For almost nine years of creating 425 magazine, we have met some of the most interesting people, had amazing experiences and delicious bites — hello, candied bacon — on our adventures. In honor of Valentine’s Day, our staff, with shout-outs from our 425 readers and contributors, compiled this “425 Reasons to Love the Eastside” list. We’d love for you to continue the conversation (hearts) online and on social media. xoxo
We Love the Weird, Wild and Wondrous
1. Spotting elk near North Bend.
2. The secret cave door at Alexandria Nicole Winery in Woodinville.
3. Did you know Bellevue councilmember John Chelminiak survived a bear attack?
4. Redmond’s Stone House has excellent food – and a ghost.
5. That one time Johnny Depp went to Salish Lodge and ordered a nonalcoholic beer and beet salad.
6. Because John Oliver featured a salmon cannon made in Bellevue on his HBO show.
7. Mystery writer J.A. Jance calls Bellevue home and has words hidden throughout her secret garden.
8. A croissant and cinnamon bun had a baby at Grateful Bread in Duvall. We call it the “CroBun”.
9. There is a nudist camp on the side of Tiger Mountain where the Bare Bun Fun Run takes place, and it makes us giggle like sixth-graders.
10. And finally, we love that Grow Plastics in Bothell creates compostable cups so beer pong is now an eco-friendly game we can feel good about.
The Most Important Meal
11. Plate o’ Bacon at Lot No. 3 in Bellevue. It’s candied. ‘Nuff said.
12. All-you-can-eat modern American buffet at Eques in the Hyatt Regency Bellevue.
13. The flaky croissants at Belle Pastry in Old Bellevue.
14. Biscuit sandwiches at The Commons in Woodinville.
15. Chewy bagels at Blazing Bagels in Redmond and Bellevue.
16. Biscuits and gravy at the Grange Café in Duvall.
17. Cinnamon rolls as big as your face at Maltby Café in Snohomish.
18. The Salish Lodge Country Breakfast at the Salish Lodge Dining Room in Snoqualmie. It’s not just brunch; it’s an event.
19. 150,000: The number of visitors who attend the Salmon Days Festival in Issaquah.
20. Chateau Ste. Michelle helped turn Washington wine into a global sensation.
Companies that Changed the Eastside
21. Travel planning used to be a logistical nightmare. Expedia changed that.
22. Microsoft changed, and continues to change, the way we work, and it has pumped millions of dollars and thousands of smart people into the Eastside.
23. Costco treats its employees well and has $1.50 hot dogs. What’s not to like?
24. Nintendo, because we can’t imagine childhood without Mario and Luigi.
25. Bungie developed “Halo” which changed the video game landscape for good.
26. The ingredients in your Christmas dinner were probably shipped in a truck made by Paccar.
27. Nytec, because makers still matter.
28. Google isn’t an Eastside company, but it realized there’s creative juice here.
29. The Eastside would be a far different place if it weren’t for the Kemper Development Company.
30. T-Mobile will almost single-handedly remove the two-year contract from the cellphone industry.
31. The Boeing final assembly plant in Everett is the world’s largest building by volume.
32. 380: The number of Bellevue teachers who are National Board certified, more than any district in the state.
33. “We can grab fish ‘n chips and be at a waterfall inside of 20 minutes!” – Danielle Kartes, 425 contributing food stylist and writer and Issaquah mom
Mayor Picks – Amy Walen, mayor of Kirkland
34. “Kirkland has the only accessible downtown on Lake Washington, with 40 parks and nearly 10 percent of its city designated for open space. Kirland has an established record of developing, promoting and maintaining parks to suite a wide variety of uses. Most recently, this includes the 5.75-mile Cross Kirkland Corridor, a biking and pedestrian interim trail with a future vision of transit.” – Amy Walen, Mayor of Kirland
35. Small-Town Feel with Big-Town Business: Approximately 40 percent of Kirkland companies are home-based businesses, many owned by software developers, artists and entreprenuers. Two-thirds of these are service-based businesses, including nearly 17 percent in the IT sector. Notable companies include Google, INRIX, Bluetooth, Kenworth Trucks (Paccar), Nintendo.
36. Fun For The Whole Family: Kirkland is home to approximately 13 neighborhoods, each of which possesses a distinct personality. With more than 40 city parks, Kirkland has renowned recreational opportunities and activities, including the beloved Summer Children’s Concert Series and Kirkland Art Center classes.
37. Boutique Shopping District: From locally owned shops to vintage boutiques, Kirkland offers a spectrum of shopping experiences along with a variety of spas featuring mind and body indulgences. Vintage consignment shops are sprinkled throughout Kirkland downtown, the majority of which are family-owned and operated.
38. Thriving Arts & Culture Scene: Kirkland’s art scene is sophisticated and international, but also quirky and colorful. Live performances, exhibits, classes and galleries are abundant. Highlights include the Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland Performance Center and the newly inhabited “Alley” arts and wine enclave in Totem Lake.
39. Wining and Dining: A stroll along Kirkland’s tree-lined streets reveals endless opportunities to explore local restaurants with nationally acclaimed chefs showing the best of Northwest ingredients paired with exquisite Washington wine. There are hundreds of restaurants in Kirkland, ranging from casual sandwich spots to 4-star gourmet, chef-driven restaurants.
40. Events and Festivals: Kirkland is home to many cherished community events unique to the area. Favories include Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July Parade, Picnic and Fireworks and the annual Tree Lighting celebration. Kirkland also hosts numerous athletic events from holiday-themed fun runs to organized bike rides and triathlons. Given its unique location and charm, Kirkland also attracts visitors to events such as the Tall Ships Festival, Little League World Series and Kirkland Uncorked.
