Severe Weather Shelter List

by Hannah Newton • February 8, 2019 • Courtesy of King County 211 Website

Photo courtesy of  New Bethlehem Day Center

Photo courtesy of New Bethlehem Day Center

  • All Areas: Mary’s Place
    Thru W, Feb. 13, 24 hours daily.
    Intake line for families. They have opened overflow space at several local shelters and will try to not turn any family away.

Where to Dine Out on Valentine’s Day in Seattle

Endless orders of oysters on the half shell, indulgent desserts, and wicked wine pairings.

By Gwen Hughes  1/31/2019 at 11:00am

Grab a drink for you and your boo at Mkt. this Valentine’s Day.  IMAGE:  GEOFFREY SMITH

Grab a drink for you and your boo at Mkt. this Valentine’s Day.


While you might be expected to put together a massive feast for every other holiday of the year, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to leave it to the professionals. Whether you and your other half are looking for housemade ravioli, liberal lobster courses, or even a dinner or weekend getaway, these destinations have got you covered. Your only job? Make the reservation.


Chef Shota Nakajima will host a seven-course dinner at his Capitol Hill eatery. Not only that, but his private cellar will be open for the guests to indulge in. Temari sushi will kick things off, followed by lotus root dumplings, egg katsu with caviar, and a whole lot more. Call 206-294-5230 or book online; $100 per person.


The Alderbrook Resort and Spa is serving up more than picturesque views this Valentine’s Day. Its on-site restaurant, which overlooks the Hood Canal, will host a dinner of beef tenderloin with foie gras or king crab housemade ravioli. Another bonus: Your reservation is a guaranteed front row seat to guitarist Tarik Bentlemsani’s romantic set. Call 360-898-5500 to make reservations. 

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

Take in Lake Washington with a “Love Potion” amuse bouche in hand at Bellevue’s Ascend. Then indulge in a four-course meal with optional “enhancements” like North Pacific oysters or a two-pound lobster thermidor pot pie wrapped in nori parmesan puff pastry. Call 425-625-2080 or book online; $135 per person.

Bastille Cafe and Bar

At Bastille, a flight of sparkling wine can be added on to the specialty Valentine’s dinner all weekend long. Dungeness crab salad with cara cara oranges and gnocchi with mushroom ragout and whipped feta are also cause for celebration. Call 206-453-5014 or book online; $21 champagne flight. 

Bramling Cross

For seafood enthusiasts, this Ethan Stowell spot will provide a menu teeming with crustaceans. Options include lobster deviled eggs, lobster bisque, and lobster fritters, to name just a few. And if the lobster becomes too much, steak and caviar add-ons offer decadent variety. Call 206-420-8192 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing, $15 caviar addition. 


Stowell’s “under the sea” penchant continues at Cortina. Try lobster ravioli with black trumpet mushrooms or opt for oysters with verjus granita. Finish the evening off with a traditional torta caprese (Italian chocolate almond cake) topped with chocolate ganache and rose creme fraiche. Call 206-736-7888 or book online; $85 per person, $45 wine pairing.

El Gaucho

From the first taste of the herb gougeres to the last of rosemary chocolate tart, El Gaucho has got your Valentine’s Day covered. And if you’re keen on an accompanying cabaret show, it may be the restaurant for you. Call 206-728-1337 or book online; $150 per person, or $115 at the bar. 


If one evening is not enough for your love story, head east to the Eritage Resort in Walla Walla. Their holiday meal includes a shared entree of Meyer Ranch New York steak or grilled portobello steaks drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Call 833-374-8243 or book online; $150 per couple.

Gather Kitchen and Bar

Cozy up to your better half at chef Ryan Donaldson’s Ballard spot with a shared meal for two. Things start off seafood-focused—oysters on the half shell, grilled octopus—but soon turn to vegetables with asparagus soup, olive loaf, wild mushroom pot au feu, and fried brussels sprouts. Beef tenderloin and sea scallop au poivre too. Call 206-420-4670 or book online; $65 per person.

Goldfinch Tavern

Pacific Northwest fare is the name of the game at this Ethan Stowell dining room inside the Four Seasons. Try dungeness crab bisque, prawn pappardelle, and sockeye salmon—and top it off with a dark chocolate lava cake or rosemary lemon torte for the table. Call 206-749-7070 or book online; $99 per person.

Heartwood Provisions

Each of the five courses at Heartwood Provisions can be paired with a signature, chocolate-themed cocktail (and a Jcoco chocolate bar, too). Dungeness crab custard and muscovy duck breast with quinoa may not be obvious cocoa pairings, but the partnership between beverage director Amanda Reed and chef Varin Keokitvon is sure to yield unique results. Call 206-582-3505 or book online; $95 per person, $7 cocktail pairings. 

Hollywood Tavern

For a more casual date night option, head to Hollywood Tavern in Woodinville for a six-course lineup. The roadside restaurant will feature three different varieties of oysters, cooked even more ways. An added bonus: Before the mollusk-themed meal, enjoy a fireside cocktail featuring next-door neighbor Woodinville Whiskey’s signature bourbon. Call 425-481-7703 for reservations; $100 per person, 21-plus only.

How to Cook a Wolf

Queen Anne dwellers (and Ethan Stowell enthusiasts) will not go hungry with this four-course feast. With an anchor of pasta—tagliarini with uni butter, ricotta ravioli, or potato gnocchi—the meal will also include an add-on option of oysters with champagne mignonette for $3.25 each. Call 206-838-8090 or book online; $85 per person, $55 wine pairing.


Award-winning chef John Sundstrom has created a menu of romantic fare, including Samish pearl oysters and prawn fondue. End the meal with Theo Chocolate panna cotta accompanied by white chocolate brittle and hazelnuts. Call 206-323-5275 for reservations or book online; $130 per person, $60 wine pairing.

Le Messe

Foie gras profiteroles, hamachi crudo, scallops, and Snake River Zabuton steak are on the menu at this sleek Eastside spot. But knowing Brian Clevenger, the pasta course—capelletti with ricotta, black garlic, and prosciutto—is probably the star of the night. Call 206-402-6106 for reservations or book online; $75 per person, $35 wine pairing.


Chef Thierry Rautureau will host a four-course dinner at his downtown restaurant. Begin with foie gras terrine or lobster bisque, then choose sturgeon, venison medallions, or root vegetable en croute to round out the evening. Call 206-402-4588 for reservations or book online; $99 per person, $89 wine pairing.


If downtown isn’t your scene, head to Rautureau’s Madison Valley location for a more chill (but equally French) dining experience. The special to share is a 32-ounce cote de boeuf with pommes soufflés (rib-eye with fried potatoes). For something lighter, opt for chestnut soup with truffle oil or housemade semolina pappardelle. Call 206-328-6645 for reservations or book online; $59 per person, $30 wine pairing.

Marine Hardware

An embellished version of the year-round prix fixe menu is a surefire winner at this Ballard spot, whether it’s ribbon pasta with dungeness crab and meyer lemon or sea scallops with shaved fennel. Make sure to indulge in a refined, familiar course of cookies and chocolate truffles too. Call 206-257-4390 or book online; $85 per person, $45 wine pairing. 


This rooftop is date night destination even without the Valentine’s Day menu of fried cauliflower, prawns over hummus, and “rocky road” parfait. Lucky for guests, they don’t have to choose when it comes to the family style meal. Call 206-457-8287 or book online; $120 per person, $45 wine flight.


Ethan Stowell’s smallest restaurant isn’t missing out on the big day. Its four-course meal will rival its sister restaurants with dishes like seared duck breast with celery root puree and wood grilled scallops. Call 206-812-1580 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing.

Mood lighting sets the tone for the evening at RN74.  IMAGE:  COURTESY RN74

Mood lighting sets the tone for the evening at RN74.


No Anchor

Belltown bar No Anchor provides a less traditional pairing option: Beer may accompany a four-course meal of raw scallops with caviar, endive salad, smoked duck breast, and whipped dark chocolate. Dinner is available for parties of two only. Call 206-448-2610 or book online; $75 per person.


Seasonal dishes (three options for each course, in fact) rule at Outlier. Highlights include a 21-day dry aged sirloin and wild mushroom lasagna. Wine-poached apples with shortbread and a scoop of apple jack ice cream finish things off. Call 206-624-7755 or book online; $65 per person.

Ray’s Boathouse

This Seattle stalwart will host three nights of Valentine’s Day dinners (February 14–16) with a three-course seafood-inspired menu, boasting dishes like oyster tempura and poke tacos. Call 206-789-3770 or book online; $65 per person.

Ray’s Cafe

Ray’s a la carte menu includes dungeness crab lumpia, grilled mahi mahi, and a surf n’ turf special along with the perfect garnish: the restaurant’s signature view. Call 206-782-0094 or book online.

Red Cow

Madrona’s own French brasserie will host a four-course date night dinner for the big day. Fish bisque, rabbit croquettes, and grilled half lobster may feel decadent enough or, for the ultimate indulgence, add an optional caviar service, which comes with vodka and savory madeleines. Call 206-454-7932 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing.


Hotel Theodore’s dining destination begins its six-course Valentine’s menu with—what else?—our favorite local aphrodisiac, oysters on the half shell. Roasted beets with fresh burrata, egg tagliatelle topped with white truffles, surf and turf, and a chocolate torte follow. Avoid crowds by celebrating after the big day—the Valentine’s menu will be available through the weekend. Call 206-859-4242 or book online; $95 per person.

Rione XIII

At yet another one of his restaurants, Ethan Stowell will serve a four-course dinner featuring classic dishes like rigatoni bolognese, seared scallops, braised beef short rib, and gnocchi topped with cured pork and cheese. Call 206-838-2878 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing.


This French restaurant in the heart of downtown will serve a filling meal featuring dishes like truffled cauliflower soup and Maine lobster ravioli with caviar creme fraiche. And if four courses aren’t enough, diners can add on chef Michael Mina’s ahi tuna tartare for two. Call 206-456-7474 or book online; $90 per person, $45–$65 wine pairing.


Talk of the town Edouardo Jordan is helping everybody feel the love at Ravenna’s Salare. The five-course, prix fixe meal includes a scallop dish with avocado mousse and charred pineapple sauce, black bass with pepper jus, and (be still our hearts) a lemon thyme olive oil cake. Call 206-556-2192 or book online; $75 per person, $50 wine pairing.


Pike/Pine’s rustic Italian farmstead starts the night with duck confit before moving onto herbed arancini, a choice between clam and braised short rib pastas, and another pasta course (this time taleggio cappelletti). Pick between steak with black truffle potato puree or pan-seared troll king salmon to finish things off—but save room for chocolate cake truffles or angel food cake. Call 206-251-7673 or book online; $120 per person.

Staple and Fancy

Oysters with citrus champagne mignonette and parsnip and pear soup will cover the table at this Ethan Stowell destination. Then a pasta to share, a main course, and—finally—a silky lemon ricotta cheesecake. Call 206-789-1200 or book online; $85 per person, $55 wine pairing.


Jason Stoneburner will serve grass-fed beef crudo, artichoke tortellini, and grilled tuna alongside a “Bubbles for Lovers” wine flight for Valentine’s Day. The champagne (and prosecco) will be flowing all weekend, with reservations available Thursday through Sunday. Call 206-695-2051 or book online.

Super Six

There’s no special Valentine’s Day menu at this Columbia City spot, but does there need to be? With half-off bottles of wine and pastry specials from dessert doyen Kim Mahar, Super Six is a destination worthy of the year’s most anticipated date night. Call 206-420-1201 or book online


Both locations of Ethan Stowell’s pasta haven will serve a four-course Valentine’s Day meal. Dishes including foie gras mousse bruschetta, tagliatelle with smoked shellfish, and roasted porchetta grace each menu; up the ante by adding five grams of Perigord black truffles to select dishes for $15. Call 206-838-8008 (Belltown), 206-420-8355 (Capitol Hill), or book online; $85 per person, $45 wine pairing.


Chef Maria Hines’s cozy Wallingford restaurant is offering a four-course menu complete with choices of seared scallops, carnaroli risotto, and venison with huckleberries. Save room for the Theo Chocolate ganache cake, orange rose cashew cheesecake, or a peanut butter and jelly cannoli. Call 206-633-0801 or book online; $95 per person, $45 wine pairing.

The Tin Table

Snag a reservation at this cozy Cal Anderson–adjacent spot before it’s too late. The porcini mushroom-topped pappardelle is no doubt a winner. Otherwise crispy red snapper or beef tenderloin will more than suffice. The Tin Table’s regular a la carte menu will be available as well. Call 206-320-8458 or book online; $50 per person.

Tutta Bella

On Cupid’s big day, Tutta Bella’s everyday Neapolitan menu will be complimented by a special tiramisu for two. Even sweeter: They’re throwing in a complimentary Baci truffle, a chocolate covered hazelnut candy, along with the clandestine love story that inspired the Italian chocolate company. See website for details. 


Italy meets Pacific Northwest at this classic downtown dining room. It’s really a no-brainer. The only question is: Oysters on the half shell or Tuscan kale salad? Crab risotto or lamb sirloin? The choice is yours. Call 206-624-5500 or book online


Seared sea bass with cauliflower puree or ricotta gnocchi? This downtown restaurant serves both, and Valentine’s Day patrons will also receive a “special treat” for dining on the holiday. Call 206-676-4600 or book online; $65 per person, $35 wine pairing.


At Brian Clevenger’s original pasta palace, agnolotti served with nettle, brown butter, pine nut, and pecorino perfectly marries flavors from Italy and the Pacific Northwest. And there’s another three courses too, with picks like black cod, pork belly, and—no surprises here—risotto. Call 206-466-2533 for reservations or book online; $75 per person, $35 wine pairing.

10 Unique Date Night Ideas for Valentine’s Day

By Melissa McCarthy | January 29, 2019

Illustration by Alex Schloer

Illustration by Alex Schloer

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. What better excuse to try something new with your sweetie? We’ve compiled a list of ten exciting and unique date night ideas around the Eastside, for all you lovebirds out there.

