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May 2, 2008 05:22 PM

Seattle's Delicious Dives

Sometimes you find the most amazing food in a completely unassuming restaurant. I'm not talking about guilty-pleasure food like McDonald's fries. I mean grade-A food served in a hole-in-the-wall that's easy on the pocketbook. My current favorites are:

- Fu Man Dumpling House in North Seattle for boiled dumplings and leek pancakes

- Thai Siam in Ballard for Tom Ka Gai and top-of-the-world beef

- Bad Albert's pub in Ballard for fried crawfish and a great burger with hand cut fries

- Olive You in Greenwood for Mediterranean food

- Market Grill in Pike Place Market for a salmon sandwich

- Bizarro in Wallingford for Italian

- Paseo in Fremont for a Cuban pork sandwich

What are your favorite delicious dives in Seattle?

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  1. I like the tacos (specifically the cochinita pibil) at La Botana in Greenwood.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dylinw

      dylinw - I tried the cochinita pibil at La Botana last night. Sadly, I was disappointed. It was quite oily. As were the other two tacos we ordered - carne asada and chorizo.

      1. re: frygirl

        darn! i haven't been there in about a year - sorry to hear it wasn't enjoyable!

    2. I'm not sure I'd accept half of those as a dive. Bad Albert's is close, but Paseo and Bizarro? Definitely not dives. Paseo might be a hole in the wall, but I'd never label it a dive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jaydeflix

        I'm with you. Olive you is certainly no dive. Nor very easy on the pocketbook! Thai Siam isn't really a dive. Just sort of an average looking thai place!

        1. re: dagoose

          I've been trying to think of someplace I'd actually consider a 'dive' and I'm coming up short. Beth's should qualify, tho I'm so out of the breakfast game that I haven't been there in years to know if it's still 'delicious' (knowing that one person's delish isn't anothers).

          Mike's Chili Parlor is *almost* a dive. At least, it's bathrooms should have 'dive' status, if not the restaurant itself.

          To me, a dive is one of those places where, when you walk in, you almost think that the health dep't should shut it down.

          Szechuan Noodle Bowl down in the ID fits the bill for me. Seeing the old ladies making the dumplings right there at a table, generally with a few flies flying around the restaurant always struck me as... well.... but I always forget that the minute I bite into a green onion pancake and some dumplings.

      2. Definitely the Dock Street Burger at Leny's qualifies.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lauren

          But wait. I thought they repaired the name to Lenny's, but maybe that was just wishful thinking... Or it might be that the Elo's Phily Grill, which bugged me for maybe 20 years, got repaired to Elo's Philly Grill and my wishful brain transferred that improvement to Leny's. It's all good.

        2. Fish and chips at Pacific Inn Pub.
          Soba or Ramen at Tsukushinbo.
          1000 layer pancake at Rocking Wok.
          Wonton and Sui-Kau noodle soup at Mike's Noodle House.
          Veggie combination platter at Tagla Cafe and Store.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ceester

            Ceester, you rock. I add hand-shaved noodles and lamb stir-dry at Jack's Tapas Cafe, mainly Chinese.

          2. Market Grill may not be a dive, but no one does salmon better...