I remember back when I was just a kid in the 90’s how small Downtown Bellevue was. Fast forward a couple of decades and Downtown Bellevue rivals Downtown Seattle in high rises, shopping, traffic, and of course restaurants and bars.
Downtown Bellevue boasts numerous high-end restaurants, casual eateries, and bars. With each restaurant or bar comes happy hours. I’ll walk you through each happy hour with my recommendations and things you need to know.
The Top 14 Bellevue Happy Hours:
- John Howie Steak
- Daniel’s Broiler
- Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi
- STK Steakhouse
- El Gaucho
- Civility & Unrest
- Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar
- Wild Ginger
- Duke’s Seafood & Chowder
- Earl’s Kitchen & Bar
- Forum Social House
- Maggiano’s Little Italy
- Bake’s Place Bar & Bistro
1. John Howie Steak
Address: 11111 NE 8th St, STE 125, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: USDA Prime Beef Bacon Cheeseburger
John Howie Steak is located at “The Shops at Bravern”, which is a building housing some of the biggest names in retail such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. As soon as you park and walk out to the shops, you know you’re mingling with high society. Step into John Howie and you’re greeted by a host, but since you’re here for happy hour, decline that seat for dining and walk straight over to the large bar section.
You can take a look at their menu here, but if you’re into burgers and fries, no need to even look. You’ll want to order the USDA Prime Beef Bacon Cheeseburger and a side of Wagyu Beef Fat Truffle Fries. It’s a lot of food for some but for most, you won’t leave hungry after ordering that. If you’re planning on splitting that burger, know they have a $2 charge.
If you’re looking for more of a small appetizer and shared plates type of experience, I highly recommend the brussel sprouts, artichoke hearts, and wagyu beef flatbread. For you seafood lovers, the prawn cocktail is always fresh and it comes with a cocktail sauce that has some heat so be aware.
Happy Hour: John Howie Steak happy hour is every day from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
Dress: Even though it’s a high-end restaurant, feel free to dress business casual.
Parking: If you’re driving, you’ll likely park in the Bravern garage. Be sure to take your parking ticket with you as John Howie Steak validates.
2. Daniel’s Broiler
Address: 10500 NE 8th, 21st Floor, Bellevue WA, 98004
Best for: Filet Mignon Steak Strips
Daniel’s Broiler is located on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building in the Bellevue Place complex. Park in the Bellevue Place parking garage and ride that elevator up to the 21st floor and you’ll step right out into the open entrance area of the restaurant. A couple steps over to your right is the Prime 21 Lounge which offers a 90-degree view overlooking Bellevue and into Seattle.
As you walk through the lounge, you’ll notice a grand piano. They have live piano entertainment on Tuesday – Saturday starting at 7:00 PM. On a beautiful summer evening, you can even grab a seat outside! The lounge definitely goes for a modern-day speakeasy look and feel.
My favorite appetizer on their menu is their filet mignon steak strips. It’s perfectly cooked filet strips that have been marinated in a light, yet sweet teriyaki glaze, and finished off with sesame seeds and green onions. They’ll bring it to you in a little black grill pan that can be hot, so be careful. Depending on your appetite you’ll want to order a couple of these!
If you’re looking for a little texture contrast from the filet strips, I recommend the fried calamari. It comes with a spicy cocktail sauce and a savory lemon aioli sauce, both delicious.
Order a refreshing and smooth Hendrick’s gin martini and you’ve got the perfect compliment to your appetizers.
Happy Hour: One of the downsides to this happy hour is it’s only available Thursday – Saturday starting at 4:00 PM.
Dress: The recommended attire is business casual.
Parking: Daniel’s Broiler validates so bring your parking ticket if you parked in the Bellevue Place garage.
3. Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi
Address: 10400 NE 4th St, STE 3100, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: The View
Hands down, Ascend Prime is going to win when it comes to views and atmosphere. But don’t let the aesthetics fool you, as the quality and taste of their food rivals any on this list. Ascend Prime is located on the 31st floor of the Lincoln Tower South building. Reach the 31st floor and immediately transport into the most scenic and chic atmosphere on our list.
Walk past the host desk and you’ll see a panoramic view of Downtown Bellevue, Lake Washington, Downtown Seattle, and Bellevue Park. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the summer days at sunset… well let’s just say you better get there early or have a reservation because you’re not getting a seat.
If you are able to take your eyes away from the views outside and turn around, you’ll see that Ascend has an open concept where you can see chefs preparing food, fresh seafood and steaks on display, and fireplaces set throughout the restaurant.
