About

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 Brian’s 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.


Seattle Nacho Week!

October 15-19, 22-26 & 29-November 2nd - For the next three weeks, we're serving 3 awesome plates from Chef Kyle Johnson, our crew and even a submission on our Instagram page!

  • 15. INDIAN NACHOS: tortilla chips, curried yellow lentils, coriander yogurt, garam masala spiced fried chickpeas, pickled red onions and cilantro.
  • 17. INSTAGRAM WINNER: submitted by @minnaroofry! Bulgogi nachos: marinated Korean beef, nacho cheese, house kimchi, pickled carrots, scallions, gochujang sour cream and toasted sesame seeds
  • 17. THE CADILLAC: crispy pork carnitas, green chiles, pickled onion, black beans, tapatio sour cream, fundido and guacamole

STARTERS

  • 14. THREE AMIGOS: fresh made chips and dips: house made salsa, & guacamole & queso fundido
  • 5. CHIPS & SALSA: heirloom tomato molcajete rojo
  • 8. GUACAMOLE & CHIPS: smashed avacados, lime
  • 12. SMOKED WINTER SQUASH: scallions, spicy pepita-lime sauce, cotija
  • 12. SMOKED BEEF QUESADILLA: pulled beef, kimchi, white cheddar, tapatio sour cream
  • 14. NACHOS: crispy pork carnitas, green chiles, pickled onion, fundido
    • 3. ~Cadillac your nachos: add tapatio sour cream, black beans and guacamole
  • 12. CEVICHE: bristol bay salmon, blueberry, habanero mayo, crispy tacos, avocado
  • 8. GUACAMOLE & CHIPS: smashed avacados, lime

SALADS & SOUP

  • 11. CHARRED BROCCOLI: pickled onion, smoked cotija dressing, corn nuts
  • 9. JOSH'S BABY LETTUCE SALAD: prosser beets, smoky crema, squash seeds, tamarind vingaigrette
  • 12. ROJO PORK POZOLE: smoked pork, hominy, jackie's tomatoes, lime mayo

SANDWICHES

served with tortilla chips

  • 11. CHORIZO WRAP: shaved cabbage, pickled onion, jalapeno, lime mayo, radish
  • 12. TORTA: "pibil" slow roasted pork, black beans, pickled onions, aioli, pineapple-habanero hot sauce
  • 11. BLACK BEAN WRAP: cabbage, pickled onion, cucumber, radish, lime mayo, jalapeno
  • 12. HARVEST BURRITO: prosser farm winter squash mixed with fundido, josh's greens, rice, spicy sweet roasted onions, garlic pinto beans, guac

CANTINA TACO PLATES

build your own with fresh tortillas brown rice and choice of side

  • 15. ACHIOTE PORK SHOULDER: sour orange, pickled onion
  • 18. ANCHO MOLE BRAISED BEEF: pepitas, almonds, sesame, pickled onions
  • 15. CRISPY LING COD: strawberry & onion salsa, spicy green mayo
  • 15. SPICY SLOW ROASTED CHICKEN: serrano chiles, lime, cilantro
  • 14. GREEN JACKFRUIT TINGA: (veggie) spicy tomato, charred onion, crispy rice, epazote
  • SALSAS: guajillo ~chipotle & charred serrano chile with cilantro and sour orange

SIDES

  • 4. BLACK BEANS: guajillo chile, cocoa nib
  • 4. PINTO BEANS: olive oil, garlic, chive
  • 2. BROWN RICE: butter, chiles, scallion
  • 4. STREET SPROUTS: lime mayo, corn nuts, tajin
  • 3. MARIA'S TORTILLAS (3)

DESSERTS

  • 3. SPARKLE WHOOPIE PIE COOKIE:
  • 5.25 CHURRO BITES (9)
    • 1.25ancho chocolate
    • 1.25piña hibiscus marmalade
    • 1.25mezcal caramel
  • 12.50 FIESTA CHURRO BITES: (15) churro bites & all three dippy sauces

Margaritas

  • 10. house: zapopan reposado, on the rocks, salt
  • 9. frozen: exotico blanco, salt...... brain freeze
  • 11. habanero-prickly pear: house infused tequila, prickly pear
  • 11.50 pineapple: pueblo viejo añejo, fresh piña, lime, tepache
  • 18. plantation punch: dark & light rum, hibiscus, served in a pinapple

cocktails

  • 9.50 paloma: grapefruit "jarvitos" soda, cimarron blanco, lime, salt
  • 11. malcriada: blanco tequila, damiana, licor 43, sage bitters
  • 8.50 michelada: dos equis, citrus, tapatio, clamato
  • 10. sangria: "on tap" red wine, presidente brandy, fruit and spices
  • 10. sol de verano: mezcal, habanero tequila, limeade, ginger, cider

NON-ALCOHOLIC

house made refreshments

  • 5.25 "jarvitos" grapefruit soda
  • 2.75 jarritos: mandrarin, tamarind, strawberry, pineapple, lime, agave, mineral water
  • 3.25 classic horchata: almond, rice, cinnamon (dairy free)
  • 4.25 medianoche: half starbucks cold brew coffee, half classic horchata
  • 4.25 agua fresca del dia
  • 3.25 hibiscus iced tea or classic iced tea
  • 3.25 limeade

Comida

  • 9. Breakfast Burritos: scrambled eggs, crispy potatoes, fundido, pinto beans, tapatio sour cream
    • 2.add smoked pork, pulled beef or spicy chicken, chorizo, braised kale
  • 5.25 Churros: cinnamon and sugar dusted
    • 1.25guava and pineapple marmalade
    • 1.25ancho chocolate sauce
    • 1.25cointreau caramel
  • BREAKFAST BURRITOS: SATURDAY & SUNDAY ONLY 10am - 3pm

Bebidas

  • 9. Bloodies
    • maria zapopan reposado
    • mario fidencsio clasico mezcal
    • mary housemade lemon vodka
  • 8. Mimosas
    • orange or grapefruit
    • agua fresca del dia
  • 8. Punches
    • lena "leche": presidente brandy, licor 43, horchata
    • planter's: smith & cross, pina, oj, real grenadine

Comida

Served Monday-Friday from 3-6pm

  • 2. FISH TACOS: crispy ling cod, guacamole, pickled red onion
  • 7. QUESADILLA: slow roasted spicy serrano chicken, cheddar cheese, charred scallion
  • 8. BLACK BEAN NACHOS: fundido and melted jack, black beans, pickled onion, cilantro
  • 4. GREEN CHILE FUNDIDO: fresh made chips
  • 3. CHIPS & SALSA: heirloom tomato molcajete rojo

Bebidas

  • 6.50 Slushy Margarita
  • 6. Shot of lunazul reposado tequila: sangrita chaser
  • 7.50 Big shot little beer 7oz coronita and a shot of lunazul reposado
  • 5. Pint of dos equis especail or negra modelo
  • 2. Agua Fresca del Dia
    • 6.+reposado tequila
    • 6.+vodka
    • 5.+cava

Gift cards!

The perfect gift for the foodie in your life
Shop Now »

Chef Bio

Born in Anacortes, Wa and raised east of Cleveland, Ohio, Kyle 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 Lena.

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. 

When Kyle isn’t cooking at Cantina Lena, he is usually cooking for his friends, family and amazing wife Tara at their home in White Center, or making hilarious dad jokes.