41. Modern Vietnamese at Monsoon East in Bellevue.
42. Taiwanese pork burger at Bellevue’s Facing East.
43. The garlic tonkotsu shoyu ramen at Kukal Ramen and Izakaya in Bellevue.
44. Popovers at Mariposa at Neiman Marcus in Bellevue.
45. Pearl Bar and Dining’s Bearing Sea Sablefish with Dungeness crab dumplings.
46. The butter chicken pizza at Can Am Pizza in Bellevue or Mill Creek.
47. Grand Mariner prawns at Willows Lodge’s Barking Frog in Woodinville.
48. The crispy garlic chicken at Bellevue’s Bis on Main.
49. The drunken chicken at Everett’s TerraCotta Red.
50. Juicy Pork Dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Bellevue.
51. There is a great escape on the water in Medina. A tiny community park located at the end of Evergreen Point Road.
52. Taking a leisurely drive on the Redmond/Fall City Highway. Don’t forget a camera!
53. Renton’s 8-Bit Arcade, because we can play Pac-Man and drink big-kid apple cider.
54. Finding treasures geocaching, because nerdy tech-inspired games are what we do for fun.
55. Picking blueberries at Larsen Lake Blueberry farm.
56. “The al pastor at El Maestro del Taco truck in Crossroads is wonderful.” – Jake Bullinger, 425 Business writer
Celebs Who Have Called the 425 Home
57. Bill and Melinda Gates.
58. Ann and Nancy Wilson of rock ‘n’ roll band Heart were raised in Bellevue.
59. Bellevue-born actress Megan Hilty made Joe DiMaggio droll as Marilyn Monroe in NBC’s Smash and starred in Wicked.
60. ABC’s The Bachelor stars Jason and Molly Mesnick.
61. He might sing about faraway places like Jupiter, but Train’s lead singer Patrick Monahan lives in Issaquah.
62. When he’s not finding us the best spots to travel to in Europe, Rick Steves unwinds at home in Edmonds.
63. Break out your aviators and dancing shoes and celebrate the fact that 80s theme-song master Kenny Loggins was born in Everett.
64. Richelle Mead, who writes the beloved series for teens, Vampire Academy, lives in Kirkland.
65. Actress Josie Bissett of Melrose Place lives in 425.
66. A UW grad from Edmonds, Anna Faris, has made people chuckle in movies like The House Bunny and Scary Move 4.
67. Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt, hails from Lake Stevens and he’s married to Anna Faris!
Mayor Picks – John Marchione, mayor of Redmond
68. “Nowhere else on the Eastside can you buy an actual rocket engine, compete on the two best video gaming systems around, study to create the next viral video game, change a light bulb two stories up with a one-of-a-kind lift manufactured in Redmond, rub shoulders with programmers responsible for keeping the world’s computers running and enjoy a local foodie fair like a Nutella banana croissant! And that’s just the shortlist!” – John Marchione, Mayor of Redmond
69. The Redmond Central Connector is our unique take on four miles of regional trail that winds through Downtown, along the Sammamish River and past some incredible public art installations, including John Fleming’s Erratic, an homage to our glacial past, and his Sky Painting – the largest painting in Washington State.
70. Home to the oldest continuously running criterion bicycle race in the country.
71. A Bike Park dedicated to dirt jumping.
72. Redmond folks earn awards through the R-TRIP program for biking to work.
73. Redmond likes to celebrate art and diversity through events like Redmond Lights, Derby Days and So Bazaar.
74. You can get lost in more than 30 parks in Redmond.
75. More than 80 percent of Redmond folks surveyed reported feeling safe walking alone in their neighborhoods at night.
76. Not many cities have their ZIP code etched into each part of a rocket that gets sent into outer space and may end up on Mars.
77. When you want to know more about Redmond, Bing it.
Startups to Watch
78. Traffic sucks, and Intrix is trying to solve the problem.
79. Smartsheet, because it took productivity to the cloud.
80. A stressful career harms health. Limeade helps companies keep their employees healthy.
81. Tomorrow’s engineers are learning math with the help of DreamBox Learning.
82. Tagboard’s hashtag management is a #timesaver.
83. Sensoria, Inc., because its smart clothes that help you stay fit.
84. PurpleWall will help you design the room of your dreams on a budge you set.
85. WISErg will change the way we compost.
86. PetHub, because pets should be safe when you’re away.
87. Startup incubators spark innovation and build economies and Thinkspace was the first to bet on the Eastside.
88. Getting into your dream college can hinge on your application essay, and Essay Mentors is helping kids write the best ones they can.
89. Forgetting to take a medication, or taking the wrong one, can be fatal. TruMedicines helps verify prescriptions and reminds customers when to take them.
90. Your work is moving to the cloud, and BitTitan will make the transition easier.
91. The gorgeous interior at Moksha in downtown Bellevue is as pretty as the food.
92. 04/27/1997: The date the area code 425 was created. 1997 was also the year Titanic came out, Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear and Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” was topping the charts.
93. “I love the new Regal Cinema movie theatre in the Issaquah Highlands and taking my son, Hudson, to see Big Hero 6!” – Matt Brown, 425 Magazine, sales
Great Hikes on the Eastside
94. Wallace Falls State Park
95. Wilderness Cliffs Trail
96. Wildside Trail
97. Chirico Trail (Poo Poo Point)
98. Summit Trail
99. Rattlesnake Ridge
100. Twin Falls Trail
101. Mount SI
102. Snoqualmie SF
103. The view from Rattlesnake Ridge
Movers and Shakers
104. Dr. Matthew Bruner of Bruner Orthodontics – because he travels to South Africa to pass out toothbrushes and provide oral-health education.
