Seattle's 15 Essential Carb Experiences

Buns or Butter: Seattle's greatest achievements in comfort food include destination dumplings, superlative fries, and hyperdelicate pasta.

By Allecia Vermillion

Unparalleled tortillas at Carnitas Michoacán (okay, the filling is pretty great, too).

Image: Amber Fouts


Carnitas Michoacán

The kitchen goes through multiple batches of masa daily, each one destined to become springy, ludicrously fresh corn tortillas. As flatbreads go, they’re team players, at their best wrapped around carnitas or pork al pastor. Beacon Hill



How to make a pasta packed with egg yolks feel delicate? Cut great sheets of it into angel-fine strands and dress them ever so simply with butter (okay, lots of butter) and a single, crispy sage leaf. Capitol Hill


Sea Wolf Bakers

Thank science, and plenty of it, for the sturdy exterior that protects a cathedral-esque open crumb within, tangy with fermented flavor. But bakers Kit and Jesse Schumann sure make breadmaking look like an art. Fremont

A year of pandemic baking leaves us even more awestruck by Sea Wolf's sourdough.

Image: Amber Fouts


Cafe Besalu

Plain or twice baked, filled with ham and swiss or topped with pistachios and raspberry: It’s the gold (and golden) standard of laminated dough in a town that takes the topic quite seriously. Ballard


Cafe Lago

Somehow a dish that consists of nine layers of pasta amid bechamel and ricotta comes off as weightless, something that might float away were it not tethered to the plate by a cap of bright marinara. Montlake

Biang Biang

Xi’An Noodles

Hearty thwacks (“biang biang” is an onomatopoeia) fissure skeins of dough into rustic strips, a canvas that demands big flavors like lamb, cumin, and chili oil. University District

Biang biang vfgygz

Xi'an Noodles recently remodeled its University District flagship (and the counter at Westlake is open, too).

Image: Sarah Flotard

Sichuan Beef Noodles

Szechuan Noodle Bowl

The kitchen’s dough-based talents include dumplings and one hell of a pancake, but also chewy noodles in a broth that will knock you backward, then bring you back to life. Chinatown-International District


The Crumpet Shop

Britain’s teatime classic is best straight off the griddle, which means you won’t see it many places locally. Except this second-generation business in Pike Place Market. To properly appreciate a crumpet’s textural surface and spongy interior is to eat it plain, with just a flicker of salty butter on top. Pike Place Market

Xiao Long Bao

Dough Zone

Debating the town’s best soup dumpling is almost as enjoyable as eating them, but this aptly named local chain finds the elusive midpoint between sleight-of-hand delicate and full-of-broth sturdy. Chinatown-International District

Dough Zone now has eight locations around the region.



If one must choose a single pizza to rep Seattle’s many superb pies, it’s going to be Brandon Pettit’s—a wood fired crust flavorful and fermented and topped to minimalist perfection. A little New York, a little Naples, and yet wholly Northwest. Ballard

Everything Bagel

Mt. Bagel

A specimen so thoroughly impressive—from its chewy center to an exterior crisp as a British comedy—the fact that it’s made by former Cabana frontman Roan Hartzog is a footnote rather than main point. (Fellow legit newcomer Rubinstein Bagels is hot on its heels.) Delivery

Pommes Frites

Cafe Presse

Skin-on russets, medium-thick, double-fried. Sometimes a darker shade of ochre, but always soft and yielding in the center. The platonic ideal of a french fry lives at 12th Avenue’s Francophile cafe—all the more reason to dip it in mayonnaise. Capitol Hill


Dacha Diner

Referring to this Georgian dish simply as cheese bread grievously undersells the magic of boat-shaped crust, its center bubbling with tangy molten cheese, one perfect egg, and a formidable pat of butter. Capitol Hill

Dacha Diner's khachapuri (it's pronounced with a silent "k").


Coyle’s Bakeshop

Rachael Coyle’s croissant-pretzel mashup is by no means the measure of her talent—the rest of her Briton-elegant pastry case can speak to that. But it is proof she’s not too precious to overlook the charms of a flaky golden pretzel that channels the butter levels of movie popcorn, then adds a dash of rosemary. Greenwood

Dutch Baby

Tilikum Place Cafe

Technically a baked pancake, really a supersize eggy popover that rises from a personal-size hot skillet to meet a dusting of sugar, or various sweet or savory fillings. Worth the 30-minute wait, no questionBelltown

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