Get to Know Fremont: Paseo Caribbean Food

Since 1994 Seattlites and tourists alike have been captivated by a tiny little pink shack at the northern part of Fremont Avenue. Stories of waits upwards of an hour are overheard from the line that stretches down nearly an entire city block, yet nobody seems deterred enough to leave.

The windows are plastered with accolades and awards that the restaurant has garnered during it’s 21 years in business, including Esquire Magazine’s Best Sandwiches in America list, and most recently, #2 on Yelp’s 100 Places to Eat in 2014. It’s true, Paseo Caribbean Food is the holy grail of Seattle sandwich shops, and the most recent subject of our Get to Know Fremont Series.

Upon besting the line and making it inside the famous pink walls, you’re greeted with the smell of chefs cooking up Seattle’s most sought-after consumable not named coffee or marijuana. Paseo offers 11 different sandwiches to choose from, most of which will run you just shy of $10, and feature either pork or chicken, nestled between fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeƱos, crisp romaine lettuce, famous caramelized onions, and signature aioli, packed together on a baguette from Seattle’s Macrina bakery. The result is a toasted, messy sandwich that will have you picking up every individual scrap you drop on your napkin or shirt… and you will drop some.

While each ingredient used on the sandwiches contributes to the final product, the caramelized onions are so well-praised that Paseo even offers a sandwich called the Onion Obsession that foregoes the meat in favor for more onions. If the shop favorite Caribbean Roast isn't for you, Paseo offers a full menu that includes salads, bowls, and full plates consisting of grilled meats, jasmine rice, vegetarian black beans and seasoned corn on the cob. They also have tofu options available that skip the meat but keep all of the flavor that makes Paseo’s sandwiches so popular. 

Seating inside the building is slim to none (three tables total), so plan on taking your sandwiches elsewhere once you finally get your hands on them. We suggest walking back down the street and enjoying them near the canal, or walking towards local viewpoint Gasworks Park, which was the setting of our Spring/Summer 2015 Style Guide. Regardless of where you eat your sandwiches, just make sure you grab extra napkins. You’ll be glad you did.