Eastside Eats: Old Favorites and New Discoveries

A whirlwind of new retail and restaurant openings has kept the Eastside’s attention on the expansion of Bellevue’s Lincoln Square. But these other Eastside areas also have plenty to offer, from old favorites to new discoveries.

The Commons

A great catch-all for every meal, The Commons is good for weekend breakfast or brunch with the family, a hearty and homestyle weeknight dinner when you don’t want to cook, and when you want something more than what a typical coffee place can offer, its café area is like a mini bakery with plenty of fresh-baked goodies. Woodinville

Ohana Eastside

Another Seattle mainstay has expanded to the Eastside, sharing its unique brand of island aloha. You can get your tiki drink fix during happy hour, and indulge your guilty pleasure of Spam, served up in the Ohana Sliders or a Spam Musubi, a Hawaiian favorite. Issaquah

Levitate Gastropub

There’s no shortage of restaurants that focus on locally sourced ingredients and a from-scratch menu presenting amazing regional flavors. Levitate is all that, plus comfort, especially in the poutine with shreds of duck confit and a creamy cheese sauce piled atop crispy fries —and don’t forget the fried egg add-on. Issaquah

Restaurants

Facing East

Facing East

Pork “burgers,” rich cuts of braised pork belly in steamed buns, are what often brings people in to try Facing East, but check out other dishes like the delicate braised egg tofu, cold tea smoked duck, or sticky rice with shrimp to discover new favorites. Bellevue

Art by Fire

Stoke the creative fires by taking a glassblowing class at Art by Fire. A glassblowing school as well as a gallery, it offers classes for all ages, from assembling custom jewelry at Beads and Teas events, to more advanced classes teaching the glassblowing process in an industrial studio. Issaquah

Brick & Mortar Books

The ease of online shopping doesn’t quite replace the leisurely browse of a local bookstore, which Brick & Mortar delivers with care. Along with a curated collection of unique and local books, as well as an impressive graphic novel section, there are delightful gifts suited for book lovers. Check the calendar to see author events held nearly every week. Redmond

iPic theater

A full-service restaurant and cocktail bar theater is ideal for dinner and a movie, all in one place. The premium seats are worth reserving — you get a pillow, blanket, some popcorn, and the ability to order food and drinks at the touch of a button. Redmond

Dough Zone

The popularity of xiao long bao, or soup dumplings, has welcomed more specialty dumpling restaurants to fulfill the Eastside’s cravings. If you don’t have time to wait hours for a table, check out one of the multiple Dough Zone locations to get your soup dumpling fix! Multiple locations in Redmond/Bellevue/Issaquah/Seattle

Restaurants

Monsoon East

Ramen Yoshi

The ramen craze has brought one ramen house directly from Nagoya, Japan. The tonkotsu ramen, popular among all the ramen shops, is a crowd favorite, but check out the other noodle dishes, like the seasonal tsukemen or the Nagoya-area side dishes, that other ramen places aren’t likely to have. Bellevue

Monsoon East

The catfish clay pot is the dish we all never knew we needed. Traditional and inspired Vietnamese cuisine in an elegant setting is ideal for impressing palates wanting something exciting. Bellevue

 

 

Restaurants

Bis on Main, photo by Rodrigo DeMedeiros

Bis on Main

Classic white table linens, a cozy atmosphere, and a menu of traditional French and Italian dishes — it’s what date night was made for. The intimate setting lets you focus on the conversation as you share a bottle of wine and a beautiful meal together. Bellevue

Five Stones Coffee Company

A neighborhood coffee shop with proper espresso drinks, a wide array of fresh pastries, and the avocado toast of your dreams, Five Stones is a charming hangout spot for a latte on-the-go, or to spend some time sitting and enjoying the moment. Redmond

Regal Crossroads Cinema

The recent upgrade of all the theater seats to extra-comfy reclining chairs makes movie-watching a totally relaxing experience, plus you can reserve seats online, so there’s no stress over trying to get seats next to one another. Bellevue

Woodblock

The craft cocktail craze isn’t just for busy downtown cities; you can get a specialty barrel-aged whiskey drink, or a delicate egg white foam-topped pre-Prohibition era cocktail at this charming corner restaurant. The bartender won’t blink twice if you ask for something obscure. Redmond

Hollywood Tavern

If you live in Woodinville and you’re looking for something a little closer to home, you’re in luck. The pub-style comfort food menu has plenty of tempting choices, and you can’t beat the outdoor seating, curled up in one of the big chairs surrounding an open fire. Woodinville

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