Your Seattle Restaurant Questions Answered: Pupusas, Hawaiian BBQ and Steak Frites

Plus: Where to take out-of-towners
| Updated: November 6, 2019

Our Instagram is a great place to find amazing photography and get the scoop on what's going on in the city. It's also where our editor-in-chief, Chelsea Lin, answers reader questions about eating out in Seattle. Every Wednesday, she's on our Instagram story uncovering the best spots to satisfy your cravings. We've got her answers from the last two weeks gathered here so you don't have to miss a thing. 

Have a question for Chelsea? Submit here

Looking for pupusas!

I love pupusas! I just ordered delivery from Guanaco’s in the U District last week, and while I think they do a great job, I’ll say pupusas, like tacos, are best eaten on site instead of takeout or delivery. Salvadorean Bakery in White Center does an excellent version, too. And there’s a place in Auburn called Belen I haven’t been to, but I’m dying to check out. 

Where can I find Korean soft serve with honey and/or honeycomb?

As far as I know, you can’t yet find this here, which is such a bummer… But based on the huge rise in popularity of bingsoo, hopefully Korean soft serve is just around the corner! 

Which restaurants are serving a delicious Thanksgiving feast this year?

Hotel restaurants are always a great bet for Thanksgiving dinner promotions, so check out Outlier, Rider, Conversation, Currant Bistro and Goldfinch Tavern, just to name a few of the downtown hotspots. 

Nice restaurants in South Lake Union?

Most of the spots in South Lake Union are designed to be quick, but Willmott’s Ghost in the Spheres is classy, gorgeous and the food is amazing. Mbar or Bar Harbor would be great picks, too, for something a little more luxurious. 

Favorite place for inexpensive date/girls night activity?

There are a number of distilleries like Westland that offer relatively inexpensive tours and also tasting opportunities, which is fun with a group of friends or on a date. Taking advantage of happy hour always makes a meal and drink out less expensive—Momiji has a great one. 

Best Japanese food?

This is hard, as there are great separate restaurants for sushi, donburi, ramen, udon, soba… the list goes on. I’ll say Adana is one of my favorite really well-rounded Japanese spots, and I really like Yoroshiku for general Japanese food, too.  

Will a new restaurant be opening in the old Roosevelt Ale House space?

I wish I knew! I’ve been watching the space closely, but haven’t seen any signs… If anyone out there knows anything, let me know! 

Unique fun bars to take out-of-towners?

I’d go to Life on Mars, which is relatively new and so fun. Deep Dive is super unique and unlike anywhere I’ve been, if you really wanna go over the top indulgent. Or there’s somewhere like Unicorn that’s incredibly campy but has Jello shots (last I checked anyway) and is kind of perfect for a catch up with out of town guests. 

Pie!!! Let’s talk pie!

Indeed, let’s! It’s pie season, and I feel lured into saying this since this comment comes from Snohomish Pie Co., but theirs and A La Mode are truly my favorites. That said, if you’re looking for something completely untraditional but likely much healthier, check out the gluten-free, vegan pies at Pure Pies which are surprisingly delightful. 

Best Hawaiian BBQ spot in Seattle? 

I’m hoping you’re looking for a Hawaiian plate lunch situation, in which case, you should absolutely check out Kona Kitchen. There’s also a spot in Lynnwood called Bobby’s Hawaiian Style Restaurant that’s quite charming and good. 

Best New Mexican food in Seattle? 

This is one of those tricky capitalization situations… Do you want new Mexican restaurants? Or food from New Mexico? I’m going to assume the latter, and recommend Bang Bang Café. They have locations in Belltown and south in Othello, hatch chile everything and may be the only New Mexican restaurant in town, but also worth recommending. 

Best brewery to go as an out-of-towner?

Oooh, this is a hard one. You can go with somewhere like Fremont Brewing that makes great beers and is a local institution of sorts. Or you could go to some place like Holy Mountain or Cloudburst that is a little more experimental. Your best bet may be going to Chuck’s Hop Shop and just sampling your way through a bunch of local options in one go. 

A great Japanese restaurant (other than a pure ramen shop) that is kid friendly? 

I have always found Kisaku super kid friendly, though I haven’t been since the ownership changed. Modern Japanese on Phinney Ridge is a great pick, too, though the dining room is small. And I just took my family to Toyoda in Lake City a couple of weeks ago and my kids loved it. 

Suggestion for steak & frites?

Ethan Stowell’s Red Cow in Madrona does this really well… I actually had steak frites at Haymaker in West Seattle when I check it out a few weeks ago, and despite the fact that I was suuuuper full after courses of veggies and pasta, I really enjoyed it. 

Primarily plant-based options for people who have a lot of food intolerances too? 

Try Café Flora, which has some of the best vegetarian food in town, and their menu easily identifies items that are vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. Since they’re built around dietary restrictions, I’m guessing they can easily accommodate others, too. 

Any fast casual Mediterranean food place? (Similar to Cava in DC/LA?)

I had to look up the menu for Cava because I haven’t been, but I’d recommend Mamnoon Street in South Lake Union or Yalla in Capitol Hill. Neither are exactly what you’re looking for, but both are fast, from differing countries around the Mediterranean/Middle East, and super tasty. 

Teenage cool spots?

I am so far from knowing what is cool for teenagers that I really have no idea how to handle this… Can anyone out there help me? 

Best taco truck?

This is something people have a lot of feelings about… Having grown up in California, I do, too. I’ll say that there’s a new food truck in Georgetown called Chilolos Tacos that I’ve heard really great things about. 

Could you talk about the Tacoma food scene? 

I don’t feel like I’m an authority here, since I don’t live in Tacoma, but I can tell you I’ve had really enjoyable experiences at the Red Hot, Southern Kitchen and Dirty Oscar’s Annex, and I always hit Ice Cream Social on my way out of town. 

Do you know where I can find Honduran food? 

If you swipe up, you can read about La Cabana, where the owner (and some of the menu) is Honduran. Someone recommended it last week when I was talking about pupusas, too—the menu spans a lot of Central America. 

Which one is the best Indian restaurant? 

My favorite for the sort of basic dishes that most people expect at an Indian restaurant here is Bengal Tiger. But if you’re willing to not have chicken tikka masala or whatever, go to Kathakali in Kirkland, for a more regional, and delicious, take on Indian food.

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