The Seattle Bar Scene: A Craft Beer Capital and Beyond

When it comes to sourcing wines, beers and even cocktails, Seattle bars pride themselves on stocking options that are locally produced, plentiful and an integral part of local culture. In Seattle, even the most divey of dive bars keep at least a couple of regional beers on tap, and the city was long ahead of the game on the craft cocktail craze, too (think hand-mixed cocktails made with fresh juices and seasonal garnishes). These days, even some of the booze mixed with those fresh ingredients comes from nearby sources as well, thanks to a handful of artisan distilleries throughout Washington state and in Seattle that produce their own gins and vodkas.

Of course, this entire list of best bars could simply read as a who’s who of local microbreweries, since each has its own brewpub and/or taproom. However, there is simply too much variety in the Emerald City to keep the focus that narrow, so here you will find a cross-spectrum of watering holes devoted to drinking in style–from posh hotel lounges to giant pool hall saloons. Another plus of Seattle pub life is the food: In a progressive and forward-thinking foodie culture, bars pride themselves on quality grub, so you don’t have to rely on typical bar burgers or deep-fried fare to soak up the alcohol. On an even higher level, you'll find bars and pubs owned by top restaurateurs, such as Quinn’s Pub in Capitol Hill.

Quinn's Pub

Dark wood accents, floor-to-ceiling windows and a comfortable bar distinguish the interior of this striking two-level space. Sibling to Restaurant Zoe, the pub delivers interesting beers and scrumptious gourmet cooking in a casual atmosphere....  Read More

The Garage was once indeed an auto repair shop, and renovations left its industrial interior intact while updating and upping the appeal by incorporating chrome and vinyl accents. The voluminous space is home to a bar, a restaurant, a pool...  Read More

Loyal Ballard Station Public House patrons come for the Tuesday night trivia, the local brews (like the Pike Kilt Lifter and Hales Supergoose IPA), pub snacks like popcorn and the meat and cheese board. Popular dishes include the the Signature...  Read More

Bramling Cross
Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith/Kirsten Graham Public Relations

Ehtan Stowell's done it again. This time, his new comfort-filled gastropub has opened along Seattle's ever-changing Ballard Ave. Tucked into the lineup, this cozy-meets-classic neighborhood hangout showcases local beers alongside updated pub...  Read More

418 Public House
Photo courtesy of 418 Public House

In Phinneywood, a hot zone north of Fremont and east of Ballard, 418 Public House proves a friendly, neighborhood spot. Draws include happy hour from 4 to 6:30, and delicious brunch options Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. Loyal patrons also...  Read More


A popular restaurant by day, the Alibi Room really comes alive at night. Owned by a group of filmmakers, the club works to support independent films and their creators, by fostering an artistic dialogue among patrons and making scripts available...  Read More

You're in the beery Pacific Northwest, where microbreweries sprout like mushrooms after a rainstorm. If you're interested in place at which to sample suds from a wide variety of those breweries, Brouwer's Cafe in Fremont is pure beervana....  Read More


The Hotel Monaco in downtown Seattle is really heating up, thanks in part to chef Jan Birnbaum, the driving force behind Sazerac. The fashionable restaurant serves spicy, Cajun-inspired New American cuisine, including golden hush puppies served...  Read More


If alluring ambience is your thing, be sure to duck into this Parisian-style cafe where patrons feel they've been whisked away to another era. Attentive service, awesome drinks, a sexy and sophisticated indoor vibe and an appealing outdoor patio...  Read More

Heartwood Provisions
Photo courtesy of Suzi Pratt/Heartwood Provisions

There's a new neighbor bringing a bounty of contemporary American flavors to the 1st Avenue culinary zone. In the heart of downtown Seattle, a brand-new concept has been upon an intricate pairing program that matches innovate dishes with equally...  Read More


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne

comments powered by Disqus

Build your own lists that you can easily reference or share stories with your friends.

Login ×

Forgot login/password?
Don't have an account? Create Your Account!

Enter your username or email in the box below and click
"Remind Me".

Remind Me ×
Create Account ×
Create Account ×

Already have an account?

Add to List ×
Save ×

Go to Lists Close Window ×