Many great things came from the invention of the window - curtains, an alternative to air conditioning, the boombox scene from Say Anything, and some of the best takeout food in Seattle. We don’t know why there are so many walk-up windows in this town, especially since it rains so much. But they're common here, and we’re not complaining because many of them make for excellent meals. Plus, it’s fun to reach your hand in a window and pull out some tasty food without getting into any legal trouble.
Jeepney is our favorite takeout window in the city for late-night food. All of the mains here come in the form of either a sandwich or loaded fries. Our favorite options are the steak with liquid cheese, pork tocino with provolone, and the creamy mushrooms with paneer. Always add an order of crispy lumpia.
We wish that Carmelo’s could climb into our window with a ladder like Sam did in Clarissa Explains It All, but we’ll happily go to the source for some great tacos. The tortillas are thick and homemade, the carne asada has a delicious marinade, and the chorizo/potato/cactus filling is something we’re still thinking about days later. And if you like a cheesy burrito, Carmelo’s sears cheese briefly on the flat top grill before adding it to the mix. It’s perfect for a grab-and-go lunch.
Homer has a full restaurant with lots of tasty Mediterranean mezzes, but if you just want some after-dinner ice cream, stop by their adjoining soft serve window. If they have it, we recommend doing a cup of chocolate bay leaf and tahini as a swirl, which kind of tastes like a fancied-up Reese’s Cup.
You already know about Un Bien and the outstanding Caribbean roast pork sandwich that makes your clothing (and your emotions) a little messy. But the fact that it happens to come from a window makes us excited to include it in this guide. If it’s in season, get the fire-roasted corn as a side and don’t forget that the marinated chicken is the unsung hero here.
In addition to selling plain scoops out of a window, Hello Robin also has ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies. Let the choice between birthday cake and whole wheat chocolate chip with flaky salt be the hardest decision you make today.
Dingfelder’s sells massive pastrami sandwiches from an open window in Capitol Hill. They also have matzo ball soup, egg salad, and other things that you’ve likely eaten for lunch in New York. It might not be New York, but the food here is great.
Both locations of Pie Bar (in Ballard and Capitol Hill) have takeout windows, but the Ballard location exclusively has cookies-and-cream pie, which you should have. They’re also open late, so it’s perfect for when your fridge is empty and you find yourself throwing your hands up and yelling, “F*ck it, I’m eating pie!”
By 2am, Big Mario’s is a sloppier mess than your high school’s salutatorian at the senior prom. When tearing through an obscene amount of late-night pizza is your ultimate mission after eight drinks at Sam’s Tavern, you can head to Big Mario’s slice window. Just keep in mind that that’s what everyone else at the bars had in mind too. Be prepared to wait for a bit after midnight, but there’s nothing like a pepperoni slice here after whatever you ruthlessly chugged earlier.
Mamnoon Street has the only falafel pita sandwich in town that ends with us saying, “that hit the spot,” - especially after a hike or any other kind of physical activity. Yes, walking around the corner counts, too. The homemade flatbread, tahini, and pickled turnips have a little something to do with it. Add the spicy fries with za’atar mayo and a mint lemonade, or else.
Maybe you went to University Village to buy two different sweaters at Madewell that look exactly the same. But chances are, you’re not even going to buy anything in there, so just head a few storefronts away to Rachel’s Ginger Beer to grab some fried chicken from the Ma’Ono window. The spicy sandwiches are delicious, especially paired with the corn salad and a tray of fries.
In truth, Westman’s is a narrow garage, but just think of it as a really, really big window. It’s a great breakfast option for lox and cream cheese bagel sandwiches. No matter what you order, always remember to get some pastries - they’re delicious.
A puffy taco is just like a regular taco, except the shell is part-tortilla, part-flotation device. You could get the ones from Sexy Alley while sitting down at Hotel Albatross alongside some tiki cocktails, but if you don’t have the time to live out a ska music video over flaming volcano drinks, stop by their window next-door and add some tater tot nachos, just for fun.
If you’re looking for a drive-thru window, go to Pick Quick for lunch. It’s an old-school fast food spot with burgers better than the ones at Dick’s, and you could pay for the whole meal with the rumpled singles you found in your pants pockets while doing laundry. Pile your friends inside your car at lunch or dinner and get a round of root beer floats made with soft serve.