Bellingham / Fairhaven, WA

A few spots I visited in Bellingham this weekend:

Rocket Doughnuts (downtown Fairhaven). I just had a mocha, which was fine, but I am told the doughnuts are excellent. The decor is amusing, with 50’s science-fiction movie posters.

Netos Grocery and Bakery (northwest Bellingham). Mexican grocery and bakery (as the name says!), but there is also a menu and a small dining area, including outdoor seating. I went twice.

Had the special the first time: beef stew - big chunks of very tender beef, large pieces of potato and zuchinni, a piece of corn cob (how to eat?), in a thin but tasty broth. They bring shakers of oregano and chili to the table. The corn tortillas are made in-house (it looks like they grind their own masa), and are excellent - tender and pillowy. They sell packs of them.

The second time: pambazo, which I had never heard of. It is a sandwich, on the same sort of bread as a torta, but the bread is dipped in a mild chili sauce and grilled before assembly: a fork-and-knife sandwich. There is queso anejo sprinkled over the top. Mine was with adobada. I would order this again. I picked up a La Michoacana brand cucumber and chili paleta and some baked goods also. The paleta was not so impressive as the house-made ones I have had in California, but it would be a nice refresher on a hot day. The pastries came home for my wife and have not been tried yet.

Goods Nursery and Produce (Northwest Bellingham). This is an interesting spot - a small garden store which turns into a food-truck gallery in the evening. There is a barber in a truck, two food trucks, a beer bar, and picnic bench seating with abundant umbrellas. It seems to be popular. People eating with their kids, people drinking beer, lots of conversation. I went twice.

First time to Dumpling Girls. They have a very limited menu (chicken or beef dumplings, spring rolls, a rotating noodle special). I had beef dumplings, which were thick-chewy-rustic (they are pan-fried, til nearly scorched) with nice flavor, and some of the best dumpling dipping sauce I have ever had.

The second time to Que Taco. I had three tacos - lengua, cabeza, and buche. Lengua and cabeza were both very good, though the cabeza approached over-salted. Buche was less flavorful, and bouncy. I am guessing that is what to expect from buche, as I have never had it before. I was not in the mood for salsa, so I can’t report on that. The tortillas were good, but not near Netos quality!

Finally, the Community Food Co-op (downtown Bellingham). I stopped here to pick up snacks for the train trip home. They have the groceries you’d expect in a co-op, what looks like a good hot / cold deli, a big selection of local beers (Bellingham is beer-mad), and what I was looking for: small pieces of good cheese and single rolls. I got a local pretzel roll, which was perfect for the bit of cheddar I picked up.


This is my home turf, but it’s funny, you mentioned a number of places I’d never heard of. Rocket is an old standby. Best doughnuts in B’ham. I had to look up Netos, and it turns out to be an acquisition of La Gloria market and cafe, which has the most authentic Mex in B’ham. Not saying much, but the food is solid. Looks like Netos has slightly different offerings. Never heard of Goods or Que Taco. Dumpling Girls? Or Dumpling King? The latter is a newish place in downtown, on Cornwall, and that limited menu sounds like them. Not such great food. Right around the corner is Muto, a ramen joint, which has much better food if you’re feeling Asian noodly. Coop deli - lots of everything. Looks better than it tastes. However, they are great for non-prepared foods. Their bulk section is unparalleled.