Weekend Dining in Bellevue
Spending a weekend in Bellevue in July and want to try something new and different. We will have transportation and can travel. It is four foodies looking for the best of the NW. All suggestions appreciated.
Define "different." Where are you coming from and what are you looking for?
If I were to hit my favorites on the eastside over a weekend, it would probably include meals at
-Din Tai Fung (Bellevue)
-Facing East (Bellevue)
-Cafe Juanita (Kirkland)
Of course, this line up would include too many dinners...but it's a start, depending on what you are looking for.
Not sure how many of these fall into the category of new - different - foodie and best of the NW. Facing East probably comes closest and do love Cafe Juanita, but find Tosoni's pretty old school Italian which you can get anywhere and Pomegranate is a bit hit and miss - good for Redmond but I don't think thats what carluccio is looking for. I live on the eastside and pretty much go into Seattle if I'm looking for a more "foodie" experience. It really depends what they are truly looking for.
In downtown Bellevue, Koi's has dim sum at noon, and Cantonese style lobsters @ $9.99/lb in the evening (or at noon, I suppose). Bamboo Garden has excellent Szechwan. All right there next to the art fair. Another great Szechwan place is Spiced, but 5-10 min away by car in East Bellevue. For the heavy meat-eaters, there's a $15/pp or so all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ place (Palace BBQ) around that area as well - a bit quantity-over-quality, but it's mostly alright. Other than Facing East and DTF, there's also Henry's Taiwan in East Bellevue as well.
5 min away by car, there's Taqueria los Chilangos (truck) and Taqueria el Rinconsito (resto) for good (for the area) Mexican. Mayuri and Spice Route are great Indian 5-10 min away.
Café Juanita is totally wonderful for Northern Italian, but very expensive and I don’t think of it as “something new and different.” I enthusiastically second the recommendation of Facing East. Don’t miss the pork burger (which is confusingly named since it is made with pork belly, not ground pork, but is addictively delicious).
I live in downtown Bellevue so have tried most places within walking distance. I agree that there other more "foodie" options in Seattle, but if you want to stay within walking distance...
I highly recommend Monsoon East for brunch, happy hour, or dinner. I have never been disappointed going there.
Din Tai Fung is also exceptional. However, don't go at peak hours as there is always a wait. When I have friends in from out of town, we go at 3-4 for a "snack" and share a steamer of soup dumplings. It's enough to get a taste of it and will hold you over for a late dinner.
Lot No3 is also a good brunch or happy hour destination. They have twists on modern classics. Again, it's not adventurous eating, but it has nice options for food and cocktails.
Facing East is also good and unique. However, the grease factor can aggravate a sensitive GI tract. I have immensely enjoyed the food every time I've eaten it, and then the next day I vow to never eat there again :-)
Lunchbox Laboratory is a different burger joint with some fun cocktails. I wouldn't consider it a foodie destination, but it may placate the burgers/fries crowd.
I also highly recommend Cafe Juanita, but it is on the rather pricey side. My only dig is that the last time I ate there, they did not have in stock our first 3 choices of wine. WTF?
Last Ruth's Chris Steakhouse has an awesome happy hour. The have $5 burgers and fries and other assorted options. THey are usually packed between 4-6. But they also have happy hour from 9-11 where it's easy to get a late/cheap dinner.