The Seattle Karaoke GuideThe best karaoke spots to grab some drinks and sing your heart out.
Life would probably be more exciting if we casually broke into song like a sitcom episode where the world turns into a musical for a day. That’s why karaoke is so great—we get to put aside our problems for the night and perform a wide range of discography for no reason other than to have fun. Whether you choose “Sweet Caroline” in hopes of getting the entire room to sing along with you, or you’re ready to unleash your best Adele impression (moody vibrato and all), Seattle has a karaoke spot for every situation.
If you’re trying to plan the best karaoke event of the year, book a private room at Rock Box. It’s a rager of a bar where you’ll find flashing neon lights and cutesy cocktails like the Hello Kitty—which tastes like drinking Malibu from the bottle after shoving a fistful of shredded coconut in your mouth. The only caveat here is that it’s extremely difficult to book a room on short notice. If you’re still set on coming here on a Saturday, the main bar area has first-come, first-served karaoke as well. Show up at 3pm for some day partying and you won’t have to wait to sing.
If your Cap Hill bar crawl doesn’t transition into shrieking “Barbie Girl” at the top of your lungs while gulping down Mai Tais at Hula Hula, we can’t guarantee that your night was a success. This tiki bar is the most exciting karaoke spot in town to hang out with friends for a few drinks, whether we’re the ones singing or just watching other people ruin Elton John. Karaoke starts here every night at 7pm, so it’s easy to plan around. The only downside is that you’ll have to wait a really long time to sing on the weekends, so sit back, order a round of piña coladas, and cheer on that sad person who keeps doing "A Case Of You" by Joni Mitchell.
Another great Capitol Hill spot that has nightly karaoke is Crescent Lounge, a great queer dive bar. It's right next to Hula Hula, and checks off two key components for an ideal karaoke night—it’s never too crowded and serves very strong well drinks. It’s also where we’ve witnessed someone singing the best rendition of “Welcome To The Black Parade” we’ve ever heard. If you were ever in a collegiate a cappella group and think you’ve got a golden voice, be warned: the competition here is no joke. Also take note that if you ask for something non-alcoholic, you might receive a confused glance and a tallboy of White Claw.
As if this fern-filled jungle disco-themed diner couldn't get any more fun, they go and add Monday karaoke nights from 8pm to midnight. So now you can have one of the best burgers in town, sip a strawberry watermelon margarita, and get weird while you belt some Talking Heads.
New Luck Toy is one of our favorite late-night spots in the city. They have skee-ball, really good Chinese food, and boozy slushies in flavors like strawberry prickly pear margarita and frangelico piña coladas. But the best part about this place is the private karaoke room in the front. Sure, the room is tiny, but there’s more than enough space for you and a couple of friends. The catch is that it’s first come, first served, so you’ll have to wait your turn—or have a Pitch Perfect-style riff-off to settle the score.
It’s easy to breeze past Enkore since its only evidence of existence is a sticker slapped on the building above the entrance. Up the stairs at this second-story University District karaoke spot is an abundance of soju, private rooms that are easy to book online, and a fun off-campus-housing vibe that feels thoroughly collegiate. Are the machines decades old and difficult to operate? Yes. Will someone spill plum wine on your Blundstones? Yes. Will it be one of the best nights of your year? Also yes.
Maybe you’re a professional wedding singer and you need to rehearse some Earth, Wind, and Fire before a gig. Or, maybe you have another karaoke night coming up and want to build your confidence. In either case, Wednesday night karaoke at Little Red Hen in Green Lake is the perfect spot for singing without fear of embarrassment because nobody pays attention to what’s happening on stage. However, since this country-themed bar has line dancing lessons right before karaoke, don’t be surprised if people are doing the two-step while you perform “Gangster’s Paradise” without inhibition.
You don’t want to test out your Johnny Cash repertoire in a room full of onlookers and their watery vodka sodas, but you don’t want to perform in an empty bar, either. Hattie’s Hat in Ballard is the happy medium. This Ballard diner’s Thursday karaoke nights are energetic enough for a crowd to cheer you on, but not so packed that it’d be humiliating to croak a note in “Ring Of Fire.” You could also simply sit there to eat a chicken-fried steak with no intention of participating in musical activities at all. Speaking of chicken-fried steak, we’d say to come back for weekend brunch, but it’s not great, so you can safely skip that.
We’re not sure where the idea to open a diner with an adjoining karaoke bar came from, but there’s something amazing about watching someone sing LMNT's "Juliet" while you eat a tuna melt. Karaoke happens every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Shanghai Room, the red-tinted neighboring bar to North Star Diner. Just note that food is only served until 9pm, but the karaoke bar closes at 3am, so there's plenty of time for your vocal chords to recover from that chocolate milkshake.
There are moments when it’s appropriate to gyrate on stage coated with a thin film of sticky beer and rap “Baby Got Back.” And then, there are moments when you need to plan a team-building night for your coworkers. Stone Lounge in Bellevue is a sleek space that works well for a sensible evening sipping wine and whisper-singing some Enya in a private room or out in the main bar area. The food here isn’t spectacular, so fuel up with chargrilled cheeseburgers at Broiler Bay first.
If you are a college student or just want to listen to young people sing Spice Girls jams while you throw back some jello shots, Finn McCool’s is the UW Irish pub for you. Their karaoke happens on Thursdays at 10pm, and they’ll occasionally host a contest that’s not scored by how well you sing, but how loud other people applaud after you hit the last note—they have a decibel reader and everything. Just be aware that if some random person shows up with an entire sorority and sings “Let It Go” from Frozen, they're probably going to win, no matter how well you hit that high note in "Alone" by Heart. You know the one.