6 of Our Favorite Breakfast Places in Seattle, Mercer Island & Bellevue

6 of Our Favorite Breakfast Places in Seattle, Mercer Island & Bellevue

What’s the most important meal of the day – and one of our favorites? Why, breakfast, of course! The Pacific Northwest holds tons of hyper-local secrets in the breakfast world, but what are the area’s favorites? We’ve done breakfast posts before, but we’re breaking down our favorite breakfast and brunch places in Seattle, Mercer Island, and the Greater Eastside, why their so delicious and our suggestions.

Hidden in a cozy storefront off 24th in Old Ballard, Seattle you’ll find a darling treasure named Café Besalu, specializing in handmade pastries and handcrafted espresso. Since selling to Herkimer Coffee in 2017, the café has seen a few minor tweaks, but the same delicious pastries that call for lines out the door and ritualistic regulars remain.

Do you love artisan baked goods? Flaky goodness in every bite? Their humble outside appearance opens to a well-oiled machine and delightful breakfast treat. If you’re looking for something small, a drink and pastry combination perhaps, peek into this shop!

Nestled in the bustling city, the Tilikum Place Café features a classic breakfast menu, in a welcoming, aromatic atmosphere. Breathe in the morning of eggs benedict Dutch Baby pancakes, and indulge with either classic, sweet, or savory!

You might wait for a table, and you might wait for your scrumptious foods, but you’ll enjoy the high quality, high energy, and beautiful setting. Keep in mind, this little café usually doesn’t have space for walk-ins, and reservations are oftentimes books weeks in advanced.

A downtown Mercer Island classic, Bennett’s Bistro has long served the Mercer Island community with authentic and original foods. Part of Sugar Mountain, Bennett’s uses premium ingredients, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, and a “whole food” commitment.

Bennett’s Bistro uses a ton of ingredients from its sister companies, including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Mama Lil’s Peppers, and other Sugar Mountain companies. Enjoy the mouthwatering nature of handcrafted foods, straight from “the earth, the sea, and the vine,” from local Washington sources, including Carnation, Yakima, Bellingham, and the Olympic Mountains.

A newer, local favorite is Mioposto on Mercer Island. Its original storefront opened in March of 2006 in the Mount Baker neighborhood in Seattle, but they recently opened a sister site on Mercer Island and recently celebrated their one-year anniversary (in January 2018, opened January 2017). Literally translated to “my pace” in Italian, Mioposto was inspired by traditional Neapolitan pizzerias from their aesthetic to their ingredient sources.

Crafted in open-flame ovens, their foods are handcrafted with care and attention, by skilled oveners incredibly in-tune with their ovens and kitchens. They form unique recipes and beautiful displays, but don’t take our word for it – try it yourself!

Like Seattle, Bellevue has a ton of boutique eateries local and visitors love indulging in, including the French Bakery. There are several locations across the Eastside, including Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland, and each offers a unique experience and flaky pastries.

Made savory and sweet, their delightful pastries and desserts are crafted daily for your repeated enjoyment. Looking for a meeting space with light fare, or a place to camp out while you get some work done? Grab a coffee for energy and a croissant for brain power here!

Located in the heart of Bellevue, the Bellden Café started like many other local restaurants: with a simple idea and lot of love, commitments, and passion. Coffee and food bring people together, and that was precisely the idea behind this love project.

Behind the chaotic times is a menu filled with you, the customer, in mind. Their menu changes periodically to keep up with the demand and season, but their delicious coffee stays the same, carving the Bellden Café into the Bellevue lifestyle.

We’re sure we missed some of your favorites. What are they? Where are they? And why are they amazing?

8 Of Our Favorite Seattle Juiceries

8 Of Our Favorite Seattle Juiceries

Do your plans for the new year include a healthier lifestyle? Or maybe just adding more balanced to your diet? Adding various fruits and vegetables to your diet can help in a variety of ways, including adding essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and diversifying your eating habits.

If you’re considering adding fruits and vegetables but find the chore of adding four to eight pieces of fruits and veggies to your diet daunting, you might find juicing a health-hearty option for the new year. And you don’t need a juicer to get started. You can use a blender and a mesh strainer if you’re cautious about investing money into a new ritual.

Another alternative is to utilize one of the many juice bars in the Greater Seattle area, which is what we’re going to go over today.

Heart Beet Healthy is an amazing juicer, with tons of options. Feeling a tickle in your throat? Try the gingers hot or snake bite to nip it in the bud! Their juices are brimmed with color and nutrition and packed with organic vegetables, made fresh when you order. Feeling something creamy? Try their non-dairy smoothies – and maybe add a superfood add-on!

Fresh squeezed to order and when you want it, Chaco Canyon Organic Café is a great reminder of community and healthfulness. They have a ton smoothie and juice recipes, but if you don’t like them, or want to add your own kick, don’t hesitate to add it on!

Whether you’re looking to cleanse or just add some more nutrients to your day, Jujubeet has you covered. With several locations around the Greater Seattle Region, their story starts like any other: with passion and a whole lot of fruits and vegetables.

Founded only seven short years ago, the Juice Press was envisioned with a healthier and more transparent eatery in mind. Tons of options with your favorite vegetable or fruit packed in. Like a 50/50 mix? Or maybe more fruit than vegie? Or the other way around? They’ve got it.

Made from locally sourced fruits and vegetables, Moondrop Coffee offers a good selection of fresh juices and smoothies on their menu. Do you like the “usuals” – or maybe something with chia seeds and hemp milk.

Tons of quality flavors, the Fit Bar Café a slurry of fresh eats.

The Pressed Juicery quenches your cravings, with drinks including beets, dates, turmeric, vanilla, aloe vera, coconut “meat”, and the usual “green” variety.

Do you like fresh squeezed? Or juiced? Or maybe you need something quick, because you’re forever on the go in Seattle? The Juicy Café has you covered. Located in the convention center in downtown, you’re only a few blocks away from delicious.

Do you have a favorite juicer in the area? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Top 15 Washington School Districts

Top 15 Washington School Districts

There is no doubt that Washington, specifically the Seattle area, is growing, but what does that mean for our public-school system? Usually, that means our class sizes grow and become slightly less one-on-one, unless our systems and tools are growing alongside our population.

Depending on what you’re rating, graduation rate, class size, test scores, etc., you and your neighbor might have a different determination of what makes a great school or district the best. Schools are one thing families looking to grow might look into when searching for their new home, and with good reason.

Niche.com combines statistical data with authentic reviews to rate districts. Similar to websites like Yelp for food, Niche has reviews from real families, with real experiences rating on their site, and while their reviews are only a portion of their rating, it’s an excellent resource and provides “real life” insight into the district or school.

The Top 15 School Districts in Washington State

  1. Bellevue School District
  2. Mercer Island School District
  3. Lake Washington School District
  4. Issaquah School District
  5. Bainbridge Island School District
  6. Camas School District
  7. Northshore School District
  8. University Place School District
  9. Seattle Public Schools
  10. Shoreline School District
  11. Tahoma School District
  12. Vashon Island School District
  13. Olympia School District
  14. Oakesdale School District
  15. Mukilteo School District

Especially if you’re moving from outside the state, or even across the state, this website might be what you need to help make your next move – and don’t worry, it’s not just for Washingtonians. Find out about schools across the nation!

This list is a combination of smaller districts and mega-districts, proving that smaller schools and districts can achieve educational success and college-readiness with limited resources and small funding pools. According to Eric Webb, superintendent for the Orcas Island School District, success in schools can be found by shifting focus to education for all grades and not on barriers that separate.

If you’re looking for more hard and statistical data, take a peek at the Washington State Report and check the summary of the district you’re considering!


Overall reviews based on a blend of statistical data, district reviews from actual families, and Mathematics & English test scores.


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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REMODELED MID-CENTURY RAMBLER
$1,300,000 • 9742 SE 41st St., Mercer Island • MLS# 1240982
3 Bedrooms • 1.75 Bathrooms • 2,020 Sq. Ft. • 9,718 Lot Size

Remodeled mid-century rambler ideally located on the North End of MI. Large, sunny lot close to schools and parks with easy access to I-90 for commuters going east or west. Brand new kitchen includes custom Kerf cabinets, stainless appliances, quartz counters & 10-foot island with seating for four. Walls of windows bring the outdoors in from your fenced backyard—a perfect summer sanctuary. Double-paned windows, A/C, generator, tankless water heater, newer furnace & so much more!

