Maybe your first dinner tonight was at a restaurant that took the term “small plates” too literally - so you only got three quarters of a fusion mac and cheese croquette, and you’re still starving. Maybe you had a few too many beers while watching the game, so you want to soak up all that alcohol with something fried. Or maybe you’re a news producer who’s never left the office before midnight, and you don’t even know what day it is, let alone what time most people usually have dinner. Luckily, Seattle has some excellent options for you in any of these situations, from full sit-down meals to substantial bar snack situations. These are our favorites.
Open until 2am
Bait Shop has the greatest french fries in the entire city. And after a couple of hours here playing Uno and drinking painkiller slushies or mules on tap, you’re going to want a lot of them. Make sure to dip them in the homemade tartar sauce, and also consider ordering the excellent fish sandwiches and baja tacos.
Open until 2am
We may not be internationally renowned for our Italian food here in the PNW, but pizza is still a late-night staple in this city. And if you’d rather just go straight to sleep than wait in line for a slice at Big Mario’s, Supreme is the funky bar/pizzeria hybrid you need to know about. It’s a serious contender for best New York-style pizza around, with crispy-crusted pies and classic toppings as well as more interesting combinations, like fried chicken and kimchi with American cheese (trust us, it's great). Get the scallion garlic knots with cheese sauce, too, to go with your frozen spiked creamsicle cocktails.
Open 24 hours
North Star Diner & Shanghai Room is Seattle’s coolest diner, no matter what time of day you’re here. There are gold glitter booths and a full wall dedicated to framed portraits of astronauts, it’s open 24 hours, and their breakfast food - like eggs benedict over corned beef and crispy hash browns with rye toast - is fantastic. It’s the perfect place to come when you’re done channeling Celine Dion at the karaoke bar next door, which is owned by the same people.
Open until 11pm Monday-Thursday, and 3am Friday & Saturday
On the weekends, Li’l Woody’s is open until a practically rude hour of the night, which means great fast-casual cheeseburgers, fried chicken sandwiches, milkshakes, and fries are quite attainable when you can’t decide between picking up a hot meal or passing out in front of your laptop with a box of Froot Loops that expired last year. Always add the rooster mayo to your burger, and the queso to your fries.
Open until 2:30am
Take a deep breath - you can do this. By “this,” we mean brave the anarchic apocalypse that is Capitol Hill after midnight. It’s worth it for Monster Dogs, a hot dog cart that sets up shop right outside of Neumos and always draws a massive crowd. Weave your way through all the people, hop over that guy who just face-planted on the crosswalk, and get yourself a Polish link Seattle dog with cream cheese, jalapeño, and grilled onions on a toasted bun. Seattleites, this is your badge of honor.
Open until 2am
You could eat that lo mein that’s been in your fridge so long it should basically pay rent, or you could go to New Luck Toy for some of the city’s best Chinese food in an over-the-top and completely fun environment. Come with a group of friends and get some platters of shrimp and pork fat dumplings, General Tso’s chicken, and salt-and-pepper spare ribs with sticky five spice dip. Skeeball and karaoke are optional, but very much encouraged.
Open until 12am Wednesday & Thursday, and 3am Friday-Sunday
This used to be a run-down KFC, and a renovation didn’t add much, ambience-wise. But these days, they’re making authentic Mexican food, not fried chicken, and you’re here for spicy pork tacos, a burrito, or the greatest addition to a hungry and/or drunk person’s diet yet: the maizadilla, a.k.a. melted cheese and chicken and joy, pressed between two corn tortillas and covered in chipotle cream. If the idea of eating tacos around a couple dozen drunk zombies isn’t your thing, they also have a drive-thru window.
Open until 11pm Sunday-Thursday, and 1am Friday & Saturday
Come to this appropriately named cocktail bar to escape the rain, but stay for the delicious food that goes way beyond traditional pub snacks. Since they stay open so late, you’ll have plenty of time to figure out what pairs best with your Old Fashioned: oysters, burgers, blistered shishito peppers, or even a nice piece of fish. Just know that if you skip the chicken fat fries with fennel dust and aioli, you might as well not have come at all.
Open until 12am Sunday-Thursday, and 2am Friday & Saturday
It’s scientifically proven that homemade pretzels with beer cheese and pommes frites taste better eaten late at night. The beer selection here is great, but so is the food, which ranges from the aforementioned frites - get as many sides of bourbon dragon sauce for dipping as possible - to steamed mussels and Belgian beef stew. The fact that it feels like a castle dungeon in here just makes it that much more interesting.
