Seattle’s Coziest Bars

The best 13 cozy bars for when you want to feel at home but not actually be at home.
Seattle’s Coziest Bars image

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

Winter isn’t that bad in Seattle. But after a beautiful summer, all we want to do is hibernate and listen to Evanescence until it’s warm out again. To combat our very real seasonal depression, we gulp down vitamin D supplements and hang out at comforting bars until the sun stops setting at 4pm. These spots check all of the “cozy bar” boxes: they have the Feel Good Factor™, great drinks, friendly people, some dimly-lit moodiness, and, if we’re lucky, a living room set or a plush cushion or two. These are the best 12 cozy bars in Seattle, and they work for any time of the year—but especially when it’s rainy and cold.


photo credit: Brooke Fitts


Columbia City

$$$$Perfect For:Drinks & A Light BiteDrinking Good WineSmall PlatesDate NightEating At The Bar
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This Columbia City aperitivo bar and bottle shop is owned by next-door Italian restaurant La Medusa, and while it seems logical to grab a drink with your date here while waiting for your dinner table, we encourage you to stick around for amari and snacks. Persephone’s space is decorated with string lights, a lot of happy green plants, and wacky labels from shelves of natural wine bottles. Grab a seat and get acquainted with a bitter red spritz you’ll choose from the huge chalkboard selection of amari and an all-star lineup of fried food like crispy fish meatballs, saffron arancini, or the incredible chickpea panelle sandwich with mayo and lemon on a toasted sesame roll. If you’re not into the bitter herbal stuff, don’t let the Campari scare you away—you can always order a glass of prosecco.

You’ve probably strolled right past White Horse Trading Company every time you bring an out-of-towner to Pike Place and walk through Post Alley. Next time, stop in for a drink. The walls and ceiling are completely covered in old photos, paintings, umbrellas, dusty shelves, metal decals, and the occasional birdcage with a can of spam inside. After finding a red velvet sofa to lounge on, order from a menu that’s literally just Sharpie written on a slab of cardboard. It lists things like Irish whiskey, lemonade, and a creation called “Bulls Blood” which is 50% port, 50% dry champagne, and 100% what you want. Stop in here on a weekend with some friends and it’ll be way more fun than anywhere on Capitol Hill.

We can all agree that drinking wine at your place is about as cozy as it gets, but drinking at Bottlehouse somehow feels cozier. This little house in Madrona serves an excellent lineup, be it Riesling slushies, a couple of two-ounce tasters, or a long bottle list of natural wines. If you’re interested in snacking, let their in-house cheesemonger curate a board for you. They also have a back garden that they cover and heat in the winter.

If Unicorn on Capitol Hill took a chill pill and grew up a little bit, the result would be The Velvet Elk—a two-story neighborhood spot in Mount Baker. This place is perfect for a low-key weeknight hang: there’s colorful black-lit wall art, excellent cocktails, squishy living room furniture, and a food menu that exclusively involves homemade corn dogs. They even have some decks of cards if you want to challenge your friends to a game of Egyptian Rat Screw.

This spot in Greenwood lives up to its name—between the smell of warm nuts, the secluded wooden booths, and general darkness, this is a quality spot for any winter night. And it’s not just a dive bar with beer and cashews. They serve mix-and-match charcuterie plates including things like duck rillettes, smoked salmon, and chèvre.

Picture this: you’re in a treehouse, reading a good book and drinking a pint of beer. You’re also probably wearing your favorite crewneck sweatshirt too. This fantasy doesn’t have to be just a daydream—The Dray is a real beer bar designed to make you feel like you’re slurping IPA in a hollowed-out oak. It’s always calm in here despite its small size, and the selection on tap includes interesting local breweries like Iron Horse and North Coast.

Being cozy doesn’t mean that you have to keep things casual. Needle & Thread is a fantastic, dimly-lit speakeasy with classy parlor furniture that’s romantic enough for an important date. There’s no drink menu—all you do is tell the bartender exactly what you’re in the mood for (and even more importantly, what you’re not), they jot down some notes, walk away, and return with the best cocktail you’ve had all year. Just make sure that you order the cheddar corn cracklins with serrano fondue. It’s like the upgraded version of having chips and dip in bed.

The Sitting Room is a dark Queen Anne bar where you can drink spritz and pop olives and truffled almonds like they’re M&Ms. The bartenders are friendly, and we could subsist for weeks on potato chips and their onion dip. The best part about this place is that you can have a few different types of nights here based on where you sit—there are soft sofas in the back, the bar feels like a library desk, and a row of candlelit tables would work for a date.

You can find both natural wine and vinyl records at Left Bank, a chill wine bar in South Park that exclusively pours natural bottles. It feels like a basement (in the best way), and we could spend hours hanging out here playing roulette with the interesting bottles sourced anywhere from Slovenia to Long Island. They don’t serve food, but you’re encouraged to bring in a burger from Loretta’s Northwesterner across the street.

Damn The Weather understands that few things are more comforting than sitting at a bar with a bowl of pasta and a cocktail while it’s raining buckets outside. This spot is the coziest place in Pioneer Square, and is best experienced with a date or a couple of pals who’ll share some duck fat fries with you.

This bar is on an otherwise residential street, and you might be sad that you’re not hanging out inside a residence. If you really want to visit one of the homes, don’t trespass—just grab a drink at The Maple. Located inside an old house on Roosevelt, you'll find stuff like a fireplace, a popcorn ceiling, and antique framed maps on the wall. Sit in a big wooden booth and grab a white russian, or some fish and chips.

A smoked Moscow mule topped with pine leaves and a torched marshmallow is enough to get The Nook on this list. But besides that delicious drink, the bar's interior feels like a backyard shed that was recently renovated on HGTV. It’s a two-story spot covered in wood and cushioned benches, and the second floor is an attic-like situation with a fireplace and mismatched armchairs and loveseats. Sip your creme de violette cocktail on a sofa that feels like it belongs in the 1930s.

The long marble counter at Baker’s is usually packed like a sardine tin, and there’s a good chance if you turn your head you’ll accidentally give the stranger next to you the most awkward nose kiss of all time. But that’s part of the fun. Pair the excellent cocktails here with small plates like baguettes, charcuterie, cheeses, and sweets like a Nutella pot de creme.

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