A hearty vegetarian lunch under $10 at Pike Place Market (La Vaca Burrito Express, Seattle)

pike place market public eating space
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I love trying new places, but in Seattle’s Pike Place Market where I already have some lovely dependable favorites, it can be a bit terrifying to eat somewhere new.  WHAT IF I CHOOSE WRONG??? What if this meal opportunity is RUINED?  And then I realize I sound like my 7-year-olds when they are faced with something new and I am supposed to be a “grown up”.  (Remind me to go a little easier on them the next time they don’t want to try something new….)  So this 52 weeks of trying new things at Pike Place Market   is good for me.

la vaca burrito express

I often see a line up of people at La Vaca Burrito Express while I’m in the line up for a sandwich or salad at Delaurentis.  La Vaca is one of the tiniest food windows I’ve ever seen.  There is barely room for two people and a small counter inside.  The menu outside the window may even take up more room than the establishment itself.  But I noticed that there was a vegetarian mole on the menu and a whole bunch of other vegetarian options and I’m always looking for ways to reduce the amount of meat we consume.

So I ordered some kind of enchilada combo with beans and vegetarian mole.  There was a little bit of a wait and I probably could have wandered over to Botegga Italiana like I saw another regular do  (where they make my FAVORITE gelato ever: mojito is really really good) but then I might have spoiled my appetite and that would never do.

window to eat lunch in pike place market

My meal was huge and I think I only paid around $7.50 for a platter of food, a diet Coke and a little paper bag with multiple napkins and some cutlery.

I took my meal over to a little public eating nook beside the Daily Dozen Donuts.  It has enough space for about 8 people but I ended up with the whole nook to myself and I almost felt like I was all alone in the market while I watched people go by.  And then I realized that if I could see them, they could see me too and my messy but delightful mega enchilada meal was not as private as I thought.  Thanks goodness for the thoughtful handful of napkins.  I think my kids will like this place too.

(PS I eat weekly at Pike Place Market and I’m trying a new place each week for 2016.  If you have a Pike Place Market favorite, I’d love to hear where you go!)

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