Where to Eat Now

East of Eatin'

By Kathryn Robinson September 16, 2010 Published in the October 2010 issue of Seattle Met


WALLINGFORD’S BELOVED CANTINETTA recently launched its Eastside spinoff, joining a large and growing cadre of Seattle favorites striking east for downtown Bellevue. There’s gold in them thar high-rises!

The Bellevue Towers outpost of the sexy Pike/Pine Mexican watering hole features the same soaring industrial decor, the same dramatic wall of candles, the same boozy concoctions, and the same lineup of (underseasoned, alas) tacos, sliders, and munchies. 10650 NE Fourth St, Bellevue, 425-502-5021; barriorestaurant.com

Blue C Sushi
The Kaiten-sushi sensation that’s taken Fremont and U Village and, most recently, downtown Seattle on its giddy conveyer-belt ride—prices of California rolls and sashimi and so on correspond to plate color—is the kid-pleaser of the mall. 503 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, 425-454-8288; bluecsushi.com

Boom Noodle
Same folks who brought you Blue C run the Tokyo-stylish noodle shop next door, where ramens and yakisobas and a 3pm to 6pm happy hour serviceably satisfy families and shoppers and the after-work crowd. 504 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, 425-453-6094; boomnoodle.com

The atmo-drenched toast of Wallingford brings its independent Italian rusticity to a space in the emerging dining destination of Old Bellevue. Early signs bode well—especially since the place could be about a tenth as popular as the Seattle original and still top the charts. 10038 Main St, Bellevue, 425-233-6040; cantinettabellevue.com

El Gaucho
The Eastside destination for closing deals of business and romantic persuasions is even better looking than its Belltown prototype, with big steaks, big tabs, and big nostalgia delivered by a fleet of old-school pros. 450 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, 425-455-2715; elgaucho.com

MOD Pizza
A pair of Bellevue High sweethearts went on to open this quick-stop pizza chain, whose second location just blocks from their alma mater features individual gourmet-topped pies, cooked in two minutes for less than six bucks. 317 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, 425-455-0141; modpizza.com

Bellevue relishes its Main Street version of the cosmopolitan bistro that’s rewritten Vietnamese cuisine on North Capitol Hill—particularly the drunken chicken, the long happy hours (3pm to 10pm Sunday through Thursday), and the weekend brunches. 10245 Main St, Bellevue, 425-635-1112; monsoonrestaurants.com

Paddy Coyne’s
The most down-to-earth joint in Bellevue is this wee spot o’ Dublin right in Lincoln Square, cozy for fish-and-chips or shepherd’s pie with a pint of Guinness. You can even bring the kids. 700 Bellevue Way NE, Ste 100, Bellevue, 425-453-8080; paddycoynes.net

Purple Café and Wine Bar
Connected to Barrio both in ownership and by a back hallway, this lofty windowed spot is the crowd-pleaser of the Eastside, with an all-noshes-to-all-people menu, a long wine list, and a just-folks attitude that makes the world safe for cheese and wine flights. 430 106th Ave NE, Bellevue, 425-502-6292; thepurplecafe.com

Top Pot Doughnuts
Yep folks, the downtown Bellevue branch of the iconic Seattle sweetshop is the very one that provoked a rookie Seahawk to choose freshly baked maple bars over law-abiding restraint. Who can blame the dude? 10600 NE Ninth Pl, Bellevue, 425-457-7440; toppotdoughnuts.com

Wild Ginger
The most popular of the Bravern’s eateries got that way thanks to its solid reputation earned by 20 years of peddling lush pan-Asian food—satays, seven-flavor beef, fragrant duck with steamed buns—in Seattle. (Offering dim sum on weekends surely didn’t hurt.) 11020 NE Sixth St, Ste 90, Bellevue, 425-495-8889; wildginger.net

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