New nosh spots abound: In the last two months, dozens of Seattle-area eateries have opened their doors, including delis and diners, burger joints and bakeries, and poke, pizza and piroshky spots.
The most-hyped restaurant opening of the last two months was, no surprise, the debut of New York City’s Shake Shack on Oct. 11 in South Lake Union. This seemed to confound some readers (“It’s just a burger, people”) while sending others into a frenzy. On the day of the grand opening, Shake Shack’s line started at 9:15 a.m. for the 11 a.m. debut near the Amazon campus. About 100 customers were lined up a half-hour before the doors opened.
You might want to wait a couple of weeks before all the hoopla dies down to try Shake Shack yourself; in the meantime, you can check out the new bubble-tea-and-shave-ice spot Swan Healthy Gourmet, just across the street.
New: The most-recent opening near Amazon is chef Brian Clevenger’s G.H. Pasta Co. Unlike his other restaurants (Le Messe, Vendemmia, Raccolto and East Anchor Seafood), Clevenger’s latest is a cheaper, fast-casual lunch concept with fresh pasta dishes in the $8-$11 range along with salads and other Italian dishes. It’s available for delivery (through Amazon Prime, of course).
About a mile north, popular Redmond-based restaurant Stone Korean has opened a spot near Lake Union Park, a big get for Seattle. Stone Korean does fried chicken, barbecue and rice bowls, along with $11-$14 lunch specials such as kimchi fried rice and bibimbap.
On Capitol Hill, the corned beef and pastrami sandwiches at Dingfelder’s Delicatessen have become a hit in the neighborhood. (Read more about the debate over its $18 sandwich from my colleague Bethany Jean Clement.) Across the street Artusi offers a great dining deal: two pasta dishes and a bottle of wine for $35 every Sunday and Monday. Check out our review of Artusi’s great deal here.
Macrina Bakery opened its fifth branch, the biggest cafe thus far at 2,200 square feet, in the old Tully’s spot on 19th Avenue East in north Capitol Hill. Baked goods have been selling out early.
Along the 12th Avenue drag, Dao Tai House offers Chinese takeout as well as a special “premium menu” starring lobster, abalone and other seafood dishes that require two days’ advance notice for orders.
On Beacon Hill, former Sitka & Spruce chef Logan Cox opened Homer, a Mediterranean-and-Middle-Eastern theme bistro. Cox and his wife Sara Knowles make pitas from scratch, and grill food from lamb ribs to pork shoulders on their two wood-burning ovens.
In the Central District, Tacos Chukis, which was a huge hit when it expanded to the Beacon Hill Station earlier this year, opened at 23rd Avenue and East Union Avenue. Five blocks east, find Cheese Platters and More, a new butcher shop and tapas bar.
Also, Soulful Dishes along East Yesler Way does fried catfish and fried chicken.
Sizzling Pot King, much beloved in Bellevue, expanded to the Chinatown International District with a more extensive Hunan food menu. (And take note: The ID’s most anticipated addition is the cult Asian chain 85°C Bakery Café, which will open at Fifth Avenue South and South Jackson Street. No date has been set yet, a spokesman said.)
In non-Shake Shack burger news: Portland based Little Big Burger expanded to Wallingford with plans to open more branches in Green Lake and Capitol Hill in the next two to three months. The Habit Burger Grill, which has six other locations across Washington state (including in Issaquah and Shoreline), opened its first Seattle outlet two blocks from Giddy Up Burgers in Ballard.
Petoskey’s in Fremont does Midwestern comfort food and bar noshes such as deep-fried Wisconsin cheese curds and tater-tot casseroles.
Also in Fremont, the Eastside chain Just Poké opened its seventh branch with more locations coming. On deck is a Just Poké in the U District by the end of this year; next year, it will expand to South Lake Union, West Seattle and a couple more neighborhoods, along with Bellingham, said Just Poké co-owner Norman Wu.
Pike Place Market’s Piroshky Piroshky is now dishing Russian pastries in the Century Square’s food court in downtown.
Dad’s Diner A Go Go Eastlake is owned by same guys behind the popular meat-centric Dad’s Diner in Anacortes. Its house-made pastrami and chorizo are on its Seattle menu, but other popular charcuterie and smoked meats featured at the Anacortes location aren’t offered yet (like many restaurants, it’s had a hard time finding kitchen help). It’s been a neighborhood hit thus far. Legendary barman Murray Stenson is a big fan, and there has been talk of him getting behind the bar.
The new plant-based eatery in Ballard, Papas Hot Potatoes, serves stuffed spuds with more than a dozen vegetarian toppings.
More Chinese restaurant are popping up in the U District. The latest two are Tasty, which focuses on Hunan dishes and Szechuan hot pots, and CharLaLa Hong Kong Café & Hair Studio. (No, you can’t get your hair cut in the dining room.) The two businesses are adjacent to each other and under shared ownership.
On the Eastside
One of the most anticipated openings is the arrival of the Asian-dessert-and-bubble tea chain Meet Fresh, which opened in Lake Hills Village, a new hub of Asian-themed restaurants that also includes Seattle’s much-loved Little Ting’s Dumpling and HardWok Café, a popular Taiwanese hangout in the Chinatown International District.
Also in Bellevue, Evergreens, which does salads, grains and wraps, added a second location downtown, at 10503 N.E. Fourth St. This Seattle-based chain, which already has 11 branches, is opening seven more over the next nine months, including outlets in Sammamish and Kirkland, two more in downtown Seattle, one at Sea-Tac airport and two in Portland.
In Redmond, the founder of Pinkabella cupcakes opened Margo’s Sweet Shop in Redmond Town Center.
In Newcastle, Yang’s Kitchen does Chinese takeout in the old Thai Castle spot.
In Bothell, the investors behind the food truck Chaat N Roll have opened the brick-and-mortar Fusion India, where customers can customize their dish: choose a curry, a spice level and protein (chicken, goat, etc.).
In the north end
Aliberto’s serves Mexican food in Mountlake Terrace.
On Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline, Mediterranean Oasis is a market with a bakery and cafe that makes shawarma, falafel, hummus and pitas.
In the south end
Burien is shaping up to be the next White Center, with new restaurants popping up to take advantage of the cheaper real estate. The newest kids on the block are Eat Time, which serves Cantonese and Northern Chinese cuisine, and Burien Pizzeria, which is jointly managed by the owners of nearby establishments Tin Room Bar & Theater, 909 Coffee & Wine and the 913 Bar.
Speaking of White Center, Dalat Quan now serves noodle soups and other Vietnamese comfort food.
Westfield Southcenter has added IJ Sushi Burrito Restaurant.
Waterleaf Restaurant & Bar debuted inside Hotel Interurban in Tukwila, five miles east of Sea-Tac airport.