Seattle's Nightlife Scene Showcases Live Theatre, Rocking Concerts and Happenin' Pubs

The Seattle nightlife scene stretches far beyond beer and bands. As a cultural outpost in the northwest corner of the country, Seattle is often a desired destination for top musical acts on national tours, Broadway shows, modern dance troupes, hot comics, even avant-garde theatre groups. The city boasts homegrown talent in all of those areas, too, not to mention the arts scene to support them.

Big shows hit Key Arena, the Seattle Center Opera House and the Paramount and Fifth Avenue theaters, to name a few. More intimate music venues such as the Showbox and Neumos host a rotating slate of national performers that span all genres. Multiple bars and clubs also showcase live local talent, notably the renowned Crocodile and the Sunset, Comet and Tractor taverns.

A vast selection of watering holes–from dive bars and brewpubs to chic lounges and clubs–can be found in ultra-funky Capitol Hill, historic and hip Pioneer Square and the University District (near the University of Washington campus). On the Boards, a local theater group, produces edgy local and regional theater, while film collective Northwest Film Forum spotlights interesting and out-there art films and documentaries. Alternative rock bars still hold their place, but beat-driven dance clubs are alive and well, as are venues geared toward blues and jazz, most distinctively Demitriou’s Jazz Alley, which hosts prominent players from around the globe.




Located in the historic Odd Fellows building, Century Ballroom's vintage locale perfectly suites its mission, to keep ballroom and social dancing a thriving part of the Seattle nightlife scene. If the venue's popularity is any indicator, the...  Read More



Dating to the late 19th century, this venue has been restored to the glory it knew as a movie theater in the 1920s. These days, you can catch acts as diverse as Boyz II Men and The Head and the Heart to Sturgill Simpson and The Beach Boys, and...  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

The Triple Door
Photo courtesy of Angela Sterling


Located in Seattle's historic Mann Building in the heart of downtown, this intimate and sophisticated, award-winning music and dinner theatre occupies the renovated space that formerly housed the Embassy Theater (originally a 1920s vaudeville...  Read More



You're in the beer-happy Pacific Northwest, where microbreweries sprout like mushrooms after a rainstorm. If you're interested in sampling creations from a wide variety of those breweries, Brouwer's Café in Fremont is pure beervana. Obviously...  Read More



This beloved Ballard nightspot features a smorgasbord of impressive music on a weekly basis, and performances range from zydeco, bluegrass and country to rock, folk, jazz and beyond. In addition to great live music, the Tractor also offers a...  Read More

Pioneer Square
Good Bar
Photo courtesy of Suzi Pratt


This inviting Pioneer Square oasis welcomes visitors and locals to its soaring space, located on the corner of 2nd Avenue S and Main. Inside the recently renovated Pacific Commercial Building (originally built in 1900), find a neighborhood...  Read More

Rock Box
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Benschneider/Rock Box


When it comes to karaoke in Seattle, Rock Box is the obvious choice. The rocking Capitol Hill hangout, a Japanese-style club, follows the private room (or "karaoke box" model) popular in Japan and throughout Asia. The venue boasts a full bar...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Mbar


Looking for a hot new venue from which to take in some of Seattle's most breathtaking views? mbar, a socially-driven bar and restaurant, wows guests with its dazzling location, providing an elevated oasis above all the South Lake Union action....  Read More



Seattle's premier jazz club for nearly three decades, Dimitriou's Jazz Alley is a sure West Coast stop for top jazz artists on tour. Jazz Alley has hosted luminaries such as Peter White, Randy Brecker, Dr. John and Tower of Power. Oh, and just a...  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