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Two light-colored cocktails against a dark background, with a lighted “Hello” sign in the background and a small bouquet of purple flowers next to the glasses.
SZN in Queen Anne takes over for the former Lazy Susan, with a similar food menu and inventive cocktails.
SZN/Instagram

Where to Drink the Hottest Cocktails in Seattle, September 2021

From a newly reopened (and rebranded) Korean-Mexican gastropub in Queen Anne to a Cambodian food and cocktail specialist in Phinney Ridge

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SZN in Queen Anne takes over for the former Lazy Susan, with a similar food menu and inventive cocktails.
| SZN/Instagram

The challenges of the pandemic impacted many Seattle cocktail destinations, some of which closed — at least temporarily — to wait for brighter days ahead. But since Washington’s liquor and cannabis board made it legal to sell sealed mixed drinks to go (until at least 2023), and bars are allowed to have full capacity again, there has been a cocktail revival. Here are some of the coolest drinks dens to knock a few back, which have either opened or reopened within the past six months. They are listed from north to south, with bars that require proof of vaccination noted.

Added this month: Phinney Ridge cocktail bar and Cambodian food specialist Oliver’s Twist and Queen Anne’s Korean-Mexican gastropub SZN

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Oliver's Twist

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6822 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 706-6673
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This Phinney Ridge neighborhood favorite features potent mezcal, bourbon, and vodka cocktails, including the delightful Old Sally with blackberry-sage shrub and peach liqueur. And the food is not to be missed, as the bar developed an excellent Cambodian menu during the pandemic. It recently reopened for sit-down service both indoors and on a new outdoor patio, and proof of vaccination is required for entry.

A closeup of a peach-colored cocktail in a martini glass garnished with grapefruit.
Oliver’s Twist features well-crafted cocktails alongside an excellent menu of Cambodian food.
Oliver’s Twist

2. Crumby Sandwich & Spirits

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709 N 35th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 946-1921
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Fremont’s upscale sandwich shop Crumby offers substantial snacks such as crab cake with serrano aioli and steak topped with Walla Walla onions. But the spirits side of the menu is just as robust, with marionberry martinies and “build-your-own bloody mary” options on Sundays. Open for takeout with limited onsite dining, including sidewalk seating.

823 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 588-2224
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Former gastropub Lazy Susan in Queen Anne has reopened as SZN under new owner Jack Cheung. Diners will find similar playful decor and Korean-Mexican snacks on the menu as before, but the drinks side is where the spot really shines, with some inventive twists on classic cocktails, including the potent Muay Thai Kick with a rum float and the Ni Hao Collins with cucumber vodka.

4. The Doctor's Office

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1631 E Olive Way
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 741-7428
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This cozy, 12-seat Capitol Hill bar from actual medical professional Dr. Matthew Powell and bartender Keith Waldbauer, reopened for indoor seating. The main draw is its extensive list of spirits that spans many different prices and countries of origin, including Indian single malts, Japanese brandy, and Peruvian rum. Reservations available through Tock; proof of vaccination required for entry.

A Negroni sits on the bar at the Doctor’s Office on Capitol Hill.
The Doctor’s Office focuses on impeccably-made cocktails from a list that includes rare spirits.
The Doctor’s Office/Instagram

5. Trade Winds Tavern

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2505 2nd Ave Suite 105
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 448-2610
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After five years, Belltown’s award-winning gastropub No Anchor is no more — but the proprietors have replaced it with a retro sports bar. Here, one can find some spins on classic cocktails, such as a Rusty Nail with salted honey, and co-owner Chris Elford has a lot of affection for Amaro Meletti, which the bar has available on draft. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

6. Life On Mars

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722 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 323-9166
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After months of hibernation, Capitol Hill’s throwback vinyl record-themed bar is back this summer. The menu includes refreshing cocktails, such as the Chillwave (gin, amaro nonino, and citrus), along with vegan snacks (jackfruit tacos, cauliflower wings). Music fans can even order albums from the bar’s extensive collection. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

7. Inside Passage

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1108 Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101

At this sibling bar to next door Rumba on Capitol Hill, there’s an over-the-top oceanic fantasy mood, with a giant tentacled sea creature hanging from the ceiling, thatched booths, and a variety of tropical-leaning cocktails in elaborate mugs made for Instagram. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

8. Canon

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928 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Canon is simply one of the premier booze destinations in Seattle, known for an extensive aged spirits selection and expertly crafted drinks. After a long hiatus, it recently reopened with a full menu and indoor seating, serving up classics and some seasonal concoctions, such as the Anning martini (with oyster shell gin) and the Summer Fashioned (with bourbon, rum, apple brandy, and lingonberry). Proof of vaccination required for entry.

