The Best Wine Bars In Seattle

Wine bars don’t have to be pretentious, scary places. Here are 11 of the best ones in the city.

photo credit: Nate Watters

The Pacific Northwest has quite ideal conditions for growing grapes and making them into wine. But we’ll let the experts deal with the harvesting, foot-mashing, and bottling—just let us know when it’s done and we’ll drink it. Whether you’re entertaining your parents who brag about having their own cellar or just looking to have a glass of orange with some friends, here’s a guide to our favorite unstuffy spots in Seattle to enjoy fermented grape juice. Cheers.

Looking for wineries in Woodinville? We have a guide to that, too.


Wine Bar

South Park

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Imagine that you’re hanging out in your friends’ not-completely-renovated basement, playing around with their record player—but instead of drinking whatever beers they happen to have left in the fridge, you’re sipping some natural wine in South Park. This is Left Bank, and it’s the definition of a neighborhood spot. You don’t have to choose between a down-to-earth bartender (who still knows his sh*t), BYO vinyl Tuesdays, and a chill space to shoot the breeze and eat some takeout with your glass of Slovenian white—you can have all of the above.

Drinking at Bottlehouse is the upgraded version of sitting on the couch in pajamas swilling some Yellowtail Moscato from the bottle. This place is a renovated home, porch, garden patio, and all, which makes it really perfect for summertime wine drinking—but equally great in the winter, when you can hang out in the living-room-like interior. The wines by the glass are pretty diverse, and most of the cocktails also include some kind of wine (get the frozen one). There are cheesemongers who can pair cheese and charcuterie with whatever you want to drink, too. Even if you only get a baguette with chèvre and salted ganache, it’s going to be a good time.

photo credit: Aimee Rizzo

Spending time in this bright, tiny tasting room feels like a roundhouse kick to any dreary Seattle day. While white shiplap and blonde wood in combination usually make a place devolve into corny coastalness, the nautical vibe at this wine bar and bottle shop in Ballard is subtle enough to work. The wine list has a variety of local and global pours, be it a clean-crisp Columbia Valley skin contact viognier or an effervescent txakoli from Spain. Pair a few glasses with snacks like nuts, olives, and charcuterie—or $200 Oscietra caviar if you’re feeling wild.

This hard-to-find Madison Park basement feels like a secret clubhouse, only one that doesn’t need a password (though we’d have a feeling it’d be something like “carbonic maceration”). With just a handful of barstools in one room and a few four-tops in the next, the minimal space is still exciting, thanks to nerdy natural picks and a wine-savvy owner who’ll talk shop with you over Croatian babić or Australian pét-nat. And if you’re abstaining from booze, there are exciting N/A options, like beer from Self Care or St. Agrestis Phony Negronis.

Chez Phinney follows a simple format: hand over your credit card, receive an empty glass, and use the self-pour machines to fill said glass. And with its Greenwood Ave. location, housemade chocolate truffles, and dips from Michou Deli, this spot is easily the best place to drink wine on the north end. Despite looking like a Paris-inspired airport cafe, things turn up at night, thanks to blasting EDM and a “whatever” attitude about closing time. Oh yeah, that plus the ability to get wine every time you press a button like a mouse in a research lab. The best part is that Chez Phinney really is for every kind of grape juice drinker—you’ll find stunning German sauvignon blanc, funkadelic natural blends, and alcohol-free bubbles under the same roof.



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This funky little Beacon Hill bistro is officially the best spot in town for sparkling wine, whether you casually enjoy bubbles or your phone’s lock screen is currently the French countryside. Come here on a late afternoon to sip fizzy wine alongside snacks like battered prawns tossed in tamarind BBQ sauce, pomme frites with Sichuan chili mayo, and gnocchi with green pea pesto. It’s all served without any pretentiousness—the staff won’t assume you’re a viticulture novice, but they also won’t totally leave you on your own to navigate the world of carbonated grape juice. And with other drinks like spritzes, non-alcoholic aperitifs, and bottles of white, red, and rosé, you don’t have to be Champagne-obsessed to appreciate a night out (or a weekend brunch) here.

Hopefully you like going to bars during the weekend, because Flight is only open Friday through Sunday. We imagine that’s not a problem. Booking a tasting at this aviation-themed wine bar on Capitol Hill is a great way to explore some new wines and eat some standout chocolate in one sitting. It’s relatively easy to secure a table of any size by emailing the bar in advance, though it’s not as easy to refrain from bringing boxes of bonbons home afterward. They serve charcuterie and a delicious gluten-free snack mix, but you can’t miss their phenomenal bark strips, a.k.a. dark chocolate sticks studded with olive oil, salt, and black pepper-toasted Rice Krispies. They pair fantastically with the port that’s served with them.

West Seattle mainstay Itto’s Tapas has turned the space next door into an easygoing wine bar. There’s only a barn door separating this mint-walled area from the tapas restaurant, but it still feels like its own private nook where couples on early dates and friends sharing a bottle can feel comfortable. A short list of glass pours highlights wines from Spain and Portugal, including the fruity and refreshing white Txampian Txakoli among the natural options. Even though there’s nothing revolutionary about the selection of light snacks, their Basque cheese platter goes well with a smooth tempranillo and the relaxed ambiance makes this a great respite whenever bridge traffic raises your blood pressure.

La Dive is a wine bar that feels right at home on Capitol Hill—it’s a place where chugging Champagne as fast as you possibly can is encouraged. You can do that by ordering a Chambong, which you can either shoot with bubbles or Miller High Life. This place specializes in natural wine, and you’ll see a bunch of different stuff on their list, like orange wines, Spanish red from a bag, and frozen Beaujolais slushies spiked with Campari. There are also plenty of booths for your group along with a full menu of toasts and excellent pelmeni.

L’Oursin is a sepia-toned French spot in the Central District that happens to have an incredibly diverse lineup of natural wines (though not all of them are French). Somebody had a lot of fun writing the wine list, with descriptors such as “like French kissing a mermaid,” “for drinking with your coven,” and “a goddamn 5th Golden Girl.” Pair with some light snacks like ham and melon, or go all out with a seafood tower.

Le Caviste is not the place to bring your friends who own super-jumbo wine glasses or shirts that say It’s Wine O’Clock! Le Caviste is where you should go with "wine people," or a date you want to impress by making it seem like you know your sh*t about terroir, tannins, and the most ideal climate for French grapes to thrive in. That might make it sound stuffy, but this Denny Triangle spot is actually a great space for hanging out. The entire menu is in French, but the staff is all business and very happy to help. No matter what, make sure to get a charcuterie board.

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