Image: Amber Fouts

Potatoes, Baked and Loaded

A humble counter on the edge of Ballard goes all in on a most unlikely concept: loaded vegan baked potatoes. Papas Hot Potatoes smothers the common russet (or sweet potato upgrade) with cashew sour cream, assertive salsa, and faux queso the color of ball-park mustard. Some customers get carried away with the roster of complimentary add-ons—garlic “aioli,” roasted mushrooms, pickled jalapenos. No judgment, especially when piling on the smoky-sweet coconut chips that do a remarkable bacon impersonation. —Allecia Vermillion

Retro Burgers

You could be fooled into thinking Meg’s Hamburgers has been around for decades: neon signage, dinerlike pale yellows and light blues, plus the old-school charm of a joint that knows burgers. And Meg’s knows burgers. These are smash patties, adorned simply with special sauce, and cheese if you want it. It’s a purist’s dream on fluffy buns, inside a low-slung brick building in Pioneer Square. Get the beef fat french fries. Rosin Saez

A Japanese Tasting Tour

While many newer local Japanese restaurants are known for perfectionist specificity, Migoto does breadth. The restaurant, perched on the border between First Hill and the Central District, offers, among other things, udon, soba, don buri, katsu, teriyaki, grilled things, and sushi, including an abundance of rolls. Flavors lean simple rather than subtle—seaweed salad brings just ocean brine and snapping acid, and a miso soup tastes mostly of salt—but still soothe a craving, especially when paired with deeply kind service. Stefan Milne

Brisk, Brilliant Bolognese

Zero nonsense pervades GH Pasta Co., Brian Clevenger’s quick-service outlet near the Spheres. Not in the spare aesthetic, nor the straightforward menu of tagliatelle, rigatoni, and assorted starters, like elegant roast broccoli salad. Certainly not in the kitchen, where a hustling staff busts out shockingly good bowls of $10 pasta. Clevenger’s spaghetti bolognese might be the best thing you’ll ever eat from a compostable takeaway container. —AV


Blend Into Spring

Damsel Cellars Red Blend Columbia Valley 2016 $18

Red blends are a hot category right now, and tasty, exquisitely priced bottles like this one help explain why. Mostly cabernet sauvignon and syrah, this wine is filled with dark plum, blue fruit, herb and spice aromas, and flavors that show exceptional balance. It’s one of the best quality-to-price ratio wines I’ve tasted in the past year. Stock up as the weather warms. Pair with barbecued spare ribs. —Sean P. Sullivan

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In this Article

GH Pasta Co.

$ Italian 2305 Sixth Ave

Zero nonsense pervades GH Pasta Co., Brian Clevenger’s quick-service outlet near the Spheres. Not in the spare aesthetic, nor the straightforward menu of tag...

Migoto

$$ Japanese 514 12th Ave

While many newer local Japanese restaurants are known for perfectionist specificity, Migoto does breadth. The restaurant, perched on the border between First...

Meg's Hamburgers

$ Burgers 200 S Jackson St

You could be fooled into thinking Meg’s Hamburgers has been around for decades: neon signage, dinerlike pale yellows and light blues, plus the old-school cha...

Editor’s Pick

Papas Hot Potatoes

$ Vegan 550 NW 65th St

A humble counter on the edge of Ballard goes all in on a most unlikely concept: loaded vegan baked potatoes. Papas Hot Potatoes smothers the common russet (o...