21 Seattle-area restaurants, our critics so excited about the post-pandemic experience

Former Canless chef will open in the White Center, a Vietnamese favorite will launch an all-vegetarian menu, and a popular bar plans a tiki extravaganza. …with a 70% increase in Seattle (good for us!) and Washington restaurants set to reopen at full capacity by June 30 (yes!), Seattle Times restaurant critics Bethany Jane Clement and Tan Vinh have cleared their minds of COVID-19 spider threads and assembling This list is one of the most anticipated places. Some will come soon. Some just painted. Some have new chefs or a new location. Wherever you decide to go, enjoy it as much as possible (we’re so lucky to be out in the world again!) and give you a big tip (after what restaurants have been through, they deserve it more than ever!).

Brady Williams’ next restaurant

white center

The former James Beard Award-winning chef at famous upscale Canlis isn’t ready to provide details on how it would fit into his new neighborhood just yet, but we do know the name: Tomo’s Restaurant (address: 9811 16th Ave. SW; and his partner: one William True).

Ba Bar Green

South Lake Federation

The family behind Monsoon and Ba Bar will launch their first vegan counter inside the Ba Bar near the Amazon campus later this summer. Expect banh mi tofu and kimchi fried rice with vegan sausages and vegan dishes inspired by flavors from across Southeast Asia.

Sun Hong’s Next Quest

Somewhere in Seattle

By Tae, the little place with sushi and more on Chophouse Row, made a big splash before he had to leave earlier this year, but Chef Sun says he’ll be back, whether it’s with club sandwiches, all you can eat spaghetti or Anything else entirely. Not possible. wait.

Inside the corridor

Capitol Hill

The tropical oasis of Rumba has been wowing cocktail lovers all spring with a promise of smoldering tiki drinks in an underwater restaurant inside its main bar. This tiki nirvana will open on 25th of June.

light sleep

Capitol Hill

Chef Eli Dahlin, who brought Seattle’s (genius) Caesar salad sandwich on Damn the Weather, now owns this natural wine bar where Ferdinand’s Bar used to be, making pizzas like snail/ramp/tarragon/asiago and nettles/Taleggio/Smoked Lardo’s Wood-burning oven.


Queen Anne

Brothers Brian and Mark Kanellis still cherish the seven-course feast that Chef Aisha Ibrahim created last winter during her week-long interview as Executive Chef at Seattle’s most popular fine dining restaurant. The unveiling of Ibrahim’s menu comes on July 1st when Kanellis reopens. It’s the most important ticket in town.

Catfish Corner in Jackson

Central District

Under the supervision of the original owners’ grandson, Terrell Jackson, this Seattle classic has traveled through several locations (including a spot in Rainier Valley)—and now Juneteenth brings a grand opening at Patricia K.’s Community House building with live music, special guests, and more.

Seto Taco


Lupe Flores has been hanging around various breweries promoting Lebanese and Mexican mixed tacos during the pandemic. She now has the most talked about fried tacos for a fixed address: Inside Jupiter’s Art Bar every Thursday through Sunday.


Capitol Hill

It’s been a year of hell for Chef Shota Nakajima, but he’s definitely settled on his feet, so how about opening up this spot for the crispy Japanese fried chicken called Karaage that looks like a strong contender to be the Top Chef of the season!



Leaf Tea is telling the hospitality industry that quick, pounded burgers are the way to go, but Executive Chef Gaurav Raj doubles down on fine dining. It serves up New Delhi-inspired dishes that are delicious and Instagram-friendly.

Tra Due Leone


This lovely wine bar is the folks behind the much-loved Diller Room on a little trip abroad with marble counters, gilded mirrors, cheeses, charcuterie, and plenty (and lots!) of wine, all imported from Italy—and the original tile floors happen to be the 1890s work of Italian craftsmen, too.

dat creole soul

Des Moines

You’ve probably seen Chef Hampton Isom’s namesake food truck, and his tagline, “Some of the best spoonfuls are done in the kitchen,” is written on its side—and now the former professional basketball player and Alaskan flight attendant is a brick-and-mortar space for Cajun cooking, with a stocked bar, too. His title: The President.



Chef Preity Agarwal started doing pop-ups after taking over French Fremont, Pomerol—and now she dedicates the entire space, including the wood-burning oven, to her modern Indian cuisine.

The lounge at DeLille Cellars


The winery is opening a new restaurant focused on American cuisine in its former Wheelhouse pub space on June 23. Sure, any excuse to sip Chaleur Blanc’s signature Bordeaux-style blend.

Volunteer Park Cafe and Pantry

Capitol Hill

Under new ownership, the former corner grocery at 17 and Galer (known as Groucho noon back in the day) is set to reopen soon with two Canlis servers preparing breakfast, lunch and pastries. Yay!


George Town

With newly minted Chef Jason Stratton of Spinasse fame, this Italian venue has a serious pasta run – plus there’s plenty of outdoor space for summertime fun.

El Gaucho

Near Pike Place Market

After nearly 20 years in Beltown—and more than three decades downtown before that—this gorgeous steakhouse in Seattle is now on the edge of the market, and we’re looking forward to sitting down at the Manhattan bar and upscale hamburgers.

pink door

Pike Place Market

Jackie Roberts’ Place Hidden in View has been open since 1981 and has always been a favorite for its beautiful outdoor deck – and now, up to the point, local chef Dylan Giordan (Serafina, Cicchetti, Piatti) is in the kitchen.

Royal Dumplings House


From fried buns and pot stickers to poached morsels stuffed with pork or seafood, this shopping center café focused on Nordic-style Chinese cuisine is the latest to jump into the dumpling craze.


Columbia City

This Peruvian spot from Chef Tamara Murphy and co-owner Linda de Lillo Morton’s beloved terra plata has been coming for a long time – hopefully people will be drinking pisco there sometime soon.

Silverlic Ramen


This noisy place outside of Los Angeles now has a branch in Lake Totem – with so many ramen options around now, how will it stack up?

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