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A selection of burritos, tacos, and other Mexican plates at Gorditos in Seattle, top-down view
Gorditos in Greenwood serves generous portions on a variety of Mexican food.
Gorditos [Official]

Seattle Area Restaurant Dishes That Make for Great Leftovers

This food holds up well heated up the next day

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Gorditos in Greenwood serves generous portions on a variety of Mexican food.
| Gorditos [Official]

For more than a year, most of the dining out in the Seattle region had been mostly relegated to take-away dishes. Providing comfort when diners needed it most, restaurants stepped up in a big way and served dishes that almost guaranteed leftovers for the following day. Just because dining rooms are now open up at 100 percent capacity doesn’t mean we still don’t crave leftovers from some of our favorite spots, though. Here are a few places keeping us sated with more than enough that will carry over to the next meal, listed from north to south.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Gorditos

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With all of the changes taking place in Greenwood, Gorditos is a mainstay that has held down its corner at 85th and Greenwood like a champ for over 25 years. This joint serves tacos, huevos rancheros, and enchiladas, and offers vegetarians and vegans plenty of good choices as well. Don’t miss the burritos offered wet or dry, including the “baby burrito,” which actually comes in the size of a newborn baby.

A selection of burritos, tacos, and other Mexican plates at Gorditos in Seattle, top-down view
Gorditos serves Mexican food in generous portions.
Gorditos [Official]

Sisi Kay Thai Eatery and Bar

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With its winding staircase and striking exterior, Sisi Kay Thai prominently stands out among other restaurants lining 45th Street in Wallingford. Rice and noodle dishes rule the day here, including a traditional pad Thai Boran, but other offerings — like the tom yum pizza — are winners as well. The classic Thai green curry is perfect for a late night bite, or enjoyed the morning after.

Italian Family Pizza

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Tucked away in plain sight at the busy intersection of Boren and Madison on First Hill is this family-run pizza parlor. Everything is made fresh daily at this affordable gem, and the restaurant boasts that its sauce is an over 100 year-old secret recipe left behind by a grandmother. Perhaps its those multi-generational roots that make he lasagna, strombolis, calzones, and pies so delectable. 

Cafe Selam

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Cafe Selam has been a standout for nearly 20 years. The classic cafe in the Central District serves up three squares a day, seven days a week, to adoring regulars who come for the vegetarian foul in the morning, and the beef tibs, doro wat and meat and vegetarian combos served with injera later in the day. The pint-sized patio with umbrella tables is a lovely place to linger with a mango juice, cardamom tea or glass of wine.

A bowl of Ethiopian food with a basket of bread off to the side and a half-empty glass of iced tea
Cafe Selam is an Ethiopian classic in the Central District.
Cafe Selam [Official]

Saigon Deli

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In a strip of shops along South Jackson Street one might miss the turn into its cramped parking lot. But those in the know make a beeline to Saigon Deli for its well-made banh mi, and it’s not unusual to see people happily walking out with several sandwiches for multiple meals. In addition to the banh mi, other items, such as the fresh spring rolls and pork meatballs, are delightful and suited for late-night fridge snacking.

Jade Garden

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Holding down their spot in the Chinatown International District for decades, Jade Garden is the go-to place for dim sum seekers looking for dependable and wonderful small bites, from steamed pork buns to prawns. But the decades-old favorite doesn’t disappoint on other items on the menu either, particularly the comforting hot and sour soup, which should hold up for awhile.

El Pollo Real

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At Tukwila’s Sinaloan grilled poultry-focused restaurant, diners can consume a whole roasted chicken with rice, beans, and house-made tortillas while catching the day’s soccer match on TV. Be sure to wash it all down with one of the spot’s refreshing aguas frescas, jarritos, or mexican beers. Free on site parking is a bonus.

A closeup of grilled chicken at El Pollo Real in Tukwila, Washington
El Pollo Real serves up terrific roast chicken, Sinaloan style.
El Pollo Real/Facebook

Spice Bridge

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At this bright, lively international food hall in Tukwila, diners can find dishes from a variety of women-led immigrant and refugee businesses, A few highlights including the noumm ka ri (a Cambodian curry fluffy pastry) from Theary, the chicken yassa from Senegambian catering company Afella Jollof, and Wuha Cuisine’s Ethiopian-American fusion plates. Outdoor seating and free parking seal the deal.

