Been here? Rate It!
Cactus - South Lake Union: Popular Southwestern in South Lake Union
While it is a chain of restaurants, it should be noted this is a small, local chain of restaurants. There are currently only four in the Seattle area. The stated goal of the South Lake Union restaurant was to be a modern and urban, but at the same time keep a neighborhood feel that the rest of their restaurants have.
They seem to have succeeded pretty well, and probably the only thing that keeps this southwestern USA themed restaurant from not feeling like a neighborhood restaurant is the sheer amount of traffic in and out of it.
The lunchtime crowd, however, is quite a bit different from the evening crowd. The place is surrounded by modern offices, including the new Amazon headquarters. You would expect such a place to be fairly high in price, but in fact it is reasonably close to the average Seattle price, at least for the lunch time crowd.
Dinner may very well be another matter.
Favorite Dish: The vegetarian quesadilla ($10) was reasonably good, but I also had a small sample of my friend's Squash Enchilada ($11) and found that this was a pretty good dish.
However, I have rated the restaurant as a "more expensive than average" due to the amount of food provided for the price.
- Food and Dining
Taqueria Jalisco: Good Deal of Food Near Seattle Center
Being near the Seattle Center, you would expect the food to be fairly expensive, but in fact in terms of the sheer quantity of food for the price, this is probably one of the best places near downtown.
The artwork is fairly extensive, covering the benches, the walls, and to some extent the ceilings. Someone definitely spared no trouble when it came to give the average customer the impression that the building might appear somewhere in a small corner of Mexico.
This place should NOT be confused with the tiny restaurant on the other side of the street, which has an almost identical name, is much smaller, and by reputation does not produce food of as good a quality as the actual Taqueria Jalisco restaurant does. Many of the on-line reviews seem to have mistaken the two restaurants.
The biggest problem you face in trying to find this place is that there are two 1st Avenues right next to eachother in this area. One of these is 1st Avenue North, and the other is 1st Avenue West, and the W and N can look a lot alike on a dark evening. If you wind up looking at an office building, you are on the wrong 1st Avenue and need to go two blocks east.
There is limited street parking, and the majority of the parking, however, is accessed off of Queen Anne Avenue.
Favorite Dish: Flautas Dinner ($10.95) or the Enchaladas Rancheras ($10.95) were both fairly good, and a huge plate of food for the price.
- Food and Dining
Trago: View of Lake Union with Decent Bar
While advertising itself as "Mexican" in some locations, this restaurant also features a few items from varous other Latin American countries.
While fairly modern, the interior of the facility is well decorated and has quite a lot of woodwook in it. Take a look at the area by the fireplace in particular if you get a chance to visit this restaurant.
Most of the restaurant is on the second floor, where an open window overlooks Lake Union and provides a great view of the southern tip of the lake. Thankfully, busy Westlake really doesn't produce enough noise to filter into the restaurant above. Being on the second level really makes a difference in traffic noise. There is a lower level area but I would hesitate to the open porch there due to the traffic.
I expected the prices here it be slightly higher than they are, due to the modern nature of the restaurant and the location in the severely popular South Lake Union area.
The current information from the restaurant states that happy hour prices are available from 4pm to 6pm and 10pm to 1am every day.
Favorite Dish: They have a pretty good Vegetarian Quesadilla for $8 at lunch, and it is a very popular location for the happy hour specials.
The drinks menu at the table features a number of them that cost more than the food.
The Guacamole Appetizer for $8 was also quite good, and my lunchtime friends told me that the Asada Torta and Asada Taco (both $12) were quite good as well.
- Food and Dining
Agua Verde Cafe: I suggest you pass on this one
I try, in my reviews, to see the positives in whatever restaurant or tourist attraction I visit. Sadly, this has to be one of my first negative reviews for a restaurant which I was not satisfied with AT ALL. The Agua Verde Cafe in the University District of Seattle sounded promising. We agreed to go there and were surprised to see a line out the door. We were told it'd be a 45-minute wait. Naturally this made us wanna change our mind, but we decided to stick with it. The wait time was cut in half which was lucky for us. It's a VERY SMALL little restaurant and not enough room for anybody to really enjoy the meal because this place is so bustling with people. I hate that kind of atmosphere if it's a really small place. We were seated and it took FOREVER for the waitress to come take our order, she passed us by before my mom had to flag her down. She seemed frustrated and told us she'd be there soon. Yeah right! We got our food and it was about average. You can have much better Mexican food here in my state. We decided not to leave a good tip. I'm so glad we came here, because now I can recommend others NOT to come here. Even if you're a local, I say you should pass. Please do not come here and waste your time! Maybe next time, you might luck out though and get better service and food then we did!