There’s nothing more Valentine’s than eating too much chocolate. How about making too much chocolate? At the historic Boehm’s Candies, you can take a chocolate making class. It will start of with a tour of the chocolate factory (we promise, it’ll go better than the tour in Willy Wonka), then you’ll get to make an assortment of chocolate clusters, decorative bars, and more. You’ll leave with over a pound and a half of deliciously customized sweets. Issaquah,

Capri Cellars is a trendy bistro and wine bar in downtown Issaquah. The shop specializes in local Washington wines, so we recommend ordering a tasting flight to try as many of these complex and delicious wines as you can. Top it off with a charcuterie board or an order of burrata with prosciutto and fig jam, and you and your date won’t want this evening to end. Issaquah,

If you and your sweetie are cocktail connoisseurs, you can’t miss Bluewater Distilling in Everett. The distillery is an extension of their bar and bistro, so you’ll be sitting feet away from the origins of your beverage. But the real transformation happens when these liquors are mixed by the excellent bartenders at Bluewater. We recommend the raspberry limoncello drop for something sweet, citrusy, and all-around delectable. Everett,

Summit Everett is a climbing gym and an ideal spot for a non-traditional date night. If you and your partner love being active together, this is the place for you. The massive facility offers something for every skill level of climber, and classes if you’re brand new to the activity. So, climb to the roof and reward yourselves with a high-altitude smooch this Valentine’s Day. Everett,

If you and your sweetheart love spending the day doing puzzles or playing board games, book a night at Conundroom Escape Room in Redmond. Test out those strategic muscles in this immersive experience. With only a limited amount of time, a storyline that places you in the setting, and a variety of well-hidden clues, you and your date will have to rely on each other to escape. Redmond,

Were you looking for an excuse to try out a paint and sip studio? Well, now you have one. This Valentine’s Day, try out Canvas in Kirkland. This is the perfect date night for the artistic couple. They provide the paint, the wine and beer, and anything else you may need. You just bring the inspiration (a.k.a. your sweetheart). Kirkland,

In case you missed the news, Teatro ZinZanni headquarters is now operating out of Woodinville. This is great news for us on the Eastside who love the spectacular. We suggest heading out to Woodinville early, finding a wine shop for a tasting or two, and then heading to the old Red Hook Brewery site for some amazing entertainment. Teatro ZinZanni will be performing the show Hollywood & Vine, and Chef Jason Wilson will be adding some special Valentine’s Day additions to the menu. Woodinville,

In need of some relaxation this Valentine’s Day? Bring your date to Recoop Spa for a reinvigorating and romantic experience. The modern concept spa in Bellevue is offering a variety of Valentine’s specials: couple’s massages, side-by-side pedicures, and spa packages for two, to name a few. Love yourself and your sweetheart with some time spent at the spa. Bellevue,

If the thing you adore most about your date is their laugh, take them out to The Parlour for a comedy show. This is an excellent activity for just about any date night, but this Valentine’s Day it’s a must. D.L. Hughley will be gracing the stage from Feb. 14-16. Hughley appeared in “The Original Kings of Comedy,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” and stars in the popular Comedy Central show, “Weekends at the DL.” His stand-up routine will surely have you and your date splitting at the sides. Bellevue,

Lucky Strike is no ordinary bowling alley. It does have a 16-lane bowling alley and arcade, like some of the other establishments you may know. But it also has two dance floors with DJs getting the crowd going, mixologists on staff for excellent cocktails, and gorgeous modern décor. This date spot has it all. Bring your valentine to get the party started. Bellevue,

First Snow Of 2019 Hits Puget Sound Hard: See Latest Updates

Heavy snow fell across the Seattle area overnight Monday, causing schools to close, plenty of crashes, and there's still more to come.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Feb 4, 2019 10:11 am ET | Updated Feb 4, 2019 12:08 pm ET | Courtesy of


SEATTLE, WA - Heavy snow fell across the Seattle-Bellevue area overnight Monday, forcing schools to close, causing countless crashes and spin outs, blackouts, and there's more snow on the way, according to the latest forecasts.

Snow is expected to continue throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. Current forecasts show we might get more of the white stuff later in the week. Complicating matters, temperatures were in the mid-20s across much of the area, causing ice to form under snow.

The region is under two snowstorm warnings. There's a winter weather advisory in effect until 1 p.m. for the Puget Sound coastline from Shoreline to Tacoma. But areas east of Lake Washington are under a winter storm warning until 1 p.m. that calls for up to 8 inches of snow in some areas before it stops. Snow totals as of Monday morning varied widely across Puget Sound, from about in inch in south King County to more than 6 inches in the Woodinville area - and even higher totals in Snohomish County and farther north.

Most school districts were closed in King County Monday, including Bellevue, Seattle, Mercer Island, and Shoreline. Also closed Monday: the University of Washington; King County Superior Court; and Seattle Public Utilities canceled recycling and garbage collection.

While plows were out in force Monday morning, the snow was falling fast, and many arterial roads and highways - including I-90 over Lake Washington - were covered in snow.

"Stay off the roads this morning if you can," the National Weather Service warned Monday morning.

In Seattle, about 4,000 people lost power, according to Seattle City Light. A few hundred Puget Sound Energy customers in the Seattle area were without electricity Monday morning, most in Renton. Many of those outages were fixed by around 9 a.m. Monday.

Crashes and spin-outs were almost too many to count, but were affecting major roads like SR 18 in Issaquah, the SR 167 and I-405 intersection, and a King County Metro bus was stuck at the SR 522 off-ramp to I-405 in Bothell. Check WSDOT's Twitter feed for the latest updates.

One roadway that was clear of snow: the new SR 99 tunnel under Seattle, which opened to traffic just after midnight Monday.

Safest Washington Cities 2019: See Where Kirkland Ranks

A new ranking by the National Council For Home Safety and Security shows how safe Washington cities are.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Jan 28, 2019 4:44 pm ET | Courtesy of


KIRKLAND, WA - The National Council For Home Safety and Security has released a ranking of the safest cities in Washington using recent FBI crime data. Snoqualmie came in as the No. 1 safest city while University Place came in last on the list.

The list is a little different from other safest-cities lists. Usually, wealthy Eastside cities like Sammamish and Medina are ranked safest, but this list favors small, rural cities. Issaquah and Bellevue are ranked in the middle of the list, while Enumclaw came in No. 5.

The list was created by looking at violent and property crimes, and weighing that data based on population.

"We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced, and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1," the National Council For Home Safety and Security described.

Despite a few recent shootings, Kirkland's violent crime rate was slightly below the state average. Property crime in Kirkland was on par with cities like Bonney Lake, Edmonds, and Mill Creek.

(The list only includes cities of a certain size that send crime data to the FBI. Cities like Shoreline or Woodinville don't appear likely because they are policed by the King County Sheriff's Office.)

Here's the full ranking:

  1. Snoqualmie

  2. Oak Harbor

  3. Sunnyside

  4. West Richland

  5. Enumclaw

  6. Grandview

  7. Washougal

  8. Lynden

  9. Bainbridge Island

  10. Battle Ground

  11. Cheney

  12. Monroe

  13. Lake Forest Park

  14. Pullman

  15. Lake Stevens

  16. Camas

  17. Mercer Island

  18. Mukilteo

  19. Ferndale

  20. Anacortes

  21. Mill Creek

  22. Bothell

  23. Edmonds

  24. Ellensburg

  25. Kirkland

  26. Port Angeles

  27. Poulsbo

  28. Mountlake Terrace

  29. Walla Walla

  30. Bonney Lake

  31. East Wenatchee

  32. Aberdeen

  33. Pasco

  34. Redmond

  35. Snohomish

  36. Richland

  37. Wenatchee

  38. Issaquah

  39. Bellevue

  40. Sedro Woolley

  41. Marysville

  42. Kelso

  43. Kennewick

  44. Tumwater

  45. Longview

  46. Seattle

  47. Vancouver

  48. Fife

  49. Everett

  50. Mount Vernon

  51. Olympia

  52. Lacey

  53. Bellingham

  54. Lynnwood

  55. Sumner

  56. Yakima

  57. Bremerton

  58. Arlington

  59. Des Moines

  60. Lakewood

  61. Edgewood

  62. Moses Lake

  63. Centralia

  64. Port Orchard

  65. Puyallup

  66. Spokane Valley

  67. Renton

  68. Kent

  69. Federal Way

  70. Tacoma

  71. Spokane

  72. University Place

Image via Shutterstock

LWSD Kindergarten Registration Begins Feb. 7

Parents can register their students at their neighborhood schools.

Friday, January 18, 2019 8:30am | Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of Lake WA School District

Photo Courtesy of Lake WA School District

Beginning Feb. 7, parents with children who are 5 years old or will be by Aug. 31 will be able to register their children for kindergarten in the Lake Washington School District.

Registration takes place at residents’ neighborhood schools.

Parents will be able to register their children from 1-7 p.m. Feb. 7, continuing during regular school hours through the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. While registration will continue throughout the school year and summer, parents are highly encouraged to register students as soon as possible. Doing so helps ensure class sizes are balanced and adequate staff are hired in time for the new school year.

To register a child for kindergarten, parents should bring the following items:

  • Proof of residency (such as a purchase/rental agreement or utility bill).

  • Proof of the child’s birth date such as a birth certificate or passport.

  • Child’s health history, including current immunizations.

  • Emergency contact information.

Visit the kindergarten registration page of the LWSD website to watch a video and learn more about the registration process.

To determine your neighborhood school, check the district website, or call the district’s transportation office at 425-936-1120.

Brunchin’ Round the 425

Brunch is big again, and we aren’t sad about it.

By Julie Arnan | January 24, 2019

Little Brother. Photos by Julie Arnan

Little Brother. Photos by Julie Arnan

Little Brother

Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m

Breakfast is offered every morning at Little Brother (Tuesday-Saturday), featuring a smattering of poached-eggs-on-toast options, including cured salmon with goat cheese, steelhead roe and herbs, or simply a generous helping of fresh herbs. The house-made wood-fired bread is outstanding, but the gluten-free seeded loaf is very tasty, too, and packed with nutrient-dense nuts, seeds, and oats. The seeded loaf goes great with freshly ground almond butter and honey.

Little Brother also showcases some unique beverages in addition to freshly squeezed orange juice. The Turmeric Tonic features ginger, lemon, honey, and sparkling water for a refreshing palate cleanser.

The best way to start the day, however, is with an Early Board — egg, ham, jam, hummus, nuts, fruit, yogurt with seeds, local cheese, honey, their crusty bread, and butter from Cherry Valley Dairy. The jam and hummus are also made in-house. It’s probably best to pair it with a bottle of bubbles, perhaps a nice sparkling rosé.



Heritage Restaurant | Bar

Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Eastside gained a culinary treasure when Chef Breanna Beike hitched her horse to the Woodinville food scene. Her cooking talent and personal sense of hospitality (I’ve never met a chef who loves people quite as much as Beike) are the perfect recipe for a delicious brunch. Share a round of seasonal baked goods (scones, muffins, individual pies) with the table — it was a challenge not to inhale the carrot-pecan muffins with a slather of apple butter on the side. The seasonal menu means delicate squash and chanterelle mushroom baked eggs will transform as different ingredients become available.

But, some things are menu standbys. The Heritage burger, topped with bacon, cheese, horseradish mayo, and avocado whip, is served with the best version of fries (soaked overnight and fried to crisp-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside perfection). Other savory must-haves include house-made biscuits with Chef Beike’s sage-sausage gravy and dreamy soft-poached eggs, the white wine-poached salmon belly sandwich with lemon aioli and dill, and the Heritage Benedict topped with chives.

Beardslee Public House

Saturday and Sunday, 9-11:30 a.m.

When a chef makes charcuterie in-house, there’s obviously a high standard already happening in the kitchen. Chef Jed Leprade takes it a step further at Beardslee Public House, where everything from the sausage to the granola to the English muffins is made from scratch (everything except the sliced bread for the French toast, which comes from Hillcrest Bakery in Bothell). The kitchen was designed around a brick pizza oven without the requisite burners of a typical breakfast-focused restaurant. Therefore, egg dishes are baked in cast-iron pans featuring house-made andouille, chorizo, or Italian sausage and complementary sauces. The BPH Benedict includes smoked pork cured in-house atop a freshly baked English muffin (which, texturally, reminded me more of a crumpet) and slathered in Hollandaise sauce. Other savory dishes include a daily quiche and a splurge-if-you-can-afford-the-calories breakfast poutine with perhaps the tastiest breakfast sausage patty in the state.

Those with a sweet tooth need look no further than the s’mores pancakes (as big as the plate and stacked), apple cinnamon French toast with golden raisins, caramel sauce, and whipped cream, or the cast-iron cinnamon roll.

Or, you know, be good and try the granola parfait with honey yogurt and fresh fruit. That way you won’t feel guilty getting a side of tempura fried bacon with maple-sambal dipping sauce, which is simply a must.

District 1 Saigon

Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Brunch need not be limited to American cuisine. At District 1 Saigon, Chef Taylor Hoang shares Vietnamese favorites with her guests. One breakfast staple on every Vietnamese dining table is sticky rice — at District 1, it is served with shredded soy-glazed chicken, chewy morsels of Chinese sausage, pork threads, and fried scallions. A cold weather (or basically any weather) must-have, pho is one of Vietnamese cuisine’s great contributions to taste buds around the planet. Hoang created a chicken version for brunch utilizing whole organic free-range chicken, rich chicken broth, egg yolk, rice noodles, and a lime leaf salad. Squeeze lime juice into a dish with salt, pepper, and red Thai chili slices for a simply delicious dipping sauce for the chicken, which is served on the side (not in the soup). Prefer steak and eggs? Try the District 1 riff on this classic — served with house-made duck pate and a banh mi roll.

Though most of the menu is packed with flavorful savory rice and noodle dishes, there are some sweet items, like the Pandan waffles with coconut whipped cream (tinted green from the Pandan leaves) and fresh hot donuts with soy milk dipping sauce. But the battered and deep-fried bananas swimming in warm coconut cream with chopped peanuts pretty much take the cake. Be sure to get your own order — you won’t want to share.


Deru Market

Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

This small Kirkland eatery is a not-so-hidden gem anymore and fills up quickly, so consider getting up a little bit early to beat the crowd. Maybe even get an early morning workout in before you go so you can better enjoy the buttermilk fried chicken with poached eggs and maple sausage gravy. Or the best quiche on this side of the lake (or maybe west of the Rockies, or perhaps north of the equator) made with ham and Beecher’s cheddar cheese or kale, heirloom carrots, and red onions. If you were wondering what could make French toast any better, the answer is salted caramel crème anglaise. And don’t worry if you slept in on a Saturday and there’s no room at DERU: Just head down the street to DERU’s Little Brother.

Hollywood Tavern

Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hollywood Tavern knows its way around comfort food and, unsurprisingly, the brunch “Hack Menu” is rolling with “good feels.” Just picture the regular menu — fried chicken sandwich, Cubano, New York strip steak — and add eggs and tots. The Cubano Sunrise features slow-cooked pork shoulder, pit ham, caramelized onion, pepperoncini, Swiss cheese, stone-ground mustard, aioli, and cilantro — all topped with two sunny-side-up eggs. The Ancho Tots and Eggs is like a breakfast version of nachos swapping the chips for tots and topping it up with braised pork; queso; ancho lime crema; and, of course, some sunny eggs. Though the joint is best known for whiskey, breakfast beverages are more of the Bloody Mary/Maria and mimosa variety (though the boozy milkshakes — like the Stumbling Cow with Woodinville Whiskey, vanilla ice cream, and apple pie glaze — are something special).


The Lakehouse

Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Chef Jason Wilson utilizes his R&D knowledge of coffee flour in the brunch menu at The Lakehouse, adding it to granola and into the pancake mix along with cocoa for a nutty, nutritious boost. Brioche French toast is topped with preserved summer peaches, maple-candied walnuts, and vanilla Chantilly cream. The kitchen’s version of avocado toast features citrus-cured salmon, poached egg, sautéed spinach, lemon, and Romesco sauce, while the house “Benedict” includes Dungeness crab and avocado with toasted seeds, poached egg, and roasted potatoes. Regular menu favorites are (thankfully) available — the grilled octopus is by far the best octopus preparation around on a weekend morning, and the Moroccan spice roasted carrots with yogurt, chilies, almonds, and mint are not to be missed.

