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 booths 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 seafood, 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

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

 

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-theater, 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 one in Issaquah!


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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 here’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 make 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 where this place takes Seattle coffee.

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ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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. 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 as 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 offers fresh goods that are 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 morphed into some of the most unique and expertly developed baked-goods 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.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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 an atmosphere that fosters individual creativity, which translates in their approach to each head of 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 or long! Sometimes we enjoy doing our own creations at home, and other times we want a professional to take the plunge into our hair.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

6 Mouth-Watering Eateries in Bellevue, Washington

6 Mouth-Watering Eateries in Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue is known for many things: lux real estate, unique boutiques, and luxury shops. One thing that goes hand in hand with upscale shops, are amazing restaurants. But, which are the most highly rated? While no restaurant we could find had a distinguished 5-star online review rating, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 restaurants in Bellevue, and where you can find them!

John Howie Steak Restaurant has proved a long-time, Eastside favorite. Their menus comprise traditional steakhouse fares, but they also offer seafood and vegetarian options. Across the board, people love the experience and friendly faces they encounter, and they’re conveniently located at the Shops at the Bravern in downtown Bellevue.

Another restaurant located in downtown Bellevue, Facing East offers Taiwanese cuisine with a unique twist. With so many options, you’d figure it would be hard to decide – and it totally is! Reviewers note their menu has several “MUST get” options!

Looking for something light and fresh? Try Bellden Café! Located in the heart of Bellevue, their artisanal eats allow just that. Though their menu may seem simple, they offer nutrition with a punch, including avocado-packed toast, nutrient-dense salads, and home-style and basic sandwiches.

When Din Tai Fung was new it gathered crowds around the corner, waiting for their delightfully crafted dumplings. A fledgling company in 1972, they quickly received rave reviews and an extensive following all over the world. There’s another location in Tukwila, if you’re interested in checking it out!

Located off the main strip, El Gaucho rises above many other Bellevue restaurants as a local fan-favorite. Their wall of windows glisten by day and sparkle by night, in their welcoming atmosphere of Eastside eateries. This steakhouse also offers seafoods, poultry, vegetarian, and a wonderful sharable menu!

We’re rounding out this Eastside eating list with a long-time favorite: Lot No. 3. Classic comfort foods, this vintage-inspired eatery offers a mouth-watering brunch, lunch, and dinner menu, including classics such as fish & chips and mac & cheese, but also some unique flavors, including their elk burger and PB&J&B (peanut butter, mixed bery jam, and bacon on sourdough!


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, Weighs in on the 2018 Housing Market

Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, Weighs in on the 2018 Housing Market

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As we move into the new year, the housing market reflects on 2017 and looks forward into 2018 and its forthcoming prime season. Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, forecasts that 2018 will bring higher inventory levels, balancing the current rift between seller and buyer.

Interest rates are forecasted to continually rise, but at comparably modest rates to historic averages. Home prices are also expected to rise at lower rates in 2018, theoretically prophesied by increased inventory levels and buyer frustration in the current Seattle market.

Where do you think 2018 will take the local market? Will we continue as a seller’s market, or will level help balance the market? Check out the entire report here!

MATTHEW GARDNER Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

 

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.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

6 Shopping Fan-Favorites on Main Street, in Bellevue, Washington

6 Shopping Fan-Favorites on Main Street, in Bellevue, Washington

Are you all shopped out from the holiday season? We are – but there are also a ton of after-season sales going on! If you find yourself in the mood, but want to avoid the rush of local malls, try Main Street, near downtown Bellevue.

Often referred to as Old-Bellevue, visit the heart of the city with great food and interesting shops, in a vibrant portrayal of “small-town” living in an urban metropolis. Visit and imagine everything surrounding it as strawberry fields, and you’ll get a decent depiction of what the area used to look like; but now this not-so hidden, Eastside gem bustles with cafes, bars, and boutique shopping.

Glassybaby is an establishment any charity lover can get behind. With locations along the West Coast, their glassblowers handcraft each “glassbaby”, ensuring the highest quality in your unique product – and this beautiful oasis of color offers a donation with ever purchase.

Do you have a kid in your family? Or a friend or family member you’re looking to buy for? Wee Tots Children’s Store on Main Street in downtown Bellevue, Washington is perfect for all types of children’s gear! Toys? Clothes? Or maybe some larger furnishings? This upscale infant and children outfitter offers quality!

