Growing up in Southern California, I was used to some of the greatest Mexican food in the country. So when I decided to go to school in Seattle, I doubted that I would ever find that same, high-quality Mexican cuisine.
Surprisingly, after moving here I’ve discovered some of my favorite Mexican restaurants, even compared to those in California. These restaurants prove that Seattle knows how to make truly authentic Mexican food.
1. Los Agaves
Located in Pike Place Market, this authentic Mexican restaurant combines classic Mexican street food with Pacific Northwest ingredients. Come here for the taco al pastor, a pork taco seasoned to perfection and topped with fresh pineapple. For ultimate food nirvana, pair this meal with a glass of their refreshing horchata.
Fogon offers all of your Mexican classics like zesty street tacos and enchiladas rojas, but they also provide the Palatillos Fuertes section, which will provide you not only with your ample main dish, but also corn tortillas and refried beans. If you have enough room, make sure to order their flan. (There is always room for dessert, especially the creamy, caramel variety.)
When I first tried Rosita’s, I effortlessly devoured the vegetarian chimichanga and washed it down with some obligatory fried ice cream. But my favorite aspect of this place is the generous servings of rice, refried beans, and a light sprinkle of cheese that accompanies every main dish. Also, if you’re intimidated by the Spanish menu, fear not – we’ll teach you how to easily understand Mexican restaurant menus so you can explore and enjoy all of their delicious dishes.
4. Tacos Chukis
Trust me when I say, this will be your go-to taqueria. Some of the taco fillings include succulent carne asada or nopales, a grilled prickly pear cactus. Plus, each taco is served within the warm embrace of two corn tortillas. Personally, I always order the house taco – pork with melted cheese, guacamole and grilled pineapple on top. Mmm.
Highly regarded as an authentic taste of Oaxaca, La Carta de Oaxaca proves that size does not matter. Their small plates will satisfy your stomach and cultivate new cravings exclusively for their authentic dishes. Treat yourself to the halibut tacos.
6. Pecado Bueno
At this taqueria, you can enjoy $3 margaritas, roasted butternut squash tacos, and a wide selection of salsas. And now that the sun has come back from hiatus, you can enjoy your food on their outdoors terrace. But if you were planning on staying in, or you’re just livin’ that DIY life, you could always make your own delicious butternut tacos and unique salsas.
Perfect for when you are famished and nostalgic for authentic Mexican cuisine. Not only do they offer vegetarian dishes (such as the veggie quesadilla or cactus salad), but the dishes are hearty and will keep you satisfied for the rest of the day. Don’t forget the flan for dessert.
Their meals are simplistic and exceptional. Try the Mole Negro Oaxaqueno if you’re in need of something substantive. But if you’re craving something less extravagant or are simply looking to save money, come during one (or both) of their two happy hours, which will provide you with a variety of small dishes such as $5 molotes, guac and quesadillas fritas, along with discounted drinks. I’m always down for $5 margaritas at 11 pm.
Conveniently located right off of the UW canvas, students can easily walk here after a long day at the library. Comfort yourself with Guanaco’s freshly made pupusas (a traditional, Salvadorian dish) filled to your liking with a variety of meats, veggies, or cheeses. You can even incorporate their classic tacos into your new diet, the completely legitimate taco cleanse. If they don’t quite cleanse your body, they are sure to cleanse your soul.
10. Senor Moose Café
Not only does this cafe offer delectable dishes likes the shredded beef enchiladas, but the cafe itself, including the colorful dishes and cups, are aesthetically pleasing, proving optimal food pic opportunities. Just make sure you edit your pics masterfully to ensure ultimate food FOMO in all your followers. They’ve also cultivated unique takes on classic cafe drinks. Needless to say, you should order the the horchata latte.