It can be fun going to the kind of bars that inevitably leads you to make bad decisions, but you don't want to make a bad decision about which bar you should go to in the first place. That's why we've done you a favor and picked the best Seattle bar for every possible occasion, from just after you get promoted to just after you get dumped, and everything in between. Okay, so there're really only 35 such occasions, but it's a good start, and you can always add more in the comments...
The Best Seattle Bar for (Almost) Every Occasion
Getting a drink after work: re:public
South Lake Union
This IS Seattle, so you probably work in South Lake Union, in which case this mainstay is convenient, cheerfully crowded, and cooks some sweet eats if you’re hungry.
Drinking 'til last call: Rabbit Hole
Last call quietly sneaks up on you in the most boisterous bar on Belltown’s ever-burgeoning 2nd Ave.
A wild night with the boys: Linda’s Tavern
This OG dive bar is apparently one of the last places Kurt Cobain was seen alive, so it's definitely good enough for you and your friends.
A wild night with the girls: Havana Social Club
A beautiful booth-lined cocktails spot with seriously sweet DJs to get you on the dance floor and the kind of slightly mysterious location that keeps the wrong kind of dudes away.
Going to watch the game: Auto Battery
From the crew behind next-door Po Dogs, and located in a former (wait for it!) auto battery shop, this garage-door-fronted hybrid coffee shop/sports bar's the perfect place to play/watch games.
Going to watch the match: The Market Arms
Opened by the Brit behind Seattle's quintessential soccer bar (George & Dragon Pub), this exposed brick, polished wood-heavy drink spot is a (slightly) less crowded Ballard alternative.
Grabbing a drink before the game: Quality Athletics
With all due respect to Seattle’s more venerable sports hangs, the food and the next-level decor make this The Town’s highest… sorry’boutthis!... quality stadium-adjacent boozer.
Hoping to meet someone: Peso’s Kitchen & Lounge
Lower Queen Anne
How do you know this mainstay meat-market is actually the place to go? It serves more alcohol every year than almost every bar in Seattle.
Eating a boozy brunch: RockCreek
Two words: hip-hop brunch.
Going out with your family: Mistral Kitchen
This glass-and-metal 100-seater has a little bit of everything: a sweet Downtown location, an attractive space, sweet cocktails, and even sweeter eats, all with a bustling, but still sophisticated, atmosphere.
Doing some day drinking: Little Water Cantina
South Lake Union
This South Lake Union boozer's sprawling patio with sweeping views of the city/lake is good enough for Keira Knightley, so it'll definitely work for you.
Drinking craft beer: Pine Box
One of the 33 best beer bars in America, this Cap Hill suds-slinger gets its name from the fact that it used to be a funeral home, and that it's got a... sorry'boutthis... killer beer selection.
Celebrating your birthday: El Camino
Pro tip: a bartender margarita and a quesadilla on the funky back patio will make you feel young again.
Celebrating someone else’s birthday: Wakefield
This new-ish boozer in the heart of Belltown boasts share-able plates from a former Marjorie chef, reasonably priced cocktails, and is just down the street from where you're ending the night (Rabbit Hole) anyway.
Celebrating your anniversary: Intermezzo Carmine
It's attached to one of Seattle's most romantic restaurants, so you'd better be drinking there on that special day.
Going on a first date: Bottlehouse
This old house in Madrona, where there's a sweet selection of wines (and beers!) and excellent small plates/charcuterie, is so charming that you might just end up back at yours.
Going on a third date: The Hideout
You can get away with almost anything at this incredibly dark First Hill boozer that's lit with what seems like just a few candles, and is decked with the kind of erotic art that should remind you why you're on a third date in the first place.
Drinking with someone you probably shouldn’t: Alibi Room
Given its name, and its dark subterranean location on Post Alley, the original Alibi Room is the obvious place for a secret assignation... But it's in the middle of Pike Place Market! Hit the out-of-the-way Greenwood version instead.
Drinking with your sweatpants on: Pike Place Bar & Grill
Another Pike Place boozer, this dive boasts an almost unbelievable combination of sprawling Puget Sound views, cheap drinks, and a complete lack of pretension.
Shooting some pool: Temple Billiards
A survivor of Pioneer Square's glory days, this subtly located pool hall is a timeless place to shoot some stick.
Eating free bar food: Oliver’s Lounge
Of all the places in the city with free eats, this hotel bar's by far got the most generous happy hour eats menu. Get some.
Playing video games: Unicorn & Narwhal
The basement of Cap Hill's incredibly popular carnival-themed boozer is packed with sweet old-school pinball machines & 8-bit gaming cabinets.
