I only get happy hour when I'm in Bellevue. You could probably understand why. Plates averaging at $20 per head is a little much on my little wallet but happy hour allows me to get a drink and then some.
In addition to development and creating an identity, Bellevue is coming up on the culinary scene. Even on Bellevue Way where chain restaurants seem to make the mark-up of the cuisine in Bellevue, there are a few gems like Black Bottle Postern from Seattle, independently-owned Pearl Bar & Dining, and Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub that are serving made from scratch drinks, food and a well-rounded selection of local beers.
Bellevue's happy hour is more than fancy-pants cocktails and glorified and fried pub fare. It pushes the envelope of high-end cuisine delivered in small, yet wholesome bites. It's crafting cocktails from scratch not made with cheap flavored vodkas. In thinking about all these things I decided to round up my favorite happy hours around Downtown Bellevue. Maybe I'll see you at some of these beloved establishments? I'm always THERE!
Pearl Bar & Dining
Pearl has the best happy hour around and the following restaurants are close contenders. Their happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. They serve some of the best hard-punching dainty cocktails in this city. Their Cosmo is such a fun night in Bellevue- do not underestimate. Thanks to Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson, Pearl offers happy hour $6 Small Plates including wild mushrooms with crispy polenta, steamed penn cove mussels, roasted pork belly and my favorite seared ahi tuna.
From 4 to 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. to close, happy hour at 99 Park is a stylish pre-funk party. It's not a place to get totally hammered although I've seen that (cougars go hard..). It's really a place to appreciate craftsmanship from cocktails to dishes. I basically love the whole happy hour menu and not because my boyfriend works there. They're truly changing the game for Bellevue restaurants. Keep up. My favorite dishes if I had to choose: Short rib tacos (I only just tried these last night), dry aged beef skewers (get at least three), Taylor shellfish clams and mussels in panang curry. Best. Ever.
Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub
After a night of sloshing down cocktails and beer you kind of want something comforting, salty and fatty. Unfortunately Bellevue isn't home to the likes of Lil Woody's, Dick's, Memo's or China Town. But we do have Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub. Serving up shepherd's pie, praties and gravy ("Irish" take on poutine), and beef stew, Paddy Coyne's happy hour food is a big warm hug and comforting affirmation that everything really is going to be ok. Everything is scratch made down to Paddy's awesome Soda Bread! Come and get it starting at 10 p.m.
They just updated their happy hour, haven't been there in a while but I'm already impressed. They recently added a progressive burger meal to the happy hour. Here's how it works: 3-4 p.m. $5, 4-5 p.m. $7, 5-6 p.m. $9. What's it made of? 1/4 lb RR Beef Patty, Wesley’s Secret Sauce, Tillamook Chedder and fries. Plus they've added pickle chips, chicken confit poutine and cheese curds. I'm not a fan of fried, fatty happy hour grub, but I'm human and have my cravings. This is the place I go when the craving calls. Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m. daily.
520 Bar & Grill
520 Bar & Grill is home to my favorite shot at the moment and bartender, Bram. 520 fireball whiskey is just fireball whiskey and pineapple but it does the job. Bram is just one example of exceptional customer service and being a friend. He's awesome along with everyone else at 520. We seriously had a conversation with one server who shared her affinity for old-school hip hop. Not something you'd expect from a restaurant in Bellevue. Truly a place for great food, service and having a chill, fun time. I love the Italian Spring Rolls (even though I HATE fusion) and their prosciutto and fontina grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato jam. Happy hour is Monday through Friday 2-5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. Saturday and Sunday 3-5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close.
All day happy hour and portabella fries (It's not on the happy hour menu though; you can find it in the bar menu). That is all you need to know.