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Where to find fabulous Mexican Food

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I live in BC and our Mexican Food restaurants just don't cut it up here. We often drive to Seattle for the day for Mexican Food - can you point us in the direction of a great restaurant.

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  1. I'll be the one to tell to search past threads, esp. this one, which started a while back but has been updated recently. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/15706

    Looking through, to my knowledge the only very recent sit-down opening of note is El Mestizo on 12th in Capitol Hill, which I enjoy for the cochinita pibil and chiles en nogada. I recently tried El Camion, a taco truck on a higher plane than all others in SEA (several salsas, higher quality meats), but I still enjoy El Asadero #2 on a weekly basis. I always promote the locally unique D.F. fare at El Quetzal, esp. the pambazos, monster tortas, and huaraches.

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    El Mestizo
    526 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122

    2 Replies
    1. re: equinoise

      Sorry to be picky -- Mestizo is actually on Broadway, not 12th, and in the First Hill neighborhood. But I agree it's pretty good.

      I'm generally not too high on local Mexican food, but in addition to Mestizo, you can get decent restaurant-style at Carta de Oaxaca (Ballard Ave, Ballard), or for taqueria-style I like Asadero (on Rainier in Rainier Valley) or El Camion (on 1st Ave S in SoDo) for trucks, Barriga Llena for tortas (it's on Aurora in Greenlake), and Taqueria Tequila for Mexican breakfast (85th near Greenwood).

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      Barriga Llena
      , Seattle, WA 98101

      1. re: pusherman

        I was wrong on both counts, thank you for the correction. If you want to get really picky, I think the neighborhood is Yesler Terrace and not First Hill since it's just south of James.

    2. For high-quality, interesting, fairly authentic sit-down Mexican food, I like El Mestizo http://www.elmestizorestaurant.com/ on Capitol Hill, and Señor Moose http://senormoose.com/ in Ballard. For cheaper and faster options, I love Taqueria La Estacion in Burien (real Mexican in an old Taco Bell building--love the irony of that), and any number of taco trucks around town--Rancho Bravo in Wallingford and Taqueria la Fondita #2 in Whte Center are a couple of my favorites. For a really good, cozy, neighborhood-y kind of place, with a menu that's a nice balance between truly authentic and totally gringo-ified, I love La Costa http://www.lacostaburien.com/ in Burien. Bonus at La Costa on most Friday nights: a kick-ass mariachi band.

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      La Costa Mexican Restaurant
      206 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166

      Taqueria La Estacion
      14820 Ambaum Blvd SW, Burien, WA 98166

      El Mestizo
      526 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122

      3 Replies
      1. re: MsMaryMc

        Thanks all so much - I will print this all out and keep it in the car - so when we make the journey it is with us. Yum - I feel a mexican fix coming on!!

        1. re: MsMaryMc

          I heart La Costa! The food is pretty typical american mexican (though the skirt steak and grilled meats are often exceptional) but the margaritas are INSANE. Don't mess around, go for the Costa Rita. The people are also the best. Eating there is like eating with family :)

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          La Costa Mexican Restaurant
          206 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166

          1. re: Ambria

            Just got home from there! A Costa Rita Gigante + my annual birthday shot (complete with silly sombrero and "¡Feliz Cumpleaños!" sung by the entire waitstaff) has me weaving, but I feel great. Just like eating with family, definitely!

        2. I spent a lot of time exploring Mexican restaurants in the area last year. Now I mostly feel like sticking to:

          El Camion on Aurora for delicious meats and truckside dining. The Ballard location isn't as good.
          Barriga Llena on Aurora or in Federal Way for tortas (Aca las Tortas is a decent alternative if you're stuck up north)
          Senor Moose in Ballard for breakfast or dinner. Consider doing the former on a weekday.
          Taqueria Muy Macho in South Park, mostly for the Oaxacan dishes
          Taqueria la Estacion in Burien for top-notch taqueria fare. They also have a location in Des Moines that I've not visited.

          On the Eastside, consider skipping Mexico altogether and instead visiting El Comal near Crossroads (the posole at Taqueria El Rinconsito tasty, though).