Superb Salads & Super Soups

By Denise Sakaki | January 24, 2019

Poke ‘Zoodle’ Bowl | Just Poké. Photo by Jeff Hobson

Poke ‘Zoodle’ Bowl | Just Poké. Photo by Jeff Hobson

If the phrase “Eat your greens!” gives you childhood flashbacks of soggy, flavorless vegetables, and the notion of soup is sidelined to side-dish status, it’s time to rethink their reputation. Hearty and delicious enough to be a main course, these soups and salads are proof that nobody puts these meals in a corner.


Poke ‘Zoodle’ Bowl | Just Poké

Bellevue, Factoria, Kirkland, Renton, Issaquah, Redmond, and Seattle

The popularity of the Hawaiian favorite poke has created an explosion of eateries specializing in the marinated mixture of fresh raw fish, vegetables, and seasoning. Especially ideal for high-protein/gluten-free dietary needs, the ways of eating poke have expanded to include swapping out the typical rice base with zucchini “zoodles.” The squash is spiral-cut to create a noodle-like shape, and the texture is hearty enough to mix with the pieces of fish.

Courtesy Homegrown

Courtesy Homegrown

Bowl Menu | Homegrown

Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, and Seattle

Amped-up with flavors and textures, bowl meals are the new salads, packed with different cooked and raw ingredients that harmonize perfectly together. Homegrown’s chermoula roasted veggie bowl is full of roasted vegetables, lentils, cooked grains, dried fruit, and a mix of greens, and the spicy braised tofu bowl mixes creamy tofu with broccoli, cabbage, avocado, and a spicy citrus dressing. It’s a million different flavors in one bite, giving just the right balance of protein, fiber, and nutrients to stay energized all day. Or all morning — they also make breakfast bowls, using a mixture of greens and roasted veggies, topped with eggs.


Pesto ‘Pasta’ | Café Wylde


Whether you adhere to a vegan/raw diet or not, a restaurant that specializes in a plant-based menu is a delicious exploration of ingredients. What seems like a deceptively simple pasta salad is a combination of spiral-cut zucchini, glassine kelp-based noodles, a creamy avocado pesto, the sharp flavor of sun-dried tomatoes, and the meaty texture of king oyster mushrooms. Impressive and elegant.


Açaí Bowl | Kitanda

Kirkland, Redmond, Tukwila, and Seattle

Who says a salad has to be savory? A fruit- and grain-filled açaí bowl is the modern answer to the outdated, syrupy notion of a fruit salad. With a focus on the açaí berry, harvested from the Amazon region, full of nutrients and antioxidants, it adds a distinctive purple hue to bowls filled with banana, fresh berries, nuts, and granola. More like a dessert but with less of the guilt, it’s a fresh alternative for those with more of a sweet tooth.



Signature Salad Menu | Evergreens

Bellevue and Seattle

With a menu of 10 different salads, ranging from the classic Cobb, with names like Cobb Your Enthusiasm, to the superfood-filled Super Bowl with quinoa, nuts, and fresh pesto, this fast-growing chain of salad/wrap-focused foods keeps its eyes on whole ingredients with protein-rich options. Each salad can be made as a wrap, and ingredients can be easily swapped and customized to fit various dietary needs.


Meatless Salads | Garlic Crush

Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond

Another Meatless Monday, and while you’re tempted to get one of Garlic Crush’s grilled meat dishes, the colorful grain-rich tabbouleh salad or the crispy falafel salad is giving off the same heady aroma of garlic that you were already craving. Keep your resolution of a lower consumption of meat and still feel satisfied with salads full of robust Mediterranean flavors.



Chicken Salad Wrap | Swift & Savory

Duvall and various food truck stops

With a restaurant location now in Duvall, the Swift & Savory truck still makes regular stops throughout the Eastside — check its social media for the schedule. One popular item is a chicken salad with a sesame-style dressing, is wrapped in a tortilla for easy no-utensil eating. But don’t let the name “salad” fool you; it’s a feast that can easily feed two, and a great sharable item. Especially popular when the truck stops at breweries, it’s a hearty salad you can eat with your hands.


Loco Soba | Chop Express


Soba noodles, typically popular in salads as well as soups, get a hearty, hand-held fusion treatment thanks to the cool, hip-hop energy of Chop Express. Make no mistake: This is a heavy hitter, combining the noodles with Korean BBQ beef, eggs, cabbage, rice, even cheese, all wrapped up in a tortilla. Part of the “fusion” burrito menu, it’s like a mega-charged noodle salad in a wrap.



Chowder Sampler | Duke’s Seafood & Chowder

Bellevue, Seattle, Kent, Tukwila, and Tacoma

With a multi-award-winning chowder recipe and a long-lived culinary reputation in the Northwest, Duke’s knows soup is more than just a side dish. While it offers clam, mixed seafood, lobster, and corn chowders as full-bowl portions, the sampler menu is the way to have a little of everything. Mix and match chowders with the single, double, triple or quad “dinghy” sized mini portions. And guess what? They are all gluten-free.

Courtesy Boiling Point

Courtesy Boiling Point

Taiwanese Hot Pot | Boiling Point

Bellevue, Redmond, Seattle, Edmonds, and Tukwila

If soup as a sharable meal with a group seems unusual, you gotta give hot pot a try. Beloved throughout Asia, communal dining around soup is an interactive way to enjoy a hearty, almost-stew-like meal that can have any number of different ingredients, all piled into a giant self-cooking pot of boiling broth at the center of the table. Boiling Point encourages newcomers to hot pot eating, making the selection of ingredients simple and easy to understand, with curated themes ranging from a Taiwanese-inspired spicy seafood, beef and vegetable soup to an all-vegetable hotpot, with no meat or seafood.


Tsukemen | Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

Bellevue, Seattle, Northgate, and Southcenter

The growing popularity of Japanese-style ramen is happily making aficionados out of Northwesterners, joyfully slurping noodles to fight off the rainy chill. A change of pace with the same savory flavors, tsukemen is worth a try. The ramen noodles are served on the side, with meat and vegetables, and the broth, served in concentrated form, is more of a dipping sauce, letting the diner use as much or as little of it to flavor each bite. Think of it like a deconstructed ramen when you’re craving something a little different. 

11 Eastside Etsy Shops We Love

By Kirsten Abel | January 14, 2019

Left to Right - Photo Credits: JessicaAndriany, NatesMommyMadeIt, BookishPursuit

Left to Right - Photo Credits: JessicaAndriany, NatesMommyMadeIt, BookishPursuit

From stylish pillows to vintage books to customizable jewelry, these Eastside Etsy shops are full of locally-crafted treasures. So whether you’re looking for a gift or shopping for yourself, you’re sure to find a few goodies from the talented makers below.

1. Grace and Valiant – Kirkland

Simple, stylish pillows. We want one in every color.

Courtesy  Graceandvaliant  via Etsy.

Courtesy Graceandvaliant via Etsy.

2. Catshy Crafts – Bellevue

You had us at “taco headband.”

Courtesy  Catshycrafts  via Etsy.

Courtesy Catshycrafts via Etsy.

3. Jessica Andriany – Redmond

The perfect print for that blank spot on your wall.

Courtesy  JessicaAndriany  via Etsy.

Courtesy JessicaAndriany via Etsy.

4. Delicate and Layered – Kirkland

Dainty, classy jewelry for everyday wear. Read about the shop’s founder on 425 Business.

Courtesy Delicate & Layered.

Courtesy Delicate & Layered.

5. Nates Mommy Made It – Issaquah

We don’t care that Christmas is over. We want to display this “pair of otters” ornament all year long.

Courtesy  NatesMommyMadeIt  via Etsy.

Courtesy NatesMommyMadeIt via Etsy.

6. Bookish Pursuit – Bellevue

Because books are better when they’re charming and vintage.

Courtesy  BookishPursuit  via Etsy.

Courtesy BookishPursuit via Etsy.

7. Printed Nature 3D – Mukilteo

3D-printed homes for bees. Need we say more?

Courtesy  PrintedNature3D  via Etsy.

Courtesy PrintedNature3D via Etsy.

8. Betsy Farmer Designs – Snohomish

Super adorable, customizable jewelry.

Courtesy BetsyFarmerDesigns via Etsy.

Courtesy BetsyFarmerDesigns via Etsy.

9. Pretty Party Details – Bellevue

Cupcake toppers for almost every interest and occasion, including fishingbarbecue, and Ramadan.

Courtesy PrettyPartyDetails via Etsy.

Courtesy PrettyPartyDetails via Etsy.

10. Phoebes Keen Junk – Snohomish

A shop full of curated vintage items, like this leather satchel that we absolutely need.

Courtesy  PhoebesKeenJunk  via Etsy.

Courtesy PhoebesKeenJunk via Etsy.

11. 6by6 Arts – Woodinville

Handmade, Pacific Northwest-inspired goods. Read about the shop’s founders here.

Courtesy 6by6Arts via Etsy.

Courtesy 6by6Arts via Etsy.

12 Ski Resorts to Visit Across the Pacific Northwest

It’s a brand new season at these resorts. Time to ride new lifts, meet new owners, and hit a fresh new layer of powder.

By Allison Williams  12/18/2018 at 9:00am  Published in the January/February 2019 issue of Seattle Met

Whistler Village is a cozy hub at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb.  IMAGE:  COURTESY BRAD KASSELMAN / WHISTLER

Whistler Village is a cozy hub at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb.


Whistler Blackcomb

Après Scene / Expert Slopes / Lodging • Drive Time: 4 hour 15 minutes

New lift alert: British Columbia’s ski mecca (37 lifts!) claims the biggest uphill upgrade in the region, a 10-passenger gondola up the Blackcomb half of the two-mountain resort. Two other lift replacements helped spruce up the 8,000-plus acres this season and Whistler Village gained a pod hotel, the Pangea. With the Vail-owned twin behemoth now open to most season pass holders from Stevens, the weekend Whistler crowds aren’t likely to wane. At the end of the day, the après-ski scene is, as ever, well-prepared for the masses.

Mount Baker Ski Area

Expert Slopes / Bargain Tickets / Crowd-Free • Drive Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Some things never change at the state’s far-north ski hill, like Baker’s record-breaking levels of snowfall—often double that of other Northwest resorts—and its steady parade of Bellingham college students and ski bums, all of whom appreciate the affordable lift tickets. Owned by a mostly local collection of stockholders since its creation in 1953, the ski area resists pretension and courts snowboarders with the annual Legendary Banked Slalom competition. Aging lodges can’t sour the mountain’s long-held chill.

Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort

Family Friendly / Sunny Forecast / Crowd-Free • Drive Time: 3 hours

Wenatchee’s ski hill is practically in town, just a 20-minute drive up through city neighborhoods to slopes blessed by Central Washington sun. When the snow shows, it’s an airy powder, and crowds never approach Stevens levels. A planned expansion could add acres of beginner terrain and new lifts in a few years, but for now the charm comes from mid-run surprises like a slope side sundeck and an airplane wing left over from a crashed B-24 bomber, now mounted above Bomber Bowl.

Crystal Mountain lift tomfoolery.  IMAGE:  COURTESY CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT

Crystal Mountain lift tomfoolery.


Crystal Mountain Resort

Après Scene / Expert Slopes / Lodging  Drive Time: 2 hours

Washington’s sole gondola, Washington’s one true alpine village—it’s not wrong to call Crystal the state’s only world-class ski resort, especially when one grades on a Colorado or Whistler Blackcomb scale. Acquired by conglomerate Alterra last fall, Crystal could see even more expansion in coming years to ease congestion, but it already delivers varied terrain over 10 lifts, many mid-mountain lodges, night skiing, and viewpoints where Rainier appears so massive, it’s almost distracting.

Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area

Expert Slopes / Bargain Tickets / Crowd-Free • Drive Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Two short rope tows and a Poma lift are a throwback to ski resorts before express quads and RFID passes. That the Olympic National Park even hosts a ski area is a shock, but lift operations are limited to a small area near the Hurricane Ridge Lodge; expert skiers use the rope-tow boost to ski down to the park road and hitch a ride back to the parking lot. From the top of the ski hill, Vancouver Island looks close enough to bat with a mitten.

Young bombers at White Pass.  IMAGE:  COURTESY JASON HUMMEL

Young bombers at White Pass.


White Pass Ski Area

Family Friendly / Bargain Tickets / Night Skiing • Drive Time: 3 hours

Though perched on a relatively well-traveled east-west highway, White Pass manages to fly under the radar with its high-speed lifts and mellow runs that stretch back toward the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Largely frequented by South Sound and Yakima locals, its 2011 expansion gave skiers more breathing room and opened gladed, but not steep, terrain in its Paradise Basin. This year, the base lodges got a tune-up.

Sun Valley Resort

Après Scene / Sunny Forecast / Lodging • Drive Time: 10 hours 15 minutes

Presented by San Juan Island Visitors Bureau

Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains made ski history with the world’s first chairlifts; one inched up what is now Sun Valley’s small, family friendly Dollar Mountain back in the 1930s. Today, the resort prides itself on snowmaking in the cold, dry climate. The resort’s bigger Bald Mountain will add 380 more skiable acres next season with a new chairlift, but mountain guides will lead preview tours of the new Cold Springs Canyon terrain this year.

Stevens Pass Mountain Resort

Family Friendly / Expert Slopes / Night Skiing • Drive Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

What happens when the scrappy underdog of Northwest ski hills—with its creaky chairs, greasy lodge food, and lifties blasting tunes on the night shift—gets a Vail makeover? We’ll find out in the resort’s first season under the Colorado company’s umbrella (see “Washington’s Biggest Resorts Just Got Bought by Conglomerates”); the conglomerate finalized its acquisition of the Highway 2 mountain in August. Stevens Pass has always been Seattle’s most accessible serious ski spot, the parking lots filling before sunrise and emptying only after the late-night live music fades at the Foggy Goggle bar. When change comes, hopefully it won’t take away Stevens’ shaggy soul or its piping hot liquid-cheese nachos.

Timberline Ski Area lights up Mount Hood.  IMAGE:  COURTESY TIMBERLINE LODGE

Timberline Ski Area lights up Mount Hood.


Mount Hood

Night Skiing / Family Friendly / Lodging  Drive Time: 4 hours

Resorts crowd the Portland-area volcano, from sprawling Meadows and its varied slopes on the southeast to the Ski Bowl’s extensive night skiing terrain on the west. Timberline, based around the famous eponymous lodge, boasts a lift that reaches so high up Mount Hood it can sometimes host year-round skiing—we’ll see how long that lasts—and just acquired the family-friendly Summit area a few miles downhill at Government Camp.

Summit at Snoqualmie

Family Friendly / Lodging / Night Skiing • Drive Time: 1 hour

While the slopes may not be high at Seattle’s closest ski hill, the appeal is wide; four distinct zones meld into one resort that spans I-90, from the steep cliffs of Alpental to the beginner-friendly magic carpets of Summit Central. Expanded night skiing through the Silver Fir area this winter means as many as 13 chairlifts spin in the evening. It’s easy to forgo après ski when you can make turns right après work.