Their Asian-influenced menu boasts several traditional plates with a slightly modern twist. Start with the hamachi truffle hand roll. The sweet potato is a pleasant addition and the truffle aioli adds a savory element to the palette. If you’re okay with adding some heat to your plate, the Korean-style karaage is a must. This is a lightly battered crispy chicken dish and it comes with gochujang chili, which is a staple marinade in Korean cuisine.
If you’re in the mood for a drink presentation, order the Cloud Nine cocktail. It’s vodka, vanilla syrup, and Japanese soda along with some dry ice to keep the bubbles bubbly and your drink cloudy.
Happy Hour: Happy hour is every day from 3 PM – 6 PM and 9 PM to close.
Dress: You can wear casual clothes but you will feel a bit underdressed if you do. If you’re visiting on a weekend evening, be prepared for a big crowd and folks dressed to the nines.
Parking: They’ll validate your parking if you park at either Lincoln Square parking garages so bring your ticket with you.
4. STK Steakhouse
Address: 610 Bellevue Way NE #110, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: The Price
Located on the ground floor of the Lincoln Tower North building, if you enjoy a high-energy environment with a club-like feel, STK is for you. It’s happy hour. Some people want to lay low and have a relaxing and chill evening. For others, it’s the start of the weekend and they’re looking for a good time. On top of it being a high-energy environment, STK has some of the lowest happy hour prices on our list.
Regardless of where you park, you’ll enter STK from Bellevue Way. The lighting is a soft purple that reflects against their white and black colored seating and furnishing. Grab a seat and take a look at their 3/6/9 dollar happy hour menu.
There are fresh oysters on the half-shell for $3 dollars a piece if you’re in the mood. The $6 giant wagyu meatball always makes it to my table when I’m at STK’s happy hour. Then it’s a debate between the tuna tartare taco or the STK* Frites… so I usually just order both. If you want to stick to the happy hour menu, you can get a signature cocktail or select wine by the glass for $9.
Happy Hour: Happy hours are Monday – Friday starting at 3:00 PM – 6:30 PM.
Dress: If you want to fit in with this crowd, you’ll want to be on the fashionable side. If you’re anything like me, you won’t care about that because it’s all about the happy hour!
Parking: Park at Lincoln Tower North garage or even at Bellevue Square Mall garage near Macy’s. If you park at the mall, you’ll need to cross the street or take the third floor bridge across.
5. El Gaucho
Address: 450 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: Tenderloin Diablo
El Gaucho is located next to the Skyline Tower and plaza. The parking garage can be a little tricky to find so follow your GPS to a point, and then look carefully for signage that will help you. El Gaucho has a theater-like setup on their restaurant floor. You’ll see semi-circle booths all around the outer tiers, and as you make your way inward, you have your standard tables with seating.
El Gaucho has the smallest happy hour food selection on our list, which some may dislike. However, there isn’t a single item on the menu that I wouldn’t recommend. With that being said, the best item on the menu is the tenderloin diablo. You better like spicy because if you don’t, go with the steak frites or the Gaucho burger.
El Gaucho uses seared tenderloin tips cooked in clarified butter, minced garlic, and El Gaucho Diablo Spice and Seasoning for their Tenderloin Diablo dish. Not only does the tenderloin melt in your mouth, the spice melts your mouth! Order their mixed salad if you need something to cool yourself down. The salad comes with mixed greens, roasted grapes, julienne pear, and candied pecans topped off with a light fuji apple vinaigrette.
The last time I was at El Gaucho for happy hour, my waiter recommended the Gaucho Manhattan. It’s a perfect balance of sweet, but not so sweet as to overpower the bourbon. They also have a nice selection of Pacific Northwest beers available if you’re in the mood.
If you think El Gaucho is a place you’ll come back to a few times, consider signing up for their rewards program called, the “Revelers Club”. It’s free to join, you earn points for each dollar you spend at their participating restaurants, and you’ll even earn bonus offers on your birthday.
Happy Hour: El Gaucho offers their happy hour on Tuesday – Friday from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
Dress: Although this is a high-end steakhouse, dress business casual and you’ll fit right in.
Parking: Parking is validated so bring your ticket.
6. Civility & Unrest
Address: 10455 NE 5th Place, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: The Cocktail Selection
I think the most difficult thing about Civility & Unrest is actually finding the place! It’s between Lincoln Tower North and South down by the W Hotel entrance. You’ll go outside where the valet entrance is, under a set of stairs, and to the left of the big iPhone.
