Best Neighborhoods to Live: Downtown Kirkland

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Homes in Downtown Kirkland, which is sometimes referred to as Moss Bay, are in demand because the neighborhood has a high Walk Score, charming homes and a distinct small-town vibe despite its close proximity to some of the biggest names in technology. Downtown Kirkland has a lot to offer, but one of the more popular things to do is lounge and enjoy the breathtaking views. People spend sunny days at one of the many waterfront parks, and beaches that have beautiful mountain, water and Seattle-skyline views. If you are in the mood for more, check out one of many restaurants, boutiques and unique events, such as the yearly classic car show, that the city offers.

If you’re thinking about moving to Downtown Kirkland, or just want to visit, here’s a list of our favorite places to go and things to see.


Downtown Kirkland is located east of Seattle next to Lake Washington and has easy access to the SR-520, I-405 and Downtown Bellevue, which is south of Kirkland. Most activity is on Lake Street with some restaurants on Kirkland Ave., Park Lane and Central Way.

Popular Bars, Restaurants & Nightlife in Downtown Kirkland

Zoka is a great place to grab a coffee and chat. Image via zokacoffee

Zoka (coffee)

Location: 129 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033
Phone: (425) 284-1830
Go there for: Coffee and socializing
Must try: Lavender mocha
Description: If downtown Kirkland were a mall, Zoka would be the anchor store. It sits right at the tip where Lake St. and Central Way meet and is always lively and fun. Go here for the great coffee and friendly baristas. No pressure to bring a friend — they have a communal table where people sit and chit chat with perfect strangers.


Location: 108 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland WA 98033
Phone: (425) 827-6622
Go there for: Brunch
Must try: Corinthian Omelet and Bloody Mary

Description: You’ll be hard pressed to find parking around George’s over the weekend, but the short walk will be totally worth it. They do some amazing Greek-inspired breakfast food. The Corinthian and Olympic Omelets and Eggs Karkanagiri are firm favorites, and the Bloody Mary is a showstopper for folks who love spicy cocktails.

Marina Park

Location: 25 Lakeshore Plaza Dr, Kirkland, WA 98033
Phone: (425) 587-3300
Go there for: People watching
Description: This is the big daddy of all parks in Kirkland. You see many, many boats parked here, people sunbathing on a nice day, a beautiful gazebo and even some ducks! It’s idyllic one moment and absolutely comes alive the next with year-round festivals and events. There’s never a dull moment here.

Get your spice on at the Hanuman Thai Cafe. Image via Zomato

Hidden Gems: Where the Locals Go in Downtown Kirkland

Hanuman Thai Cafe

Location: 115 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033
Phone: (425) 605-2181
Go there for: The spiciest Thai food in the city
Must try: Red Curry and Pad Thai
Description: Hanuman Cafe is somewhat nondescript and its storefront boldly eschews the Kirkland downtown aesthetic. That said, the food will give any other establishment a run for its money and you will leave with tears in yours eyes — the kind that are a result of a spicy, satisfying meal.

Kick back and relax at Marina Park. Image via Joe Mabel

Things to Do & See in Downtown Kirkland


There are some great boutiques in downtown Kirkland. Via Lago on Lake St. carries high-end designer fashions, while Purpose has a great collection that is more affordable. There is even a doggie boutique called Booboo Barkery for your furry friend.

People Watching

Downtown Kirkland is a people watcher’s dream. Marina Park is a popular destination that really comes alive when the weather is pleasant. A lot of restaurants have outdoor patio seating so it’s not uncommon to find people taking advantage of nice weather in the middle of the week, sipping beer and relaxing. 

Real Estate in Downtown Kirkland

Home stats

Downtown Kirkland’s real estate has been on fire for a few years and continues to thrive, albeit shifting slightly toward a sellers market. It’s a competitive market for buyers with very high price points, and a lot of the competition is with cash buyers since inventory is low and demand is high. Expect to pay more than list price and waive most contingencies to have a shot at winning the offer. The median sale price in the area is $430,000. If you’re thinking about moving to Downtown Kirkland, you can go to the Downtown Kirkland page on Redfin and hit the “save search” button at the top left to get alerts about new homes coming on the market and how much they cost. If you live in Kirkland, you can also claim your home to stay up-to-date on what is happening with similar properties around you. When you’re ready to buy or sell, a Redfin agent can help you through the process.

Getting Around Downtown Kirkland

Walk Score

One of the beautiful parts of Downtown Kirkland, it’s not necessary to go very far. It is the most walkable neighborhood in Kirkland, with a Walk Score of 78 due to the close proximity to grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. The transit score is 50 and there’s easy access to the SR-520, I-405 and Downtown Bellevue.

Thinking about Moving to Downtown Kirkland?

Here are some additional resources that might help:

What’d we miss? If you have a place you’d recommend that people visit in Downtown Kirkland, let us know in the comments below!

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Radhika lives on the Seattle Eastside with her family that includes her husband, their daughter and their yellow lab. She has an MBA in personnel management and spent a few years doing online marketing before making the switch to real estate. She enjoys walking her dog at the Bellevue Park or the Marina Park in Kirkland, and sharing a meal with her family at one of the many restaurants on the Eastside.

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