Five Restaurants You Need to Try Right Now

Photo Courtesy of Bar Sur Mer

The Seattle dining scene is thriving more than ever—it’s hard to keep up with all of the new and delicious restaurants that are opening all the time! But don’t stress, because that’s where we come in. We’re here to tell you exactly which spots you need to check out, and why we think they’re so special.

  1. Bar Sur Mer

Spanish tapas and fun cocktails served in a chic, Mediterranean inspired space—what more could you want? Bar Sur Mer is award-winning Chef Eric Donnelly’s third location, and is now open in Greenwood. Located next door to his Flint Creek Cattle Co, the much anticipated space seats 35 and serves a mix of primarily Basque small plates.

From a yuzu-sparked salad of tomato and Manchego, to point Judith squid salad, wood-fired Spanish mackerel, and charred Mediterranean octopus, you really can’t go wrong no matter what you order. We also personally loved the wood-fired mushrooms with caramelized honey and truffle oil, as well as the beef tartare with a quail egg. Make sure to finish your meal with the Basque cheesecake and a glass of Sherry!

Photo Courtesy of Bar Sur Mer

On the bar side, guests can expect a bevy of cocktails, Spanish wines, bubbles, beer, and seltzers. My personal favorite was the Western Flyer, featuring saffron infused gin, caper berry, and celery bitters. It was an intriguing spin on the classic martini. Bar Sur Mer also has a fabulous selection of gin and tonics, with flavors ranging from cucumber to pomegranate.

Bar Sur Mer is open daily from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am and is located at 219 N 85th Street in Seattle. You can find updates on their Instagram.

2. Light Sleeper

Calling all natural wine lovers! Light Sleeper is a redefined wine bar co-owned by Chef Eli Dahlin and Sommelier Ezra Wicks that offers a robust and accessible natural wine list you won’t find anywhere else, alongside an adventurous culinary experience.

Light Sleeper originally opened during the pandemic serving wood-fired pizza (which was also delicious!), they now offer a variety of small plates highlighting the Pacific Northwest’s ingredients, whether sitting inside their sunlit dining room or outside on the bustling patio. To accompany the menu, Dahlin and Wicks offer eclectic glass pours of natural wine and bottles from their adjacent bottle shop, Wide Eyed Wines, and Light Sleeper’s cellar. Food is served unpretentiously by knowledgeable waitstaff and cooks from the wood-fired kitchen and emphasizes a playfulness and simplicity complimentary to the wide spectrum of wines offered. 

Photo credit: Light Sleeper

Both food and wine offerings change regularly; dishes are created from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, and an equally seasonal wine list offers deep variety for every occasion, knowledge, and budget. Recent menu items include a refreshing watermelon and burrata salad, a grilled whole rockfish roasted in turmeric butter, a sakura ice cream with fresh koji and candied plum leaf, and quite possibly the best steak and frites that I have ever had.

Light Sleeper is located in Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row at 1424 11th Ave, Ste D., Seattle. They are open Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and Thursday to Saturday from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm. For more information, visit or follow their Instagram.

3. Tio Baby’s

This is such a fun neighborhood bar serving up spectacular nachos and spicy margs. Just this past month, Chef Will Gordon (formerly of Westward and How to Cook a Wolf) opened Tio Baby’s, a bar and restaurant located in the heart of Wallingford. Chef Gordon has traded in his fine dining history for his dream space serving classic bar food and craft cocktails.

Tio Baby’s offers a plethora of bar snacks, including candied peanuts, escabeche pickles, chips and queso, and marinated Castelvetrano olives. For those wanting a larger meal, the cheesy fries with adobado pork shoulder, “Ti-attle” dog with sriracha-hondashi cream cheese and caramelized onions, and the sandwich filled with slow cooked spare rib are all delectable.

Photo Courtesy of Tio Baby’s

The cocktails are not to be missed either—we loved the South of the Border, which features Espolòn tequila, watermelon-jalapeño shrub, lime, and soda. It has just the right amount of fire while still incredibly refreshing. Pair it with the cheesy fries!

Tio Baby’s is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4:00 pm to 12:00 am. It is located at 3801 Stone Way N. in Seattle. You can visit for more information, or follow them on Instagram.

4. Ben Paris at the State Hotel

Located steps from Pike Place Market, Ben Paris continues to be a Seattle favorite neighborhood restaurant, featuring standout contemporary American cuisine and cocktails. And as of this summer, Ben Paris has a brand new, all-female culinary team!

Leading the team is Executive Chef Jacy James, who brings long standing ties to Ben Paris as its former sous chef. Also new to the team is Pastry Chef Lauren Cooper and Sous Chef Bailey Jeanne Clarke. Alongside this amazing team is the new Food and Beverage Director of Operations, Charles Veich III.

Photo Courtesy of Ben Paris

The menus at Ben Paris feature an imaginative spin on classic American fare, with bold,
straightforward flavors. The dishes celebrate quality ingredients, many sourced from Pike Place Market. The thoughtfully selected wine list and hand-crafted cocktails complement the diverse food offering, and each cocktail has a unique story.

Ben Paris is located at 130 Pike Street in Downtown Seattle, inside of the State Hotel. They are now open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Ben Paris is open daily for dinner service, and happy hour is available from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. For more information, visit or @benparisseattle on Instagram.

5. Hatback Bar & Grille

The perfect spot to grab a bite before (or after) a Mariner’s game! Hatback just recently opened in the space that was formerly Pyramid Brewing, and it is sure to impress. Serving elevated pub fare inspired by the Pacific Northwest, the menu features items like smoked rockfish dip, Korean chicken wings, puget sound oysters, and grilled street corn. You can also enjoy a variety of burgers and wood fired pizzas.

Hatback is the city’s premier year-round dining, brewing and sports entertainment destination. Located in the heart of Seattle’s SODO district, across the street from T-Mobile Park, Hatback is inspired by the rich sports history in the Pacific Northwest and pays tribute to the Seattle Mariners with a nod to one of Seattle’s greatest athletes, Ken Griffey Jr. who was famous for wearing a backwards cap. 

Photo Courtesy of Hatback Bar and Grille

To add to the fun, Steelheads Alley is just opened right next to Hatback. Led by resident brewer Rodney Hines of Seattle’s Métier Brewing Company, Steelheads Alley offers an exclusive list of specialty craft beers brewed onsite by Métier, local draft beer, and the full menu of classic bar fare from Hatback.

Hatback and Steelheads Alley are located at 1201 1st Avenue S. and are open seven days a week from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. On Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders game days, they are open two hours prior to the game and one hour after the game. For more information, visit or check them out on Instagram.