Playing bar games: Rhein Haus
This massive German beer hall boasts huge crowds, badass finger foods, and a bunch of indoor bocce ball courts you can (pretend you know how to) play on.
Getting a drink before dinner: Still Liquor
This sweet stone-and-wood heavy boozer makes some of the city's best cocktails, but serves pretty much no food. Luckily, is right below the Melrose Market and some of the city's sweetest eat spots.
Eating bar food: Brave Horse Tavern
South Lake Union
This South Lake Union bar has darts, a great beer selection, and a sweet polished wood-heavy second story location, but best of all? An incredible bar eats menu (including pretzels!) by famed chef Tom Douglas.
Sitting outside: Westward & Little Gull Grocery
With it's waterside location on the north shore of Lake Union, and unique views of the city, nothing beats this Wallingford boozer when it comes to outdoor drinking/dinning.
Just got dumped: Purple Cafe & Wine Bar
Sitting outside on a rooftop: 95 Slide
This sweet sports hang boats a casual rooftop bar that'd probably still be our pick even if there were more than four such spots in The Town.
Right after you get a promotion: Von’s 1000 Spirits
It's downtown, it's fun, and it's got more liquor than you can possibly drink, and no one you know drinks there. It's the perfect place to let loose and do a little celebrating.
Right after you get fired: Vito’s
This dark, windowless boozer boasts lounge singers/acts almost every evening, and has the kind of timeless decor/atmosphere, that'll make you forget the outside world.
New Year’s Eve: The Lookout
Hanging with friends from out of town: Dunbar Room
If they're cool they're probably staying at the newly renovated old-school Sorrento Hotel where it's located anyway.
Cinco de Mayo: The Saint
Hitting the club: Q Nightclub
After it's unisex bathrooms, unbeatable sound system, and sweet lineup of EDM acts, the best thing about this Cap Hill nightclub is the low-ceiling bourbon bar (with more than 100 whiskey) in the back.
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1. re:public429 Westlake Ave N, Seattle
2. Rabbit Hole2222 2nd Ave, Seattle
3. Linda's Tavern707 E Pine St, Seattle
4. Havana Social Club1010 E Pike St, Seattle
5. Auto Battery1009 E Union St, Seattle
6. The Market Arms2401 NW Market St, Seattle
7. Quality Athletics115 S King St, Seattle
8. Rock Creek4300 Fremont Ave N, Seattle
9. Mistral Kitchen2020 Westlake Ave, Seattle
10. Little Water Cantina2865 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle
11. The Pine Box1600 Melrose Ave, Seattle
12. El Camino607 N 35th St, Seattle
13. Wakefield2318 2nd Ave, Seattle
14. Intermezzo Carmine409 1st Ave S, Seattle
15. Bottlehouse1416 34th Ave, Seattle
16. The Hideout1005 Boren Ave, Seattle
17. Alibi Room10406 Holman Rd N, Seattle
18. Pike Place Bar & Grill90 Pike St, Seattle
19. Temple Billiards126 S Jackson St, Seattle
20. Oliver's Lounge405 Olive Way, Seattle
21. Unicorn1118 East Pike St, Seattle
22. Rhein Haus912 12th Ave, Seattle
23. Still Liquor1524 Minor Ave, Seattle
24. Brave Horse Tavern310 Terry Ave N, Seattle
25. Westward2501 N Northlake Way, Seattle
26. Purple Café & Wine Bar1225 4th Ave, Seattle
27. 95 Slide722 E Pike St, Seattle
28. Von's 1000 Spirits1225 First Ave, Seattle
29. Vito's Restaurant & Lounge927 9th Ave, Seattle
30. The 5 Point Cafe415 Cedar St, Seattle
31. The Lookout757 Bellevue Ave E, Seattle
32. Dunbar Room900 Madison St, Seattle
33. Saint1416 E Olive Way, Seattle
34. Q Nightclub1426 Broadway, Seattle
35. Peso's Kitchen & Lounge605 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle
It might seem like just a boisterous after-work spot in burgeoning South Lake Union, but the spacious, brick-walled Re:public is also one of the city's sweetest restaurants, with a small line-up of can't-miss gastropub-style eats.
In a departure from their first spot, the couple behind speakeasy-ish Bathtub Gin have just opened this self-proclaimed dive where they're serving oft-fried Southern-inspired nosh in a cavernous space that's constructed almost entirely from polished wood (from the row of high-backed banquettes, to the oversized L-shaped bar), and boasts entertainment via a retro-styled pinball machine and skeeball, which you should play with a girl who looks good (you should call her).
