A great little taco place is thinking bigger for 2021. Carmelo’s Tacos — the popular Mexican food window inside Hillcrest Market on Capitol Hill — will open up a second location in the neighborhood, and its first full-fledged restaurant.
As reported by Capitol Hill Seattle, the new outpost will be near the corner of 12th Avenue and East Cherry Street in the space formerly occupied by fast-casual Korean restaurant Oma Bap, and down the block from Ba Bar. While the opening date is still up in the air for the official debut, co-owner Raul Delfin tells Eater Seattle the team hopes to open by the end of January or early February.
Carmelo’s has been a true hidden gem since opening in 2018, serving campechano, asada, and al pastor tacos that have drawn raves from local critics and long lines. Delfin says the menu will mostly be the same as the Hillcrest Market location, with a couple of interesting tweaks. The restaurant hopes to rotate in new tacos each month, representing different regions of Mexico (expect some birria and seafood options in the mix), and offer breakfast tacos and burritos on weekend mornings. Depending on how regulations go in Washington’s reopening plan, the new Carmelo’s will start with takeout, but there’s a patio and room for 30 guests inside the 1,300 square-foot space.
The expansion is the rare bit of good news for a Seattle restaurant scene that has been devastated by the pandemic and has seen more closures than openings in recent months, particularly with the extension of indoor dining restrictions and lack of comprehensive government relief. Even though the past year has been enormously challenging, Carmelo’s seems to have been well-positioned with its takeout window service, and will look to now broaden its reach.