Food & Drink

The Best Bars in Seattle Right Now

Updated On 12/08/2017 at 05:51PM EST
Canon Seattle

Canon

Capitol Hill

The Seattle craft cocktail bar
The awards bestowed on this bar range from “World’s Best Cocktail Menu,” to "One of the Most Beautiful Bars in Seattle", and “Best Bathrooms in Seattle,” but the truth is, it's hard to come up with something here that doesn’t deserve an award. The spirit list is one of the longest in the world and the captain’s list holds some rare and old treasures, while the cocktail menu is innovative and filled with creative new ways to build a drink. Sadly, the secret patio isn’t open in the cooler months, but the darkness brings about a seasonal favorite here: the truffle Old Fashioned.

Rumba Seattle

Rumba

Capitol Hill

A refined island escape in Pike/Pine
A Caribbean vacation in bar form, this rum-driven spot brings everything an island vacation needs, like turquoise décor, tropical cocktails, and plantain chips. You’ll have to trade away the sunshine, but in return, your cocktail will be better than anything ever served poolside -- with or without the tiny umbrella.

Flickr/thesqueedler

Linda's Tavern

Capitol Hill

The Town's quintessential dive bar
Linda’s is the platonic ideal of a Northwest bar, with good music, a vaguely woodsy vibe (provided in part by a taxidermied buffalo head above the bar), and plenty of Rainier tall boys. With more than two decades under its belt, this bar has laid out the welcome mat for Seattle’s most famous celebrities -- it is supposedly the last place Kurt Cobain was seen alive -- and its newest citizens alike, all without fanfare. Just a drink and a dark corner from which to watch the world go by. Also, their bathrooms are really nice. Just kidding, but the Cobain thing is true.

Courtesy of Bottlehouse

Bottlehouse

Madrona

A wine bar you'll never want to leave
It’s just like your home, only the maid came, the cook’s here, and suddenly, the living room shelves are lined with wine bottles. This converted house brings all the comforts of home (with a lovely patio to boot) together with a well-curated wine bar. Taste through what’s open, have a glass and relax, or pay a small corkage to open any of the bottles in the store.

Naomi Tomky/Thrillist

Essex

Ballard

Trendy cocktail bar with food from one of Seattle's best pizza places
With its whale print wallpaper and house-made liqueurs, Essex sometimes feels like it’s ticking imaginary boxes off a trends checklist. But while showcasing what’s cool, it also puts out what’s good: an Americano on tap, a barrel-aged drink mixing aquavit, Cocchi Americano, and gentian, and food straight from the wood-fired oven of sibling/neighbor Delancey.

Naomi Tomky/Thrillist

Loretta's Northwesterner

South Park

Authentic dive with the fourth-best burger in America
A few years ago it would have felt dangerous talk about Loretta’s out loud: Any minute, it could have been invaded by tech bros/tourists and the perfectly dingy, laid-back vibe of the place would have been gone forever. Well, we don't have to worry about that anymore, because first Josh Henderson of Westward, etc. brought the Vice cameras by for a Chef's Night Out, and then we went and told the world that this out of the way bar makes one of the country's best burgers. Oops. But luckily the place hasn't really changed, and the burger definitely hasn't, so you'd better start figuring out where South Park is already.

Chuck's Hop Shop Central District

Chuck's Hop Shop

Greenwood

Your favorite brewer's favorite bar
Once a place to pick up cigarettes and malt liquor, this old corner store has undergone a slow but complete transformation into one of Seattle's leading beer bars (and spawned a second location in the Central District). Inside, 41 taps spill over with brews of all styles -- though the focus is on IPAs -- and they still sell a few snacks held over from the shop's previous incarnation, while outside you'll find a small patio and a rotating selection of Seattle's most popular food trucks.

