You certainly don't need hockey tickets to enjoy dinner at Tyger Tyger (but if you're headed to a game...this spread is right across the street).

Image: Amber Fouts

The Kraken’s arrival brings new energy to the low-key restaurant scene around Seattle Center. Lower Queen Anne certainly has a breadth of bars, from the overtly sports-minded Buckley’s to the classic graffiti-adorned Streamline Tavern. Our picks for where to stop before heading to Climate Pledge Arena include massive patios, great pizza, and even group-friendly beer hall tables.

Tyger Tyger

In the Venn diagram of arena proximity and enjoyable food and drinks, it’s tough to beat this Sichuan-ish hangout across the street from Seattle Center on Republican Street. Dumplings, rice cakes with bacon, Chongqing chicken, and crab curry fried rice are indisputably worth a trip even without a game ticket. Then throw in the cocktail list and a bar full of local beer and well-chosen wine. Come early to grab seats in the dining room, at the bar, or among the handful of outdoor tables.

Taylor Shellfish

Nothing says pre-funk like geoduck chowder. But in all seriousness, there’s something delightfully Northwest about polishing off some bivalves before rooting for a team that takes its name from a cephalopod. At the oyster company’s bar across from Seattle Center, a dozen perfectly shucked Kumamotos counts as game day food. Especially with an Aperol spritz or adeptly paired local pilsner. Taylor also offers up hot and cold shellfish-centered snacks, like smoked oyster dip, prawn cocktail, and spicy baked mussels. (The bar doesn’t take reservations, but does have some tables outside.)

The Masonry

Long before Seattle had a hockey team, this pizzeria on Roy Street offered the ideal before-game combo: wood-fired pizza, crusts bubbling and topped with smart seasonal combos (summer squash and pesto; prosciutto and onion), plus beer. Great beer. Owner Matt Storm even co-authors a brewery project, Fast Fashion, with limited releases available at the Masonry. Storm’s a vegetarian turned vegan, which means plant-based hockey fans eat uncommonly well here.

Citizen Campfire is basically a compound of great outdoor space.

Citizen Campfire

If your rowdiest friends took over a patio furniture showroom, the resulting setup might look something like Suzana Olmos’s outdoor bar, a 15-minute walk from Climate Pledge Arena. A network of shelters, Adirondack chairs, fire tables, umbrellas, heaters, paper lanterns, and string lights fill this walled-in lot, a secret garden watered by boozy slushies. An outdoor bar dispenses drinks, sandwiches, nachos, and “Korexican” fare. The space accommodates bigger, unwieldy groups particularly well. 

Queen Anne Beerhall

A low-slung beer hall slightly removed from Uptown’s other bars offers a ton of room and nicer-than-average bar food with German overtones. Here, a pretzel can be a bread bowl for clam chowder, the bottom layer of a charcuterie board, a sweet dessert, or the main event with mustard and house cheese sauce. A pre-game beer or two will take the edge off that uphill walk to Climate Pledge Arena.

Uptown Hophouse

As straightforward sports bars go, this one pours 24 beers on tap (some local; all great) and keeps its food menu focused on what’s important: massive DIY nachos, hard shell tacos, and chili dogs on brioche buns. The bar has just the right amount of TVs, but is also ludicrously close to the arena entrance.