Seattle's Best New Restaurants 2013: A Few Surprises, Plus Breakout Food Stars

The communal table at Joule on a much sunnier afternoon

Our Best New Restaurants 2013 feature is hitting newsstands now (look for Mackelmore on the cover!) and while I'm excited--I love the challenge of putting the top 11 in order, and this year I snuck one last restaurant in there at the last minute (can you guess which it is?)-- I'll admit to a touch of trepidation. I've already had one friend complain that I've "ruined" a certain place on my list by raving about it. This month, the place is tied for first place on my Best New Restaurants list.

Sorry, man.

Of course, I was tempted to keep the place a secret. It's small, it's not the type of place you'd walk by and stop into (mostly because of its location). And it's not for everyone. But several of my most memorable meals of the year were enjoyed at this place. And that's how I set the bar.

The Top 11 Best New Restaurants offer a taste of what our city's restaurants have been up to this year: some of it's on the cheap side, some of it's spendier, a few places are pushing into new territory, taking our palates to parts of the globe we haven't experienced before, and one place is hardly even a restaurant at all (because: no seats). But if you're excited about food in this city--and you should be--you'll want to hit every single one of these places, and then get back to me and tell me what order you'd put them in.

You'll also find the third annual list of up-and-coming Tastemakers in this issue. We dig and dig until we find the food folks who're just about to break out into the big-time. Coming up with the people we feature in Tastemakers is my favorite project of the year. The list this time around is quite strong and quite varied, with blacksmiths and bakers alike. Special thanks to the wondrous Amy Pennington, who penned the profiles.

Finally, in the back of the magazine you'll find our comprehensive, bi-annual list of all the best restaurants in every corner of our city. Many of our 2011 and 2012 Best Restaurants and Best New Restaurants are listed there, along with places we just love year after year, restaurants that make our city's dining what it is. That list is online now, and you'll find it right here.