105. Jim Karambelas at GLY Construction, because he is a force for innovation and they build the coolest offices on the Eastside.
106. Erik Liedholm, because the John Howie Restaurant wine director won the fifth annual StarChefs Somm Slam in NYC and he’s an award-winning distiller at Wildwood Spirits Co.
107. John Robertson and Scott Hansen, because they aren’t only the founders of Bellevue’s first brewery, Bellevue Brewing; they support charities dedicated to helping youth in our community.
108. Chris Salomone, City of Bellevue director of planning and community development, because he’s working hard to bring light rail to the Eastside and reinvent Bel-Red district.
109. John Ledgere, because the outspoken T-Mobile CEO has reinvented the way people do mobile.
110. Bianca Szyperski, co-owner of Jujubeet, because she followed her dream to bring fast, nutritionally rich food to the masses.
111. Satya Nadella, because he’s working hard to enable us to work hard.
112. Chet James, because he opened a second location of Seattle-staple Super Jock ‘n’ Jill in Redmond.
113. Kemper Freeman Jr. for following in his father’s footsteps to build a bigger, better Bellevue.
114. Sandeep Krishnamurthy, because the dean founded UW-Bothell’s School of Business.
115. Stephen Hansen, because the co-owner of JSH Properties is reinventing the Redmond Town Center.
116. Jody Laflen, because the dean of the Insitute of Business and Information Technology at Bellevue College works to make the transition from college to career seamless.
117. Britt Sloane, principal at Foushee, because as a lifelong Eastsider, he’s dialed in on all aspects of the area and knows everyone.
118. Eirik Olsen, because he formed Feed Washington to provide meals to school kids.
119. Bellevue football coach Butch Goncharoff, MaxPreps Coach of the Decade for leading the BHS football team to 11 state titles in 12 years.
120. The maple bacon bar at Frost Donuts in Mill Creek.
121. The signature cakes at Hoffman’s in Kirkland.
122. Classic French macarons (paired with Champagne) at Lady Yum in Kirkland.
123. Snoqualmie Ice Cream in Maltby and grocery stores. Yum.
124. Bellevue’s Fran’s Chocolates, loved by Oprah, President Obama and everyone else.
125. Fumie’s Gold in Bellevue is one of the few Japanese bakeries in the greater Seattle area.
126. 100. The number of school districts nationwide modeling theirs after The Lake Washington School
127. 99 Park, Bellevue’s new restaurant kid on the block.
128. Rachel Ray once said Kirkland’s Volterra was one of her favorite restaurants in the world. We think she’s smart.
129. Café Juanita in Kirkland — one of the best restaurants in the country.
130. The Herbfarm in Woodinville, one of the most award-winning restaurants in the Northwest.
131. The panoramic lakeside view from bin on the lake at The Woodmark Hotel.
132. Fix price menu at Lynn’s Bistro in Kirkland.
133. Chef Brian Scheehser sources much of the produce for Trellis at the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland from his own farm.
134. Lisa Dupar’s Pomegranate Bistro of Redmond, rumored to be a favorite of Bill and Melinda Gates, too.
135. Good Wishes in North Bend for its beautiful, free scarves for women going through chemotherapy who have lost hair.
137. Microsoft’s YouthSpark.
138. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
139. Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, for transforming lives of disabled children and adults through therapeutic horsemanship.
140. The Safeway Foundation of Bellevue with help from the Everett Silvertips, for “Pink in the Rink,” which raised $50,000 for breast cancer patient bills.
141. Sanctuary in Redmond, for caring for captive-born exotic wildlife who have been abused or disabled and giving them a new “leash” on life.
142. World Impact Network of Bellevue.
143. Assistance League — the Eastside in Redmond, for Operation School Bell, which gets kids in need new school clothes they can feel confident in.
144. Meow Cat Rescue of Mercer Island because, “all nine lives are precious.”
145. Eastside Baby Corner.
146. The Dupar Foundation in North Bend, for its contributions to nonprofits focusing on education.
147. MS Helping Hands and Donor Closet in Edmonds — because Multiple sclerosis is especially prevalent in Washington state for unknown reasons.
148. Duvall Foundation for the Arts for supporting creativity and culture in the community.
149. The SAMMI Awards Foundation of Sammamish, for recognizing awesome citizens.
150. The Behind the Badge Foundation headquartered in Issaquah, supporting those who served.
151. The Sun and Surf Charity in Issaquah and its Comfort and Care bags
for children in hospitals or foster homes.
152. The Hope Heart
Institute in Bellevue for 55 years of educating the Northwest about cardiovascular problems and research.
153. The Pink Daisy Project in Bellevue because it helps women with breast cancer pay for groceries, gas and everyday essentials.
154. Bellevue LifeSpring — helping families in need.
155. Hawaiian burger chain Teddy’s, because it came to Woodinville.
156. Farm-to-table burgers at Local Burger in Bellevue.
157. Santorini Greek Grill in Kirkland for incredible gyros.
158. Katsu Burger is now open in Factoria.
159. Innovative burgers like The Winemaker (custom ground grass-fed beef, triple cream brie, alfalfa sprouts, caramelized onions and white truffle aioli) at Tipsy Cow Burger Bar in Redmond.
