5 Seattle-area pastry pop-ups featuring Latin American favorites

Sweet and crunchy conchas are just one of the pastries you can find at these pop-up spots.

Sweet and crunchy conchas are just one of the pastries you can find at these pop-up spots.

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Historically, Seattle took many of its culinary cues from looking west, with a restaurant scene full of sushi shops, banh mi sold on nearly every block and Chinese restaurants of all stripes, so the recent boom of baked goods pop-ups around the city showing off flavors from around Asia fit right in.

Recently, though, a wave of entrepreneurs from around Latin America seems to have finally found an audience for their empanadas, conchas and quesadillas, showing off the region’s various shared styles and country-specific sweets.

While Colombian Delights Bakery took up residence in the Olympic Sculpture Park for the summer, many of the most exciting alfajores and creative cookies roam around the city or offer pre-orders for pick up, so we tracked down where and how to find them.

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Selva Central Goods

This shop originally stemmed from the owner and chef’s previous business, Selva Central Glass. Buoyed by appearances on Netflix's "Sugar Rush" and Food Network's "Big Time Bake," culinary school graduate and former head baker at Wallingford’s Cubes Baking Co., Mayra Sibrian transitioned from her focus on glassware to showing off her Salvadorean and Mexican culture through food.

Her signature Salvadoran quesadillas – a pound cake with cheese, not to be confused with the Mexican version – share table space at events with baked goods like chocolate-ganache stuffed plantain muffins filled and sweet semitas filled with guava and hibiscus-chia jam. Keep an eye on Selva’s Instagram for the constant farmers market and popup locations and pre-order on the website to make sure you get what you want before it sells out.

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Oso Negro Baking Co.

When Sebastian Quintana introduced his wife to his family in Chile, where he grew up, he also introduced her to the cookie that would change their lives. He met Aislinn McManigal when they both worked for Tom Douglas’s Lola, and while he had drifted from kitchens to the tech industry, he returned to food last year when the two created this company to sell alfajores, the caramel sandwich cookies found all over South America’s Cono Sur countries.

The standard form includes two buttery cookies connected with a slather of dulce de leche, but Oso Negro takes their alfajores a step further by coating them in chocolate, rolling them in nuts, and creating pistachio, peanut butter, and espresso versions. Preorder from their website to pick up at their regular markets – Fremont, SLU, and Burien – and watch their Instagram for pop-ups.

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Karen’s Bakescapade

After leaving her job as pastry chef at FlintCreek Cattle Co. in 2019, Karen Sandoval started offering baked goods up on Instagram, starting with holiday pies. But in the pandemic, she found her groove – and an audience for her meticulous and flavorful re-creations of the baked goods of her Mexican heritage. A year later, her holiday offerings included chocolate peppermint and rompope flavored conchas and now she semi-regularly offers the sweet buns up for sale on Instagram – as well as other seasonal specials – like pan de muerto in the fall.

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Empanadery

When the design business slowed down in the pandemic, Runa Nakayama opened this online-only delivery business featuring the type of empanadas she knew from her 币圈app都有哪些home country of Chile. The ground beef filled, envelope-shaped baked empanadas de pino show off the most typical version, but she offers a wide variety, including mini-pinos, vegetarian and vegan versions, puff pastry empanadas, and the beef hot dog filled chaparrita.

They also make pastel de choclo, a ground beef and corn custard casserole rarely seen in these parts. Order for delivery if you qualify or for pick-up in Bellevue if you don’t via the website.

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Coladas and Empanadas

This magical combination of frozen boozy drinks and fried stuffed pies comes out of Kent, envisioned by three Peruvian sisters from New York to transport customers to hot summer days on the city streets. The frozen empanadas, which fry up to a bubbly-crisp crust, come in Peruvian-inspired flavors like lomo saltado (stir-fried beef) and in more American ones, like pepperoni pizza, while the colorful sauce options include aji verde, Peruvian onion relish, and mayo-ketchu. Best washed down with their Henny Colada, Tropi Frosé, or Jungle Juice. Their menu is up on Instagram and you can order via DM or by emailing the address shown there, with delivery offered to some areas.

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