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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Mon–Thu 11:30am–10:00pm
Fri 11:30am–11:00pm
Sat 10:30am–11:00pm
Sun 10:30am–10:00pm

Features Good wines
Bar Beer, wine, liquor, BYO
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Capitol Hill
1420 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA
(206) 588-8105

10650 NE 4th St.
Bellevue, WA
(425) 502-5021
A competent nouvelle Mexican kitchen and an even better bar

It’s not even worth debating Barrio’s authenticity. It’s exactly the type of restaurant that goes in on the ground floor of a shmancy condo development to convince the new residents that they don’t stick out like a thousand popped collars. It’s also owned by the Purple Café people, which isn’t exactly a stunning testament to anything.

That said, some comforting words adorn Barrio’s menu: al pastor, pozole, churros. There are a million ways to make not-quite-authentic Mexican food, and Barrio has chosen a reasonable path, excelling at some of the iconic dishes (chilaquiles and churros are really good), and filling in the rest of the menu with an inoffensive stew of Pacific Northwest/Nuevo Latino cooking. Witness the “border sliders”: grilled wagyu beef, chorizo bacon, jack cheese, escabeche slaw, guacamole, and charred pineapple mustard.

If flavor is the most important thing, you’re better off slumming it at a taco truck. If drinking heavily and reveling in the kind of immortality that only high design and the prescient flickering of hundreds of candles can deliver, Barrio won’t disappoint. It’s a sexy restaurant, although like most of us, it looks better in the dark; in daylight it’s kind of corporate and boring. Friends, fabulous margaritas and mixed drinks, a few select nibbles, and loud conversation: there are certainly worse ways to spend an evening on the Hill.

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