Favorite Dish: I had me a taco plate that came with three types of tacos, mole, cheese and chicken. It was okay.
Agua Verde Paddle Club: Spend the day kayaking then relax w/margaritas.
Located right on the Montlake Cut, the waterway that connects Lake Union to Lake Washington is a great little Mexican place. It has good margaritas and a great salsa bar. The best part is you can rent kayaks right there to build up an appetite and see Seattle from the intimate water side.
Favorite Dish: I haven't had anything bad there. They are especially good with there unique sauces and salsas, like the Pineapple jicama salsa or Creamy avacado sauce.
El Puerco Lloron: Mexican near Pike Place and Waterfront
Generally, when a restaurant has been in business for 30 years in an environment as competitive as that of Seattle, you can expect good things.
I wasn't exceptionally impressed, but at the same time I will also say that the prices are quite reasonable compared to what you would find at almost all other places in this part of town. Don't get me wrong: the food is fine, but also not something I would consider making a special trip for either.
The location has a huge amount of potential, as there could be a terrific view of Elliott Bay from here, if it weren't for the fact that the Alaskan Way Viaduct passes directly outside the windows, between the restaurant and the bay. To get that spectacular view now, you have to go to one of the restaurants that sits higher in the buildings, and naturally also higher in price.
At lunchtime, the restaurant is a semi-self service. Check the menu on the wall, order the food, and pick it up when it is ready. Silverware, straws, cups for water, etc. are to the left of the pickup window.
The restroom is quite a long involved pathway through the kitchen to the back of the building.
The entrance to the restaurant is off the staircase where Pike Street would be located, if Pike Street could be run through the steep hill. While the official address is Western Avenue, it is actually closer to halfway between Western Avenue and Alaskan Way, facing the staircase.
There is an outdoor patio by the entrace out to the staircase.
There are quite an assortment of eccentric decorations hanging from the ceiling here.
Favorite Dish: Vegetarian burrito with rice for $6.88 including tax was a very reasonable deal in this part of Seattle.
Taqueria Jalisco: Good Value near the Seattle Center / Space Needle
First, I must warn you that this place has gotten some very mixed reviews on various web sites. We didn't have any problems with any of the services on May 17, 2010, but obviously your experience may vary. Also, Keep in mind that if there is a special event at the Seattle Center, many of the restaurants will be far more crowded than their regular staffing level allows, and everyone will have slower than normal service simply because of the unexpected crowding. Thankfully, we went there on a Monday night, without any special events at Seattle Center.
Second, I must warn you that there are actually TWO Jalisco's right across the street from eachother. The smaller Jalisco Restaurant is on the east side, and the larger Taqueria Jalisco is on the west side of the street. This tip relates to an experience visiting Taqueria Jalisco, and does not have anything to do with Jalisco on the east side of the street.
Third, I must warn you that it is somewhat hard to locate this place if you don't know the area, as there are two 1st Avenues (1st Avenue North and 1st Avenue West) that are two blocks away.
However, the interior decor was pleasant, gave the appearance and atmosphere of being Mexican, the service was attentive, and we got our food fairly quickly.
Also, despite the name Taqueria Jalisco, this is not what I would have expected a Taqueria to be. There was little self-service involved, as there is in a normal Taqueria.
Favorite Dish: Enchiladas Rancheras ($10.95) are three enchiladas with rice, beans, guacamole and sour cream, topped with parmesan cheese.
The serving size is quite a good value for what you pay, particularly near Seattle Center.
Tacos Guaymas Fremont: Fremont Tacos
Tacos Guaymas is a wonderful little spot in the Fremont area of Seattle. The menu is pretty complete, with tacos, burritos, enchiladas, soup, and appetizers. It is quite a place, colorfully painted and easy. It's pretty much self-serve, ordering at a window and having it dropped at your table. It is a fun environment, people talking and enjoying their company and the food.
