1. Bar Noroeste
What it is: A sleek taqueria that aims to answer the question "What if tacos originated in the Northwest?" Given Seattle's obsession with local ingredients, the question was probably inevitable.
Where it is: 2051 Seventh Avenue, Downtown
Why you should try it: Guacamole made from eggplants, not avocados. Salsas made from beets. Venison crudo made with fermented almonds from Oregon. Whether chef Shannon Martincic's food is modernist, Mexican, or Pacific Northwest cuisine doesn't matter—there's nothing quite like it in the city right now.
What it is: A steak house from Renee Erickson (the Walrus and the Carpenter, the Whale Wins), serving grass-fed beef from the chef's own Whidbey Island farm.
Where it is: 1040 East Union Street, Capitol Hill
Why you should try it: The beef is butchered and dry-aged in-house (a window in the dining room offers a glimpse of massive sides of sinewy beef hanging from hooks, their flavors concentrating). Steaks, both common and lesser-known cuts, are cooked in butter and beef fat.
What it is: A shameless copycat of beloved California institution In-N-Out Burger. "Ask about our secret menu!" the menu cheerfully commands.
Where it is: 4509 University Way Northeast, University District
Why you should try it: Because for now, this is the closest you're going to get to a Double-Double and Animal-Style fries. (Added bonus: Beverage options include boozy milkshakes, as well as local favorites Stumptown Coffee and Rachel's Ginger Beer.)
What it is: Upscale hippie food (think barley, coconut oil, seeds, and cultured butter) that, while good for you, prioritizes flavor most of all.
Where it is: 704 North 34th Street, Fremont
Why you should try it: Because sometimes you just need a mug of hot, restorative bone broth, you know?
What it is: A Mexican restaurant from Chester Gerl (formerly of Matt's in the Market) serving traditional food—including barbacoa, menudo, and chicharrones—made from impeccably sourced ingredients.
Where it is: 5313 Ballard Avenue Northwest, Ballard
Why you should try it: The base for Gracia's gorditas, sopecitos, tacos, and other antojitos is made from heirloom corn that's ground in-house and transformed, through a labor-intensive process, into masa.
6. Little Uncle
What it is: The highly anticipated sit-down restaurant (indoor seating! Beer! Cocktails!) from Wiley and PK Frank, who've been churning out excellent traditional Thai street-food dishes from a Capitol Hill walk-up window since 2011.
Where it is: 1523 E Madison Street #101, Capitol Hill
Why you should try it: An expanded kitchen means an expanded menu, with new dishes such as dom yum wun sen (bean thread noodles and roasted pork in a spicy broth) and nam prik gapi (fried sardines and an herb omelet served with pungent fermented shrimp dipping sauce).
What it is: The bigger—and much more ambitious—brewery and restaurant from Cody Morris and Travis Kukull, who operated tiny Gastropod and Epic Ales in Sodo.
Where it is: 803 Dexter Avenue North, South Lake Union
Why you should try it: Kukull's food is weird, in the best way possible: imaginative, Asian-influenced, and unexpected. Likewise, Morris brews a range of funky farmhouse ales and sours.
What it is: An upscale Indian restaurant headed by accomplished chef Nirmal Monteiro, who has studied the traditional regional dishes and techniques of his home country.
Where it is: 106 Occidental Avenue South, Pioneer Square
Why you should try it: Seattle has an annoying dearth of Indian restaurants, especially ones that serve lesser-known specialties such as Goan fish curry, avial (tropical vegetables including green bananas in a coconut-yogurt-cumin sauce), and Kashmiri goat rogni.
What it is: Pristine, simple sushi and a small menu of traditional Japanese dishes served in a beautiful restaurant in the heart of Pike Place Market.
Where it is: 86 Pine Street #1, Downtown
Why you should try it: Over his 50-year career, chef and owner Shiro Kashiba has profoundly influenced Japanese food in Seattle, as well as our understanding of Pacific Northwest cuisine. Sitting at his sushi bar is an experience not to be missed.
What it is: A wine bar and bottle shop serving small-batch wine from family-owned wineries around the world, with a wood-fired kitchen.
Where it is: 1424 11th Avenue, Capitol Hill
Why you should try it: Because for the first time in a while, chef and co-owner Matt Dillon (Sitka & Spruce, Bar Sajor, Corson Building, London Plane) is in the kitchen, overseeing a simple menu of dry-aged meats, seafood, and vegetables, much of it sourced from his Vashon Island farm.