          Do not trust anyone who tells you to go to Agua Verde or Mama's.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lavaca

            At least Agua Verde has a nice deck with a pretty view of the Ship Canal. It's lovely on a warm day (even though you'll have a long wait for a table there)--and the food isn't *that* bad.

            There is no reason whatsoever to go to Mama's. There is no reason whatsoever for Mama's to continue to exist--why and how it does has been a mystery to me since I moved to Seattle 18 years ago.

            1. re: MsMaryMc

              I tried Mamma's once and the thing that puzzled me most was how they got the picadillo to taste lik Mary Kitchen Corned Beef Hash. Well, not exactly like it but so close.

              1. re: knowspicker

                Why Mama's exists and has for so long: Mama's is for 20-somethings who want to fill up cheaply before going to clubs. I can't tell you how many times I went there before going to shows at the Croc in the 90s. You could go in ripped jeans and flannel shirts. I haven't been in years but wonder if business has suffered now that Belltown isn't so dive-y, and doesn't attract the same kind of young people it used to. Then again, if there's a market for Azteca et al, it shouldn't be surprising that Mama's might still do okay.

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                Azteca
                1321 SE Everett Mall Way Ste B, Everett, WA 98208

              2. re: MsMaryMc

                Agua Verde isn't THAT bad, you're right, but I would not recommend going out of the way for it, nor would I trust the recommendations of anyone claiming that Agua Verde is one of the best/better Mexican restaurants in Seattle. The continuing popularity probably has a lot to do with the fact that the restaurant is laid out in such a way to encourage a line out the door no matter how busy it is inside ("if everybody's waiting, it must be good!").

            2. Check the PNW board for a gem on the north side of Bellingham

              1 Reply
              1. re: paulj

                We were in Bellingham yesterday, if I'd only known...
                I know exactly where this is and will check it out next time
                Thanks!!

              2. Definitely check out La Cocina del Puerco in Bellevue. Small place, small menu, small old Mexican woman behind the counter making the food. It's outstanding.

                1. El Mestizo is really good!

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                  El Mestizo
                  526 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: savvy savorer

                    looks like it is going to take more than one weekend in Seattle to check all these out.
                    thanks so much everyone!!

                  2. There's a great little place on hwy 99 in lynnwood - Taqueria la Fondita. It's an old converted Taco Bell. The tacos el carbon are great and on weekends they have breakfast from 8-12, chilequilles are awesome. Mostly Mexican clientele, with more than a few very appreciative, and always welcome gringos like us

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: anigmag

                      on a related side question to this thread, who has the best al pastor? I cant find any that is good as I've had in LA. (I've seen a lot of adobada but i dont feel its quite the same)

                      1. re: shaolinLFE

                        do you want it freshly cut off the spit with pineapple on top?

                        Some carnicerias sell 'al pastor' but it is small pieces of pork mixed with spices (like adobada), onions (and pineapple), that you stirfry at home.

                        1. re: shaolinLFE

                          Laredos and Los Agaves cook the meat on a vertical rotisserie, but I found both to be underwhelming. The meat was really dry at Laredos, and the tacos at Los Agaves were underseasoned (also, they appeared to use canned pineapple).

                          If you want to give either a try, I'd recommend Laredos when they are busy (i.e. you're not the only one there ordering tacos al pastor) and Los Agaves somewhere other than the Queen Anne Farmers Market.

                          1. re: lavaca

                            I have heard the new taqueria on Broadway does al pastor on the spit -- I can't remember the name, but it just opened, and is in the same building as Kimchee Bistro and Guanaco's, roughly Broadway and Thomas on CapHill. Id love to see a review if anyone's been.

                            Supposedly there was a guy at the Ballard weekend farmer's market w/al pastor, but I was never able to find him.

                            1. re: pusherman

                              Ate at Tacos Chukis, the new taqueria above Hana Sushi on Broadway. They are barely open but so far so good.

                              Currently only serving pork adobada and beef asada, as fillings for the tacos, mullitas, and tortas. Thought the adobada was very tasty, and the beef had a nice char to it. I'll go back in a few weeks when they have gotten on their feet a bit.

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                              Hana Sushi
                              10114 Main St, Bothell, WA 98011

                      2. el puerco lloron off western on the pike street hillclimb by pike place market. it's the most delicious, most authentic mexican restaurant i've been to in seattle.