The Seattle Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Seattle guide image


The Seattle Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Seattle

We checked out these new restaurants and loved them.

The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in Seattle. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out.

Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself—inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at


Vindicktive Wings


2322 1st Ave, Seattle
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This Belltown sports bar is a party full of happy people gnawing on chicken bones. Vindicktive's wings are truly exceptional, and you should pop in with a friend for a dozen with fries or plan an entire group outing around their Wednesday 99-cent special. Flavor options aren't as extensive as what you might find at (insert horrible wing chain here), but the lemon pepper has citrusy specks that cling to skin, the mango habanero doesn’t skimp on spice, and the buttery hot buffalo is exceptional.

photo credit: Nate Watters

Carnitas Mr. Porky imageoverride image

Carnitas Mr. Porky

Carnitas Mr. Porky is a place of pork worship—life-size pig statues in chef hats stand guard in the dining room, there's a decorative turf pasture with garden gnome piglets, and just in case it's not totally clear yet, they specialize in pork. This Burien Mexican counter spot serves the best carnitas in the Seattle metro area, where crackly edges and melty fat join forces like crime fighters in an NCIS and Hawaii Five-0 crossover episode. And while ordering the carnitas plate may be an obvious choice, the verde chilaquiles and salsa-drenched torta ahogada are just as great ways to up your daily pork intake.

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Years from now when AI has produced Now That’s What I Call Music! Volume 200, we will still be coming back to this Thai spot in the International District. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner, an alternative to sad stadium tenders after a game, or just anytime you want restorative khao mun gai. Start any meal with an order of the namesake pak mor, which could feasibly be called “how to have a great day.” The steamed rice flour wrap is so thin that when swaddled around ground chicken, it looks like these dumplings are having a wet t-shirt contest. And E-Jae Pak Mor wasn't just throwing adjectives around when they named the Super Tender Beef Stew—it is in fact super tender, with beef in a sweet soy sauce braised like pot roast and served with sticky rice to soak up the drippings.

This Georgetown smokehouse closed during the pandemic, and has now returned with a focus on pork burgers for lunch. These patties are juicy, with a caramelized crust from the flat top and a lightness that beef just doesn’t have. And while you could stack on toppings like house-cured kurobota ham, swiss cheese, and maple bourbon glaze, if you're here for one thing, it's the Plain And Simple, layered with yellow american and sweet special sauce that becomes one with the drippy pork juices. This is a lunch worth canceling midday meetings for—or better yet, hosting here.

The pizza masters behind Lupo opened this New York-style pizzeria. We love Lupo. And in this case, the transitive property doesn’t lie—Stevie’s Famous is excellent, too. This Burien slice shop is an instant classic, with a gooey cheese pie that could steal the thunder from a five-year-old’s birthday party. The crust here is crunchy sourdough, with topping combinations that are fun but take themselves seriously, like coppa with burrata and hot honey or crumbled fennel sausage and caramelized onion. Round out a super takeout meal with some arancini balls and blood orange creamsicle ice cream cups. The fun sticker-covered space is a bit tight for a group, but is ideal for a quick slice.

We try to avoid too many superlatives here, but this vegan Mexican counter in Pioneer Square would be voted “most likely to succeed” in a yearbook. Rojo's works perfectly for a leisurely sit-down lunch (or a quick one), and here you’ll find plant-based alternatives like al pastor, asada, chick’n, and carnitas packed inside hefty burritos, tortas, and tacos. The faux carne asada’s meaty texture holds up well when stuffed into a bolillo loaf with refried beans, vegetables, and dairy-free sour cream, but the al pastor is by far the best protein on the menu. Marinated in adobo, it has hints of sweet pineapple combined with pork-like salty charred bits from the grill. Meat or no meat, these are tacos that deserve more than just “HAGS” on their yearbook’s autograph page.

If you’re following along, you may be wondering what a Best New Restaurant Of 2022 is doing at the tippity-top of the Hit List. Good question—it’s because this outstanding Spanish restaurant just launched brunch, and it’s a brunch to seek out. The mellow vibes of the space translate well during daylight over sticky orange cinnamon rolls with a glob of fino cream cheese frosting, or huevos benedicto, a fun take on eggs benedict. This majesty is complete with toasted pan de millo, chorizo, an onsen egg slow-cooked so perfectly it takes on the consistency of hot fudge, and a jamon bechamel that we’d like to drink from a pitcher. And if you’ve been a fan of the patatas bravas or the tortilla de patata from dinnertime, you can get that here, too. Best to save this one for a special occasion brunch—not a hungover one.

