Eat Your Way Around Redmond, Washington
Visitors to Redmond can’t help but notice the large number of bicyclists on its streets. But all that pedaling comes at a caloric cost. Fortunately, Redmond has an equally large number of memorable dining options that draw from a world palate.
Upscale or Low-Key
To burst your belt but not your wallet, try Dough Zone Dumpling House (7625 170th Ave NE), part of a chain of Asian noodle eateries. Like all the best of these, it’s a hole in the wall. But locals rave about the crab soup dumplings and q bao (fried pork bun) and say it measures up to more famous Bellevue institution Din Tai Fung at a more affordable price.
For big groups (and portions!), try Woodblock, with hearty cocktails and heartier fare to soak them up. Carnivores will enjoy the signature Woodblock burger, topped with a slab of smoked pork belly, as well as other artisanal treats like house-made bacon and duck liver mousse. Vegetarians can chow down on a “meaty” Portobello sandwich stuffed with red pepper and corn, and served with a smoked chili aioli.
Alternatively, for an intimate night with that special someone, there’s The Stone House, located in a beautiful Craftsman-style bungalow. The building dates to the 1910s and is rumored to have hosted bootleggers during Prohibition, and possibly a ghost or two. Perhaps they’ve stuck around to sample the duck breast — served charred atop a cherry-bacon reduction — or to share a plate of roasted bone marrow with apricot mustard. Nothing could scare patrons away from the universally beloved bananas Foster bread pudding.
All three are right in the heart of downtown, an easy walk or bike ride to numerous nearby hotels for post-meal libations or just a happy, satiated snooze.
If you want an escape from downtown, head to the Eastside for a taste of the east at District 1 Saigon. Named after the bustling epicenter of Vietnam’s largest metropolitan city, District 1 Saigon’s menu strives to encompass that big-city variety. At one end is delicious street food such as corn sautéed in butter, scallions, and dried shrimp. At the other are Northern Vietnamese regional “deep cuts” like cha ca la vong, saba fish seared with turmeric and fresh dill. Straddling the middle are locally inspired items like Coconut Shrimp Ceviche.
Another foray away from the city center will take you to Puerto Rico — or at least the “Puerto Rican Festive Kitchen” known as La Isla Cuisine. Revered by local PR expats, La Isla proudly showcases its pernil (pulled pork) in both its intriguingly savory pastelon (Puerto Rican lasagna layered with mozzarella and plantains) and its hearty tripleta — a monster sandwich that also piles on marinated steak and grilled ham. La Isla specializes in fried delicacies, but lightens the load with a strong beer selection and what many call the best mojito in town.
No doubt about it: Redmond’s exciting dining will have you on the edge of your seat, bicycle or not.