Foreign National

Foreign National

Capitol Hill

An ambitious bar with unconventional cocktails
This distinctive drink destination from the people behind next door's acclaimed Stateside was only open a few weeks when people started calling it Seattle's “best bar” of 2016, and the accolades haven't stopped since. The same combination of street food with an urban, upscale style employed by Stateside works even better here, where they're taking even more risks in the form of molecular mixology and pungent asian flavors, like coconut and curry that compete for space on a menu that also offers lemongrass ice cream banana splits.

The Nest

The Nest at the Thompson Seattle

Downtown

Rooftop spot with stunning views of Puget Sound
Historically Seattle's watering holes have remained, for the most part, firmly rooted on the ground floor, but that's started to change recently thanks to a spate of high (great pun totally intended) profile openings led by the Nest, which boasts a sprawling patio, a cozy indoor space, and a sleek modern bar. Not to mention absolutely unbeatable views over Elliot Bay and Puget Sound, and the alcoholic Otter Pop on the menu. Enough said.

E. Smith Mercantile

E. Smith Mercantile Back Bar

Pioneer Square

Elegant, old-timey cocktail bar hidden in a haberdashery
It barely even qualifies as a bar. Seriously, it's simply a dozen or so seats around horseshoe-shaped counter at the back of a dry goods/gift shop, but if you're lucky enough to find it, well then you've discovered a whimsical world of house-made tinctures, and charmingly anachronistic touches (the Campari actually gets its color from little red beetles like they all used to).

Knee High Stocking Co

Knee High Stocking Co.

Capitol Hill

Secretive speakeasy... now with more space
When it opened almost 10 years ago, on what was then an out-of-the-way block on Olive, KHSC was at the cutting edge of a speakeasy resurgence. But now, in an effort to keep up with the times, it has expanded its Filipino-inspired menu (they even do brunch), and expanded the bar itself by adding a slightly misshapen subterranean space with rich wallpaper and a crystal chandelier. This effort has more than doubled the space and made it so you don't have to text ahead to get a seat anymore. One the thing that hasn't changed: there's still almost no way to tell there's a bar there from the street. 

The 5 Point Cafe

5 Point Cafe

Belltown

Iconic 24-hour dive in the shadow of the Space Needle
We were tempted to go with one of Seattle's other famous dives (like The Mecca, which was actually opened by the same guy who started the 5 Point) but we did label this occasionally rowdy spot with a 6am breakfast happy hour, and nude Polaroids hanging behind the bar the most iconic drinking establishment in the state a couple of years ago. So for the sake of editorial consistency, the bar’s lively scene at the edge of Seattle's booming Westlake neighborhood, and the aforementioned breakfast happy hour, we had to go with the 5 Point.

Barnacle

Barnacle

Ballard

Amaro-focused bar with a new national reputation
When Renee Erickson opened this petite (less than 800 square feet), bar next to her renowned Walrus & The Carpenter, it was basically treated like a place to get a drink while you waited for a seat next door. But thanks to a highly curated collection of Italian Amaro-based cocktails, and a place on Esquire's list of the 24 best bars in America, this nautically named bar has stepped firmly out of the admittedly long shadow cast by its neighbor and made a name for itself far beyond Seattle.

No Anchor Beer Bar

No Anchor

Belltown

Fun beer and fine dining at the same time
Owned by the same couple behind Seattle's legendary Rob Roy (going there is one of the most festive things to do in Seattle this year), and the brand new -- almost equally great -- Navy Strength next door, No Anchor gets the nod because... well, because we couldn't exactly put all three on the list. And because NA's combination of "weird beer + rad food" make it an almost perfect expression of Seattle right now. Creative, casual, and upwardly mobile, but with just the right amount of fun.

Commonwealth Seattle

Commonwealth

Belltown

Possibly the perfect urban drinking experience
Set off an alley between Third & Fourth near Bell, this dark, comfortable bar -- decorated by a giant stained glass star salvaged from Charlie's on Broadway, and an eclectic mix of homey furniture -- walls off the outside world. It plies you with the kind of warm whiskey-based cocktails and slightly Southern-inspired comfort foods (shrimp & grits, mac & cheese, etc.) that'll make you forget about everything else. And get you through our endless gray winters with ease.  

