Eastside Food + Dining
As our readers well know, it takes more than mac and cheese and a few crayons to make a restaurant truly family-friendly. So, where are those elusive family-welcoming spots with menus that adults love as much as kids? And where can we find the best sweet treats, food trucks, gluten-free pizza, global eats and — just in case we can ditch the kids now and then — date-night destinations? We asked, and our readers told us. Note: This is just a taste.
See our other regional winners:
Eastside 2015 Food + Dining — Winners + Finalists:
WINNER: Mod Pizza
It’s no surprise that Mod Pizza is popular with Eastside families, too, with locations in Redmond, Bellevue and Sammamish. They’re all about the simple pleasure of good pizza, so what’s not to love?
Aside from receiving many awards for their pizza, we’re pretty impressed by the attention Pagliacci Pizza has received for their stellar recycling practices! Eastsiders, find Pagliacci in Bellevue, Kirkland and Kenmore.
Zeeks Pizza happily delivers to Eastside families ranging from Redmond to Issaquah and pretty much anywhere in between. And with a build-your-own option, even picky kids will be pleased!
Eastsiders in Issaquah not only love Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria’s awesome pizza, they also love their continual effort to connect with the greater community, from help with fundraising to ongoing partnerships.
Find the classic take n’ bake pizza place, Papa Murphy’s, in at least 10 Eastside locations.
Chuck E. Cheese, with an Eastside location in Bellevue, has tons of options, including gluten-free.
WINNER: Top Pot Doughnuts
Boasting what some say are the “best doughnuts this side of the Mississippi,” Top Pot Doughnuts hand-forges its tasty creations at 16 locations throughout the Puget Sound area, including Redmond and Kirkland. Other reader faves include espresso drinks made with hand-roasted beans; fast, friendly service; and a half-price day-old selection.
Krispy Kreme is a local favorite of Issaquah parents in particular — and we can see why. With a drive-through for parents on the go and the occasionally lit-up “Free” sign, who can resist?
Sunrise Donuts and Espresso in Redmond proudly serves doughnuts that are “hand-made and hand-cranked” every morning, more than 50 varieties, paired with Caffé d’Arte espresso.
Menchie’s wins again for serving up yummy frozen yogurt (and smiles!) at over 350 locations worldwide. Eastsiders love the Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue and Issaquah stores. Check out the flavors tab on their website for the extensive list of options.
Moonie Icy Tunes is a big reader favorite, delivering prepackaged icy treats to Eastside families in Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland and surrounding areas.
With at least 5 Eastside locations, Cold Stone Creamery is sure to fit all your family’s ice cream needs — from allergy-friendly options, to classic flavors, decadent sundaes and more!
It’s in the name! Yogurtland serves up premium fro-yo in Redmond, Bellevue and Sammamish.
In addition to the fro-yo bar, Peaks Frozen Yogurt Bar in Bellevue and Issaquah serves up frozen yogurt cakes, which are just as yummy but much healthier than classic ice cream cakes.
WINNER: Trophy Cupcakes & Party
With a location in Bellevue, Trophy Cupcakes & Party offers tons of great cupcake flavors, including pina colada, snickerdoodle, and a whole array of gluten-free options as well! And with adorable themed decoration options, Trophy Cupcakes is great for party deliveries, too.
Eastsiders can find PinkaBella Cupcakes in Redmond, Bellevue, and Issaquah. You’ll be coming back time and time again just to try each one of their 100+ flavors.
The French Bakery has been serving authentic French baked goods in the Eastside area since 2008. If you can’t get enough of their amazing treats, contact one of their four locations in Kirkland and Bellevue for a special order.
A winner in the Doughnuts category as well, Top Pot Doughnuts is clearly an Eastside family favorite.
Parents love Nothing Bundt Cakes’ signature “frosting petals” for the velvety texture and beautiful, unique appearance. Eastsiders, find Nothing Bundt Cakes in Issaquah.
WINNER: The Original Pancake House
Founded in Portland Oregon in 1953, the Kirkland Original Pancake House lives up to its name as a leader in all things pancakes. From buckwheat to buttermilk batters and too many toppings to count, your family will be in a pancake-lover’s Heaven. And if waffles or crepes are more your style, the Original Pancake House has those, too!
Families love that The Grange Café in Duvall is all about high quality, local ingredients. On weekdays they offer brunch between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. while on weekends brunch starts at 9 a.m. If you have a kiddo under 8, we hear the French toast with caramelized apples is yummy!
One Yelp reviewer says Chace’s Pancake Corral in Bellevue has a “friendly, warm, cozy, small-town atmosphere.” With an all American breakfast menu, we hear the ham is amazing.
Alexa’s Café in Bothell offers a great breakfast menu with many different kinds of scrambles and a half-portion option for littler appetites. They also have a build-your-own menu option for catering (including breakfast events!).
With a handful of locations on the Eastside, IHOP is a common favorite among local families. And kids eat for free on Tuesdays between 4 and 8 p.m.!
