When I saw the Taco Crawl Seattle event page on Facebook, I don’t think I’ve ever hit “interested” so quickly. The event advertised nearly 30 participating taco-selling restaurants throughout the city, and that there was no ticket or fee required to eat your way through the crawl.
Naturally, the Facebook event grew almost exponentially, where over 7,500 people marked the event as “interested”. Although it was maybe a little less fun than your average crawl, it was a lot more freeing being able to go into to any restaurant whenever it was convenient.
As the very bad vegetarian that I am, I decided to try both vegetarian options as well as non-red meat animal options, all in the name of journalism so that this review wouldn’t just be veggie tacos. So on Saturday night I set out to find some new taco spots, as well as revisit some of my old favorites.
Mama’s Cantina – Belltown
Starting off with the farthest away from campus is Mama’s Cantina, Seattle’s “oldest Mexican restaurant,” which is an Uber ride away over in Belltown. Despite it being a decent bit away from campus, their tacos are worth the commute.
Unfortunately I arrived after Happy Hour where tacos are two for $7 (and PSA for those over 21, Mama’s sells frozen margaritas in three different flavors for $5). The non-Happy Hour price wasn’t bad though, and I ordered the three taco combo for $12, making these tacos the most expensive of the crawl at $4 each.
I got two Chicken Carnitas tacos and one Crispy Avocado & Bean taco, along with a side of beans and rice. The chicken was my favorite of the two, but I’d recommend both of them. Mama’s fried the avocado and it was surprisingly good that way, as it added a new and unusual flavor compared to what I was expecting from an avocado and bean taco.
Although these tacos were the most expensive of the bunch, they were the largest and some of my favorites. I’ll definitely be returning to take advance of the Happy Hour deals (4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.).
Marination Station– Capitol Hill
Tucked away on top of the QFC in the upper level of Harvard Market is Marination Station. The small Hawaiian restaurant is a hidden gem and I’m so surprised more people don’t know about this place. I had never been here before this taco crawl and I discovered that I was really missing out.
Marination offers five different options for tacos, including Miso Ginger Chicken, Spicy Pork, Kalbi Beef, Kalua Pork and Sexy Tofu. I ordered two of the Sexy Tofu tacos because I couldn’t resist the name, and they were actually amazing.
The taco consists of fried tofu simmered in a sweet brown sauce topped with chilled slaw, jalapeños and sesame seeds. Don’t let the idea of slaw deter you from these—it’s actually amazing combined with the fillings and the corn tortillas.
For $3 per taco and just a few blocks from campus, this place can’t be beat. It also has vegan and gluten-free options, so Marination Station is a definite winner.
Tacos Chukis – Capitol Hill
I’m no stranger to Tacos Chukis, and even after this taco crawl I’m convinced they have some of the best tacos in Seattle.
Nestled on top of the Broadway Alley at Broadway and Olive Way, Tacos Chukis is almost always packed and for good reasons. They offer five different tacos for $2 each, which is the cheapest I’ve found in the city yet.
I ordered two Pollo Asado tacos and one Frijoles taco, which is filled with vegetarian friendly pinto beans. All Tacos Chukis’ tacos are topped with cilantro, onion, salsa and guac, and combined with the filling of your choice, they are some of the most heavenly tacos I’ve ever munched on.
I’m convinced that the Pollo Asado with all of the toppings is the best taco in Seattle, as it’s on the very short list of meals I will eat meat in. (I’m also a sucker for Chick-fil-a).
I also tried to visit Neon Taco, but I was very shortly kicked out after I realized it is a bar and restaurant, making my almost 20.5-year-old self not old enough to enjoy the tacos. Despite this minor setback, I still enjoyed many tacos throughout the night, and would suggest planning your own Taco Crawl to explore some new places and support your local businesses.
Anna may be reached at