These restaurants will be familiar to the people who live in the cities they’re in. But for those of you who go for a visit or are new to town, they’ll be a little more difficult to discover.
1. Marcia’s Silver Spoon Cafe, Tacoma
You may have passed Marcia’s on South Tacoma Way before and kept right on driving, thinking that it didn’t look like anything special. But looks are definitely deceiving here. Ask anyone who has ever enjoyed a delicious brunch in their awesome diner setting. Find an ATM before you visit, because Marcia’s is cash only.
2. Mr. T’s Family Cafe, Mount Vernon
Mr. T’s is close to I-5, but it’s often overlooked since it’s not near an exit. The locals, however, know how savory and hearty the breakfasts here are.
3. May Kitchen & Bar, Vashon Island
Visitors to Vashon Island might drive right by this unassuming little building on the Vashon Highway. That would be a mistake. The Thai and Cambodian food here is so delicious, locals often have to make reservations to get in.
4. Chicken-N-More, Spokane
Chicken-N-More can be found in a little “blink and you’ll miss it” building on Spokane’s West Sprague Avenue. It’s a casual down home restaurant that serves the best BBQ in town (and arguably the best in the Northwest). The next time you’re in town, look for it next to Goodyear Shoe Repair.
5. Soup it Up, Ritzville
Traveling through Eastern Washington often means stopping in Ritzville for gas and grub. But if you venture into town and head down Main Avenue, you might come across Soup It Up. They serve other menu items, but the soup of the day and their Cincinnati Chili never disappoint.
6. Nutty’s Junk Yard Grill, Arlington
Thanks to the Centennial Trail, Nutty’s Junk Yard Grill does get its share of attention… but there are still a lot of people who have yet to discover it. The burgers and shakes are great, and the atmosphere is even better.
7. The Grub Hut, Kingston
Kingston itself is somewhat of a hidden gem, being a ferry ride away from the city of Edmonds. But if you venture out that way, don’t pass up the chance to enjoy some peace, love and grub at this casual eatery. Their menu of burgers, gyros and green salads will have whatever you’re craving.
8. Red Horse Diner, Ellensburg
Many people who stop in Ellensburg grab a meal from a restaurant that’s right off the freeway. But if you venture out a bit farther to University Way, you’ll find the decadent little lunch (and brunch) spot that is the Red Horse Diner.
9. La Costa, Burien
Sometimes you just need a huge plate of home style Mexican food served in a vibrant setting. La Costa in Burien is a little off the beaten path (if that beaten path happens to be Seattle), but it’s well worth the trip.
10. Huntington’s Steakhouse, Klickitat
Huntington’s is a casual, local bar, so don’t expect any frills here. But if you find it, what you can expect is food so great that some claim they’ve had the best steak of their lives here. It’s located on Main Street in the tiny town of Klickitat.
11. Over the Moon Cafe, Tacoma
This hidden gem is actually hidden. You’ll find Over the Moon in Opera Alley in Tacoma’s Theater District, and the menu consists of a lot of wonderful classed up comfort food.
12. Casa Luna, Poulsbo
Speaking of alleys, Poulsbo’s Casa Luna is nestled in a narrow walkway on Front Street. The quiet location just adds to the authenticity - you’ll feel like you stumbled upon a family-owned spot in Mexico.
There’s nothing like discovering your next favorite Washington restaurant. And when you’re in the mood for some home cooking, try one of these
Mom & Pop places.