Claire’s: Try it again for the first time | Arts & Appetite


Last updated 12/14/2017 at Noon

Claire’s Where: 301 Main St., Edmonds Hours: 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday- Saturday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday Information: 425-776-2333,

“We used to come here all the time,” said Melissa, a fellow diner at Claire’s Restaurant on Main Street in Edmonds. “We will have to add it back in to the rotation.”

And if you have not been there in a while, you will be pleasantly surprised by the small changes within one of Edmonds’ longest standing restaurants, including fresh paint inside and out and updated décor, in the comfortable setting you remember.

The dining room has a clean, modern diner style featuring photos of Edmonds from decades and centuries past. The bar is warm and inviting, especially when the fire is needed on these chilly winter days.

The walls there pay homage to Edmonds events and feature photographs taken by a local Edmonds-Woodway High School student.

Claire’s still offers much of the same menu, but also new items and daily specials using fresh ingredients. They also still serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner all day, every day, so I was conflicted in deciding what meal to choose.

Various people had recommended the waffles, any of the omelets, the taco salad, the Cobb salad, or the bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado (BLTA) sandwich.

Because I was in the midst of a busy workday, even though I wanted comfort food, I knew the smart choice was one of the new salads on the menu – the avocado delight. The salad greens were fresh and crispy, the grilled chicken warm and tasty, and the unexpected blueberries and strawberries served as a great counterpoint to the savory dressing and the very generous helping of avocado.

I was happy that the waitress gave me options for the dressing since I love a good blue cheese dressing, and it did not disappoint. My tablemates tried the BLTA and the veggie burger, and both were very happy when the plates arrived with both what you would expect and what you would not.

For example, the BLTA had a great bacon to tomato ratio, critical to a good BLT, and the side salad was more than just greens and a few veggies, topped with beets and sunflower seeds. We enjoyed the meals wholeheartedly and were grateful for the attentive, friendly service.

In addition to the food, you feel the commitment on the part of the owners of Claire’s, Joan Wan and her husband Kin Ong, to create a pleasant dining experience. Both always wanted to be in the restaurant business because they always remember being a part of it.

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Joan’s parents had a restaurant when she was little (her brother now owns a restaurant, too), and her husband grew up cooking with his mother at a restaurant. After owning a place on the East Side for years, Joan and Kin came to Edmonds to bring their love of food and serving people to Claire’s.

“Joan loves to learn about people and find ways to help any of her customers if they ever need it,” said Christine Budd, who has worked at Claire’s for more than 15 years. “They put their heart and soul into this place and really care about people.”

The restaurant has always built lasting relationships with patrons. One of the youngest in the wait staff used to come to Claire’s as a little girl with her parents and grandparents. She now works at Claire’s part-time while attending the University of Washington.

Some of Claire’s regulars include the “Tuesday Group,” made up of locals who grew up in Edmonds and get together every Tuesday to enjoy lunch, and often coming back for drinks during happy hour. “It’s a tradition,” Christine said.

So if you are reading this and saying, “I have not been to Claire’s in a while,” it is definitely a place to, as they say, try again for the first time.

In Edmonds arts news: Since this column has not focused on the Appetite and not the Arts as of late, be sure to check out all there is to do in Edmonds during the last two weeks of December.

At Edmonds Center for the Arts, Dec. 21 brings the Blind Boys of Alabama with Preservation Hall Legacy Horns, or treat the kids to a little extra Santa (and raise money for the Washington Council of the Blind) in the Santa Show on Dec. 26.

Go to to learn more about these and future shows.

The city features information about upcoming art events and exhibits on its website (, while the Edmonds Downtown Alliance website ( features information about the final holiday market (Dec. 16) and businesses offering other entertainment or holiday events.

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