Food & Drink

5 Best New Seattle Lunch Spots in 2019

From old-school burgers to handmade pastas, these lunches are worth the wait

By Naomi Tomky September 10, 2019

_JC_5390

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the September 2019 issue and is part of our Best New Restaurants cover story. Click here to subscribe.

When Seattle finally scored its first location of beloved international burger chain Shake Shack (South Lake Union) in October, customers were lined up out the door and around the corner, all waiting to try the famous ShackBurger ($5.79). The smashed-patty-style burger, pressed down into the griddle for maximum browning (and thus flavor) and served on a potato bun with cheese, lettuce, tomato and “ShackSauce,” is a paragon of old-school simplicity. But the restaurant itself is not: The space is bright and modern; food orders are given via app or in-store kiosk; and alerts of completed orders arrive via text message.

Shake Shack’s burger, along with other classic burgers, inspired chef Megan Coombes (also of Altstadt) while she was designing the menu for Meg’s Hamburgers (Pioneer Square), which she opened with business partner Lex Petras in November. Meg’s, with an aesthetic distinctly different from Shake Shack’s, brings old-school burger joint vibes to both its feel and its food. The deluxe burger—analogous to the ShackBurger—comes with special sauce, ketchup, lettuce, onions and pickles ($5). When served among the broad blue booths and bright yellow tables of Meg’s, the burger seems a bit more at home here. And while there’s no reason to choose between them—smashed burgers are affordable enough to sample them all—the french fries cooked in beef fat ($3) make the case for Meg’s.


PASS THE PARMESAN: G.H. Pasta Co,’s handmade pastas draw long lines at lunchtime

In the vein of Seattle’s lunchtime line king Il Corvo, chef Brian Clevenger (of Le Messe, Vendemmia and more) opened G.H. Pasta Co. in October (Denny Triangle). Dishes like fusilli with walnut pesto, root vegetables and pecorino ($11) are slightly more complicated and expensive than the super-simple staples at Il Corvo, but G.H.’s big flavors and house-extruded pasta have bred similarly long lines stretching out the door.

That same simplicity also drives what chef Sun Hong has been doing since November at By Tae (Capitol Hill), in Chophouse Row. Each weekday, the eight seats fill and refill with diners enjoying Hong’s Japanese omakase-esque set menu ($25). Three hand rolls, handed over directly for diners to eat immediately before the nori loses its crunch, are interspersed with a few additional small dishes to offer lunch prices with dinner values.

Not so simple is the menu for Nana’s Green Tea (South Lake Union), where endless variations of lattes and ice creams are on offer. The Japanese chain arrived in Seattle in November to much excitement about its soft-serve sundaes, but for nearby workers on their lunch breaks, the real revelation came in Nana’s savory dishes, such as the rich, balanced Japanese curry over crispy karaage ($13). And the best part about Nana’s hot lunches is that they’re available as dinner, too.

Follow Us

Leisure & Luxury

Leisure & Luxury

Seattle fine-dining destination Canlis named to exclusive culinary travel membership group

Acclaimed fine-dining establishment Canlis is among only a dozen restaurants across the country on a new, exclusive list aimed at high-end travelers who enjoy upscale dining experiences. The Seattle restaurant, led by executive chef Aisha Ibrahim, is part of Taste Club, a first-of-its-kind dining and global luxury travel club. Memberships provide access to dining experiences…

Canada’s T&T Supermarket to Open First U.S. Location in Bellevue

Canada’s T&T Supermarket to Open First U.S. Location in Bellevue

It will become the largest Asian supermarket in the state

The largest Asian supermarket chain in Canada will open in Bellevue next year. T&T Supermarket, which just celebrated 30 years in business, operates 33 locations across Canada. Company executives say they chose the Seattle area for their first U.S. store because of the region’s robust foodie culture. When it opens in summer 2024 in the…

Top of the Class: 50 Best New Seattle Restaurants in 2019

Top of the Class: 50 Best New Seattle Restaurants in 2019

It’s been a boom year for new restaurants. Here, we break down the best 50 (yes, 50!) of the bunch, plus the latest dining trends worth chewing on

Strawberry salad at Sawyer

The Best New Seattle Restaurants in 2019

The Best New Seattle Restaurants in 2019

The city's top spots to try now, for everything from salad to dessert

The best dishes at Homer, from owners Logan Cox and Sarah Knowles, are Mediterranean-inspired, covered in fresh herbs and eaten with fresh-from-the-oven pita