Burien poised to become a foodie destination
By Lindsay Peyton
Burien’s economic development manager Andrea Snyder has two words to describe the city where she works – “food paradise.”
In the near future, she said Bakery Nouveau, Woodfired Pizza and a new Indian restaurant will be opening in the area.
A number of restaurants have recently opened, spanning the gourmet gamut from Burgers & Barley and Ohana Kitchen to Flight Path and Burger Broiler.
And it hasn’t been long since Pickled & Preserved and the Point opened their doors – or Classic Eats finished its renovation.
Snyder said Burien is fertile ground for restaurants to get started and to grow – unlike other parts of the Seattle area.
“To convert a space to a restaurant is very costly,” she said. “You have to put all this equipment in, compared to an office or a store. That requires such a significant investment that often times you don’t see it happening. The costs can dissuade entrepreneurs from starting a restaurant.”
Rents aren’t as high in Burien, Snyder explained.
“Burien is still considered to be pretty affordable,” she said. “They can get the accommodations to make those investments and renovate a building.”
The economic environment also makes it possible for ma-and-pop places to open and stay in business, Snyder added.
“We don’t have a lot of national chains,” she said.
Burien’s spokeswoman Emily Inlow-Hood said the number of dining options is appealing to visitors to the city.
“We have all these small, locally owned businesses,” she said. “That’s part of the reason people like to come here. To have a unique food experience, that’s worth a drive.”
She and Snyder both enjoy the international menus found in Burien.
“We have so many different types of food here,” Snyder said. “The diversity of the restaurants reflects the diversity of the community. We have a large Italian population, and we have great Italian food. We have a large Mexican population, and we have great Mexican food. We don’t have one Salvadorian restaurant; we have three or four.”
In addition to the range of restaurants in Burien, Snyder said the number of specialty markets also appeals to gourmands.
“You can go to a Balkan market or a Polynesian market,” she said. “There are a couple of Asian markets and an Ethiopian one too.”
She said the PCC Natural Market, when it opens next year, will also serve as a gathering place for foodies in Burien.
“That’s something our community is really excited about,” she said. “This is something they really wanted – and were very vocal about.”