Eastlake is among the rapidly changing neighborhoods in Seattle. It is located on the east side of Lake Union, as the name implies. To the north is the Lake Washington Ship Canal, crossed by the University Bridge to the University District, and to the south is Cascade and South Lake Union. To the east is Capitol Hill, divided from Eastlake by Interstate 5.

The neighborhood used to be one made up of rundown apartment buildings, but in the course of the last twenty years has grown up to be home to a variety of offices and small businesses. It has also seen the removal of many older buildings and the installation of newer apartments and condominium buildings.

Eastlake is favored as a place to live by those looking to be near the University of Washington, as access is easy by bus or bike, as well as to downtown or South Lake Union. The lakefront area tends to have larger single-family homes, while the apartments lining Eastlake Avenue, the main thoroughfare, tend to be home to small studio or one-bedroom apartments.

Eastlake has a small commercial center at the corner of Eastlake and Lynn and another one at the northern end of the neighborhood. The northern center was the location of the (recently closed) original Red Robin restaurant, which went on to be a national chain. Along the lake front at the north end are a variety of boating related facilities, many of which double as party facilities to capitalize on their location for wedding and celebration rentals.