By Chelsea Lin | This article originally appeared in the 2015 Bellevue Visitor Guide
Don’t miss these top tastes around town
Whether it’s the density of affluent, globally minded locals or the draw of tourists to the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue’s restaurant scene is booming. Here are seven must-try meals in the city:
The most hotly anticipated restaurant opening in 2014 was 99 Park, the farm-to-table restaurant with culinary wunderkind Quinton Stewart at the executive chef helm. Grab a seat on a heated patio overlooking the lush lawns and picturesque fountains of Downtown Park and order the veggie tempura—perfectly crisped maitake mushrooms, shishito peppers, Japanese pumpkin, okra, and cauliflower—as the ideal bar snack.
Little more than a block away, Bis on Main has developed a legacy built on classic, well-executed Americana fare and consistently outstanding service. For a taste of what the kitchen’s capable of, try the crispy garlic chicken: a crisp-skinned half chicken served with garlic mashed potatoes and a vegetable side.
Another exciting take on chicken comes in the form of the farmer’s dish at Mediterranean Kitchen. A meal generous enough for two, this is a Lebanese family recipe: garlicky, brightly flavored chicken wings are piled high on saffron-hued rice and served with hummus, pita, and lentil soup.
Part of Bellevue’s appeal among locals and visitors alike is the availability of authentic ethnic food, like Mediterranean Kitchen and neighboring Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, a Japanese import. The food comes out quickly, which is a surprise given the effort behind it: Take, for example, the tsukemen with its ramen noodles you dip into an umami-rich, 20-hour broth.
Across town, another eatery has made waves among Asian food fans hungry for real-deal dim sum. Din Tai Fung has long been Bellevue’s go-to for xiao long bao—a soup-filled dumpling from Shanghai—and the Dim Sum Factory arrived across town in 2014. In addition to serving dumplings all day—10am until 10pm—the restaurant also dishes up congee, noodles, and Asian tea drinks.
There’s a valid argument for naming John Howie Steak’s 60/40 Prime Juicy Lucy burger as the city’s best, but the experience—and old-school, no-fuss eats—at Wibbley’s Gourmet Hamburgers give it a run for its money. Located in a strip mall, Wibbley’s is a beloved Bellevue staple; get the charbroiled cheeseburger with a side of fries and blackberry shake.
An evening’s perfect nightcap can be found at Lot No. 3, where there’s a full bar and a dessert menu that shouldn’t be missed. Don’t forget the spice cake served warm in a mason jar—a standard one, not one of those dainty four-ouncers. Make sure to add the optional homemade vanilla ice cream for a real treat.
To discover more places to eat in Bellevue, go to visitbellevuewashington.com/restaurants.