In the middle of the heavily-touristed Pike Place Market, Pike and Western seems like it should be a lot more expensive. But it's one of the best values in town. Great selection of both old world and local wines. Tastings Friday afternoons.
Tucked away in an industrial park on the far side of Queen Anne Hill, some uber beer geeks we know consider this the best brewery in America. Well worth the trip. Colin Lefensty and his crew make consistently interesting stylistic choices, specializing in saisons and sours. If you see their taps in other establishments, order them.
Top-shelf hotel bar with expansive Puget Sound views, large-format cocktails & gourmet nibbles. Watch out for their hidden "reservation fees" if you reserve an outdoor table via their Web service. Outdoor heating makes it tolerable in the cold, but you're pretty much hosed if it's raining.
Pioneering craft cocktail space, one of the ones that started the craze back in the 90's. Also features gourmet snacks in a hip space tucked away in the Pike Street Hillclimb near Post Alley. Don't tell anyone.
1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101
When OG Seattle scenester Linda Derschang decided in the early '90's to expand beyond her Basic clothing line, she decided to call her first eating and drinking establishment, well, "Linda's." Featuring local craft brews, comfort food, and backwoods vintage northwest kitschy decor, Linda's quickly became THE preferred habitat for the grungerati. She added a cool enclosed and partially covered patio, and it's become a Seattle intitutionj, serving both late night drinks & hangover-curing brunch.
Emmet Watson, when asked how to make Seattle better, used to say "put it back!" Dicks is a slice of old Seattle that never left. Going strong since the 1950's, your parents used to call it "Ricardo's Club 19" after the 19 cent Dick's Deluxe. You can still get a Deluxe and fries, for cheap, and it makes a delightful fourthmeal after you've been out... carousing and carrying on. The closest one to the Conference Center is in Capitol Hill and was immortalized in Sir Mix-a-lot's hip hop classic "Posse's on Broadway." Others are in Wallingford, lower Queen Anne, and Lake City.
Perhaps the living definition of a "mixed" bar, this legendary club features different nightly themes, with DJs spinning everything from funk to punk. Welcoming to all gender identities and sexual orientations. Some of Seattle's most unique queer community theater and bulesque grew up here.
Opened in 1939, this iconic music venue has hosted legends ranging from Duke Ellington to Pearl Jam. Recently, a developer purchased the building and attempted to close the Showbox, but the music community rallied and forestalled it's demise for the moment. So you might want to take in a show there before it's gone
Not content with ruling the comfort bar scene, Linda Derschang brought her flawless theme-driven aesthetic, this time bedecked in tawdry-chic red retro Asian accents to Seattle's already saturated club scene. Linda has since sold her interest in Chop Suey, but it's still going strong, featuring nightly features a diverse lineup of anything from hip-hop to alt-rock and legendary DH sets.
The legendary Crocodile Cafe got remodeled, but it's still the same basic layout where all those shows you've heard or read about happened. Everyone from the 1990's Seattle music scene graced the Croc's stage, from Alice In Chains to Mudhoney to Sleater-Kinney and everything in between. Nirvana would play secret shows here, and it was at the Sub Pop 5th Anniversay Party in April 1994, here at ethe Croc, where Kurt Cobain's bandmates, closest friends, and label mates came to mourn after learning of his death the day before.
Formerly the legendary 90's rock club Moe, Neumos is the most prolific venue for new and independent music in Seattle. It's right in the epicenter of the Pike/Pine subsection of Capitol Hill, a major Seattle nightlife hub.
If Metal is your thing, this is your place! If not, well, this is the site of the Off Ramp, one of the epicenters of the Grunge scene, so at least it's got some historical cachet. A band called Mookie Blaylock played one gig here before they added a lead singer from San Diego and changed their name to Pearl Jam.
Just steps away from the Conference Center you'll find Le Caviste, one of Seattle's most distinctive wine bars. Sommelier David Butler's masterful palate is the star of the show here. His selection of natural wines mostly from France guarantee you an interesting and delicious quaff. The small plate food pairings and candlelit bistrot seating make this a welcome respite from conference hurly-burly.
Shawn Mead and Lauren Feldman's Vif is one of Seattle's truly wonderful places. Excellent coffee, Lauren's lovingly crafted breakfast and lunch dishes, and Seattle's best portfolio of natural wines make this wine bar/cafe/wine shop well worth the short trip to upper Fremont. This is where the IxDA Board met for pre-func before it's August retreat dinner at nearby seafood superstar Rock Creek. It's near impossible to buy a bottle of wine from Shawn without getting the story of the site, the winemaking techniques, and the winemakers, who she probably knows personally from her extensive travels working for importer Louis/Dressner. Tell her Bram sent you.
4401 Fremont Ave North, Seattle, WA 98103
Another natural wine bar, this one owned by Matt Dillon with wine curated by sometime sommelier Marc Papineau. Located in one of Seattle's most well-curated food & drink complexes, Capitol Hill's Chophouse Row.
Urban in the Olive 8 hotel complex is yet another local/seasonal culinary wonderland and exemplar of the Farm to Table movement. It also features a sophistocate bar with sleek modern design and great cocktails. They might even tell you the name of your chicken. (You know, like in that Portlandia episode?)