Bellevue After the Sun Sets: Eastside Nightlife Highlights

A twenty-minute commute from downtown Seattle, Bellevue has transformed itself from an undeveloped outskirt to a high-tech, cosmopolitan city in its own right. Alongside a growing number of sleek office buildings and towering skyscrapers, visitors find welcoming venues that range from low-key wine bars to chic lounges with a view (hello, Mt. Rainier). Families appreciate spaces that welcome all ages (think a 3D cinema, for one), while adults wanting an escape look forward to letting loose in comedy clubs or cocktail-centric bowling venues (like Lucky Strike). 

We offer a varied selection to let you explore Bellevue nightlife on your own–whether you're here with a family, co-workers or an entourage of friends. After doing a little exploring on our own, we distill the best businesses down to an eclectic selection of 10 in a city that's constantly evolving, hopeful that every reader will find something he or she likes. These destinations promise different, stellar experiences–often accompanied by delicious food, drink and music (like at charming Bake's Place). Despite its proximity to Seattle, Bellevue has a distinct personality of its very own.


Based in Issaquah, with operations in Everett, Village Theatre proves a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining, quality productions since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region's best-attended professional theatres, with more than 19,300 subscribers. Through its Village Originals program, Village Theatre has been nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, having launched 145-plus new works to date. According to their website, "Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow's audiences through its youth education programs, Pied Piper and KIDSTAGE, serving over 55,000 young people, families and schools annually."

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: Based in Issaquah, with operations in Everett, Village Theatre proves a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest.

Corinne's expert tip: Enjoy a pre- or post-show bite next door at Fin's Bistro. Upcoming productions range from "Little Shop of Horrors" to "Hello, Dolly!"

Read more about Village Theatre →

This simple, elegant bistro offers an appealing mix of American favorites with a menu showing influences from France, Italy and South America. The minimal decor is serene and upscale with white tablecloths, neutral colors and candlelight. Start with a bottle of wine from a list of more than 100, and then try an entree such as the NY Steak Carpaccio, Seared Ahi Tuna or Salmon Gravlax on Potato Pancake. The dessert selection changes daily, but look for the highly recommended pecan pie featuring "Tony's secret recipe." Reservations recommended. While the venue is open seven days a week, lunch is served Monday through Friday. Bis on Main features Late Night Happy Hour seven nights a week in the cozy bar and lounge.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: Bis on Main, a fine-dining restaurant in Bellevue, features Late Night Happy Hour seven nights a week in its intimate bar and lounge.

Corinne's expert tip: Bis on Main features Late Night Happy Hour seven nights a week in the cozy bar and lounge. The venue offer complimentary valet parking in the lot behind the restaurant Monday through Friday for lunchâ€" as well as every night.

Read more about Bis on Main →

For a mellow night out accompanied by delicious wine, this is the place for you. Emphasizing seafood from the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest, this innovative, upscale restaurant is one of the best reasons to head out in Bellevue. Featured main dishes include Chef John Howie's all-time favorite classic entrees like Cedar Plank Wild King Salmon and Ancho-Chili Steelhead. For patrons with something more casual in mind, the raw bar serves some of the area's best shucked oysters. When it comes to beverage offerings, the venue is proud to have been recognized by Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence every year since 2006.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: For a mellow night out in Bellevue accompanied by delicious wine and seafood, this is the place for you.

Corinne's expert tip: Seastar Restaurant offers ample parking at any time of day in its secure underground parking garage. Those who do not imbibe will appreciate items on the bar menu like Ginnocence, a no-alcohol gin.

Read more about Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar →

Bellevue Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Visit Bellevue

The Bellevue Brewing Company is a locally-minded venue that serves up tasty brews to complement the tasty food. In their own words, "One of our main goals here at the Bellevue Brewing Company, in addition to brewing world-class beers, serving mouthwatering food, and providing our guests with old fashioned, personal service, is to become a positive force in our local community and beyond." Popular beers range from the Belgian WitBier and the 425 Pale Ale to the Brown and Extra Red ales. Enjoy fare from the NW Charcuterie Plate and the BBC Nachos to the Super Crabby Dip and stone-fired pizzas.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: The Bellevue Brewing Company is a locally-minded, low-key venue that serves up local brews to complement the tasty food.

Corinne's expert tip: Minors are also welcome every day until 8 p.m. inside this casual taproom.

Read more about Bellevue Brewing Company →

Cépaé Tasting Room and La Parisienne French Bakery
Photo courtesy of Audrey Kelly

Visitors to Bellevue, prepare to be wowed; here's a cool wine bar-meets French bakery-meets retail store in town that's proving to be an emerging hot spot, and for good reason. In the Cépaé Tasting Room (pronounced –'Seh-pay-eh), patrons enjoy the largest selection of wines by the glass offered in the Seattle/Bellevue area (with an an emphasis on Old-World options). The Tasting Room uses the Le Verre du Vin system, allowing capacity for its entire portfolio of 120-plus bottles to be poured by the glass at any time. French owner Julien Hervet is breaking the mold by importing European wines that no one else here sells (the venue represents world-renowned winemaker Bernard Magrez Vignobles exclusively for Washington State, for example). Sharing the sleek, airy space, La Parisienne French Bakery features delicious food and meticulous details that seemingly transport diners to France.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: Get transported to France in the Cépaé Tasting Room, as you enjoy the largest selection of wines by the glass offered in the area.

