Plan Your Next Wine Bar Tasting Adventure in Bellevue, Washington
On your next trip to the Pacific Northwest and Seattle-area, try something different and consider spending some time across Lake Washington in the city of Bellevue, Washington.
For travelers who may feel that the streets of Seattle are a bit too much, take a 20-minute drive east, and you might find that Bellevue is just the perfect spot. A clean, modern, mid-sized city surrounded by two lakes and with over 100 parks ranging from beachfront to forest allows Bellevue the unique opportunity to not only offer the amenities that come with a thriving downtown full of technology hubs and commerce, but also the tranquility attained when living close to and amongst nature.
Luckily for #Winetravelers, Bellevue also offers some trendy accommodations, shopping, restaurants, and wine bars that should be on your list of dining and entertainment destinations in the Pacific Northwest.
Winetraveler Tip: Plan a family-friendly trip to Bellevue during the wintertime to catch the nightly holiday parade on Snowflake Lane at the Bellevue Collection! Each night at 7 PM from November 29th through December 24th, the streets of downtown Bellevue come alive with a magical winter parade complete with more than 200 live toy soldier drummers, falling snow, and glimmering lights. It’s a winter wonderland for children of all ages and adults, too!
The Wine Bars of Bellevue
Cépaé Tasting Room
258 106th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA
If building your own wine flight sounds intriguing, then you must visit the Cépaé Tasting Room where you can try some of the over 150 wines on site. Cépaé allows you to choose which wines you want to taste and build the flight of your dreams. From there, you can either have a glass or bottle while you dine on authentic French bites or take a bottle home with you from the retail shop. What is truly unique about Cépaé is that it is connected to the importer that has direct relationships with the producers of the wines available for purchase, allowing for unmatched access to these winemakers and brands in the Seattle-area.
Cépaé also offers wine classes and various events throughout the year, including viewing parties for important soccer matches that are showcased in the modern eatery. A French bakery café by day turns into a French wine bar by night, but don’t be shy about ordering a glass or flight at 7 AM. The bakery, L’Experience Paris, offers Parisienne specialties like tartines, truffles, cheeses, and Croque Monsieurs, that are perfect accompaniments to your wine experience. Stop by to try a taste of something exclusively available at Cépaé Tasting Room.
Purple Café and Wine Bar
430 106th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Looking for a place that is a little darker & cozier? Head down the street to Purple Café and Wine Bar. This wine bar is part of a local Seattle chain with locations in downtown Seattle and Woodinville, but the Bellevue location is a great stop on your wine bar tour. The style of the restaurant is “industrial wine library,” and it’s hard not to get caught up in the décor. Tall shelves of wine surround some of the long, wooden tables, and spiraling modern staircases lead up into the far reaches of the wine towers.
Purple has a full menu of everything from light bites to sandwiches, seafood, and pasta, and flights of Washington wines as well as options from other regions and styles. The wine list is comprehensive, and if you’re really interested in some wine humor, read the descriptions of the flights and bottles on each page written by Heavy Restaurant Group Wine Director, Chris Horn. They’re guaranteed to make you chuckle.
Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar
600 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue, Washington 98004
Located at the Westin in downtown Bellevue is the Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar, a cozy chic dining experience in the heart of town. When you stop in to visit Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar, you are embraced by a modern and comfortable atmosphere and a warm fireplace, which is the perfect spot for a glass of Washington wine. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, happy hour and dinner, making it a welcoming and versatile dining option.
Winetraveler Tip: Several of the hotels in downtown Bellevue, including the Westin and the W are connected by elevated walkways, making it easy to move around from building to building without crossing the street below! The hotels are also connected to nearby shopping and restaurants like the Bellevue Square Mall and the Lincoln South Food Hall.
Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi
10400 NE 4th Street, Suite 3100 Bellevue, WA 98004
It would be hard to find a backdrop more beautiful than the 31st floor panoramic views from Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi. On a clear day, you can see Mount Rainier from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the bar and the Seattle skyline from the dining room. Truly a stunning dining location, Ascend is the perfect spot to impress a date or colleague with a drink or fine dining experience.
The wine list offers options that may be harder to find at other restaurants but at competitive prices. In addition to wine, Ascend has an assortment of extremely creative cocktails with names like “1921,” “The Washingtonian,” and “Shiso Fire.” Come for happy hour and sit by the quiet bar and fireplace while you gaze out over the Northwest landscape of mountains, lakes, emerald trees and city skyline.
Come and Visit
Bellevue is truly a city that has it all. From trendy and chic wine bars to fine dining, shopping, and plenty of outdoor space, it’s a great destination for Winetravelers and their families visiting the Pacific Northwest.
Featured image of the view from Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi courtesy Suzi Pratt.
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