Post navigation

Prev: (01/02/13) | Next: (01/02/13)

Capitol Hill food+drink | 2012’s 44 top most important new Capitol Hill restaurants & bars… ever

No saying how Fogon will fare in the voting — but you’ll find this and more pictures of Capitol Hill’s food+drink movers and shakers in our CHS Year in Review 2012 | The year in Capitol Hill pictures (Image: Dave Lichterman for CHS)

Resolve to send CHS juicy tips.

In 2011, after dispatching with a few shenanigans, readers deemed Canon as the most important opening of the year. Momiji and Skillet also fared very well while late-opening and little-hyped Altura had yet to register with the crowds. Chino’s also made a strong showing thanks to the aforementioned shenanigans. We all know where that got them.

The 2012 survey features 41 44 candidates (we squeezed in some of the last-minute 2011 openers) and closes next Monday at 5 PM EXTENDED through Tuesday night! — Pike/Pine standard daylight time. Happy voting.


1. What were the most important Capitol Hill bar and restaurant openings in 2012? Choose as many as you see fit or add anything we should have included
  answered question 1,508
skipped question
Scratch Deli
1.5% 22
0.7% 11
3.6% 54
18.2% 274
Wandering Goose
9.5% 144
15.8% 239
Bait Shop
5.6% 84
Rione XIII
8.2% 124
Crumble & Flake
15.5% 233
Sam’s Tavern
1.4% 21
11.7% 176
Ooba Tooba
0.7% 10
Bombay Bistro
1.1% 17
Speckled & Drake
1.7% 25
John John’s Gameroom
1.7% 26
The Social
1.3% 20
D’Ambrosio Gelato
3.2% 48
8oz. Burger
25.3% 381
Five Fish Bistro
1.9% 29
5.6% 84
95 Slide
6.7% 101
7.3% 110
6.2% 94
Cafe Pettirosso
15.8% 238
Saint John’s
4.2% 63
The Pine Box
20.6% 311
Broadcast Coffee
1.3% 19
Black Coffee Coop
3.6% 55
Skelly and the Bean
1.0% 15
Little Uncle
5.0% 75
Manhattan Drugs
2.9% 43
Lucky 8s
1.9% 28
0.4% 6
1.0% 15
Raygun Lounge
3.3% 50
El Portal Coffee
0.6% 9
Cherry Street Coffee
1.1% 16
Regent Cafe & Bakery
4.4% 67
0.1% 2
The Neighbor Lady
3.6% 54
Einstein Bagels
1.2% 18
Hillside Bar
1.7% 25
4.1% 62
The Patio
0.7% 10
Other (please specify)
1.4% 21



  •  Sam’s Tavern debuted on E Pike this week. Judging by some of the emails and Facebook messages we’ve received, there is still some bad blood about the newcomer’s arrival in the neighborhood (long story, short, a few other Pike/Pine entrepreneurs had their eyes on the Chino’s space before James Snyder scored it.) We asked Snyder about how he approached putting together his Sam’s team as a new player in the neighborhood. “I hired good people who have good values,” Snyder writes. “That’s what I look for.  Experience is not always needed.  Just because you have been doing something for 10 years doesn’t necessarily mean that you have been doing it right. I like setting and re setting expectations when I hire someone and coaching them.  We want our team to grow!”

    Part of the Sam’s Tavern team (Image: Jeffrey Will with permission to CHS)

  • Small but happy news at 23rd and Madison. Word to end the year was that Veracruz-style coffee roaster and cafe El Portal was shutting down. That wasn’t terribly surprising given the corner’s rough history for businesses. But word comes with the New Year that Ignacio Ventura has worked out a solution with the space’s landlord to continue operating in 2013. “We’re going to push it harder to make happen and stay for good!!” Ventura tells us. He also reminds that El Portal will continue to feature traditional tamales and empanadas. Worth a field trip if you don’t live nearby.
  • In case you missed the news, E Olive Way has announced it has acquired Pie Bar and Kedai Makan  in exchange for Tacos Gringo and a player to be named later.
  • Get Jesse, Aoki? No worries. You got Reddit. (Image: noodlefrenzy)
  • “Seattle food truck/cart stats for 2012: 50 new trks+42 open in 2011. 4 closed or MIA. 8 in the works, but not opened yet.” — via @seattlefoodtrk
  • Those firetrucks outside Stumptown and Cafe Presse on New Year’s Eve? Dispatched to wrong address, it seems. No fire.
  • Sunday brunch and daily lunch coming to Dinette.
  • Capitol Hill sandwich joints are freshening up to start 2013. CHS advertiser Honeyhole was closed over the weekend for a makeover. Homegrown is shut for the rest of this week through Friday for its.
  • Reader reports: Quinn’s closed through January 10th for holiday. Zoe, too?
  • Broadway’s Five Fish Bistro — aforementioned in the 2012 vote above — is now called Five Fish & A Burger… according to its sign.
  •  Kingfish says: “A sweet proposal tonight. All the ladies helped hide a surprise engagement ring in the cake. Congratulations to the happy couple.”
  • “I was rolling my eyes at the unblinking hippy earnestness of the place until I tasted the food.” — Seattle Magazine online editor on 15th Ave E’s Plum Cafe.
  • Here’s how CHS feelance, er, freelance photographer Suzi Pratt spent her NYE dinner at Artusi. Happy new year!


This week’s CHS food+drink advertiser directory

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

Montana isn’t on the list, but I think should be the most important opening in bar and food. Also Bombay bistro, finally good Indian food on the hill, that delivers. Even if they don’t have a buffet.

8 years ago

Added Montana… easily argued its late 2011 opening qualifies. Analog Coffee as another suggests? Opened plenty early in 2011… does not qualify!

8 years ago

Bombay is already there! Thanks. Added Montana.

8 years ago

Also added Scratch Deli and Menchie’s (hey, why not!). No, not adding Altura. That was *last* year!

8 years ago

8oz Burger bar is my food porn dream come true!

You know who I am
8 years ago

Justin, dude, why you gotta be like that? Why kick a dead horse? Cuz you suck, that’s why!

8 years ago

The Pine Box?

8 years ago

The Pine Box is already there — btwn The Patio and The Social :)

8 years ago

That goes to The Social.

8 years ago

Is perpetually empty Neighbor Lady an advertiser of yours? Not to impugn your integrity, but that’s the only way I could possibly understand why that’s on your list of Capitol Hill bars.

8 years ago

Impugn away! (grabs dictionary…) We wrote about their opening… so, only seemed fair to include here. Honorable mention?

8 years ago

Clearly people are uneducated. The Wandering Goose and the Neighbor Lady are the most killer spots. End of discussion.

8 years ago

You must be perpetually salty. How does it affect you if a great and delicious bar gets attention? Every time someone includes it in the Capitol Hill sphere you get stabbed with a thousand pins? Sounds rough.