For more information, please contact Jay Agoado.
Jay@JayAgoado.net • 425.260.0715 • JayAgoado.net

5 of Our Favorite West Seattle Restaurants in “The Junction”

5 of Our Favorite West Seattle Restaurants in “The Junction”

The famous, California Avenue runs the length of West Seattle, from the tip of Alki Beach, down into White Center. The Junction is along California Avenue, where the street intersects with SW Alaska Street. This bustling area is known for its lively business district, where tons of development, comprising apartment and condominium buildings, restraints, boutique shopping, and specialty stores, has lifted the area into a state of cultural fervor.

The addition of anchor tenants, like QFC, Trader Joe’s, and LA Fitness, and other locally-owned specialty shops have really developed the area as a destination hotspot for locals and has even been defined as some of “Seattle’s best shopping,” for art, toys, and clothing.

But, we’re here about food. Our favorite eats in the California-Alaskan Junction:

I think Easy Street Records easily makes the list every time. Why? Because they offer great comfort foods at affordable prices, alongside some of our favorite vinyl albums, both classic and contemporary. Hearty burritos. Nostalgia-riddled pancakes. Frittata, chorizo, you name it! We love it!

With overwhelming positive reviews, Ma’ono is one of West Seattle’s best Hawaiian eateries. A mix of fried chicken, saimin and other Hawaiian foods, this restaurant demands your attention, some advising to “reserve if you can”. Outstanding service and phenomenal tastes.

Preferring Mediterranean? The Falafel Salam offers a delightful brick and mortar, in addition to their food truck and farmers market presence. Though they started off using what some might consider “processed foods,” they’ve since changed to making fresh foods from scratch and igniting that as their core philosophy. Find convenient and delicious foods, just like you would make at home – but without the mess and hassle!

Though this isn’t the Matador’s only location, their West Seattle presence is awesomely positive, and has become a “Junction” staple for dining. Featuring local, artisan décor and a late-night close, they offer booth to tuck into after a long day of shopping for Alki fun. With passion and care, you’ll enjoy their homemade, Mexican cuisine and their unforgettable experience!

With a unique outlook on seafoods, the Mashiko Japanese Restaurant makes eating sushi a fun and unregrettable experience. Touted as “fully sustainable”, Mashiko is “Seattle first”, meaning they have solid relationships with “several top seafood sustainability experts” and they indulge in intense and ongoing education on their passion: seafood. Enjoy the food, the atmosphere, the people.

There are hundreds of restaurants on California Avenue and off adjacent streets, that it’s difficult to choose just a handful to share. You might find a full list of excellent choices here for restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, grills, delis, and all other forms of eatery!


new homes this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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SWEEPING NORTHWEST VISTAS
$5,399,999 • 2259 66th Ave SE, Mercer Island • MLS# 1239737
7 Bedrooms • 6.5 Bathrooms • 7,510 Sq. Ft. • 18,335 Lot Size

Perched in an incredible locale just above Mercer Island’s Lid Park, this stately home enjoys breathtaking views from nearly every room. Lake Washington waters sparkle with sunlight by day and twinkling Seattle lights by night. Rising in the distance, the Olympic mountains form a majestic backdrop.

Beyond the gated drive, an impressive foyer welcomes you home with its double bridal staircase and stunning Swarovski chandelier. Host parties in grand gathering spaces, prepare gourmet meals in the chef’s kitchen, relax in the comfy family room, or steal away to your sumptuous lake view master suite with dual-sided fireplace and soaking tub. Exquisite extras include a guest suite, pre-wired media room, and exercise room. Find out more at NorthendView.com

For more information, please contact Cherrie Lee.
Cherrie@Windermere.com • 206.353.8899 • CherrieLeeGroup.com

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TIMELESS ELEGANCE
$3,788,00 • 5632 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island • MLS# 1236796
5 Bedrooms • 5.75 Bathrooms • 7,380 Sq. Ft. • 88,862 Lot Size

Nestled in a private two-acre setting, this French-inspired chateau awaits you. Its dramatic foyer with dual staircases and lake views beckons you in to gracious gathering spaces—visit with friends by the fireside, or dine beneath the sparkling chandelier. Exquisite mill-work lends a timeless beauty.

Formal spaces flow intuitively into an inviting, fireside great room spanned by French doors. The chef’s kitchen makes cooking a delight with granite surfaces and SubZero, Miele & Bosch appliances. Retreat to the main floor study, enjoy movie nights in the home theater, and discover extra flex space in the private guest quarters. At the end of the day, steal away to your sumptuous master suite with fireplace and jetted tub. Find out more at LakeviewLuxuryEstate.com.

For more information, please contact Kelly Weisfield.
KellyW@Windermere.com • 206.355.3863 • KellyWeisfield.com

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UPDATED IN ALLVIEW HEIGHTS
$875,000 • 4550 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island • MLS# 1236296
3 Bedrooms • 2 Bathrooms • 1,700 Sq. Ft. • 7,213 Lot Size

Set against a backdrop of mature privacy trees, this home enjoys lush scenery through expansive windows. The soaring, updated kitchen and family room flow into open gathering spaces. Step out for summer barbecues on the deck and fenced backyard with paver patio. The light-filled living room offers a cozy new gas fireplace and new hardwood floors. Great I-90 access makes for an easy commute!

  • The light-filled living room offers a cozy new gas fireplace and new hardwood floors
  • Host friends in the open, adjacent dining area with picture windows and a slider to the wrap-around deck
  • Slab granite surfaces, stainless steel appliances and a new professional range with hood make cooking a delight
  • Great flex spaces with a main floor sitting room/dining nook and downstairs family room
  • Top floor master suite with walk-in closet and adjacent loft/office with skylight, plus two more bedrooms downstairs
  • Just minutes away form the library, schools, parks, I-90 access, the Park & Ride, and Downtown Mercer Island

For more information, please contact Jay Agoado.
Jay@JayAgoado.net • 425.260.0715 • JayAgoado.net

Catch a Movie on a Rainy Day at Any of These 6 Local Cinemas

Catch a Movie on a Rainy Day at Any of These 6 Local Cinemas

When was the last time you went to the movies, instead of just waiting for it to come out on Blu-ray? There’s just something about the smell of popcorn and butter, dark surroundings, and blaring surround-sound to make you jump during a frightful scene or tug on your heartstrings during a particularly emotional one.

These Seattle-Eastside local theaters are great for experiencing the movie, even if you weren’t able to actually be on-set while filming…

Half-theatre, half-museum, the Cinerama in Belltown saw a massive renovation in 1999, catapulting it into the spotlight of Seattle cinemas. After over a decade of staggering success, the Cinerama saw another huge upgrade in 2014, featuring 6P digital laser projection systems and other upgrades to the sound systems, seating, and concessions. Today, it features the original costumes from Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner, and Batman, among others. The classic, Cinerama experience, remains a peak into Seattle history.

Off Market Street in the heart of Ballard, you’ll find the Majestic Bay Theatres. Completely reimagined in 1998, the theater was at the forefront of the Seattle movie resurgence. Upgraded with graceful and traditional lines and signature movie-style traditions, invite all to the triplex theater. Whether you’re an individual or company event, the Majestic Bay offers meeting facilities and special event hosting for corporate events, birthdays, and private parties.

 In the Columbia City community, you’ll find this charming neighborhood theater: The Ark Lodge Cinemas. Though petite in size, the theater makes up for its size with adorable allure, affordable prices, and the fact that it’s locally owned. They have the standard seating-style theater, but also have the Prestige Room, where the standard seating has been replaced with comfy, faux-velvet sofas and side tables for your refreshments! It’s near the downtown area of Columbia City, where you can enjoy a meal at Wabi-Sabi Sushi, The Taproot Café & Bar or the classic, Columbia City Bakery before enjoying your showing!

The destination of many school fieldtrips, the Boeing IMAX Theater at the Pacific Science Center has been a mainstay since it was built. Home to two state-of-the-art theaters, you’ll enjoy your favorite flicks in IMAX 3D. Some have said that if there’s a movie “actually filmed in IMAX 3D”, you “don’t want to see anywhere else in Seattle.” Make your experience and entire day, and visit the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Armory, or the Museum of Pop culture while you’re there!

