Called the “Gourmet Archipelago”, San Juan Island is a locavore’s heaven, with countless, intimate Farm-to-Table-Restaurants headed by famous chefs, serving beautifully presented seasonal and local fare. While such a dining experience is well worth the price and should definitely be on your island to-do list, especially when celebrating a special occasion, most of us normal mortals want some moderately priced options for some of the meals eaten in island paradise as well. So where do the locals go? Who serves authentic food made with love and care that won’t break the bank? Where do you pay for good food and not the view or vicinity to tourist attractions?
We have found them for you--the little places, off the beaten path, with yummy eats and good deals.
1) Tina’s Tacos
Nestled on Elsworth Avenue behind the Earthbox Inn & Spa, find this tiny place with outside seating and authentic Mexican Palapa feel. $2 tacos, pupusas, chimichangas and giant wet burritos are served on paper plates. The kids will love it. Don’t forget to ask for daily specials.
2) Ernie’s Café
Ernie’s at the Friday Harbor Airport serves delicious, authentic American and Korean breakfast and lunch. Yup, you heard that right. Have a freshly baked popover or outdoor grilled burger or spicy bulgogi dishes with homemade kimchi. The ramen bowl is said to heal. Watch the fun hustle and bustle of our small-town airport in an uncomplicated, friendly, cafeteria style atmosphere.
3) Golden Triangle
Located on the corner of First & Spring Streets, this Thai Restaurant with Vietnamese and Laotian influences offers delicious, fresh, legit SE Asian cuisine. The portions are huge with a wide variety of vegan, vegetarian and seafood options. Check out the lunch buffet or consider getting take-out and heading to the beach on a balmy night.