Neighborhood Bar Crawls: Capitol Hill

Drink your way through Seattle’s best bars.

By Clancey Denis and Rachel Sturtz February 18, 2011 Published in the March 2011 issue of Seattle Met

Summit Public House is the kind of bar that makes you wish you lived in the neighborhood. It’s full of neon beer signs, guys in T-shirts playing pool, and girls in old jeans just having a drink. Unlike at other nearby bars, no one here is trying too hard.

Almost every drink at Sun Liquor features some kind of juice squeezed fresh before your eyes; you’ll never want to drink another generic cranberry vodka again. The space is small and people stay for hours (you’re as likely to see a guy reading a book in the corner as you are people gearing up for a big night out), so grab a seat and hold onto it if you can.

Liberty is small and slightly off the main drag, but the comfy couches, friendly staff (“New drinking game! For every corny joke the guy behind the bar cracks, take one drink.”), and surprisingly good sushi make it worth the walk.

A classy, wine bar, Poco has a good bottle selection and an even better French onion dip. Sit upstairs in a cozy space with none of the office-building-lobby-vibe below.

The exuberance of The Unicorn decor—think demented carnival with candy-striped walls and taxidermic zebra heads—matches that of its clientele: wild, loud, and more than a little fun. Expect to see plenty of guys in three-piece suits and girls in neon tights.

The art at Vermillion is cool, but the people behind the bar are even better. Ask for a recommendation and you’ll get a lesson on wine with your glass.

The long communal tables make it easy to make new friends at Grim’s, and the grilled cheese sandwiches are a perfect way to soak up beer (served in mason jars). If you do make a new friend, head upstairs—where the walls are lined with jars of butterflies—for a more intimate conversation.

The Tin Table is tucked away in a small room on the second floor of the Oddfellows Building, but it’s worth seeking out if only for the Bijou—a cocktail made with grapefruit, vodka, champagne, and candied lemon.

It’s true, Linda’s is the ultimate hipster bar—the neon glow of the jukebox reflects off PBR cans and onto the ironic mustaches at almost every stool—but everyone is friendly, the beer is cheap, and even if it’s not your scene, the people watching is entertainment enough.

NEXT: Belltown

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