The Cinemark Lincoln Square cinema is a local favorite. Their expansive selection makes them the go-to theater on the Eastside, and its proximity to the Bellevue Collection (Bell-Square Mall) makes it great for a night out and the “movie” part of the classic “dinner and a movie” trope. Great for family adventures, friend night outs, or date nights – the Cinemark Lincoln Square offers a centralized location for fun and food.

If you’re looking for a 21+ experience, the Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace offers dinner and a movie, without leaving the comforts of your chair – or the movie at hand. Watch your latest favorites with a drink in hand (cocktails, soda, milkshakes, and more!) and a sandwich, pizza, salad of burger in front of you! Though you won’t find the same smell of popcorn as prominent you’ll find a different experience on comfy seats, great movies, and fabulous friends. Fun fact: they also have on in Issaquah!

Do you have any favorite local theaters we haven’t mentioned? Any that ring a spark in your life?

EVOKE COFFEE, A New Coffee Bean Experience in South Lake Union

EVOKE COFFEE, A New Coffee Bean Experience in South Lake Union

A new coffeehouse has opened in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, offering “unparalleled quality in food and drink.” Seattle is well-known for its abundance of established and highly-regarded coffee houses, so why should we give this one a try? What’s different? EVOKE COFFEE strives for brilliance in every dual-insulated cup, and there’s how:

HEART COFFEE is a Portland-based coffee roaster and the source and chosen-roastery for this hip, new establishment. But, what is Heart Coffee? Their self-determined motivation is simple: uncompromising quality. By shifting the focus from profit to quality, they’re able to develop complex flavors, using the best beans sourced from predominately Central America, South America, and Africa.  From the heart-coffee, is from just that: the heart.

Not only does Evoke Coffee use specialty beans, but they hand-made the syrups used in their beverages, creating an exquisite taste that isn’t racked with fillers and unfavorable ingredients. Their food menu also leans towards the healthier side, including things toasts, sandwiches, and acai bowls; but, don’t worry, they’ve the usual decadent pastries, too! Enjoy their industrial-chic aesthetic, with minimalist spaces and unique, Edison-inspired light fixtures.

Coupled with well-honed baristas and specialty flavors, these unique properties combine to create an amazing experience; and although it’s only been open a few weeks, we’re excited to see there this place takes Seattle coffee.

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7 of Seattle’s Most Hidden Bakeries

7 of Seattle’s Most Hidden Bakeries

As we all know, Seattle has so many mouthwatering restaurants, that you’d never run out! But, sometimes we just want snacks, and local Seattle bakeries harbor some of the most delicious pastries we’ve ever had!

Google searches for local baked goods continues to skyrocket, year after year – sort of like the current local real estate market. As more and more people are indulging in local baked goods, more and more boutique bakeries pop up.

This is our own “short list” of hidden (and, let’s be real, not-so-hidden) bakeries around Seattle.

Probably one of Seattle’s worst kept secrets, is Bakery Nouveau. Though there are a few locations around Seattle, we’ve enjoyed the Capitol Hill location on several occasions. From daily-made sandwiches to homemade breakfast pastries, fresh bread, plus holiday and seasonal delights.  They’re in Burien, West Seattle, and Capitol Hill, so indulge in their range of products.

A humble and whimsical bakery, the Dahlia Bakery can be found in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle. Though they can complete your every baked-good need, they specialize and have been world-renowned for their Triple Coconut Cream Pie. So, try their artisan breads, homemade pastries, and delightful cakes, full of fresh ingredients and local heart.

Local and baked with the heart, the Sod House Bakery offers beautiful creations from cinnamon rolls and croissants, to hand pies and sandwich cookies. Specializing in creations made with local ingredients from sustainable sources, their cookies, pies, and other baked goods are delicious, and they offer an amazing place for community.

Off 24th Avenue in Ballard, you’ll find a small bakery, called Tall Grass Bakery. Referred to at the “BEST… THE NUMBER ONE” in Seattle, this little bakery has had lines around the block several times. Completely organic and hand-forged, these “hot for you” breads are scrutinized to the highest caliber, and use only the finest quality of ingredients available.

Family owned, craft bakery, Sea Wolf Bakery has made its mark on the Seattle baked-goods scene. Created from brothers, who use only the best practices of local sourcing and skillful craftsmanship, they found their own piece of the city in August of 2016, after years of using borrowed kitchens around Seattle.

New to the neighborhood, this pretty bakery opened just a few weeks ago (2017), with carefully crafted pastries, breads, sandwiches, and crepes – paired with fine wine and espresso, to boot! The Semillion Bakery Café, offer fresh goods, locally sourced. When choosing in the Northwest, why not choose the Northwest?

Located in Northern Beacon Hill, Fresh Flours offers the finest quality of pastries and coffee. While it began as a dream, it’s since cumulated into some of the most unique and expertly developed baked-gods recipes, including flavors like green tea, sesame, and azuki.

Some of the best smells in the world can be found inside a bakery. With fresh bread out of the oven, and the creamy texture of freshness and youth in the air, any bakery can make you feel at home. Delight in the freshness, and indulge in the goodness.

What are your favorite Seattle bakeries? Which are the most hidden?

A New Hobby to Kick Off the New Year! Check Out Any of These Local Meetups!

A New Hobby to Kick Off the New Year! Check Out Any of These Local Meetups!

Are you wanting to get out more in 2018? How about trying your hand at a new hobby or gaining a new skill? Or perhaps you already know what you’ll enjoy, but are looking for amazing people to share it with.

Meetup groups can be an amazing way to get out in our communities, learn new skills, and hone new passions and hobbies. Groups like this allow us to get outside of our comfort zones, and harness the power of face-to-face gatherings as a point of networking between members and organizers.

Meetups can be more than just way to get out of your house, but it can also help you birth, grow and develop friendships, hone your interests, or learn more about business and entrepreneurialism. These groups are excellent resources on many levels, and can offer tons of insight into whatever you’re looking to learn.

The Greater Seattle has tons of meetups to choose from, and you can use websites like MeetUp.com to find the one that sings to you? We’ve compiled a list of the Seattle area’s most favorite:

Sports, Activity, & Adventure:

Writing Groups:

Book Clubs:

Tech Groups:

Pet & Pups:

Regardless if you’re into the tech industry, learning, music or eating (or anything else), there’s a group for you – and, if you don’t see exactly what you’re searching for, that’s okay! Try your hand at your own meetup, and coordinating your own group to your akin preferences.

Do you have any favorite meetups in the area?

4 Chipper Salons on Capitol Hill, Seattle

4 Chipper Salons on Capitol Hill, Seattle

Capitol Hill is one of those neighborhoods where you can find almost anything only a few blocks from your front door. Craving something? Dozens of cuisines are within the surrounding blocks, or can be delivered via local food courier services.

So, what about your body and hair? Taking ritualistic care of your health and body can prove beneficial to your quality of life and, while you can always do these things at home, you might, on occasion, want to indulge and have someone else pamper you a bit.

These four Capitol Hill salons offer more than the casual or standard cut, but they offer stylings unlike what you might find at other places – or what you might be able to create at home!

With enormous pride and commitment to their work, the Bowie Salon and Spa exceeds expectations with their full range of services, including hair styling, cuts, extensions, and blowouts, plus facials, waxing, and nails. Representing the “very finest in hair and hairstyles”, this salon offers over 25 years of experience and industry influence.

Salon Moxi is an independently owned and operated boutique salon, rested on the crest of Capitol Hill. Fresh and unique, they offer and atmosphere that fosters individual creativity, which translates in their approach to each hair and style. Warm and welcoming, you’ll enjoy top-notch stylists and an accumulated 26+ years of experience.

Known as a balanced blend of independent hair designers, the Emerson Salon has created something truly special. Powered by experience and persistence, they stand alongside their quality service and stellar professionalism. Get to know each stylist on their website, and their own unique menu of services.

With a drive for the artists and sometimes eccentric, the Canary Salon offers a variety of services and specialties, from the comforts of Broadway Avenue, Capitol Hill. Whether you enjoy the flare of the dramatic, or soft lived-in styles, their experienced and inspired stylists are sure to offer what you’re looking for.

Everyone, from a five-year old child through any age bracket, can enjoy their hair the way they like it – whether that be natural tones, pastels, or bold colors! And in any style, from short, to medium, to long! Sometimes we enjoy doing own creations at home, and sometimes we want a professional to take the plunge into our hair. What are your favorite, local spots to get styled?