160. Bellevue’s Yeh Yeh’s Vietnamese Sandwiches is the spot for banh mi.
161. Farm-to-table sandwiches at Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop in Redmond.
162. The 425 Burger at the Local 907 in Renton is a $15 whopper that can easily feed three people.
163. The Original Hollywood Burger at Hollywood Tavern in Woodinville with a whiskey milk shake.
164. “The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a perfect place to take photos of kids. The gardens are colorful and easy for kids to manage, and there are lots of spaces to capture kids interacting with nature. Bring the good camera and just let them go.” – Linda Jenkins, 425 contributor and author of twin-mom.com
Mayor Picks – Claudia Balducci, mayor of Bellevue
165. “Bellevue’s downtown is the heart of the Eastside and really has it all — day-to-day places to do business, shop, eat and play. Energy to spare. Many of the Eastside’s biggest and best events — from the Bellevue Family 4th fireworks extravaganza, to the city’s annual summer arts fair, to the can’t-miss-holiday fun of Bellevue Magic Season — happen downtown.” – Claudia Balducci, mayor of Bellevue
166. Natural areas: Large preserved natural spaces such as Mercer Slough Nature Park, the region’s largest urban wetland; Bellevue Botanical Gardens; and Lewis Creek Park are peaceful refuges from the bustle of city life.
167. Shopping: Fantastic shopping centers abound, from the international attractions of Bellevue Square and the The Shops at The Bravern downtown, to my personal, home-turf favorite, Crossroads Shopping Center. At Crossroads, people from all over the world and from all walks of life meet neighbors, eat great food, play on the giant chess board, read and share.
168. Old and new: A city of gleaming, modern towers, Bellevue also honors its farming past by maintaining a working demonstration farm open to the public at the historic Kelsey Creek Farm Park, and by hosting a Strawberry Festival, presented annually by the Eastside Heritage Center.
169. Farmer’s markets: During the growing season, you can get your fill of fresh, locally grown produce, flowers and more on Tuesdays at Crossroads, on Thursdays in northwest Bellevue and on Saturdays in the heart of Downtown Bellevue.
170. A best place for youth: Bellevue has some of the best public schools around, with high schools that perennially rank among the best in the nation academically. We also have our wonderful children’s museum, KidsQuest; a popular water spray playground at Crossroads Park; and Youth Link, our teen leadership program.
171. No. 1 save rate: Bellevue firefighters have one of the top cardiac arrest save rates in the United States.
172. String of pearls: Bellevue has an amazing parks system, connected by a system of trails. It ranges from big, regional draws such as Downtown Park and Robinswood Park, to dozens of lesser-known, hidden gems. My personal favorite is the Lake Hills greenbelt, which has lovely trails, a you-pick blueberry field, weekend produce stands and Larsen Lake.
173. Neighbors and neighborhoods: Bellevue is the greatest place to live because of our unique and beautiful neighborhoods, and the welcoming people who live in them!
Mayor Picks – Fred Butler, mayor of Issaquah
174. “Every fall, we host more than 150,000 friends and neighbors for the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival. It’s a great opportunity to discover — or rediscover — what’s special about our community and, of course, see salmon in Issaquah Creek.” – Fred Butler, mayor of Issaquah
175. Issaquah Salmon Hatchery: Historic Olde Town Issaquah includes the 77-year-old Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. The most-visited hatchery in Washington state is the centerpiece of our iconic Salmon Days Festival each October and the destination for thousands of returning fish each fall.
176. Gilman Village: A shopping destination and Issaquah tradition now celebrating 40 years, Gilman Village is a collection of unique restaurants
and boutiques operating in preserved bungalows and farmhouses built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
177. Issaquah Alps: Issaquah is nicknamed Trailhead City for its setting amid the Issaquah Alps — Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. Opportunities for outdoor recreation include paragliding from Poo Poo Point — 1,650 feet off of Tiger Mountain — hiking in our verdant forests and mountain biking at the world-class Duthie Hill Park.
178. Boehm’s Candies: Set amid the Issaquah Alps, the alpine chalet of the Boehm’s Candies chocolate factory produces handcrafted chocolates made in the Old World style of founder Julius Boehm, an Olympic athlete who fled Nazi tyranny in his native Austria.
179. Cougar Mountain Zoo: Namesake cougars, reindeer and even rare Bengal tigers call Issaquah’s Cougar Mountain Zoo home. The zoo also boasts the largest collection of bronze animal sculptures of any zoo nationwide.
180. Village Theatre: Village Theatre forms the core of Issaquah’s downtown arts district. The nationally-recognized theater consistently delivers Broadway caliber performances. Works created at Village Theatre have gone on to win Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
181. Gilman Boulevard Edible Landscape: In the spring, summer and fall, you can actually eat the lush landscape along Northwest Gilman Boulevard. On both sides of the street, about 25 varieties of edible plants bear a variety of delicious produce — from apples to nuts.
182. Pickering Barn: Our community rallied to preserve historic Pickering Barn on the homestead of Washington’s first territorial governor. Now, Pickering Barn is a premier site for wedding ceremonies and other special occasions, as well as the seasonal Issaquah Farmers Market.
183. Authentic ramen at Bellevue’s Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.
184. The Angel Wings at Chantanee Thai Restaurant and Bar.
185. Vegetarian mango salad at Square Lotus in Bellevue.
186. The Chong Qing Hot Chicken at Redmond’s Spicy Talk — sweet and spicy fried chicken at its best.
187. Omakase dinner at Flo in Bellevue. Set your price, order and dinner is served.
188. The hot oil-seared noodles at Biang, a tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurant off Highway 99 in Edmonds.
189. Grilling meat at Stone Korean Restaurant in Redmond.
190. Had Yai fried chicken at Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen in Kirkland.
191. The 25 spice level at Noodle Boat in Issaquah.
192. Thai Duvall.
193. Order yakiniku (that’s where you can grill your own meat) at Ginza in Bellevue.
194. Uwajimaya in Bellevue and Renton.
195. Rikki Rikki owner Masahiro Terada serves sushi and Japanese food in Kirkland and makes sauces you can buy in stores.
