They say good things come in small packages. Well, the same can be said about the best sandwich in Seattle. One of the best sandwich shops in the city is located in a small building in Fremont (it almost looks like a glorified food truck). It’s easy to miss, but trust me, you want to try Paseo as soon as you can.
NOTE: Since we originally wrote this post, Paseo was shut down in late 2014 and reopened with new ownership in 2015. Members of the family that originally owned Paseo started a new restaurant in June 2015 named Un Bien.
I was first introduced to Paseo a couple of years ago. I wrapped up a rowing workout with some coworkers and they wanted to grab lunch afterward. One of the guys suggested Paseo, but the other three of us had never even heard of it. My coworker quickly explained they “have the best sandwich in Seattle,” so we jumped on the idea.
You can literally smell Paseo as you drive by. Like I mentioned, the Caribbean-themed restaurant is tiny. There is room for no more than 15 people to sit inside. You have to order at the counter, so the line stretches outside onto the sidewalk. There were at least 10 people in line the entire time we were there. Even though there’s a line, it moves pretty quickly. The process of ordering and getting our food took no longer than 10-15 minutes (although I’ve waited as long as 40 minutes at the Ballard location since then).
The sandwiches are what make Paseo popular. There’s a good reason for that — they’re frickin’ delicious! I went with the most popular sandwich on the menu — the Caribbean Roast. It’s described as “pork shoulder coated in Paseo marinade and slow roasted ’til falling into succulent morsels.” Sautéed Prawns, Ham and Cheese, Havana Seared Scallops, and Tofu Delight are just a few of the other options at Paseo.
Each sandwich at Paseo is served on a lightly toasted baguette with aioli, fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeños, romaine lettuce and caramelized onions. You can get “the works” or ask them to hold whatever you want. One of the guys in our group order the chicken breast with just romaine lettuce, and they were totally cool with that.
Paseo offers plenty of options if you’re not into sandwiches. They also serve salads, bowls and dinner entrees. The prices vary from $4.75 for a salad, to $8.50 for a sandwich, to $13 for an entree. Keep in mind — it’s cash only at Paseo.
You might think I’m exaggerating when I call Paseo one of Seattle’s best sandwich shops, but I’m not. Paseo has been featured in several national publications, and it’s even been the top-ranked Seattle restaurant on UrbanSpoon. They were also featured on Esquire’s list of “Best Sandwiches in America” (ranked as the top ‘Cuban meat sandwich’ in the nation).
If you’re hungry for a sandwich in Seattle, Paseo (in Fremont or Ballard) is a perfect place to go. It’s a unique, little spot with friendly service and awesome sandwiches. That’s pretty tough to beat!
Have you ever tried a sandwich at Paseo? What did you think? If Paseo doesn’t serve the best sandwiches in Seattle, who does? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to eat, drink and play in Seattle!