Check Out These 8 Local Restaurants in Capitol Hill, Seattle

Check Out These 8 Local Restaurants in Capitol Hill, Seattle

Capitol Hill in just one of those neighborhoods that has a lot of everything. Not only are they a stone’s throw away from several major regional hospitals, but Capitol Hill offers a plethora of boutique retailors, coffeeshops, entertainment venues, and health facilities. But, something that really shines on the hill, is fabulous places to eat.

Local eateries shine in Seattle, and in Capitol Hill especially, where the Walkscore sits at 91 and the bike & transit scores are pretty decent, as well!

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Waffles always sound scrumptious in the morning, and if you don’t have a waffle iron, let Sweet Iron Waffle Bar do the waffling for you! Their menu comprises both sweet and savory delights, all atop a Liege-style waffle!

Poppy Seattle offers a Thali-style menu, where a platter, holding a variety of small dishes, is presented to each guest. This style offers a pleasant variety of color and taste, with fresh, seasonal ingredients, herbs, and spices for a modern, Northwest experience.

Poke and sushi are both big hits in recent years; mostly for isn’t simple, yet addictive recipes for healthy and delicious alternatives to other foods. Light and fresh, Broadway Poke & Sushi offers vegan version of each of their main dishes: poke and sushi.

Thinking Italian? Inspired by local farmers, Altura centers their menu around seasonal ingredients from around the region. Boutique in nature, this delicate eatery, offers a unique experience for the entire party!

Though it started with humble beginnings, Marination Station has a brilliant brick and mortar location on Capitol Hill – but, the same tasty menu as their to-die-for food truck! Small batch and made from scratch, they ship to their stores straight from their commercial kitchen in South Seattle.

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For dinner… how about a burger? In classic Capitol Hill fashion, this darkly lit burger bar piles literal 8oz Burgers onto scrumptious buns, topped to the nines with greens, veggies, sauces, and eggs! One even has fries!

We are rounding out this Seattle foods list, with a Capitol Hill classic: Rancho Bravo Tacos. This establishment has been a fan favorite since its inception in 2009, always garnering a line out the door for fabulous, daily tacos. Another brick and mortar that started as a food truck, this is a great experience at an affordable price!

Do you have a favorite restaurant you want to share? Share in the comments!


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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FAUNTLEROY CRAFTSMAN
8633 35th Avenue Southwest, Seattle
$498,000 • 2 Bedrooms + Studio • 1 Bathroom • 860 Sq. Ft. • 5,250 Lot Size

Vintage charm meets modern updates in this move-in-ready Craftsman. Step in to a sun-washed living room with a picture window and gleaming hardwood floors. Nearby, the updated kitchen is a delight with new stainless appliances, clean white cabinets and a cheerful dining area. The main house offers two bedrooms and a full bath with pedestal sink, while a new studio provides extra space for work, hobbies, or guests with a sitting area, wet bar and 3/4 bath. The yard is a gardener’s paradise with planting beds and landscape borders. Wonderful, walkable location!

For more information, please contact Jake Kanev.
Kanev@Windermere.com • 206.686.4700 • JakeKanev.com

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MODERN LIVING IN WEST SEATTLE
9344 California Avenue Southwest, Seattle
$1,196,000 • 3 Bedrooms • 2.5 Bathrooms • 3,220 Sq. Ft. • 10,776 Lot Size

Come home after a long day, kick back, put your feet up and take in the Western views of the Sound, Olympic Mountains and captivating sunsets that are the perfect backdrop for this striking modern home. A large open floor plan is ideal for hosting dinner parties and gatherings with friends. Located on a quiet street just above the Fauntleroy ferry terminal you will enjoy easy access to Lincoln park, shopping, cafes and more. Wake up Saturday, grab coffee and jump a ferry to explore for the day.

For more information, please contact Andrew Jackson.
AndrewJ@Windermere.com • 206.650.4939 • AndrewJacksonRealtEstate.com

The Eastside’s 5 Hottest Neighborhoods of 2017

The Eastside’s 5 Hottest Neighborhoods of 2017

Many areas across the Eastside experienced boundless growth, and are expected to grow into 2018, albeit, at a lesser rate. Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, gave us insight into what 2018 might have in store for homeowners and home prices. You can read the entire article at WindermereMercerIsland.com/Trends.

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The Eastside and Seattle offer their own set of unique offerings, but people are looking at much more than local amenities and locale for their newest home purchase. While location is key, come are prospecting outside of local major metropolises for their purchase. Why? Because outside of major cities, like Bellevue, Seattle or Redmond, you may find more bang for your buck. More home for your dollar – and that is crucial, especially when you’re searching for a family home.

Area #5 WEST BELLEVUE experiences a 16% increase, which is still staggering on its own.

West Bellevue is at the heart of the city’s center. The name “Bellevue” is French for “beautiful view”. In 2014, Bellevue was ranked as the 2nd best place to live in the nation by USA Today. The addition of many new high-rise condominium and apartments over the past decade has changed the scene in downtown Bellevue making it a very hip, walkable, and vibrant part of the Eastside. Many highly-desirable, longstanding and well-maintained single-family neighborhoods snuggle in to the north and south of downtown. Click here to read the entire article.

Area #4 KIRKLAND saw a 16.7% increase, in year over year prices.

Kirkland, a community of over 80,000 people, is fortunate to have a vibrant downtown area located on the waterfront of Lake Washington. Its proximity to I-405 and 520 provides easy access to Seattle, Bellevue and the Eastside. Kirkland has so much to offer residents and visitors: the arts, outdoor recreation, vibrant dining options, and unique local shops. The award-winning Lake Washington School District serves the residents of Kirkland with outstanding local schools. To read the entire article, click here.

Area #3 MERCER ISLAND homes experienced a 17.1% increase.

Centrally located between Seattle and Bellevue is the beautiful city of Mercer Island. Home to 22,000+ residents, Mercer Island is the most populated lake-bound island in the United States. While it is an island, it is directly connected to Seattle and Bellevue city centers via Interstate 90. Mercer Island’s location in Lake Washington tops the list of attractive attributes regarding the “Rock” and makes Mercer Island a premier Puget Sound community. The north end Town Center offers a dynamic urban village vibe with shops, restaurants, coffee cafes, and professional service providers amidst and upscale condo and apartment residences. To read the entire article, click here.

Area #2 The EASTSIDE SOUTH, including neighborhoods like Newport Hills and Somerset, saw a 17.4% increase in prices, year over year.

The Bellevue neighborhood of Somerset, with its iconic perch overlooking not only Bellevue surrounds, Lake Washington and Seattle—but also Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the distance on a clear day—is a favorite vantage point to take in panoramic views of Bellevue and Seattle. Click here to read about Bellevue.

Area #1 The most dramatic increase over the region was in EAST BELLEVUE, who saw a 20.4% increase – a larger increase than Seattle’s highest year over year, which was BEACON HILL/MOUNT BAKER at 20%.

The Woodridge neighborhood, located in the City of Bellevue, is just south of downtown and east of Interstate 405. Characterized by quiet no-through streets and comfortable homes – many with views of Lake Washington, downtown Bellevue and Seattle, this community is truly just off the beaten path. Woodridge Elementary School, a part of Bellevue School District, is just at the top of the hill. Local parks include Bannerwood Ballfield Park, Kelsey Creek Park, Norwood Village Park, and Woodridge Water Tower Park. Click here to read the entire article.

Overall, the lowest eastside increase was East Lake Sammamish, which saw a 13.2% increase year over year – which is almost double the national average at 6.7%. The Greater Seattle area, and surrounding regions, are experiencing seemingly limitless growth.

Which areas are you looking forward to in 2018? Or in which areas are you considering your upcoming home purchase? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll let you know some fabulous happenings in that area!

5 of Seattle’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods of 2017

5 of Seattle’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods of 2017

These Seattle neighborhoods took the cake 2017, and are starting strong with staggering figures in January 2018. Overall, the Greater Seattle Region has seen increasingly low inventory, raising home prices and heightening competition for homes – and while these issues aren’t unique to Seattle, we are experiencing it most prevalently.

Seattle has grown in several areas in the past year, including the grand reopening of our beloved Pike Place Market and the 2018 reopening of the highly anticipated remastering of the Seattle Space Needle – and the city towers are growing right alongside other areas of economic growth. Check out a three-year time lapse of Seattle’s astounding growth.