196. King Noodle House
in Everett, where you can watch them hand-pull gigantic tasty noodles.
197. Fresh sashimi at Izumi Restaurant in Kirkland.
198. The hot pot at Bellevue’s Szechuan Chef Chinese Restaurant.
199. Anything from the tandoor oven at Clay Oven Cuisine of India in Woodinville.
200. ”Taco Time for a beef soft taco enjoyed while parked on the Kirkland waterfront.” – John Paine, 425 magazine, sales
(Disclaimer: Each city has dozens of parks and facilities. Bellevue has 100, so here are a few gems — not all of them; we don’t have that many pages.)
201. You can unplug at Bellevue Downtown Park.
202. It’s impossible to be bored at Marymoor Park. Jam out at a concert, spot a rare acorn woodpecker or wash your dog!
203. Catching a fish or a few ZZZs outdoors at Newcastle’s Lake Boren Park.
204. Central Park in Issaquah is the perfect spot for a picnic.
205. Bellevue’s Enatai Beach Park is great for guided canoe/kayak tours.
206. Henry Moses Aquatic Center in Renton for the slides, the wave pool, the kiddie area and the bargain.
207. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton.
208. Bridle Trails State Park was started by a citizen-led petition.
209. Washington’s Marymoor Velodrome (an arena for track cycling) is where Olympic dreams begin.
210. Play-Well TEKnologies in Kirkland, for fostering a love of ideas and engineering through LEGOS.
211. Dizzybus of Bellevue, because it’s learning with dance moves and a bit of tumbling. (Kind of like college.)
212. King County Library system.
213. Snohomish Aquatic Center’s Splashtacular slide.
214. Mommy & Me movies at Lincoln Square Cinemas.
215. Stone Gardens in Bellevue, encouraging kids to climb high.
216. Hoppy hour at Elevated Sportz ultimate Trampoline Park in Bothell.
217. Bellevue’s 3-2-1 Bounce, because what kid doesn’t want to be a sumo wrestler for the afternoon?
218. Paint Away! at the Redmond Town Center lets kids create works of art we can use to drink coffee out of. Win-win.
219. 91% the rate of on-time graduation in the Northshore School District
More than a Meal
220. Woodinville’s 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living.
221. Modern tavern fare, plus shuffleboard and lots of flat screen TVs, at Tavern Hall in Bellevue.
222. Delicious Northwest cuisine with a side of live jazz at Bake’s Place in Bellevue.
223. Barrio pop-up dinners at its former space, now Bellevue’s Cast Iron Studios.
224. Ade’s Mexican Deli in Everett.
225. Kirkland’s Flatstick Pub for beer and mini golf.
226. If you love Hemingway, craft cocktails and tasty food, you can go to Bottle and Bull in Kirkland.
227. Sahand Persian Grocery in Kirkland.
228. Tim’s Seafood in Kirkland.
229. William von Schneidau, the original Bill the Butcher, recently opened his new BB Ranch butcher shop in Woodinville.
230. The Cheesemonger’s Table in Edmonds.
231. Raging River Cafe in Fall City on Friday or Saturday night for free live music.
232. The farm-to-table lunch menu at Deru Market in Kirkland. Something new daily.
Eastside Beer and Spirits
233. Redhook Brewery in Woodinville helped jump start the craft brewery craze in Washington. Take a tour and have a taste for $5.
234. Woodinville Whiskey Co.
235. Bellevue Brewing Company.
236. Pacific Distillery in Woodinville specializes in gin and absinthe that use quality botanicals in its spirits.
237. Mac & Jack’s doesn’t have a place to sit and sip, but you can go there to fill up your growlers.
238. Soft Tail Spirits in Redmond uses wasted grape pressings to create a variety of grappa-style liquors.
239. Black Raven Brewing Co. in Redmond has an impressive portfolio of craft brews, but its weekly cask ale program makes it special.
240. Wildwood Spirits Co. is the passion project put forward by distiller Erik Liedholm and Chef John Howie. The distillery is set to open in Bothell in conjunction with Beardslee Public House soon.
241. 41 Miles of developed trails in Redmond
242. “Going to Snowflake Lane with my family and watching the drummers play and dance to holiday music.” – Amber Kelley, Woodinville celebrity chef for kids, cookwithamber.com
Food on Wheels
243. You can get paleo diet-only food at Outside the Box, a food truck that frequents the Eastside.
244. Redmond-based Motofish Coffee truck.
245. The food truck pod in the Barnes and Noble parking lot at 106th in Bellevue.
246. Poke to the Max, a Hawaiian food truck that frequents Bellevue and Redmond.
247. Bellevue ARTSfair — one of the biggest art fairs in the nation.
248. Magical characters skate to their dreams with Disney on Ice at Xfinity Arena Everett.
249. Island Books has been Mercer Island’s community bookstore, since 1973.
250. Aerial shows and sips at Suite Lounge Bellevue.
251. Parkplace Books.
252. artEAST in Issaquah is a primo spot to shop for local art.
253. Legends of comedy have passed through Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland.
254. Ringo Starr, The Beach Boys and ZZ Top have all rocked out at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville.
255. University Book Store, because Essential Baking Company is inside and coffee goes great with books.
256. The serial drama “Twin Peaks” was in part filmed in North Bend.
257. Ryan James Fine Arts Gallery in Kirkland.
258. Everyone from businessmen to ballerinas has graced the stage at Meydenbauer Center.
259. Kirkland Arts Center.
260. . The first Friday of every month is free at Bellevue Arts Museum. “I’ve done my job when a kid discovers that the world is bigger than they thought when they see a work of art.” — Stefano Catalani, director of Art, Craft and Design at the Bellevue Arts Museum.
