Many great things came from the invention of the window - curtains, Microsoft’s logo, feeling a breeze while indoors, the boombox scene from Say Anything. But maybe the best byproducts are all of the takeout windows that restaurants have set up in Seattle. At first, we didn’t know why there are so many walk-up windows in this town. But seeing as contact-free transactions are now a way of life, we’re very glad to have them. If you’d like to grab something delicious without stepping foot into a restaurant, know that you have options (20 of them to be exact).
Jeepney is one of our favorite takeout windows in the city, especially when it comes to getting some late-night food. And even though hours have been reduced, this Filipino spot is still open until 10pm most days. All of the mains here come in the form of a sandwich, rice bowl, or loaded fries. The best thing, though, is the marinated steak tapa with Velveeta. But if you’re trying to eat more vegetables, the mushrooms with grilled paneer is also a winner.
We wish that Carmelo’s could climb up to our window with a ladder like Sam did in Clarissa Explains It All, but we’ll happily go directly to this Capitol Hill spot for this incredible Mexican food. The tortillas are thick and homemade, the carne asada is seasoned with some delicious spices, and we still think longingly about the chorizo/potato/cactus taco filling. And if you like a cheesy burrito, Carmelo’s sears cheese briefly on the flat top grill before adding it to the mix.
Mean Sandwich’s takeout window is really more like a takeout doggie door, but if you ask us (or a pomeranian with an affinity for cold cuts), it definitely counts. This classic deli from an alternate dimension serves sandwiches like corned beef topped with maple syrup and mint or sardines with celery root slaw and lemon-pepper mayo. Not to mention they have some incredible deep-fried baked potato hunks. All you have to do is place your order online, show up to the front of the restaurant, and they will slide a crate with your food through the doggie door.
Homer is a full-service restaurant with lots of tasty Mediterranean mezze (and some incredible roasted chicken). But if you just want some after-dinner ice cream or a treat for the car while you’re grabbing takeout, stop by their adjoining soft-serve window. Flavors range from chocolate bay leaf to vegan salted strawberry, and all of the flavors work well if you get them swirled together in your cone or cup.
Every summer before 2020, Mezcaleria Oaxaca’s rooftop was a guaranteed party. Now that you can only really party at home, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate with the same tacos and margaritas. Just order online in advance, and swing by their window on Summit Ave. to pick it up. Don’t forget to add on an order of fresh churros.
You probably already know about Un Bien and the outstanding and very messy Caribbean roast pork sandwich. You should also know that one of their locations is near Golden Gardens, and makes for a great (if not also messy) thing to pick up before socially-distant beach picnic. Make sure to get the fire-roasted corn as a side, and if you want something besides the roast pork sandwich, the grilled chicken is super tender and full of flavor.
In addition to selling plain scoops out of a window, Hello Robin also has ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies. Choosing between flavors like birthday cake and whole wheat chocolate chip with flaky salt will be the hardest decision you make today.
Manu’s Tacos is the sister spot to Manu’s Bodega and Gold Bar, so you know that you’re in good hands here with chicken tinga, pineapple pork, beef birria, or vegetables piled into tortillas. They’re also selling homemade horchata, hibiscus tea, and taco kits that feed up to six people if you have a large household.
Dingfelder’s sells massive pastrami sandwiches from an open window on Capitol Hill. They also have matzo ball soup, egg salad, tasty half-sour pickles, and other things that you maybe had for lunch the last time you were in New York. It might not be located on the East Coast, but if you’re in the mood for a kosher sandwich so tall that you need a strategy to eat it, this is the place.
Before they became one of our favorite restaurants in the city, this outstanding Malaysian spot originally operated solely as a takeout window. They’re bringing it back at their Capitol Hill location from 4-9pm Wednesday-Sunday, and you can expect the same dishes that make you smile, like eggy net bread with lamb curry, pan mee noodles with mushrooms, chili turmeric chicken, and their signature tofu fried rice with crispy shallots.
Both locations of Pie Bar (in Ballard and Capitol Hill) have takeout windows, but the Ballard location exclusively has cookies and cream pie, which you should go out of your way for. It’s perfect for those moments in quarantine when your fridge is empty and you find yourself throwing your hands up and yelling, “F*ck it, I’m eating pie for dinner.”
We could all use some mini Dutch pancakes and kebab wraps on homemade flatbread. That’s what you can get from Miri’s at Golden Gardens - they’re operating a takeout window every day on the beach (weekdays from 12-7pm and weekends from 11am-7pm). And if it’s really hot out, you can cool off with a popsicle or slushie.
The experience of waiting for a late-night slice at Big Mario’s used to be a sloppier mess than your first big high school house party. It’s calmed down since the concept of bar-hopping isn’t really a thing right now, but it’s still open, and a solid place for some pepperoni pizza if you need a quick meal.
The coconut tempura fish cod taco from Agua Verde is one of those things we can’t go a summer without, and it’s available (along with lots of terrific Mexican dishes) through this Lake Union spot’s takeout window. They’ve also started canning their prickly pear margarita, which makes us very happy.
Mamnoon Street’s falafel sandwich hits the spot, especially after a hike or any other kind of physical activity, including walking around the corner. The homemade flatbread, tahini, and pickled turnips make this wrap better than the sum of its parts, even though the parts are pretty damn great. Add an order of spicy fries with za’atar mayo and/or a mint lemonade.
Westman’s is pretty much just a narrow garage, but you can also think of it as a really, really big window. It’s a great breakfast option for lox and cream cheese bagel sandwiches, and you can order online in advance. No matter what, always remember to get some pastries. From babka rolls to tahini cookies, they’re all fantastic.
A puffy taco is just like a regular taco, except the shell is part-tortilla, part-flotation device. They’re perfect if you love corn tortillas but wish that they were just a little softer and fluffier. Sexy Alley also sells tortas, burritos, and fun to-go cocktails in pouches.
If you’re interested in buying bread but don’t want to go to the grocery store, Coyle’s has a pickup window where you can show up to grab preordered sourdough, scones, cake, jam, tarts, cookies, granola, bags of coffee, and our absolute favorite thing from Coyle’s - the cretzel. It’s 50% croissant, 50% pretzel, and 100% guaranteed to make you happy.
If you’re looking for a drive-thru window, go to Pick Quick for lunch. It’s an old-school, fast-food spot with burgers, fries, and ice cream cones that are better than the ones at Dick’s. You could also pay for the whole meal with the rumpled singles you found in your pants pockets while doing laundry.
Even if you’re grabbing something quick to take back home, it doesn’t mean you can’t also get a great view of Lake Union. That’s where White Swan comes in - it’s right on the water, and they serve some great seafood. Options range from cornmeal-crusted cod and chips to a fishwich BLT, and you can call your order in if you’d like (their number is 206-588-2680).
Yalla is a great takeout window that serves Middle Eastern wraps on homemade flatbread filled with everything from lamb and pomegranate molasses to za’atar and labneh. But if they have the cheesy kefta sandwich on special, you’re going to want that, especially with a nice side of crispy falafel. And if you’re also looking to bulk up your pantry, they sell olive oil, spices, and tahini.