Best Bars in Seattle for Any Occasion

Whatever you're looking for in a watering hole, we've found it

There’s no shortage of spots to get a drink in Seattle. The problem is deciding where to go. Here are some great Seattle spots to belly up to the bar, whether you’re looking for good food, a great dive or a just good beer.

Tallulah's bar and restaurant in Seattle

Eat and Drink

Seattle’s all about great food, even when you’re at the bar.

If you’re craving bar food, check out the Brave Horse Tavern in South Lake Union. This spot from Tom Douglas does things like burgers, pretzels and chicken wings right. Capitol Hill’s Ba Bar has Vietnamese street food and craft cocktails. Try the steamed Manila clams and fried frog legs while sipping the Nguyen Dynasty with gin, rhubarb syrup and Prosecco.

Top tier fine-dining establishment Canlis has a fabulous lounge with live piano music to accompany the stellar food and drinks. Small plates include teriyaki tenderloin and Reuben sliders, while the must-have drink is the Halekulani Cocktail, from founder Peter Canlis’ favorite place to stay in Ohau. It’s made with bourbon, lemon, orange, pineapple and grenadine.

Another spot on Capitol Hill, Tallulah's has a mid-century modern vibe with vegetable-heavy food and great drinks. Belly up to the bar and chat with the friendly bartenders or—on nice days—relax on their patio with a cocktail and some small plates. Make sure to try their dips and a few of the seasonal sharable plates.

Populuxe Brewing bar in Seattle, Washington

Local Brews

The beer scene in Seattle is exploding, with micro-breweries in nearly every neighborhood.If you’re looking to sample a local pint, Ballard Beer Company has 15 taps, many featuring neighborhood breweries, as well as a bottle shop.

Or, create your own walking tour if microbreweries in the neighborhood: Start with a sampler at Stoup Brewing before heading to Populuxe, Reuben's Brews, Lucky Envelope Brewing and NW Peaks. Head to West Seattle for Beveridge Place Pub, where you’ll choose between 36 taps or a bottle list with more than 150 bottles.

If you’d rather get a specifically German experience, head to Rhein Haus on Capitol Hill. The draft list includes beer from the United States and Germany, while the food features an extensive wurst menu. Oh, and did we mention there are bocce courts?

The Sloop Tavern bar in Seattle Washington

Delightfully Divey

If you’re just looking for a spot to belly up to the bar, Seattle has a few dive bars that can help out.

Phinney Ridge’s Tin Hat Bar & Grill has old movies playing while locals decompress after busy days with drinks and tater tots. Taco Tuesdays bring crowds; tacos with beef or black beans, no substitutions.

In Ballard, hit up The Sloop Tavern and get a Slooper, their 33.8-ounce mug of beer. There’s also Buck Hunter, Golden Tee 2014, pool tables, darts and pinball.

Capitol Hill's Cha Cha Lounge—head down the stairs as you enter Bimbo's—has large booths for groups to bond over drinks and Mexican food. Try the sangria and some nachos. If you want karaoke with your dive, check out The Baranof in Greenwood, which also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Interactive Map: Best Bars in Seattle

Stacy Booth
About the author