Part of a series of restaurant recommendations offered in The Stranger’s 2017 Guide to Food and Drink (International Edition).
The only Puerto Rican restaurant in Seattle, and fortunately a damn fine one at that. Sometimes we fear that people forget about La Isla, as it has been around for years on that main drag in Ballard, quietly turning out tasty pernil that's been marinating for days, and addictive empanadillas, deep-fried Puerto Rican turnovers stuffed with ground beef, queso, and other fillings. Hit up the twice-a-day happy hour when prices are a steal, and wash your tostones and salt-cod fritters down with a piña colada or mojito. Amid La Isla's cheerily painted walls, you'll (almost) forget you're still a few thousand miles north of Old San Juan. CORINA ZAPPIA
Roti and curry are the stars of Pam Jacob's Wallingford kitchen, which turns out plate after plate of meat, potato, and chickpeas that have been stewed in the Trinidad native's special blend of curry spice, cumin, and fiery habanero, ready to be mopped up with torn pieces of dhalpuri or paratha roti. The short menu also features Caribbean specialties like jerk chicken, pelau rice, and callaloo, a thick soup of greens and coconut milk. There's a great lineup of nonalcoholic refreshments, including a creamy peanut punch and spicy ginger beer. Roti curry wraps and coconut-bread sandwiches make for a satisfying lunch. JENN CAMPBELL
Paseo Caribbean Food
Pretty much the only game in town where you can get roast pork done Cuban style, i.e., meat that falls apart in your mouth. It's a little sweet, but so good that they habitually run out of it, which can be rather annoying if you're in need of a fix. Though you can't get an authentic Cuban sandwich on Cuban bread, you can get the closest approximation to it, a ''Paseo Press" with roast pork, sweet banana peppers, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, and caramelized onions melted together on a baguette with a hot press. Find it in Fremont, Sodo, and Capitol Hill as of this month. LEILANI POLK