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

By Seattle magazine staff

November 6, 2019

Plus: Where to take out-of-towners

Freshly fried pupusas cooking on a hot Summer day. Pupusas are a Salvadorian dish consisting of a type of corn tortilla stuffed with cheese, meat, or beans (or a combination of the aforementioned ingredients) and served with salsa and a cabbage slaw.

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. 

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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. 

Jessica Wang skillfully blurs the lines between sweet and savory

First, it was a cupcake empire and cannabis edibles. Now, Jody Hall is focused on liquid mushrooms.