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The Best Places to Grab a Drink in Seattle

Like the dazzling Emerald City itself, Seattle’s bar scene is a lot of things at once: it is a craft beer haven, teems with celebrated grunge dives, and boasts wine lists featuring the best of Washington’s locally produced bottles. No matter your drink of choice, there is a speakeasy, wine bar, or brewery for whatever strikes your fancy. Find your next drink at one of these innovative bars focused on craft, quality, and, of course, good times.

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Alana Al-Hatlani
9 Restaurants
Updated June 16, 2022
Restaurants:Deep Dive, Whiskey by John Howie, Kro Bar
Price Range:$$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Cocktail Bar, Dining Bar
Neighborhoods:Lake Union / Eastlake, Bellevue, Bothell
A photo of Deep Dive restaurant

Deep Dive

$$$$
Contemporary American
Lake Union / Eastlake
4.7
125 reviews

This nautical speakeasy from James Beard Award-winning chef Renee Erickson is hidden under the spherical Amazon headquarters. Inside, you’ll find an underwater grotto decorated with maritime antiques serving botanical cocktails inspired by the renowned Spheres, which house a variety of plants. The food menu offers sea-centric bites, from caviar to Spanish anchovies, but its star is the overhauled Seattle dog—a hot dog with cream cheese. The bar has a sophisticated feel, with a swankier dress code than what’s typically seen in casual Seattle—but that only adds to the sublime getaway feels.


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A photo of Whiskey by John Howie restaurant

Whiskey by John Howie

$$$$
Cocktail Bar
Bellevue
4.6
50 reviews

Set next to his eponymous steak house, this destination by storied Seattle chef John Howie is devoted to all things whiskey. Whether you’re looking to learn about the liquor or you’re a connoisseur on a quest for international and rare types, this bar boasts a prolific collection, thoughtfully selected by in-house curator Tim Lodahl. Dark wood finishes and leather booths lend an intimate feel. Pair your whiskey with hearty, meat-forward dishes such as wagyu steak nachos and flatbreads stacked with brisket.


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A photo of Kro Bar restaurant

Kro Bar

$$$$
Dining Bar
Bothell
4.9
265 reviews

Classic cocktails fill the extensive menu at this under-the-radar spot just north of Seattle. House specialities, such as the Curtain Call, a drink made with a popcorn-washed bourbon, are mixed into the menu. The atmosphere at Kro Bar is intimate and stylish, with plenty of hat tips to its past life as a hardware store: there are 16-foot tin ceilings and carefully restored original wood floors. Fortunately, the vibe remains unpretentious—despite chef Dan Yule’s impressive pedigree, which includes stints at Canlis and Crush.


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A photo of Ben Paris restaurant

Ben Paris

$$$$
Contemporary American
Downtown
4.5
731 reviews

Located in The State Hotel downtown, this bar and restaurant offers playful but expertly crafted cocktails. Named for a historic Seattle entrepreneur, it’s a spot known for drinks such as the Seattle sour, made with apples, and a pine-infused old-fashioned. Swing by during happy hour for a chef’s tasting menu, featuring inventive Pacific Northwestern plates fueled with bounty from the Pike Place Market—at $50 per person with beverage pairings, it’s an irresistible deal.


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A photo of Purple Cafe and Wine Bar - Seattle restaurant

Purple Cafe and Wine Bar - Seattle

$$$$
American
Downtown
4.5
4869 reviews

Purple is an oenophile’s dream. The wine menu reads like a novel, each page offering local favorites and rare vintages; many bottles are on prominent display inside the spiral wine tower in the center of the dining room. The bar bends around it, creating the ideal setting for a post-work happy hour or a drop-in after a downtown shopping trip. Choose from a menu of comfort food classics, from burgers to truffle mac n’ cheese, which get the gourmet treatment—and taste even better with the perfect glass of wine to go with.


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A photo of Single Shot restaurant

Single Shot

$$$$
Contemporary American
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.9
930 reviews

This overlooked gem in residential Capitol Hill is both a stellar kitchen and saloon. Expect detail-oriented cocktails accompanied by chef Aleksander Kubicki’s delicious menu of seasonally rotating fare. The marble bar is the perfect perch for a nightcap, where seasoned bartenders—many are transplants from the city’s other great bars—churn out reimagined classics, such as the Summit Avenue Sour, an irresistible blend of bourbon, chartreuse-maple, lemon, and bitters.


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A photo of Artusi restaurant

Artusi

$$$$
Italian
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.4
38 reviews

As the sibling to the acclaimed restaurant Spinasse, this aperitivo bar brings a sliver of Italian drinking culture to the heart of Capitol Hill. From Aperol spritzes to negronis, excellently curated wine lists, and even Italian beer, there is something for everyone— even the hungry. Food consists of antipasti and small bites, but a few of the famous pastas—half portions are available, too—from next door can be ordered.


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A photo of McMenamins Elks Temple restaurant

McMenamins Elks Temple

$$$$
American
Tacoma
4.5
1363 reviews

Elks Temple, the newest addition to the McMenamins family, calls itself a pub, but its dazzling stained glass windows and chandeliers hint at a grander existence. Housed in a historic Renaissance Revival building dating back to 1916, the bar features large windows with expansive views of Commencement Bay. The crowd-pleasing spot, with a killer brunch, is also a late-night hangout, courtesy of its gourmet burgers and house craft brews. The multi-level venue also hosts a variety of events in its Spanish Ballroom, from live music to comedy.


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A photo of Herb & Bitter Public House restaurant

Herb & Bitter Public House

$$$$
Gastro Pub
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.1
293 reviews

This quaint spot, on the north end of Capitol Hill, has cranked out some of the best cocktails in town for years. The comprehensive spirits program is centered around Italian amari and is enhanced by a Mediterranean-influenced menu, with both smaller snacks and entrees, such as the baked lamb ribs and fried gnocchi. Enjoy it all in a conservatory, featuring a retractable glass roof, occupying a 1,000-square-foot patio lined with string lights.


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