The Best Bars In Belltown

Where to drink in the neighborhood.
The Best Bars In Belltown image

Belltown has a lot going for it. It’s extremely close to downtown, but manages to be way more fun - in part because there are so many great bars to choose from. That’s where we come in. Whether you want to lounge somewhere swanky with excellent cocktails, spend a date night doing wine and appetizers, or just find the fourth coordinate on your pub crawl, we have a Belltown drinking establishment for you. Unless you want a reptile-friendly place where you can hang out with your new boa constrictor over a mojito. You’re out of luck on that one.

The Spots

Bar Food


$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsDrinks & A Light BiteFirst/Early in the Game Dates
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Navy Strength is No Anchor’s sister tiki bar. It looks like a beach hut that got an HGTV makeover, and it works just as well for a date as it does for group drinks. The drink menu has the swagger of a screenplay (here’s the description for the Zombie Pyre cocktail: “Nightfall. The tropics. English and Spanish rums engage in fisticuffs. Port & Amaro look on. A brooding, aromatic bastard of a drink”), and there are tons of options - from fruity banana kiwi sours to Planter’s Punch to large-format stuff for sharing and a drink so loaded with rum that there’s a limit of two per person.

You’ve probably had some beer from Cloudburst at a local restaurant, but their warehouse-style tasting room is pretty cool, too. With the exception of decorative flowers on the tables and red/turquoise racing stripes on the wall, Cloudburst looks like your friend’s garage brewing operation—only with much better beer. We like any of their IPAs, and the Market Fresh saison with passionfruit and hibiscus is great, too.

When the inside (and to be honest, also the outside) of a bar looks like it’s one ringmaster short of a circus, you know it’s going to be a good time. Shorty’s is one of the most iconic bars in the city, and it’s where to go if you’re a wizard with two ball flippers and immune to excessive neon lights. They serve strong whiskey sours and Chicago-style hot dogs to keep you going as you explore the rows on rows of vintage and modern pinball machines.

Use Wakefield as your utility spot when you’re not sure what kind of night you want to have. It could work for a weeknight date with some snacks, or a big Saturday catch-up session with friends and a couple bottles of wine. We’d even do a solo drink here while sitting at the attractive brick-lined bar.

Black Bottle is an ideal place for birthday drinks, particularly if presenting yourself like a grown adult and being in a lively, attractive space containing ferns are things you care about. Cocktails range from guava palomas to a great Old Fashioned, and if there’s anything left in the shaker after the bartender pours your drink, it’ll hit the table like the extra milkshake you get at a diner. Share some small plates like spicy fried cauliflower, Dungeness crab dip, and bulgogi lettuce wraps, too.



OpenTable logo

Pennyroyal is a hotel bar we really like. It’s a little small, but if you can grab a purple velvet booth or a spot at the counter, it’s worth it for the highly complicated (but delicious) cocktails and the bar snacks from Shaker + Spear. It even feels a little regal, probably because of the very formal paintings of Bill Gates, Kelsey Grammar, and other celebrities in the Palladian hotel lobby.

Don’t be fooled by the group text you got that said “let’s meet at some random bar” without any context clues. Your friend might have failed to capitalize the name, but this is a real place. One with delicious cocktails, food ranging from crab nachos to garlic pull-apart bread with burrata (yes, you want that), and a setting perfect for groups. For some random bar, that’s pretty good.

From January to November, Rob Roy is a pretty standard classy cocktail bar. In December, however, it turns into a Christmas explosion, with decorations everywhere and a daily holiday drink special (e.g. a pumpkin mule or hot toddy). Come for the drinks and festivities, but go somewhere else for food: they exclusively serve Eat Local meals, which are basically organic/locally-made frozen Lean Cuisines.

The New York-style, greasy-in-a-good-way slices at Belltown Pizza go extremely well with your last beer or hard cider of the night. The chill atmosphere also works for when things are winding down—and when midnight rolls around, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be able to snag a booth. Do that.



OpenTable logo

Another good spot for pizza is Rocco’s. It’s a cocktail bar that also happens to serve a wide variety of New York-style pies, from classic pepperoni to “banh mi” (with pulled pork, sriracha, and hoisin sauce, among other things). It’s hard getting into this place on a weekend, and the slice quality can be inconsistent, but it’s still a good place to know about if you want some food to accompany your drinking. Dip your pizza in the homemade ranch.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

No Anchor image

No Anchor

At No Anchor in Belltown, you don’t have to choose between excellent beer and excellent food - you get them both.

Navy Strength image

Navy Strength is a great spot in Belltown for tiki drinks and quality bar food. Use it for a date or an alcohol-fueled group hang.

Wakefield Bar image

Wakefield is an attractive bar in Belltown with interesting bar food and great cocktails.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store