Cuban Restaurants in Kingsgate

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Though it's only a couple hundred miles from the United States, most Americans never get to go to Cuba to experience its lively culture and flavorful food. So Julio Ortiz, who was born and raised in Havana, decided to bring it to them with his eatery, Twisted Cuban Cafe & Bar.

Guests there dine on Twisted's most popular dish, lechon asado (roast pork) served with moro rice and yuca, as well as cuban sandwiches and other traditional Cuban dishes made from Ortiz's mother's recipes. These recipes rely on spices and cooking techniques from Spain, Africa, and the Caribbean islands, and often include plantains and rice and beans.

On warm days and nights, Twisted's outdoor patio is a great place to dig into these specialities, sip a Cuban mojito, and eavesdrop on birds' cell-phone conversations.

12631 NE Woodinville Dr.

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6413 Seaview Avenue Northwest

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant: A User’s Guide

Award-Winning Pork Sandwiches | Caribbean-Style Bowls | Vegetarian Options

Sample Menu

  • Sandwich: popular Caribbean Roast sandwich with marinated pork, pickled jalapeños, and caramelized onions
  • Vegetarian: Tofu Delight sandwich with sautéed tofu, garlic tapenade, pickled jalapeños, and caramelized onions
  • Bowl: West Caribbean bowl with a chicken thigh atop jasmine rice, black beans, salsa, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños
  • Seafood: Paseo prawn entree with sautéed black tiger prawns, house salad, jasmine rice, black beans, and seasoned corn on the cob

When to Go: Paseo is a popular choice with visitors and locals alike, and the line tends to stretch out the door. Try going during a weekday to avoid the rush.

Where to Sit: The restaurant’s Fremont location houses a few small tables in a cozy dining room, while the Ballard outpost is a walk-up stand with a few outdoor stools and picnic tables.

Inside Tips

  • You can call in an order ahead of time to sidestep the line entirely.
  • Paseo’s two locations are cash-only, so be sure to stop by the ATM or your favorite buried stockpile before going in.

Awards and Acclaim

  • Cuban meat sandwich named one of America’s best sandwiches by Esquire
  • Restaurant rated the second best place to eat in the country by Yelp reviewers in 2014
  • Named one of Seattle’s best cheap eats by Gayot

6226 Seaview Ave NW

Mojito: A User’s Guide

Latin American Cuisine | Cozy Atmosphere | Salsa Music and Dancing

Sample Menu

  • Salad: pineapple, mango, jicama, and papaya tossed with housemade cilantro-lime dressing
  • Entree: citrus-marinated steak, broiled and served with white rice, black beans, yuca frita, tostones, and guasacaca
  • Drink: a Caribbean-inspired cocktail, such as a Tucán, with passionfruit, guava, mixed dark Jamaican rum, and lime

While You’re Waiting: Salsa music and other live Latin performances set the tone in this teeny, lively cafe. Don’t be surprised to see tables pushed aside to create a dance floor—and be ready for a server, bartender, or other friendly staff member to ask you to join them.

Inside Tips

  • If you like tostones, you’ve come to the right place. Each plate is accompanied by a side dish of these sweet fried plantains that come topped with a spicy avocado dip.
  • Mojito serves up a mean version of its namesake Cuban cocktail. Bartenders mix fresh mint leaves, lime, and silver rum and serve it over crushed ice.

Vocab Lesson
Caipirinha: a Brazilian cocktail made with the sugarcane-based spirit cachaca and lime juice.
Plantain: very popular in Caribbean dishes, these starchy fruits are a slightly larger cousin of the banana and must be cooked before serving.
Tostones: fried slices of unripe plantain; a common side dish in Latin America.

7545 Lake City Way NE

In Focus: Shelter Lounge

  • Specialty: craft cocktails and modern pub fare
  • Most-dessert-like cocktail: Jerry’s Spiced Rum Float with spiced rum, Stoli vanilla vodka, cola, and half and half
  • Tipsiest entree: rum-marinated chicken
  • Atmosphere: This cozy space mixes natural elements such as woods, stones, and even fire.
  • Best way to flashback to summer camp: Toast some marshmallows for s’mores at the lounge’s fire pit.
  • Amenities: a seasonal, dog-friendly patio

4910 Leary Ave NW

Snout & Co. By the Numbers

  • 2 Cuban-inspired pork sandwiches, one traditional and one Seattle–style with onion relish and chimichurri-mango sauce
  • 19 spices in the pork rub
  • 2 vegetarian entrees, including a housemade black bean burger
  • 4 sides, including collard greens and plantains
  • 4 locations where the food truck stops
  • 11 a.m. opening time for lunch service
  • 1 appearance on the Cooking Channel show Eat Street

320 9th Avenue North