Four years after Joe Tuesta first hung a handwritten sign offering Peruvian food, his pop-up evolved into this smart spot, where he combines his training as a hotel chef with his favorite dishes from his home country. Classics like pollo a la brasa, Nikkei dishes from Peru's Japanese population—think South American sushi—and chifa dishes from the Chinese restaurants there all share the menu with bright ceviches. The drinks menu brings Peruvian classics like the pisco sour and updates like the maracuya sour (passionfruit), along with imported beers, including a Peruvian craft brew. To complete the dinner trip to the country, #MamayLama stands in the corner to pose for selfies with customers.
Books, beer, and bagels don't leap to mind as an obvious combination, but Zylberschtein's Deli owner Josh Grunig saw an opportunity to take on a unique business and leapt at the chance, teaming up with Chuck's Hop Shop to take over the restaurant space in Seward Park's Third Place Books. Even though he doesn't keep Kosher himself, he knew what the neighborhood needed, and made sure to adhere to the dietary restrictions of many in the historically and somewhat contemporarily Jewish neighborhood. The basement bagel shop turns out American Jewish classics like bialys, lox, and whitefish anchor the restaurant, and a few vegetarian specials slip in, including a mezze plate with spicy chickpeas, and carrot fritters with dukkah dipping sauce. Israeli fruit drinks and Dr. Brown's sodas round out the non-alcoholic drinks menu.
This new all-day cafe specializes in—as the name implies—baked goods, but also has a mission to reduce waste as much as possible. The owners come from Hot Cakes and London Plane, so they have plenty of experience in the "adorable and delicious" restaurant category. The baked goods include Yukon gold potato cinnamon rolls, chocolate tahini cake, and an assortment of breads on which many menu items are based, including the mushroom toast and chickpea sandwich. In the non-carb category, they offer a few salads and a charcuterie board. Evenings bring pop-ups of all sorts, including pizzas and pasta, to extend the hours of the shop.
Thomson Zhao and chef Danna Hwang, who previously spruced up the tired China Harbor in Seattle, finally created a restaurant of their own from scratch. The white-tiled walls and black leather seating give it a spare but sharp feeling, leaving plenty of room for the food to bring all the color and flavor. Hwang's signature Modern Asian dishes steal the show—roast duck with caramelized onion and a braised beef rib the size of a baby—but the staples offer everyday options as well, including the honey walnut prawns, seafood fried rice, and shishito peppers with herbed aioli.
This Central District stalwart returned to the heart of its original neighborhood, splashing a little hot fryer oil on the forces of gentrification. After a few attempts around the city and suburbs, Terrell Jackson, the grandson of the couple who started the restaurant in 1985, brought the famous tartar sauce back to where it belongs: right in the middle of everything. As the name implies, customers keep coming back for the catfish, though there are also a slew of other fried items here—snapper, prawns, chicken, and more—plus a slate of soul food staples like greens with smoked turkey and peach cobbler.
This sweet Lebanese restaurant embodies the charm of a neighborhood restaurant while serving some of the city's best Middle Eastern food and keeping a killer whiskey list. The sizzling lamb hummus catches eyes as it crosses the light-filled room and creates loyal regulars as they dip into the warm, buttery bowl with pita that arrives piled high on a plate. Seasonal mezzes incorporate local ingredients like kale, pears, and yogurt into traditional Lebanese dishes, while stars like chicken skewers stick around all year. Sundays bring chef's choice, an affordable prix fixe menu drawing from whatever is fresh and inspires the kitchen that day.