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But, which areas have growth more than others, in terms of home price or bang for your buck? We’ve compiled a list of Seattle great-growth neighborhoods in Seattle’s not-so sleep streets.

Neighborhood #5 NORTH SEATTLE, with an average of 14.3% increase.

Laurelhurst is a coveted residential neighborhood in northeast Seattle near the University of Washington (UW) and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Waterfront homes enjoy frontage on Union Bay, a part of Lake Washington. The Laurelhurst Beach Club (private) and Laurelhurst Community Center (public) are popular community hubs while nearby University Village offers a hip shopping, dining and social venue for residents and UW students alike. To the north, Wedgwood (map), is a more modest local neighborhood that is undergoing much transition as homeowners rebuild or remodel its predominantly 1950’s homes to transform them into modern and more functional structures suitable for today’s needs. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood #4 The greater BALLARD are, including neighborhoods such Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Ballard and Wallingford, averaging 14.6% home gains.

Ballard is one of the hippest and most coveted neighborhoods in Seattle. Its close proximity to the burgeoning tech industry in neighboring Fremont and reasonable access to the Eastside via 520 makes Ballard an extremely convenient place to call home. Located in the northwestern part of the city, Ballard houses a vibrant working waterfront and looks out upon Fisherman’s Terminal, the home base for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. The terminal offers a collection of delicious dining options and is a great place to purchase the freshest seafood. The Ballard Locks enable boat traffic to move from freshwater Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound-a 26-foot grade change. Pass a sunny day watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts come into the locks, and the water level is adjusted to allow their safe passage to the lake or sound. Shilshole Bay Marina offers moorage for 1,500 recreational boats, a waterfront promenade, and fabulous views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Promenade users can stroll over to Golden Gardens Park, a popular beachfront park. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood # 3 WEST SEATTLE saw a 17% increase from 2016.

West Seattle is aptly named—it represents all of the city located west of the Duwamish River. It is the birth place of Seattle, being the first place settlers established themselves. Gorgeous views from West Seattle of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, along with the Cascade and Olympic mountains, have contributed to residents’ love for the area and make this a favorite Puget Sound destination. Alki Point, and its immensely popular Alki Beach, offers sandy beach, lawn, fire pits, volleyball nets and a flat bike and pedestrian trail runs the length of the beach—people who use this trail are treated to some of the most amazing views in the region. Low tides offer extraordinary opportunities to explore tide pools of Puget Sound marine life. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood #2 SHORELINE, though not entirely within Seattle jurisdiction, saw 19.6% home gains.

North Seattle includes the Cedar Park, Jackson Park, Lake City, Maple Leaf, Meadowbrook, North Matthews Beach, Northgate, Olympic Hills, Pinehurst, and Victory Heights neighborhoods. To the northwest along Puget Sound the city of Shoreline (map) boasts and incredible 404 acres of parkland enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Its saltwater shoreline, botanical garden, interurban trail, athletic fields, courts and playgrounds draw people to this popular north Seattle community. Homeowners in the North Seattle region have benefited from a surge of sales activity and buyer demand for their modest, affordable homes conveniently located to Seattle’s metro employment centers. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood #1 And the number one increase from 2016 to 2017 was the BEACON HILL & MOUNT BAKER neighborhoods, who saw a staggering 20% increase year over year.

Beacon Hill in South Seattle, with its distinctive views of the Olympics and Cascades, has tremendous appeal to people who work downtown and commercial developers alike. It is currently a hotbed of activity undergoing significant revitalization as an affordable community close to the Seattle core. To the east, Seward Park, named for the park located on Bailey Peninsula near the south end of Lake Washington, offers coveted waterfront views and access. Between them, Columbia City is an urban center with ample shopping and many cultural local restaurants. Beacon Hill is served by light rail direct to downtown Seattle. The average downtown commute to about 12 minutes, car-free. Given its convenient proximity to I-5 and Interstate 90, a relatively affordable housing market, and its sweeping mountain and Puget Sound views, Beacon Hill has a lot to offer. Click here for the full article.

What areas of Seattle are you keeping a keen eye on? Let us know and let you know what fabulous in that area!

4+ Beach Resorts Along Washington’s Coastline

4+ Beach Resorts Along Washington’s Coastline

We’re coming on the end of Fall, which means Spring is only a few short months away – and what better way to plan for Spring Break or Summer vacations than a few days along the Washington coastline?

Sparkling beaches and forever sunsets after long days of playing in the sand and perusing local shops and boutiques. Because of Washington’s diverse terrain, our coastline makes for a just-as diverse and welcoming allure.

Chosen as “The Northwest’s Best Resort in 2016 by Seattle Magazine,” the Semiahmoo Resort offers 4-star amenities, including lodging, golfing recreation, and spa. Located on the cerulean shores of Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor, you’ll enjoy hours of beach life, wading in tidepools and indulging alongside Pacific Northwest wildlife.

Are you looking to get close to nature? Enjoy the sparkling water in the San Juan’s with several fabulous resorts across the islands. We couldn’t decide on just one (stay tuned for an in-depth, San Juan’s vacation post), so we’ve provided a great Trip Advisory link for review-based lists.

Touted as “Seattle’s only waterfront hotel”, the Edgewater: A Noble House Hotel, offers a stunning escape in the urban paradise. Stay in the heart of the city: only blocks from nightlife, Pike Place Market, Olympic Structure Park, and boutique, Seattle shopping. Vacation “on the edge” beside the lull of the city and the breathtaking vistas of the Olympic Mountains and beyond.

Along Sunset Beach of Moclips, Washington rests an oasis known as the Ocean Crest Resort. This full-service resort, offers comfortable lodging, an indoor pool, massage & healthy spa, fine-dining restaurant, and gift shop – and don’t forget the cocktail lounge. From their vantage perch, they offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and meandering pathways down to the beaches below. As they say, “relax, enjoy, and return again and again.”

No too far down the Pacific Coast, is the log cabin resort known the Iron Springs Resort. Having evolved from humble beginnings, Iron Springs started in the 1940’s with only a handful of cabins and continued to grow – and build – into the 25-cabin resort they are presently known as. In 2017, they won accolades from Best Northwest Escapes for “Best Cabin” and “Best Dog-Friendly Place to Stay”! Rent one multi-bedroom cabin, or a couple for a whole-family getaway!

If you’re looking to sunbath on Washington’s beaches, wade through nature’s tidepools, or fly your kite in the windy ocean air, Washington many shores have a little something different to offer. Enjoy the kite festival in Ocean Shores or whale watch along the Pacific Straights. From the rocky ridges to sandy shores, Washington offers a different experience at every opportunity.

What are you planning? What are your favorite resorts along Washington’s Pacific Coastline?

Too Cold? Try These 4 Slurp-Worthy Ramen Houses!

Too Cold? Try These 4 Slurp-Worthy Ramen Houses!

It’s super cold outside – and rainy, too. Now might prove a fabulous time to try that new ramen house you’ve been whispering about. Traditional ramen typically served hot (although there is a chilled option) and comprises a soupy consistency, of broth filled with noodles and toppings. Though the toppings widely vary, some standbys include sliced pork, dried seaweed, green onions, and egg.

Though the history is a bit unclear, ramen has swept Japan and China, and has made its way in to the heart of Americans, too!

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya is a chain that has experienced tons of growth other the past decade, with locations spanning across Japan, Australia, Taiwan, and the United States, including Indiana, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington. They serve a delicious and diverse menu comprised of Japanese cuisine!

We just went over Ramen Danbo in a previous article, so I won’t rehash the same information, but rest assured it’s delightful!

Located near the Westfield-Southcenter Shopping Mall, Arashi Ramen is a boutique ramen house that packs a lot of punch. They have ten different styles of ramen, plus sides and rice bowls, making their menu available to anyone. Highly-regarded in the area for consistently flavorful and heartwarming bowls, they use their own signature blend of handcrafted ramen, utilizing premium ingredients and simmer their broths over 16 hours.

Our last stop on the Ramen train is Seattle’s Teinei. Located in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, this industrial-chic eatery utilizes the Japanese meaning of its namesake: with care and politeness. They use their name as an emphasis for their upstanding hospitality, premium quality and outstanding service – and their reviewer agree!

After you try these places, you’ll forget about all the cold weather outside! In the comments below, share with us your favorite ramen house!

