While Seattle is a big draw for the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue is a mere 15 minutes from the largest city in Washington. This area encompasses several different smaller towns with their own charms as well. Here are a few must-eats when visiting the Seattle/Bellevue area.
Photo by Nick Hall | visitseattle.org
600 Bellevue Way NE (Bellevue)
After a restful night’s sleep in your “heavenly” bed at the Westin Bellevue, take the short elevator ride down to Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar. The breakfast buffet has it all: continental favorites like yogurt, fresh fruit and bagels; hot staples like eggs, French toast and bacon; and a build-your-own omelet station complete with a cook. Along with the Westin brand SuperFoods collection, you’ll find juices like the “orange” juice with carrot, orange, ginger, turmeric and mango. In a hurry after your workout in the gym or run in nearby Downtown Park? Just order room service.
1519 Pike Place (Seattle)
Lowell’s is nestled in Pike Place Market with a stellar waterfront view. Sip on a Bloody Mary and watch the iconic Seattle Great Wheel and the various boats on Elliott Bay. If you’re looking for something light, try the House Cured Wild Salmon Lox, fresh wild King salmon house cured with a dill brine. In the mood for something warm? Go for the World Famous Dungeness Crab Omelet – it is world famous. You can’t go wrong with fresh crab, diced tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
105 Lake Street (Kirkland)
This gem is on Kirkland’s Park Lane, a high trafficked walking area on weekends, especially for dog owners. The space is welcoming with a laid back atmosphere. For literary lovers, this restaurant is a must as it is inspired by Hemingway’s travels. You can grab a Scratch Bloody Mary with your choice of gin, vodka or tequila or grab an infamous signature cocktail. The Robert Jordan, co-owner Jessi Pricco’s favorite beverage, is a combination of gin, lazzaroni amaro, basil, pineapple, lemon and sugar. Eggs are a must for brunch, so start with the Pickled Eggs. They are cool, creamy and full of flavor. The most popular dish on the brunch menu is the Pork Belly Benny: sugared roasted pork belly, hollandaise, poached eggs on brioche with a side of Papas Bravas. The creaminess of the hollandaise paired with the sweetness and crunch of the pork belly is leveled out with the thick-cut bread. Portions are large, so you won’t leave hungry.
14580 NE 145th Street (Woodinville)
With a residency of 14 years at Barking Frog, Executive Chef Bobby Moore is the star of the restaurant at Willows Lodge. His famous dish is the Grand Marnier Prawns, which he once took off the menu but made a comeback due to diners’ demands. The shrimp are delicate with a nice crisp and delicious sauce. The Mac and Cheese loaded with bacon and truffle oil is perfect on a chilly, rainy day. It’s made with Tillamook white cheddar, straight from the Pacific Northwest. If it’s a nice day outside, grab a sandwich for some al fresco dining.
2411 Alaskan Way (Seattle)
If you find yourself on the west side of Seattle, stop by Edgewater Hotel’s restaurant Six Seven for a quick lunch. Start with the award-winning Two Clam Chowder. If you’re looking for something light and true to the region, the Northwest Caesar Salad is a great option. Craving a burger? The Wagyu Burger won’t disappoint.
111 Lake Street (Kirkland)
Who doesn’t love macarons? These delicate French bites are the perfect mix of airy cookie and smooth center. What’s more, Lady Yum creates flavors to include local artisan products like jams and salts. Since they are only $2 each, you have plenty of budget to try a few, and grab a glass of champagne while you enjoy your treats. Signature flavors include Chocolate Mint, Salted Caramel (with Jacobson Salt Co.) and Raspberry Chardonnay (with Sweet Caroline’s Jam). Sugar Plum, Maple Bacon and The Shindig (with Fruity Pebble cereal) are some of the winter flavors, available through March 30.
One of Seattle’s hot spots, Pike Place Market is full of local artisans. Whether you are looking for a mini doughnut, juicy fruit or fresh seafood, this is the place to go. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a maple bacon mini doughnut at Daily Dozen Doughnut Company. Watch cheesemakers at Beecher’s and grab a block of cheese to take home.
430 106th Avenue NE (Bellevue)
Known for its wine pairings, this spot is perfect for a romantic dinner on your getaway. The energetic atmosphere is met with winding staircases, walls of wine bottles and candle-lit tables. Start with an appetizer like the Ahi Poke, perfectly balanced with the creamy avocado, saltiness of the soy, meaty ahi tuna and the crisp of the wonton chip. If you’re in the mood for some spice, go for the Spicy Prawns and Frites. The wine pairing with Markus Molitor ‘Haus Klosterberg’ Spätlese Reisling balances the spice from shrimp with the cool fruit flavors of the wine. For the entrée, you can’t go wrong with the Maple Braised Lamb Shank. While it can be intimidating at first glance, the flavors of the dish will keep you going back for more. I recommend going with a dual wine pairing with this one: Colene Clemens Vineyards Pinot Noir that melts the lamb and Two Vintners Grenache Blanc to enhance the crispness of the apple and celeriac slaw. Save room for dessert: city-famous Sea-Salt Caramels (served chilled) paired with El Maestro Sierra Medium ‘Amoroso.’ Reservations are recommended as it does get crowded, even during the week.
19116 Beardslee Boulevard #201 (Bothell)
Photos: Beardslee Public House
Not only does the family-friendly restaurant have its own brewery, it also has a specialized charcuterie kitchen where they house-cure meats. That being said, one of the best starters on the menu is the Grilled Kal- bi Pork Meat Candy paired with the Four Ginger IPA. If you’re not a ginger fan, opt for the flagship brew, Greenleaf IPA, with the House Made Brewing Grain Pretzel, complete with 3 dipping sauces: Smoked Gouda Sauce, Honey Butter and Mustard. Dinner specials rotate every 3 weeks, so browse those before deciding on a main entrée. If you want a standard, try the American Wagyu ½ pound Burger with Mishima Ranch American Wagyu Beef (they grind their own meat) or the Quattro Funghi Pizza (the mushrooms are foraged locally). Need something sweet to top off your meal? Try the Bourbon Butterscotch Crème Brule.