261. “Gilberts on Main. Their New York sized pastrami sandwish is bigger than my head and amazingly delicious. The matzo ball soup is also a must.” – Jaurdey Samuel, 425 magazine, sales
262. Village Theatre because it makes people fly, literally.
263. Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater and Family Park, because it’s set in the forest!
264. At 56 years old, Edmonds Driftwood Players is one of the oldest community theaters in Washington.
265. SecondStory Repertory in Redmond, because it has an awesome improv group that takes cues from the audience.
266. Studio East Training for the Performing Arts in Kirkland, because it teaches the kiddos about the joys of live theater.
267. 80+ languages are spoken in the Bellevue School District
268. 40% of Bellevue’s population is of a minority race/ethnicity
Mayor Picks: Dennis Law, mayor of Renton
269. “On the shores of Lake Washington, with the Cedar River running through the city, Renton is the home of Boeing, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. What more could you ask for in a community?” – Dennis Law, mayor of Renton
270. Thanks to voter support, every elementary school in the Renton School District has been completely rebuilt since 1997. Middle and high schools have also enjoyed major remodeling and renovations. Nearly 70 percent of classroom teachers have a master’s degree or higher.
271. Valley Medical Center, the largest hospital between Seattle and Tacoma, is the oldest and largest public district hospital in the state. Valley Medical Center proudly serves more than 600,000 residents.
272. Renton is the host city to SIFF, the Seattle South Asian Film Festival, Renton FilmFrenzy, the Best Fest Film Festival, and home to a performing arts center, a ballet company and civic theaters.
273. The city has 33 public parks, 1,200 acres of open space, 13 miles of trails, an award-winning public golf course, a skate park and the Henry Moses Aquatic Center.
274. Jimi Hendrix’s gravesite, located in the beautiful Greenwood cemetery, is sprinkled with personal messages from fans from all over the world.
275. Vice President Joe Biden made a recent stop and recognized Renton Technical College as one of the top 10 community colleges in the country and one of the finalists for The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
276. Renton is home to the Federal Reserve Bank, Wizards of the Coast, Paccar, Microscan, Topics Entertainment and the Northwest Mountain Region Federal Aviation Administration Regional Office. Renton is also the only city in Washington to have an IKEA, CVS Pharmacy and Fry’s Electronics stores.
277. It’s one of the 10 most populated cities in Washington State and has the most dramatic and fastest population increase in the last 10 years, an unparalleled 82 percent growth! Plus it is one of the most diverse communities in the area.
278. 42 percent of the jetliners in air around the world today took their maiden flights from Renton Municipal Airport.
279. “We are the Champions” — not just for the Eastside but even the World Champion Seattle Seahawks have their home, headquarters and practice facility in Renton.
Any Sandlot fan knows, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die … .” These Eastside sports legends who were born here or decided to adopt the 425 as home will always have a place in our hearts.
280. Tim Lincecum, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.
281. Edgar Martínez, former designated hitter and third baseman for The Mariners.
282. Felix Hernández, pitcher for The Mariners.
283. John Olerud, former first baseman for several major-league teams.
284. Kirkland National 1982 Little League World Series Champs.
285. Jay Buhner, Mariners hall-of-famer.
286. Pete Carroll, coach for the Seattle Seahawks.
287. This quote: “So I just knew when I got that 425 area code and when it called me on draft day, I just knew it was going to be a blessing.” — Russell Wilson, Seahawks quarterback.
288. Gobble in Woodinville for turkey year-round.
289. Wednesday fried chicken night at Purple Café in Woodinville.
290. Fresh shucked oysters at Matt’s Rotisserie and Oyster Lounge, a Redmond favorite.
291. The nacho platter at 520 Bar and Grill is touted as the best in Bellevue.
292. The pork belly tacos at Edmond’s Bar Dojo.
293. Street-style tacos at Bellevue’s Taqueria El Rinconsito.
294. The opening of 13 Coins in Bellevue. Twenty-four-hour dining!
295. Fresh pasta at Woodinville’s Italianissimo.
296. Hawaiian classics at Kama’aina Grindz in Everett.
297. Weekly specials at Kirkland’s Lucia.
298. Empanadillas at La Isla Cuisine in Redmond.
299. Woodinville’s The Station Pizzeria.
300. The handmade Italian Acunto ovens at Tutta Bella at Crossroads.
301. The classic charcuterie at Le Grand Bistro Americain in Kirkland.
302. Afghan Cuisine in Renton.
303. Gluten-free food at Sages in Redmond.
304. Flying Saucer Pizza in Redmond.
305. You can find Old World charm and Italian cuisine at Tosoni’s in a strip mall in Bellevue.
306. Duvall Tavern’s truffle fries.
307. Spud Fish & Chips in Kirkland.
308. “Our family prioritizes eating fresh and healthy food, so having working farms close by is a big bonus toward a locavore lifestyle.” – Julie Arnan, 425 contributing writer and Kirkland mom
Adventures around town
309. Bellevue’s Zip Tour
310. Farmers markets.
311. Exotics at Redmond Town Center has grown to be the largest weekly gathering of rare cars north of Los Angeles.
312. Outdoor movies on warm summer nights.
313. The way the Eastside lights up during the holidays.
314. Argosy Cruises tours of Lake Washington.
315. Because we mean farm-to-table literally.
316. Asher Goods in Kirkland, because it has an adorable labradoodle named Dino and sells cologne that smells like Big Sur.