6 Hot & New Restaurants in the Greater Seattle Region – December 2017 Edition

6 Hot & New Restaurants in the Greater Seattle Region – December 2017 Edition

Hot and new restaurants are always popping up in the Puget Sound area, and we LOVE trying new and exciting things. Some people don’t want to cook when they get home, or they cook the same ten things week after week without sufficient variation.

This is where eating out and trying new things comes into play. Being adventurous and adding variety (dare, I say spice) to your life is a great way to indulge and find new tastes you never knew you enjoyed – and it doesn’t have to be something crazy. Maybe, you’ve just never tried brussels sprouts?

Tiger Bites is taking the area by storm. Located in the Overlake neighborhood of Bellevue, they offer delightful Taiwanese fusion eats, coupled with quality food, excellent service, and a sense of community. As a fast-casual restaurant, they offer quick, filling bites set at the highest quality!

Ramen has taken the area by storm in recent years, and this new Downtown ramen house is making statements with their signature Tonkotsu broth, touted as “unmistakable”. Nonetheless, only weeks old and Ramen Danbo proves a delicious eatery!

Open for two months, the Red Bamboo Bistro offers a fabulous and expansive Chinese menu. Located in the Renton Highlands, this eatery is already touted as “up there with the top places in Renton for Chinese food.

Neko: A Cat Café proves as adorable as it is indulgent in our fierce feline companions. The unique space rests in the heart of Capitol Hill, and offers drinks and nibbles as you pet the totally adoptable cats that slink around your feet. Drink. Eat. Pet cats, and maybe even adopt one while you’re there!

A combination of “new rustic and old, tradiational” Mexican foods, D’ La Santa offers a menu diverse with quality, prime meats, organic vegetables, and community. Their “family approach” to business shines through their unique and delicious menu!

Already garnered the title of “great brisket in Seattle” by the Seattle Times, Barbecue Smith offers a new take on a delicious trend. Alongside their traditional menu or brisket, mac & cheese, ribs, and pulled pork, they also offer unique additions, like kimchi and BBQ ramen.

Eating out can be fun and, while we shouldn’t overdo it, it can be a great way to find new inspirations and ideas for homecooked meals later down the line – or even just trying to figure out how they made what they made so delicious. Maybe you can add it to your New Year’s Resolutions to add to your palette.

New eats are a dime a dozen, but these places are well-rated (4+ stars) and have garnered media attention through their delicious offerings. What are your favorite new eating spaces in the Pacific Northwest?

Polar Bear Plunge – December 2017 Edition

Polar Bear Plunge – December 2017 Edition

The Polar Bear Plunge is a time-honored custom around the globe. People in Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the United States all take part in this off-the-wall activity. But, why? Because we love kicking off the year with a cool and refreshing tradition, of course!

Well, sort of – and the fact remains that not all places observe this tradition on January 1st. Some, instead, wait for Spring.

The Polar Bear Plunge(s) are where people jump in or otherwise submerge in the water, despite the chilly winter water temperatures and are usually held to raise money for any number of charitable organizations.

Our proximity to the Puget Sound offers easy access to chilly waters and local volunteers assist with refreshments and much-needed hot beverages. Two local plunges happen in Seattle and Tacoma.

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge
WHEN: Monday, January 1st, 2018
TIME: 11:00am – 01:00pm
WHERE: Matthews Beach Park (4999 NE 93rd Street, Seattle)

Tacoma Polar Bear Plunge
WHEN: Monday, January 1st, 2018
TIME: 11:30am
WHERE: Point Defiance Marina (5912 North Waterfront Drive, Tacoma)

Alongside the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge, is the Resolution Run 5K & Polar Bear Drive. Presented by the Club Northwest, the event is held at Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle). Check out complete information here!

Regardless of if you’re searching for a New Year’s party, or a themed polar bear after party, the Seattle are has tons of offerings for you and your family! You can even try the Woodland Park Zoo or Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquariam to see polar bears!

New Year’s Celebrations Around the Greater Seattle (and Tacoma) Area – December 2017 Edition

New Year’s Celebrations Around the Greater Seattle (and Tacoma) Area – December 2017 Edition

The New Year is just around the corner, which means you’re probably dwelling on past and future resolutions, and figuring out where you’ll spend your late night. You can read this productivity article to optimize the new year, but we’re gonna show you some of the fabulous places (and parties) in the Greater Seattle Area.

Several places like to sell out before the night, so reserve your spot before everything’s full – and if you’re looking for something more casual, look on OpenTable to see what Seattle area restaurants are hosting specials!

Early New Year’s Dance Party: Resolution
WHEN: Friday, December 29th, 2017
WHERE: WaMu Theater
BUY TICKETS HERE!

Bollywood Masquarade Party (Bollywood Dreams Entertainment)
WHEN: Saturday, December 30th, 2017
WHERE: Columbia City Theater (4916 Rainer Ave. S., Seattle)
FEE: $15-$25
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s at Benaroya Hall
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Benaroya Hall
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s Eve at Chihuly
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st
TIME: 8:00pm – 01:00am
WHERE: Chihuly Garden and Glass (Seattle Center)
FEE: $250 per person
BUY TICKETS HERE!

SPECTRA: New Year’s Even Under the Arches
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
TIME: 09:00pm – 02:00am
WHERE: Seattle Pacific Science Center
FEE: $80 / member I $85 / non-member (additional packages available)
BUY TICKETS HERE!

Ring in the New Year with KEXP at the Seattle Space Needle
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Seattle Space Needle
MORE INFORMATION HERE!

Moisture Festival New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
TIME: 08:00pm
WHERE: Hale’s Palladium (4301 Leary Way Northwest, Seattle)
FEE: $50 – $75
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s Eve in Tacoma, Washington
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Around the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts
FEE: $12 – $15
BUY TICKETS HERE!

7 Vegan Restaurants You’ve Been Wanting to Try in Seattle, Washington

7 Vegan Restaurants You’ve Been Wanting to Try in Seattle, Washington

Eating vegan isn’t just a preference, but a lifestyle – and you don’t have to eat completely vegan to enjoy the benefits of the diet. Like any cuisine, vegan dishes are vast and deliciously satisfying meals, crafted for you: the eater!

What are these many benefits – you may ask? You may consider replacing a few meals a week with vegan alternatives to slim down and increase energy and to add vegetables and essential nutrients to your diet that many people aren’t getting. And while you can always make your own emulations at home we’ve comprised a list of Seattle restaurants, specializing in vegan cuising.

With moderate prices, an excellent location, and fabulous cuisine, Araya’s Places offers delicious vegan Thai food. Proclaimed as the 1st vegan-Thai restaurant in the Northwest, they opened in 1987 and remain a family-owned and operated establishment. With three locations in the Seattle area, Araya’s Place is a beautiful place where accommodation doesn’t stop at the door.

Beautifully crafted vegan interpretations of everyday dishes is Chaco Canyon Organic Café’s specialty. With three locations sprawled around Seattle, they offer fresh and local foods with every visit, meaning the feeling of homecooked vegan food is only a short drive away.

Another Thai-vegan restaurant, with a 4+ star rating, is Seattle’s Kati Vegan Thai. Cozy chic, this restaurant offers that classic dining feel, with the openness of Seattle’s industrial architecture around South Lake Union – and they’ve got excellent reviews on Happy Cow.

A delicate flower, Café Flora has proved a wonderful addition to the Madison Valley. Their boutique dining is next level, from “utilizing local, organic, and sustainable produce” to “building strong, and direct relationships with Washington farms.” They community-based business perfectly intermingles with Seattle’s vibes and they’ve been repeatedly awarded “Best Brunch” and “Best Vegetarian Restaurant.

Harvest Beat is a unique form of restaurant. Specializing in goodness and unity, they offer an ever-changing menu that both “respects the food of the moment” and diminishes the restaurant’s waste. The experience starts when you think about making reservation and lasts through the 5-course meal and final sip of your evening pairing.

Hundreds of reviews later… Wayward Vegan Café rests comfortably at a 4.5 star, with reviewers touting their cuisine as a “no contest” in top Seattle vegan spots. Established in 2004, they offer veganized American diner-style food, with “large portions, bottomless coffee, and friendly service.”

Between First Hill and Capitol Hill rests Plum Bistro – a vegan hotspot in the area. Expertly crafted dishes, comprised of local, sustainable, and organic ingredients, are what make Plum Bistro amazing. The passion and delicate intricacies of each dish delight foodies everywhere.

