Green star La Carta de Oaxaca (Ballard)

5431 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-8722

Hours: Lunch Tue-Sat 11:30 am-3 pm; dinner Mon-Thu 5-11 pm, Fri-Sat 5 pm-midnight
Categories: Restaurant

Restaurant Details

  • Very delicious Oaxacan food—moles, tamales wrapped in banana leaves, chiles rellenos, etc., all made fresh in-house—has made bright, busy La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard and Mezcaleria Oaxaca in Queen Anne/Capitol Hill citywide favorites, so expect a wait. Everything is much, much fresher and subtler (and spicier, and just better) than at your average family Mexican spot, with particularly fantastic homemade salsas and tortillas. Mezcaleria also has every mezcal available in Washington State and a big shiny metal roaster in the back room for the barbacoa de cabrito (marinated, barbecued goat, SO GOOD). All three restaurants are run by the Dominguez family, with mom Gloria Perez as head chef, and have millions of gorgeous photos of Oaxaca by local photographer Spike Mafford on the walls.
  • Features: Bar/Happy Hour and Family Friendly
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Price Range: $$

Bar Details

The Stranger's Reviews of La Carta de Oaxaca

Other Locations

Green star Mezcaleria Oaxaca

2123 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA, 98109 (Queen Anne)
(206) 216-4446

Mon-Tue 5-11pm, Wed-Thurs noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight

Green star Mezcaleria Oaxaca

422 E Pine St
Seattle, WA, 98122 (Capitol Hill)

Average Rating:
  • 4.00000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (22) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a review of La Carta de Oaxaca
me encanta este lugar!

la comida es deliciosa y autentica (aunque te cuesta muchisimo mas de lo que se paga en mexico, por la cuestion economica, obviamente).

juan, para contestar tu pregunta, que sepa no sirven tlayudas preparadas:…

pero no importa! vale la pena darte una vuelta para que pruebes los platos.. sobre todo me gustan las picaditas y el mole.

Posted by clarinesytrompetas on May 23, 2009 at 7:30 PM · Report this
Just so you know, It is closed on sundays.
Posted by Roosevelt on April 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM · Report this

food here is great-Kip is an idiot

Hey Kip, I am glad to hear you can still afford to eat anywhere but a soup kitchen, I mean with so many of your properties being auctioned off already and a whole new batch of foreclosures and all. But then you have always been good at scamming and cheating so I am sure you will land on your red cowboy boot clad feet.

My wife, says to tell you hi and that she hope that the next time you eat out some on not only spits in your food but actually shits in it too.

Schoning, You can keep flagging my comments but since I hurt my ankle snowboards and will be home for a couple of weeks with nothing to do but blog and watch TV, I will just replace them and I get more creative every day! So learn to take what you love to dish out you candy ass!
Posted by Mr Blue on April 3, 2009 at 12:12 AM · Report this
19 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
Posted by juan on November 14, 2008 at 7:49 PM · Report this

better than life itself

I'm sorry, I love the taco truck, but these tacos are in another league altogether. Probably because the taco truck isn't true Mexican - it's texmex. If you're looking for authentic (Oaxaca region) Mexican, Carta is the real deal. The mole cannot be beat, and thank God they drizzle some on just about everything. That said, you will be happy with A-NY-THIN-G on the menu. Seriously, just pick two or three dishes at random. Unless you are one of those curmudgeonly never-satisfied diners, in which case please don't go. I don't want their wonderful staff to have to deal with you.
Posted by trill on November 2, 2008 at 8:55 PM · Report this

I live in Gtown

So this is just a great place for mexican food. I totally had a great time. The seating is not so comfortable and a little cramped but totally worth it. The coffee was really good. It tasted like they put cinnamon and chocolate in it or something. Really great.
Posted by I live in Gtown on August 21, 2008 at 5:42 PM · Report this

Good food, but overpriced tacos

The food was good, as were the margaritas. But c'mon...$6 for 2 tacos? Save your money and visit the taco truck. I agree with the other review about Sunset Tavern. Just take your number and have a couple of beers at the Sunset while you wait.
Posted by Miguel on February 1, 2008 at 10:05 PM · Report this

Don't sit by the door.

This place is great. But if you sit by one of the tables adjacent to the door about every two minutes a new customer will arrive and stand right above your shoulder. Next you have to listen to the host tell every new customer in a rushed voice that there is an about 35 minute wait. This is clearly not true. The wait is almost always at least one hour and up to one hour and forty minutes or more especially on a Saturday evening. I hate to hear the host appease people so they won't leave. Don't sit by the door if you don't want to witness this litany every two minutes. The drinks are great. Aside from a little fibbing at the door, this a great place. I hope they make millions.
Posted by Mr. T on November 8, 2007 at 11:43 PM · Report this

