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Wonderful Wine Bars in Seattle

Serving new-school natural wines and old-world classics, European stunners by the glass and Washington-made marvels on tap, and plenty of delicious bites alongside

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Wine bars are coming into their own in a Seattle bar scene that was once dominated by beer and liquor, especially as interest in low-intervention natural wines, both old-school and new, has proliferated. And wine bars that are also bottle shops, or are connected to bottle shops, have proliferated since the pandemic began, as owners pivoted to retail and takeout instead of dine-in before finding an interesting balance as restrictions eased. To sample a cross-section of the staggering amount of Washington-made wines, you can take a short field trip to the tasting rooms of Woodinville, but here are the top wine bars in the city where you can linger happily for a couple of hours, usually with excellent snacks or meals on offer as well. Consider this list a cork-filled treasure map.

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Brimmer & Heeltap

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Jen Doak’s Ballard favorite Brimmer started a wine club then upgraded it to Halfseas Wine inside the leafy courtyard to further enhance a strong wine selection. Whether you sit at the bar inside the airy brick building or on the patio, you’ll encounter niche producers both domestic and international, perfect with creative dishes like radishes with salmon roe and creme fraiche, Manila clams in cider broth, and pork chops with fermented greens.

Rapport

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When you’re trying to figure out what you like or learn more about wine styles and regions, there’s nothing quite like sampling a wide variety side by side. Capitol Hill’s self-pour wine and beer bar facilitates that with an excellent selection, including many natural offerings, so you can work out the differences between Oregon pinots and see which pairs best with a roasted pork chop and other dishes highlighting local farms. Rapport has a sizable patio, too.

After building a strong following for its sourdough creations, this former pop-up set down permanent roots with a charming restaurant, bar, and corner market on Capitol Hill. Both the naturally leavened pizzas and glass pours of natty wines change frequently, though the simple cheese pie, served hot out of the oven with aged mozzarella and just the right amount of grease, shines alongside the likes of a sparkling orange riesling from France. The excellent selection of local and imported goods carries into the take-home options as well.

Vinnie's Wine Shop

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Chris Elford and Anu Apte-Elford, the owners behind drinking institution Rob Roy and others, pair natural wine, cocktails, and snacks at Vinnie’s, named for Apte-Elford’s mom and located adjacent to their tropical bar Navy Strength in Belltown. As with their other spots, Vinnie’s is high-concept but low-pretense, with colorful, homey decor, an open kitchen where you can chat with the oyster shucker, and knowledgeable servers to guide you through a concise list of glass pours that ranges from Basque white to Georgian orange. The seafood bar shifted to a bottle shop during the pandemic, and kept the latter when shifting back to the former, so you can also grab wine to go.

Le Caviste

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Le Caviste channels a bustling French bistrot à vin so faithfully you may forget you arrived here from Downtown Seattle. Expect — you guessed it — French wines, listed on big chalkboards alongside platters of fragrant cheeses and charcuterie, focused on well-honed offerings from independent farmer-producers. The shop sells retail bottles as well; amiable servers can guide you through your choices whether you’re staying or going.

La Dive

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Beaujolais slushies capture the playful spirit at this Capitol Hill bar, but the star attractions are the list of natural wines and a menu of satisfying bar food, including pork and potato dumplings. There’s also a monthly wine club and other retail options.

Light Sleeper

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Veteran sommelier and co-owner Ezra Wicks highlights natural and biodynamic offerings at this cool Chophouse Row “terroir bar,” which also bakes its own bread and showcases ingredients from local farmers, foragers, and fishmongers in dishes like salmon “osso bucco” with celery leaf risotto. For take-home availability, check retail neighbor Wide Eyed Wines.

Bottlehouse

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This Madrona bar and retail shop in a Craftsman-style house from 1905 has long since earned its reputation as a solid leisurely hangout. The selection prioritizes Europe wines with some Pacific Northwest gems in the mix, plus beer, cider, cocktails, and mostly small bites. Bottlehouse also has limited outdoor seating on a heated and covered patio.

A table at Bottlehouse shows two wine glasses (one white, one rose) and bottles behind them.
Bottlehouse has been a Madrona mainstay.
Bottlehouse [Official Photo]

Footprint Wine Tap

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Lots of bars and restaurants around town serve wine on tap, but no other place has embraced the concept with the enthusiasm of Capitol Hill’s Footprint, which has nearly 20 draft wines. Per the shop’s name, owner Ken Dillon is interested in lowering the carbon footprint of wine by prioritizing bulk packaging over bottles, which also means this is the rare place you can fill growlers of wine — mostly from regional producers who follow other sustainable practices as well.

The Tasting Room

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The Tasting Room is a retail co-op that serves wine from several small Washington producers in an old-timey former warehouse at the north end of Pike Place Market’s Post Alley, offering a great sense for the freewheeling nature of Washington wine. The makers are experimenting with a wide selection of grape varieties, and you’ll often find fun surprises — especially thanks to the generous wine flights on offer here.

A glass of pink-hued wine at The Tasting Room with shelves of bottles in the background.
The Tasting Room is a Pike Place co-op.
Courtesy of Stasia Brewczynski

L'Oursin

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Like Le Caviste, the Central District’s L’Oursin fixates on French wine and food, although this brasserie has a much more modern feel, from the rotating seafood-focused menu (the name means “sea urchin,” after all) to the jazzy descriptions of mostly natural wines, also available at retail and via a wine club. Think rare grape varietals, tiny sub-appellations, and dessert wines served alongside grilled sturgeon and fried sweetbreads by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff.

Persephone

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A small but mighty destination for pasta and wine dinners, Columbia City’s La Medusa also has a wee market, bottle shop, and wine and amaro bar next door called Persephone. It’s not cramped, though, just cozy, with plenty of greenery and string lights, a handful of stools at a bar and little tables, warm coral walls, and shelves stocked thoughtfully. In the aperitivo tradition, you can sit and snack on fried smelt and saffron arancini pre-dinner (or post-lunch, if you will) or wander with a glass of Occhipinti frappato while you browse local produce and Southern Italian-leaning pantry items and bottles.

Locol Barley and Vine

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Locol has a dual allegiance to beer and wine, with an emphasis on small Washington producers in a laid-back West Seattle setting. You’ll also find some covered, heated outdoor seating, regular live music, and locally sourced bar food from Greek meatballs to mac and cheese.

Left Bank

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Seattle may not have any wine dive bars, but it comes close with Left Bank, a tiny hole-in-the-wall across the Duwamish River from Boeing Field in South Park. It has the casual vibe of a basement rec room, complete with turntable, and an ever-changing list of natural wines that emphasizes the new and the novel. In 2022, the owners also expanded next door with Good Voyage, a hip cafe, market, and wine bar.

Brimmer & Heeltap

Jen Doak’s Ballard favorite Brimmer started a wine club then upgraded it to Halfseas Wine inside the leafy courtyard to further enhance a strong wine selection. Whether you sit at the bar inside the airy brick building or on the patio, you’ll encounter niche producers both domestic and international, perfect with creative dishes like radishes with salmon roe and creme fraiche, Manila clams in cider broth, and pork chops with fermented greens.

Rapport

When you’re trying to figure out what you like or learn more about wine styles and regions, there’s nothing quite like sampling a wide variety side by side. Capitol Hill’s self-pour wine and beer bar facilitates that with an excellent selection, including many natural offerings, so you can work out the differences between Oregon pinots and see which pairs best with a roasted pork chop and other dishes highlighting local farms. Rapport has a sizable patio, too.

Blotto

After building a strong following for its sourdough creations, this former pop-up set down permanent roots with a charming restaurant, bar, and corner market on Capitol Hill. Both the naturally leavened pizzas and glass pours of natty wines change frequently, though the simple cheese pie, served hot out of the oven with aged mozzarella and just the right amount of grease, shines alongside the likes of a sparkling orange riesling from France. The excellent selection of local and imported goods carries into the take-home options as well.

Vinnie's Wine Shop

Chris Elford and Anu Apte-Elford, the owners behind drinking institution Rob Roy and others, pair natural wine, cocktails, and snacks at Vinnie’s, named for Apte-Elford’s mom and located adjacent to their tropical bar Navy Strength in Belltown. As with their other spots, Vinnie’s is high-concept but low-pretense, with colorful, homey decor, an open kitchen where you can chat with the oyster shucker, and knowledgeable servers to guide you through a concise list of glass pours that ranges from Basque white to Georgian orange. The seafood bar shifted to a bottle shop during the pandemic, and kept the latter when shifting back to the former, so you can also grab wine to go.

