Going out to for a drink can get expensive. The great mystery of bars is that you’re traveling away from home to pay someone to pour liquid from a bottle that you could pour yourself just as easily for a fraction of the price. But even in these trying economic times, Seattle’s pub and bar culture has continued to thrive and the reason why is the many well-designed and affordable happy hours in town.
Here are a few our what we think are the best happy hours in Seattle.
Radiator Whiskey is a trendy kind of place with some unusual food and drink. The prices aren't rock bottom, but the food is a top-notch mix of comfort and flavor. Happy hour deals include deals on all draft beers (including local brews), selected wines, a Rainier tall boy with a shot of Evan Williams, a few cocktail options, as well as snacks and starters for a good price.
Where: 94 Pike Street, Suite 30 (Pike Place Market)
When: Daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Looking to impress a date or out-of-town visitor? Or just to treat yourself and a friend to some of the best wine and French food in town. The happy hour features some lovely wine as well as cocktail specials, but it may well be the food options that really attract your attention. The happy hour food menu features screaming deals like pommes frites with aioli for $5, a cheese board for $10, as well as a salad, Alsatian flatbread, beef brochettes, and more items that aren't your everyday happy hour fare. Bonus, the restaurant is located in one of the best locations in town in Post Alley by the market.
Where: 1600 Post Alley, Pike Place Market
When: Monday - Friday from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Zig Zag Cafe is tucked away in Pike Place Market, but its happy hour is one of the best in Seattle without fail. If you love cocktails, this is a fine choice. The happy hour here is a phenomenal deal with a huge list of house cocktails for $4 off regular cost, as well as beer, wine and other deals on drinks. The food specials run from $3 to $8, include everything from marinated olives to buttermilk fried oysters, and can be thoughtfully paired with your cocktail of choice with the help of your very knowledgeable waiter.
Where: 1501 Western Avenue #202, Pike Place Market
When: Monday - Friday from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
I know what you’re saying, “Those happy hours sound great. But I need a bar where I can moor my sailboat.” Look no further than Chinook’s at Salmon Bay, sitting between Magnolia and Ballard and home to some of the best value seafood in the city. It’s not close to much of anything (except for the fishing fleet), but Chinook’s serves no-nonsense fresh seafood with a spectacular view out its huge windows. The happy hour is wildly popular, with cheap oyster shooters, shrimp cocktail, well drinks and house wine.
Where: 1900 W Nickerson St #103 (Fisherman’s Terminal - near Ballard)
When: Monday - Friday from 3:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
One of Seattle’s oldest continuously open bars, the 5 Point is the rare bar that appeals equally to tourists and locals. Open (though not serving alcohol) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the 5 Point is the definition of unpretentious. Try the mac and cheese balls and deep fried cheese curds. Strike up a conversation with a regular, and before long you may just be a regular yourself. Also unique is the fact that the restaurant has a breakfast happy hour filled with cheap morning eats too!
Where: 415 Cedar Street, Belltown
When: Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and again at 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
If you're seeking a higher-end happy hour, Some Random Bar serves up a great atmosphere with high ceilings, exposed-brick walls and dark-wood tables, and cool touches like mason jar pendant lights. The happy hour deals include $2-3 off of beer, wine and specialty drinks as well as some food items make hanging out here affordable. But whether the crab nachos are on the happy hour food list or not, they're worth ordering as they're fantastic!
Where: 2604 1st Avenue (Belltown)
When: Monday - Friday from 4 p.m. 6 p.m.