A boarder rides the Sun Peaks park.  IMAGE:  COURTESY ADAM STEIN / SUN PEAKS SKI RESORT

A boarder rides the Sun Peaks park.


Sun Peaks Ski Resort

Family Friendly / Sunny Forecast / Lodging • Drive Time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Like Whistler, but homier; like Sun Valley, but Canadian-er. It’s tempting to compare central BC’s ski resort to its brethren, but only Sun Peaks can boast a director of skiing like Nancy Greene. The Olympic gold medalist and Canadian ski hero not only helped build the resort town with her husband (the mayor), she also does free ski tours almost every afternoon. A brand-new quad chair eases access to the Sun Peaks slopes, which shoot up in every direction in BC’s interior mountains outside Kamloops.

Mount Bachelor Ski Resort

Family Friendly / Sunny Forecast / Après Scene • Drive Time 6 hours

While Mount Baker ski hill is actually on ridges next to the volcano, Oregon’s Mount Bachelor ski area is smack on its eponymous cinder cone, 11 lifts fanned around the mountain base. With more than 4,300 skiable acres, it’s one of the largest ski hills in the country, and its reliable sunshine and omnipresent craft brews cement it as a good-time destination. Just as in the outdoorsy, beer-sodden town of Bend down the road, there’s always a Bachelor party to be found.

7 Ways To Beat The ViaDoom Blues By Train, Bus, And More

Whether you're coming from Sumner or Edmonds, ViaDoom will probably slow your commute. Here are some alternate routes to consider.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Jan 13, 2019 7:29 pm ET | Courtesy of


SEATTLE, WA — About 54 percent of the people who responded to our ViaDoom survey said they plan to continue to commute by car through the three-week SR 99 shutdown.

We'd like to make a suggestion, however: don't drive during ViaDoom if you can help it.

Why? Because there are better, cheaper, low-stress ways to get into Seattle (or around it). Whether you live in Puyallup, Woodivnille, or downtown Seattle, the viaduct closure is probably going to have some impact on your commute, so why not try a new way?

Here are seven alternative ways to get into and out of Seattle during ViaDoom.

7) Bike paths. Whether you're an experienced biker or a New Year's-resolution newbie, there are some great, safe bike paths that can get you into downtown Seattle. The Green River and Interurban trails are a good option if you're coming from the south. The Interurban Trail, for example, begins 17 miles south in Pacific. Here are some other good bike paths (these are also walking and jogging paths):

  • From Shoreline or Edmonds: Pick up the Interurban Trail along North 200th just east of Costco; it's a 3-mile ride to 145th and Aurora in Seattle where you can catch the E Line.

  • From Mercer Island or Bellevue: Starting at Enatai Beach Park in Bellevue, it's a 6-1/2 mile ride to Jackson Street and 12th Avenue in Seattle, where you can catch a bus or the Seattle Streetcar.

  • From Northwest Bellevue and Kirkland: From the Evergreen Point park-and-ride, it's a 3-1/2 mile bike ride to the UW light rail station near Husky Stadium.

6) Bike share. Speaking of bikes, did you know that Seattle is littered with Lime and JUMP bikes? You can use these bikes for your last mile trip - say from a light rail or bus stop to your workplace. If you must drive, you could even park in a Seattle neighborhood, grab a bike, and pedal to wherever you need to go.

Not to mention, the two companies are offering discounts during ViaDoom: JUMP is waiving its $1 unlock fee through Feb. 15; Lime is offering $1 off rides from West Seattle with the code PMCLIME.

5) Seattle Streetcar. Maybe not as cool as its big brother, Link light rail, the streetcar is actually a great way to avoid downtown Seattle, and pretty under-utilized (as of June, about 5,000 people per day used the streetcar, according to SDOT). The new First Hill streetcar starts in Pioneer Square, but it completely avoids the downtown core on its trip up to First Hill and then Capitol Hill. If you commute from south Puget Sound to either of those neighborhoods, consider ditching your car for a Sounder-to-streetcar route.

4) Ferry. King County Metro has added a second vessel to the West Seattle water taxi route. If you take 509 to work, you can get off at the 1st Avenue South bridge and take West Marginal Way to Harbor Avenue and the ferry terminal.

3) Bonus for 509 drivers. Another way to hack the 509-to-99 commute is via the West Seattle Bridge trail. The trail runs alongside the West Seattle Bridge and then heads north up West Marginal Way, dumping you in Pioneer Square. The trail links with the Green River Trail coming from the south at Spokane Street. It's about 30 minutes by bike from South Park to Pioneer Square using this route.

2) Rideshare. If you're going to drive, please don't do it alone. Every person that uses rideshare means one less car out on the roads - and that's more time in your pocket. Visit http://www.rideshareonline.comto find someone to commute with.

1) Link light rail. This is hands down the best transportation option around. It's fast, comfortable, and cheap. And remember: even if you've never taken it, you're paying Sound Transit taxes. Light rail is a great bet for anyone commuting from south of Seattle.

Light rail is a wonderful option if you're coming from the south. The brand new Angle Lake station in SeaTac is served by the RapidRide A line, which starts at the Federal Way transit center. From downtown Renton, you can take the 560 bus or RapidRide F line to the International Boulevard station. This is even a good option for commuters coming from Newcastle or south Bellevue.

The best part about light rail: the trains will never get caught in a traffic jam.

No matter how you choose to get to work during ViaDoom, we wish you luck!

Image courtesy SDOT

Eastside Rail Corridor Rebranding in 2019

The Eastside Rail Corridor will connect the existing Kirkland trails with Snohomish County, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue and Renton. Photo courtesy of King County

The Eastside Rail Corridor will connect the existing Kirkland trails with Snohomish County, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue and Renton. Photo courtesy of King County

Options for a new name for the trail include The Eastway, The 425, The Eastrail and The E.

The Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC), the multi-purpose corridor connecting Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and Redmond, is getting a new name and brand in 2019.

Currently, the ERC includes trail segments such as the Cross Kirkland Corridor and the Redmond Central Connector, along with part of Sound Transit’s light rail line in Bellevue. In the future, the ERC will include a continuous trail, more high-capacity transit and expanded use for utilities serving the Eastside.

King County and local partner cities and agencies will select one of several options for the corridor’s new identity. The four candidate names being considered by the ERC Regional Advisory Council are: The Eastway, The 425, The Eastrail and The E.

The four names resulted from a variety of outreach efforts, including a survey of more than 2,000 community members, stakeholder interviews and input sessions, discussions with people on the street and trail users and an analysis of other trail brands from around the country.

Once a name is chosen, a full brand including logos and taglines will be developed. The branding process is intended to make more people aware of the Eastside Rail Corridor as a signature connector for Eastside communities.

The Cross Kirkland Corridor and Redmond Central Connector names won’t change; the county is only considering renaming the ERC as a whole.

Once completed, this 42-mile recreational trail will connect the Cedar River Trail and Lake to Sound Trail with the SR 520 Trail, the I-90 Trail, Redmond Central Connector the Cross Kirkland Corridor, the Sammamish River Trail and the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

See for more, and take the naming survey at

Cheap Eats 2018: 30 Dishes For Morning, Noon, and Night

Costs keep rising, bills are due, and oh my god do you really have to pay parking meters until 10pm now? Here are the city’s best places where a relatively small outlay* can carry you through the day.

*Cheap is in the eye of the beholder: One person’s rocking value is another’s ludicrously overpriced sandwich.


Westman’s tiny sidewalk bagel shop.  IMAGE:  SARA MARIE D’EUGENIO

Westman’s tiny sidewalk bagel shop.


Breakfast Burrito • Taco Street

Breakfast magic happens all day long across from the Othello light rail station: chorizo, cheddar, fluffy eggs, and diced potato in a $7 package so dense it requires actual physical exertion to lift. Or, get that same combo inside a $2.50 oversize breakfast taco. 

Bagel and Schmear • Westman’s Bagel and Coffee

That cubby on East Madison Street that looks like a Wes Anderson–designed diorama? Actually a welcome outpost for legitimately great bagels. Maldon salt and scallion, pumpernickel with dill and black pepper—any combo of schmear and chewy bagel is great (and $6 after tax), but Friday lines are extra long, thanks to the special challah and caviar schmear.

B-Side’s grain bowl is equal parts tasty and photogenic.  IMAGE:  CHONA KASINGER

B-Side’s grain bowl is equal parts tasty and photogenic.


Rice Bowl • B-Side

This pastel-tiled nook on Capitol Hill illustrates chef Jake Vorono’s philosophy of “healthy without harping on about it” with a grain bowl so glorious it demands harping: puffed wild rice and amaranth, roasted vegetables like broccoli and turnips, chickpea-miso dressing, and on top a delightfully runny soft-boiled egg. Ten bucks never tasted so wholesome.

Spanish Fly Biscuit Sandwich •  Morsel

The town’s biscuit sandwich benchmark is this unruly stack of prosciutto, arugula, and fried egg, with manchego cheese plus a smear of aioli piqued with Mama Lil’s, all for $9. This modest U District cafe makes biscuits that are almost crisp on the outside, yet soft and fluffy within.

Chocolate and vanilla cream from Side Hustle.

Chocolate and vanilla cream from Side Hustle.

Doughnut Newcomers

Side Hustle: This popup brings superb, whisper-light little brioche bundles to Georgetown’s Lowercase Brewing—and uses the brewer’s spent grain in its flour ($4.50 for a half dozen).

Tempesta Lovers of cake doughnuts will dig the chewy, golden (yeasted) offerings at this Belltown coffee shop ($2 each).

Raised Doughnuts Sugar-dusted mochi rings, honey cruellers, electric-pink raspberry holes—they’re all craveable, and they’re forthcoming in spring at this popup-turned-bakeshop (about $3 each).


Banh Mi • Lan Hue

Chinatown–International District doesn’t lack for Vietnamese sandwiches. But the more the better, especially at this Jackson Street sandwich shop where a family of charming sandwich smiths build all manner of banh mi to order (all $4 each), such as one with housemade pâté and thin slices of cured ham on a freshly baked baguette.

Original Steak •  King Philly Cheesesteaks

What dark art of the grill injects the taste of peppers and onions into the very essence of the finely chopped beef? How is it that meat juice and cheese sauce fuse into a superstrain of flavor? The $10 cheesesteak from this tidy Rainier Valley strip mall may not yield answers—but probably leftovers.

Basar Hummus •  Aviv Hummus Bar

A spread of smoothly blended chickpeas, tahini, and a bit of lemon isn’t merely a side dish; rather it’s the dish, and a great one, inside owner David Nussbaum’s Capitol Hill cafe. Hummus is the foundation for the $13 basar, shawarma-spiced ground beef topped with pine nuts and accompanied by warm pita bread and house pickles.

Caribbean Roast •  Un Bien

Attention to detail makes this $11.50 sandwich legend: Tender pork shoulder, brightened by marinade. The crunch of oversize grilled onions, the unifying sheen of garlic-forward aioli. Structured buns that can handle it all and not get soggy. Two sons and a pair of bright-pink shacks on either end of Ballard carry on the family tradition that began with the original Paseo.

Hot oil noodles at Xi’an Noodles  IMAGE:  SARAH FLOTARD

Hot oil noodles at Xi’an Noodles


Hot Oil Noodles •  Xi’an Noodles

The simplest $10 preparation at this U District noodle house is also the best showcase for its broad, rustic Xi’an–style biang biang noodles: just some searing hot oil to magnify the charms of chilies, garlic, soy sauce, and bean sprouts. Make sure to inhale the aroma before you dive in.

World Traveler Salad •  Plum Chopped

On Capitol Hill, next door to Plum Bistro, owner Makini Howell’s first vegan restaurant, is her latest: a walk-up counter that serves healthful salads like this one of chopped romaine, coriander-rubbed tofu, red peppers, tangerine, and toasted tumeric pepitas. Even the fiercely carnivorous can quell hunger for about $10.

Chirashi •  Fremont Bowl

Cheap isn’t a word to use with raw fish, so let’s call the $15 rice bowl that overflows with marbled salmon, tuna, shrimp, and eel a screaming value for the glistening abundance of high-quality fish. Come for lunch, when crowds at this cheerful new donburi shop aren’t quite as crazy. 

Half Sandwich and Salad •  Michou

Pike Place Market’s midday miracle: this case of sandwiches (crispy chicken, beef poblano, brie with tomato) pressed on order until warm and toasty. Maybe order half a sandwich and round out lunch via the endless parade of salads by the pound. A proper meal can run $10, even with dessert.

A chicken sandwich with kale salad from Michou (right); its sando-filled deli case.  IMAGE:  CHONA KASINGER

A chicken sandwich with kale salad from Michou (right); its sando-filled deli case.


Jibneh with Za’atar •  Mamnoon Street

That superlative housemade man’oushe flatbread meets the soft, salty white cheese known as jibneh—not to mention an herb-forward riot of mint, tomato, green olives, and za’atar spices. It’s an $11 lunch that’s light, but also comforting.

Oysters, the Original Fast Casual

Long before there were grain bowls or poke bars, another fast-casual phenom proliferated in the Northwest. They came in their own, mostly calcium carbonate container, nature’s to-go box, compostable before it was hip (or lawful). Oysters were surely fast—unhinge that jagged exterior with a swift shuck, then down it in one briny slurp. And what’s more casual than a food plucked directly from cool tidelands?

However, mollusks from low shores skew high-end these days. Lucky us, Seattle has many a seafood den with an oyster happy hour. Along Lake Union find White Swan Public House, where oysters on the half shell can run $1 to $1.75. Meanwhile, rows of $2 oysters await daily upon crushed ice beds at Ballard Annex Oyster HouseTaylor Shellfish cultivates much of the state’s tidal flats and runs three oyster bars in town, all of which have a rotating happy hour oyster for under two bucks.

And, unlike a grain bowl, they’re perfect with beer. —RS 


Classic Mix •  Pel Meni Dumpling Tzar

Somehow steaming hot, dough-wrapped bundles of beef and potato are best inhaled in the wee hours—perhaps after frequenting the many bars that surround the Fremont and Capitol Hill locations, perhaps because no one really needs a reason for a $9 bowl of Russian-style dumplings, dusted with curry powder and doused with red-chili rice vinegar.

Corn Dog •  Unicorn

Get thee to Capitol Hill’s unabashedly weird bar to sate those midnight carnival hankerings. Slather the corn dog in toppings, should you so desire, but the original can’t be beat: hand dipped in cornmeal batter that, when fried, forms a golden crust. A $6 corndog never felt so right.

Aloha Tots •  Marination

It’s a Midwest tater tot casserole after a journey of self-discovery in the Pacific: crispy tots and kalua pork beneath a lava flow of red kimchi sauce, white mayo, and the yolk of a fried egg. It’s $10, only available at the Denny Regrade location, and even better with one of the beers on tap.

Don’t plan on being productive after a round of Aloha Tots from Marination’s Regrade location.  IMAGE:  CHONA KASINGER

Don’t plan on being productive after a round of Aloha Tots from Marination’s Regrade location.


