Maria's tortillas, Kyle's recipes, so many delicious beverages and the perfect pre-movie snacks!
Cantina Leña is a bright new spot in the downtown Seattle dining scene. Flavors of Yucatan cuisine inspired the concise and vibrant menu which features smoked meats, charred veggies and zesty ceviche. We hope you develop an addiction to the crunchy pork carnitas nachos or the torta with smoked meat & pickled pineapple. At lunch time there is quick tempo counter & bar service and in the evening a full service bar and dining room.
Inspired By Mexico
The rustic cooking of Mexico is an influence on the Cantina Leña menu but our chefs have definitely added their own flair and great Northwest ingredients. Our masa is ground in house by volcanic stones to produce toothsome tortillas.
Two must try dishes are the smoked beef quesadilla and charred broccoli salad. Our bar has some tasty concoctions waiting for you too with great tequila, slushies and modern takes on horchata.
Cantina Leña is located at the corner of 5th and Lenora on the street level of The Martin residential building. It is a lively space of vibrant colors. tile, wood beams, and industrial infrastructure surrounded by 20 foot tall windows. A big menu board welcomes you and gets your mouth watering. Food is easily prepared for to -go orders , the kitchen line is right behind the counter so you can watch the cooks assemble your delicious meal or settle in to enjoy the cantina vibe.We are happy to be next door neighbors with the fantastically renovated Cinerama and hope you stop in on your way to the movies.
Born in Anacortes, Wa and raised east of Cleveland, Ohio, Kyle Johnson returned to his PNW roots in 2010. After working at Seatown Seabar for its opening year, Kyle moved to Dahlia Lounge, working his way up the line to sous chef where he worked until the summer of 2017 when he became the chef of Cantina Leña.
Prior to his return to Washington, Kyle had worked with his father Randal at his restaurant Molinari’s in Mentor, Ohio. Growing up with a father who is a chef, Kyle was exposed to the controlled chaos of a kitchen early, beginning with washing dishes at 10 years of age, and culminating with being sous chef at the age of 22. This early exposure to different foods, cultures and experiences had a lasting impact on Kyle, who decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.
After several trips to Tom and Jackie’s farm in Prosser, Washington in conjunction with an awakening to environmental and health issues affecting us all today, Kyle started viewing the adage to “eat your vegetables” in a new light. Shifting from a Midwest meat-and-potatoes mentality towards embracing all things veggie, Kyle has focused his culinary efforts on putting produce in the spotlight and showcasing the diversity and deliciousness that our local farmer friends bring us each season.
When Kyle isn’t cooking at Cantina Leña, he is usually cooking for his friends, family and amazing wife Tara at their home in White Center, or making hilarious dad jokes.