Self-described as a bar inspired by cocktail culture and underground speakeasies, you’ll first enter into the Civility section, which is a cozy room, dimly lit with a fully stocked whiskey bar that is clearly the centerpiece of the room. If you’re wanting a little more speakeasy atmosphere, head on back to the hidden Unrest section.
You’ll be ordering food from The Lakehouse, which is a separate restaurant. However, Civility & Unrest is all about the vast cocktail and liquor selection. Try something traditional like a gin martini with a twist of lemon or a bourbon manhattan with muddled orange. If you’re feeling a bit more modern and contemporary, the hot in Jalisco has a spicy bite. The storm season is one of my personal favorites as the chocolate persimmon adds a new flavor profile not expected in any cocktail drink.
Happy Hour: Daily from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
Dress: Business casual is just fine but there might be a few spirited individuals looking to really dive into that speakeasy feel.
Parking: Either Lincoln Square Tower works great but the south tower is probably best.
Address: 800 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: The Atmosphere
Joey Bellevue is located on the ground floor of the Bellevue Place complex right outside the Hyatt Regency. The glass windows that are floor-to-ceiling cover most of the restaurant, so you’ll have a good view of the hustle and bustle of Downtown Bellevue. Joey has a restaurant section and a separate large bar. Head on over to the bar and you’ll see booths, high top seating, and a large square-shaped bar with black marble countertops.
Joey is a great mix of chic style, warm wood decor, and classic black trim. There’s always going to be a game playing on the TVs and a wait staff ready to take care of your food and drink needs. The menu has an Asian influence when it comes to food options. The sushi cone, Korean fried cauliflower, Japanese gyoza, and Szechuan chicken lettuce wraps are great choices for the table while taking in a game.
For drinks, the happy hour heavily emphasizes their beer selection but don’t let that stop you from grabbing a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail.
Happy Hour: Daily from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM – close.
Dress: Casual but if you’re there on a Friday or Saturday evening, you’ll see plenty of people dressed in suits and dresses just getting their evening started.
Parking: Bellevue Place parking garage will be your best option. Just take the elevator up to the ground floor.
8. Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar
Address: 205 108th Ave NE, Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: The Oysters
Chef John Howie is a well-known name in the Seattle dining scene. Along with his flagship steakhouse restaurant that bears his name, there’s John Howie’s Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar. Known for constantly changing their seasonal menu based on the availability of fresh and local seafood, you won’t be disappointed when visiting this high-end establishment.
A simple and tasteful happy hour menu includes both items from the land and the sea. The shrimp shumai is a great addition to any menu but the real gem are the oysters. They’ll be freshly shucked and mostly sourced from the Pacific Northwest. Served with lemon, cocktail sauce, and refreshing mignonette, be sure to ask your server what choices are available when you visit.
Happy Hour: Sunday – Friday from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Dress: Casual to business casual.
Parking: Parking is available in Seastar’s underground parking garage.
9. Wild Ginger
Address: 508 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: Chinese and Southeast Asian Food
Wild Ginger is located on the ground floor of the Lincoln Square South building. An elegant and tranquil environment is accompanied by our most simple and straightforward happy hour menu on our list.
The happy hour menu has cocktails that include ingredients such as lychee, turmeric, and yuzu sake and four food choices consisting of chicken potstickers, Vietnamese chicken wings, Vietnamese cabbage salad, and tofu pad thai. Each dish is flavorful and cocktail refreshing.
You’ll likely do what we did last time we went to Wild Ginger’s happy hour, which is go for the happy hour, and stay for dinner!
Happy Hour: Daily from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Parking: Lincoln Tower South will be your best choice but both Lincoln Tower North and Bellevue Square Mall are just fine. If parking at Bellevue Square Mall, you’ll need to cross the street at ground level, or take the skybridge across from the third floor.
10. Duke’s Seafood & Chowder
Address: 500 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 212, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: The Seafood
With seven different locations in the greater Seattle area, Duke’s Seafood & Chowder makes our list as the best seafood happy hour spot. Located on the second floor of the Lincoln Square South building, you’ll enter a warm wood furnished environment with fresh seafood on ice as your host walks you to a table.
Duke’s doesn’t really have a separate happy hour menu but uses the discounted happy hour prices off of select items from their main menu. Start happy hour off with a classic 3 John’s Martini and keep those fresh Pacific Northwest oysters coming!
The Wildly Delicious Alaska Salmon Sliders come on freshly baked and toasted Essential Baking Co (local) rosemary bread. This is a must get item for salmon lovers!
