12 Coolest Cocktail Bars in Seattle

11/17/2023 | by Andy | Bars & Restaurants

Are you looking for an out of the ordinary, memorable spot to enjoy a delicious cocktail in Seattle, Washington? Seattle is known for its thriving food and drink scene, and the city is home to some truly exceptional bars. With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pick one near your Seattle Vacation Home.

Luckily, we have done the research for you and found the top cocktail bars in the city. From West Seattle’s trendy speakeasies to rooftop lounges with breathtaking views, let’s explore the Emerald City’s cocktail scene!

1. Needle & Thread

Photo Credit: VicPhotoria
  • Location: 1406 12th Ave, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood:  Pike/Pine
  • Price point: $$

Although very much an open secret, Needle & Thread is an intimate speakeasy with a vintage charm.

In a move that differentiates them from the rest, Needle and Thread doesn’t actually provide a cocktail menu. Instead, their expert mixologists craft cocktails based on their vast knowledge and whatever seasonal ingredients are available at the time, making sure that every visit to this Seattle cocktail bar will be a unique one. The cozy atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a romantic evening or a quiet conversation with friends.

2. Canon

Photo Credit: Jan Mark Holzer vial Flickr CC 2.0
  • Location: 928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Cherry Hill
  • Price point: $$$

Rated #6 on Drinks International’s list of the world’s best cocktail bars, Canon is world-renowned. You’re spoiled for choice here, as the Seattle cocktail bar boasts an impressive collection of over 4,000 spirits. The atmosphere is cozy and reminiscent of a classic library, making it an ideal place for connoisseurs to explore unique and inventive cocktails. As this bar has high demand and a small amount of space, making reservations is highly encouraged.

3. The Nest at Thompson Seattle

Photo Credit: dianaconnolly101 via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Location: 110 Stewart St, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Price point: $$$

For breathtaking panoramic views of the city, head to The Nest. This trendy rooftop bar at the Thompson Seattle Hotel offers handcrafted cocktails and an exceptional atmosphere, all while overlooking Elliot Bay. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Puget Sound. Their gin-based Moon Lake cocktail is our favorite tasty treat.

4. Zig Zag Cafe

Photo Credit: Hans Gerwitz via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Location: 1501 Western Ave, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Pike Place Market
  • Price point: $$

Zig Zag Café is a beloved fixture in the Seattle cocktail scene. It’s known for its unpretentious, classic cocktails and a welcoming atmosphere. Perfect for a date night, the low, sultry glow of the bar lends itself to intimate nights out. The bartenders here are highly skilled and can craft your favorite bold cocktails with local infusions or recommend something new (although we vote for the vodka-based Sucker Punch for an eye-opening treat.)

5. The Backdoor

Photo Credit: Elea Chang via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Location: 462 N 36th St, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Fremont
  • Price point: $$

The Backdoor, as the name suggests, is a speakeasy tucked away in the heart of Fremont. Its cozy, secretive vibe and creative cocktails will transport you back to the Prohibition era–what better place to try a mezcal-based cocktail called the Bonnie and Clyde than in this moody cocktail lounge? This open secret of a cocktail bar is a perfect spot for late night libations.

6. Sol Liquor Lounge

Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker
  • Location: 607 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
  • Price point: $$

The Sun Liquor Lounge is a delightful neighborhood spot that offers house-made spirits and a cozy vintage setting. The communal atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great place to enjoy classic cocktails and connect with locals.

They proudly make all of their cocktails fresh, without any pre-made mixes–so the cocktail menu is always changing with seasonal ingredients that can only be found at the bar. Can’t choose where to start? Order a cocktail flight to taste the best of the best!

 If you can, stop by on the first Tuesday of the month for Tiki Tuesdays or daily for their happy hour from 5 to 7 pm!

7. Stampede Cocktail Club

Photo Credit: Maksym Fesenko
  • Location: 119 N 36th St, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood:  Fremont
  • Price point: $$

Stampede’s goal, according to its owner and seasoned bartender Paul Shanrock, is “to be a fun and delicious bar.” This ambition is evident in the bar’s menu, which changes every six months in order to explore new flavors and gauge guest reactions.

The menu features seasonal ingredients, all expertly and joyfully mixed together. Grab one of the seats in a softly glowing ambiance and drink up!

8. Dark Room

Photo Credit: OKMG
  • Location: 8505 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Greenwood
  • Price point: $$

Chef Amy Beaumier and bartenders Matthew Gomez and Matt Hassler have seamlessly blended their love for the Wu-Tang Clan and Korean flavors to create an extraordinary menu of cocktails and small plates.

They highly recommend trying the Teacher’s Pet, a delightful combination of calvados, Cocchi Rosa, Braulio, crème de cacao, bitters, saline, and absinthe, or the Kimcheech & Chong, a tantalizing mix of mezcal, citrus, orgeat, kimchi, and peach bitters.

However, the real showstopper among the local Greenwood residents is the Shame on a Negroni, a gin and chocolate bitters-infused masterpiece that will leave you craving more. Try the gin-based Guns and Rosé for a refreshing cocktail.

9. Percy’s & Co. Seattle

Photo Credit: 5PH
  • Location: 5233 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Ballard
  • Price point: $$

This Ballard establishment focuses on creating cocktails inspired by apothecaries, incorporating herbs and fruits into their drinks. The seasonal menu is constantly evolving, offering complex and fresh options like the Mi Esposa, which features lime leaf-infused mezcal, banana liqueur, coconut water, lime, and ginger.

Interestingly, Percy’s takes its name from Percy Sankey, a bar owner in Ballard who operated during the period of Prohibition and cleverly disguised the front of his establishment to appear like a men’s furnishings shop.

Swinging by Percy’s is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of Old Ballard while sipping a deliciously crafted cocktail! The bar is walk-ins only, so keep that in mind as you prepare for your evening!

10. The Doctor’s Office

Photo Credit: Sudarshan Jha
  • Location: 1631 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
  • Price point: $$

Prior to its opening on Capitol Hill in 2020, the Doctor’s Office conducted extensive blind taste tests and collected spirits from various countries to perfect the recipe for each classic cocktail featured on the menu.

It could be easy to pass by its nondescript entrance, but make sure you end up going inside! The bartenders are dedicated to providing personalized service, so get ready for a cocktail that will rock your world!

11. Life on Mars

Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker
  • Location: 722 E Pike St, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
  • Price point: $$

This funky, vegan-friendly Capitol Hill joint is a great Seattle cocktail bar if you want to fill up your stomach with plant-based options at the same time. Life on Mars maintains a simplified cocktail list, enhanced with a few of their signature favorites (the Appletini is always a cheerful drink to have on hand!).

12. Knee High Stocking Co.

Photo Credit: dj venus via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Location: 1356 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA
  • Neighborhood: Pike/Pine
  • Price point: $$$

Tucked away on the corner of Olive Way and Olive Place, this hidden gem of a speakeasy lures in crowds with its impressive array of cocktails and unique house-infused spirits. Settle among the boldly patterned wallpaper and order some Filipino-American comfort food to pair with your delightful drinks.

 Where to Stay in Seattle

Seattle’s nightlife scene has something for everyone, from hidden speakeasies to swanky lounges with panoramic views. Each of these establishments offers a unique experience, making it easy to find the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a meticulously crafted cocktail.

Book your stay with Seattle Vacation Home for the most conveniently located and comfortable stays. Cheers to exploring the best of Seattle’s cocktail culture!