Our roll call of new dining spots this month includes a Peruvian bistro, a kosher cafe and a Scandinavian bakery, one of the more eclectic roundups we’ve had since the pandemic started. In the coming days, two more newcomers, serving Japanese and Philippine fare, will be cutting ribbons as well.
The hot new opening is the kosher cafe in Seward Park, Muriel’s All Day Eats, which has drawn lines out the door with food often selling out by evening. The Jewish cafe, located inside the Third Place Books store, comes from the team behind the popular New York-style deli Zylberschtein’s Delicatessen & Bakery in North Seattle. Until management can hire more help, Muriel’s will run a streamlined menu in February — mostly bagels, bialys and challah bread, along with soups and sandwiches and noshes such as carrot fritters and fries, said owner Josh Grunig. A big hit so far has been the New York-style bagels with whitefish salad or lox. Muriel’s plans to add more vegetarian bagel sandwiches, tuna melts and grilled cheese sandwiches in the coming weeks.
Sugo Hand Roll Bar, near Pike Place Market, is scheduled to open on Feb. 7, but note that the staff will still be in training mode for a couple of weeks, so you might want to wait till the end of the month to visit. This temaki sushi bar will offer 35 cone-shaped hand rolls, featuring everything from sustainably sourced seafood to 10 different vegetarian and vegan options. The sushi bar will have 27 seats, and the dining room will have 50 seats. Sugo is also planning to open a location in Kirkland in the fall.
Bunsoy, a Philippine restaurant that will debut on Feb. 11 on Northwest Market Street, comes from owners Tommy Patrick and John Slagle, who also run two other nearby Ballard restaurants, Parish NW and The Ballard Cut. Expect classics like chicken adobo as well as island fusions and contemporary takes including a housemade version of Spam for its fried rice, made by chef Rhabbie Coquia who headed the kitchen at Parish NW. The 80-seat restaurant will set up an outdoor dining area soon, management said.
Get used to seeing a rise in Peruvian fare around the Sound in the next 12 months. The latest, Señor Carbón in Pioneer Square, offers a good primer for the Peruvian food noob with all the classics and comfort fare. Some benchmark dishes to check out: lomo saltado (stir-fried steak with fries and rice), papa a la huancaína (creamy potato) and aji de pollo (creamy chicken with boiled eggs). Not to be missed is the seco de cordero, a stew of fall-off-the-bone slab of lamb served with rice, beans and salad. The restaurant is run by chef Joe Tuesta and his wife Imelda Diez-Tipa, who both emigrated from Peru eight years ago and saved enough money from various pop-ups around Seattle to open a restaurant that pays homage to their homeland.
Dos Chamucos Tacqueria opens two blocks north of Climate Pledge Arena. The $10 and under menu includes tacos, burritos, rice bowls, tortas, quesadillas and nachos, each filled with your choice of chicken, steak, al pastor or roasted poblano. The best, though, is just a simple boat of hot tortilla chips served with a cheese dip ($4). There are also lots of variations of the margarita.
Uptown also gets Bake Shop, which sells sourdough breads and baked goods such as Yukon Gold potato cinnamon rolls with lemony icing and ham and goat cheese on spelt-sourdough focaccia. Also find lots of sour beers and wines to pair with charcuterie on game day. Bake Shop is owned by Krista Nelson, who did stints at Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco and Hot Cakes in Seattle.
At the back side of Pike Place Market sits Freya Bakery & Café, a Scandinavian bakery offering breads, cakes and pastries.
Jackalope Tex-Mex & Cantina opens along the main drag of Columbia City, a pet project of pit master Jack Timmons, who also runs four King County branches of his namesake Central Texas style barbecue joint Jack’s BBQ. Timmons and business partner Graham Ayers conceived of this cantina, which showcases Jack’s BBQ’s signature smoked, fatty briskets along with the cheesy, sour cream Tex-Mex staples. For drinks, there are lots of agave tweaks on the classics such as mescal- and tequila- based takes on negronis and martinis. Housemade hot sauces are all the rage at restaurants, but most taste like copycats or inferior versions of Tabasco and Crystal sauce. Jackalope’s signature garlicky hot sauce is one of the better takes around town, made with Fresno and habanero chilies with a zesty tang.
For all those Ballard dwellers who wanted more banh mi options, there’s Crackle Mi Vietnamese Grill, a carnivore-centric cafe with charred chicken and pork that you can order as a banh mi, roll, salad, rice or noodle bowl. A tofu option is offered too. (Psst, if you do takeout, the rice will hold up much better than the noodle bowls.) These fast-casual Vietnamese cafes (think a Vietnamese version of Chipotle) are popping up all over the Sound these days.
Pizza is always popular on Capitol Hill, and now comes Fat Tomato Pizza, which does New York-style pizza on the ground floor of the Packard Building Apartments.
Also, Ian’s Pizza comes to Fremont, with traditional meat toppings as well as vegan options, including Field Roast’s plant-based meats and vegan pepperoni and chicken toppings.
For the office workers in the hospital-heavy First Hill neighborhood, Gyro Saj offers chicken shawarma and falafel wraps.
The fancy 203ºF Coffee Co., a hit with the coffee geeks who hang out at its Kirkland location, expands to South Lake Union.