Along the Pike/Pine corridor awaits a most delightful cafe filled with fruit tarts, French macarons, a slew of specialty cakes, plus a myriad of other baked goods. But don’t be fooled: This isn’t just a bakeshop. You can stay and dine on savory fare, but should you require a more expedited experience, stop by the walkup window and order from a short menu of sweets to go. Bonus: it's open until midnight when the dessert hankerings are strong and your desire to bake anything is weak.
Grass-fed meat, house-made pickles—there’s much in Josh Henderson’s faux-lowbrow burger joints to admire. But OMG these fries: crinkle cut, genuine flavor, perfect crunch. And, man, those Parfait Ice Cream milkshakes. There's the OG location in the Denny Regrade, but two newer walkup windows—one in Chinatown–International District, another downtown on Third Ave—promise the same full menu and a swift lunch trip.
Monica Dimas’s walkup window on Olive Way serves Mexico City’s signature signature oblong sandwiches, each toasted bolillo stuffed with meat (housemade chorizo and fried eggs, braised beef mole) or veggies (roasted broccoli and spicy mushrooms, roasted beets and quinoa) and piled with all manner of spicy, crunchy, creamy accompaniments. Take it to go, or eat these messy wonders at Montana down the street. Next: We're counting down to Dimas's Lil Neon Taco to open its window on First Hill.
Occupying the walkup counter at 1509 East Madison, a humble spot with a surprisingly noble lineage that includes Little Uncle and Manu’s Bodegita, now serves a half-dozen varieties of baker Molly Westman’s bagels, plus plenty of schmears. Look for flavors like sesame, salt, pumpernickel, and the classic “everything,” made with spices from Villa Jerada. In other words, don’t come here expecting sugar bomb bagels, though there is a version made with cinnamon and currants. A special caviar schmear is available on Fridays, lovely atop a Maldon sea salt bagel.
One part of the trifecta that is Ballard's tiki bar Hotel Albatross and raw bar No Vacancy Poke, this sidewalk stop issues street food that could many a munchie: deep-fried taco shell with carnitas or carne asada, pico de gallo, and avocado; torta cubana; Mexican street corn, the holy mashup of tater tots and nachos aka totchos.
SoDo may not be a land of lavish dining, but this neighborhood is a goldmine of fast food. Case in point: Pick-Quick Drive In. It's been passing burgers, fries, and shakes through windows since 1949—now the Fife landmark has come to Seattle. At the drive-through or walkup window on Fourth Ave South, nab a burg made with Painted Hills grass-fed beef, handcut fries, and a Snoqualmie Ice Cream milkshake. Pick quickly, but thank us at your leisure.
Taking cues from the ever-popular Middle Eastern street foods from Mamnoon’s to-go menu up on Capitol Hill, owners Wassef and Racha Harouns have transported this quick-and-casual concept to the Amazon patch of Sixth Ave. The same small plate, or mezze, favorites are here such as the bright quinoa tabbouleh and (yes!) the spicy harra frites with Aleppo pepper, cayenne, and cilantro. A staple of Lebanese street food, their mana’eesh flatbread lineup can naturally be found here too. But folks cluster on the sidewalk for this: shawarma made with chicken or lamb accompanied by pickled turnips, herbs, and a special Mamnoon Street sauce, or pickled pepper and a roasted garlic sauce.