Part of a series of restaurant recommendations offered in The Stranger’s 2017 Guide to Food and Drink (International Edition).
For Seattleites craving freshly baked ensaymada and pan de sal, there are two options: trek down to Red Ribbon in Tukwila or stop by Despi Delite Bakery, serving Beacon Hill for more than 20 years. Red Ribbon may offer the larger selection, but we prefer Despi's ensaymada, which is more buttery than cheesy. Despi also features a selection of gigantic doughnuts, cookies, French pastries, and to-go and made-to-order cakes—but to us, a visit here is all about the first few bakery cases full of Filipino goodies, from the turon (banana lumpia) to the pan de ube (soft bread with a sweet purple yam filling). CORINA ZAPPIA
This grocery is, for me, the heart of Beacon Hill. It's compact, always busy, cheap, and has a terrific deli that offers a variety of popular Filipino dishes and lots of deep-fried things: shrimp, spring rolls, chicken, salmon fat and bones, and the fish that is beloved by the global south, the tilapia. If you are like me, you will particularly love the fried tail of the tilapia. It forms the main part of the reason I visit the deli. It is beautifully brittle and, once bitten, surrenders with a resounding crunch, like dead leaves on a summer day. CHARLES MUDEDE
Other Filipino restaurants have sadly come and gone, but Oriental Mart in Pike Place Market remains. Good thing, because this 30-plus-year establishment offers the best traditional Filipino food in the city. Tucked behind their Asian grocery, the actual dining area is little more than a counter with a few stools. But from that tiny kitchen area, Milagro Apostol and her equally sassy brethren turn out home-cooked Filipino dishes including salmon sinigang, chicken adobo, and lumpia that have earned accolades from everyone from Bon Appetit to Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern. If they have longanisa that day, you scored. CORINA ZAPPIA