Explore Seattle

Seattle's Happiest Hours: 13 Places to Unwind

Eat, drink and be merry without breaking the bank.

Seattle tends to be a fairly jovial place even without the mention of happy hours, but residents here certainly don’t pass up chances to let the good times roll. We can think of few better combos than welcoming spaces and discounted prices on tasty treats that include flavorful fare, creative cocktails plus local brews and wines.

Where to find these widely-praised and quietly-coveted steals? We’ve compiled a drool-worthy roundup that promises to sate your thirst, hunger and appetite for Seattle-fueled fun.

Certain hotel properties offer happy-hour menus too good to overlook. Adjacent to Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, Sazerac blends Southern flavors and Pacific Northwest sensibilities in delectable snacks like Smoked Catfish Deviled Eggs, Smoked Duck Sausage with Creole Mustard and Avocado Tartine with BBQ Shrimp. Other menu highlights (which last from 4 to 7 pm, Mondays through Saturdays) include $4 house wine and $6 cocktails.  

At downtown’s majestic Fairmont Olympic Hotel, The Terrace Lounge offers sweet temptations (daily from 3:30 to 6 pm) that showcase treasures from the rooftop apiary; try the Honeymoon Suite Ale, Honey Cider and Buttermilk Fried Chicken (featuring rooftop honey, of course).

Fairmont Olympic Hotel's Honey Ale
Fairmont Olympic Hotel's Honey Ale (Courtesy Fairmont Olympic Hotel)

At South Lake Union’s recently refreshed Pan Pacific Hotel, The Lobby Bar delights with treats like avocado toast (jazzed up with smoked salmon and pickled radish), a rotating sandwich of the month (the recent star: an Italian take on a BLT with a Southern twist) and a rotating cocktail of the week, many of which feature fresh herbs plucked from the patio garden—a lovely spot to imbibe on a warm Seattle evening. 

Carnivores rave about Metropolitan Grill’s happy hour lineup (from 3 to 6 pm, Mondays through Fridays), featuring Three Beef Dip Sandwiches and the almighty Works Burger (melted cheddar and Swiss, caramelized onions, housemade Thousand Island). Seafood lovers flock to Ivar’s Acres of Clams on the downtown waterfront and Ivar’s Salmon House on Lake Union, where a delightfully long window (daily from 3 pm to close) brings reduced prices to drinks plus prawn and oyster shooters, chowder samplers and coconut curry mussels. At modern brasserie Saint Helens, elevated happy hour fare includes King Crab dip and Manila clams.

Adventurous folks enjoy culinary globetrotting—without leaving Seattle soil—at spots like Fremont’s Quoin (try the pancakes with pork belly, kimchi and bean sprouts). In Belltown, head to The Innkeeper for “bar food with a Latin soul” (think Moscow mules, rum punch, beef flautas and oysters) or Pintxo, a Spanish tapas bar that offers a double happy hour (from 5 to 7 pm and 10 pm to midnight), listing gems like Marinated Manchego and Choricitos a la Miel. Mexican food and drink reign at Ballard’s El Borracho where $1 tacos and $4 margaritas set the festive tone (from 4 to 7 pm and 11 pm to 1 am).

Pintxo (©Effie Yang/Flickr, Creative Commons)

In Capitol Hill, Omega Ouzeri celebrates Greece’s soothing hues and rich flavors; best bets include the Keftedakia (grilled lamb meatballs, ouzo tomato jam, lemon yogurt) and Octapodi (grilled octopus, fava Santorini, capers, roasted tomatoes). Nearby on Capitol Hill’s 15th Street, Bar Vacilando cheerfully serves “food and drink for the passionate wanderer,” meaning great deals on Flaco Tempranillo wine and $3 crusts tastily topped with prosciutto and béchamel, pear and gorgonzola or healthy veggies. The venue’s light-filled interior and dreamy patio prove perfect for inspiring thoughts of delicious adventures past and future.