The best dive bars in the 206
No epic night would be complete without a trip to one of Seattle's finest dive bars... from '70s style boozers to taxidermy-heavy bars, we've got 'em all.
The 5 Point Cafe
Its motto is “alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929”, they’re pretty mean to anyone wearing a Google Glass (they were the first bar in the country to ban ‘em -- months before they came out), and every morning from 6-9a they (rather subversively) serve up bacon pancakes and quick-fried mini donuts, plus cheap wells, and $2 drafts during their morning happy hour, all of which actually make it, despite its dim black-and-white checkerboard interior, a pretty nice place to grab a drink -- or five -- at dawn, or anytime, really.
The folks at this '70s-style CD destination for notoriously affordable drinks have figured out that everyone (except Slim Charles, obviously) loves cheese, so they decided to heap it on top of one of Seattle's best bar snacks
, which shares space on the scratch-made with stuff like chicken-fried bacon and other deliciousness.
For almost 20 years, LT's been a destination for musicians getting ready for a show (or bartending, serving, and working in the kitchen), and is supposedly the last place Kurt Cobain was seen alive. Also, some of their bathrooms are really nice. Just kidding, but the Cobain thing is true.
The Grizzled Wizard
Opened by a pair of bar/resto vets, this black painted Erotic Bakery-adjacent drink spot's serving signature old-timey 'tails (the Italian vermouth/dry gin/brandy/lemon Victor) under the kind of muted red lighting ideal for displaying their ironic graffiti-style wizard mural, and playing all their games, like pin-ball, free darts, and a gratis arcade-style console loaded w/ 80s classics like Galaga, Pac Man & Pole Position, which, if you keep focusing on video games, will always remain "shriveled uselessly in your pants".
Speckled and Drake
Sure, duck hunting would be wayyy cooler if the zapper worked on that bastard laughing dog, but apparently it's already cool enough to inspire the names of not one, but two drinking establishments opened by the same Seattle-native: this bi-level Cap Hill spot, and one called Duck Duck that you've probably never been to since -- like the dog on the two-dimensional 8-bit NES game -- it's in Flatbush.
The Mecca Cafe and Bar
Opened a year after The 5 Point (1930) by the same family, the Mecca's two narrow rooms boast all the usual dive hallmarks: surly bartenders, deliciously greasy eats, and drinks that're so stiff they'll put anyone where most people who go to the city it shares a name with are: on their knees.
This heavily taxidermy'd boozer's got seriously sweet deals on Oly and 14 other drafts, 15 burger options (like the peanut butter/bacon-based After School Special), plus hot wings, onion rings, and other "sidekicks", a massive patio out back, bars games (Buck Hunter, skeeball, etc.), and bottled craft 'tails served at "beer speed".
Helmed by the lady behind Po Dogs, Auto Battery, Grim's, etc., AD uses a slew of salvaged nautical maps/equipment, and almost all reclaimed materials to make this the place to wet your whistle with things like the sweet/tart Sailor Mule, which is made with Rachel's Ginger Beer but gets its kick from Sailor Jerry spiced rum, or the city's first nitro-poured (like Guinness!) cold-pressed coffee cocktails.
4. The Grizzled Wizard
2317 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Opened by a pair of bar/resto vets, this black painted Erotic Bakery-adjacent drink spot's got muted red lighting ideal for display of its ironic graffiti-style wizard mural; they're featuring signature old-timey 'tails (the Italian vermouth/dry gin/brand
5. Speckled & Drake
1355 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122
Sure, duck hunting would be wayyy cooler if the zapper worked on that bastard laughing dog, but apparently it's already cool enough to inspire the names of not one, but two drinking establishments opened by the same Seattle-native: Cap Hill's Speckled & Drake, and one called Duck Duck that you've likely never been to since -- like the dog on the two-dimensional 8-bit NES game -- it's in Flatbush.
6. The Mecca Cafe & Bar
526 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Any bar with a motto like "alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929", all-day breakfast, and a jukebox playing Coltrane, The Pixies, Tom Waits, and... um, Wham, is probably the place for you. So why aren't you at Mecca Cafe & Bar right now?
7. King's Hardware
5225 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
This heavily taxidermy'd boozer's got seriously sweet deals on Oly and 14 other drafts, 15 burger options (like the peanut butter/bacon-based After School Special), plus hot wings, onion rings, and other "sidekicks".