The Outdoor Day Drinking Guide
There’s a time and a place for outdoor day drinking. The time is generally the day, and the places are the ones on this guide. For the most part, these bars A) open relatively early and B) have outdoor seating. Take a look at this list, and find your new go-to spot for drinking during the day before we’re hit with the weather equivalent of a sad Joni Mitchell song that loops for eight months straight.
On most nice days, it seems like everyone in the entire city got the day drinking memo. Sometimes you have to quickly shapeshift from a generally nice person to a human vulture in order to secure an outdoor table at one of the more popular spots. If you feel like just relaxing with friends in a space that isn’t totally overrun by other people, head to Can Bar, a neighborhood bar in White Center. If you feel like grabbing a drink by the can, their name isn’t subtle - you have 63 beers and ciders to choose from. They happen to serve delicious cocktails and bar food, too, all on a cool patio lined with various types of doors. Don’t try to open one. It won’t work.
If you don’t have your own tricked-out herb garden where you can sit and sip wine with friends, we suggest you check out Bottlehouse. It’s a renovated-home-turned-wine-bar, and the backyard is a very charming place to try flights of wine (or frozen wine cocktails) for prolonged periods of time. Snack-wise, there are actual cheesemongers here to help appropriately pair your drinks with charcuterie and cheese plates.
Citizen is a cafe that opens every day at 7am, so if you truly want to set an alarm to go out drinking with your friends, there’s nothing standing in your way. Start with mimosas or spiked coffee alongside some crepes if you’re in the mood for brunch, or show up a little later for a round of bulgogi tacos and beer. The patio has everything - picnic tables, a fire pit, astroturf, corn hole, one of those carnival basketball games that’s impossible to win, and a separate bar outside. Coming here is like having a picnic in the park, except there’s no dirt and you won’t get in trouble for drinking.
Stoup is one of our favorite breweries in Ballard. The beer here is pretty simple, but reliably tasty - so it’ll please both the pilsner people and the craft sour nerds. And while you could sit in the front overlooking the rotating resident food truck that hangs out there, we like going around back, where there are picnic tables, a back bar, and firepit.
The back patio at King’s Hardware has plenty of seating, and serves cocktails like a Campari-spiked paloma. And if they have a slushie available, you’ll want one of those, too. Gather here with your friends if your ideal day drinking food involves things you can find on a kid’s menu, like cheeseburger sliders or a basket of chicken strips and fries.
Old Stove is a great place to day drink indoors when you find yourself at Pike Place with some out-of-towners. But once summer hits, the floor-to-ceiling windows open up, and it becomes one of the best spots in town for outdoor drinking. We’re fans of the pomegranate sour, which is best sipped while looking at the waterfront and ignoring your guests talking about how “unseasonably warm” it is for Seattle.
If you haven’t spent a Sunday outside at Rhein Haus drinking boots of beer or frozen rosé while getting a little too competitive about lawn games, you’re not really living. We especially like the biergarten patio because the bocce court out there is first come, first served (whereas the ones inside have multiple-hour waits). We also like Rhein Haus because they have giant pretzels with liquid cheese.
Drinking in the stone-covered backyard at Loretta’s is kind of like partying on a tricked-out campsite - only with cold beer and not having to worry about bears. Grab one of their outdoor tables and order one of their many excellent burgers - they’re way better than the ones you make on your camp stove in the wilderness.
Kangaroo & Kiwi used to be a library. But now, instead of reading books and pretending to be a Hogwarts student, you can drink pitchers of beer outside all day while ignoring your other responsibilities. Saturday afternoons feel like a party here, whether you’re playing games on the lawn or sitting under an umbrella watching pedestrians walk by who are for sure having a worse day than you.
There are few better ways to spend a nice day than grabbing a six-pack from the fridge and drinking it on the deck with some friends, a couple bags of chips, and a sack of sour gummy worms. Even though this sounds like what you’d do at your own house, we’re describing what goes down at Chuck’s. It’s a convenience store where they’ll crack open anything that they sell from refrigerators, and they also have a great on-tap selection. The sheer variety of gummy snacks here is astounding, so don’t be shy about pairing your beer with a very rare breed of Trolli.
If any of your friends have ever complained about Seattle in any regard, grab them by the collar and toss them out on the patio at Marination Ma Kai so they can take in the skyline view. Then, sit back and have lychee margaritas under an umbrella while your friends eat chicken tacos, kimchi fried rice, mac salad, and their own words.
You can’t just waltz past Redhook Brewlab’s front picnic table area without getting the itch to take a seat out there (unless you’re on your way to Salt & Straw - then carry on, please). We’re pretty sure the gravitational pull has a lot to do with the high quantity of cute dogs out there, but the great beer might also be at play. If you’re looking for more of a relaxed hang, head to the back courtyard and sit in an Adirondack chair by the firepit.
Fremont Brewing Company is a great place to day drink if you have out-of-town guests visiting, a birthday party planned, a meetup with a date before dinner, a new puppy, or nothing to do at all. Basically, we’re telling you to day drink here at literally any time. We’d suggest a beer for you to order, but they’re really all delicious - from the Lush IPA to any of their infused Randalls on rotation.
If you just did some Lake Union kayaking (or pretended to kayak while your significant other did all of the paddling), lunch and drinks at Agua Verde is a strong next step. Secure a spot out on the deck overlooking the marina and keep the margaritas coming strong. We’re fans of the frozen ones, but nothing beats a prickly pear on the rocks. Don’t forget a few orders of fish tacos to soak it all up.
The 100 Pound Clam is one of those places that makes a typical Saturday a lot better. There’s a great water view, tasty seafood if you’re hungry, and a string-lit patio with picnic tables where you can sit and pop open bottles of wine while definitely not thinking about the exploding email inbox you’ll need to tend to come Monday morning.
Considering that by night, the back patio at Linda’s is packed with loud people drinking alcoholic Mountain Dew slushies and yelling across the bar, it’s hard to believe that by day, the outdoor space is pretty serene. If having some brunch and getting a low-key sunburn while simultaneously drinking Rainier tallboys sounds like a good time, Linda’s will feel like home.
Not every day-drinking event is a total blowout. If you just want to relax with a couple of beers or some refreshing margaritas, do it at Pacific Inn. The patio is small but comfortable, and it’s worth wading through the Saturday Fremont crowds just for a plate of their fish and chips.