317. Urbanity in Bellevue Square for exclusive brands. Owner Lee Smith also designs the Rich Kids gear that Jay Z wears courtside at basketball games
318. Lorali’s Optical in Bellevue, for her selection of handmade glasses from Europe and Japan that no one else sells.
319. La Ree Boutique in Bellevue because owner Rachael Nov finds the best Rag & Bone gems.
320. Totem Lake Shoe Repair in Kirkland, where Prada heels and Manolo Blahniks get a second life.
321. The fact that mesh Versace underwear is a best seller at David Lawrence at The Shops at the Bravern.
322. Via Lago in Kirkland for all its wonderful hats and Eva Franco party dresses.
323. Seattle Thread Company in Kirkland, because men of every age can shop there.
324. Hepburn in Kirkland, because Audrey’s style is timeless.
325. Bellevue Bridal, where little girl’s dreams come true one white dress at a time.
326. There’s a Karen Millen at the Bravern, and Eva Longoria shops there.
327. Super soft casual basics at Opal Boutiques in Redmond and Issaquah.
328. Nordstrom at Bellevue Square, because it always seems to take your returns, and Jason Wu, Kim Kardashian, Diane von Furstenberg and Lauren Conrad have all made appearances there.
329. Neiman Marcus, because everything hanging on the racks is a piece of art.
330. Redmond Town Center in general, because it embraces local artists while still hosting the big brands we love.
331. The popularity of bar workouts, because we get to keep our ’80s legwarmers.
332. The fact that PRO Sports Club in Bellevue houses the former NBA Seattle Super Sonics court, and the hardwood from the 1989 NCAA Final Four Tournament.
333. Elite Fitness in Bellevue, keeping ABC’s Bachelor and Bachelorette TV stars in shape since 2009.
334. Outside morning workouts at Fly Fitness along Lake Washington at Carillon Point.
335. Paddle boarding along the Kirkland Waterfront.
336. “I recently discovered the classic gyro at Byblos Deli in Bellevue, and I think about it all the time. I could eat one every day.” – Marjorie Clark, 425’s digital content producer
Eastside Style Experts
337. Designer Swati Padmaraj of Bellevue, because she uses her master’s degree in inorganic chemistry to make clothes.
338. Designer Paychi Karen Guh of Issaquah, because she’s so fussy about her cashmere that her sweaters are softer than puppies.
339. The stylists at Sorella Salon, because they fly to Paris Fashion Week to style hair for runway shows. #NoBigDeal.
340. Master of hair James Todd is based out of Bellevue and is the vice president of artistry at Gene Juarez. Other stylists spend years training to work on his creative team.
341. John and Jonathan of City Flowers in Bellevue.
342. Owner of Trillium Tailoring in Bellevue, Nicole van der Bogert, because she’s all about the functional details of a suit.
343. Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus, is from Seattle. When he hosts fashion shows at the Bellevue store, his mother always sits in the front row.
344. Celebrity stylist Rosaline Hampton.
345. The gals at Flawless Beauty Bars in Kirkland, because they’ll spray your makeup on with an airbrush.
346. Jen Jedda travels the world picking up jewelry, scarves and perfumes, then sells them through her Kirkland-based online boutique, JJ Caprices.
347. A Japanese A5 100 percent Wagyu steak at Bellevue’s John Howie Steak.
348. Prime, a new modern steakhouse in Redmond, lets you pick your cut and sides.
349. Chateaubriand for two at El Gaucho Bellevue.
350. Jak’s Grill in Issaquah is a local favorite for steak.
351. The USDA Prime Delmonico cut at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue.
Dog-Gone Awesome For City Lickers
352. Because Fido loves Robinswood Animal Corral in Bellevue where he can run free.
353. The Cedar River trail in Renton — because there are areas for Marmaduke and Toto.
354. BooBoo Barkery & Boutique in Kirkland to make Scooby smell groovy.
355. Bellevue’s The Pet Stops Here.
356. Woodinville’s Cascade Kennels, because it’ll babysit all sorts of creatures including hamsters.
357. All Things Pawsitive Trix Studio in Redmond.
358. City lickers can become real ranch dogs for the weekend in Snohomish at Bone A Fide Boarding Ranch.
359. Lake Youngs Trail in Renton makes your pooch feel like he’s on an incredible journey with Shadow, Chance and Sassy. Just keep an eye out for porcupines!
360. Pet-friendly hotels and businesses with water bowls out front.
Vintage Treasure Hunting
361. Haystack Antiques in Bellevue.
362. In the market for vintage Chanel booties and a Gucci suit? Never underestimate the treasures at Ragamoffyn’s Consignment Boutique in Kirkland.
363. Serendipity Consignment Boutique in Kirkland because it has top deals on gently used designer jeans.
364. Goodwill Bellevue, because in 2013 someone donated a Louis Vuitton turn-of-the-century steamer trunk.
365. 46,220 – the current downtown Bellevue workforce. 70,300 – the forecasted downtown Bellevue workforce by 2030
Mayor Picks: Tom Vance, mayor of Sammamish
366. “It’s a great suburban city, with many urban amenities, and yet, a small-town feel.” – Tom Vance, mayor of Sammamish
367. Money Magazine best small city awards.
368. Wonderfully diverse community, ethnically and culturally.
369. New Community and Aquatic Center under construction, opens early 2016.
370. Excellent city finances, with no new taxes, no B&O and utility taxes.
371. Great lake-centered parks: Beaver Lake and Pine Lake.
372. Wonderful 4th of July celebration, summer concerts and Shakespeare in the park.
373. Great school districts and schools.
374. Focus on protecting the environment and preserving open space.
375. One of the safest cities in the state and nation.
Mayor Picks: Bernie Talmas, mayor of Woodinville
376. “The best way to escape the hustle and bustle of the Eastside? Get out of your car and onto a horse. Lynda Shipway’s Hollywood Hill Equestrian Center in Woodinville lets you get away from it all without ever leaving it.” – Bernie Talmas, mayor of Woodinville
377. Molbak’s Garden+Home: A Northwest institution and a shrine to gardeners everywhere, this family-owned nursery and café is the ultimate seasonal showcase and the perfect place to plant yourself for a little relaxation and refreshment.
