Seattle’s original pho purveyors have set up shop near Seventh and Westlake. It’s a boon for downtown’s (hopefully) incoming lunch crowd, especially because this Pho Bac does banh mi on housemade bread: marinated tofu, meatballs, salted egg yolk in a bright tomato sauce, and pork roasted in banana leaves infused with pho fat. The upstairs cocktail bar, Phocific Northwest, should open in October.
South Lake Union
The original is a serene, art-filled hideaway on Capitol Hill. Its new sibling, a gleaming minimalist outpost on South Lake Union’s frontier (aka Seventh and Bell). What unites them both: reliably great sushi, be it classic or full of fried flair, and an expansive list of hot and cold Japanese plates. Oh, and a robust happy hour situation.
It’s impressive how smoothly the former Central Smoke (new Seven Beef) evolved from beef temple to sandwich rec room. You could fit maybe three of the original Honeyholes into this second, equally crimson, location on Jefferson, but the menu of glorious, hefty sandwiches remains mostly the same.
The walk-up window that charmed a neighborhood has added a counter-service restaurant at 12th and Cherry. Founder Carmelo Gaspar spent nearly three decades working prep at Cactus before drawing on family and regional recipes to make stunningly great tacos. All the favorites surface at the new location (the al pastor; the nopales; the chorizo-steak-potato mixed grill known as campechano), along with specials like birria tacos and breakfast burritos.