Mexican Restaurants in Seattle

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Five Things to Know About El Quetzal

El Quetzal is renowned for its fish tacos, tortas, and other Mexican favorites. Here’s more about this beloved hotspot:

  • If you’re looking for Tex-Mex, head elsewhere. El Quetzal does authentic Mexican food straight from the heart of Mexico City. Owner Juan Montiel relies heavily on his mom’s original recipes, which incorporate such distinctive ingredients as fresh cactus.
  • It serves Mexican breakfast. Starting at 8 a.m. El Quetzal dishes out hot plates of eggs and chorizo and chilaquiles—fried tortilla strips drizzled with tomatillo sauce and served with eggs or chicken. For late risers, the breakfast menu is available all day.
  • The tortas are not to be missed. Reviewers from around Seattle can’t stop raving about El Quetzal’s over-sized Mexican sandwiches. Try the Torta Toluca, filled with filled with chorizo, beans, cheese, avocado, and jalapeño sauce.
  • The huraches aren’t too shabby either. Comparable to a pizza, huraches layer toppings such as chorizo and cactus atop a grilled base of cornmeal.
  • The sun is always shining inside. One full wall of El Quetzal contains nothing but sun decorations, said to stand for good luck and power. Plus, it offers a nice respite from Seattle’s cloudy skies.

3209 Beacon Avenue South
Seattle,
WA
US

In Focus: Mexico Cantina Y Veracruz Cochina

  • Specialty: Modern Mexican cooking and creative margaritas
  • Popular dish: fajitas made with natural beef or sustainably-fished seafood
  • Vegetarian’s choice: sweet-potato enchiladas with goat cheese and poblano sauce
  • Critic’s favorite: a Seattle Times reviewer loved the Ahi Tuna Flores, praising the “pepper-and-spice-rubbed rectangles of seared rare tuna” served with seasonal veggies
  • What to drink: hibiscus margarita with tequila, triple sec, and house-made hibiscus-flower syrup
  • Don’t miss: the lime-salt-dusted tortilla chips
  • Best seats in the house: on the rooftop patio or around the indoor fire pit
  • Eco-friendly cred: Mexico Cantina composts food waste to increase sustainability
  • Before dinner: catch a movie or do some shopping at Pacific Place, the shopping center that Mexico Cantina calls home

600 Pine St
Seattle,
WA
US

The recipes at Chilitos Mexican Restaurant chart a trail from Guadalajara, Mexico, to chef Carlos Padilla’s kitchen. Chef Padilla infuses these recipes with 25 years of culinary experience, stuffing Anaheim chili peppers with cheese and dipping them in egg batter before topping their crisp shells in homemade sauce. Over the grill, the chef and his team flame-broil steaks and pork loin topped with a green sauce of tomatillos, peppers, and onions, while mixologists pour classic Sauza margaritas as well as strawberry- and banana-flavored cocktails at the bar. Once a month, a band of mariachis perform, serenading couples with romantic ballads and practical tips for joint-filing tax returns.

6510 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle,
WA
US

For more than a quarter century, the Arias family has served a menu of classic Mexican cuisine at El Farol Mexican Restaurant. Plates full of enchiladas, fajitas, and burritos add their own colors to a space where bold and bright oranges, greens, and blues are splashed across the walls. A spicy shrimp dish, camarones a la diabla, leads a list of more upscale dinner feasts, including sirloin steak infused with cayenne pepper, and burgers, chimichangas, and tacos head the lunch menu. Patrons can quench their thirst with the usual suspects, such as beer, Jarritos, horchata, or a fire hydrant.

1467 E Republican St
Seattle,
WA
US

At La Luna, chef Luis Castro transports tongues across the border with enchiladas, slow-roasted short ribs, and housemade mole sauce. Inside or on an outdoor patio, guests bite into burritos and grilled chicken garnished with locally sourced ingredients, served alongside glasses of agave-distilled spirits such as mescal and more than 60 types of tequila. La Luna's mixologists blend 100% agave tequila with fresh seasonal fruits, creating margaritas as powerful as a tractor outfitted with a jet engine.

2 Boston St
Seattle,
WA
US

The Santa Fe Café has been concocting its spicy stews since 1981, when two New Mexican brothers yearned for the sultry tastes of green and red chilies found back home. The resulting menu of peppery portions became a Seattle staple, serving up homemade posole and authentic Land of Enchantment dishes. Heat-hankering hungers will quiver before the chile relleno tart ($16.50), in which hot green chilies, mozzarella, and gruyere cheese are baked into a blue corn pastry with goat cheese custard, and the green chile burrito ($14/small, $16/large) awakens weary taste receptors to the joys of young love with shredded beef, onion, and tomato on a fresh tortilla topped with green chile and colby cheese. A drink like the Santa Fe Café style margarita ($7.50) will keep your gullet icy throughout your magma-inspired meal so you’re still able to taste a dessert of amaretto and orange flan ($6.25) nightcapped with a Santa Fe coffee (Herradura silver, Frangelico, and a touch of red chile topped with whipped cream; $9.50). The restaurant’s comfortable décor of green-and-white tiling and brightly painted wooden seats will make diners feel like they’re dining al fresco in Albuquerque while sparing them the comic misadventures that befall those who fail to take the left turn there.

5910 Phinney Ave N
Seattle,
WA
US