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The Girls’ Night Out Guide

PHOTO: Barnard & Meyer

Girls’ night out is hardly a new concept. Medieval noblewomen probably gathered over wine and roast mutton to gossip about who smelled the worst. This eventually evolved into chocolate egg creams and cheeseburgers at the soda fountain…which brings us to today, when we all get together to eat, drink, and look at our phones.

For a successful girls’ night out, you need a few things: great cocktails, a menu that can please all types, and a dining room that’s not completely impossible to get into. If your pick can easily be used as a launching pad for a night out, even better. (And obviously, these work for any friend group - they aren’t just for girls.)

THE SPOTS

This place is a strong contender for the most attractive restaurant in Seattle, with its big marble bar, gold accents, and seafoam green chevron tile floor. We’re not saying that’s why it’s perfect for girls’ night out, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Mix and match French small plates, cheeses, and oysters for an overall great meal - just be sure to get the frites no matter what.

Photo: David Dossett

2120

Belltown
2120 6th Avenue

2120 is in the Denny Triangle, a.k.a. that weird vortex where you’re kind of in South Lake Union, Belltown, and Downtown all at the same time. This makes it perfect for a weeknight girls’ night out if everyone works in the area. This place is part classy restaurant, part Amazon employee team dinner HQ, and you’ll love it if you’re willing to spend a lot of money on your meal. A massive sangria punch bowl with edible flowers floating on top is pretty much mandatory, and the upscale Latin-inspired menu is fantastic across the board. For the ultimate girls’ night out one-two punch, head to Lady Yum next door afterwards for macarons and $4 champagne.

Well, Trina screwed up planning the tropical retreat this year - you thought no one fell for those “you won a cruise” calls, but apparently she did. Thankfully, Stateside is a pretty fantastic consolation prize. The palm-patterned wallpaper and string lights make you feel like you’re on vacation, and after a round of sparkling passionfruit bourbon sours accompanied by bowls of Vietnamese vermicelli, you can go back to laughing with Trina, not at her.

Photo: Barnard & Meyer

Joule

Wallingford
3506 Stone Way N
8.6
MAP

When someone helpfully announces that she wants to “do something different!”, suggest Joule. The shareable Korean menu here was practically designed for big groups, and there’s a very good chance someone will eat something they’ve never tried before. Trust your server and split a bunch of small plates and steaks.

When you want your girls’ night out to feel like an adult pizza party, The Independent Pizzeria is the place to go. If you weren’t able to make a reservation (which you need to do by email), get there right at 5pm, because you’ll never get a table in the tiny dining room otherwise. Then, split a few insanely good pies, some charcuterie, and a couple of caesar salads, and wash it all down with tallboys of hard cider. It’s everything you’d ever want in pizza night, without the annoying younger siblings, lack of alcohol, and Costco cake you remember from your youth.

Tallulah's

Capitol Hill
550 19th Ave E
7.9
MAP

Someone’s gluten-free, someone else is vegan, and why not: there’s also someone who’s just trying to eat “kind of healthy because of that wedding I have coming up.” If “random food preferences” seems like the theme of the evening, go for Tallulah’s. The space looks like a West Elm stockroom, and the menu has lots of tasty vegetable dishes, from the braised cauliflower tacos to the falafel bowl with pickled peppers and fennel. Round out the night with frozen hibiscus rosé palomas, which, for the record, are vegan and gluten-free as well.

Single Shot

Capitol Hill
611 Summit Ave E

Single Shot is perfect if you want a last-minute dinner that feels like you actually put effort into planning it. They take reservations, the mirror-backed marble bar is beautiful, the small plates are great, and the servers are super friendly. You really can’t go wrong with sparkling wine and margherita flatbreads.

Photo: Spike Mafford & Bruce Dugdale

Chávez

1734 12th Ave
MAP

You’d probably rather be in California sunbathing than perpetually covered in the damp film of Seattle’s mist. Chavez is a good standby to check out in between trips to LA - it feels beachy in a Southern-California way, has excellent Mexican food and cocktails, and is close by the Capitol Hill bar scene if your night is headed in that direction.

Bottlehouse

Madrona
1416 34th Ave

You originally intended to do girls’ night in, but the friend who was supposed to host is in a fight with her passive aggressive roommate over dishwasher duty. Come to Bottlehouse. It’s a wine bar and shop in a renovated home, so it’s easy to get comfortable spending some quality time with a few bottles and a meal’s worth of nuts, cheese, cured meats, and baguette sandwiches. And there’s a 99% chance no one will notice that you’re wearing slippers.

Photo: Andrea Coan

List

Belltown
2226 1st Ave
7.2
MAP

If it’s looking like your night will end with six hours of dancing, you might as well start with dinner at List. This spot is an LED light show and wooden dance floor away from actually being a nightclub - the light bulbs are red, it’s so dark you almost can’t see, and there’s a good chance your flirty friend will exchange a phone number at the bar before the check hits the table. The Italian-ish food is surprisingly pretty good, too - get the ricotta gnocchi with truffle cream.

8.1
MAP

Barrio’s front doors look like the threshold of a temple, and inside, it’s dark, with candles everywhere. So basically, it’s perfect for the very sacred ritual of taco-eating and margarita-drinking with a group of your best friends. If you don’t get a table, the bar is so big that you could also grab seats there. Make sure a round of frozen strawberry basil margaritas hits the table, and don’t question the extra three dollars they charge to serve them in hollowed-out coconuts.

Trove

Capitol Hill
500 E. Pike
8.2
MAP

At Trove, you’ll feel like you’re partying after-hours in an IKEA - which is more fun than it probably sounds like. This is a Korean BBQ place, and there’s a wide variety of raw meat to grill. Just make sure you get the kalbi wagyu tri tip. The ssam wraps come in handy for the three people in your party who are doing Whole 30, and a vegan bibimbap bowl is always a hit. Finish your meal with some soft serve ice cream parfaits - we think about these late at night.

Deru Market

Kirkland
723 9th Ave Ste D
8.5
MAP

Jenny and her partner just bought a new construction on the Eastside, and she wants you all to meet her on that side of the bridge for dinner. Luckily, Deru is well worth an evening schlep to Kirkland. It’s rather awkwardly wedged in the middle of a residential neighborhood, but the rustic barn ambience pairs well with excellent wood-fired pizzas, salads, risotto, herbal iced teas, and some wine. The Seattleites among you will find one more reason not to hate the Eastside, and Jenny can sleep easy knowing that her trip to Home Goods for meal prep containers wasn’t the most exciting thing she did this weekend. Everyone wins.

San Fermo

Ballard
5341 Ballard Ave NW
8.4
MAP

Where Italian food is concerned, San Fermo is the holy grail of girls’ night out dinners. The homemade pasta and inventive small plates are delicious, the whole place looks like one of the quaintest historic homes you’ve ever seen, and it’s in the heart of Ballard, so it’s perfect if you want to hit the bars there afterward.

Copal

Pioneer Square
323 Occidental Ave S
7.0
MAP

Felicity finally got engaged to that boyfriend you all hate, so now it’s time to slap on a smile and organize an engagement dinner. Copal has you covered for “cute” decor in the form of pastel everything, plus paper lanterns and banners with little flags. They also have solid barbacoa tacos and strawberry Campari tequila slushies. After three of those, that new fiancé will seem just fine.

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