Food News

This Week in Seattle Food News: Oaky's Tex-Mex Opens, The Polish Home Returns, and Papa Changó Arrives in Ballard

September 24, 2021 Edition
September 24, 2021
The team behind Wood Shop BBQ has opened their highly anticipated restaurant Oaky's Tex-Mex in the Central District. (Oaky's Tex-Mex)

Mulling over your weekend plans? How about treating yourself to Miami-inspired pastries and coffee at Papá Changó Cafe or craft cocktails at Essex in Ballard, a parade of pierogi at The Polish Home on Capitol Hill, or Tex-Mex smoked meats at Oaky's Tex-Mex in the Central District? Read on for more details, plus events happening this weekend, like the C-ID Night Market 2021. For additional culinary inspiration, check out our guide to where to find fresh hop beers in Seattle and our food and drink guide.


This next-door cocktail bar sibling to Ballard's award-winning wood-fired pizzeria Delancey recently reopened and is slinging drinks once more.

Oaky's Tex-Mex
The queso is flowing once again. The barbecue pop-up Oaky's Tex-Mex, run by Wood Shop BBQ owners James Barrington and Matt Davis, has at last opened a permanent restaurant in the Central District across the street from Wood Shop. (If you're experiencing déjà vu, it may be because the pop-up previously had a short-lived residency inside Batch 206 Distillery, which currently hosts Dantini Pizza, in 2019.) The spot, which was originally slated to open in February 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic, specializes in Tex-Mex-inspired smoked meats like carnitas, brisket barbacoa, and chicken verde, tucked into tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. Oaky's Tex-Mex is now open for dinner and hopes to add brunch soon.
Central District
Pickup, dine-in

Papá Changó Cafe
This colorful Miami-inspired coffee bar opened inside the clothing and lifestyle shop September in Ballard on September 14, serving drinks like café con leche, iced horchata, and cortaditos (dark roast espresso, natural sugar, and milk) alongside Latin American and Caribbean pastries such as pastelitos de guayaba y queso (guava and cream cheese pastries), pastelitos de carne (ground beef, olive and raisin pastries), semitas (sweet bread cookies), and papaya scones with guava butter.

The Polish Home
Seattle P-I contributor Naomi Tomky reports that Capitol Hill's Polish community center, known for its cabbage rolls, pork hock, pickle soup, and endless varieties of pierogi, will open its kitchen for its legendary Friday night dinners once again from 6-10 pm tonight. Guests can pay a dollar in cash for a "temporary membership fee," which permits them to partake in a variety of specialties. The full menu isn't available quite yet, but the reopening is definitely cause for celebration.
Capitol Hill

Station 18 Drinks & Eats
This new restaurant and bar recently took over the former Hi-Life space in Ballard. (The former firehouse was most recently home to the Italian restaurant/puppet theater Valentinetti's, an ill-fated pivot from the Hi-Life owners that closed after a mere three months.) The new spot is a casual, family-and-dog-friendly neighborhood hangout with beer on tap, craft cocktails, and a menu of modern, hearty pub grub, including sandwiches, wraps, brick-oven pizza, tacos, salads, and more.
Pickup, dine-in

Chef and restaurateur Mark Fuller's New York-style pizzeria, known for its garlic knots and boozy slushies, officially reopened its University District location on Thursday. Fuller's West Seattle bar New Luck Toy also reopened for dine-in last week.
University District
Pickup, dine-in


Wunderground Cafe
Cupcake Royale owner and entrepreneur Jody Hall's new startup Wunderground, which sells a blend of adaptogenic mushrooms and coffee beans, is set to open its flagship cafe in the former Capitol Hill location of Cupcake Royale on October 16, according to a press release. Former Tartine chef de cuisine Alyssa Lisle will develop the menu, and the local design agency Electric Coffin will have an installation along the north wall of the cafe.
Capitol Hill


Ghost kitchen coming to Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill Seattle reports that the Los Angeles-based company KBD Holdings is planning a new 6,000-square-foot ghost kitchen in the space next to the Capitol Hill leather bar the Cuff Complex. Further details are unknown; construction for the project is on hold and its permit applications are still in review.

Dick's Drive-In increases hourly wages
On Wednesday, the local fast-food chain Dick's Drive-In announced that it has raised its minimum hourly wage to $19 an hour in response to the labor shortage. Employees will receive $20 an hour after passing a skills test, which typically happens within the first 12 weeks of employment. The state recently fined the business over $35K for labor violations, following employee complaints around sanitary conditions and safety violations.


C-ID Night Market 2021
Modeled after the lively night markets found across Asia, this event will celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with a slew of Asian street food vendors alongside handmade local goods, fresh-cut flowers, crafts, and more, plus live entertainment, such as bands and breakdancing groups.
Chinatown-International District, Saturday, 1-9 pm

Seattle Cider Co. Eight Year Anniversary Party
The award-winning cidery will toast to eight years of business with a bash that includes 25 taps of cider, caramel apple cider slushies, live music, special pop-ups from Mel's Nuts and Seacharrones, and more.
Seattle Cider Company, Saturday, 12-10 pm

Virtual Author Talk: Liguria & The New Cucina Italiana by Laurel Evans & Laura Lazzaroni
Tune in for a virtual discussion between Liguria author Laurel Evans and The New Cucina Italiana author Laura Larrazorni on their new cookbooks exploring Italian cuisine.
Online, Sunday, 11 am-12 pm

Plate of Nations
For two weeks, over 20 independently owned restaurants across Southeast Seattle will offer $20 and $35 shareable plates. This year's lineup includes Bananas Grill, Cafe Ibex, Foo Lam, Huong Duong, Momona, Rainier Restaurant, The Original Philly’s, Taco Street, Cafe Red, Big Chickie, Little Chengdu, Tacos Chukis, Othello Wok Teriyaki, Amazing Thai, Comfort Zone, Corte Fino, Willie’s Taste of Soul, Amy’s Mercato, Buddha Bruddah, and El Quetzal.
Various locations, through September 26

Kirkland Oktoberfest
Grab a bier and celebrate Oktoberfest on the waterfront with acres of biergartens, multiple entertainment stages, games, competitions, and more.
Marina Park, September 24-26

Oktoberfest at Queen Anne Beerhall
How heavy of a stein can you raise with your brute strength? Find out at this two-weekend bier fest, where you can dance around to live music from the Bonnie Birch Bavarian Band, Folk Voice, Darin Isaacs, and others, participate in a sausage-eating contest, watch football, and of course, drink lots of beer.
Queen Anne Beerhall, September 23-October 3


Crumby Sandwiches
Fall is in the air, and this relatively new sandwich joint in Fremont has released its new autumn cocktail lineup. The offerings include "Paint It Blackberry" (Four Roses bourbon, blackberry simple syrup, allspice dram, lime juice, and egg white), "Go FIGure" (a house-made fig shrub, Montenegro Amaro, vodka, lemon juice, and soda water), "I've Got What You Mead" (Mr. B's apple pie mead, brandy, lemon and grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and sea salt solution), and "What's the Tea" (Botanist dry gin, Earl Grey tea, lavender simple syrup, and lemon juice).
Pickup, dine-in

SUSU Dessert Bar
This popular Chinatown bakery has released a new peach miso caramel tart.
Chinatown-International District

Temple Pastries
The charming Central District bakeshop's new fall menu includes pumpkin cheesecake croissants, salted caramel cronuts, caramel apple crème fraîche tarts, and other autumnal treats.
Central District
Pickup, dine-in