A classic pub in Seattle, Linda's prides itself on being "a nice place for nice people".
A beautiful booth-lined cocktails spot with seriously sweet DJs to get you on the dance floor and the kind of slightly mysterious location that keeps the wrong kind of dudes away. This place is selling elegance and you are buying. The ceiling is painted gold, so you know this club means business
From the crew behind next-door Po Dogs, and located in a former (wait for it!) auto battery shop, this garage-door-fronted hybrid coffee shop/sports bar's decked with stuff the previous owners left behind (motor-oil signage, an antique battery tester, etc.).
Opened by the Brit behind Seattle's quintessential public house (the George and Dragon), this exposed brick, polished-wood heavy drink spot improves on the original's concept by offering a wider array of classic "pub fayre", and classing up its L-shaped s
This upscale sports bar in Pioneer Square has it all: tons of flat screens, a slushy machine, a rooftop garden, fire pits, and an AstroTurf bar out back. And that's before you even get to the food and drink. Quality Athletics is backed by restaurant giant the Huxley Wallace Collective, so although the food follows bar food norms (wings, nachos, burgers, BBQ), it's prepared by a top-notch chef. Its local craft beer selection ain't bad, either.
A cavernous seafoodery helm'd by a former Toulouse chef who's serving a rotating selection of seriously sweet ocean-going eats (highlighted by Dungeness crab w/ garlic, chili, basil, tomalley aoli & hot sauce; Fijan Wahoo on a terrifically yellow pool of lemon escarole; etc.), plus a solid selection of cocktails, and inventive raw bar offerings like Mezcal oyster shooters.
Helm'd by one of Seattle's hottest chefs, this place offers slickly produced farm-to-table eats and a bar menu that includes things like a cocktail served in an ice cold flask.
A wall constructed with 800 tequila bottles reclaimed from "dumpsters of a lot of Mexican restaurants" isn't the only reason to check out this 150-seater. The kitchen is headed up by a French-trained chef whose resume includes Brooklyn's Henry Public &producing on Top Chef, and is sous'd by a Rick Bayless vet, and the two of them have invented some delicious Northwestern spins on traditional comida. Plus, that whole crazy tequila wall thing.
The Pine Box, simultaneously cool and a bit creepy given being located in an old mortuary, is more famous for its cocktails than the building's actual history. Here, they always serve a choice of at least two local ciders, along with cocktails, 30-plus taps of extremely well-curated West Coast-heavy brews, fancy brunch, and other delicious bites.
El Camino has been serving some of the best traditional Mexican food around for more than 15 years. Making regular trips across the border and sourcing ingredients from local, independent farms, its owners deliver a double roundhouse of flavor and freshness on a daily basis.
In the heart of Belltown, this boozery boasts share-able plates from a former Marjorie chef, reasonably priced cocktails, and a cider always on tap. Wakefield has two happy hours (one is late night), which might be the equivalent of a happy day.
The expansion to the iconic Intermezzo Carmine in Pioneer Square, this place has super tasty craft Italian cocktails andf small plates like seared ahi tuna and squid ink pasta.
Opened by two lovebirds whose resumes include interior design, event planning, and, naturally, fly-fishing, this new wine bar/shop slings a bevy of local and not-so-local vintages, small bites, and assorted wine-ware from the converted home it shares with
With novelty artwork adorning the interior, The Hideout offers cocktails with fresh squeezed juice in their dimly lit, cozy space.
With a happy hour AND a late night happy hour, the Greenwood Alibi gives you a lot to celebrate. As impressive as the microbrew selection is, the pizzas are the star of the show. Hugely creative and immensely delicious, these pies are forces to be reckoned with.
This dive boasts an almost unbelievable combination of sprawling Puget Sound views, cheap drinks, and a complete lack of pretension. This place has everything you want in any combination. Irish coffee and happy hour nachos? Check. Shepherd's Pie and white wine sangria? Check. Fettuccine Alfredo and a microbrew? Check, please.
As much a religious experience as you need, Temple Bar's got plenty of tables plus a weekly Service Industry Night which translates to a happy hour that continues until 2a plus half prices pool from 6p to 2a, all complimented by a bevy of $8 pizzas.
This unironically old-school swillery in the Mayflower Park's been plying people with booze long enough for the '70s-style flared jeans the GF's shopping for to inexplicably come back into style, and specializes in classic 'tails like the rye whiskey/bitters/absinthe Sazerac, a simple list of bar eats, and, during happy hour, a badass range of complimentary snacks that'll hopefully help you think of something to say when she asks how you like her new jeans.
