Editor’s Note: Not to worry, dear readers, the last stop on our Post Office Tour will appear next week. Please enjoy this intermission.
Why does Localist help visitors plan their trips to Seattle? There are so many reasons, but in the end, it comes down to a simple one: When I first moved to Seattle in the summer of 2005, it took me just a few days to realize that I had never felt so at home in a city, so quickly. That is partly due to the help of friends I already knew in Seattle and friends I made once I got here, all of whom showed me the ropes. In addition, I found that the city’s personality fit my own perfectly. These are the aspects of Seattle living that I want to share with all of you, whether you are travelers visiting for the first time, or residents looking to explore the farthest reaches of our city. I am your friend in Seattle, here to show you the ropes.
To that end, let’s talk about some of the characteristics of the city that make Seattle, Seattle. Top of the list is Happy Hour. Now I know that Seattle is not the only place that goes wild for Happy Hour, but the range of establishments that offer discounted drinks and snacks during the after-work hours is exemplary. You’d be hard-pressed to find even a fine-dining establishment that doesn’t offer some kind of special daily deal. In fact, we should turn our attention momentarily to the brilliant article on this subject that appeared in the New York Times in 2007: Frugal Traveler – Seattle – Sampling the Best of the Northwest. Full disclosure: the author, Matt Gross, is my brother (and as long as I’m disclosing, allow me to shamelessly plug his latest article in the Times’s “Getting Lost” series: Paris). Well, who do you think was his on-the-ground Seattle advisor?
Probably my favorite Happy Hour that was featured in the article for its value (and one of the few that still exists today; RIP Cascadia and Brasa) is The Triple Door Musicquarium Lounge – this Happy Hour runs from 4pm to 6pm and until 7pm on First Thursdays. Delicious pan-Asian small bites from Wild Ginger are discounted to prices between $2.50 and $8! The style is definitely a bit clubby, with martini-glass cocktails and purple mood lighting, but if you’re hanging out downtown that is what you’re in for.
And since it’s been a few years since that article came out, let me also just mention a few other favorites:
Mama’s Mexican Kitchen (Belltown): 4-6:30pm. I mean, let’s be honest here, you could eat a hearty dinner at Mama’s anytime for about $8 ($15 if you add on a Cadillac margarita) not including tax and tip, but during Happy Hour you can get a snack for $4 and that margarita is just $6.75. Plus, sidewalk seating. Plus plus, the maze-like interior is perfect for tipsy wandering. Plus plus plus, this:
It’s been said that Mama and Elvis shared a margarita once upon a time.
Anchovies and Olives (Capitol Hill): 5-6pm and 10pm-close, Sunday-Thursday. Take it away, Ethan Stowell’s website:
A variety of oysters served for $1 a piece. Wash them down with $2 Peronis or $5 prosecco.
There’s not a lot more I can say about this amazing deal. Anchovies and Olives is a great place to get a fancy meal, but at 5pm, when you’re not even that hungry anyway (I’m only speaking for you since I am always hungry), the “Oyster Power Hour” is golden. I only wish it happened on Fridays, too, as it would be the perfect way to celebrate the weekend.
The Sitting Room (Lower Queen Anne): 5-7pm and 11pm-1am, Tuesday-Sunday, and all day Monday. I maintain a great fondness for The Sitting Room from when I lived just up the alleyway and could almost legitimately refer to the bar as my “other” sitting room. This place is a paradisaical oasis in a desert of Lower Queen Anne meat market establishments. Also, surprisingly under-appreciated bartenders, who do a great job mixing the drinks while keeping the vibe low-key.
Making this list, I realize that this is going to have to be the first installment not only of “Things to Do in Seattle” but also of very important Seattle Happy Hours. And what are your very favorite places for Happy Hour in Seattle? Let us know in the comments!