Lil’ Jon Restaurant & Lounge in Bellevue offers an old school diner feel with big portions and reasonable prices.
WINNER: Crossroads Bellevue International Public MarketCross-Cultural Eats
Japanese, Korean, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican: When it comes to cross-cultural eats, the Crossroads Bellevue International Public Market rules. Add in free entertainment at the Market Stage on weekends, the giant chessboard and rides for kids, and your family-fun night is set.
At Stone Korean Restaurant in Redmond, you can try faves such as Korean fried chicken, kalbi ribs or bibimbap, or ask the friendly staff to help you select something more exotic (they may even teach your kids the Korean pronunciation).
Mayuri Indian Cuisine is a Bothell family business that prepares Northern and Southern Indian cuisine. Stop in between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for the affordable lunch special.
Kiddos love watching the chefs at Bellevue’s super-popular Dough Zone Dumpling House make the dumplings. Also find tasty items such as green-onion pancakes, braised beef burgers and more than a dozen kinds of noodles.
As one Yelper says, Kukai Ramen & Izakaya in Bellevue offers “ramen done the way it’s supposed to be done” in a pleasantly “authentic atmosphere.”
You all know the story. The original Starbucks opened in 1971 in Pike Place Market and has since grown into more stores than we can count. From doppio espressos to fancy frappuccinos, it’s no wonder Starbucks is yet again a local family favorite.
The Village Bean in Bothell is yet again a family favorite for its plentiful play area and healthy food options. One Yelp reviewer says it’s “perfect for meeting friends with kids.”
Issaquah Coffee Company located in the back of charming Gilman Village has a great play area for kids, complete with a train track! Plus, readers raved about the fact that they serve Stumptown coffee beans.
Redmond’s SoulFood Coffee House is seriously cool, from the guitars on the walls to the organic, health-conscious foods to the new-age atmosphere. Have a kid with food allergies? Chances are SoulFood will have options!
WINNER: Red Robin
Red Robin is a favorite for Eastside parents, too. Founded in Seattle in 1969, this celebrated chain offers fun table activities, creative nonalcoholic drinks and customizable kids’ meals. We mentioned the birthday ballads, right?
With locations in Redmond and Issaquah, Coho Café offers seafood favorites that kids and adults alike love; don’t miss the pit-roasted salmon.
The Duvall Tavern has been around since 1934, serving up classic and newer chow — truffle fries, Reubens, “hippie burgers” — as well as a solid kids’ menu.
With three locations in the Seattle area, Claim Jumper Restaurants are another local family favorite, with a “Little Jumpers” kids’ menu that has options to suit even pickier kiddos in the group.
WINNER: Moonie Icy Tunes
Moonie Icy Tunes wins on the Eastside, too! The mobile ice-cream service is known for having friendly and reliable service, plus “the BEST selection!” Did we already mention dairy-free and gluten-free options?
Chef Matt of Where Ya At Matt? has become locally famous for bringing “New Orleans soul food to the streets of Seattle.” Eastside families can look for the truck near the Bellevue Barnes & Noble on N.E. Eighth Street, but check the website for the latest location info.
Serving “creative and affordable Asian fusion cuisine,” The Box on Wheels can typically be found in locations in Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond and beyond.
WINNER: Trader Joe’s
We know why you chose funky grocery chain Trader Joe’s. It starts with the free samples (and coffee) and kiddie carts and ends with the affordable prices for family staples, fresh produce and the latest in fun gourmet snacks.
The well-loved PCC Natural Markets now features 10 locations throughout the Seattle area (three of which are on the Eastside!), all offering a Pacific Northwest-style, homegrown atmosphere with “friendly staff,” helpful “Kid Picks” labeling, and produce and prepared-foods sections that take the organic, gluten-free cake.
The 39-year-old Redmond Saturday Market, at Redmond Town Center, is beloved for its selection of flowers, produce and handcrafted items.
Go, farmers markets! Beyond the variety of produce and fun special events, another reason to love the Kirkland Wednesday Market is its location: at scenic Marina Park on Lake Washington.
Bellevue Farmers Market at Compass Plaza is such a local favorite, they have their own market cookbook!
“This little market has everything you need,” says one Yelp reviewer about the Crossroads Farmers Market, located in the parking lot of the Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue.
WINNER: Purple Café & Wine Bar
You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to love Purple Café & Wine Bar, which has three Eastside locations. Purple’s skilled chefs and sommeliers have already paired each entrée with the perfect wine. And no worries if you can’t get a babysitter — it has a kids’ menu as well.
¡Olé! Redmond’s Matador Restaurant & Tequila Bar draws date-nighting parents with its inventive happy-hour drinks and gourmet Mexican platos — from classic tacos to bacon-wrapped jalapeños.
Why just dine when you can watch a movie, too? Redmond’s iPic makes it easy: first-run movies, cocktails and a gourmet menu, all served at your luxe seat.
Like iPic, Cinebarre in Issaquah offers drinks and dinner along with your flick. And with its no-noise rule, you’ll be sure to not miss a thing.