I will be taking a short break from writing about my food memories in Florence to make the most of my time left in this food obsessed city. Stay tuned for the next few weeks, Seattle. The next posts are inspired from F.A.Q’s my tour guests in Seattle hit me with. I get my brain, prodded, picked and tested for food recommendations like a target at a firing range, with the hopes of hitting me right in the stomach for the best tips for eating around Seattle. A sort of “people’s request” response, I decided to start with Mexican Food since strangely enough, it is on the top 5 for the most common question. I must say, I am almost embarrassed to talk about Mexican food in Seattle because A. This isn’t Texas or California. and B. I am not an expert on regional Mexican cuisine. But you asked for it.
1. Señor Moose Café in Ballard
Quite possibly the only Mexican restaurant with soul in Seattle. Although it is quite discovered and lots of people go here to feel like they are more “holier-in-the-wall-than-thou,” I still maintain that here you can get solid Mexican fare at fair prices. Great for brunch, huevos rancheros and anything swimming in mole sauce (my favorite thing ever.)
2. Mexican Grocery in Pike’s Place Market
Quite a humble shop with not such a humble location, smack dab next door to the so-called “1st Starbucks”, and one of the only places you can get a burrito (aka a Pandora’s box of texture, flavor and love) that will make your belly smile plus tasty handmade tamales served sweetly and cheaply that make even the snootiest of tamale snobs swoon.
3. La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard
It might seem confusing to recommend “La Carta” after basically boasting the neighboring (competitor) Señor. I wonder what food experts of Oaxacan cuisine have to say about this “Carta.” Being slightly ignorant about what to truly expect, I still maintain that it is a tasty haven. Moreover, it is a damn good spot for from scratch, unique flavor and extremely fresh food (including stellar tacos) with a little more of a modern ambiance and definitely better than similar scene-y (popular) Mexican eateries like Poquitos in Capitol Hill. Who by the way, I consider to serve Seattle/Mexican flavored grub for the “foodie” hipster crowds. For some reason, seeing kale, confit turkey leg and “drowned” in quotations on the menu makes me slightly confused about what their target cuisine really is. Back to La Carta. What I like is they have a relatively small menu, which is something I find value in for what concerns a from scratch, fresh menu. To me, it is impossible to run a truly “fresh” and seasonal ship if you have a large menu.
4. Taqueria El Rincon in South Park (taco truck)
This is cheap, mouth watering taco truck Mexican with lots of attitude and inconveniently located in a gas station parking lot down in South Park where I reckon there are also several other worth-while Mexican eateries. I particularly recall enjoying the fish tacos and the pulled pork along with some crispy pickled veggies. The best part is that I discovered this place on accident. I just happened to be wondering around South Park and in a bind for a snack, I sniffed out this joint in the parking lot just to realize later that it does indeed have some street cred.
5. Frida’s in Anacortes.
Okay, I know this is not in Seattle but it’s a damn good place to eat if you are heading up to the San Juan Islands. I went to Frida’s when it was originally in Mill Creek and I remember the mole and the flavor rich sauces, not to mention the quirky association with Frida Kahlo with mock paintings of hers and Diego Riviera adorning the locale. One of my favorite painters of all time (along with Picasso) made this a particularly sentimental choice for me. On my bucket list is to visit La Casa Azul in Mexico City. One day…
Are you in Seattle? Have any Mexican eateries to share? Leave a comment! Like what you’ve read? Go on then- sign up for future posts for Seattle (and beyond) by clicking that “follow by e-mail” button to your top right. For more instant eating tips, let’s connect on Instagram and Facebook.
In your love for a good piñata full of delicious burritos,
The Curious Appetite
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ADDITION: El Borracho on 1st near Pike Place Market is nothing short of amazing. Texan approved lingua tacos, Duck Carnitas and fresh shrimp tacos- you can’t go wrong!