." Opened in 2010, The Walrus and The Carpenter proves one of the city's most delicious and popular culinary scenes (and for good reason). Expect tallboys, Muscadet, piles of chubby oysters, a delightful array of local cheeses, meat delights like steak tartare and smart plates served in a lively, approachable space in Old Ballard.

Omega Ouzeri
Photo courtesy of Sarah Flotard

A newer addition to the ever-evolving Capitol Hill restaurant lineup, Omega Ouzeri whisks diners away to the rich flavors, welcoming vibes and cool hues of the Mediterranean, and it's an experience you won't want to miss. Executive Chef Zoi Antonitsas (Food & Wine's Best New Chef 2015) fills the menu with delectable Greek fare (authentic and contemporary), and the venue aims to "redefine traditional Greek recipes from earth and sea, around the long-standing tradition of mezedes � small portions, of exceptional food, to be shared by everyone around the table." Some of chef's favorite shareable dishes include Fava Santorini (fava: red onion, capers, evo, lemon), Kolokithokeftedes (zucchini fritters: graviera, mint, Aleppo aioli), Horiatiki (Greek salad: tomato, cucumber, pepper, feta, Kalamata olive, oregano), Keftedakia (grilled lamb meatballs: ouzo tomato jam, lemon yogurt, parsley, red onion, sumac) and Lavraki (whole, grilled Mediterranean sea bass: oregano-grilled lemon dressing). Diners will quickly fall for the welcoming venue's family-run feel and flavorful, inspiring dishes.

FlintCreek Cattle Co.
Photo courtesy of FlintCreek Cattle Co.

From the folks behind Fremont's popular RockCreek Seafood & Spirits, FlintCreek Cattle Co. now comes to the Greenwood neighborhood, much to the delight of local, meat-loving customers who have become fast fans. The open-air restaurant, inspired by the free-range cattle and cattlemen roaming the golden hills of Western Montana, aims to serve premium meats sourced from "well-managed, small-scale farms and ranches that produce responsibly raised, pastured, grass-fed animals without added hormones and antibiotics." The talented culinary team wants diners to enjoy lean meats with bold flavors in a fun, inviting atmosphere. But don't be fooled; fresh and flavorful veggies shine here, too. Try the grilled kuri squash with burrata and the grilled baby eggplant, as well as an array of innovative salads.

Ba Bar
Photo courtesy of Corinne Whiting

Although diners have been able to savor Ba Bar's delicious Vietnamese fare for years, now they can enjoy the flavors in South Lake Union, too. Sophie and Eric Banh grew up eating street food in Saigon, and thanks to these siblings' vision and talent, Seattle diners now get to experience their sophisticated, creative takes on authentic Vietnamese fare at Ba Bar. (The restaurant's named for their dad; "ba" means "father" in Vietnamese.) Located in a stylish, industrial setting, the vibe is warm in this welcoming space, located on the cusp between Capitol Hill and the Central District. Amongst Ba Bar's paper lanterns and vintage artwork, the breakfast menu can be enjoyed daily. Dishes take on a more traditional Vietnamese bent, rather than reflecting Western sensibilities. For example, diners dive into show-stopper items like Banh Xeo; a crispy crepe of shrimp and pork belly rolled up with bean sprouts, fresh herbs and nuoc cham; or Sai Gon Beef Stew, a mouthwatering combination of lemongrass, star anise and anato seed oil.

Photo courtesy of Mbar

Looking for a hot new venue from which to take in some of Seattle's most breathtaking views? mbar, a socially-driven bar and restaurant, wows guests with its dazzling location, providing an elevated oasis above all the South Lake Union action. Guests choose between Intimate indoor spaces and incredible rooftop dining options that provide sweeping views that simply can't be beat. Chef Jason Stratton and hist talented team send out dishes that range from skirt steak with capers and grilled ribeye to grilled trout with avocado, sumac, labneh and fenugreek. Fresh vegetables like roasted Whidbey Island broccoli and roasted young carrots with medjool dates accompany main dishes, while delightfully creative cocktails enhance every meal. Reservations are highly recommended.

Photo courtesy of Adana/Gruman Public Relations

Chef Shota Nakajima recently closed Capitol Hill's Naka Kaiseki in order to open in its stunning space Adana (meaning "nickname"), a brand-new concept highlighting Shota's beautiful Japanese fare. Diners can enjoy his simple, clean and flavorful dishes thanks to rotating three-course menus (with three selections per course for a set price of $37 per person, plus tax and gratuity). Shota says, "Adana's food will be more like what my family cooks at home, but still focused on highlighting seasonal ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. Guests will experience authentic Japanese cuisine but with multiple choices to curate their own tasting menu." Guests also enjoy à la carte-priced desserts as well as delicious bar food and beverages focused on Japanese whiskeys and spirits from barman extraordinaire Dustin Haarstad.

Photo courtesy of Thackeray

Recently refreshed Thackeray comes with a brand-new addition: Claret wine bar, located in the venue's back half. This popular neighborhood restaurant and bar, straddling the line between Fremont and Wallingford, draws enthusiastic support from loyal locals. The spacious, light-filled venue offers an inviting atmosphere that combines welcoming service with an eclectic interior. (Sit on at the whimsical "porch swing" up front, or cozy up next to a stocked bookshelf in the back.) The seasonally-inspired menu melds northwest ingredients and Mediterranean influences. Share tasty dishes like mezze spreads, braised meatball subs, hamachi crudo and lemon-anchovy charred broccoli, or dive into mains like seared black cod, Ethiopian spiced fried chicken, ancient grain risotto and the popular house burger. Drink offerings, developed by Heavy's Spirits Director Casey Robison and Wine Director Chris Horn, feature a wide assortment of spirits, cocktails, wine and beer; rotating taps feature local brews and, since we're in Seattle kombucha, too.

Seattle Biscuit Company
Photo courtesy of Seattle Biscuit Company

The owners of a popular local food truck have now opened a charming, brick-and-mortar spot in "Frelard," the zone between Fremont and Ballard. Even on a gray day, this bustling cafe offers warmth and comfort, thanks to its airy skylight, friendly staff and delicious, down-home fare. The team uses a combination of local ingredients and its Southern roots to bring diners "a truly unique biscuit experience." Enjoy savory (with touches of sweet!) biscuit sandwiches as well as cozy favorites like grits and collard greens.

Pablo y Pablo
Photo courtesy of Brooke Fitts

There's a new eatery on the cusp between Fremont and Wallingford that brings an industrial-chic vibe and delicious Mexican fare to the neighborhood. Pablo y Pablo is "a Mexican restaurant and bar that opens its pantry to ingredients and techniques from around the world." According to the restaurant team: "By bringing together combination of diverse tastes on our menu in a warm and inviting environment, we strive to evoke the same harmonious spirits of Pablo Picasso and Pablo Neruda; two artists who's friendship found a common cause in both art and peace from different corners of the world." Enjoy the venue's warm ambiance (and enjoyable patio); standout dishes range from the vegan nachos and chopped salad to chipotle-braised chicken enchiladas and tacos galore (think pork belly banh mi, grilled pineapple and bacon or a "farmers market" cornucopia of seasonal veggies).


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne