Local faves in Edmonds could be diners, drive-ins, and dives, pop-ups and food trucks, a hot dog stand, impromptu culinary/artisan partnerships, or literally, a favorite local hang — where the kitchen consistently outdoes itself with the extraordinary.

If you don’t need a GPS to get here, you’re in the right place. But we’ll give you addresses, anyway. ;)

Last Call

If you mashed Hawaii, California, and Florida together on a Jimmy Buffett high, you’d get A Very Taki Tiki Bar + Grill on 518 Main St. Situated near the center of all the action, Taki Tiki always draws a crowd, not just on the weekends. 

It’s a party situation every time, with lively music and company — spontaneous dancing welcome, an island surfer vibe, tropical cocktails, and, killer salsa to go with those Beach Bum Nachos and Main Street Tacos and Tots.

A broke-da-mouth menu reflects that fun party crowd: Coastal grinds (fried pickles, Kobe sliders, Sriracha Cod Bites), salads, burgers, sandwiches (Salsa Meatloaf), wraps, and mains — steak, ribs, seafood, and pasta. Come for the party, stay for the pupus.

Rory’s of Edmonds on 105 Main St. is the epitome of a really solid pub, with all the spirit-friendly, homemade sides and snacks. The partial view of the water adds to the appeal. No wonder everyone heads over there when times get rough, or the tides have turned. Formerly Sail Inn Tavern, Rory’s is a pub for the people. Regulars — and there are plenty of ‘em — flip for Rory’s Bourbon & Beer Chili, Rory’s Famous Baby Back Ribs, half-pound burgers, and clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Pair with draft beer (extensive list), wine and Prosecco.

Speaking of pubs, another fantastic one is ChurchKey Pub on 109 4th Ave. N. Always packed to the gills, ChurchKey Pub delivers big on food and drinks. The selection of craft beer, spirits and wine, and specialty cocktails will have you forgetting all your problems in short order. 

The “pub grub” is out of this world, blending Old World Europe and Pub-central UK with the All-American Tavern next door.

The Shepherd’s Pie is made with grass-fed lamb and organic beef. Rib-sticking Chicken Pot Pie. Indian Butter Chicken and Curried Rice. Smoked Bratwurst Flatbread, with Beecher’s Jack and Parmesan cheese. Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. Cinnamon-nutmeg-ginger-sugared Bavarian Pretzel Dessert, side of vanilla and cream cheese icing. Oh, yes.

You may go to Salish Sea Brewing for the beer, hand-crafted ales and lagers. But you’ll fall in love with the accompanying food on the dinner table, too. A cut above most pubs and taverns. Selections include Salish Fries with house-made pesto aioli, signature Salish Driftwood Bread Sticks, served with beer cheese and marinara sauce for dipping, pastrami on thick-cut marble rye, a half-pound Salish Burger on toasted sourdough, cheese & crackers, warm soft pretzel, with beer cheese and stone-ground honey mustard, made to order, Drop Anchor Beer-Battered Fish & Chips, Cajun Prawn Po Boy…. Do we have your attention, yet? Salish Sea Brewing (518 Dayton St.) is a “gathering place and public house,” first opened in 2013 as a brewery by owners Jeff, head brewer, and Erika. The food came later, in March 2016. Good thing, too, huh.

Next Big Thing

You’ve heard of shave ice, right? Milkie Milkie Dessert Café on 23830 Hwy. 99 goes one better: Korean shave ice, bingsoo — made from milk ice (frozen blocks of milk), condensed milk, and sugar, not water. Cool, right? The Korean dessert café in Edmonds’ International District puts all kinds of yummy and exotic toppings on their bingsoo, from fruit and green tea, to black sesame, hot lava cake and crushed Oreos. 

While you’re there, try their sweet and savory toast, but not just any toast…theirs is a tricked-out meal in itself, “crispy outside with homemade soft rice cake inside,” according to the website. Garlic cheese, black sesame chocolate, green tea, and injeolmi (soybean powder, honey, almonds). 

The menu also includes dessert waffles, Korean street food (egg cake, grilled pork sausage and rice cake in chili sauce, fish-shaped bread with red bean filling), coffee, and drinks (taro latte). Milkie Milkie’s other location is in Seattle.

Community Pop-Up Deliciousness

Last spring/summer, The Cottage, Community Bakery’s Conor O’Neill entered into a mutually-beneficial partnership with Kris and Kali Kelnero to host a Wed. bread pop-up. “Conor's pop-ups were a smash hit and we look forward to working with him as one of our local food vendors while he transitions to a new license and can hopefully offer us wholesale options soon [Welcome Magazine, fall/winter 2020/2021]!” Kali enthuses. “…It’s important that we are always looking for ways to support our community these days, both because it's a good thing to do and because every business in Edmonds does best when everyone is thriving.” 

Rolling IN

Food trucks are making a comeback in this pandemic, filling a void left by many big chain restaurants going out of business. These mobile food booths serve more than just the Edmonds community. Many are turning to food trucking year round to sustain a living, after the dramatic downturn of farmers markets, fairs, and festivals. Some of them in Edmonds:

Yummy Box Food Truck (smiling, hungry emoji on the front) travels up as far as Beverly Blvd., Everett and down Marginal Way, just beyond Seattle proper, serving exactly what it says: local, simple, delicious, fast Asian-fusion street food from all over Southeast Asia to Japan: Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry and Bacon Chicken Katsu Burger, Indonesian Beef Rendang, Taiwanese Pork Belly Stew and Popcorn Chicken, Beef Poutine, Pork Belly Sliders, and spring rolls. Yummy Box Food Truck (23916 Hwy. 99, Edmonds) covers the Greater Seattle area.

Here & There Grill’s big, orange food truck does wonders with globally-inspired salads, sandwiches, hot entrees, take ‘n bake frozen meals, sweets, and sides & sips, as well as donations for families in need. Highlights: butterscotch Rice Krispy treats, chicken empanadas, Shepherd’s Pie, Guinness beef stew (keto), Cubano, and more. Preorder/pre-pay online before pickup. Chef Dane Catering’s food truck sets up shop on 330 Dayton Street, downtown Edmonds, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., for weekly Wed. lunches; 10220 238th St. SW, Faith Community Church-Hickman Park, 6 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday nights; and 23206 84th Ave. W., in the Esperance neighborhood, 5 p.m.-5:45 p.m., every other Thursday. Ask about his rotating, weekly take-out menu, featuring fully-cooked meals ready for your oven.

If you’re near Calvary Chapel in Five Corners (8330 212th St. SW) on a Friday or Saturday, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., you might see award-winning Scotty’s dishing up fine seafood (signature blackened salmon Caesar, New England clam chowder, fish & chips, fish/jumbo prawn tacos) at food truck prices. Chef Scotty’s food truck has been a fixture at various area festivals, including the Edmonds Arts Festival, for years now. The Japan-born chef/caterer also provided food for the Eagles Tour once. Now that most festivals have been canceled or are pending, he’s mobile, out and about, feeding us fresh, classic seafood to-go on the regular. 

You’ve probably driven past, or better yet, stopped by Taqueria’s Los Amigos’ white, green, and red food truck at Burlington Coat Factory off Hwy. 99. This food truck will satisfy your Mexican cravings, and then some. They’ve got the usual soft tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. But they’ve also got tortas, sopitos (thick corn tortillas with fillings), and mulitas (quesadilla sammies). Cash only. 

On the border of Edmonds and Lynnwood proper is the newly-parked food truck, La Terraza, popular for Quesabirria Tacos (cheese and stew) and Carnitas Tacos Dorados with pickled red onion and oregano, served with cabbage, spicy salsa, and lime. Bar Dojo Chef de Cuisine Luis Brambila goes there every chance he gets. 

“This place reminds me of my childhood growing up in Jalisco, Mexico when my father used to take me to El Mercado (the Farmers Market),” Brambila says. “The Quesabirria is a new trend of this amazing combination of tender, juicy, full of spices and chiles stew that has become so popular here in the U.S. Everyone has been talking about it. I love it so much; it has become a favorite here in my house.”

Look ‘em up. All of ‘em. They’re worth the trip.