Le Caviste

Le Caviste channels a bustling French bistrot à vin so faithfully you may forget you arrived here from Downtown Seattle. Expect — you guessed it — French wines, listed on big chalkboards alongside platters of fragrant cheeses and charcuterie, focused on well-honed offerings from independent farmer-producers. The shop sells retail bottles as well; amiable servers can guide you through your choices whether you’re staying or going.

La Dive

Beaujolais slushies capture the playful spirit at this Capitol Hill bar, but the star attractions are the list of natural wines and a menu of satisfying bar food, including pork and potato dumplings. There’s also a monthly wine club and other retail options.

Light Sleeper

Veteran sommelier and co-owner Ezra Wicks highlights natural and biodynamic offerings at this cool Chophouse Row “terroir bar,” which also bakes its own bread and showcases ingredients from local farmers, foragers, and fishmongers in dishes like salmon “osso bucco” with celery leaf risotto. For take-home availability, check retail neighbor Wide Eyed Wines.

Bottlehouse

This Madrona bar and retail shop in a Craftsman-style house from 1905 has long since earned its reputation as a solid leisurely hangout. The selection prioritizes Europe wines with some Pacific Northwest gems in the mix, plus beer, cider, cocktails, and mostly small bites. Bottlehouse also has limited outdoor seating on a heated and covered patio.

A table at Bottlehouse shows two wine glasses (one white, one rose) and bottles behind them.
Bottlehouse has been a Madrona mainstay.
Bottlehouse [Official Photo]

Footprint Wine Tap

Lots of bars and restaurants around town serve wine on tap, but no other place has embraced the concept with the enthusiasm of Capitol Hill’s Footprint, which has nearly 20 draft wines. Per the shop’s name, owner Ken Dillon is interested in lowering the carbon footprint of wine by prioritizing bulk packaging over bottles, which also means this is the rare place you can fill growlers of wine — mostly from regional producers who follow other sustainable practices as well.

The Tasting Room

The Tasting Room is a retail co-op that serves wine from several small Washington producers in an old-timey former warehouse at the north end of Pike Place Market’s Post Alley, offering a great sense for the freewheeling nature of Washington wine. The makers are experimenting with a wide selection of grape varieties, and you’ll often find fun surprises — especially thanks to the generous wine flights on offer here.

A glass of pink-hued wine at The Tasting Room with shelves of bottles in the background.
The Tasting Room is a Pike Place co-op.
Courtesy of Stasia Brewczynski

L'Oursin

Like Le Caviste, the Central District’s L’Oursin fixates on French wine and food, although this brasserie has a much more modern feel, from the rotating seafood-focused menu (the name means “sea urchin,” after all) to the jazzy descriptions of mostly natural wines, also available at retail and via a wine club. Think rare grape varietals, tiny sub-appellations, and dessert wines served alongside grilled sturgeon and fried sweetbreads by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff.

Persephone

A small but mighty destination for pasta and wine dinners, Columbia City’s La Medusa also has a wee market, bottle shop, and wine and amaro bar next door called Persephone. It’s not cramped, though, just cozy, with plenty of greenery and string lights, a handful of stools at a bar and little tables, warm coral walls, and shelves stocked thoughtfully. In the aperitivo tradition, you can sit and snack on fried smelt and saffron arancini pre-dinner (or post-lunch, if you will) or wander with a glass of Occhipinti frappato while you browse local produce and Southern Italian-leaning pantry items and bottles.

Locol Barley and Vine

Locol has a dual allegiance to beer and wine, with an emphasis on small Washington producers in a laid-back West Seattle setting. You’ll also find some covered, heated outdoor seating, regular live music, and locally sourced bar food from Greek meatballs to mac and cheese.

Left Bank

Seattle may not have any wine dive bars, but it comes close with Left Bank, a tiny hole-in-the-wall across the Duwamish River from Boeing Field in South Park. It has the casual vibe of a basement rec room, complete with turntable, and an ever-changing list of natural wines that emphasizes the new and the novel. In 2022, the owners also expanded next door with Good Voyage, a hip cafe, market, and wine bar.

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