Best New Restaurants in Seattle 2012

This year’s batch of Best New Restaurants adds new depth to our lively, layered restaurant scene.

By Seattle Mag October 31, 2012


This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Seattle magazine.

“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

Best New Food Trucks

Get more restaurant recommendations when you Search Restaurants at Our directory doesn’t list every Seattle restaurant in the phone book, mind you, just the good ones.


Follow Us