Bottoms Up! Seattle Pubs Pour Tasty Beers, Served with a Smile



Who doesn't love a pub? Steeped in tradition and devoted to camaraderie, these neighborhood hangouts charm everyone who passes through their doors. Plus, what kind of complaint could you have about a place that serves hefty pints, savory pub grub and a constant dose of hospitality?

We offer you a variety of favorite pubs in Seattle to choose from, giving you a feel for how welcoming such venues can be. Enjoy a glass of your favorite ale, a plate of fish 'n' chips (or other locally-sourced fare) and, if you're lucky, all the tall tales you can handle. Although some selected spots carry with them a bit of tradition and history, others show the newer, edgier side of Seattle's pub scene. Bottom line: All of our Seattle venues effortlessly deliver the feel-good experience you're craving.

While some pubs welcome dogs, others welcome kids; many bars in this town even dole out perks like live music performances, open mic nights, trivia evenings and access to board games and other bar-friendly activities. There are pubs with cozy, charming interiors (for days when it's gray) and pubs with patios and beer gardens (for afternoons when only an outdoor seat will do). We'll cheers to that!



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If you're around Pike Place Market, you'll definitely want to ferret out Kells, whose location can seem nearly hidden. The authentic Irish pub offers traditional decor and distinct areas for dining and drinking. Draft beers include Harp and Carlsberg, and you'll also find ever-popular Guinness and a host of Seattle microbrews, plus single malt scotches. The menu boasts favorites like shepherd's pie, Irish stew, roast, and pasties, along with a few American standards. Live Irish music every night adds to the pub's lively nature, and there's even an outdoor patio where you can people-watch and relax. If you're looking to meet tourists, this is a friendly spot with a vibrant buzz.


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Hilltop Ale House


 

Enjoying a stately location in Queen Anne, this red-brick pub has earned a loyal following with its friendly service, good food and terrific selection of local and imported ales, cider and stouts. This spot is so homey that it's not uncommon to come in on consecutive nights and find the same folks sitting in the same spots and enjoying the same great beers. An added draw is the gourmet menu, which features spicy gumbo, steak and Guinness pot pie, fresh zesty fish tacos, the "Chicken California torta" as well as signature, Asian-inspired halibut cakes. (The ale house is 21 and over.)


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Decorated with wrought iron fixtures and painted tangerine and aubergine hues, this sleek, intimate neighborhood pub perfectly mirrors the upstart attitude of its West Seattle environs. In the evenings, area professionals stop in to enjoy a microbrew or glass of wine at the refreshingly subdued bar. The menu offers a unique take on the concept of pub grub, winning patrons with dishes like Spanish-style fried calamari with lemon-garlic aioli, chicken jambalaya with andouille sausage as well as dishes like enchiladas. (And then, of course, there are Circa's beloved burgers.) Innovative egg dishes (served at weekend brunches) have become somewhat of a local legend.


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A quintessential German pub, this local institution has been operating in Ballard since 2000. The venue places a premium on the things that matter: excellent food, drink and cheer like you'd expect to find at an Old Country alehouse. Indeed, you won't find gaudy decor and flashing neon lights that hide shortcomings – simple wooden chairs and paneling are as flashy as it gets. What you will find, though, is a friendly crowd that enjoys Spaten, Hofbrauhau, and Moose Drool draughts alongside good conversation and an order of wiener schnitzel.


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Prost!
Photo courtesy of Photo by Corinne Whiting


 

When Northsiders are looking for a homey place to drink and chat with friends, this Phinney Ridge alehaus often springs to mind. (Though it's not directly by the stadium, the venue proves the perfect complement to a day in the stadium.) Appropriately named after the German word for "cheers," the place has the look and feel of an Old World beer hall, from its mural of a lovely Oktoberfest mistress to ornate beer steins. After wetting your whistle with a few liters of the house hefeweizen, check out the menu, which boasts everything from brats and kraut to enormous Bavarian pretzels with spicy mustard.


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418 Public House
Photo courtesy of 418 Public House


 

In Phinneywood, a new 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 appreciate the free shuffleboard and rotating calendar schedule featuring live music and special events. Mexican-accented menu items include burritos, tacos, tortas and tamales. Meat options range from Barbacoa de Res (beef braised in a red chile sauce of guajillo peppers, pulla peppers and banana leaf) to Tinga de Pollo (chipotle chicken with tomato and caramelized onion). The brunch menu showcases flavorful dishes like Caldo de Birria;mild red chile beef stew, served with tortillas, rice, avocado, cilantro, onion and lime. Que rico!


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Cousin to The George & Dragon pub (in Fremont), The Market Arms brings the same cozy feel of a British pub to Ballard. The polished wood bar and cushioned stools serve as the perfect place from which to watch some soccer games, which are the only things that the televisions show. All the usual suspects are on tap - Guinness, Stella and Fullers ESB, as well as a full complement of scotch and whiskey. Happy Hours happen weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m., Sun.-Wed. 10 p.m. to midnight (the menu includes appetizers starting at $4, $4.75 20-oz. pints. $3.75 16-oz. pints, $2.75 16-oz. Rainier/PBRs and more).


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Tangletown
The Burgundian
Photo courtesy of The Burgundian


 

Run by the beer-encyclopedic owners of Brouwer's Cafe in Fremont and Bottleworks in Wallingford, the Burgundian provides the same brew savvy selection and quality in the Tangletown neighborhood. The beer-and-breakfast- all-day pub is a casual brick-building space that serves stellar chicken and waffles to go along with its 22 beers on tap, a great selection of craft beer in cans from the cooler, and a voluminous collection of whiskey and tequila. While Brouwer's staked its claim on offering a vast array of Belgian beer, here the focus is squarely on American microbrews. Open at 10 a.m. for the waffle crowd, the Burgundian also offers lunch and dinner menus. As at Brouwer's, plans are in place for beer events and festivals in the new location, as well.


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Hopvine Pub


 

cozy spot on Capitol Hill's 15th Street, Hopvine offers alluring trivia nights, surprisingly delicious food items and, of course, tasty brews. Dishes feature fresh and local ingredients; try the pizza (from the Greek to the Veggie 5-0), the from-scratch soups, the salads (like the roasted beet) and the sandwiches (like the turkey BLT, smoked gouda and artichoke or the pulled pork on rye). Happy hour deals happen daily from 5 to 7 p.m. and again from 11:30 till closing. Check online for special events ranging from open mic nights and cribbage tournaments to barrel evenings that showcase local brews.


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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. Obviously run by hop heads and beer geeks, Brouwer's staff is amazingly knowledgeable about lagers and ales. They had better be. This casual and understated pub offers no fewer than 64 rotating draft selections, along with more than 300 bottled brews and 60-something types of Scotch. And to help soak up some of that beer in your belly, the cafe features a Eurocentric menu of exceptional eats.


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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

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