Barrio is a lot of things. It’s over-the-top, it’s far from authentic Mexican (the cocktail menu has a Singapore Sling), and the prices seem to climb every time we eat here. But in spite of all of that, Barrio is a great place to ball out. Eating at Barrio is an event, and if you don’t sprain your elbow trying to open the comically massive wooden sanctum door, you’ll be greeted by hundreds of lit candles covering every wall. (Seriously, closing up has to be a real bitch.) Pyro-logistics aside, the food is actually great, whether you’re getting al pastor tacos or grilled shrimp enchiladas, the number of solid vegetarian options is astounding, and the chopped salad is probably the best plate of leaves in Seattle. It’s also stupidly easy to make a reservation for as many people as you have in your group, so book away your birthdays, special occasions, and coworker group therapies at Barrio.
More spots in Capitol HillSee more
Artusi is the bar version of Spinasse, the incredible full Italian restaurant next door. For cocktails and small plates, it doesn’t get much better.
Momiji is a Capitol Hill sushi spot that works for a low-key happy hour, but also a sake-filled birthday dinner.
More Mexican spotsSee more
There are a lot of Mexican spots in Bellevue, but Señor Taco is the best. Don’t leave without getting the fish tacos.
Marination Ma Kai
Marination is the concession stand from you childhood, but with actually great Korean fusion food - and the best views in Seattle.
Hotel Albatross in Ballard is the ultimate birthday spot - the kind of place that serves drinks out of fruit. The Mexican-Asian fusion is good too.
Suggested by our writers
For a perfect date night, go in on some American small plates at Single Shot in Capitol Hill.
Pablo y Pablo
Pablo y Pablo is a Wallingford spot from the people behind Barrio, our favorite Mexican restaurant in town.
Copal is a Mexican spot in Pioneer Square that put a lot of effort into making a great space. The food needs a bit more of that effort.
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