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July 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

What’s the most popular restaurant food in Washington?

File photo of The Saint by Mark Harrison/The Seattle Times

File photo of The Saint by Mark Harrison/The Seattle Times

Conventional wisdom says that it’s tough to find great Mexican food in our region, but a new survey suggests that we at least have a lot of it.

Estately, using numbers from Urbanspoon, recently calculated “what type of restaurants each state has in abundance.” There were five winners common to every state — American fare, burgers, sandwiches, fast food and pizza. After those, regional differences started coming into play. Mexican restaurants led the list in Washington, as well as in 16 other states. Seafood was the champ in my home state of Delaware, as well as in Alaska and eight other states. North Dakota and South Dakota were the leaders in steakhouses.

I asked the Estately folks for more data on Washington. Some interesting tidbits in the reply:

“Like all the other states, Washington’s top five categories were American (11.96%), burgers (7.62%), sandwiches (7.39%), fast food (6.73%), pizza (5.84%). We excluded these from our map because they were pretty much universal.

After this, the highest number of restaurants were in these categories: Mexican (5.75%), pub food (4.72%), breakfast (4.04%), desserts and ice cream (3.19%), seafood (2.83%), bakery (2.73%), and Chinese (2.57%). (Editorial note: What, no teriyaki?)

Compared to other states, Washington was particularly low on buffets and barbecue. Interestingly, Washington has fewer than half as many fast food restaurants as Alabama, even though Washington’s population is considerably larger.”

And as far as those Mexican restaurants go, I’d say we have some great picks, from newcomers like the modern street food at The Saint in Seattle to the classic dishes at La Tarasca in Centralia. People go so crazy for the seasonal asparagus tamales at Los Hernandez in Union Gap that the company ships them in overnight packages. (Here’s one list devoted to dispelling the bad-Mexican-food myth for good.)

What’s your pick for the best Mexican restaurant in Washington state?

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