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Capitol Hill counter legend Carmelo’s Tacos opening new location on 12th Ave — this time, with tables

Thanks to a CHS reader for the tip!

(Image: Carmelo’s Tacos)

Add one more to our roster of Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to in 2021. Carmelo’s Tacos is expanding with a second location — and, when we can finally go back inside, this new Carmelo’s will have tables.

The new Carmelo’s is being readied to open at 12th and Cherry across from Seattle U near the Cherry Street Coffee and 12th Ave Square Park.

It will take over a space left empty by the departure of Oma Bap from the street. To get your “contemporary fast casual Korean” fix, you can still visit Oma Bap at its Hugo House location across from Cal Anderson where it opened in 2019.

Gaspar, center, will now soon have two Carmelo’s

Carmelo’s Tacos has grown to Capitol Hill legend status with a walk-up counter part of the Hillcrest Market at Summit and E Olive Way. In 2018, CHS introduced you to the Mexico City and Sultepec-worthy fresh salsas, homemade tortillas, tender meat, and succulent cactus leaves from owner Carmelo Gaspar.

The Carmelo’s helmet logo is a nod to Gaspar’s days mining Sultepec silver before moving to the U.S. and working as a cook for nearly 30 years with the Seattle Cactus restaurants.

While the original Hillcrest counter and its set of currently empty stools is planned to stay busy, the new Carmelo’s will be a much bigger affair with 1,300 square feet of space and seating for 28. It’s also a big step up in investment for the Carmelo’s team. Given the success of the first Carmelo’s, hopefully Gaspar can strike silver again at 12th and Cherry.

Carmelo’s Tacos is planned to open soon at 1223 E Cherry. You can learn more at

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3 months ago

Congratulations! Carmelo’s is a neighborhood gem.