Regardless of what your preferences are, these vegan restaurants are delightful and delicious. What are your favorite vegan eateries in the area?

Love BBQ? Try These 4 Local Favorites!

Love BBQ? Try These 4 Local Favorites!

Seattle loves BBQ – and for good reason.

The Pacific Northwest was built on a healthy lumber industry, and to make great BBQ, you’ve got to have a great wood to smoke meat with! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Seattle isn’t Memphis… or Birmingham… or Nashville… or any other the hundreds of world-renowned BBQ places in the United States.”

And we understand that. But… what do know is that Seattle… is Seattle and we’ve got great food all around!

Starting in Seattle’s north end neighborhood of Wallingford, RoRo BBQ & Grill has been a local favorite since 2006 and has garnered over 500 reviews on Yelp.com, averaging a 4+ star. Must be good! Parking is a bit of a nightmare, but their cozy inside will surely make up for it. Try their homecooked wares and unique BBQ sauces.

Down in Pike Place Market, you’ll find Pike’s Pit Bar-B-Que – a local loved and renowned BBQ mainstay. Carefully crafted, each sandwich offers a combination of Peco beans, Tillamook sharp cheddar, and meat piled high. What’s the best part? The part where they get the all-around goodness of smothered twice and messy BBQ.

Travel to the SODO district of Seattle and Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que will stand as Seattle’s “hottest” BBQ houses – and I mean it! Their medium is mind-blowingly HOT. I always have to get the mild (or get it on the side). Regardless, they BBQ master make an epic sandwich, hot link, and brisket, etc. Buy in bulk an feed the whole family!

The last on this list of the Wood Shop BBQ off Jackson Street, in Seattle. With amazing food, they’ve quickly made a name for themselves and, having established their brick and mortar in only August 2016. As sported on their website: No Compromises. No Secrets. Just Great BBQ.

Got another local favorite we forgot to mention? We’d love to know your favorite local barbeque eats! Let us know in the comments below!

Have Family Coming to Town? These are 5 of Seattle’s & 5 of Bellevue’s Most Highly Regarded Hotels

Have Family Coming to Town? These are 5 of Seattle’s & 5 of Bellevue’s Most Highly Regarded Hotels

The holidays are stressful enough without having the added pressure of dealing with the hotel you’re staying at. You’d assume it would be easy. You book the room and the show up and settle in, but we’re heard horror stories of ruined holidays or last-minute cramped quarters as twenty people share one four-bedroom home.

We’ve done through dozens of reviews, articles, and exposes and we’re here to share our findings – and just in time, too!

Bellevue

Hyatt Hotels is a world-renowned legacy, marked by outstanding service, profound understanding and knowledge of the surrounding area(s), and offering all the conveniences of home. In Bellevue, Hyatt Hotels offers two locations, one in downtown Bellevue, the Hyatt Regency, and on in the Eastgate neighborhood, the Hyatt House. There’s also one in Redmond!

The Hampton Inn & Suites is another popular Hilton endeavor. Friendly and “highly recommended” this location is right outside downtown Bellevue, meaning you get all the convenience, without all the traffic and city hubbub (don’t worry – you’re only two blocks away!)

The Westin Hotel in Bellevue, proves a premier experience at it’s finest. Consistently top notch, they’re a quarter-block away from Bellevue’s premier shopping experience, including the Bellevue Collection, Lincoln Square, Shops at the Bravern, and the Bellevue Connection.

Mariott Hotels also offers a getaway in Bellevue Downtown District. Excellent location and an overall comfortable stay make the holidays an easy experience! Add in some fabulous dining, their fitness center, and other amenities, the Courtyard by Marriott in Bellevue proves an excellent option!

Seattle

With how expansive Seattle is, there’s bound to be tons of excellent hotel options – and that’s definitely the case here. Don’t worry – we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 go-tos!

Self-touted as “hip and urban, funky and fun,” Hotel 5 is at the top of our “Seattle” list. With their pup-friendly package, “there’s no need to ruff it without your furry friend!” This ultra-modern hotel has set its sights higher and offers a plethora of amenities – and a 1100% smoke-free environment.

Another fabulous option is the Loews Hotel 1000. Each location is uniquely modern and contoured to the Seattle community – including awesome pup and children specialties. Check out their Spaahh for award-winning products and treatments, while their Seafood & Oyster Bar and Bell Lounge offer expert dining experiences.

Another Seattle experience, highlighting the human-dog friendship that’s so brightly invigorated around the Puget Sound Region. The Kimpton Hotel Vintage is one of Seattle’s boutique hotels, offering an urban retreat for anyone within the sound of their voice. Want to get spoiled and pampered? Delight in their in-room spa experience, complimentary hotel bicycles, plus their partnership with Washington wine partners and their morning coffee + tea service. Love the hotel you’re in!

Stay in the heart of downtown, at the Kimpton Alexis Hotel. Another unique endeavor, similar to their Hotel Vintage location, this luxury stay was rated “#1 Hotel in Seattle” by Conde Nast Traveler, RCA 2017 and “Best Seattle Hotels” by U.S. News & World Report, 2017. Curious why? Phenomenal experiences. Exceptional services. “Because you’re worth it.”

Enjoy classic Seattle shopping at the new Pike Place Market and stay at the Inn at the Market. Savor the views of downtown, Pike Place Market, Seattle’s waterfront experience, the Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains beyond – and depending on your preferences, there are different suite options to choose from!

Bonus

But Seattle and Bellevue, though the premier cities of the area, aren’t the only one’s with decent digs! Kirkland also offers two premier hotels, if that’s a bit closer to your family!

The Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa is located just north of Bellevue, on the edges of Yarrow Bay. With great reviews, dashing views, and awesome activities, they’re on this list of classic Pacific Northwest experience.

 Another Kirkland abode away from home is the Heathman Hotel. Totally #PNW and luxurious, and only a hop, skip and a jump into Woodinville, this hotel is ideally located near downtown Kirkland shopping, eating, and their beautiful waterfront.

Do you have a have a favorite place to stay in-town, or while you’re visiting the Seattle area? Let us know!

A Wintery Edition of Windermere Living, Winter 2017

A Wintery Edition of Windermere Living, Winter 2017

Beautiful & breathtaking, the Winter edition of the premier Windermere Living Magazine is hot off the press! Read about the latest in luxury home trends, fabulous destination hubs, and darling homes across the Western Region!

Seattle – where are your favorite places to visit in the Great(est) Pacific Northwest?

4 Up & Coming Ways to Commute Around the Greater Seattle Region

4 Up & Coming Ways to Commute Around the Greater Seattle Region

Seattle’s commute has proved horrendous for a while, but what are we doing about it? And how can we make it better?

According to an October 2017, GeekWire article, Seattle has the sixth longest average commute time, at 54.22 minutes – and, believe it or not, that number has actually reduced from an earlier February figure from King5. Though we’re still behind cities like Washington, CD, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY, the figure in minutes is only about a 6-minute difference. According to that same article, however, Seattle falls to number 17 in commute-related stress.

While vehicle transit makes up a large majority of Seattle’s average commuter, there are tons of other options coming down the pipeline.

One of the largest options in the newspapers are the Light Rail Expansions, and although it’s not settled to be “complete” (as per current projects) until 2039 for its furthest reaching, Tacoma expansion, and projects headway can be seen across the I-90 bridge and 2041 for the Kirkland-Issaquah service.

It seems a far in the future, but the 62 new miles, coming in at 116 miles total, of light rail is projected as one of the “most ambitious transit expansions this country has ever seen,” noted Snohomish County Executive, Dave Somers.

King County Metro has spoke about expanding bus service and boosting their late-night schedules. With 240 more trips each weekday, 100 more Saturday trips, 153 additional Sunday trips and the hiring of more than 2,800 transit operators, the metro system is confident to bolster service throughout the region.

Water Taxis are making a comeback as new options come to light. A fast-ferry has also been proposed for foot-traffic between Tacoma and Seattle. According to Curbed-Seattle, Tacoma’s City Councilor, Ryan Mello, there’s “a lot of regional interest” in the idea, but regulation bars them on a state level, leaving it up to the local governments to run with the idea. If this were to take effect, it could reduce the averaged 30-minute commute by 10-minutes.

Another fast-ferry could be on it’s way, connecting Seattle to Renton, Washington, via Lake Washington. Though this is the idea of a private developer, they hope to be up and running in 2020 – only a couple short years away!

