6 New Seattle Restaurants to Book for Spring

Lobster pot pie at Bourbon Steak Seattle | Credit: Angelo Clinton/MINA Group

The Emerald City’s food scene is more than just flying fish and standout coffee shops. Talented local chefs and bartenders embodying the adventurous spirit of the Pacific Northwest are crafting food and drink as cutting edge as the tech companies that surround them. From a Vietnamese speakeasy and a magical pub for wizards (and muggles too) to the best locally sourced steaks, these are Seattle’s hottest restaurants to book right now.

Osteria La Spiga (Capitol Hill/First Hill)

Osteria La Spiga is a stalwart in the epicenter of Capitol Hill’s trendy food scene. Founded in 1998 by chef Sabrina Tinsley and her husband, Pietro Borghesi, the restaurant pays homage to Emilia-Romagna, with house-made pastas and seasonal dishes inspired by local ingredients—as well as an outstanding tiramisu based on Borghesi’s mother’s recipe. Recently, the restaurant expanded its delicious offerings with on-demand pasta classes, meal kits, takeout options, and its most exciting addition: The Future of Diversity Guest Chef Program. Each month, a new local chef of color showcases their culinary talents by hosting a dinner at the restaurant in collaboration with Tinsley. This accompanies a spirits series with local amaro distillery Fast Penny Spirits and area bar Rob Roy. Proceeds from the dinner series are directed to Off Their Plate, an organization that works with minority women chefs to prepare meals for people experiencing crises.

Founders Club (Downtown) 

Founders Club | Credit: Charity Burggraaf

Hidden behind a bookcase in the lobby of the newly renovated Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Founders Club is Seattle’s best new secret, with a menu specializing in aged, vintage, and limited-edition spirits. Inspired by the Prohibition era, the speakeasy-like bar is intimate, with just 30 seats that are reservations-only. There is attention to detail in everything this bar does, from the hand-carved diamond-shaped ice cubes in its signature drink, the waterhouse syndicate—a hybrid of a manhattan and an old-fashioned—to a special selection of rare spirits dubbed “the locker list”. The bar program is helmed by award-winning beverage curator Jesse Cyr, who also directs the Olympic Bar in the hotel lobby and has managed programs for many of Seattle’s iconic bars, including The Fog Room

The Splintered Wand (Ballard)

This magical gastropub and wand shop, which opened in November, is a fantastical new addition to the Flatiron building. English pub fare, such as toad in the hole and a variety of pasties, mixes with whimsical libations like mead on tap, traditional absinthe service, and interactive build-your-own potions for those who want to experiment with alchemy. While fun for grown-up wizards, this spot is family-friendly and features a wand shop where younger magicians can get one custom made on site. 

Bourbon Steak Seattle (Downtown)

Phyllo-wrapped scallop at Bourbon Steak Seattle | Credit: Angelo Clinton/MINA Group

Acclaimed chef Michael Mina relaunched his restaurant RN74 as Bourbon Steak. As the name implies, the September opening draws inspiration from classic American steakhouses, with sides like creamed spinach and baked potatoes that include updates with modern techniques and local ingredients. It’s something Mina knows a lot about, having grown up in Ellensburg, Washington around local farms. The hay-smoked dry-aged porterhouse hails from a farm in his hometown, but unlike an old-school steakhouse, here it’s poached in clarified butter before hitting the grill. To complement the local surf and turf, the bar at Bourbon Steak serves a selection of local spirits, such as single malts from nearby Westland Distillery.

Boat Bar (Capitol Hill/First Hill)

Boat Bar | Credit: David Dosset

This nautical bar evokes a maritime chic vibe through its seafoam green and gold accents. Fittingly, the menu is a celebration of Seattle’s freshest seafood, with a collection of small plates and a rotation of the day’s best local oysters. Boat Bar, which comes from the minds of award-winning chef Renee Erickson and chef Taylor Thornhill; the pair relaunched Erickson’s beloved Bar Melusine in June 2021 with a seafood-forward, French-inspired concept that works in unison with Erickson’s famed Bateau steakhouse (next door) to offer the best local and sustainably sourced steaks the city has to offer. The menu changes daily to take advantage of local ingredients, but the staple grass-fed, dry-aged burger with green goddess dressing is always delicious. 

Phocific Standard Time (International District) 

Tucked in the downtown location of the legendary Seattle pho restaurant, Pho Bac, Phocific Standard Time is a new walk-in-only speakeasy that opened in October. The cocktails here are heavy on the Vietnamese ingredients and flavors, such as pandan leaf and pho broth. The treehouse-like space is cozy and plant-filled, great for after-work drinks but intimate enough for date nights. The menu features small bites that, like the cocktails, highlight traditional Vietnamese ingredients such as the trio of pate—pho fat, mushroom tofu, and canned fish tomato, served with sesame crackers—and the pho cups, an instant noodle-style, to-go pho that’s served in a paper carton.

Tried them all? Check out other options here.