The Best Wine Bars In SeattleWine bars don’t have to be pretentious, scary places. Here are 11 of the best ones in the city.
The Pacific Northwest has quite ideal conditions for growing grapes and making them into wine. 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. Luckily, Seattle’s also a great place to do that. 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 to drink fermented grape juice. Cheers.
Looking for wineries in Woodinville? We have a guide to that, too.
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, flights of five reds for $10, 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. And if you truly want to feel like you’re in that friend’s basement, they sell a rotating “cheap beer” for three bucks, too.
Drinking at Bottlehouse is like the upgraded version of sitting on the couch in pajamas swilling some Yellowtail Moscato from the bottle. This place is a renovated home, porch 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.
Keep Good Voyage in your rolodex of date spots for when you want to appear impressive without trying too hard. This market and natural wine bar right next to Left Bank (and from the same team) is complete with black walls, stark white subway tile, bistro tables inside and out, dried flower buds hanging from the ceiling, and groovy music, so you really could use it for anything from a relaxed friend catch-up to a high-stakes first date. Grab a round of pét-nat at 8pm alongside baguette sandwiches or a handful of marcona almonds.
If you take a shuttered Beacon Hill travel agency, slap up some bricks and art deco bird-patterned wallpaper, and fill it with bottles of champagne, you get The Coupe & Flute. This funky little 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 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.
If you’re looking for a wine bar that feels as loungey as a subdued neighborhood bookstore, come to Rae Vino. This Green Lake spot specializes in low-intervention options by the glass and bottle, serves small bites like chips and nuts, and hosts various tastings and/or live music performances. It’s perfect for bringing a date or friend to catch up among the shelves of bottles and comfortable living room furniture.
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 funky orange wines, Spanish red from a bag, and frozen Beaujolais slushies with Campari. There are also plenty of booths for your group along with a full menu of toasts and pelmeni dumplings.
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 it’s 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.
When you want to drink a glass of something great but also keep things casual, keep Locöl Barley & Vine in mind. As you may or may not have guessed from the name, most of the wines are local, and the surroundings look like a cross between a low-key cabin and an art gallery with quirky stuff like a painting of a T-Rex fossil mowing the lawn. In addition to all the wine, there are plenty of good beers for your group to try. Plus, the food here (like pho-seasoned meatballs with hoisin/sriracha, slow-cooked pork tacos, and blackened pork belly with cheddar grits) is excellent.
Frosé still counts as wine, even if you have to repeat that to yourself in front of a mirror a few times before you’re convinced. You can find the best at The Belmont (but only during the warmer months), where it’s made with frozen watermelon and no ice to water it down. You can also get some bites like cheeses, meats, and nuts if you’re hungry. The space is like a pop art-covered bottle shop with comfortable living room furniture, and it’s a fun spot whether you’re inside with your book club in the winter or at a bistro table outside in the summer.