The Pine Box

Pine Box

Capitol HIll

The best beer bar in a city that's full of them
One of the best beer bars in America (seriously, it’s good), the PB is located in a stunning old funeral home with a vaulted ceiling and tons of dark polished wood. It also takes an appropriately worshipful approach to the 30+ brews on tap, some of which they even pour through a flavor-infusing filter, giving them a... killer flavor. Thank you, thank you.

Alchemy West Seattle

Alchemy

West Seattle

Pursuing the perfect cocktail in the Junction
Slightly out of place in the super-casual West Seattle (or perhaps a sign of things to come as the 'hood continues to grow), this elegant, apothecary-inspired spot is serving up seasonal cocktails made with a farm-to-table (garden-to-glass?) respect for ingredients, and a precise, almost scientific approach to mixology. The result is a range of meticulous drinks including the Black & White made with activated charcoal infused Bombay Dry, and the rye-based Bon Fire, which has a bunch of ingredients, including "house-made funky orange bitters," that are stirred then smoked in a beaker and served with a large ice cube you pour the whole thing over at your table.

Bathtub Gin & Co.

Bathtub Gin & Co.

Belltown

An intimate, and influential, Prohibition-era cocktail bar
Though it can still be a little hard to find thanks to its largely unmarked entrance off an alleyway, the secret's been out on this speakeasy-style bar for the better part of a decade. It makes some of the best cocktails in the city (like the bourbon/fig & maple syrup/lemon juice Death Star), all in a tiny, two-level space with a tin ceiling, and, surprise, an actual bathtub in the middle of the floor.

Herb & Bitter Public House

Herb & Bitter Public House

Capitol Hill

A stunning bar with some equally stunning drinks
We once named it Seattle’s best cocktail bar, thanks to a smart and mature drink menu centered around Italian amari (aperitifs, digestifs, and fernets, etc.) and one of the most beautiful bars in the city. It’s in a spectacular space, with a dark tin ceiling, a beautiful chandelier, and an oversized patio with a retractable roof that might be one of Seattle's best outdoor drinking spots.

The Sovereign

The Sovereign

Pioneer Square

A gorgeous subterranean bar with a great happy hour
Step down into this subterranean space from the same people behind the Forge Lounge and let the underlit art nouveau bar -- and well-worn tile floor -- transport you back in time. And if that doesn't do it than the ridiculously old-school price point of their happy hour cocktails ($4!) definitely will.

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The Best Places in Seattle to Watch The FIFA World Cup

Published On 06/08/2018
T he biggest soccer decision you have to make this summer is... well, when to stop watching the Sounders embarrass themselves this season (for most of us it was after they lost to Portland. C’MON). But obviously, the second biggest decision is where to watch all the World Cup matches when they start next month.
Even though the US didn’t qualify and the games are in Russia, you can still have fun by finally using soccer as an excuse to wake up at 8am and start drinking. Woo! The first-round matches kick off June 14 and run to the 28th. And to help you enjoy yourself even if you’re not enjoying Panama get walloped by Belgium, we found Seattle’s best soccer bars, loaded with food, drink, and futbol. We’ll also be updating this list with new parties, events, and general revelry, so check back as the games begin.
George and Dragon Pub

The George & Dragon Pub

Fremont

Seattle's quintessential soccer bar showing early-morning games
Named after a pub in London that dates back to the Middle Ages, it seems like The George & Dragon has been the most popular soccer bar in what is arguably America's most footy-mad city. Watching this World Cup will require more commitment than last time when it was in Brazil, as the time difference between Russia and the West Coast means some matches will start as early (or late?) as 3am. There isn't a bar in the city that'll be open then, but the G&D is planning to open for all the 5am matches, and will open a massive outdoor beer garden for England matches as well as the final.

