Kikey’s Cafe in Burien specializes in Mexican-inspired breakfast dishes and their chilaquiles are a hit! #k5evening
BURIEN, Wash. – Kikey’s Coffee in Burien is truly a family business.
Owners Synthia Reyes and Gerar Valeriano were both born in Mexico, but have spent most of their lives in Washington. And at their restaurant Kikey’s Cafe, you’ll find dishes inspired by it all.
They call it “A Taste of Mexico”. Diners can taste Agua Frescas, Mexican pastries and desserts, Horchatas and Mocha Mexicanos.
But their breakfast dishes are the star, especially their chilaquiles!
“I come here for the Chilaquiles Verde. That’s the only thing,” Charlene Chen shared. “It’s delicious and the flavors blend together.”
Synthia and Gerar never expected chilaquiles to become such a thing.
But they knew the recipe was special.
“It’s my grandmother’s Mexican recipe,” Gerar explained. “It’s a recipe that comes from her mum and my grandmother and then from my mum. Synthia learned to make it, then to cook it.”
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Synthia also has her grandmother’s cheesecake on the menu.
Kikey’s brunch is full of Mexican-inspired twists, but if you just want a crepe or an omelette, they have those too. And the orange juice is freshly squeezed.
“Everything is freshly made,” Synthia explained. “It’s not just fresh, we use local vendors.”
It’s a life they never imagined. But a family tragedy triggered a chain of events that led them here.
Down the street from the cafe in 2018, Gabriela Reyes Domingues, a 51-year-old mother working in a chiropractor’s office was hit and killed by a stray bullet.
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She was well known and loved by the community and her family, including Synthia, who was her niece.
They called Gabriela — Kikey.
“Kikey was an amazing woman,” Synthia said. “Very proud of where she was born.”
“She was the person if you want to talk to someone, she was there and she took me as her own blood,” Gerar explained.
Gabriela was co-owner of this restaurant when it came to the First Avenue Cafe. And after his death, the family struggled to continue.
One day Synthia started to help; And the rest is history.
“This is all new to me. I had to learn from A to Z in this industry,” Synthia explained. “It’s really difficult, it takes a long time. We get up well before opening hours and stay up well after closing hours.”
But serving dishes that remind her of her family and their shared heritage is inspiring and comforting.
“Kikey would love that,” Synthia shared. “She would be so happy to see everything, the dishes and the whole place!”
Kikey’s Cafe is located at 15607 First Ave. S. and is open 7 days a week.
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