Food & Drink

The Most Beautiful Bars in Seattle

Published On 11/03/2015 Published On 11/03/2015
Courtesy of Intermezzo Carmine

Everyone knows that things (and people) start to look better after a few drinks, but why wait for the booze to kick in? Thankfully, if you do your drinking in a bar with 7,000lbs of handmade Moroccan tile, a spot where all the wood's stained with Angostura bitters, or any of Seattle's 10 most beautiful drinking establishments, you totally don't have to.

Courtesy of Intermezzo Carmine

Intermezzo Carmine

Pioneer Square

This newish street-front extension of Seattle's famed Il Terrazzo has a casually elegant (as if someplace in The Town can be any other kind of elegant) atmosphere thanks to a high ceiling, a serenely pale color palette, and a stone/glass-bedecked bar against the wall that quietly but impressively dominates the space. 

Courtesy of Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium

Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium

Capitol Hill

One of the best cocktail/whiskey bars in America, this Cap HIll boozer offers 1) the largest selection of American whiskey in the world, 2) a 94-page spirits menu, and 3) space-age devices like centrifuges to make cocktails with, but all of that is overshadowed by its apothecary-style space where every piece of wood (and there is LOTS of it) is stained with Angostura bitters.

Courtesy Herb & Bitter Public House

Herb & Bitter Public House

Capitol Hill

The latest addition to Broadway’s bar scene boasts a smart and mature drink menu centered around Italian amari: aperitifs, digestifs, and fernets, etc., and a spectacular space in which to enjoy them, 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.

Goldfinch Tavern

Goldfinch Tavern

Downtown

This Four Seasons lobby bar from prolific Seattle super-chef Ethan Stowell boasts a light, airy space decorated with hand-blown glass lights, and is lent warmth by a fireplace near the bar, but the highlight is the floor-to-ceiling windows through which you can gaze upon the Great Wheel and the rest of the waterfront.

Chona Kasinger

The Dunbar Room

First Hill

A newly renovated drink spot inside Seattle's oldest boutique hotel (a hotel that was once traded for an orchard, BTW), the DR feels like the kind of swanky watering hole you might have found in colonial North Africa mostly thanks to its polished-wood shutters and ceiling beams, and over 7,000lbs of blue and white tile imported from Morocco.

Percy's Seattle

Percy's and Co. 

Ballard

A stunning brick-walled, apothecary-style spot from a crew whose past credits include places like Rudy's and the Ace Hotel, P&C boasts an equally badass deck out back overlooking Salmon Bay and is strewn with herbs and other plants used in its sophisticated cocktails that, as the parsley-/sage-/rosemary-/thyme-infused gin-based Garfunkel demonstrates, are practically works of... waitforit... art.

Omega Ouzeri

Omega Ouzeri

Capitol Hill

This serenely sophisticated space boasts a cool (as in not warm) blue and white color palette that matches the fresh Greek-inspired seafood that graces the menu, a glass wall that opens to the street, and a modern, minimalist aesthetic that is meant to put the focus on the food, but is at least as memorable.

Westland Distillery

Westland Distillery

SoDo

So, technically it's a tasting room that's only open by appointment, but this 13,000sqft single malt whiskey distillery, boasting soaring industrial spaces, rough-hewn wood beams, concrete floors etc., is definitely one the most stunning places to get a drink in the city.

Arctic Club Seattle

Polar Bar at The Arctic Club

Downtown

Located in what used to be a members club for leading Seattle businessmen, the Polar Bar is easily one of Seattle's most overlooked drinking establishments, which means you can often have the sprawling old-school space, with fluted columns, a fireplace, and a subtly back-lit bar, all to yourself.

Chona Kasinger

Westward

Wallingford

Opened by the crew behind Skillet, Westward is a nautically themed spot in a beautiful, but slightly rustic (and yes, twee) space that's built around a wood-burning oven, has a boat that surmounts the bar, and boasts stunning views of Lake Union and Downtown from its patio/beach.

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Bradley Foster was the founding editor of Thrillist Seattle who thinks it's really weird that the most beautiful view from Westward is southward.

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1. Intermezzo Carmine 409 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 (Pioneer Square)

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.

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2. Canon 928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

This snug bespoke whiskey bar and bitters emporium makes up for its cozy quarters with an astounding collection of wine and spirits (peep the 94-page menu!). If that weren't reason enough to check out this Capitol Hill spot, Canon Whiskey holds the title for having the largest selection of American whiskey in the world... score!

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3. Herb & Bitter Public House 516 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102 (Capitol Hill)

Italian amari steals the scene at this addition to Broadway’s drinking scene: libations are smart and mature, and the space -- with its dark ceiling and beautiful chandelier -- is impressive, especially the oversized patio with optional covering for those Seattle drizzles. When the weather's nice, enjoy your drink on the oversized patio with a retractable roof that might be one of Seattle's best outdoor drinking spots.

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4. Goldfinch 99 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

Situated in the Four Seasons Hotel downtown, Goldfinch offers a casual, Northwest-focused menu full of local ingredients (Dungeness crab, king salmon, poricini mushrooms), ready to be paired with cocktails made from local spirits and fresh-pressed juices. It is quite possibly as trendy as can be.

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5. Dunbar Room 900 Madison St, Seattle, WA 98104

This Hotel Sorrento bar is serving sick drinks alongside an amazing menu from Chef Seth Caswell.

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6. Percy's Seattle 5233 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

A stunning apothecary-style spot from dudes who's past credits include places like King's Hardware, Rudy's, and The Ace Hotel, Percy's in Ballard is serving up a sophisticated selection of locally sourced eats from a Southern and Creole inspired menu that pair perfectly with their herbaceous cocktails and house-infused liquors. Be sure to stop by on Monday for all day happy hour.

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7. Omega Ouzeri 1525 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

Specializing in “Greek recipes from Earth and sea," you can come with a big group or small -- Omega Ouzeri can accommodate all group sizes with its large communal table and smaller scale seating arrangements. Highlights here include the Lavraki (whole grilled branzino) and Octapodi, which is grilled octopus with Yukon gold potatoes and goat horn chile vinaigrette.

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8. Westland Distillery 2931B 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

Not only is this place a whiskey distillery, but it is one of the most beautiful bars in Seattle.

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9. Polar Bar 700 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

This has to be one of Seattle's most overlooked spaces, which means that you can get the whole place all to yourself.

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10. Westward 2501 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103 (Wallingford)

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.

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