Cafe Presse

Capitol Hill

A little piece of Paris in Pike/Pine, ideal for cheering on France
This cafe bar is unapologetically French, an effortlessly cool spot with a menu of casual Parisian café classics, foreign newspapers and magazines up front, and framed international soccer jerseys hanging on the walls. CP is preparing for the Cup with a very un-French level of enthusiasm: They're throwing a World Cup Kickoff Party from 7am-10am on June 14, and hosting a day-long celebration of France's first match starting at 7am two days later. They're also offering $14 bottles of white, red or rosé wine, and $10 cheese & charcuterie plates during all France matches, and $1 off Kronenbourg during all afternoon replays for people who get up at a civilized hour.

The Atlantic Crossing Pub

Roosevelt

Seattle's most famous -- and boisterous -- soccer bar
Thanks to a viral video of (overly?) enthusiastic fans celebrating Landon Donovan's goals against Ghana in 2010, AC might be Seattle's most well-known soccer destination, and thanks to partnerships with major supporters groups like the American Outlaws, Arsenal America, Emerald City Supporters, and more, you can count on it being packed with rowdy fans whenever there's a match on. Since the AC is already the kinda place to open early so people can watch soccer, you can basically just expect more of the same. Except they'll be open even earlier, including for some of the 5am matches.

Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant

Fado

Pioneer Square

Where to catch a match on your lunch break
One of almost a dozen locations spread around the world, Fado still manages to feel like a local Irish pub, partly thanks the traditional food and beer options, partly due to the timeless wood-heavy decor, and partly 'cause it's the kind of place where you're guaranteed to find Arsenal fans skipping work to watch their team have another disappointing season. Fado will be opening earlier (but not in time for the 5am matches -- that'd be crazy) and offering their brunch during the morning matches, no matter what day it is.

Rhein Haus

Capitol Hill

Three bars, five bocce courts, and a TON of TVs
In addition to the bocce courts, this massive German-style biergarten has a full menu of Bavarian favorites (think bratwursts, pretzels, schnitzels, and spätzle), a large draft and bottled beer list featuring Eastern European and Pacific Northwestern beers, and shows soccer all season long. They'll be replaying big matches during regular business hours and will be opening early at 8am for select games, including Germany vs Mexico on Sunday, June 17.

St. Andrews Bar and Grill

Green Lake

A modern English pub hiding in plain sight on Aurora with a lot of Scotch
A block north of the little strip of bars and restaurants (including Beth's and Olde 99) that overlooks Green Lake Park, and across the street from fairly noticeable gun and motorcycle shops, St. Andrews is easy to overlook... but don’t do that. It's got 80 single-malt Scotches on offer, a solid pub food menu, and TVs on every wall and in every corner. Plus a 130-inch projection screen behind the bar. Last month, KUOW picked St. Andrews as the place to interview soccer fans about the rivalry between Seattle and Portland (something we already know a ton about), so expect to meet thoughtful yet passionate fans who'll totally tell you how disappointed they are in the Sounders this season during every break in the action.  

LTD Bar and Grill

LTD Bar and Grill

Fremont

All the soccer with none of the hassle
Let's face it, finding a seat at The George & Dragon during the World Cup will probably be even harder than understanding the offside rule, but just down the street, this corrugated metal-clad sports hang has plenty of outdoor seating/TVs, and a solid bar menu to choose from -- including a very underrated (by other people) burger. Celebrate your team's successes (or failures) with $3 drafts if you order in the five minutes after a goal is scored, or ignore the score entirely and focus on the new weekend brunch menu they'll be introducing in time for the tournament.

Finn MacCool's

University District

A dark (in a good way!) soccer destination on The Ave
The guy behind Finn's owns four British Isle-inspired bars (including McGilvras, The Chieftain, and Madrona Arms), and all of 'em will be showing as many matches as possible during the World Cup. Finn's will open at 10am during the World Cup (8am for the final) and'll be offering $6 Heinekens or a Tecate & a shot for $6 throughout the tournament. Oh, and you can enter a raffle to win Sounders tickets while your there.