Oh, there is a salsa bar which is terrific. A range of salsas from mild pico de gallo to fire-roasted tomato and pickled veggies.
Favorite Dish: I had the super burrito, which is about 10" long and crammed full of rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and your choice of meat. I had the carnitas, which was FANTASTIC. Carnitas should be a little crispy and shredded fine, and this held up perfectly. Some of the thin avocado salsa from the salsa bar went terrifically with it. The tortilla soup was a huge ball of deliciousness. mmmmmm
Mama's: Good Mexican Downtown
Mama's has a great atmosphere to it. Brightly colored, with a strange devotion to Elvis, the place is usually busy with a diverse clientele. Situated right at the edge of Belltown, it is not to far to go from downtown to find a good meal. Not extremely authentic, but delicious nonetheless. Service is fast and fun, and the prices can't be beat.
Favorite Dish: I had a simple chile verde, cubed pork in a green sauce. It was tasty, and came with refried beans, Spanish rice and tortillas. It was tasty. Nothing to go crazy over per se, but a decent meal at a decent price.
Mexican Cuisine: MEXICO in Pacific Place Center
The ambience of this restaurant is classic for Mexican cuisine, except for the big open fire pit. It worked well in the restaurant being that it was freezing cold outside - nice way for people to warm up. The wait help were very courteous and efficient. We never had to wait for our beverages or chips/ salsa to be refilled. We didn't need to wait ver long for our food. It was delicious! The temperature was perfect and each bite was absolutely flavorful. Take a look at the pictures for a better description of the food.
Mexican Cuisine: Mexican on Bainbridge Island
Ilsa Bonita Mexican Restaurant was an excellent find off Seattle on Bainbridge Island. I was visiting around the island during the day.
the reason I chose here was there was a heap of locals stopping in, and they seemed to have a great lunch time special for Fajitas. So I took the risk.
Favorite Dish: I went the Fajita lunch special. It was de-lish.
The chicken was serves on a hot plate still sizzling. And the bread served authentic hot ready to roll.
Mexican Cuisine: OK Food here - Cayenne
The food here was ok by my standards. Not as fatty as most food in USA. Portions are edible without waste and without feeling like you've eaten a horse. Friendly staff and atmosphere is warm. Make the effort and walk just outside the main city area to Broadway, 1000. If you like Mexican food then this will be a nice change.
The Matador: Great Atmo
This place has great atomosphere.... there is a fire pit in the middle of the restaurant and unique metal works all over!
The food is as delightful as the atmospere!
The Matador's happy hours (4pm-6pm and 10pm-2am) make it a great place to dine or just for drinks.
Mama's Mexican Kitchen: Great Mexican Cafe!
Great for a quick lunch or a long sit down, Mama's is a staple! They have great funky decor on the inside, and a small sidewalk seating area during the summer. The walls are painted with funky themes, scenes from Mexico, reds, and some pictures of Hispanic singers and actors.
Chips and salsa accompany every meal
Favorite Dish: VEGGIE CHANGO BURRITO: Beans, Rice, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Olives, Onion. Smothered in Ranchero Sauce and Baked.
"THE PAPA" WHOLE BEAN BURRITO: Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Rice on Wheat or White Tortilla.
Agua Verde: Mexican Food & Kayaking
All natural Mexican food. A little cafe on the water, you can grab your quesadillas con mangos and your margarita and head outside to the park and eat on the grass or at a picnic table overlooking the water and kayakers. They have indoor seating as well.
They are on Portage Bay which connects Lake Union and Lake Washington. I tell you this because either before or after your fantastic lunch/dinner I hope that you have a chance to rent a kayak downstairs and check out all of the names of the house boats, gasworks park and all of the great views from either or both lakes.
For more info on kayak rentals, check out their website or the sports section of my Seattle Page
Favorite Dish: Chicken & Mango Quesadillas & a Mango Margarita. Mouth watering and refreshing in the hot summer sun, plus, very satisfying after 2 hours of paddling. The price really depends, with or without margaritas (they have beer too)...I say with!!!
- Water Sports
- Save up to 50% on hotels.
- Hotwire.com Hotwire: Get a 4-star hotel for a 2-star price.
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
Seattle Travel Guide
Explore the World
- Stamford Bridge Hotels
- Beserah Hotels
- Ballinteer Hotels
- Clogherhead Hotels
- Bukit Fraser