This year certainly had its food-related highs and lows, from some high-profile sushi dinners to beloved restaurants throwing in the towel. But along the way, somewhere in between, we saw a few patterns emerge...
Coffee Got Even Better
A counter in Georgetown serves banh mi, plus phin coffee drinks and a memorable latte flavored with pho spices.
Ballard’s plant-filled ode to Miami’s cafe scene makes a proper cafecito (espresso and sugar) and so much more.
Technically this Pike Place Market stall specializes in antojitos, but fresh masa also powers coffee drinks like champurrado and atole.
Ethiopian coffee champion Solomon Dubie now pours jebena shots (and pulls a mean americano) in the Liberty Bank Building.
Great Spots Opened Second Locations
Aldo Góngora followed his Pike Place Market antojitos counter with a full-on cafe that expands the mission of nixtamalizing heirloom corn. This newcomer, on Sixth Avenue between the Space Needle and the Spheres, serves brunch, lunch, and dinner—and features actual tables and chairs.
Shiro Kashiba partnered with his former mentee, chef Jun Takai, to bring serious sushi to the Eastside. Shiro makes frequent cameos, but this Edomae omakase is all Takai, full of aged fish and playful moments. Dinner at the sushi bar involves 24 courses; an omakase in the dining room is 12.
One of the town's best ramen destinations (with a side hustle in memorable fried chicken) added a second location on Stone Way.
Out-of-Towners Expanded Here
A counter with just 10 seats (and a Michelin star at its California location) now performs modern sushi theater nightly near the Spheres.
This South Korean barbecue chain impressed tough crowds in Southern California and New York. Now it’s bringing tabletop grills to Alderwood Mall.
Born in Maryland, but an homage to Maine, the fast-growing lobster roll chain dropped its first West Coast outpost on First Avenue. Meanwhle, Maine-based Luke's Lobster will also open downtown in January.