Old and Elegant offers just that: antique-style fixtures and furnishings for your home. This unique retailor procures the finest wood and metal findings, alongside helpful, knowledgeable and honest owners and staff.

Looking to get the new year started right? Check out Title Nine for all things athleticwear and gear. With a business based on inspiring the world around us, you’ll surely find something for yourself or a friend!

Cozy into bed with Soaring Heart comfort. With a plan only to provide you with a night of great sleep, they let you know exactly what you’re buying – the fabrics included in their organic material, lack of toxic chemicals, and recycled and reused materials. Each mattress is handcrafted by precision builders.

And if you’re looking to furnish the rest of your home, check out LUXE + WOODS Urban Designs, where they believe ever furnishing should be as unique as you! Their one-of-a-kind creations, fit no mold in their beautiful boldness.

Located blocks away from Lincoln Square and the Bellevue Collection, Main Street in Bellevue, Washington shopping is nothing if not luxe-inspired. Regardless of if you’re looking for yourself, a friend, or your sister’s children, you’ll find something unique.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

8 of Our Favorite Restaurants in Renton, Washington

8 of Our Favorite Restaurants in Renton, Washington

In ideally located Renton, Washington, you’ll find tons of new restaurants to try. Whether at the Renton Landing, perched in the Highlands, or hidden in a downtown, brick building, Renton offers a variety of cuisines to please the entire family.

Located near the Landing and Coulon Beach, Peyrassol Café offers a selection of brunch, lunch, and dinner specials, raised, grown, and crafted locally. With firm roots in the Pacific Northwest, Peyrassol Café has, since the beginning, used local purveyors to supply their high-quality eats. (http://www.peyrassolcafe.com)

Perched in the Highlands of Renton, off State Route 900 & Duvall Avenue, is Sushi Roll Roll Roll. Consistently touted as “excellent” and a local favorite, patrons enjoy a cozy atmosphere alongside friendly service. (https://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-roll-roll-roll-renton?frvs=True&osq=Restaurants)

Big Island Poke is another local hit. Created by a People of the Chubs partner, this island-style eatery quickly ravaged the hearts of residents as a go-to poke establishment. Fresh and high-quality, this place is great for your Hawaiian taste buds! (http://www.bigislandpokeinc.com/)

Offering a delight lunch and dinner menu, Vino at the Landing has melted the hearts of local with their love of wine and fine foods. Whether you’re looking for a gather space before a night out, a bottle of wine for the evening, or a fabulous place for dinner, Vino at the Landing is your place! (https://www.vinoatthelanding.com/)

Ideally boutique, Smoking Monkey Pizza has consistently been awarded for the winning recipes, including #1 Pizza in Renton, Washington. A blend of traditional and modern loves, Smoking Monkey Pizzas offer the standards, and indulge in the unique. (https://www.smokingmonkeypizza.com)

Another fan favorite and Renton Highlands establishment, The Brick Pub & Grill offers passion alongside quality and artisan cuisine. Indulge in local and fresh ingredients with their passion-driven menu of WA craft beer, NW wine, and decadent eats. (http://www.thebrickpubrenton.com/)

If you’re looking for German cuisine, the Berliner Pub has you covered! Located near the heart of downtown Renton, their menu reflects a German Beerhall with long, shared tables with traditional fares and a full-range of beers! (http://www.berlinerpub.com)

And now, one of Renton, Washington’s favorite restaurants continues to be the Melrose Grill. Highly regarded in articles by the Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, and Seattle Weekly, this “Best of Western Washington” establishment brings steak to another level. (http://www.melrosegrill.com/)

Renton, Washington is an easy drive to both the Eastside and Seattle – and only minutes from the Seatac Airport.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

Bellevue & Mercer Island School District Information: January 2018 Edition

Bellevue & Mercer Island School District Information: January 2018 Edition

This will be a week of schools, as we head into the new year and another season of change. When home searching, schools may be at the top of your mind – especially if you have school-age children.

Being in a good school district has more to offers than premier schools, extracurricular activities, and high test scores. A decent school district, such as the Bellevue and Mercer Island districts, can also combat lags in real estate or can be the selling point for a potential buyer. And if you have or are planning on having children, they’ll only benefit from top schools.

The Bellevue and Mercer Island School Districts are highly regarded in the area for high mathematics and English scores and overall college readiness – and it’s safe to say both areas offer fabulous housing, are great for families, and decent employment opportunities.