The Tavern Burger •  Loretta’s Northwesterner

It’s been a cheap-eats legend for years, and rightfully so. South Park’s famed $4.50 burger tastes like fond memories from a midcentury small-town drive-in—fat slice of cheese melted over a slender chargrilled patty, squishy bun, sprinkle of onion, and coins of dill pickle. The tavern’s been-here-forever ambience is just a bonus.

Steak Tartare Club •  Mean Sandwich

A refined appetizer, a barometer of a chef’s deft hand—the tartare is usually the stuff of finer dining, but in Ballard it’s stuffed between two slices of rye bread, wonderfully dressed with yuzu kosho mayo, and, at $13, the most exquisite bite issued forth from this small sandwich shop.

Fried Chicken Sandwich •  Ma‘ono U Village

Mark Fuller applied his fried chicken know-how to a masterpiece of a sandwich sold at a counter inside the Rachel’s Ginger Beer at University Village. The chicken crackles like fireworks and is just about as hot; thank goodness for the cooling properties of kewpie mayo, pickled daikon, and crunchy iceberg, all in a sweet bun. This massive, marvelous $11 sandwich stays crunchy even for takeout. 


Pizza by the Slice

It’s the ultimate cheap eat, classed up of late with double the pepperoni—or even taco meat, or a combo of mortadella, fontina, and ricotta—on a perfectly chewy crust (but still just $4) at Mark Fuller’s Supreme pizza tavern in West Seattle. At Southpaw, John Sundstrom’s wood-fired pizzeria on 12th Avenue, $6 gets you a quarter pie that might sport Italian sausage and basil-mint pesto or chorizo and padron peppers. But if you prefer your pizza slices giant, folded, and consumed after copious booze, Hot Mama’s is the gold standard and, at $2.50 a slice, one alluringly greasy bargain; Big Mario’s $4 behemoths are available until 2am in three locations around the city. 

Taste Transcends Distance at Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen

By Denise Sakaki | December 27, 2018

photos courtesy Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen

photos courtesy Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen

The Thai salutation, or wai, a gentle bow with hands clasped in a prayer-like style, is a gesture of greeting or departure, and a sign of respect and gratitude. As instinctive as a friendly handshake or a wave of the hand, wai is an expression of human connection and deeply held traditions in Thai culture, and it’s regularly bestowed as one is welcomed into Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen in Kirkland.

When Jennifer “Jenny” Politanont and husband Saravut Nawasangarun decided to settle down and raise a family in Kirkland, they arrived with a vision to expand the Eastside’s palate beyond the comfort zone of pad Thai. They arrived from Thailand with a unique background of having careers as successful artists in the entertainment industry, as well as the experience of starting and running their own restaurants in the busy cityscape of Bangkok.

Their restaurateur pedigree was earned by hands-on experience — they managed and ran their businesses and evolved them over time, trying different things. Through this process they came to learn their own personal “restaurant style” that would eventually become the concept of Isarn, which first opened along the Kirkland waterfront in 2014, then followed with a second location in Lynnwood.


A labor of love, Isarn is both the taste and essence of Thailand. Politanont gestures to the rich, dark tropical wood integrated with the restaurant interiors, and the textures of bamboo on the wall décor — most of the materials were brought over from Thailand to truly evoke a sense of place. The chefs are all from Thailand, bringing their own regional experiences to the kitchen. The restaurant logo is a patterned silhouette of the Isarn region (also spelled Isan, among several variations), the northeast portion of Thailand unique for its diversity of influences. It shares a border with Laos, and the region has a lush integration of culture; languages; and of course, food. Politanont describes how the composition of the restaurant menu, while not exclusive to the Isarn area, conveys the overall influence of the cuisine that has permeated what most would generally consider Thai food.

The popular streetside vendors’ simple preparation of ingredients to showcase flavor is apparent in Isarn’s fresh-made curries with essential oils of lemongrass and chili peppers. The region’s landlocked location in Thailand reflects the use of more meat than seafood, and the Isarn menu is populated with soups and stews featuring rich cuts of pork belly or beef, braised slowly to enrich the broth with flavor and texture. Even in the chill of a Northwest winter, Isarn’s salads are hearty and possess that ideal balance of what Thai cuisine excels in: the complex layering of fresh, raw ingredients like cucumber, bean sprouts, and mint, paired with grilled meats; seafood and vegetables; sharp notes of pickled vegetables; and the robustness of fermented, preserved flavors like fish sauce or anchovies.

Guests familiar with living in Thailand will indulge in the “Everything” Papaya Salad, made with the traditional tart; green strips of papaya fruit; crunchy bean sprouts; peanuts and fried pork rinds, along with the added “Isarn style” of fermented crab and anchovies to bring it to an intense flavor crescendo.

Along with their “power couple” celebrity status in Thailand, Politanont and Nawasangarun are equally well-matched as Northwest restaurateurs. “My husband is the one that works in the kitchen most of the time,” Politanont says. “He’s not a chef himself, but he knows what he likes. He has traveled a lot, constantly eating out in Thailand, getting ideas, like, ‘Oh, this is going to be good!’” While crediting her husband as the flavor/food curator who guides the menu as it evolves over time, both are experienced business owners, and Isarn’s menu has been designed for authenticity while matching the Eastside pace.

Dishes are designed to have all the layers of texture and ingredients, and able to be served to smaller groups, as the more traditional family style of eating with large parties isn’t as prevalent here. The incredible growth of the Eastside — Kirkland, especially — has increased the workday lunch crowd, and one of Isarn’s most-ordered dishes is the Hat Yai Fried Chicken topped with fried shallots and garlic — simple and just as popular with Thai street food vendors, it’s quickly become a local favorite. Politanont laughs, “Everyone loves fried chicken.”

Whether it’s the bustling streets of Bangkok or the changing landscape of the Eastside, the heart of Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen is its people, and the fact that it’s a family business in constant connection to its culture. “I have my mom, my brother, my sister working here now. We all live together; we’re always touching base about the business,” Politanont says of this deeply personal work dynamic. She describes how they’re always having food from their own restaurants, sampling and testing dishes between the two locations, making regular adjustments. This commitment is rewarded with guests commenting regularly how something in particular tastes like a dish from home, and transplants from Thailand have been coming to Isarn since it opened, bringing visitors and spreading the restaurants’ popularity.


Politanont loves seeing guests, upon returning from a trip to Thailand, expressing the wai, welcoming the encouragement to eat the sticky rice in the traditional manner of using one’s fingers, connecting that much more to the experience.

One of Politanont’s favorite dishes is one she can have from the restaurant kitchen, or on a busy street in Bangkok — a simple papaya salad (with sticky rice, of course), expressing the ability of food to transcend distance, that no matter how far we are from home or family, we can have that sense of place over a shared meal.

A Look Back at Kirkland in 2018

Greg McClellan of Kirkland assembles the complex album cover art puzzle for the first time. Madison Miller/staff photo.

Greg McClellan of Kirkland assembles the complex album cover art puzzle for the first time. Madison Miller/staff photo.

A Look Back at Kirkland in 2018

The top Reporter stories for 2018. | Wednesday, December 26, 2018 10:42am | Courtesy of

The end of the year is quickly approaching and with 2018 coming to a close, here is a look at some of the top Reporter stories for the year.



“Hospital gets all clear after ‘rifle’ turns out to be umbrella”: EvergreenHealth went into lockdown on Jan. 17 when a suspicious person was reported to be walking around the hospital with a rifle. The man in question turned out to be a hospital employee, who contacted police once he saw his photo on social media and told law enforcement that the “rifle” was actually an ornate umbrella with a sword hilt handle.


“Local gymnastics community calls for change in culture”: Following the more than 150 girls and women who gave victim impact statements during the sentencing of USA Gymnastics’ disgraced national doctor Larry Nassar, the Reporter spoke with members of the local gymnastics community to get their thoughts and reactions on the situation.


“‘School is a place to learn’”: In the wake of the shooting on Feb. 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students across the country added their voices to the national conversation on gun control — including students at Juanita High School. Students participated in a walkout protest and shared thoughts on what they would like to see done to keep them safe at school.


“State Rep. Joan McBride calls it a career”: Longtime Eastside leader and former Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride announces her retirement, set for the end of her term this year. McBride has spent 25 years as an elected official and was elected to represent the 48th Legislative District in 2014. Following McBride’s retirement announcement, Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen announced she would be running for the soon-to-be-vacant position.


“Kirkland starts community dialogue on gun safety”: Kirkland residents, including those who own guns, ask City Council to adopt a gun safety resolution. About 750 people signed a position asking elected officials to consider holding community events, adding gun safety to the city legislative agenda and promoting educational programs on gun rights and responsibilities as well as mental health resources.


“Suspect killed during police shooting was armed convicted felon”: Redmond police shot and killed a 39-year-old man at the Kirkland Safeway gas station. The suspect was a convicted felon and suspect in an ongoing Redmond Police Department investigation. Kirkland police investigated the case.


“Body near Maltby was missing Kenmore mother; it was homicide”: Jamie Haggard who lived in Kenmore, near the Kirkland border, had gone missing in 2016. At the time, her disappearance was ruled suspicious. Her body had been discovered in Maltby in May of this year and it took the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office a few months to confirm her identity.


“A farewell to long-time employee at USPS”: After serving the Kirkland community for 50 years, 68-year-old Phil Hill retires from the U.S. Postal Service. When he started with USPS, there were a total of 13 routes in the community. Now there are more than 60 routes throughout Kirkland.

Kirkland firefighters and Puget Sound Energy staff examine the aftermath of a four-hour fire that destroyed the Rose Hill Village in September. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Kirkland firefighters and Puget Sound Energy staff examine the aftermath of a four-hour fire that destroyed the Rose Hill Village in September. Kailan Manandic/staff photo


“Locals rally around business incinerated by Rose Hill fire”: A fire destroyed Rose Hill Village, leaving seven businesses without retail space, including Decks and Spas, which had nothing but ash to salvage. In response, community members rallied to support the business with a GoFundMe campaign, which raised about $12,000 for Decks and Spas.


“Kirkland man creates 48-hour-long concept album”: Greg McClellan spent nearly 20 years on an album dedicated to his childhood friend Curt. “Listen2Daze” features 400 songs on 39 discs, combining Curt’s recorded testimonies with his life’s story and friendship with McClellan.


“How a community responds to systematic racism, implicit bias”: After Byron Ragland, a black man, was asked to “move along” while in Menchies in Totem Lake without purchasing anything, the Kirkland community responded to the incident with apologies from the police and city, a protest in front of the frozen yogurt shop as well as a community meeting.


“City mourns passing of long-time planning, building director”: After a multi-year battle with cancer, former Kirkland planning, building director Eric Shields died on Nov. 23. He began working for the city in 1977. A celebration of Shield’s life is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Kirkland Performance Center.

Last-Minute Plans: 84 Free, Cheap & Easy Holiday Things To Do In Seattle: Dec 20-25, 2018

Ugly Sweater Parties, Holiday Light Displays, and More $10-and-Under Events

by Stranger Things To Do Staff

Celebrate Christmas Eve and support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with a ragtag bunch of local folk-rockers like Spank Williams & Friends (pictured) at the    15th Annual Blue Moon Christmas Pageant   . COURTESY OF BLUE MOON TAVERN

Celebrate Christmas Eve and support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with a ragtag bunch of local folk-rockers like Spank Williams & Friends (pictured) at the 15th Annual Blue Moon Christmas Pageant. COURTESY OF BLUE MOON TAVERN

Whether you're sticking around Seattle for the holidays and have a limited budget or you're hosting out-of-town family and looking for something you can all do that won't break the bank, we've got you covered. Below, find all of your options for last-minute holiday entertainment from December 20–25 that won't cost more than $10, ranging from the Music of A Charlie Brown Christmas to Mystery Drag Queen Theater 3000: Holiday Edition, and from ugly sweater parties like W Seattle's Eat, Drink & Be Ugly to Populuxe Brewing's annual Orphan's Christmas. For even more options, check out our list of non-holiday-related cheap & easy things to do this weekend and into next week, our list of places to see holiday lights, or our complete winter holidays calendar.



1. Love Actually Movie Night & Blanket Drive
Watch Love Actually, the lengthiest (and cutest) British Christmas movie of modern times, for free in a heated beer garden. Don't forget to bring a warm blanket to donate to those in need. 
(Ballard, free)


2. Sit Ubu Sit, Dancer and Prancer
Festive surf rockers Dancer and Prancer will headline this holiday show, where you can also play trivia in pursuit of prizes, knowing that all proceeds will benefit Seattle Dogs Homeless Program.  
(Columbia City, $8/$10)

3. Snuff Redux, MONSTERWATCH, Beverly Crusher, Rat Queen, Actionesse, Coach Phillips
Raise money and donate toys to families in need by dancing to live sets from local rockers Snuff Redux, MONSTERWATCH, Beverly Crusher, Actionesse, Rat Queen, and Coach Phillips. 
(Capitol Hill, $10)


4. Everett Makers Market Ugly Sweater Party Last Minute Gifts
Guzzle two-dollar pints of Scuttlebutt in your ugly sweater while you do some last-minute gift shopping from local vendors such as Knits Fiber Co., the Art of Rosemary, and Vertical Gardens. 
(Everett, free)

5. Firestone Walker Ugly Sweater Party
Dust off your most hideous holiday hand-me-down and enter an ugly sweater contest. This event will also have games, crafting, and plenty of beer and wine.  
(Fremont, free)

6. Kris Kringle's Christmas Mingle 2
With some help from a horn section, local musicians Zechariah Valette and Johnny Durango will play all your holiday favorites while a live painter makes art before your eyes. You can also snap a photo in a "winter wonderland" photo booth and drink special drinks.  
(Belltown, free)

7. Ugly Sweater Night with Fremont Brewing
Grab a pint from one of several Fremont Brewing taps and a sandwich from Make Me a Sandwich and party in your ugly sweater.  
(West Seattle, free)

8. A Winter Function
Celebrate Sagittarius season, the winter solstice, and the holidays with fiery sounds by DJs X2050 and Pax. Festive attire is encouraged.  
(Beacon Hill, $5/$10)


9. Queen4Queen: Ho! Ho! Hoe!
Get slutty for the holidays with drag divas Baby Guuurl, Bosco, Canolli, and Indika Haze. Come early to revel before the performances start. 
(Capitol Hill, free)


10. Night Market at Pike Place
Pike Place's New MarketFront Pavilion will stay open late for your last-minute gift needs. Find hand-crafted goods from shops like Bar Bazaar, Brooke Westlund Studio + Gallery, the Carrot Flower Company, the Paper Feather, and Ugly Baby. Come hungry to fill up on bites from indi chocolate, Honest Biscuits, Piroshky Piroshky, and El Chito. 
(Downtown, free)



11. Pioneer Square Holidays 2018
For a hub of holiday cheer, head over to Pioneer Square for giveaways from neighborhood businesses at free horse-drawn carriage rides in Occidental Square, the Pilchuck Holiday Sale, and other events. 
(Pioneer Square, free)


