From gin-centric craft cocktails and secret speakeasies to craft beer, dives, and wine bars, we’ve covered all the drunken bases for you. Read on for our eight fave bars in the Emerald City.
It can be hard to find this “hidden” Prohibition-era cocktail bar in the alley between 1st and 2nd Ave in Belltown. But once you do find the unmarked door, you’ll enter into what used to be the boiler room of an old brick hotel and is now a highly respected gin bar. On any given night, Bathtub Gin & Co. features 30 kinds of G for your T. The tiny, two-level space features exposed brick interior, tin ceilings, and an actual bathtub in the middle of the floor. Sidle up to the small pine bar upstairs or settle into a comfy couch in the low-lit lower-level lounge with a book from the tiny library in the back.
Tucked away in the borough of Madrona, this intimate, charming wine bar offers all the comforts of home in a converted 1905 craftsman. The well-curated wine list emphasizes local, small/boutique, and natural production finds from the Pacific Northwest to all over the globe. One-of-a-kind cheese and charcuterie boards are featured on the seasonally rotating menu. The lovely patio hosts educational wine parties when the weather is nice.
This award-winning craft cocktail bar in the Central District boasts America's largest spirit collection. With 4,000 labels and counting, its a “whiskey and bitters emporium". Its 176-page whiskey menu and selection of 100 inventive, delicious drinks made it a semi-finalist for the James Beard “Outstanding Bar Program” Award from 2013 to 2017. Among its many accolades, Canon has also been touted as “One of the Most Beautiful Bars in Seattle,” with bottles lining the walls like books in a library. During the warmer months, head up to Canon’s “secret” patio to imbibe.
This local favorite has been around for over a century. The homey Ballard bar and restaurant is the quintessential Seattle dive, serving up stiff drinks and good food. Hattie’s Hat isn’t much to look at—just vintage decor, large booths, and small tables. But, there’s a generous happy hour and events like trivia, DJ music, and karaoke.
This speakeasy on Olive Way in Capitol Hill is hidden in plain sight in an unmarked building with no sign, so there’s almost no way to tell there's a bar there from the street. The minority-, female-, family-owned and operated spot was established in 2007 when it was so tiny that you had to make reservations via text. While the subterranean addition has doubled the space, rezzies are still a good idea. Once you locate it, you’ll have to ring the doorbell to enter and follow the rules: no phone calls, and no flash photography.
The corner space is coated in rich wallpaper and decked out with a crystal chandelier. The menu offers a lengthy lineup of excellently crafted cocktails and small plates of Filipino-American comfort food. If a $12+ cocktail is too steep for you, head there during happy hour, Monday through Thursday from 5-7pm.
One of the best beer bars in Seattle, the Northwest, and America, The Pine Box offers over 30 rotating taps of craft beer. Its curated beer list features locally and globally sourced brews, with many rare finds. Why is the name reminiscent of a coffin? The Capitol Hill location once served as a funeral home/mortuary that actually hosted Bruce Lee's funeral in 1973. Now, the large space is much less macabre, filled with comfortable booths, a vaulted ceiling, and lots of dark polished wood. Soak up the suds with something from PB’s seasonally rotating menu. Everything is prepared in their Woodstone oven using locally sourced ingredients.
This tropical, rum-driven Capitol Hill haunt takes its inspiration from the Caribbean. With over 500 sugar cane spirits, Rumba is the Northwest's premier rum bar. Its alcohol-forward craft drinks made with rum from Abuelo to Zacapa, freshly squeezed juices, and house syrups are flavorful, but never too sweet. The tropical cocktails are complemented by turquoise seats and a menu of pan-Caribbean island cuisine, invoking island vibes even on the rainiest of Seattle days. Whatever you do, don’t leave without order the plantains!
Our token “do it for the ‘gram” pick, Unicorn serves as an over-the-(big)top circus-themed bar. The wild decor is colorful to the max, decked out with old carousel panels and taxidermied animal heads. This double-threat mixes whimsical drinks served alongside carnival-style deep-fried food (corn dogs, funnel cake, and burgers) that’s better than it needs to be. Downstairs, Narwhal offers pinball, arcade games, and photo booth, with live music, a weekly ‘Mimosas with Mama’ drag brunch, trivia, karaoke, and more.