Seattle Downtown Fun
February 17, 2014 6:31 PM   Subscribe

My friends and I are driving into downtown Seattle... We're looking for a fun place to hang out for dinner and drinks. Can anyone recommend a street in the downtown area that will generate lots of options this evening?
posted by shew to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Generally I find downtown to be not so exciting on a week night, but it is well worth your time to make a stop at Radiator Whiskey. It's in the pale yellow building that's right by Pike Place Market.
posted by joan_holloway at 6:37 PM on February 17, 2014

MoonOrb is right. Dinner and drinks in Capitol Hill (Pike/Pine/Broadway) are going to be way more fun than downtown.
posted by charmedimsure at 6:43 PM on February 17, 2014

Or Ballard Ave, in Ballard.
Downtown though, I would look to 1st and 2nd Ave, north of Pike Place Market. That is the first place I was where I felt like Seattle had a drinks and dinner culture.
posted by Good Brain at 6:47 PM on February 17, 2014

All the cool kids hang out on Ballard Ave. it's far from downtown, but I've noticed more and more downtown hotels are sending taxis full of tourists to Ballard.

That having been said, you should find plenty of action downtown on 1st and 2nd between say virginia and battery streets. Also, it's Monday isn't it? (I'm on vacation at an undisclosed ski resort and the days are bleeding together, as they should) Depending on what you're used to, The Emerald City is a bit quiet on weeknights.
posted by Random Person at 7:31 PM on February 17, 2014

There's a lot of shopping and people in the areas of Pike and Pine between 4th and 7th. Avoid-- there's nowhere to really hang out there. Also avoid the Seattle Center area (around the needle). There are some nice spots there, but not really a neighborhood hangout area...which I say with regret, because I live near there.

Ballard Ave is terrific, though the parking situation is sometimes a bit bleak. I recommend the Kickin' Boot BBQ place-- excellent bar and a good dinner menu. (And thus a good bar menu.)

Capital Hill parking is really execrable, but there's a terrific area to hang out in. To Broadway, Pike, and Pine, add 12th Avenue, in the same area (and a couple blocks south)-- Seattle's 2 perhaps best known cocktail bars, Canon and Tavern Law, are on 12th Ave. Broadway as far as south as The Garage (billiards, bowling, beer, booze). If you like a dark room with high-test-strength belgian ales, hit the Stumbling Monk. Eat before hand, you'll need to soak it up.

Radiator Whiskey's great, too. If you can eat across the hall at Matt's at the Market, you're in for a treat.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:24 PM on February 17, 2014

I agree with all others - downtown is not where one hangs out in Seattle.

Where are you coming from? What kinds of places do you like? How old are you? (Sorry to sound age-ish, just trying to identify the area you'd like best.)

Ballard Ave is nice and would appeal to most groups - excellent restaurant choices (Oaxaca, Walrus&Carpenter, etc.) and a good range of bar choices.

Capitol Hill, where I used to live, is really divided into different zones. Broadway, which people have suggested, is the geographical center of the area but is not great as a place to go out. Olive Way has a lot of great bars that locals go to....12th Ave has some great restaurants (Cafe Presse, Ba Bar, Momiji) and is close to good bars....15th Ave has a more chill bar culture and there are some good restaurants in the vicinity as well.

It all depends on what kind of vibe you're looking for. If you give us more info, we can probably help more!
posted by leitmotif at 9:54 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

downtown is not where one hangs out in Seattle

The Frontier Room in Belltown is a classic downtown Seattle hangout - and a decent bar.
posted by three blind mice at 3:11 AM on February 18, 2014

I came back to the thread because Belltown suddenly lurched into my mind. As a local I think of Belltown as different from downtown, but it's probably all about the same for anyone from out of town, durrr.

Belltown: Most of the action is on 2nd and 1st Avenue between Battery St. and Blanchard St. (Bell St. is in between them). Shorty's for hot-dogs and pinball, Mama's for Mexican, Belltown Pizza for thin-crust in the wee hours. Rocco's is another good late-night pizza place with an ambitious beer menu. Whiskey Bar for an amazing variety of brown liquor. Rendezvous for hanging out in a booth all night. Depending on when you arrive, there's street parking within a few blocks north-- just pay until 8PM.

Seattle momentarily has Uber and Lyft, so if you don't have a designated driver, you have options besides cabs.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:23 AM on February 18, 2014

What Sunburnt said, but I'd stay away from Mama's if you don't like your Mexican bland and watered down.

As someone who lived in Belltown, I disagree that there is not a lot to do/explore. There are quite a few places that I'd recommend

1) The Whiskey Room on 2nd Ave
2) Shiro's and/or Umi Sake for Sushi
3) Shanik for Indian Fusion (though not technically in Belltown but Lake Union i.e. Amazonia)
4) Local 360 for some great fresh organic offerings
5) La Fontana for good Italian food
6) All of Tom Douglas's restaurants - especially Serious Pie for awesome pizza, or Lola's for Mediterranean offerings
7) Bathtub Gin for a speakeasy experience
8) Spur, List or BlackBottle for a slightly more intimate/upscale experience
9) Radiator Whiskey in Pike Place for sure!

The cool kids definitely hang out in Ballard or Cap Hill and there are quite a few cool places, but since you wanted places in Downtown these are some I'd recommend.

I miss Seattle :(

More recommendations? let me know!
posted by rippersid at 10:56 AM on February 18, 2014

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