Happy Hour: Daily from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM – close
Parking: Lincoln Tower South parking garage is best. Be sure to remember which level you parked on and bring your ticket for validation.
11. Earl’s Kitchen & Bar
Address: 700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 130, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: Asian and Mexican Influenced Small Eats.
Earl’s Kitchen & Bar makes our list as a jack of all trades restaurant. That’s not to say they aren’t masters of their food and drink, but depending on the time of day or the day of the week, Earl’s can go from a family style restaurant, a business lunch meeting spot, to a weekend evening nightlife environment.
What I love about Earl’s is the variety and quantity of small plate items they have on their happy hour menu that is has Asian and Mexican influences. From spicy tuna sushi tacos, to their Earl’s classic burger and fries, and their crispy tofu zen bowl, Earl’s has everything to satisfy you and your group’s happy hour food needs.
If you happen to be out having drinks and decide to stop into Earl’s to satisfy your hunger, a plate of poutine fries or truffle fries always hits the spot. Need a little protein to go along with that? Go with the 6 ounce steak frites.
Happy Hour: Daily from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM – close
Dress: Casual but beware the weekend evening crowd!
Parking: Lincoln Square North parking garage works best. You’ll enter Earl’s from Bellevue Way. Bellevue Square Mall parking works too but note you’ll have to cross the street or take the third floor skybridge across.
12. Forum Social House
Address: 700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 300, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: Fun Activities
Forum Social House is located in the Lincoln Tower North building on the third floor. What used to be a billiards and bar has been completely transformed into one of Bellevue’s premier nightclub destinations. But on the weekdays, it’s not uncommon to see families out for dinner, playing a round of mini golf, or taking a few swings at their TopGolf Swing Suite.
The happy hour menu consists of your standard bar foods but with a higher quality. Plenty of fried dishes including onion rings, “just fries”, and chicken and waffles. If you’re in the chicken wing mood, well Forum Social House has them on their happy hour menu. In fact, it’s quite the selection. Korean BBQ, Buffalo, Original BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Mango Habanero, Fire Saue, Garlic Parmesan, or “The Dry Jerk”.
Happy Hour: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. All Day Tuesdays.
Parking: Park in the Lincoln Tower North parking garage and take the elevator to the main floor. They validate so bring your parking ticket and don’t forget which floor you parked on! Once you reach the main floor, you can either take another set of elevators up to the third floor, or walk around the corner and you’ll see escalators.
13. Maggiano’s Little Italy
Address: 10455 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: Flatbreads
Maggiano’s is located on the ground floor of the Lincoln Tower North building. Decorated in a classic dark red with bright yellow lights, Maggiano’s is your classic Italian restaurant. Don’t be surprised if you hear Frank Sinatra softly serenading you through the speakers throughout happy hour.
There are only two items on the food menu and it’s a margherita or Italian sausage flatbread. But when you do flatbread this well, it’s all you really need. Wash that down with a Peroni and it’s like you’ve been lifted away to the old country.
Like Wild Ginger, I’ve often come for Maggiano’s happy hour to grab a small pre-dinner snack and ended up staying for dinner! A fantastic atmosphere with delicious food. Perfect to take the family or a romantic dinner date.
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Parking: Park in the Lincoln Tower North parking garage and take the elevator to the main floor. They validate so bring your parking ticket and remember which level you parked on.
14. Bake’s Place Bar & Bistro
Address: 155 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Best for: The Music
Bake’s Place is a Bellevue mainstay when it comes to music venues. One of the last eastside locations to host live music and in particular keep jazz at its forefront, Bake’s Place holds a special place in my heart. With many of Downtown Seattle’s live jazz performance spaces closing down for one reason or another, Bake’s Place continues in keeping this American music swinging along.
A simple and straightforward menu, Bake’s Place doesn’t make our list for their food or any sort of special drinks. It’s really all about the intimate space and live music. If you were hoping to catch some live music, head on over to Bake’s Place early for happy hour. Chat amongst friends or just take in the intimate performance space. There’s likely to be straight ahead jazz playing throughout the restaurant.
This is a small and privately owned restaurant, bar, and music venue so they have some strict rules in order to keep business moving. Make sure you check out their general information page here so you’re up-to-date.
If you’re lucky enough with your timing, you might be able to catch Greta Matassa performing!
Happy Hour: Tuesday – Friday from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
Parking: Free parking with validation after 4:00 PM for Bake’s Place guests in the Columbia West parking garage. Bring your ticket and yourself up the elevator to the lobby level.