Kirkland: homey, quaint, and full of things to do. In the summer months, the downtown area is bustling with people exploring around, popping into the many coffee houses, consignment stores, and unique shops — take Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop, for example — all clustered conveniently close to one another.
With the chilly months settling in, you’re probably looking for a warm place to settle in and forget about the rain. Here are some of our favorite places in the city to curl up and get cozy.
TO EAT: Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen
When the rain starts, there’s nothing we love more than a delicious, savory, and hearty meal. Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen should be on your list of local places to stop in for lots of options in that category. Its dinner menu features items hot off the grill — fresh squid and lamb satay skewers — and healthy, flavorful soups, but our favorites are their creamy curries. We recommend the Chu Chi Red Curry, which is similar to a classic red curry but is enhanced with flavorful herbs and sliced kaffir lime leaves.
TO IMBIBE: Maelstrom Brewing Company
A fabulous microbrewery in its own right, Maelstrom Brewing Company might be considered a hidden gem with its industrial location in a warehouse district right off the 405. Many locals, however, laud this intimate spot as the best brewery on the Eastside. Why? It has an awesome selection of beers and ciders, all with varied flavor profiles, as well as the kind of comfort food — homemade soft pretzels with salt and stoneground mustard — that really hits the spot. TIP: Maelstrom Brewing also is kid- and dog-friendly, making it the perfect option for, well, just about anyone.
TO CAFFEINATE: Thruline Coffee Co.
Tucked away on Lake Street, Thruline Coffee Co. has a humble and friendly vibe that’s apparent right when you walk through the door. With lots of seating that extends far back, personable staff, and drip coffee that’s self-serve (and you get a free refill, to boot), this is our favorite place to hole up on a rainy day with a good book.
Maybe the best part of the coffee shop is the walls: They’re covered end to end in black and white photos of the coffee shop’s regulars, taken by two amateur photographers who also are regulars.
TO PLAY: Canvas Paint and Sip
Grab a date or a group of friends, and spend an evening honing your creative side at Canvas Paint and Sip. Winter workshops include a DIY tutorial to make a personalized wooden Christmas countdown calendar, family-friendly sessions where kiddos can learn to paint Santa or a snowman, and adult classes that result in your own painted rendition of a Christmas tree. Classes range from $25 to $45, with alcohol available for purchase.
TO BE ENTERTAINED: Kirkland Performance Center
This intimate, 394-seat nonprofit theater is a true asset to the city in terms of unique and fresh entertainment options. November’s calendar includes such variety as Investor Sharks NW, Rise Up, the Hamilton Tribute Band, Warren Millers’ Timeless, and the Seattle International Comedy Competition.