HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >


SEA- Thai or Mexican Lunch near Seattle Center

Will be in town visiting the Experience the Music Project. Looking for a nice spot for lunch this Friday. Love Mexican and Thai. Thoughts about any of the below options?

Golden Singha Tai & Thai Cuisine
- www.hellothaifood.com 425 Cedar St, Seattle - (206) 728-1532
Bahn Thai Restaurant
- www.bahnthaimenu.com 409 Roy St, Seattle - (206) 283-0444
Royal Thai Kitchen 305 Harrison St, Seattle - (206) 374-0199

Jalisco Mexican Restaurants - www.jaliscomex.com - (206) 283-4242
Bandits- www.banditsbar.net - (206) 443-5447
Taco Del Mar ยท - www.tacodelmar.com - (206) 443-1000
El Gaucho - www.elgaucho.com - (206) 728-1337
Rico Burrito (206) 448-5252
Peso's Kitchen & Lounge - pesoskitchen.com - (206) 283-9353
Mama's Mexican Kitchen - www.mamas.com - (206) 728-6262
Taqueria Jalisco - www.jaliscomex.com - (206) 282-1175
Blue Water Taco Grill - www.bluewatertacogrill.com - (206) 352-2407
Mexi Burger

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Dos Amigos is pretty good.

    Golden Singha is nice, but you get quite thirsty after eating their food...

    1. I work in this neighborhood, so I've eaten lunch at most of these places. I'll give you my two cents, but I'll be curious to hear what others think.

      Golden Singha: Pretty good, and close to EMP. I say "pretty good" because the quality isn't consistent, in my experience.

      Bahn Thai: I haven't eaten here in years, but I remember it being OK.

      Royal Thai: I've never tried this one.

      Other excellent Thai suggestion, if you're up to walking to the west side of Seattle Center: Rice and Spice. This is my favorite Thai food in the area. I HIGHLY recommend their pumpkin curry, which is not on the regular menu but is always on the "Specials" menu. Their panang curry is also wonderful.

      Jalisco's/Taqueria Jalisco/Mexi Burger: I cannot recommend these unless you're planning on ordering something very basic, like nachos or quesadillas. I find their food completely uninspired. However, they are pretty affordable.

      Taco Del Mar: This is part of a local burrito chain. They have excellent basic (and affordable) burritos and such, but I'd recommend that you do something a little more special....

      ...like Blue Water Grill. I LOVE this place. This is my default lunch spot. Love it. It's just as affordable as TDM, but the food is much tastier, in my opinion.

      Bandits/Rico Burrito: Never eaten at these places.

      Peso's: Delicious food, great atmosphere, and killer margaritas. A bit more expensive than the other Mexican places you mentioned, but still completely reasonable, and a much nicer sit-down-and-be-waited-on experience. Recommended.

      El Gaucho: If you love steak, and money is no object, this is your place! I didn't realize they were open for lunch. If they're available at lunch, I can highly recommend their macaroni and cheese and especially the bananas foster. YUM.

      Have a great time, and let us know where you ended up eating!

      1 Reply
      1. re: seattledeb

        Thanks so much for the recommendation for Rice and Spice. Went for lunch today. Pumpkin Curry is now on the regular menu and I ordered it hot. SOOOOOOOOOO good! Thank you for recommending it, because it is not something I would have normally chosen. We got there at the exact right time- just before noon and got seated immediately. Shortly after the place was jammed.
        Great experience. Thank you!

      2. Best Thai near Seattle Center: Racha, hands down!


        1. Pesos is good, but it can be loud. I second Racha for Thai - it's a bit spendy, but I enjoy the food. Also, there is Melana's (more of a take-out place, but they do have a couple seats inside) up the hill in Queen Anne. YUM.

          FYI - El Gaucho is an expensive steakhouse and I, personally, don't like it much, especially for the $. Mama's is a grease pit - some people like it, but I don't. Taco del mar is a take-out fast food chain.

          1. The best Thai near the EMP is Tip Tum Thai- check it out on Yelp for lots of reviews claiming brillance. I have been to many Thai places in Seattle and it is my favorite. For a nicely decorated Thai restaurant go to Racha. The others on your list would be considered just OK.
            For fun divey Mexican try Mama's Mexican. I like Peso's- which is in lower Queen Anne slightly south of EMP. Most of your list ia chains or just average.

            3 Replies
            1. re: natalie.warner

              Agree on Tup Tim Thai. (Not Tim Tup Thai or Tum Tip Thai ;))

            2. I'm not that familiar with most of these places. I've been to Blue Water Taco Grill several times and liked it a lot. It's very casual, no table service. They seem to use a lot of fresh, quality ingredients. The have several very tasty house-made salsas, and the shrimp cocktails are a real bargain.

              I've also been to Mama's Mexican Kitchen a few times. When I first moved to Seattle, several people told me it was the best Mexican food in town. I went back two or three times because I kept thinking I'd just hit them on a bad day, or ordered the wrong thing. I finally concluded that I was right the first time--Mama's truly sucks. I'd personally rather go hungry than to eat there again. I have NO idea how this place keeps getting mentioned on a lot of annual "Best of Seattle" lists. I have no idea how they even stay open.