Open until 2am
Maybe your East Coast friends are in town for a wild night out, and have started to complain about how they can never find New Haven-style pizza on the West Coast. Head to Dino’s Tomato Pie for chewy, crispy-crusted pies that will restore your faith in the Seattle pizza universe (the rectangular grandma pies are also fantastic). A couple of on-tap Long Island Iced Teas and a few dozen backhanded compliments later, you might just believe that you’re actually back on the other side of the country.
Open until 2am
When it’s late and you’re hungry, but you just can’t bear to leave your dog home alone, bring her to The Leary Traveler, where you can work on building her Instagram following together. It’s a neighborhood pub with good fries, sliders, and a gyro-like salad that’s way better than a salad has any right to be.
Open until 1am
You spent all night pretending to be productive at work, and now it’s time for a cocktail and some food that’s more interesting than french fries. Try Foreign National, a dark, psychedelic-looking bar with great tropical cocktails and Asian-fusion bar snacks. Don’t miss the cheeseburger bao, which tastes like the love child of a Big Mac and a Chinese bun. The kitchen is only open until 11, so get in just beforehand to order, then hang out until 1am.
Open until 10pm Sunday-Thursday, and 12am Friday & Saturday
Weather-wise, Seattle is already pretty similar to the UK. McLeod’s Fish & Chips will take you one step closer to pretending you’re there instead of here. Like any good neighborhood pub, it’s great for a solo meal, and not only do they have great Scotch cocktails, but their fish and chips - with a puffy beer batter and thick-cut french fries - are also excellent.
Open until 9:30pm Sunday-Thursday, and 1am Friday & Saturday
You took the wrong coat with you when you left the house this morning, and now, even though you’ve only been in the rain for three minutes, it looks like you just took a shower. Time for something comforting. This isn’t Seattle’s best ramen, but when you need to sprawl in a booth with a big bowl of steaming broth and some gyoza at midnight on a Friday, it’s here for you. You’ll still have to deal with the rain when you leave, but at least for the time being, you’ll have a stomach full of warm things.
Open until 12am Tuesday-Thursday, and 2am Friday & Saturday
Altstadt is a German biergarten that doesn’t feel like a glorified fraternity party. It’s a nice, relaxing space for a Berliner Weisse made with house raspberry syrup (this sounds like a beer frappuccino creation, but it’s actually good), plus a late-night meal of soft pretzels, spaetzle mac and cheese, schnitzel, and brats. If things escalate to liter boots of lager, at least you’ll be well fed.
Open until 1am Sunday-Thursday, and 2am Friday & Saturday
Witness has the best chicken and waffles in Seattle, along with some other high-quality Southern bar food, like hush puppies and pimento cheese poutine. And your odds of getting a table here are way better late at night than they are at brunch, when it’s always mobbed.
Open until 2am Sunday-Thursday, and 4am Friday & Saturday
This is not the place to come for a quiet late-night meal - it’s definitely a partytime spot. On weekends, it’s also one of the latest-closing restaurants in the entire city. Start with the crispy imperial rolls before getting into the Vietnamese noodle soups, shrimp vermicelli bowl, rotisserie chicken with broken rice, or beer-steamed clams. You can’t order from the full menu late at night, but that’s the price you pay for deciding to eat dinner at 3 in the morning.
Open until 2am
When you want some low-key, high-quality BBQ at 1am, go to Bitterroot. Keep it simple with a sandwich on a pretzel roll or a smoked brisket plate with jalapeno hush puppies and collards, or say f*ck it and go for a bowl of mac and cheese topped with hot links and pulled pork.
Open until 12am Sunday, and 2am Monday-Saturday
Star Brass Lounge is a dive bar with surprisingly great food. And like any good dive bar, it’s open late most days of the week. Get the tavern burger, fried cod bites, or the housemade pretzel plate with beer cheese, grilled brat, and apples. Since this place is in Georgetown, it tends not to get too crowded - so when you want peace, quiet, beer, and a burger, check it out.
Open until 2am
We’ve already covered the casual pizza options, but if you want something a little classier in the wee hours, come here. Sit in the cathedral-like darkness under ornate chandeliers, get some charred Neapolitan pies, caesar salads, and glasses of prosecco, and say a quick prayer of thanks for your delicious late-night meal.