12. It's a Wrap Winter Wonderland + DJ Experience
Gaze at a flurry of snow created by digital video mapping while you cozy up by a fire, sip cocktails, and enjoy live DJs. 
(Downtown, free)


13. Solstice Stroll
Brighten up the darkest days of the year by walking through an illuminated garden, which will be open each day until the winter solstice passes. 
(Shoreline, $10 suggested donation)



14. Christmas Ship Fesitval
Every holiday season, the Spirit of Seattle (Argosy Cruises's "Official Christmas Ship") sails to 65 Washington waterfronts, bringing Christmas choirs and sparkling light displays to onlookers.
(Various locations, free)



15. Snowflake Lane
Flurries of snow (the kind that shoots out of a machine) dust the streets as bright lights, festive music, toy drummers, and other emblems of magical holiday cheer fill the streets for nightly parades. 
(Bellevue, free)

16. Swansons Reindeer Festival
Shop a variety of seasonal plants, bulbs, arrangements, and Christmas trees, as well as other gifts like books, jewelry, and home decor, at the decked-out nursery. Plus, visit with Santa and his real-life reindeer, check out model trains, and enjoy live music throughout the season. 
(Crown Hill, free)


17. Evergreen Lights
Eat cookies and drink cocoa while you gaze at 500,000 lights flickering to choreographed music like little dancing lumens. 
(Bothell, free)


18. The Dickens Carolers
The Dickens Carolers will return to serenade you with holiday ditties while you eat and drink festive treats.  
(First Hill, free)
No performance Dec 23



19. It's a Wonderful Life
Shortly after It's a Wonderful Life's 1946 release, James Agee, one of the few American film critics of that era still worth reading, noted the film's grueling aspect. "Often," he wrote, "in its pile-driving emotional exuberance, it outrages, insults, or at least accosts without introduction, the cooler and more responsible parts of the mind." These aesthetic cautions are followed, however, by a telling addendum: "It is nevertheless recommended," Agee allowed, "and will be reviewed at length as soon as the paralyzing joys of the season permit." Paralyzing joys are the very heart of George Bailey's dilemma; they are, to borrow words from George's father, "deep in the race." The sacrifices George makes for being "the richest man in town" resonate bitterly even as they lead to the finale's effusive payoff. Those sacrifices are what make It's a Wonderful Life, in all its "Capraesque" glory, endure. This year marks the 48th consecutive year Grand Illusion has played the film. SEAN NELSON 
(University District, $9)


20. Garden d’Lights
Walk among "half a million" sparkling lights in the shapes of flowers, plants, birds, and waterfalls at this annual holiday display. 
(Bellevue, free/$5)



21. Winterfest
From a winter train village to an ice rink, and from music and dance performances to ice sculpting, Winterfest promises five weeks of free festive cheer for all ages. Don' miss a holiday surf-rock show from Dancer & Prancer (Dec 21), a performance from the Sierra's Latin Jazz Project (Dec 22), and Jingle Bell Rock, A Puppet Show (Dec 23).
(Seattle Center, free)


22. Family Christmas Spectacular
Sip hot cocoa in your car while you watch a glittering light display. Don't forget to bring non-perishable food donations for the West Seattle Food Bank. There will be extra special shows on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so don't miss out.
(West Seattle, free)

23. Keener Christmas
Take part in a north-end tradition by driving under a towering archway leading to 500,000 lights strung by Bothell couple Jeff and Candice Keener. Santa has been known to hand out candy canes to spectators, so keep your eyes peeled. Plus, bring canned food to donate to HopeLink. 
(Bothell, free)

24. Maple Valley Lights
Tune your car radio to 101.9FM "Listen To The Lights" and drive through a neighborhood decked out in holiday light displays. There will be extra special shows on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so don't miss out. 
(Maple Valley, free)

25. Olympic Manor
Ballard homeowners go all out at this community light display. Crank up the Christmas tunes and take a drive through the neighborhood. 
(Ballard, free)


26. Hometown Holidays in the Junction
All throughout the holiday season, head to West Seattle for all kinds of all-ages activities like late-night shopping and a holiday farmers market on Dec 30. 
(West Seattle, free)



27. Candy Cane Lane
1920s-era Tudor homes in Ravenna have been boasting impressive light displays every holiday season since 1949. Stroll along Northeast Park Road taking in Nutcracker-themed havens complete with sleighs, reindeer, sugar plum fairies, and blow-up candy canes galore. 
(Ravenna, free)

28. Clam Lights
Every night, Ivar's powers up the park with thousands of Christmas lights depicting various clammy characters. Is this where clams go to heaven after you eat them at Ivar's? 
(Renton, free)


29. Holiday Express Train and Poinsettia Display
The holiday train will return to the Volunteer Park Conservatory to weave its way through festive poinsettias. 
(Capitol Hill, $4)


30. Gingerbread Village
For the 26th year in a row, diabetes research center JDRF Northwest has invited local architecture firms to use their skills for a holiday tradition: crafting an elaborate gingerbread village, this year with the theme of "Welcome to Whoville." See five life-size whimsical Seussian creations in person throughout the season, accompanied by clips from the classic 1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(Downtown, $5 suggested donation)
Closed on Dec 25


31. Maple Leaf Lights
Take some time to appreciate the lengths to which people have gone to illuminate their houses with impressive Christmas light displays. 
(Maple Leaf, free)



32. Winter Wonderland at Redmond Town Center
Enjoy an ice skating rink, a carousel, live entertainment, visits from Santa, and more family-friendly activities throughout the winter season. 
(Redmond, free)



33. Snow Day in Denny Park
Denny Park's winter light display will provide a magical, twinkly respite from your day. 
(Queen Anne, free)



34. SAD Queers: A Holiday Comedy Special
Leaven the darkest day of the year with comedy sets by delightful queers like Andy Iwancio, Aila Slisco, Summer Azim, Graham Downing, Vee Chattie, Melissa Beadle, Amethyst de Wolfe, and Llynn Marks. Clara Pluton will host this benefit for TransWomen of Color Collective. 
(University District, $5-$10 suggested donation)


35. Film & Discussion: The Black Candle
Watch the "first feature film on Kwanzaa," narrated by Maya Angelou and directed by M.K. Ashante, then discuss it afterwards with Africatown members. 
(Columbia City, free)


36. Holiday Latin Dance Party
Dance to "every tropical rhythm" in the book, from salsa and bachata to merengue and cumbia, at this holiday DJ dance party.  
(Sodo, $5/$10)

37. The LOST Holiday Party
Los Angeles-based DJ Dan (once a resident of Seattle) will headline this holiday party with support from Dig-Dug, Dot Diggler, Buckmode, Christian Jackson, and others. Drink some eggnog and dance.  
(Downtown, free)

38. NorthLeft 005: Timbre Room Holiday Party
Mix up your usual holiday music routine by getting down to house and techno with DJ Jesse Leer, who'll be joined by NorthLeft, Tony H, and locals Alex Flores and Derrick Deep.  
(Downtown, $8)

39. REVEL Ugly Sweater Party!
Express your feelings about the holidays by dancing to an energetic blend of hiphop, Latin dance beats, Top 40, and bass music in your ugly sweater.  
(Capitol Hill, free)

40. Three Fingers, Heck Yes, Boss Tanaka
Join local punk rockers Three Fingers for their second annual Christmas show, with more local support from Heck Yes and Boss Tanaka. 
(University District, $7)


41. Da 3rd Annual "UGLY SWEATER" Caribbean Party
DJs Qualifi, Veteran, and Y2K Sound will keep you dancing with a mix of dancehall, reggae, Afrobeat, soca, and hiphop. Wear a breathable ugly sweater if there is such a thing.   
(First Hill, $10)

42. Eat, Drink & Be Ugly
Celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day with bites, cocktails—liked aged eggnog and hot buttered scotch—and live Vinyl Church DJs. If your sweater is really, really hideous, you could win two free tickets to the Sparkle 2019 NYE Celebration
(Downtown, free)

43. It's Time To Get...UGLY
Want to sip holiday beverages and decorate holiday cookies for 10-percent-off your tab? Wear an ugly sweater.
(Pioneer Square, free admission)


44. An Evening With Ms. Claus
Sylvia O'Stayformore, one of the hardest-working and most venerable queens in town, will take the part of Santa's better half so you can get your picture with her, sing songs, and more.  
(Capitol Hill, free)


45. Beneath the Mistletoe: The Lesser-known Botany of Christmas
How did, holly, pine, and other fauna come to be associated with the holidays? Christmas foliage expert Orlando de Lange will let you in on everything you've ever wanted to know on the subject while you sip wintery cocktails. 
(Capitol Hill, $5)


46. Gift Hole
Want to do your December shopping for "artist made shit that doesn't immediately trigger existential dread or perpetuate the systematic malaise of big box stores and late stage capitalism"? Party Hat has you covered. Screen-print your own gift wrap and buy Brandon Vosika's custom-painted tote bags. 
(Pioneer Square, free)


47. Evening Beach Walk
Spend the winter solstice exploring a West Seattle beach during low tide with Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists. 
(West Seattle, free)



48. Holiday Market at Westlake Park
A trip downtown during the holidays beckons a visit to Urban Craft Uprising's annual market, where you'll find all sorts of handmade gifts throughout the season. Plus, hop on the Holiday Carousel while you still can. (Downtown, free)



Holiday Movie Afternoon - Elf!
Watch Will Ferrell eat gum off the sidewalk and inflict cheerful mayhem on his grinchy dad at this screening of Elf!.  
(Greenwood, free)

49. Monster Planet: 9.xmas That Kringling Feeling
Make the season weird with Monster Planet's live-mixed soundtrack to a montage of cheesy B-movies provided by Scarecrow Video and Killing Frenzy Visuals. Gel-Sol, Leave Trace, Brian Oblivion, and Don Keyoner will be your musical hosts. 
(Greenwood, free)


50. Darci Carlson’s Holiday Jamboree
Get in the country Christmas spirit with live sets from the Ohio Valley Boys, Darci Carlson Band, Wildcat Rose, Stoned Evergreen Travelers, and Santa Poco. 
(White Center, free)

51. The Dee Dees, Weirdons, Mud On My Bra
Tired of Christmas carols? Opt for this annual holiday rock show with locals the Dee Dees, Weirdons, and Mud On My Bra. 
(Georgetown, $5)

52. The Emo G's Presents: Emo Dance Party Before Xmas
This isn’t a phase, Mom—it’s a whole party! The Emo Gs are back at it for another night of emo classics by the likes of My Chemical Romance, the Used, Dashboard Confessional, Fall Out Boy, and more. My hair might be too short now to iron into flattened, fried perfection for a scene-queen-worthy MySpace profile pic (pc4pc, anyone?), but I’m looking forward to the sea of jet-black manicures at this shindig. For less than a tub of your favorite Manic Panic hair dye, come and dance (or cry, if you want to) the night away with all the other kids that your mom warned you about. SOPHIA STEPHENS 
(Ballard, $10)

53. A House Music Holiday Party
Welcome hometown boy Terry Jasinto back to Seattle for an evening of electronic mixes with support from Pappa T and Tokita.  
(Capitol Hill, $10)

54. LudaChristmas
Celebrate the reason for the season (getting drunk with your friends) by dancing all night to hiphop tracks straight from Hotlanta by artists like Ludacris, Outkast, T.I., Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, Migos, Childish Gambino, Jermaine Dupri, and more. 
(Capitol Hill, $5)

55. Lumbersexual Onesies-Union Suit-LongJohn Party with DJ Tank Top
Break in your holiday onesie or longjohns in the steamy company of hot go-go boys and DJ Tank Top. 
(Capitol Hill, $6/$8)

56. The Music of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Because the Royal Room does the music of Charlie Brown every year, I every year have to write this love poem to the core tune, "Christmastime Is Here (Instrumental)," of this masterpiece of American culture. It is, I think, one of the most beautiful pieces of jazz ever composed. Listening to it is like watching falling snow through a window. The room is warm, something is roasting in the oven, and outside, the flakes are falling faintly through the universe and upon the trees, the hedges, the water gutters, the telephone poles, and the rooftops of a thousand apartment buildings. This is where you want to be forever. This is Vince Guaraldi's "Christmastime Is Here (Instrumental)." It opens with a trembling bass, like someone coming out of the cold, stamping their feet, brushing the snow off their shoulders, hanging their winter coat, rubbing and blowing on numb fingers, and entering the living room where there is a window, watching the flakes falling faintly upon all the buildings and the living. CHARLES MUDEDE 
(Columbia City, $10)

57. Winter's Return 2018
Celebrate the holidays with William Pint and Felicia Dale of Music of the Sea as they play festive music with a hurdy-gurdy (a hand-cranked string instrument), a hammered dulcimer, a whistle, a violin, a recorder, a guitar, drums, a cistern, and other unusual instruments. 
(Greenwood, free)

58. X-Mas Party with Riffbrokers, Love and Fury, Value Ape
Celebrate Christmas a few days early with this collection of rowdy live sets by the Riffbrokers, Love and Fury, and Value Ape. 
(Georgetown, $7)


59. Lava Lava Distorted X Mas
Look your freakiest and take a photo with Deranged Drambuie Clause and his Handy Helper, Lil Socky. Then dance the night away to festive music by DJ Vodka Twist. Don't forget to grab your Secret Santa gift. 
(Belltown, free)

60. Leny’s Annual Ugly Sweater Party
Drink a glass of "firenog" in your ugly sweater and your party pants for a night of "debaucherous fun." 
(Green Lake, free)

61. Ugly Sweater Holiday Party
Win cash prizes for the ugliness of your sweater at this holiday bash and dance party with DJ 50 Spence.  
(White Center, free)

62. VUE Lounge Saturdays: Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Enjoy a festive LED lighting display, a "custom flower wall" by which to take photos for your Instagram, craft cocktails, live DJs, and more at this ugly sweater party.  
(Belltown, free)


63. Mystery Drag Queen Theater 3000: Holiday Edition
In this series, the glamorous Betty Better, Demonia Creeper, Miss Kitty Franzia, and Old Witch riff on the best/worst B movies live on stage. For this holiday installment, watch as they heckle the 1987 trash horror gem Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. Plus, enjoy themed drink specials, drag performances, and pictures with Santa. 
(Downtown, $9)


64. Chop Suey Flea Market
Shop from dozens of local vendors selling everything from art to books to vintage goods while you drink booze, enjoy live music, and snap photos with Santa. 
(Capitol Hill, free)

65. Holiday Maker's Market
Shop from over a dozen independent vendors, artists, and small businesses, then stop by a gift wrapping station and make your own hot cocoa from a hot cocoa bar and create your own gift tags at a craft station. Your proceeds will support Coyote Central, who provide pay-what-you-can creative workshops for youth. 
(Downtown, free)

66. Soul Holiday Market
Africatown-Central District will host a local vendor market with food trucks, games, and live music from Zach Bruce and Omega. 
(Central District, free)

67. Winter Craft Fair at ALTSpace
Enjoy food and drinks (boozy and non-boozy), a live glassblowing display, a giant pirate ship filled with live DJs, caroling by the Jerk Church, and art shopping. 
(Capitol Hill, free)


