“Something for everyone” is ideal at small-town diners. In tiny towns with few options, restaurants need to please as many people as possible. But as Seattle blooms into a world-class food town, our restaurants are boldly going in the opposite direction, getting quirkier, more specialized and increasingly more expressive of the passion of the cooks who own and run them. For proof, look no farther than this year’s crop of Best New Restaurants. Our list includes a dessert-only affair and a takeout-only Thai place. You’ll find high-end dining, naturally, along with a slew of chef-owned eateries where the chefs are cooking their hearts out, with unique and invigorating results.
Since quirkier can sometimes prompt some caveats (see: the current trends of not taking reservations, blaring music or really dim lighting, and the dreaded communal tables), we’re sharing our insider “know before you go” tips to make it a win-win. This year’s batch of Best New Restaurants adds new depth to our lively, layered restaurant scene. We know you’ll want to try them all.
Best New Neighborhood Restaurant: LloydMartin
Best New and Improved version of the Original: Restaurant Zoë
Best New Desserts: Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
Best New Fine Dining: Altura
Best New Cheap Eats: Little Uncle
Best Spin-offs (tie): Mezcaleria Oaxaca / Green Leaf
Best New Bakery: Crumble & Flake
Best New Trip-Worthy Restaurant: Restaurant Marché
Best New Chef-Driven Eatery: Blind Pig Bistro
Best of the New Barbecue Boom: Bitterroot
Best New Bar: Canon
Best New Distillery: Glass Distillery
Get more restaurant recommendations when you Search Restaurants at seattlemag.com. Our directory doesn't list every Seattle restaurant in the phone book, mind you, just the good ones.