7 Seattle Bars Where You Can Get Into The Holiday Spirit guide image

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7 Seattle Bars Where You Can Get Into The Holiday Spirit

You could question how the protagonist of "The 12 Days Of Christmas" is going to care for all of those birds, or you could let it go and feel festive at these bars instead.

In December, there are times for staying in to watch Christmas movies about the big-city main character falling in love with a farmer from their hometown during some kind of candy cane festival. And then there are times for hanging out at a heavily-decorated bar instead. Here are some options when you’re looking for the latter.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Nate Watters

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2800 E Madison St, Seattle
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This Jamaican- and Caribbean-inspired spot we love for appetizers (that also happens to be one of The Best New Restaurants Of 2022) has transformed their space into a Christmas-themed party, complete with festive wrapping paper everywhere, a glowing tree, a row of hanging stockings, and enough string lights to illuminate Whoville. To match the setting, their soft serve flavors for the rest of the month are eggnog and gingerbread—and they’re serving holiday cocktails like hot buttered rum, a gingery Old Fashioned, and a zero-proof apple cider margarita. 


There’s nothing quite like slurping a nutmeg-kicked frozen painkiller beneath hundreds of twinkly lights that are programmed to blink in synchronous motion to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s rendition of “Carol of the Bells.” Experience that at Bait Shop alongside their usual menu of tasty fried fish, fried potatoes, and fried chicken. 


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Rob Roy was doing festive December cocktails before everyone else in town, and their “Miracle On 2nd” pop-up is still a classic. Expect a surplus of decorations, a daily holiday drink special  (like a pumpkin mule or hot toddy), and a long wait to get in at peak times.


For a Christmas-in-July moment that isn’t in July at all, you could check out Navy Strength’s “Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack” pop-up. There, you’ll find tropical-themed drinks like a cognac hot toddy with Chartreuse and chocolate hazelnut syrup, a bourbon-spiked riff on a jungle bird, and a “Kris Kringle Colada” with dark rum, amaro, allspice liqueur, lime, and coconut.


If nothing revs you up for the holiday season like thick, boozy liquified eggs, Sol Liquor Lounge is where you need to be. They make aged eggnog every year, and you can sip it by the glass or pick up bottles at their Capitol Hill bar. 


This aesthetically pleasing spot at Green Lake that always makes you want to stop jogging and pop in for brunch puts on a pop-up called Tinsel Town, complete with hundreds of decorations and as many miles of garland as there are in the lake’s pedestrian loop (three, to be exact). It runs until Jan. 1, minors are welcome, and there are many on-theme drinks with pun-based names to be had, like the yule mule, or pa-rum-pum-pum punch (groan).


If you’re looking for a holiday-adjacent outing that doesn’t involve fluorescents or sugary drinks, a lowkey evening of wine and chocolate tasting at Flight is always an option. This is one of our favorite wine bars in town, and while the decorations are more subdued here, the excellent bonbons are not. Their December flavors are peppermint mocha, scotch brown butter, fig and wine, and classic bittersweet. And if you need a last-minute gift, nothing says “happy holidays” like Flight’s dark chocolate bark strips studded with olive oil-toasted rice cereal and black pepper. Unless you end up eating them all yourself, which is a very real possibility.

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