Food News

This Week in Seattle Food News: Boon Boona Lands On Capitol Hill, Saint Bread Opens, and A Pop-Up Gives Away Free Bagels

April 30, 2021 Edition
April 30, 2021
The new bakery Saint Bread, currently open Tuesday-Friday, is bringing vanilla custard rolls and kanelbullar (Scandinavian cinnamon knots) to Portage Bay. (Saint Bread)

This week in Seattle food news, Capitol Hill gets a new way to caffeinate with the arrival of the Renton-based cafe Boon Boona, Saint Bread opens on Portage Bay, and The Matador's Ballard location moves into a new space in the neighborhood with a patio and mezcaleria. Plus, find out where to snag some free bagels this weekend at a Howdy Bagel pop-up at Glinda. Read on to learn about all that and more. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.


This restaurant specializing in customizable bento boxes with options like chicken teriyaki and bulgogi opened in early April in South Lake Union.
South Lake Union

Boon Boona
The popular Black-owned Renton cafe and roastery Boon Boona Coffee, which exclusively sources its beans from African coffee growers, opened a location in the former space of Cherry Street Coffee in Capitol Hill this week. The new space features a mural with art of Jebenas (traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean coffee pots) on the wall by local artist Perri Rhoden and is now open primarily for takeout, as well as limited outdoor patio seating.
Capitol Hill
Pickup or outdoor seating

The Matador
According to a press release, the upscale Mexican restaurant's Ballard location has relocated to a new space at 5410 Ballard Avenue NW and is having its grand opening today. The spacious new spot features an outdoor patio, private event spaces, and a back bar mezcaleria with a wide selection of mezcal, as well as new bull skull art from local artists and vintage lighting fixtures from Mexico. To celebrate its grand opening weekend from April 30 through May 2, the restaurant is offering original pricing from its 2004 happy hour menu, with $3-$4 dishes like its signature Grande Nachos. The spot will also reprise its popular "Top Shelf Tuesday" (50% off tequilas $14 and up as well as a rotation of featured Top Shelf Margaritas with a new tequila each month). For Cinco de Mayo, the bar will extend beer and tequila specials all day long, including a scratch-made “Cinco-rita."
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Local chef Jason Stratton, known for his time on Top Chef and for previously heading the Capitol Hill restaurants Spinasse and Artusi, has migrated to the Italian restaurant Mezzanotte in Georgetown, which restaurateur Marcus Lalario opened last summer. The restaurant had previously been on winter hiatus but reopened last Tuesday.
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Niku Niku Japanese Barbecue
This new Japanese barbecue spot soft-opened for reservation only in the Haller Lake area this week and officially opens to the public today. The menu includes Japanese and American wagyu beef, Kurobuta pork, chicken and duck, various American beef cuts, lamb, and seafood.
Haller Lake
Limited indoor seating by reservation

Saint Bread
London Plane and Post Alley Pizza co-owner Yasuaki Saito opened this highly anticipated new bakery and community space this week in the former location of a motor shop on Portage Bay. The team includes former London Plane bread baker Michael Sanders and Acres Baking Co. baker Randi Rachlow. There's a beautiful stained glass window befitting of the holy name, as well as an outdoor covered patio area with two picnic tables. The menu includes breakfast and lunch items like egg salad sandwiches with kewpie mayo and furikake, cookies, hazelnut butter toast, croissants, cardamom knots, and melonpan (Japanese melon-shaped bread).
Portage Bay
Pickup or outdoor seating

Many Seattleites have been tuning to Top Chef each week to cheer on Seattle "cheftestant" Shota Nakajima as he competes in the current season of the popular Bravo reality competition series set in Portland. Shota revealed in a press release last week that his Japanese street food restaurant Taku, which opened on Capitol Hill just before the pandemic but was forced to close, is returning on May 5, with a new focus on karaage-style fried chicken. The restaurant also soft-opened this Thursday. Check out our interview with Shota for our Tell Us Something Good Column, where he shared some of his favorite recommendations for everything from local restaurants and cafes to foraging spots.
Capitol Hill


El Sombrero
Columbia City's longtime Mexican mainstay closed permanently last Sunday after 17 years of business due to its owners retiring. An unnamed new Tex-Mex restaurant is slated to take its place in a few months.
Columbia City


35 former staff members speak out against Willows Inn on Lummi Island
In a New York Times exposé released on Tuesday, 35 former staff members have accused the nationally acclaimed Lummi Island restaurant the Willows Inn of having a toxic work environment led by chef and owner Blaine Wetzel and manager Reid Johnson. The allegations include several instances of racism, sexual harassment, and sexism, as well as male employees preying on teenage girls from the island community. In addition, the former employees criticize the restaurant for passing off ingredients purchased from grocery stores and the mainland as locally grown on the island, which represented a major part of the restaurant's marketing and mystique.