378. Woodinville Wine Country: From the charm of the Hollywood District to the DIY vibe of the Warehouse area, Woodinville’s 100 wineries and tasting rooms are pouring something for every palate and personality. Washington never tasted so good.
379. Suds & Spirits: Dirty Bucket Brewery, Woodinville Whiskey, Soft Tail Spirits — look beyond Woodinville’s wine and you’ll find a growing band of nanobrewers and spirit distillers who bring a whole new attitude to the art of beer and booze.
380. The Herb Farm: Ron and Carrie’s 5-star Herb Farm turns locally sourced food into a world-class experience. It’s the finest gourmet with the least pretension. Just ask their garden composter, Basil the Pig.
381. Sammamish River Trail: A paved, scenic 10-mile haven for cyclists, joggers, walkers, families — anyone who enjoys the great outdoors and a tasty nip or nosh at Hollywood Tavern, Purple, Red Hook or a dozen other delicious pit stops.
382. Adventura Zip Lines: It ain’t all wine, beer and food in Woodinville; it’s also adventure. Scott and his team at Adventura will have you zipping, swinging, scaling and climbing your way over oodles of obstacles. This is the place to get serious about play.
383. The Spa at Willows Lodge: A day of Woodinville wine tasting can be so exhausting. Willow’s award-winning spa wraps you in luxurious lavender from Tom Frei’s Woodinville Lavender Farm to calm you down and herb you up.
384. Woodinville Wine Country It’s impossible to pick just one wine to love from the more than 100 tasting rooms in Woodinville.
385. Kirkland’s Savrika Tea.
386. The tequila selection at Agave Cocina and Tequilas at the Issaquah Highlands.
387. The Brazilian latte at Kirkland’s Kitanda Espresso and Acai.
388. Habitant, the concept cocktail bar at Bellevue Nordstrom.
389. The margaritas at Cactusin Bellevue or Kirkland.
390. The salted maple lattes at Urban Coffee Lounge in Kirkland.
391. The Whiskey Library at Flat Iron Grill in Issaquah.
392. Snoqualmie Brewery for root beer.
393. Kirkland’s Rococo Coffee Roasting.
394. Bubble tea at Happy Melon Bakery and Deli in Bellevue.
395. “Snoqualmie Falls is my favorite place to renew my spirit and mind. The falls are a great place to people watch, take selfies and get kissed by the mist of the falls. The most beautiful park on the Eastside.” – Heidi McMurray, 425 magazine, sales
396. 3 – number of Bellevue public high schools in Newsweek’s top 125 nationally.
The Perks and Power of The Bellevue Collection
397. The crackling fire at The Lodge where you can take a breather.
398. Free parking.
399. Bellevue Fashion Week because that’s how Vogue’s Brigid Walsh met local designer Aykut Ozen and now she totes an Ozen bag around her office in New York.
400. The Bellevue Collection because over the past five years it’s raised more than $285,000 at Bellevue Fashion Week for the The Moyer Foundation.
Special Eastside Moments
401. When a bald eagle glides over 520 and lowers your road rage just a tad.
402. Sipping a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream at Issaquah Coffee Company before a Village Theatre show.
403. When you run into Fabio selling his protein powder at Whole Foods (which happened to our assistant editor Lauren)
404. Seeing waves crash into I-90 on a windy day, one of the best places to watch storms!
405. Picture-perfect pumpkin patches in fall.
406. 60% of Bellevue residents have a bachelor’s degree of higher
407. Issaquah’s Triple XXX Root Beer Drive-in.
More Staff Favorites
408. Bellevue = French term for, “beautiful view.”
409. Boeing’s first wooden sea plane was built by Issaquah employees and took off from Lake Sammamish.
410. The Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge — Evergreen point (520) is the longest floating bridge in the world.
411. Motorcycle rides to the Sultan Bakery after exploring twisting logging roads.
412. You can learn to paraglide off Poo Poo Point.
413. In 2004, Bellevue High School’s football team broke California’s De La Salle High School’s national record-setting winning streak of 151 games.
414. In 2013, the mayor of Issaquah officially declared that the city will be known as Fishaquah during the Salmon Days Festival.
415. The Duvall Farmers Market, for handmade soap.
416. Going to Mill Creek Town Center for dinner and a walk on a paved trail.
417. Golf at TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge — the view!
418. Because public art beautifies the entire Eastside.
419. Open Studio Night at the Schack Art Center for teens in Everett.
420. Watching the wind bend the trees on a blustery fall day in the Issaquah Highlands.
421. Safe neighborshoods.
422. Redmond’s Poet Laureate Michael Dylan Welch.
423. The Everett Aquasox.
424. Because hiking, skiing and boating are all at your fingertips any given weekend.
425. Because we love our loyal readers!
Photos courtesy “Elk,” © 2014 Mark Gunn used under a creative commons license;Jeff Hobson;Kemper Freeman Development, Inc.;Photo by Jeff Hobson; Shawn Kinney; Parker Miles Blohm; Shilohanne Photography;Jeff Hobson; “Bellevue, WA. Downtown Park,” © 2011 jc.winkler, used under a creatice commons license;Black Raven Brewing Company;Studio East;Larry Maurer; Audra Mulkern; Ethan Chung; Geoffrey Smith; Brooke Clark. Mayor photos courtesy their city.