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Cuban food in Seattle?

Jencala Jun 7, 2010 03:39 PM

I just moved here from Florida and I am dying to make some of my favorite Cuban dishes, but I can't seem to find certain ingredients I need. I am aware of the few Cuban restaurants in the area, but I am looking for actual ingredients so I can cook them myself.

Does anyone know of a grocery store or bodega that has items such as chorizo (Cuban, not Mexican), frozen croquettes, and plantains, or even some Cuban bread? I would also love some Materva or Ironbeer (sodas).

Any help would be greatly appreeciated! Thank you!

  1. violetseverine Jun 8, 2010 10:55 AM

    Hey there. As a fellow Cuban from Miami let me first tell you the bad news. I've lived here now 14 years and I still haven't found "authentic" Cuban food up here. The truck on Aurora comes the closest for medianoches and sometimes they make pretty good croquettas de jamon. There is no place (that I know of anyways) to get Cuban chorizo. The Spanish Table on Western has pretty great Spanish sausages that come closest. You can get good plantains at Uwajimaya in the ID, Materva, Coco Rico, Iron Beer at the Latina Market in Pike Place. There is no Cuban bread in the Northwest. That's why the sandwiches are never quite right. The El Salvadorian Bakery in White Center makes the closest thing. And although they are not Cuban sandwiches the "Cuban" at Paseos is a delicious pork sandwich.

    There are tons of delicious Cuban inspired things to eat in Seattle but if you want the real thing you're going to have to cook it yourself. I use these guys for impossible to find ingredients. http://www.cubanfoodmarket.com/

    Good Luck.

    Spanish Table
    1426 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

    600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

    5 Replies
    1. re: violetseverine
      Jencala Jun 9, 2010 09:58 AM

      Thanks for the tips! I've been to Paladar Cubano which is the truck in Aurora, and the medianoches were good, and so was the batido de mamey, but everything esle was so-so. I'm from Lakeland which is in between Orlando and Tampa and it feels so strange to not find Cuban bread anywhere!

      I'll definietely check out the other places you mentioned. Thanks again!

      1. re: Jencala
        pusherman Jun 10, 2010 12:35 PM

        I don't know specifically about Cuban foods -- but the Safeway on Rainier almost all the way south to Columbia City generally has a pretty good "ethnic" food selection, at least by Seattle standards (I'm from Houston, so I have very high standards for what constitutes a good ethnic food selection...*sigh* how I miss Fiesta). Anyway, I've had pretty good luck finding foods from Mexico there, so you might want to check it out.

        1. re: pusherman
          Jencala Jun 12, 2010 10:47 PM

          That's the Safeway I go to and it does have a good Mexican section, but that is completely different from Cuban food ingredients. Thanks for the advice, though!

        2. re: Jencala
          MsMaryMc Aug 28, 2012 08:40 PM

          I know this thread is a couple of years old, but to update: the Paladar Cubano truck is no more, but the owner has opened a bricks-and-mortar place, Cafe con Leche, in Sodo


          I've found some Caribbean food items at El Mercado Latino at Pike Place Market. It's probably nowhere near as well-stocked as what a South Florida native is used to...but Seattle isn't exactly the prime landing spot for a whole lot of Cuban immigrants.

        3. re: violetseverine
          mishka100 Aug 23, 2012 02:40 PM

          Do you know where I can buy a wooden Tostone maker in seattle?

        4. b
          bergeo Jun 8, 2010 08:43 AM

          There is a Cuban food truck on Aurora and 90th that sells Ironbeer and other Cuban sodas along with their food. They also might be able to help point you towards where you can buy your own supplies.

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