Mexican Restaurants in Portage Bay

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Little Water Cantina: A User’s Guide

Modern, Seasonal Mexican | Killer Views of Lake Union | Artful Cocktails | “Freakishly Delicious Guacamole”

Sample Menu

  • Appetizer: empanadas stuffed with smoked Canadian duck or mixed veggies with almond cheese
  • Entree: wild-boar torta ahogada with grilled pineapple, three-chili sauce, and fried onions
  • Side: hock, chile, and beer-braised black and pinto beans

Green Eating While the kitchen strives to use local and organic products and compost all food waste, the staff’s eco-conscious efforts don’t stop there. The restaurant boasts LEED Platinum certification, in part due to the materials used to construct the space. The bar is made from rough, recycled wood and cinder blocks, light fixtures are upcycled gramophone horns, and one entire wall is constructed from 800 tequila bottles foraged from restaurant dumpsters.

Inside Tips

  • If weather permits, the 2,200-square-foot patio offers unmatched views of Lake Union.
  • On the last Sunday of each month, the eatery hosts the kid-friendly event Snouts and Stouts, during which the kitchen staff whole-roasts a naturally raised pig on the patio and serves it in pork tacos while local bands play.
  • Street parking is usually ample, but if it’s tight, find a free spot in the restaurant’s underground garage.

Press Box

  • “Little Water Cantina's spectacular tuna ceviche is a party on a plate.” — Seattle Times
  • “Freakishly delicious guacamole.” — The Stranger
  • “Bar manager Ryan Minch uses sotol to perfection in The Dog Fighter cocktail: a crisp, citrusy affair that blends sotol with El Jimador tequila blanco, maraschino, lemon juice, Cointreau and peach bitters.” — Seattle Magazine

Vocab Lesson
Manchamanteles: Spanish for tablecloth stainer, this is made from a mix of chiles, veggies, and meats, and is considered a classic Oaxacan mole.
Achiote: Spanish for annatto, this is extracted from the seeds of a shrub by the same name. It’s used as a spice or for its rich reddish color.

While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Gaze into the eyes of the Fremont Troll, who lives beneath the Aurora Bridge (3600 Troll Avenue N).

After: Watch boats depart from the hand-launch area at Fairview Park (2900 Fairview Avenue E).

2865 Eastlake Ave E

Six Things to Know about Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club

No matter the weather, Agua Verde Cafe’s casual dining room and tropical margaritas recall the balmy days of summer. The restaurant and outdoor patio overlook the bay, where diners can catch seaside breezes and watch kayakers from the Paddle Club down below. Here are more reasons it’s worth a visit:

  • They serve Mexican food from the Baja region. The Seattle Times raved over the enchiladas mariscos drizzled with piquant chipotle cream sauce, hailing them as something “to write home about.”
  • It was featured on an episode of Rachael Ray’s $40 A Day. She loved the fish tacos.
  • Chefs use organic and sustainable ingredients. They prepare all of their food daily, using sustainably-caught seafood, all-natural meats, and seasonal produce from local farmers whenever possible.
  • There’s a salsa bar. Diners can choose between three types of salsa, from tart salsa verde to smoky chipotle salsa.
  • Most dishes can be made vegan or gluten-free upon request. Plus, all of the appetizers—including the popular chile mashed potatoes—are vegetarian.
  • There are seven kinds of margarita. These include the Margarita Lima with housemade lima mix, and the Fresa, which they blend with whole, fresh strawberries.

1303 NE Boat St

In Focus: Guanaco’s Tacos Pupuseria

  • Motto: “Bringing a Little Salvadoran Flavor to Seattle”
  • All about the pupusas: corn pancakes stuffed with choice of meat, cheese, and veggies
  • Other dishes you can order: everything from Latin-American classics like burritos with beans and rice to more exotic meals like beef soup with yucca and chayote
  • What guanaco translates to: a large cameloid mammal native to South America; not to worry, it’s not served on the menu
  • What you can order if you’re gluten intolerant: tons of stuff. Wheat-sensitive eaters love this place because most of the food is made with corn flour.

4106 Brooklyn Ave NE

2026 Eastlake Ave E

1313 NE 42nd St

4229 University Way NE