More on Mercer Island Restaurants

Having recently done a few reviews of Mercer Island restaurants, I’m interested to see what the foodies think. Chowhound isn’t kind to our Mercer Island restaurants:

Any good restaurants on Mercer Island? “I’ve been working on the island for six months now, and I am still asking the same question.”


Chowhounds note a few exceptions if you read the comments:

  • Pan Proem Thai, further south on 78th, I’ve had twice and it was well-made and fresh.” Yup.
  • Bennett’s is good.
  • Cellar 46 comes recommended but to date I’ve only done a drive-by. (Confidential to Ken: I’ll get there.)
  • Also, if you’re up for a bit of a trek, the new Mexican place on the south end of the island isn’t bad.” Agreed. A good find. It’s the one next to the QFC.

As for the other restaurants on the Island, let’s just say that if we want a steak we go to The Islander and otherwise we eat at home.

9 responses to “More on Mercer Island Restaurants

  1. We haven’t been eating out much lately on the island, but here’s our ranking of the places we’ve been to:
    1 Bennett’s – Great food, but pricey and can be noisy. Absolutely the best summer patio.
    2 Cellar 46 – My wife loves it, but I find the portions small and the environment too austere.
    3 El Sombreros – Tasty, yet uninspired Mexican-American food.
    4 Islander – Food is okay, but the place is really starting to look dingy. Which makes me wonder about the kitchen.
    5 Pon Proem. Used to be our favorite Thai place, but haven’t been back in several months after looking too closely at the food-encrusted carpeting.
    6 North-end Japanese place. Ok for Japanese food, which isn’t our favorite.
    7 South-end Japanese place. Probably even more authentic Japanese food, but menu items were too strange for our tastes.

  2. Generally agree, except that we prefer Cellar 46 over Bennetts. Smaller portions allow you to taste more things, and the deserts are simpler (we find the Bennett’s deserts too heavy).

    Also, Yuzen (the Japanese place on the south end) is our #1 favorite restaurant in the region. They have some $1 sushi, and my personal all-time favorite dish Niku Udon (beef & noodles in broth). We tried the Mexian place and were not impressed.

    Oh, and we regularly do take out from “I Love Pho” on the north end. Cheap and delicious.

  3. Bennett’s #1 for me as well…

    I also like Pon Proem, great place for take out.

    I also like take out from Han’s Garden Chinese Restaurant, 3020 78th Ave SE. The veggie fried rice, Bok Choy with Black Mushrooms and the prawns with walnuts were all good. Both Han’s and Pon are fast, so I can order on the way home and pickup.

    Yuzen also scores high marks and I agree the Mexican place was uninspiring. (If you are ever in the Bay Area, try La Fiesta in Mountain View).

    Would really love it if someone opened an Indian place. Maybe with all the new retail space coming online…

  4. Has anyone tried the new Pizza Place? Island Crust ( I have not….

  5. mercerislandblogger

    @Dave: We’ve got the same top 5 that you do, except for Cellar 46 and in different order. And you’re right about the South End teriyaki place: I went once and it was really good.

    @Ken: Haven’t tried Island Crust, but maybe we will. Thanks for the Yelp & urbanspoon lists- Alpenland shows up on Yelp’s list, so maybe we’ll try it. But Yelp ranks subway #1 on the Island so it’s a bit suspect.

  6. @mercerislandblogger: Actually, Toshi’s Teriyaki in the south end center is different than Yuzen (across the parking lot).

    Forgot about Alpenland – an interesting place that deserves at least one visit.

  7. I’m a big fan of the Royal Fork, and also, Codfish Charlie’s…

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