Green star El Gallito (Central District)

1700 20th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 329-8088

Serving above-average Mexican-American standards and fine margaritas in an unpretentious diner-type setting, the Little Cock has been a neighborhood standby for many years. The back of each booth here is like a stack of cushioned logs, alternating red and black, finished in a trim of white piping, and the seat of each booth has an insane bounce. There are eight booths total, four under a row of windows and four down the middle of the restaurant. The last two of these aren't connected to any walls or partitions: You can scoot in (or fall out) on either side. In addition to dinner every night, El Gallito is open for lunch on weekdays. Recommended: going in on a rainy day, taking a seat at the farthest booth so you can watch soccer on the TV in the corner, and bouncing slightly in your seat while you eat guacamole with warm chips. The guacamole is extra good.
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-9:30 pm, Sat-Sun 4-9:30 pm
Categories: Restaurant

Restaurant Details

The Stranger's Reviews of El Gallito


Average Rating:
  • 3.20000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (10) RSS

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Great Neighborhood Joint

Many of the offerings at El Gallito are standard Tex-Mex: entrees covered with lots of yellow cheese and margaritas in a variety of sizes and fruity flavors. The enchiladas, however, are out of this world. There's a hint of cinnamon in the sauce, which may sound odd but is truly wonderful, and the chicken enchiladas are filled with generous chunks of pulled chicken.

In the evenings, this place is filled with couples and families; it's one of the few places on the Hill where kids are the norm instead of the exception. The service has ranged from fine to outstanding during my many visits.

@9: While "recycling" salsa is a bit unsavory, if something like this makes you squeamish, you probably shouldn't be eating in restaurants at all. Much, much worse things happen in the kitchen, and us cheerfuly oblivious customers are none the worse for it.
Posted by Kalakalot on May 20, 2010 at 10:48 AM · Report this

They 're-use' their salsa- YUCK!

I used to go to El Gallito all the time when I lived at 18th & John. The owner is nice and the food is good.

However, I stopped going there when I witnessed them taking the used salsa bowls from vacated tables and pouring it back into the serving pitcher! Sure explains all those odd chunks of food and stray chips we used to find in it... disgusting.
Posted by Disgusted on March 2, 2009 at 7:20 PM · Report this

Apparently you've never been there...

As i read some of the postings, i realize that only one of two things can have occurred.

Either (1) the poster has not actually eaten at El Gallito, or (2) the poster does not in fact know what 'good' mexican food is.

I have eaten mexican food all over the continental United States and Mexico; that being said, I love this place and the food.

The owners have always been very nice and have accomodated families often.

BTW - if you go in often enough - he gives you shots of Tequila for your birthday...(mine was out of the VERY expensive bottle ;) )
Posted by luvhotstuff on January 14, 2009 at 4:03 PM · Report this

This place sucks!

Come in people -- don't you know what good mexican food is?
Posted by b-rad on March 19, 2008 at 7:43 PM · Report this

Definition of Mediocre

This place is a dump--dirty, dark, depressing. And, while the food is the best Mexican food on Capitol Hill, that's not saying much. The food is not very flavorful, ingredients not very fresh, and not very authentic dishes.
Posted by Seattle Mexican Food Sucks on January 15, 2008 at 7:37 PM · Report this

Great Local Place To Eat

Great local place to eat and resonably priced. And the family who ownes and runs the place is wonderful !
Posted by ChoRose on October 31, 2007 at 12:49 PM · Report this

Best Enchiladas

I have been to El Gallito many times as it is right next to my office. I always get the cheese enchiladas and they are the best in town. Friendly staff also.
Posted by Sweetstrawberry on August 20, 2007 at 11:18 AM · Report this

Cheezy food's fine - great for kids

It's the classic extra super melted cheese version of Mexican that we all grew up with. Not special but totally passable. And very very kid friendly. I agree that after years of ordering slightly disappointing stuff from the huge menu that the more pricy carne asada is the way to go. Throw in one of their "special" margaritas and you're in business for a mighty nice time.
Posted by Brecky Brown on August 1, 2007 at 11:55 PM · Report this


The food at el gallito is generally pretty good though the service can be hit-or-miss. I love their chips and salsa (they have the guts to actually make their salsa a bit spicy compared to most sit-down mexican places) and their dishes are pretty darn good. If you can tolerate somewhat inept service, the food and neighborhood atmosphere is worth it.
Posted by Kinkos on May 22, 2007 at 5:31 PM · Report this

More chips please

Really good food, especially if you order correctly. The more pricey dinners like carne asada or carne adobada are excellent. The guacamole is right on. The drinks are mighy strong. More importantly, it's got a friendly, pleasant, neighborhood vibe. And it's been around forever right?
Posted by Jimmy on May 16, 2007 at 10:11 AM · Report this

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El Gallito
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