By Monica Fischer
Photo Courtesy 520 Bar & Grill
It’s a sure sign that summer has arrived in Bellevue: chairs and tables start popping up on city sidewalks and patios—and diners in search of fabulous fare with a side of Vitamin D soon follow. We may not have reached Paris’ critical mass when it comes to outdoor dining, but we have certainly adopted that city’s love of gathering ‘round the table at twilight to share great cuisine and conversation.
In alphabetical order, here are 10 local eateries that feature al fresco dining—and just a brief little blurb about why we think the sun rises and sets over their friendly patios.
1. 520 Bar & Grill
10146 Main St. | 425.450.0520 | 520barandgrill.com
There’s no better place in Bellevue to take a load off. 520 Bar & Grill might be better known for sports and spirits, but its serene, secluded patio is an even better antidote to the stress of the day.
2. 99 Park
99 102nd Ave. NE | 425.999.3991 | 99park-restaurant.com
We have 99 problems, but the Park ain’t one. This recent arrival is a breath of fresh air, and from the delicious food to the friendly staff to the welcoming patio with a view of Bellevue Downtown Park, we can’t find a single thing wrong with it.
3. Bake’s Place
155 108th Ave. NE | 425.454.2776 | bakesplacebellevue.com
Hey, what’s that sound? If you hear cool jazz wafting on the breeze of a hot night, follow the tune to Bake’s Place. It’s one of the region’s best-known venues for live music, and the spacious, festively lit patio means the more, the merrier.
4. The Crab Pot
2 Lake Bellevue Drive | 425.455.2244 | crabpotbellevue.com
Lake Washington gets all the press, but Bellevue is home to its very own charming body of water. You need look no farther than downtown’s Crab Pot for outdoor dining next to the lapping, though admittedly smaller, waves of Lake Bellevue.
5. Daniel’s Broiler
10500 NE 8th St. | 425.462.4662 | schwartzbros.com
Daniel’s could serve stale leftovers and we’d be so awed by the spectacular view of Lake Washington, the Seattle skyline and the Olympic Mountains that we wouldn’t even notice. Fortunately, they serve stellar steaks, seafood and seasonal dishes, instead. We call that the icing on the cake.
6. Food Trucks
Barnes & Noble/Bellevue Galleria, 600 106th Ave. NE and various locations
We’ve sworn our sovereignty to the United Nations of food trucks parked without glitz in the middle of downtown Bellevue. Keep the peace in your group by letting everyone pick their favorite daily special, then head to Bellevue Downtown Park or one of the many small plazas scattered across downtown to enjoy the multi-cultural bounty. (Plan ahead with this handy locator.)
7. Gilbert’s on Main
10024 Main Street | 425.455.5650 | gilbertsonmain.com
Bring your appetite, your kids and your shopping list, but please leave your impatience at home. Conveniently nestled among Main Street’s bustling shops, Gilbert’s is wildly popular on the weekends, so you’ll wait a bit for those delicious, perfectly prepared Eggs Rodolfo. Trust us, they’re worth it!
8. Local Burger
10134 Main Street | 425.454.8559 | localburger.org
“We believe in sustainability, not as an abstract concept, but as a conscious daily choice…” Oh, I’m sorry, Local Burger, were you saying something? I couldn’t hear you over my Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger and side of fried pumpkin seeds. Props for your focus on local, sustainable food, though.
9. Lot No. 3
460 106th Ave. NE | 425.440.0025 | lotno3.com
Got a date? Or a pressing need to let off some steam with co-workers? Lot No. 3 is your go-to. Take a seat at the outdoor pub tables that face 106th Avenue NE—and the setting sun. It’s a casual, convivial joint where comfort food—like melty grilled cheese sandwiches—seems suddenly, superbly hip.
Hyatt Regency Hotel Wintergarden Plaza, 10500 NE 8th St., Suite 125 | 425.679.6951 |suitebellevue.com
Jimmy Choo, Tory Burch and Alexander Wang walk into a bar… OK, that didn’t happen, but if it did, it would have happened at Suite, a posh lounge in perfect step with Bellevue’s fun-seeking fashionistas.
Of course, this list is just the tip of the iceberg! New opportunities to dine in the sun and under the stars pop up all the time in Bellevue. For more sidewalk seating, decks and patios, visit our outdoor dining guide.