As a former Seattleite, I may be biased when I say that Seattle cocktail bars have got it going on! I try to get back to my former hometown regularly, and when I do, I have the added bonus of the latest insider local food and drink knowledge from BFF Wendy. On my last visit, she went above and beyond coordinating a fantastic programme of eats and drinks. I enjoyed every stop, but I am really loving these three Seattle cocktail bars at the moment:
The Doctor’s Office: Confidential classic cocktail bar
Due to its popularity and petite size, reservations are a must at this cozy and confidential address. Unlike your typical doctor’s office, here, the lights are dim and the ambience is divine. And while it feels a little exclusive, it’s far from pretentious. Friendly, skilled barman stir classics like ice cold manhattans and martinis with style. Otherwise, clients can work through a well-curated global spirits collection with flights, for which the staff are happy to provide suggestions. Wednesday through Saturday they offer seasonal skewers made with local ingredients. Plus the bathroom is just really cool!
Bonus Tip: We visited The Doctor’s Office after an immensely enjoyable meal at l’Oursin, which turns out tasty food and drink with a French touch and is only about a 5 minute cab away. Highly recommended!
Inside Passage: Hidden nautical cocktail bar
I am already a fan of the bar Rumba with its world-class selection of rum and rhum. They know how to mix a classic rum cocktail like a daiquiri or a ti punch with aplomb. But now there’s even more to love here with their new hidden within, Inside Passage. Kiki the sea creature presides over this nautical themed bar while busy barmen serve very instagrammable drinks. I started my session there with a cocktail oozing smoke in a mini rice cooker with a “lumpia” garnish. Or the Amazombie is a popular choice, a cachaca based drink “delivered” in an Amazon Prime box with a scannable QR code for more backstory. And, don’t forget to try the spam sliders!
Bonus tip: Inside Passage doesn’t allow for reservations so if it’s full when you arrive, go a few steps up the street to Stateside for snacks while you wait for a spot to open up.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel: An iconic hotel bar
Nearly a century old and originally opened on a University of Washington site, the Olympic is an iconic Seattle site. This grand hotel is not just a beautiful backdrop for fancy and famous travelers passing through, but has always played a role in the lives of the city’s residents. It’s where you might go for an upscale tea or special meal. I’ve been a maid of honor at a wedding reception there and regularly visited it’s salon for haircuts. So, it really makes me happy to see its recent revamp and the new lobby bar. The Olympic bar is open and airy, but still feels intimate thanks to warm wood, clusters of curved booths and armchairs in muted jewel tones and the glow of library style desk lamps. Cocktails are spot on with a menu curated by Beverage Director Jesse Cyr. And, do like we did and enjoy a bright and briny little plate of local oysters to go with your drinks.
Bonus tip: They have also recently opened the Founders Club, their speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf and featuring fine, aged, vintage and limited edition spirits.
Those aren’t the only stops we made into Seattle cocktail bars on this visit. I also partook at lovely spots like Rob Roy, Navy Strength, Roquette, Rumba and Canon. Also, some restaurants where we also enjoyed nice cocktails: Goldfinch, Autumn, Stateside, Communion and l’Oursin.
And if you like the Seattle cocktail bar coverage, here’s another post from a Cap Hill cocktail hop.