Plans for China Live in Seattle get scrapped
China Live, San Francisco's behemoth $20 million food hall and retail market, will not be expanding with a new location within the Amazon campus in 2021 as previously planned. Plans for the project were originally delayed until 2022 and are now completely canceled due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Axe-throwing bar gets the go-ahead to serve booze
At last, there's a place in Capitol Hill where you can hurl axes and imbibe in one location. After a year of negotiation with the Washington State Liquor Control Board, the axe-throwing bar Blade and Timber has finally been granted a liquor license. Patrons can have a maximum of two beers while throwing axes under the rules of the new snack bar liquor license.

NHL will change name of upcoming bar
Last week, the local punk bar Kraken Bar & Lounge threatened to sue the NHL for naming their new Northgate hockey training facility's upcoming sports bar the "Kraken Bar & Grill." The NHL bar has since decided to change the name to avoid legal action.


Seattle Restaurant Week 2021
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over Seattle Restaurant Week, which happens twice a year and lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. In the wake of COVID-19's devastating impact on the restaurant industry, this year's proceedings are going to be a bit different: Businesses will not have to pay a fee to participate, food trucks and pop-ups can join in on the fun, and restaurants can sign up whenever they'd like during April. Though three-course prix-fixe meals will still be available, the participating restaurants (over 200 this year!) will also have more flexibility over what specials and deals they'd like to highlight, and takeout and delivery will be emphasized more than before. Plus, with a new "Buy One, Give One" option, diners can now choose to donate $10 to the King County nonprofit Good Food Kitchens, which provides local funds to help restaurants and community kitchens (like Musang and That Brown Girl Cooks) prepare meals for those in need. This year's lineup of participating restaurants include acclaimed spots like Salare, Kamonegi, Mamnoon, Haymaker, and more.
Various locations, Friday

Opening Day 2021 Season
Join the Redmond Saturday Market for its first market of the season in its new permanent location.
Redmond Saturday Market, Saturday, 9 am

Free Bagel Day Pop-Up
Score a free ring of dough slathered with cream cheese from the pop-up Howdy Bagel at the natural wine shop Glinda. Choose from everything, plain, rosemary sea salt, or za'atar bagels. Schmear options include plain, cowboy spice, scallion, pecan maple, and lemony dill. The pop-up will also be taking donations for the Trevor Project, an organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQI+ young people.
Glinda, Saturday, 9 am-3 pm

Kentucky Derby Hat Party
Don your most extravagant chapeau and sip wine as you cheer on your favorite racehorse. A featured "Run for the Rosés" cocktail will also be available.
Nine Hats Wine, Saturday, 12-7 pm

Kentucky Derby Party
Watch the "most exciting two minutes in sports" at the recently opened sports bar KJ's Bar (in the former space of Kessler's).
KJ's Bar, Saturday

SoSo Good Seattle Pop-Up
The pop-up SoSo Good will sling New Mexican eats like green chile pork dip sandwiches and roasted vegetable tortas at Post Pike.
Post Pike, Saturday, 4 pm until sold out

Cooking and Conversation with Chef Ethan Stowell
Help fund the Ballard Food Bank's new home at this online event with Chef Ethan Stowell, who will impart culinary techniques, nuances, and cues to look for while cooking.
Online, Thursday, 6-8 pm

Virtual Author Talk: Max's Picnic Book by Max Halley & Ben Benton
Max Halley, the owner of the legendary London sandwich shop Max's, will discuss his newest book, Max's Picnic Book, with Dan Crookston of Mean Sandwich.
Online, Thursday, 5-6 pm

Seattle Bike 'n' Brews
Pedal along the Duwamish and Green River trails from Georgetown to Tukwila, knowing that cold microbrews are waiting for you at various brewery pit stops along the way.
Various locations, May 1-31


Dantini Pizza
The pizza pop-up, which recently took up permanent residence inside Batch 206 Distillery, is now serving a spring pie with wild leek and nettle cream, pistachio, fresh mozzarella, and lemon.
Pickup or outdoor seating

Li'l Woody's
The popular local burger chain's latest "Burger of the Week" special is a collaboration with the Jamaican spot Jerk Shack, featuring cured and smoked jerk bacon, papa mayo (garlic aioli), paw-paw salad (spicy green papaya salad), caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, and a grass-fed beef and pork patty.
Ballard, Capitol Hill, White Center
Pickup or delivery