Okay, so the 2022 Seahawks season isn’t augured to be one for the ages. At least the food inside Lumen Field and neighboring T-Mobile Park gets better every year. Meanwhile, a host of bars and restaurants around the stadiums beckon to anybody looking to meet up with a group, or just avoid paying $20 for a Bud Light and some loaded fries.
Most game-oriented destinations lie north of the stadiums in Pioneer Square. To the south, in SoDo, sandwiches and pizza balance out the preponderance of fast food chains. Some people prefer arriving through Chinatown–International District, to the east. Navigating the train track tangle that separates the dumplings from the defensive tackles can be a pain, but a wealth of great food awaits, depending on how far you want to walk.
You can’t get much closer to the stadiums than a seat at this sports bar across the street from Lumen Field and just down from T-Mobile Park, flanked by hot dog stands. The proximity means the Gantry’s long, narrow bar and beer garden patio are predictably chaotic even for nippy Mariners games. The kitchen serves up archetypal game food (nachos, wings, fries) to balance out buckets of beer and a deep bench of whiskey and tequila.
A sushi restaurant with a meditative temple-like interior might seem a tonal mismatch with the roar inside Lumen. But there’s no shame in pre-gaming with sashimi or a 12th Man roll, filled with avocado and shrimp tempura. Matsu’s huge menu dedicates an entire section to fried things, including karaage and Korean-style wings. This stadium-adjacent spot shares ownership with Momiji and Umi Sake House, as evidenced by the emphasis on drinks and a generous happy hour menu.
The state’s largest oyster farmer runs a handful of oyster bars, including this throwback-style room on Occidental Avenue. Freshly shucked oysters are pristine (especially with the selection of Northwest beer) but heartier dishes like fish and chips, geoduck chowder, and smoked oyster dip offer fortification for fall games. Take heed: walk-ins only, and the happy hour menu does not run on game days.
Technically this is a 21-and-over putt-putt bar, but 30-plus taps of Washington beer, cider, and seltzer also lend themselves well to meeting up before walking to the stadiums. The kitchen serves a limited slate of tacos, nachos, and chips and guac. But the game situation is on point; sneak in a round of duffleboard before kickoff.
A den of atmospheric old brick offers the happiest medium between pitchers of beer and upscale fare you feel weird eating in a jersey. Damn the Weather is decidedly a cocktail bar with destination-worthy food, but the menu includes plenty of local beer and cider (plus non-alcoholic creations). On the food side, a burger and frites with aioli balance out plates of pan-seared halibut or fettuccini draped in seasonal produce.
If you’re looking for stadium proximity, a fighting chance of seats, and good beer (and don’t mind the AB InBev ownership), Elysian’s sprawling bar next to Lumen Field is reliably open on game days. The food’s pretty standard, but the staff is adept at handling crowds.
Skillet founder Josh Henderson is the guy behind this chainlet of smash burgers, with a King Street location (formerly the home of his Quality Athletics sports bar) just north of the Lumen Field parking lot.
This spot on Second Avenue South remains relatively under the radar given the quality of its food, which makes for a more chill game day destination (both indoors and on the small patio) than sports bars farther south. D&E’s fried chicken has become its calling card, available as a meal, tenders, or sandwich. Also great: the brunch menu and dirty fries.
German-style beer hall meets old-brick Pioneer Square: The result is anything but a sports bar, and the energy is perfect pre-game. Altstadt pours Northwest and German beer in various sizes, from petite to “giant glass boot.” The bar opens two hours before any Seahawks or Sounders game, ensuring access to schnitzel and brats and giant pretzels.
A striking old building (originally a bank) houses a cocktail haunt that isn’t so much a sports bar as a great bar that happens to be close to sports. Head here if your idea of tailgating involves careful cocktails, a solid whiskey list, and Mediterranean-toned food like pita wraps and grilled halloumi.
The Mariners back this brand-new restaurant, taproom, and beer garden complex that faces T-Mobile. The former Pyramid Brewing building now drips with baseball history, honoring Ken Griffey, Jr. and the 1940s-era Seattle Steelheads Negro League team. The interior is both handsome and filled with TVs, pub food leans into local ingredients, and Métier Brewing Company founder Rodney Hines is the resident brewer at Steelheads Alley.
This walkup slice counter with a Sonics-worthy green-and-gold paint job is a favorite among Seattle’s pizza cognoscenti, and a fantastic antidote to all those stadium beers. A double-decker glass case holds maybe 10 pies by the slice, a mix of crunchy Sicilian-inspired squares and classic New York rounds. You can also order whole pies and salads for takeaway.
Fremont’s beloved sandwich shop just keeps expanding under its current ownership. The spacious outpost south of the stadiums has a counter service interior built to handle crowds, plus an outdoor space full of picnic tables. Hearty Caribbean sandwiches are deeply compatible with brisk fall game days and tropical cocktails help take the edge off chilly temperatures.
Spoiler: Din Tai Fung’s locations inside Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park don’t sell its signature xiao long bao. But Seattle’s homegrown dumpling and noodle chain has a location in the Publix building, just across the train tracks. Dough Zone is known for soup dumplings, dan dan noodles, and crispy-bottomed Q bao—as well as crowds during prime time. Using Yelp’s waitlist app can help manage game-day waits.
Are you a parent looking to stuff your kids with quick, affordable food before braving the major league sportsball chaos? The venerable grocery store’s food court offers tacos, taiyaki, banh mi, and Hawaiian plate lunch, plus a seating area that’s forgiving of noise and crumbs. You can also grab prepared food from Uwajimaya’s own counters.
This tiny spot beneath the Chinatown paifang offers zero seating, but Korean-style corn dogs are about as portable as it gets for a walk to Lumen. These rice-battered beasts come studded with cubes of fried potato, coated in squiggles of crunchy ramen noodles, or wrapped in cheddar. One popular version is essentially a mozzarella stick disguised as a corn dog; another pairs beef dog and cheese inside a squid ink batter. Grab extra napkins.