Number one in Seattle

Admittedly I haven't been to EVERY Mexican restaurant in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, but of the many I have been to, this is by far the best. Head and shoulders above the competition in authenticity, flavor, and service. Even when it's busy (and its always busy) the food comes fast and expertly prepared. If you can wait for a table (and you will almost always wait), this is the absolute number one Mexican joint in town.
Posted by Verhexen on September 1, 2007 at 8:51 AM · Report this

Great Mexican Food in Seattle

This is one of the few places I have found that actually serves great Mexican food in Seattle. Although it is often packed, it is worth the wait. The menu has lots of different options and the portions are small so you can try many things and share them. It's a great place to go with a group.
Posted by Sweetstrawberry on August 20, 2007 at 11:15 AM · Report this

Muy bien

Oaxaca seems like a restaurant transported straight out of San Francisco. The interior design is should win an award and the shared seating arrangements also give a unique feel to this place. The food is also great, and at least one mole plate must be ordered. And did I mention the wait? Prime time on Fridays and Saturdays will put you in line for at least an hour, but at least you didn't have to fly down to San Francisco to get some good Mexican food.
Posted by skykomishsunrise on August 18, 2007 at 9:55 PM · Report this

This is a special place

I had heard all the raves, but what I wasn't prepared for was how unusual this place is. The tasteful black and white photography breaks out of the usual Mexican restaurant decor. And I'm a huge fan of long communal tables. Yes, the food is wonderful. I don't usually dig on mole, but this was perfectly dark, sweet, savory, smokey and intriguing. Fresh chips. Waitstaff keepin' it real. Ballard is very lucky.
Posted by Jimmy on August 16, 2007 at 9:30 AM · Report this

I don't want to tell you this is one of my favorite Seattle restaurants.

I don't want to tell you because you'll go there. And god forbid, you'll go there with your screaming kids, and that's all I don't need when I really need to go there. Can't you just think of my needs for a change? I need mole like silk and chocolate had a baby and named it mole. I need crispy tacos fritos to make me forget about the beautiful boy with the nose ring and the amazing dick. I need hand-made tortillas! I need that fish stew--ooooh that fish stew. The stock so rich and the spice so high it'll kill anything I've picked up over the weekend. Mostly though, I need you to not go there so I can get in right away.
Posted by Mizjames on August 9, 2007 at 4:04 PM · Report this

Service is awesome

Don't understand how anyone could claim the service here is subpar. The whole waitstaff is friendly and speedy and super-nice guys. Food is plenty yummy enough too... particularly the chips and guac (chips fried fresh when you order them).
Posted by lauren on June 22, 2007 at 11:44 AM · Report this

wait isn't so bad, go next door and have a beer

I have been to La Carta probably ten times. I ask how long the wait is going to be, put my name on the list, and go next door to have a beer at the Sunset Tavern. I've never once had to wait longer than they told me, and the food is absolutely superb. Most plates are $5-8 although if you have a large appetite you might need something extra. If you seriously need 3 plates then you eat too much. The lamb birria is my favorite, and the lamb mole is excellent as well. Start with some chips and guacamole.
Posted by brian on June 12, 2007 at 7:35 PM · Report this


Expect to consume 2 to 3 "plates" of decent food and 2 drinks(because of the wait) for a per person bill of $20-25, before tip. Did they bribe somebody to get that "cheap eats" designation? Is this place better than Azteca? Of course. Is it worth the wait and sub-par service? Definitely not.
Posted by dirge on June 5, 2007 at 12:42 PM · Report this

Great food, but don't go if you are in a hurry

I've been twice, once on a Saturday night when there was a 45 minute line, and once on a Sunday afternoon when the place was practically empty. The food was great both times, but much more enjoyable when there was less of a din, and less people eyeballing me from the street urging me to hurry up and eat. As a fan of Carne Asada tacos, I'd say these are much better than the above average taco truck for only 25 cents more.
Posted by elswinger on June 5, 2007 at 11:21 AM · Report this

Muy Bueno

A very welcome departure from the cheese and bean globs that you get at the chain mexican food restaurants. I love eating here among all the bustle, the beautiful photography on the walls, and the very flavorful food. Portions are small so order more than one. Most likely there will be a wait, but it's worth it.
Posted by Mark on May 29, 2007 at 1:39 PM · Report this

Don't believe the hype

Waited almost 45 minutes on a Thursday. Inside it was cramped and incredibly loud. The food was decent but really nothing special. The empanada was underseasoned and lukewarm. You're better off visiting one of Seattle's great taco trucks.
Posted by Becca on May 29, 2007 at 12:50 PM · Report this

Worthy of all the hoopla

They have been getting a lot of rave reviews and they live up to the hype. It's true they are really busy at night, but you can try them at lunch and you should have no problem. Everything is good. The servings are a little small compared to many places but I find them just right.
Posted by Charles on May 23, 2007 at 7:15 AM · Report this

Long lines, but worth it

The mole tamales are amazing and the picaditos are a great little appetizer. the only problem is the wait to get in the door.
Posted by Callie on May 15, 2007 at 11:28 AM · Report this

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La Carta de Oaxaca
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