Since so many other land-routes are clogged and bogged-down throughout the day, and especially during peak hours, water seems like the right way to go about reducing congestion.

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan was also implemented earlier this year (2017). The 2017-2021 plan, is a vision that bicycle riding throughout the region proves comfortable for people’s day-to-day life, for all ages and all abilities. Stay up to date on the Bike Master Plan page.

Ferries, buses, biking… they’re all the usual, but a huge way you can cut your commute in the meantime is to rideshare. Whether through private organizations or with your best buds, this is a great way for you to take advantage of perks, like cutting fuel cost and consumption, cheaper parking, use HOV/HOT lanes and avoid extraneous wear and tear on your vehicle.

Bottom line, many major metropolises are bearing a heavy burden, when it comes to its workers’ commute. Some drive times expanding 17-miles could take up to 90-minutes – or longer – in some cases. Something many agree on, is that solutions lie in data and technology, and “not necessarily in adding a big highway or building a big parking garage.”

What do you think about these potential or up and coming options? How drastically do you think they’ll reduce and relieve the average commute? Know of any more options? Let us know in the comments!

Enjoy Music with a Vintage Sound? Check Out These Washington Record Stores!

Enjoy Music with a Vintage Sound? Check Out These Washington Record Stores!

Music has been a mainstay in the Pacific Northwest for as far back as we can remember, and the area has long played a role in the music scene of Washington. From grunge to punk, pop, rap, and metal, the area’s offered several influential bands, music labels, and venues. I mean, look at that photo above – Talking Heads! (Yes, we know they aren’t a local band…)

Seattle’s Spin Cycle is a classic, local shop, complete with overfull baskets and bins of vinyl, cassettes, and other musical & gaming memorabilia. The complete nerd-heaven, this awesome shop includes artists like the White Strips, the Who and Jello Biafra. Want a Nintendo 64 game? They’ve got that, too!

Complete Seattle chic, Light in the Attic Record Shop offers a variety, including soundtracks, soul, subpop, jazz, classic, rock, hip hop, blues, country, rock, and electronica. Good music and great people. What more could you ask for?

Chic and clean, Daybreak Records offers a variety ranging from rock to classical to jazz, and everything in between. Like many record stores, they offer a listening section, where you can try out your new-found record to ensure its free of scratches and other damages.

Easy Street Records remains one of West Seattle’s favorite breakfast and music hubs. They offer LOADS of new and old sounds, nestled among their massive collection. Their food is also pretty decent!

And just because Seattle is the mecca of music, doesn’t mean they’re the only place with great sounds! Puget Sounds, a Bellevue, Washington proprietor, prove a solid option for buy/trade/sell vinyl records and paraphernalia. A humble and down-to-earth shop, Puget Sounds remains a highly rated shop!

Though the scene and popular music has changed throughout the years, Seattle has remained a mega-house for shows and could almost add popular bands and music to their exports list.

What are your places to pick up new or vintage records? Are your favorite places in Seattle? Or maybe elsewhere?

A By-Neighborhood Guide to Seattle’s Music Scene

A By-Neighborhood Guide to Seattle’s Music Scene

Seattle is a town known for its music. From Sunny Day Real Estate, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden, to Nevermore, the Postal Service, Classic Crime, and Macklemore, Seattle offers a rich music scene from 90’s grunge to indie rock, progressive metal, and hip hop.

While it’s true that many of the venues are bars and geared towards 21+, some aren’t, allowing people of any age to enjoy their favorite musical varieties. This list goes over some of the many Seattle venues that local, touring, and visiting artists and bands call home.

Georgetown

A 21+ venue, Slim’s Last Change Chili Shack & Watering Hole features music throughout the month, though not every day. Stay up-to-date on their website, by visiting their shows page.

West Seattle

The city that could have been, West Seattle features the “beach life” with a short drive of bustling, downtown Seattle. The peninsula is a bit more laid back, than the busy populace of Seattle’s thriving business district – and has amazing views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula.

Touted as West Seattle’s premier music venue, the Skylark features music of every variety, including indie rock, pop, electronica, hard rock, metal, and jazz. Note: some of their features are 21+, but there are a ton that are all ages.

SODO

Both Showbox venues (the Market and SODO) always bring a crowd. The SODO venue features its original beauty as a converted warehouse and has feature articles such as Heart and Taking Back Sunday.

Studio 7 proves and multi-faceted space, featuring artists throughout the week ranging from metal to hip hop to electronica. Their space includes their main club, dual level showroom, and 16 band rehearsal rooms.

Easily one of the largest venues in the area, the Washington Music Theater (WaMu Theater), has featured bands such as Slayer, Kid Cudi, and various music festivals. Their expansive space offers a variety of options from standing, sitting, and hanging out near refreshments if you need a break.

Columbia City

Over Beacon Hill, you’ll find a neighborhood known as Columbia City – and the Columbia City Theater. With the theater in back and the Bourbon Bar in from, this venue features an eclectic history and a past lineup just as varied.

With music seven days every week, the Royal Room was designed to serve the musicians and artists it hosts, and likewise offers an emphasis on creative programming and development and working collaboratively in a community space.

Pioneer Square

Moving north in Pioneer Square, you’ll want to stop by the Central Saloon. With a history for over 120 years, the Central Saloon not features “the best live rock seven nights a week,” 365 days per year.

Downtown

Showbox Market is a beautiful art-deco style entertainment spot, with a full bar separate from the floor. Still displaying music for over 75 years, the Showbox Market has proved itself a mainstay in the Seattle music scene.

The HardRock Café near Downtown, Seattle often features live music on their second-floor venue.

The Triple Door is a beautiful music + eating venue. The front offers a delight dining area, while music patrons can sit and eat as they watch a variety of music, featuring artists such as Kaki King and Glockabelle.

The Seattle Theatre Group comprises the Paramount, Moor, and Neptune theaters.

Located under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Highway 99 Blues Club features a 21+ venue and combines the feelings of “southern juke joint”, with that of “old timey” architecture and concept.

Belltown and the Denny Triangle

These two areas are wonderful for bustling around town, and proves Seattle’s 4th most walkable and bikeable districts, according to Walkscore.com.

Offering a variety of daily delights, the Crocodile is touted on Paste Magazine’s list of top 40 music venues in the United States. Back in its years in the 1990’s, it was a swift ride to fame, as it featured many emerging and heavily popular bands throughout the grunge scene.

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley is highly regarded amongst Seattle Jazz venues, featuring nightly shows, largely comprising jazz ensembles, pianists, vocalists, and guitarists.

Another stop along the Jazz train, it Tula’s Jazz Club, featuring jazz seven nights a week, plus “great Northwest and American cuisine.”

The Rendezvous Jewelry Box Theater remains an intimate venue, restored to its original 1932 beauty and offers live music and burlesque. Check out either the Jewelry Box or Grotto for daily entertainment!

Many mega-performers come through the Key Arena at Seattle Center, including bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Explosions in the Sky, Queens of the Stoneage, and many other popular artists.

Capitol Hill & South Lake Union

Amongst the best of Seattle’s urban charm, these two typical “Seattleite” neighborhoods are booming with eateries, bars, cafes, boutiques, and entertainment venues. Regardless of where you live, you’re only a short walk away from fun!

Neumos is another eclectic bar + venue, featuring bands such as the Raconteurs, Cannibal Corpse, Iron & Wine, Mudhoney, and a variety of others. They offer three full bars, a second-floor mezzanine, and a balcony overlooking the mainstage.

Though their bookings trend into metal and punk territory, the Highline has been a longstanding, Broadway venue, featuring a food and drink menu.

Another not-always 21+ venue, is Chop Suey. They offer a variety of tastes in music and cuisine (check out their menu!)

El Corazon and the Funhouse strive to provide the “ultimate concert and social experience,” while their staff focus on “excellent customer service and artist relations.” Enjoy a show. Chat with friends. Have a drink.

While the heart of Seattle hosts the majority of Seattle’s music venues, the northend has its fair share, including the High Dive, Nectar Lounge, The Little Red Hen, Sea Monster Lounge, Café Racer and the Blue Moon Tavern. (https://www.highdiveseattle.com/) (http://www.littleredhen.com/) (http://seamonsterlounge.com/) (http://caferacerseattle.com/) (https://bluemoonseattle.wordpress.com/)

What are your favorite Seattle venues? And where have you seen your favorite shows?