Pinoy ‘turo-turo’ O Mart in Seattle wins coveted James Beard America’s Classics Award

Oriental Mart at the Pike Place Market | Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

Oriental Mart, a Filipino turo-turo (eatery) at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, recently received the coveted Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation.

This family-owned restaurant (sometimes referred to by locals as “O Mart”) in the bustling market has been a Seattle staple since Leila Apostol-Rosas (fondly known as Ate Lei in the market) opened a small eatery right next to her mother Mila Apostol’s grocery in 1987. Since then, the humble eatery became a favorite – not just for Filipinos in the area, but anyone who enjoyed having Ate Lei’s homec-ooked Filipino dishes.


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According to Eater Seattle, Oriental Mart’s best-sellers include the Filipino classic Sinigang with salmon collar and Ate Lei’s “‘Do You Trust Me Plate,’ which is a smorgasbord of items dependent on whatever’s in season.” The James Beard Foundation also listed “pancit, juicy longanisa, and long-simmered adobo” as crowd-favorites.

Oriental Mart is just one of the six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classic Award for 2020. This recognition is given to restaurants with  “timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of the community.”

To know more about this year’s awardees, check The James Beard Foundation website.