Forget what you know about crepes—the flat, floppy presentation, the Nutella and powdered sugar, the French. At Unicorn Crepes in the International District, the pancake pastries are served Japanese-style, rolled tightly like an ice cream cone or burrito. No fork and knife here—peel the wrapper as you go. A few bites in and you think, This is how crepes were meant to be made.

Like other ID staples, Unicorn is snug (there are only eight seats at two tables) and eclectic; tweaked-out Japanese pop music videos play on mounted flat screens. Bordering the open kitchen is the menu. This takes the form of a giant display case showcasing dozens of options recreated with colorful plastics so customers can see exactly what they’re ordering. Choose from traditional (such as berries and cream) or more creative (potato or tuna salad). All are priced at $4–$6. Wash ’em down with a complimentary cup of chai.

With a $10 bill (and some pocket change), I sampled both savory and sweet. On the “meal” side, I went for a flaky pizza creation ($5.95) filled with cheese, pepperoni, onions, and green peppers. For dessert, I opted for the blueberry choco whip ($4.25). For me the fruit tended to the more preserved, sugary side, but it’s a perfect option for anyone with a raging sweet tooth.

What’s the must-try item?
[Michio Beyeler, co-owner] “Try the banana custard choco or ice banana choco… or one of the daifuku—the strawberry and banana are both good. It’s a combination of mochi [Japanese rice cake] and anko [sweet red bean paste]. It’s a more adventurous one, but if people are willing to be adventurous, I think they’d like it.”

MORE CHEAP EATIN’:

Unicorn Crepes
Rizzo’s French Dip
Po Dog
Zhivago’s Cafe
Samurai Noodle
Pike Street Fish Fry
Thai Tom
Homegrown
The Counter
Baguette Box
Citizen

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