In the search for Seattle's best place to eat, the so-called experts are likely to steer you to fancy-pants places like Canlis or one of the uber-trendy eateries around town. Ask Yelpers, though, and a sloppy Cuban-style sandwich is not only tops in town, but second-best in the entire country.
The review site Yelp.com has just released its first-ever list of the 100 best places to eat in America and Seattle's Paseo takes the second spot overall.
For years, the longtime hole-in-the-wall Fremont Cuban sandwich stand has drawn long lines of rabid followers who flock for the specialties, including the Midnight Cuban sandwich and the Fish in Red Sauce plate with fluffy jasmine rice and black beans.
Paseo comes in just behind the overall winner, Da Poke Shack in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Yelp says it determined the rankings based on an analysis of submissions by users of the site, who submit their own reviews.
"The method takes into account both star rating and number of reviews to reveal which spots not only have top notch ratings, but also which are most popular in the Yelp community," says a post on the Yelp blog.
Paseo averages 4.5 stars out of five based on 2807 reviews on Yelp, but it's not the only Seattle representative on the list.
West Seattle's Bakery Nouveau shows up at number 20, drawing rave reviews for its fresh baked pastries, breads and other confections, along with delectable sandwiches, pizza and quiche.
Cafe Besalu in Ballard ranks 33 overall, while Greenwood and Ballard's Mr. Gyros comes in at number 47 nationwide on the list.
The list is clearly subjective. Given that Yelp users tend to be a younger, tech-savvy crowd, it's little surprise casual, affordable places like Paseo and Bakery Nouveau scored so high, while more formal, expensive Seattle eateries didn't factor in the rankings.
Here's the top 10 on Yelp's list. Click here for the complete list.
1. Da Poke Shack, Kailua-Kona, HI
2. Paseo, Seattle, WA
3. Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue, Kansas City, KS
4. The Cinnamon Snail, New York, NY
5. Porto's Bakery, Burbank, CA
6. Dametra Cafe, Carmel by the Sea, CA
7. Alinea, Chicago, IL
8. Franklin Barbecue, Austin, TX
9. Gary Danko, San Francisco, CA
10. Joe's Falafel, Los Angeles, CA