Izakayas are Japan's after-work drinking dens, so the Americanized versions scattered around Seattle are highly logical destinations for happy hour. Here, five local establishments where you can loosen your tie (even if it's just a proverbial tie) and slurp some Sapporo and noodles—or oysters. Or ramen.
Wann Japanese Izakaya
The happy hour menu here is extensive to say the least: a full page of specials including $7 ramen, $5.50 unagi crunch rolls, and five-piece sashimi plates for $8. The special menu is available all day Monday and Tuesday, 4–7 Wednesday through Sunday. (Info via the Wann website and HH menu.)
From 5–6 Tuesday through Friday in Ballard, shoot $1 oysters washed down with $4 Sapporo or house sake at this Japanese restaurant that focuses on fresh local produce. And, starting this week, an exciting new addition to happy hour: shave ice iterations of classic cocktails, like the Moscow mule and Hemingway daiquiri, are only $5 (regularly $8).
This ID spot is a favorite hangout on Sounders' game days, and it makes sense, given the specials on drinks, appetizers, and sushi: $4 Sapporo pints, $6 cocktails, $4–6 sake on the beverage side and $3–6 eats like gyoza, edamame, tempura, and spicy tuna rolls. Happy hour menu served 5–6:30 Tuesday through Sunday.
The name of this Wallingford establishment—serving “traditional and modern Yakitori along with traditional Hokkaido delicacies”—requires some explanation. Say the numbers aloud in Japanese and it sounds like “Yoroshiku,” a salutation which means “kind regards." Happy hour runs 5–6:30 Tuesday through Friday. There are specials on beer, wine, and sake, as well as a new izakaya-focused menu starting Friday May 30. Hint: three dishes at $5, $7, and $9—and one will be ramen.
The MO at all three locations (International District, University District, and Capitol Hill) is a food-plus-drink combo. For example, the $5 combo at the ID location could get you an order of pork or shrimp shumai served with a frosty bottle of Asahi. Over on Broadway, you might upgrade to a Tokyo Black Porter and chili pork for $8. The exact time and menu vary by location, but all the details are online.