Ramen-Ya Teinei serves the city's best ramen, let alone South Lake Union's. After cutting sushi from the ramen-and-sushi menu in early 2023, the cozy restaurant's new focus is Japanese soup, and it clearly shows—from spicy tonkotsu broth that lights up with fiery chili oil to an exemplary duck-based version with perfect richness and salt content that shines when slurped by itself but also doesn't get in the way of chewy noodles and melty chasu. We love a glow-up, and Teinei nails it. On the side, there are tasty appetizers that include but are not limited to homemade pork or chicken gyoza complete with great pan-seared crust and a dipping sauce that brings those juicy morsels to life. Use Teinei for a solo meal, quiet date at the bar while sipping pineapple whisky sours and watching anime on TV, or pile in with coworkers at lunch on a chilly day. In other words, it's a winner for all occasions.

For a comforting Korean lunch in Pioneer Square, Ohsun is a great choice. The restaurant has a menu of hot entrees as well as a deli case full of banchan you could also build a meal around, like apple cucumber potato salad, spicy squid, or, our favorite, marinated eggs. The eggs are jammy in the middle and tamari-soaked on the outside, and are well worth including in a banchan-based trio—or added alongside gochujang-y bibimbap with bulgogi and greens. If it's blustery outside and only something soup-adjacent will do, order their spicy potato stew "Sara's Way," which essentially means the addition of rice and chili oil drizzled directly into the bowl. It's hard to imagine a better midday spot to slow down for an hour in the neighborhood. And heads-up, the entire menu is gluten-free.

The Green Lake Spud (not to be confused with Alki Spud, which is owned by totally different people) has been a fish and chips institution in Seattle since 1940. And after a nearly-three-year hiatus, they're back with an interior—and branding—remodel. You can still expect breaded cod so juicy and tangy it's like eating a mozzarella stick, hand-cut potatoes fried fresh without so much as a lick of grease, relish-y tartar sauce, and some of the greatest onion rings in town. Pair it all with a big pickle or glass of natural wine—or, more realistically, both. For a quick lakeside seafood lunch, you can't get much better than a trip to Spud's rebirth.

This Greenwood bar has a loose photography theme, as evidenced by both the name and the lambrusco-based “Pisco & Paparazzi” cocktail that comes with a polaroid of yourself. And yes, it is one dark room that’s perfect for a moody drink or two. But we also think that you should eat a full dinner here—the menu is made up of Korean small plates that rule, from kimchi-spiked pimento cheese with ritz crackers to a pork and shrimp bánh mì-inspired sandwich on a milk bun that’s going to need its own publicist when people figure out how good it is. This neighborhood was missing an effortlessly cool cocktail spot like this, and hopefully, so were you. Use it for a low-stakes date or friend catch-up when you’d like the place to be nearly-packed but not noisy.

This Japanese gastropub is boarded up, so it looks closed—but we're glad to report that it is very much open for business. In fact, it's even open until 1:30am on the weekends. At Itsumono, you'll find a relaxed space that has everything from Iron Chef to New Girl playing on TV. You'll also find a short menu of mash-ups like tonkatsu tikka masala, loco moco scotch eggs, cheesy dungeness crab arancini doria, and miso soup risotto, as well as a $100 tasting menu option if you reserve a table at least 24 hours in advance. Use this place for a first date alongside drinks and tots, and if things go well, order more food. If things go extremely well, invite us to your wedding.

This truck opened mid-2022, and while we're fuming that we missed it when researching the best new restaurants of the year, we'll hype it up until the end of time. The Oklahoma-style smashburgers coming from this mustard-yellow set of wheels parked at Rooftop Brewing every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are not just phenomenal stacks of beef and cheese. They're the best smashburgers in town. Each perfectly seasoned patty wears a snappy meat skirt that drapes over the bun, singed onions, melted cheese that gets gooey without making a total mess, a tangy spice-flecked special sauce, and fat pickle slices to cut through the heft. It's a work of majesty that satisfies any burger itch without leaving your hands full of drips. We recommend going with the classic, but if you enjoy hot peppers, the jalapeño smash has great sweet heat from both pickled and fried jalapeños.

After Phở Bắc Sup Shop moved out of a wooden boat located in their parking lot, it was mostly deserted for years. Now, they’ve reopened the rickety little ship solely to serve Vietnamese fried chicken rice and waffles—a dynamic duo we’ve replayed in our minds over and over again like the Napoleon Dynamite dance sequence. The fried cornish hens are super moist, blasted with sizzled garlic, and topped with a crackly glazed exterior. On the side, there’s yellow rice, an optional runny egg (exercise that option), a refreshing chrysanthemum greens salad, and phở broth for sipping. That’d be enough for the brunch of the century, but then they go and add crisp-and-fluffy pink pineapple waffles with salted whipped coconut and a peanut sesame crumble. Pair it all with stiff-and-sweet iced coffees, and we can’t think of a better early weekend lunch. Despite being seemingly small from the outside, the boat has plenty of four-tops where you can kick back with friends on a Sunday afternoon.

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A night out at one of these places—whether it’s for a catch-up with a friend or an impressive date night—feels overwhelmingly of the moment.

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