68. Seattle Secular Solstice 2018
Regardless of your religion or lack thereof, celebrate the spirit of the holiday season with community members over songs and food at the annual Seattle Secular Solstice. 
(Sodo, donation)



69. Photos with Krampus - The Holiday Devil!
If you've already got enough photos with Santa for one year, take the opportunity to snap a selfie with Krampus, the demonic goat-like Christmas demon who haunts people during the Yuletide season. 
(Queen Anne, free)


70. Gingerbread Boy
At this confectionary musical theater show, kids can watch as Bill the Chill makes ice cream, Sweetie (a copper kettle) cooks up candy and chocolate confections, and Pepper Mint chases after the mischievous Gingerbread Boy through Candyland. 
(Sand Point, $10)


71. IllustrAFest
Northwest artists—primarily of the illustrative variety, but also featuring comic, anime, craft, and gaming artists—will show and sell their wares. 
(Chinatown-International District, free)



72. BadWill Market - The Holiday Edition
Make your last-minute holiday shopping less stressful by sipping cocktails, snacking, and listening to live music while you look for vintage apparel, handmade jewelry, beauty and grooming products, leather accessories, embroidered goods, house plants, and more. 
(Capitol Hill, free)

73. December Skylark Art Mart
Get your last-minute shopping done from local vendors. DJs FIX and Naughty Nice will provide the soundtrack. 
(West Seattle, free)

74. The Goods
Buy pieces by local artists and other vendors, including Ministry of Metal's Megan Fitzpatrick, Under the Needle Tattoos, Katie Wright, Cataclysmic Designs's Rob Lewis, and many others. A live DJ will keep your feet shuffling. 
(Belltown, free)



75. Holiday Cookie Night
Spend the night before Christmas decorating sugar cookies shaped like trees, snowpeople, and snowflakes. 
(Capitol Hill, free)


76. Free Admission at the Volunteer Park Conservatory
Thanks to a generous donation from the Bennett-Shear Family, the Volunteer Park Conservatory will waive its admission fee from Christmas Eve through the end of February. Visiting the lush plant-filled glass structure is a treat on any day of the year, but be sure to catch the Holiday Express Train and Poinsettia Display before it goes away on New Year's Day. 
(Capitol Hill, free)


77. 15th Annual Blue Moon Christmas Pageant
Celebrate Christmas with a ragtag bunch of local folk-rockers at Blue Moon's annual pageant, with live sets from a varied Seattle crew (including Best Band From Earth, the Yule Loggers, Spank Williams & Friends, Snax, Nomi, and others) to sling holiday cheer your way. Even better, proceeds from the door go to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
(University District, $10)


78. 4th Annual Orphan's Christmas
All alone for the holidays? Let Populuxe take you in, with a potluck, live acoustic music, and a special beer selection "guaranteed to chase your humbug away." There'll also be raffles for free swag, like glasses, growlers, and T-shirts.
(Ballard, free)

79. Christmas Eve Holiday Party
Spend the night before Christmas drinking festive Plantation Rum drink specials and watching holiday movies.  
(Capitol Hill, free)



80. Hempfest Christmas Day Vigil
Hempfest will hold their 21st annual Christmas Day vigil outside the King County prison to promote drug policy reform and protest the War on Drugs. 
(Downtown, free)


81. I Hate X-Mas Karaoke: A Benefit for YouthCare
Christmas elf TV will host this night of karaoke in support of YouthCare, an organization that provides resources to LGBTQ+ youth.  
(Capitol Hill, free)

82. Miracle On Howell St with Riz and Friends
The legendary nightclub/theater venue Re-Bar will be just as magical and wish-granting as Santa Claus at this party inspired by the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. Dance the night away to local DJs, including Reverend Doctor Riz Rollins, Kadeejah Streets, JENNGREEN, Bad Ginger, and Dane Gatfield Wilson. Dirty Santa will be played by Nicky Valentine. 
(Downtown, free)

83. Xmas Karaoke- Unsilent Night
Round out your Christmas Day festivities by belting karaoke and feasting on holiday Pupu platters.  
(Capitol Hill, free)

A Hike for Each Month of the Year

12 far-flung trails for year-round exploration.

By Craig Romano  4/1/2014 at 8:00pm  Published in the April 2014 issue of Seattle Met

Ebey’s Landing  IMAGE:  CRAIG ROMANO

Ebey’s Landing



Ebey’s Landing 

Climb the lofty coastal bluff, then stare down at Perego’s Lake, a lagoon full of shorebirds that was formed by a narrow spit. (Read moreCoupeville, Whidbey Island (5.6 miles)


High Hut

A challenging snowshoeing trip that requires 2,400 vertical feet of climbing, but a warm hut at the top works as extra incentive. (Read moreSouth of Ashford (8.6 miles)


High Hut



Hazel Wolf Wetlands

Scan the open water of Beaver Lake Preserve for birds and small mammals and admire Tiger Mountain in the distance. (Read moreSammamish (2.7 miles)


Guillemot Cove

A former private estate is now a nature preserve that protects pigeon-size, penguin-like seabirds in Hood Canal. (Read moreWest of Bremerton (2.5 miles) 


Ingalls Creek

Boot up for a deep road-free valley in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, a bubbly creek, and maybe even remnants of an old mine. (Read moreSouth of Leavenworth (11 miles) 

ngalls Creek  IMAGE:  CRAIG ROMANO

ngalls Creek



Soda Peaks Lake

Pass Trapper Creek and its spawning salmon at the start and a little subalpine lake and a fine viewpoint at the end. (Read more) East of Vancouver (10 miles) 


Skyline Divide

While your gaze will be to the ground admiring asters, lupine, bistorts, and valerian wildflowers, the views from the 6,000-foot-plus ridge are spectacular too. (Read moreEast of Bellingham  (9 miles)

Skyline Divide  IMAGE:  CRAIG ROMANO

Skyline Divide



Evergreen Lookout

Take a short and steep hike through groves of old-growth mountain hemlock and wildflower meadows to a restored fire lookout. (Read moreEast of Monroe (3 miles)  


Tiffany Mountain

One of the highest summits in the state that can be hiked, on a trail that traverses pine groves and stands of golden larches on its way to alpine tundra. (Read moreNorth of Winthrop (6 miles) 


Twisp Pass

Come autumn the glacier-carved valley is spellbinding, thanks to larches that streak the high slopes in gold and the crimson blueberry bushes. (Read moreNorthwest of Twisp (9 miles) 


Twisp Pass



Ellis Cove

Explore the 300-acre Priest Point Park, which still looks the way it did in the early 1800s—except for the mossy carved bear sculpture. (Read moreNorth of Olympia (2.5 miles)


Grand Ridge

Cedars and firs line the way to the 600-foot-long boardwalk spanning the wetlands around salmon-bearing Canyon Creek. (Read more) (1 or 2 East of Issaquah (11 miles) 

Grand Ridge 

Grand Ridge 

This Road Closure Is About to Wreck Your Commute

January’s shutdown of State Route 99 will be the longest in Seattle history.

By Jaime Archer  12/13/2018 at 1:14pm  Published in the January/February 2019 issue of Seattle Met

After more than 65 years in service, the viaduct will be torn down in early 2019.  IMAGE:  COURTESY WSDOT

After more than 65 years in service, the viaduct will be torn down in early 2019.


Remember when the viaduct closed in 2016 while Bertha tunneled beneath it? City streets, I-90, I-5, and SR 520 all backed up. Now we’re due for another round. Though the viaduct replacement program won’t conclude until 2020, the new tunnel is almost ready to open. Before it does, the viaduct will close permanently so crews can realign SR 99 to the tunnel over three weeks. With additional ramp closures, traffic could be impacted for up to six weeks.

“We know that this is a really big ask of people to really change their habits for three weeks. It’s a tremendous ask…. We’re doing all kinds of outreach to make sure people know that this is not a period to mess with.”
—Laura Newborn, communications manager, Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program

SR 99′s three-week closure will begin January 11.  IMAGE:  COURTESY WSDOT

SR 99′s three-week closure will begin January 11.


What’s a Seattleite to Do?

  • Take public transportation. King County Metro will deploy standby coaches as needed and will bring in another water taxi during the road realignment.

  • Commutes will start earlier and last longer, so consider shifting travel times to avoid rush hour.

  • Start or join a carpool or vanpool.

  • Drive to a Park and Ride location, then bus, bike, or walk the last mile of your commute downtown.

  • Work from home one or more days a week, or take time off. (Yes, this is real advice from WSDOT.)

What About Tolls?

The tunnel won’t be tolled until summer 2019 at the earliest, and tolls will range from $1 to $2.25 for commuters depending on the time of day.

SR 99 by the Numbers

90,000 Daily average number of cars that will be forced to seek new routes while the viaduct and tunnel are closed.

2 miles Length of the road tunnel, making it nearly the longest in the U.S.

122,000 tons Amount of concrete that will be removed during the viaduct demolition.

3.3 billion Total cost of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.

41,700 Average number of cars that will use the tunnel during peak times every day before tolling.

27,000 Average number of cars that will use the tunnel during peak times every day when tolling first begins.

The new tunnel’s southbound exit.  IMAGE:  COURTESY WSDOT

The new tunnel’s southbound exit.


Timeline of the Viaduct

1953: First section of the viaduct opens with great fanfare: e.g., Seafair Queen Iris Adams arriving by wheeled dog sled.

2001: 6.8-magnitude Nisqually earthquake causes some sections of the viaduct to sink; WSDOT repairs and begins frequent inspections.

2009: The Washington State Legislature votes to construct a bored tunnel to replace the viaduct.

2011: Crews demolish and replace the southern mile of the viaduct.

2013: Bertha, a machine built specially for the project, starts tunneling.

2017: Bertha breaks through the tunnel’s north end.

January 11, 2019: WSDOT will permanently close the viaduct and realign SR 99 to connect it to the tunnel.

February 2 & 3, 2019: Seattleites can walk, bike, and run on the viaduct and in the tunnel during a grand opening party.

Soon after the party: The tunnel will open and the viaduct demolition will begin.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated December 14 at 10am to reflect that the new tunnel is 2 miles, not 1.7 miles as previously stated.

Where to Dine Out on New Year’s Eve

Whether you plan on a graceful exit or going out with a bang, these are the best seats in town for 2018′s grand finale.

By Anne Dennon  12/17/2018 at 10:00am | Courtesy of

Last year’s NYE party at Canlis included tromping through three floors of dining, dancing, and discovery.  IMAGE:  CANLIS

Last year’s NYE party at Canlis included tromping through three floors of dining, dancing, and discovery.


Decadence typically prevails on the last day of the year, and December 31, 2018 will write the rule in gold. Fitting, perhaps, as the Roaring 2020s become just one year away. Many of Seattle’s best restaurants and bars pop the champagne at midnight, the culmination of an evening full of fine dining, festive cocktails, and live entertainment.


Ballard’s experimental popup mecca offers a seven-course NYE dinner from chef Eric Rivera. The dinner starts with passed appetizers and wraps up with late-night snacks. Reserve online; $200


The anticipated opening of this seasonal-focused restaurant on the outskirts of Pike Place is cause enough for celebration. Aerlume’s menu will be just six days old when the party gets underway, with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Call 206-441-4468 for reservations; price varies 


Choose from grilled octopus, pheasant liver mousse, and beet crudo—and that’s just the first course. There are three options for each of the four courses in this prix fixe menu. Special diet requests (vegan, gluten-free) can be accommodated with advance notice. A children’s menu is also available. Reserve online; $75


The relaxed next-door sibling to Spinasse offers a four-course dinner and select a la carte plates at the bar, all in the establishment’s signature modern-Italian-by-way-of-PNW style. Call 206-251-7673 for reservations; $65

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

Hors d’oeuvres, carving vignettes, and holiday cocktails preface an elegant penthouse prix fixe menu. Swag bags, live entertainment, and a midnight toast round out the evening. Reserve online; $97


Waterfront dining at its finest. Aqua will offer its freshly updated, seasonal menu on NYE, with options ranging from king crab legs and lobster tail to truffle mac and cheese. Reserve online; price varies

Ba Bar

If hot pho and cold beer sound like your perfect NYE, head to Ba Bar in Capitol Hill, SLU, or the U District—all three outposts are open their regular hours. No reservations; price varies


A multi-course prix fixe menu from chef Taylor Thornhill promises elegantly meaty French cuisine and fine beverages. Reserve online; $125

Big Mario’s Pizza

If Miller High Life is the only champagne you need, head to any of Big Mario’s three Seattle locations where they’ll be serving it by the liter. There will be proper champagne, too. From a fountain. Between the party favors and the midnight toast, partake in $5 Vitamin C shots and, of course, New York-style ’za. No reservations; no cover charge


Sip champagne cocktails and order a la carte at Madrona’s uber-charming wine bar. The cover fee for Bottlehouse’s NYE party includes a complimentary holiday cocktail. Reserve online; $16

Bramling Cross

The evening opens with spiced ricotta fritters, bruschetta with black cod, and beef tartare. Pasta, seafood, and meat follow, polished off with tiramisu. Up the indulgence factor by adding Burgundy truffles or caviar. Reserve online; $85

Brimmer and Heeltap

Chef Angela Ortez-Davis will serve up winter flavors like squash soup and braised lamb shank in her NYE five-course tasting menu. At midnight, the Ballard restaurant will celebrate Latin American-style, burning Mr. Old Year. Reserve online; $75


The Brothers Canlis are loath to give away any clues to their NYE festivities (this year’s theme: Midnight Hawaii) but there will be 1.) waterfalls, 2.) live animals, and 3.) a map to guide you between entertainment and sustenance with experiences waiting for you from basement to roof. Reserve online; $525

Capitol Cider

Toast to the best of the Big Easy with “Countdown at the Bayou,” a creole celebration of music, drag, burlesque, music, magic, and, of course, food. Doors open at 6 for dinner and drinks; performances start at 9. Interesting outfits will vie for a prize at midnight. Reserve online; $45–$200

Central Smoke

Ring in the new year with a special four-course menu of Vietnamese barbecue fusion. There are two seatings—5:30 and 7:30—that include a generous seafood appetizer, barbecue chicken, and a whole barbecued lamb. Reserve online; $55–$65

Civility and Unrest

Chef Jason Wilson’s Bellevue speakeasy offers music and posh cocktails, not to mention half-off bottles of champagne purchased before 9. Start your evening next door at his Northwest dining establishment, The Lakehouse, or get the menu at the bar until 11. No reservations; no cover


Cortina’s vast, Northwest-meets-Italian menu contained in one evening. Course number one: scallop crudo, burrata with white anchovy, and endive salad with Gorgonzola and walnuts for the table. Choices for the next three courses include rigatoni with veal ragu bianco, black truffle risotto, and grilled lobster. Reserve online; $85

Deep Dive

Renee Erickson’s thoughtful new cocktail bar is throwing a NYE bash with house specials, hors d’oeuvres, and champagne service. Reserve online; $250

Eden Hill

Seven courses with chef Maximilian Petty hit all the right notes for luxury: king crab, black truffle, wagyu strip streak, and champagne sorbet with Buddha’s hand. Optional wine pairings. Reserve online; $150