Supposedly, the folks at Unicorn will deep-fry anything. Test that theory at this ridiculously high-concept French-circus-styled drinkery with vividly striped walls and zebra patterned/faux-period furniture. Ever wanted a drag queen to serve you breakfast? Lucky for you, Unicorn's also well known for their Sunday brunch specials, Mimosas with Momma, a weekly variety show and brunch buffet.
This massive German beer hall boasts huge crowds, badass finger foods, and a bunch of indoor bocce ball courts you can (pretend you know how to) play on. They even revamp tradition German fare. Try the Falafel Dog. It's LIKE a sausage, but there's no sausage.
This sweet stone-and-wood heavy boozer makes some of the city's best cocktails, but serves pretty much no food. Luckily, is right below the Melrose Market and some of the city's sweetest eat spots. With half-off wine on Wednesdays, half-off whiskey on Sundays, and special nights devoted to swing and funk, this converted auto garage is the place to drink.
Brought to Amazon-land by the same crew behind Cuoco, this second story, brick- and blonde wood-heavy 200-seater is dominated by a giant three-sided bar that boasts 24 taps, and features two retro-style shuffleboard tables beneath massive metal skylights.
Opened by the crew behind Skillet, Westward is a waterfront nautical spot with rustic decor. A wood-burning oven stands in the center of the room, the bar is boat-shaped, and the patio/beach boasts stunning views of Lake Union and Downtown. This spacious restaurant serves low-alcohol cocktails and small seafood plates that extend dinner beyond the usual starter, entrée, and dessert. Start with oysters at the adjoining Little Gull, finish with cocktails around the outdoor fire pit.
This wine bar has an awesome menu of real food, to complement its awesome wine list. Whether you're with the family or cruisin' for some lovin', Purple Café & Wine Bar has something for you.
95 Slide's a Cap Hill sports bar boasting memorabilia/flatscreens, a sweet rooftop lounge, and a menu featuring bites like chicken wings, poppers, and steak sandwiches.
Three of said 1000 spirits were created at Von's in-house alchemy bar, and all of them match nicely with edibles like brisket burgers on housemade sourdough brioche, and French country-style pizzas with a sourdough crust.
Vito's serves boot food ranging from antipasti (sirloin Carpaccio w/ arugula, shaved Parmesan & capers), to pasta (the black tiger prawns/black angel hair pasta/spicy red sauce'd Scampi Nero d'Angelo), and specials like the red sauce covered 12oz ribeye Steak Piazzola.
It's hard to argue with this quirky's dive's tagline: "Alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929" -- these guys have been serving boozy concoctions way under the radar since just before the end of prohibition, and it shows. The same goes for its heaping breakfasts of chicken & biscuits, plate-sized pancakes, and vegetarian hash and endless selection of classic burgers, sandwiches, and classic American comfort foods that make an ideal pair for a pint or specialty cocktail.
This almost completely overlooked boozer has stunning views of the Space Needle, and its annual firework display. Breakfast is served AFTER 11pm, there's a cocktail called a Queen Bitch, and the quinoa burger is fried (completely destroying the purpose of a quinoa burger). What else could you want?
This Hotel Sorrento bar is serving sick drinks alongside an amazing menu from Chef Seth Caswell.
The Saint is a traditional taqueria, making some killer and love-filled tacos and serving them alongside tequila. The team at The Saint is devoted to slowing the pace of your busy life with good food and good drink.
Q Nightclub boasts two bars, an elevated mezzanine, a unisex (!...?) bathroom, and a custom sound system, all of which the NYC nightlife-vet running the place has stuffed into a cavernous, century-old auto garage.
Pesos’s Kitchen and Lounge is a lot to behold, serving updated Mexican in an over-the-top Latin/rococo-esque dining room in Queen Anne. Zany wrought iron art crawling up the venue sign and arched windows make the place impossible to miss, and as evening descends the giant wall scones turn the dining room a glowing red reflecting the pulsing, club-like energy the place assumes. The dishes are just as lively with braised pork shoulder served with crispy exterior in green chile verde and well-marbled Argentine rib-eye with pomme frites and chipotle aioli. A list of margaritas and mojitos keep it hoppin’ (people tend to really booze here, during the popular happy hour or not), and Latin takes on American brunch-time classics the following day (cayenne-dusted, avocado-crowned crab eggs benedict with corn) make Sunday recovery easier.