Bellevue, Seattle’s largest suburb, seems like it’s all software, skyscrapers and shopping malls, but look closer to find quirky upscale boutiques, cafes and a trace of old fashioned community. With one third of the residents claiming Asian ancestry, the food is awesome – make sure to grab an Indian, Taiwanese or Japanese meal.
Bellevue means “beautiful view” in French, which might seem puzzling, since the city is relatively flat. But then, on a clear day, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains come into view and you’ll understand how it got its name. Leave the concrete jungle by biking or kayaking Lake Washington, where you’ll get glimpses of shady parks and the mansions of local business barons.
Now it’s time to eat. The indie food court at Crossroads Mall is a surprisingly good hunting ground. So is the local farmers’ market, where you’re as likely to find Chinese steamed buns as luscious local berry tarts and organic vegan fare. If you’ve come to Bellevue on business (as many do), you’ll be pleasantly surprised.