Paseo Caribbean Restaurant

Caribbean | Cuban | Sandwich Shop
One of the best

When Paseo abruptly closed back in November, 2014, Seattle sandwich lovers sobbed. This brash little eatery (actually two eateries, in Ballard and Fremont) had developed a huge reputation – a nationwide reputation – for great Cuban-style sandwiches since it opened in the early 1990s. Owner Lorenzo Lorenzo, taken down by a labor dispute, went bankrupt. The next month, the restaurant’s name and assets were bought in auction; and buyer Ryan Santwire reopened in January, promising the same menu, many of the same staff, and the same outstanding bread from Macrina Bakery. In fact, he pledged that he wouldn’t run out of bread mid-lunch as was common in Paseo’s early days.

So what is all the fuss about? It is about marinated roast pork cooked until butter tender and piled in great large chunks into the capacious maw of toasted-crisp baguettes. The Caribbean Roast combines that pulled pork, caramelized onion, jalapenos, cilantro, lettuce, and aioli. In fact, those caramelized onions, sautéed low and slow until they turn caramel sweet, become ribbons of succulence so compelling that one popular meatless sandwich on the menu is, quite simply, a heap of onions, greens, peppers, and spice.

Paseo’s appeal also is about smoke-cured ham, meaty Tiger prawns, grilled-and-roasted skin-on chicken thighs, and great slatherings of garlicky aioli. Our Seattle friend Kelly even clued us in to the delights of the kitchen’s tofu sandwich in which garlic tapenade elevates soy protein to a state of meat-like deliciousness.

While superb sandwiches are the main reason people love Paseo, passion for it also arises from a rollicking, rough-and-tumble ambiance. It is truly a shack with such limited seating that most customers eat outside on the sidewalk, in their cars, or somewhere else they can get comfortable with food that is tremendously, unavoidably messy and drippy. Take-out and delivery are a specialty, making it an inviting destination during a time of social distancing.

Note: Paseo has a second location at 1760 1st Ave. S, in Seattle. (206-420-7781)

What to Eat
Paseo Caribbean Restaurant, Caribbean Roast Sandwich
Caribbean Roast Sandwich
Caribbean roast is built around massive amounts of slow-roasted pork.
Paseo Caribbean Restaurant, Paseo Press Sandwich
Paseo Press Sandwich
Paseo Press adds peppers and caramelized onions to the Cuban sandwich formula.
Paseo Caribbean Restaurant, Onion Obsession Sandwich
Onion Obsession Sandwich
"Onion Obsession" includes garlic tapenade and jalapenos.
Paseo Caribbean Restaurant, Paseo Prawns
Paseo Prawns
Paseo prawns in flamboyant red pepper sauce
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 7pm
Monday11am - 6pm
Tuesday11am - 9pm
Wednesday11am - 9pm
Thursday11am - 9pm
Friday11am - 9pm
Saturday11am - 8pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | | 1 min

Maybe because it is such a coffee Mecca, Seattle also happens to be one of the nation's best breakfast cities. Then, of course, there's an abundance of Pacific Northwest seafood ... and a kaleidoscopic choice of eats at the Pike Place Market ... and a passion for magnificent sandwiches ... and a radiant Asian population…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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