Looking to lounge outside while visiting Seattle? Don't worry—locals also flock out-of-doors as soon as the sun peeks through the clouds. Every cafe, restaurant and bar that can have outdoor seating rushes to wash off tables and raise umbrellas. (Because although we love the sun, the sun doesn't love us. Please pass the sunscreen.) For the ultimate experience of drinks, dinner and a great view, six suggestions follow.
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails
Located at the Motif Hotel downtown, this rooftop lounge has all the ingredients for a fun evening: delicious food, tasty drinks and a variety of seating options, including fireside. Or skip the seat altogether and challenge your friends to a game of shuffleboard or ping pong. Stop by for happy hour, from 4-6 pm daily—though the restaurant is open at 6 am for breakfast and stays open late.
Vietnamese favorite Monsoon recently opened its rooftop patio—dine on family-style favorites and enjoy one of the bar’s inventive cocktails. The pretty, tree-lined street is a nice backdrop for fresh oysters or the sweet corn with morel mushrooms. With seasonal ingredients, menus change frequently. There is also a dim sum brunch on the weekends featuring things like housemade pork shrimp patty sausage and steamed barbecue pork buns as well as veggie hash, Dungeness crab Benedict and omelets.
Hard Rock Cafe
Prefunk before a show at Seattle’s Showbox at the Hard Rock Café. Located just a couple blocks from the popular music venue, the rooftop bar places you right in the thick of downtown activity. Enjoy the burgers or smokehouse sandwiches along with your cold beer. The memorabilia store is also open late if you need to add some Seattle gear to your collection. Don’t forget to grab a photo of the guitar sign at the front of the building—it’s the only Hard Rock Café with an upside-down guitar, this one modeled after Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang—and hung that way as he restrung his early guitars “upside down” to play left-handed.
Surrounded by an edible garden, the rooftop patio at Terra Plata is the perfect setting to enjoy a seasonally inspired menu paired with a hand-crafted cocktail. The cocktail menu includes housemade sangria and housemade sodas, and there are also a number of local spirits available as well as local beer. Located in the bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood, it’s a good place to begin the evening, or come for the late night menu.
OK, technically this isn’t a rooftop, it’s a balcony, but one of the advantages to Seattle’s hills is that balconies often have views that rival a rooftop. Maximilien’s French fare pairs incredibly well with a glass of wine, best enjoyed as the sun is setting over Puget Sound. Make it a full date night or evening adventure by first exploring Pike Place Market—you’ll find Maximilien south of Pike Place Fish Co., near Market Spice.
The Pink Door
Located in Post Alley behind a—duh—pink door, it doesn’t look like this hot spot is hiding an incredible outdoor patio. Sit under the trellis and enjoy a bottle of wine or a cocktail and Italian-American food, including pasta and risotto, seafood and meat dishes. The patio is extremely popular in the summer, but reservations can be made online. Evenings (except Mondays) bring various cabaret performances indoors, including aerialists, musicians, tarot readers and more. Sunday nights are burlesque evenings, beginning at 11 pm.