Corinne's expert tip: More than 85 percent of the wines available cost $20 or less by glass, allowing patrons to try a vasty array of varietals. Be sure to pick up a bottle or two in the retail shop before heading home!

Read more about Cépaé Tasting Room and La Parisienne French Bakery →

Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi
Photo courtesy of Suzi Pratt/ Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

Snag a seat in the ambiance-filled lounge area of this elevated restaurant, and get ready to drink in the views of a lifetime, and no doubt the best view in all of Bellevue. On a crystal-clear day, Mt. Rainier shows her mighty peak on one side, as Seattle's skyline rises in front of the distant Olympic Mountain peaks. While a full steak and sushi dinner seems to be an event saved for special occasions here, treat yourself to cocktails, delicious wine and small plates with a view. To make this fine-dining venue even more appealing (and accessible), take advantage of happy hour specials like a twist on bento boxes and Wagyu burgers from 3 to 6 p.m. daily and 9 p.m. to close. These panorama views promise to steal your breath away, and leave you wanting to come back for more soon.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: From the elevated lounge, savor Bellevue's best views and take advantage of a "reverse happy hour" from 9 p.m. to close.

Corinne's expert tip: Insider's tip: Ask at the bar for a "Contento," a smoky mezcal cocktail with prickly pear, lime and annatto syrup.

Read more about Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi →

For those seeking a casual hangout in Bellevue among neighborhood regulars, Sam's Tavern draws guests to its warm space where highlights include gourmet burgers (that come with endless fries) and bloody Marys topped with adornment like mini-sliders. Try the coveted "Sam's 50 Burger," featuring a 50/50 blend of certified Angus beef and hickory-smoked bacon. Catch sporting events on one of 10 flatscreens found throughout the bar, or come for special events like Trivia Tuesdays. Score happy hour food and drink deals Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., too. Sam's Tavern accepts reservations for parties of 10 or more.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: For those seeking a casual hangout, Sam's Tavern features gourmet burgers, magnificent bloody Marys and plenty of flatscreens on which to watch the game.

Corinne's expert tip: Check the website for specials like $15 for any bottle of wine on Thursday nights.

Read more about Sam's Tavern →

At this see-and-be-seen Lincoln Square hangout, visitors can catch up with friends while sating taking down pins in 16 spacious bowling lanes. The interactive nightlight spot also features chef-driven cuisine (Caesar salads, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, chicken tinga quesadillas, Cubano sliders and Beyond burgers), creative cocktails and two dance floors fueled by dueling DJ sets. Guests can find even more entertainment in the high-energy arcade game room, stocked with billiards and newer additions like a high-tech VR game. Bowling is only open those 21+ after 8 p.m. (prior to then, guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult), and the arcade is only open to those 21+ after 10 p.m.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: At this see-and-be-seen Lincoln Square hangout, guests enjoy bowling, dancing, playing arcade games and savoring chef-driven cuisine and cocktails.

Corinne's expert tip: Gluten-free diners can easily pick appropriate items from the clearly marked menu.

Read more about Lucky Strike →

W Living Room Bar
Photo courtesy of W Bellevue

Enjoy craft cocktails and tasty snacks in an uber-hip, sleek setting inside the W Bellevue hotel, which is home two of the city's most stylish and unique bars (Living Room Bar and, downstairs, speakeasy-style venue Civility & Unrest). At the vibrant Living Room Bar, enjoy a Northwest beer or wine served on the inviting veranda during the more mellow, post-work hours (cozy up by the fire, or dangle your feet from a whimsical swing). Or, to witness the more dynamic side of Bellevue's nightlife scene, visit on a weekend night when the DJ pumps out magnetic beats and the spaces fill with revelers from near and far.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: Enjoy craft cocktails, tasty snacks and beats in this uber-hip, sleek bar inside the W Bellevue hotel.

Corinne's expert tip: The next morning, be sure to not miss the stellar breakfast served at The Lakehouse, where lauded Chef Jason Wilson and team have created unforgettable dishes from the citrus-cured salmon and avocado toast to the cocoa coffee flour pancakes (topped with fresh berries).

Read more about W Living Room Bar →

Bake's Place Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Visit Bellevue

While food is the focal point at Bake's, it's also a community-centered oasis with an alluring buzz. Loyal patrons return time and again, thanks to the venue's warm hospitality, performances by top musicians five nights a week and the screening of sporting events, too (on a 25-foot projection screen). The site of frequent jazz performances as well as killer tribute bands (covering the likes of the Beatles, Tom Petty, Dan Steely, The Eagles and so on), Bake's proves the perfect place for enchanting ambience, great live tunes and chef-driven, seasonal food that uses the best of the Northwest bounty. In the summer, cozy under the twinkle lights of the ambiance-charmed patio (at 3,500 square feet, the largest in downtown Bellevue), while sipping a tasty cocktail or choosing something from the extensive spirits list featuring 180-plus bourbons. If you've come for something sweet, don't miss the dreamy Molten Chocolate Toffee Cake.

Recommended for Bellevue's Best Nightlife because: While food remains the focal point at Bake's, it's also a community-centered space in which to enjoy fantastic live music and sporting event screenings, too.

Corinne's expert tip: The 3,500-square-foot patio proves the perfect oasis during summer months. Catch original acts as well impressively accurate tribute bands that cover the likes of the Beatles, Tom Petty, Dan Steely, The Eagles and so.

Read more about Bake's Place Bar & Grill →


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne