Cactus does not serve run-of-the-mill Mexican food: chipotle salmon tacos on housemade corn tortillas. Applewood smoked chicken flautas with baby arugula and lime vinaigrette. Grilled jalapeños with herbed goat cheese, bacon, and buttermilk crema. You get the idea. Since opening in Madison Park as Seattle’s first tapas bar in 1990, Cactus has expanded to four locations—Alki Beach, South Lake Union, Kirkland, and Bellevue—that infuse Southwestern and Mexican cuisine with a distinctly Pacific Northwest twist. Various locations, cactusrestaurants.com
First runner-up: Fonda La Catrina
Second runner-up: El Camion
Honorable Mention: Poquitos, El Chupacabra
Read about the rest of the Best of Seattle Reader Poll winners here. If you didn’t get a chance to vote this go-round, make sure your voice is heard next year. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know when nominations open for BoS 2017.
CORRECTION An earlier version of this listing omitted Cactus’ Bellevue location and failed to indicate that the Madison Park location was its first. The write-up has been corrected.