Mercer Island School District

Total Students: 4,513
College Readiness: 59.3%
Proficient in English: 83%
Proficient in Mathematics: 84%

Complete MISD Information

Mercer Island High School
Graduation Rate: 93.5%
Total Students: 1,484
Total Teachers: 82
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 13.5
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 73.2%

Bellevue School District

Total Students: 20,461
College Readiness: 70.1%
Proficient in English: 71%
Proficient in Mathematics: 78%

Complete BSD405 Information

Bellevue High School
Graduation Rate: 87.3%
Total Students: 1,624
Total Teachers: 91
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 12.5
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 76.9%

Big Picture High School
Graduation Rate: 83.3%
Total Students: 350
Total Teachers: 35
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 7.8
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 65.7%

Interlake High School
Graduation Rate: 87.4%
Total Students: 1,627
Total Teachers: 101
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 10.2
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 78.2%

International High School
Graduation Rate: 100.00%
Total Students: 569
Total Teachers: 43
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 10.9
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 69.8%

Newport Senior High School
Graduation Rate: 94.4%
Total Students: 1,795
Total Teachers: 101
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 13.4
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 80.2%

Sammamish Senior High School
Graduation Rate: 84.2%
Total Students: 1,038
Total Teachers: 69
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 10.4
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 78.3%

Do your children in either of these Eastside school districts? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Data pulled from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Washington State Report Card.


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018. 

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!

3 Top-Rated Mercer Island Salons

3 Top-Rated Mercer Island Salons

Isn’t it about time for some pampering? If your anything like us, you’re busy, busy, busy with decorating, holiday parties, family get-togethers, and cooking, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take some time for yourself. The last few months are always chaotic and brimming with obligations, but remembering to take some for yourself can make the season all the more enjoyable.

Au Courant Salon & The DEN remains a fabulous island staple as both creative designer and specialized consultants. Locally owned, Au Courant is an “of the moment” designer service, specializing in visionaries and industry expertise. Aside from their typical services of hair styling extraordinaire, they offer POSH, a wardrobe & image consulting service.

With knowledge and expertise, the unique team at the Island Salon and Spa offer “no short cuts” on your salon and spa experience. From hair, to spa, tanning or massage, they have you covered for all your pampered needs – and their conveniently located in downtown Mercer Island: a quick stop from either Seattle or the Eastside, and excellent for island residents

Family owned since 2011, Hair Excel offers a value of an experience at an affordable price point. Consistently innovating, they leave “no hair out of place” at their family salon. Clean, efficient and attentive to detail.

Regardless of what you want, these awesome salons can get you what you’re looking for – and they’re conveniently located for Eastsiders, Seattleites and Mercer Islanders alike.

Grab your mother, sister, and best friend and head down for a holiday pampering! Or grab some gift cards for a New Year, and plan a spa day! Do you have a go-to salon on the island?

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 NEW Ice Creamery for Your Winter Shopping Season

A NEW Ice Creamery for Your Winter Shopping Season

Yes, yes, we know it’s cold outside, but who doesn’t love ice cream? Even when it’s chilly? And this hot, new ice creamer is ready for your #winter indulgences!

FROM MILK just opened a few weeks back, in Westfield’s Southcenter Shopping Mall – and the line is still waiting in this frosty weather! Featuring handcrafted, premium delights, From Milk offers a unique menu adding green tea and red bean to “usual” menu, alongside classics like classic milk, vanilla bean, strawberry, and chocolate.

But their unique-ness doesn’t stop at their flavors – in fact, that’s only the beginning. They specialize in dipped ice cream bars, piled with sauce and other fabulous flavors. Alongside their bars, they offer bowls, which comprise shaved ice cream (delicious!), topped with a combination of fruits, buts and other lovely additions. And, guess what, it’s also topped with a bar!

Don’t want to waste the paper bowl? Try the special watermelon or honeydew bowl. It’s a big larger and a tad messier, but it’s work every honeydew-ball bite!

Another feature of From Milk is their signature milks. With the flavors of strawberry, blueberry, and Matcha tea – with chocolate coming soon – they’re really going all out on the “From Milk”.

Check out the entire menu on their website! If you haven’t tried them yet, they’re definitely worth a try!

Do you have any favorites you’d like us to know about? Leave your favorite, local ice cream parlor in the comments below!