Gorditos

A selection of burritos, tacos, and other Mexican plates at Gorditos in Seattle, top-down view
Gorditos serves Mexican food in generous portions.
Gorditos [Official]

With all of the changes taking place in Greenwood, Gorditos is a mainstay that has held down its corner at 85th and Greenwood like a champ for over 25 years. This joint serves tacos, huevos rancheros, and enchiladas, and offers vegetarians and vegans plenty of good choices as well. Don’t miss the burritos offered wet or dry, including the “baby burrito,” which actually comes in the size of a newborn baby.

A selection of burritos, tacos, and other Mexican plates at Gorditos in Seattle, top-down view
Gorditos serves Mexican food in generous portions.
Gorditos [Official]

Sisi Kay Thai Eatery and Bar

With its winding staircase and striking exterior, Sisi Kay Thai prominently stands out among other restaurants lining 45th Street in Wallingford. Rice and noodle dishes rule the day here, including a traditional pad Thai Boran, but other offerings — like the tom yum pizza — are winners as well. The classic Thai green curry is perfect for a late night bite, or enjoyed the morning after.

Italian Family Pizza

Tucked away in plain sight at the busy intersection of Boren and Madison on First Hill is this family-run pizza parlor. Everything is made fresh daily at this affordable gem, and the restaurant boasts that its sauce is an over 100 year-old secret recipe left behind by a grandmother. Perhaps its those multi-generational roots that make he lasagna, strombolis, calzones, and pies so delectable. 

Cafe Selam

A bowl of Ethiopian food with a basket of bread off to the side and a half-empty glass of iced tea
Cafe Selam is an Ethiopian classic in the Central District.
Cafe Selam [Official]

Cafe Selam has been a standout for nearly 20 years. The classic cafe in the Central District serves up three squares a day, seven days a week, to adoring regulars who come for the vegetarian foul in the morning, and the beef tibs, doro wat and meat and vegetarian combos served with injera later in the day. The pint-sized patio with umbrella tables is a lovely place to linger with a mango juice, cardamom tea or glass of wine.

A bowl of Ethiopian food with a basket of bread off to the side and a half-empty glass of iced tea
Cafe Selam is an Ethiopian classic in the Central District.
Cafe Selam [Official]

Saigon Deli

In a strip of shops along South Jackson Street one might miss the turn into its cramped parking lot. But those in the know make a beeline to Saigon Deli for its well-made banh mi, and it’s not unusual to see people happily walking out with several sandwiches for multiple meals. In addition to the banh mi, other items, such as the fresh spring rolls and pork meatballs, are delightful and suited for late-night fridge snacking.

Jade Garden

Holding down their spot in the Chinatown International District for decades, Jade Garden is the go-to place for dim sum seekers looking for dependable and wonderful small bites, from steamed pork buns to prawns. But the decades-old favorite doesn’t disappoint on other items on the menu either, particularly the comforting hot and sour soup, which should hold up for awhile.

El Pollo Real

A closeup of grilled chicken at El Pollo Real in Tukwila, Washington
El Pollo Real serves up terrific roast chicken, Sinaloan style.
El Pollo Real/Facebook

At Tukwila’s Sinaloan grilled poultry-focused restaurant, diners can consume a whole roasted chicken with rice, beans, and house-made tortillas while catching the day’s soccer match on TV. Be sure to wash it all down with one of the spot’s refreshing aguas frescas, jarritos, or mexican beers. Free on site parking is a bonus.

A closeup of grilled chicken at El Pollo Real in Tukwila, Washington
El Pollo Real serves up terrific roast chicken, Sinaloan style.
El Pollo Real/Facebook

Spice Bridge

At this bright, lively international food hall in Tukwila, diners can find dishes from a variety of women-led immigrant and refugee businesses, A few highlights including the noumm ka ri (a Cambodian curry fluffy pastry) from Theary, the chicken yassa from Senegambian catering company Afella Jollof, and Wuha Cuisine’s Ethiopian-American fusion plates. Outdoor seating and free parking seal the deal.

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