The living-room vibe of Hotel Sorrento's Fireside Room. 

Mountaineering Club

University District views, vinyl, ’90s-era R&B, and outdoorsy themes are still impressive indoors. The menu isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it checks the Pacific Northwest boxes: oysters on the half shell, clam chowder, smoked salmon delivered in a tin with toast, an upgraded wagyu hot dog with heaps of dungeness crab on toasted brioche. Hot drinks like mulled red wine and grasshoppers (gin, creme de menthe, allspice dram, marshmallows) jive with the Graduate Hotel's top-floor bar and its log cabin aesthetic: mountain paintings, vintage snowshoes, and big leather chairs. 

Tavern Law

The speakeasy-style bar specializes in scads of pre-Prohibition and Prohibition-era drinks and a stuffed Monte Cristo of sliced pork shoulder with maple and smoked olive oil, cooked sous vide for seven hours. It’s hardly a secret, but there’s an upstairs room called Needle and Thread, where if you make the right call from the phone by the entrance, you might nab an open bar stool for a quaint experience. 

Canon

Local barman Jamie Boudreau had long planned to open his own place, and when Canon arrived, the reality somehow exceeded the ridiculously high expectations. Since then, he’s only burnished its reputation with an ever-growing catalog of rare and vintage spirits, and cocktails whose playful delivery systems (miniature bathtubs, faux IV bags) belie their clever flavors. Canon’s interior is all dark wood and glowing bottles, the equivalent of a hug from a loved one. 

Meet the Moon

As the weather gets colder, you’ll have to beat back the hordes to snag a table in this folksy, raw-timbered Leschi favorite (from the owners of Purple and Barrio), but once you do you’ll encounter a menu of crowdpleasers—whether that menu’s for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Pastries at brunch, grain bowls by evening, globally tweaked dishes like tuna poke—almost every dish has a fan club. Mind you, reach-wise it’s about as highbrow as dinner at Mom’s—but the welcome’s just as sweet and warm. 

Branchwater

Through an alleyway entrance off Bell Street awaits Branchwater, a low-lit lounge with dark wood everything and cushy armchairs. Inside the tucked-away bar—sibling to street-facing Pintxo—comfort comes in many forms, particularly bourbon. Take the Mighty Jack, a balancing act of bonded bourbon and apple brandy whose sweetness is tempered by a nice hit of amaro, as crisp as the weather. 

Bathtub Gin

The speakeasy trend has had its moment, and yet cocktail aficionados still do well to duck into the alley behind Second Avenue. These days the smallest of signs out front helps guide the way. Bring a jacket, as patrons might experience a wait. There, a boiler room turned bilevel hideout serves cocktails wrought with care and a hot toddy approaching local legend status. 

Hotel Sorrento Fireside Room

Adjacent to the hotel lobby, this inviting bar has a full cocktail bar, lounge, and–the piece de resistance–a fireplace. And what pairs well with a fire's glow and cocktails? Monthly concerts from Seattleites that are free and open to the public. But be warned: space is limited.

Show Comments
In this Article

Fireside Room

Cocktail Bar, Happy Hour, Hotel Bar 900 Madison St

Adjacent to the hotel lobby, this inviting bar has a full cocktail bar, lounge, and–the piece de resistance–a fireplace. And what pairs well with a fire's gl...

Editor’s Pick

Bathtub Gin

Editors Pick, Recommended Menu 2205 Second Ave

The speakeasy trend has had its moment, and yet cocktail aficionados still do well to duck into the alley behind Second Avenue. There, a boiler room turned b...

Editor’s Pick

Branchwater

Late Night, Romantic 2219 4th Ave

Through an alleyway entrance off Bell Street awaits Branchwater, a low-lit lounge with dark wood everything and cushy armchairs. Inside the tucked-away bar—s...

Canon

Editors Pick, Recommended Menu 928 12th Ave

Local barman Jamie Boudreau had long planned to open his own place, and when Canon arrived, the reality somehow exceeded the ridiculously high expectations. ...

Editor’s Pick

Tavern Law

Editors Pick, Outdoor Patio, Recommended Menu 1406 12th Ave

The speakeasy-style bar specializes in scads of pre-Prohibition and Prohibition-era drinks and a stuffed Monte Cristo of sliced pork shoulder with maple and ...

Meet the Moon

$$ American/New American 120 Lakeside Ave

You’ll have to beat back the hordes to snag a table in this folksy, raw-timbered Leschi favorite (from the owners of Purple and Barrio), but once you do you’...

Mountaineering Club

$$ American/New American 4507 Brooklyn Ave SE

Combine vinyl, ’90s-era R&B, outdoor seating, and University District views—don’t forget to apply an outdoorsy theme—and you’ve got the Graduate ho...