As people head back into the office, we welcome back that dreaded question, “What are you in the mood to eat for lunch?” I’ve been on a hybrid schedule since moving to Seattle last fall and I’ve had the pleasure of exploring restaurants on my way to work with hardly anyone else around. But like many others, including business owners, I’m so happy to see people out and about again and enjoying all of the things Seattle has to offer! Below are my five favorite places to grab a quick lunch from Pike Place Market down to SoDo.
Located next door to the original Starbucks Coffee at Pike Place Market, Maiz opened in November of 2021 and has received tons of press and praise. Maiz is a tortilleria serving up fresh, authentic, homemade Mexican street food and stepping inside their small restaurant is like being transported far away from Seattle. They serve tacos, tamales, gorditas, and sopes made with their skillfully crafted, freshly made corn tortillas. Each order of tacos comes with three tacos of the same filling, but you can ask to order individual tacos as well. I had the poblano chicken and the shredded beef taco and both blew me away. I grew up outside of Houston so I have a deep love for Mexican food and I was really impressed with their food here! Maiz is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2. Michou Deli
Another favorite along the same strip at Pike Place Market is Michou Deli and if you’re someone who likes a large selection, this is where you go – they have everything! Michou opened in 2001 and they know how to do lunch right. They offer amazing panini sandwiches, soups, salads, dips, hot bar items, and desserts and all of their food is made fresh daily from locally sourced ingredients. Their menu changes with the seasons so you’ll always find something new. They have over 25 varieties of sandwiches which is why I try a new one every time, and they recently added breakfast items to their menu as well. Food allergies or just trying to eat healthy? They have you covered too! They have vegan, vegetarian, and whole-grain options so there’s something for everyone here. Michou Deli is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Founders Rob and Deb opened the original Pecos location in SoDo back in 1980 and Deb still owns and operates this location today. You might even find her at the window taking orders! She’ll make you feel so welcome and will tell you all about their delicious menu that you’ll want to order one of everything, but I don’t recommend that if you want to finish working that day because there’s something about comfort food that makes you want to take a nap. Pecos Pit offers slow smoked brisket, pork, chicken, turkey, and hot links and you can order them on a sandwich, mac and cheese bowl, baked potato, or over nachos. Next, you’ll choose your sauce which they spent years perfecting and have a scaled selection from mild to hot. Pecos Pit BBQ in SoDo is only open on weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The original shop opened in Redmond in 2001 and the SoDo location opened soon after. This is my most frequently visited lunch spot (and breakfast) because their bagels are so fun and made fresh daily. Blazing Bagels offers 35 different flavors of bagels, all made from scratch in Redmond from locally sourced ingredients, and each flavor is expertly crafted. Although you can order just a bagel here, the lunch sandwiches hit the spot every time. From turkey to chicken to roast beef, there’s something for whatever mood you’re in and most, if not all, are made with one of their homemade spreads for a well-crafted sandwich. You can check out any of their four locations to give your taste buds a treat! Their SoDo location is open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and opens at 7 a.m. on weekends.
Another SoDo favorite is Paseo which also has a location in Fremont and serves up mouthwatering Caribbean sandwiches and bowls. This place has even been featured as the second best sandwich shop in America by Food Network! Their sandwiches are served on toasted baguettes with their garlic aioli, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, caramelized onions, and romaine lettuce. Aside from sandwiches, they also offer salads, bowls, nachos, and chips and salsa. The portions here are big and are very filling. When I get lunch here, whether I order a sandwich or a bowl, I usually keep half for the next day. All of their options are packed with flavor so you really can’t go wrong! The West Caribbean Bowl is my favorite, as well as the Chicken Breast Sandwich. Paseo is open daily with hours varying by day.