El Gaucho

El Gaucho Seattle does NYE Big Apple-style with two showings of the themed cabaret “New York New York” with respective three- and four-course dinners. El Gaucho Bellevue offers a champagne toast. Call 206-728-1337 for reservations; $115–$185

Five Point Cafe

This Denny Triangle diner offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics all year long, and they’re keeping at it this New Year’s Eve. Enjoy specialty cocktails like clementine cream mimosas and a good old bourbon fizz on the heated patio. No reservations; no cover

Fog Room at The Charter Hotel

No other holiday demands a rooftop bar more than NYE. Live the penthouse life in the sky-scraping Fog Room with tray-passed hors d’oeuvres—oysters, crab, uni, caviar—and fine cocktails. Only early seatings remain. Reserve online; price varies

Gold Bar

For a non-Gatsby twist on the classic NYE gold theme, hit up the appropriately named Gold Bar for an ancient Egyptian vibe and live DJs. Need to glam up once you get there? Shop the vintage clothing popup inside. Tickets at the door; $20

Goldfinch Tavern

Moët & Chandon is the headliner of this feast in the Four Season’s waterfront restaurant. Choose between a four-course dinner at a 6pm seating or a five-course dinner with seating at 9pm. The later meal will be accompanied by live DJ beats, party favors, and a midnight toast. Reserve online; $95–$125

Heartwood Provisions

This New American destination takes on NYE with a five-course menu of of scallops, cod, lobster, and short ribs, followed by a decadent, Asian-influenced mousse for dessert. Call 206-582-3505 for reservations; $95

Hot Stove Society

Tom Douglas’s cooking school hosts a soirée du nouvel an starting with caviar and appetizers, followed by a five-course dinner in the Northern Lights Ballroom. Seating will be at communal tables of eight to ten. Note that Hot Stove’s festivities end at 11, so you will need to head to another locale for a midnight toast. Reserve online; $200

How To Cook a Wolf

This Queen Anne destination for Italian dishes will put on a four-course dinner, starting with a medley of dishes for the table (hamachi crudo, burrata with fig conserva, bruschetta with bosc pear and lardo). Reserve online; $85

Ivar’s Salmon House 

Ivar’s in Wallingford hosts a NYE party complete with favors, drink tickets, a surf and turf buffet, music, dancing, a champagne toast and, of course, glittering Lake Union views. Call 206-632-0767 for reservations; $95


Soba is the traditional New Year’s dish in Japan. Kamonegi is pen until 9 on New Year’s Eve, so you can enjoy noodles in-house or transport them home (this is the only time of year the restaurant offers its signature fresh soba for take-out). Reserve your kit (two servings) for pickup on December 30 or 31. Call 206-632-0185 to order; $20

King’s Hardware

The champagne of beer in champagne-sized bottles will be waiting for you on Ballard Avenue starting at 9 on New Year’s Eve, as will a live DJ and a long list of killer burgers. No reservations; no cover


Chef John Sundstrom’s seasonal Northwest cuisine is on display in this NYE repast. Each of the four courses has three to four options, with oysters and foie gras, truffled gnocchi and bleu cheese beef tenderloin vying for your attention. Call 206-323-5275 for reservations; $130

Le Messe

On New Year’s Eve, Le Messe will bring dish after dish for the whole table: crab and scallop crudo, bowls of pasta, foie gras profiteroles. Order from the regular menu if you sit at the bar. Reserve online; $75

Linda’s Tavern

The classic Capitol Hill dive bar will be up to its usual mischief come NYE starting at 9. A live DJ will keep the party moving till the wee hours, and the staff will be at it again the next morning to serve hangover brunch. No reservations; no cover


Seven gloriously French courses celebrate New Year’s Eve, but this Central District restaurant calls it Réveillon St-Sylvestre. (Whatever the name, creme fraiche and black truffle sightings guaranteed.) The evening ends with a playful remake of a candy bar classic: shortbread, salted caramel ice cream, and chocolate become an upscale Twix. Reserve online; $150

Marine Hardware

This low-lit Ballard destination offers a five-course meal, beginning with raw oysters, crispy pork rillettes, king crab salad, and artichoke soup for the table. Four courses of pasta, seafood, and duck breast later, guests will be offered a selection of truffles and cookies. Reserve online; $85


The charming and inventive Marmite will serve a six-course dinner from 5 until 10:30. No need to pack up and head to another destination before the clock strikes: The Chophouse Row restaurant will be open until after midnight for maximum celebration. Call 206-755-8606 for reservations; $125


For this buzzy SLU spot’s third NYE rooftop patio party, dinner guests can savor a four-course prix fixe menu starting at 6, while party guests enjoy a mezze buffet and KEXP DJs running from 8 till “late.” Both choices include a none-too-shabby (i.e. staggering) view of the lake and, later, fireworks. Call 206-457-8287 for dinner reservations, $100; reserve online for the party, $85

Miller’s Guild

If you have a beautiful steak in mind for your last supper of 2018, this Denny Triangle institution has you covered with both their full dinner menu and a three-course special, served with a carafe of Chef Jason Wilson’s syrah. Reserve online; $130 


Seasonal Italian dishes in an intimate, 28-seat space. Ethan Stowell’s Meridian restaurant promises to make decisions difficult with your choice of courses. Select from the likes of paccheri with spot prawns, wood grilled scallops with vanilla-onion agrodolce, and saffron risotto with artichoke. Seatings at 5, 7:30, and 10. Reserve online; $85


Enjoy the regular menu at this Vietnamese favorite or plump for NYE specials: crispy lobster dumplings and steamed Alaskan cod. Reserve online; price varies


The narrow, brick-walled Indian restaurant in Pioneer Square will serve a prix fixe menu of three courses: a starter, choice of entrée (stuffed portobello mushroom, banana leaf-wrapped salmon, or braised lamb), and filter coffee ice cream for dessert. Reserve online; $60

No Anchor

Belltown’s nautical beer bar offers a six-course dinner (with vegetarian options) and seatings at 6 or 9. As always, No Anchor treats beer with the gravitas of wine and offers optional pairings from Holy Mountain Brewing. Reserve online; $120 

Patagon at The Charter Hotel

This downtown Argentinian grill offers NYE specials of cold smoked oysters, coal roasted crab, and porchetta; each dish for under $40. Reserve online; price varies


A four-course menu served from 5:30 to 10:30 offers three options for each of the three first dishes (including ones for vegetarians), then a staggering four options for dessert. One path through the evening might include oysters on the half shell, dungeness crab bisque, sea scallops and pork belly, and ginger porter cake. Reserve online; $85


Why limit yourself when you can have salad and charcuterie, pasta, and prime proteins all in one meal? This tasting menu starts with shared dishes for the table, then gives you options. Regular menu available at the bar. Reserve online; $75 

Red Cow

Ethan Stowell’s Madrona eatery starts the evening with five dishes for the table—oysters on the half shell, warm gougeres, corned beef tongue. The four courses that follow are decadent enough, but there are further, optional indulgences, like a Double R Ranch boneless ribeye with frites or foie gras mousse. Reserve online; $85


For a Korean-fusion New Year, head to Revel in SLU for a family-style meal of six dishes: corned lamb salad, pork belly pancake, short rib dumpling, tuna rice bowl, crab noodle, and oxtail rice cake hot pot. Reserve online; $80 for two

Rhein Haus

Rhein Haus pulls out all the stops, with a DJ, photo booth, midnight balloon drop, and live ice sculpting. Specialty holiday cocktails like the Yule Mule and Gluhwein promise to keep spirits bright, though the theme itself—solid gold—will probably help. No reservations; $25 cover after 8pm


The bar and lounge of this downtown standby will open at 6, serving a la carte NYE specials like bone-in ribeye and dungeness crab mash. In the dining room, enjoy a seven-course meal with all the right trimmings: seared foie gras, black and white Oregon truffles, caviar and roe. Reserve online; $105

Rione XIII

The first of four courses at Ethan Stowell’s Roman spot on 15th is a selection of starters for the table: beef tartare, charred radicchio salad, roasted carrots with ricotta and burnt honey vinaigrette. Cozy entrees like gnocchi with braised pork cheek follow. Tiramisu to finish. Reserve online; $85


The five-course French tasting menu includes wagyu beef tartare, lobster, and duck breast, and finishes with a show-stopping chocolate charlotte royale. Seatings available from 5 to 10. Call 206-456 7474 for reservations; $120

Scout PNW and The Nest at Thompson Hotel

Take up residence at the Thompson for the calendar flip. Start with a prix fixe, multi-course dinner at Scout PNW, then head to the rooftop to keep the 24K SOUL New Year’s Eve party going at The Nest. Go for just the dinner, just the party, or both. Reserve online; $70–$220

Smith Tower

Dress to impress for the iconic tower’s “Gatsbyfest” NYE party. A 1920s theme compliments the venue, which was completed in 1914. Enjoy the dinner buffet, live entertainment, and photo booth from the tower’s 35th floor, plus a pretty impeccable view of the Space Needle and fireworks. Reserve online; $150


Chef Stuart Lane will serve a six-course prix fixe menu in this Capitol Hill restaurant renown for its authentic Northern Italian cuisine. Dishes include carne cruda with white truffle and rabbit agnolotti dal plin. Call 206-251-7673 for reservations; $150

Staple and Fancy

A four-course NYE repast that lives up to the name of this Italian cafe, starting with deluxe dishes for the table. Then choose from chestnut ravioli, wood grilled duck breast with celery root puree, and steak with truffles. Add on white truffles, caviar, or foie gras. Reserve online; $85

Swedish Club

Nyårsfest at the Club will feature music and dancing, party favors, a midnight toast, and Lake Union views to boot. Start with the an elegant dinner prepared by a pair of chefs hailing from Sweden or just come for the party. Reserve online; $45–$130

Tarsan i Jane

A decadent, seven-source tasting menu at this Valencian favorite can be made even more decadent with optional add-ons like select Spanish wines, carabinero (or, deep-sea prawns), and iberico ham. Reserve online; $195


Four courses of fine Italian fare (at both the Belltown original and the Capitol Hill recreation) start with gourmet nibbles for the table before proceeding into serious pasta territory. Choose from “The King”—rigatoni with spicy sausage, paccheri with lobster, and ravioli with truffle for the pasta course, then debate between prime New York strip steak and sea scallops. Reserve online; $85


Sample the best flavors of Maria Hines’s New American cuisine in this four-course NYE menu (also available Christmas Eve). Tuck into Tilth’s Wallingford bungalow for dense, comforting dishes like bean cassoulet and espresso cashew cheesecake. Reserve online; $110


Decipher this: AYCE KBBQ. If living your best life in the final hours of 2018 means all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue, Trove delivers. They’ll also furnish a champagne toast when the clock strikes. Reserve online; $50

Tutta Bella

Get your Neapolitan pizza fix at Tutta Bella’s SLU location this NYE—the patio just so happens to offer one of the best views of the Space Needle and fireworks. Tables can be reserved from 9 to 11, or walk in from 11 to midnight. The regular menu will be available, plus complementary prosecco at midnight. Call 206-624-4422 for reservations; cover $20–$30


Make one last, lovely memory in 2018 with Urbane’s decadent three-course menu—roasted squash, herb crusted strip steak, caramelized apple financiers. Either that, or start the new year right: The special New Year menu is served both Monday and Tuesday. Reserve online; $70


The New Year’s Eve tasting menu at this Italian-inspired destination in Madrona runs the gamut from geoduck to white truffle risotto, and leaves you with this dastardly decision: rosemary cream pine nut tart or chocolate salted caramel budino? Reserve online; $90

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Old Ballard’s oyster destination is doing something different this year: a one-night-only four-course menu. Seatings are still available from 5 to 7. Brighten the night with special cocktails and caviar. Reserve online; $125

Willows Lodge

Choose your own New Year’s Eve adventure at this Woodinville lodge: Dine in style at the cozy Barking Frog (seatings at 5:30 or 9) or get right to celebrating in the Sammamish ballroom. Call 425-424-2999 for dinner reservations, $150; reserve online for the party, $100

 Please send further event details for consideration to jarcher[at]seattlemet[dot]com. Thank you.

Kirkland Asks for Input on Dogs, Bikes

City hosts surveys, community conversations to provide direction to council.

Kirkland is already starting to prepare for the new year by polling the public on two issues the City Council will explore in 2019: a bike share pilot program and off-leash dog areas.

The city held a community conversation on Dec. 6, spending an hour on each topic, and is also hosting online surveys on its website to gauge public opinion. Movement on either issue will mean the city will have to address safety and capacity concerns.

For several years, the Kirkland City Council has been trying to figure out how it can create safe and predictable places for people and dogs. The city built Jasper’s Dog Park 2012, and renovated Edith Moulton Park, including multiple dog runs, in 2018.

Kirkland has more than 10,000 registered dogs, and all of them need a place to run and play. Recreational trends and previous community input, along with the high utilization of Jasper’s, indicate a future need for additional off-leash areas, according to the city. One of the survey questions asks: “What are your thoughts on designating off-leash dog areas in some of Kirkland’s larger parks, such as Heritage, Juanita Beach, or Crestwoods?”

Some of Kirkland’s dog owners are already taking their dogs off-leash in Kirkland’s public parks or along the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Roughly one half of Washington residents walk with a dog, according to the 2015 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, but dogs that run free in areas not specifically designated “off-leash” are violating Kirkland’s municipal code.

The city’s current enforcement approach has three steps. First, violators are educated about what they’re doing wrong. Second, they are given a warning and third, they are given a ticket (the first offense is $25, the second is $50 and it doubles from there).

Expanding off-leash dog areas has a number of benefits, including improved health of both pets and owners, as they provide opportunities for exercise and socialization. But some challenges have been noted: they can be dangerous, they may increase parking, traffic and noise and they can be harmful to the natural habitat, as well as take away park space.

Residents were asked if they want increased enforcement for off-leash dogs, expanded options or both. Those who haven’t weighed in yet can take the survey at

The city is also residents asking how Kirkland should respond to the introduction of bike sharing on the Eastside. Bike share programs have started in some neighboring cities, including Seattle, Bothell and Bellevue, meaning that the green, yellow and orange bicycles that can be unlocked via smartphone application are already showing up in Kirkland.

When council discussed bike share in July, a majority was excited at the prospect of the bikes being used as a first/last mile connection to transit, or as a recreation opportunity on the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Some challenges were noted, including with the county’s helmet law and the “clutter” of the bikes in the city right-of-way.

The council is considering a one-year pilot to determine if and how this emerging idea can be integrated into the city’s transportation network. The technology is being applied to scooters as well. One of the bike share survey questions asks residents to share their thoughts on permitting a bike share company to eventually include scooters in Kirkland.

Because of the inventory coming from other cities, bike share will impact the Kirkland community whether the council decides to do a pilot or not. But having a formal program will enable the city to work with bike share providers to create regulations and provide incentives. Take the survey at

A report of community feedback will be presented to the Kirkland City Council in early 2019. The council will use the community feedback as it considers options on how to respond to these topics.

For more, see and www.