A martini on a bar with smoke rising from the glass
The Anning martini is a Canon classic.
Canon/Instagram

9. Olympic Bar

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411 University St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 621-1700
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Downtown’s historic 97-year-old Fairmont Olympic Hotel recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, unveiling its new lobby bar as the centerpiece of the building’s revival. It offers some nautically-themed cocktails, such as the Seattleite (honey vodka, Amaro, and espresso), as well as food such as oysters, lamb meatballs, and falafel tacos.

10. Bad Bishop

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704 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 707-9683
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Bad Bishop feels right at home in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, with its throwback vibe. After staying dormant for most of 2020, it’s once again slinging some excellent twists on classic drinks, including the Bluejay (a Toronto with blueberry and black peppercorn syrup, and habañero shrub). Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test result within 48 hours required for entry.

11. In The Heart

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Alley entrance, 4547 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 384-1710
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A New Orleans-influenced speakeasy recently opened in the back of West Seattle’s Lika Love clothing boutique, with a Big Easy cocktail list that includes Sazeracs, Hurricanes, and Ramos fizzes, along with a few substantial bites. For those who really want to party after shopping, $2 Jell-O shots made with rum and passionfruit juice are on offer as well.

12. Georgetown Liquor Company

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5501 Airport Way S Ste.B
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 402-5367
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The well-loved, vegan and vegetarian-friendly bar got a revival from Alan Threewit, co-owner of Capitol Hill’s heavy metal-influenced den Highline. Its cocktail list is as stellar as ever, with a lavender, soy milk white Russian that even the Dude would love. Meanwhile, the all-vegan food menu features alternative protein takes on pulled pork, reubens, and French dips.

Two cocktails (one red, one peach) in the foreground, with a masked man wearing a baseball cap leaning to the side in the background.
Georgetown Liquor Company features creative drinks and vegan bites.
Georgetown Liquor Company/Instagram

1. Oliver's Twist

6822 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
A closeup of a peach-colored cocktail in a martini glass garnished with grapefruit.
Oliver’s Twist features well-crafted cocktails alongside an excellent menu of Cambodian food.
Oliver’s Twist

This Phinney Ridge neighborhood favorite features potent mezcal, bourbon, and vodka cocktails, including the delightful Old Sally with blackberry-sage shrub and peach liqueur. And the food is not to be missed, as the bar developed an excellent Cambodian menu during the pandemic. It recently reopened for sit-down service both indoors and on a new outdoor patio, and proof of vaccination is required for entry.

6822 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

2. Crumby Sandwich & Spirits

709 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Fremont’s upscale sandwich shop Crumby offers substantial snacks such as crab cake with serrano aioli and steak topped with Walla Walla onions. But the spirits side of the menu is just as robust, with marionberry martinies and “build-your-own bloody mary” options on Sundays. Open for takeout with limited onsite dining, including sidewalk seating.

709 N 35th St
Seattle, WA 98103

3. SZN

823 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Former gastropub Lazy Susan in Queen Anne has reopened as SZN under new owner Jack Cheung. Diners will find similar playful decor and Korean-Mexican snacks on the menu as before, but the drinks side is where the spot really shines, with some inventive twists on classic cocktails, including the potent Muay Thai Kick with a rum float and the Ni Hao Collins with cucumber vodka.

823 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

4. The Doctor's Office

1631 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98102
A Negroni sits on the bar at the Doctor’s Office on Capitol Hill.
The Doctor’s Office focuses on impeccably-made cocktails from a list that includes rare spirits.
The Doctor’s Office/Instagram

This cozy, 12-seat Capitol Hill bar from actual medical professional Dr. Matthew Powell and bartender Keith Waldbauer, reopened for indoor seating. The main draw is its extensive list of spirits that spans many different prices and countries of origin, including Indian single malts, Japanese brandy, and Peruvian rum. Reservations available through Tock; proof of vaccination required for entry.

1631 E Olive Way
Seattle, WA 98102

5. Trade Winds Tavern

2505 2nd Ave Suite 105, Seattle, WA 98121

After five years, Belltown’s award-winning gastropub No Anchor is no more — but the proprietors have replaced it with a retro sports bar. Here, one can find some spins on classic cocktails, such as a Rusty Nail with salted honey, and co-owner Chris Elford has a lot of affection for Amaro Meletti, which the bar has available on draft. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

2505 2nd Ave Suite 105
Seattle, WA 98121

6. Life On Mars

722 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

After months of hibernation, Capitol Hill’s throwback vinyl record-themed bar is back this summer. The menu includes refreshing cocktails, such as the Chillwave (gin, amaro nonino, and citrus), along with vegan snacks (jackfruit tacos, cauliflower wings). Music fans can even order albums from the bar’s extensive collection. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

722 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122

7. Inside Passage

1108 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

At this sibling bar to next door Rumba on Capitol Hill, there’s an over-the-top oceanic fantasy mood, with a giant tentacled sea creature hanging from the ceiling, thatched booths, and a variety of tropical-leaning cocktails in elaborate mugs made for Instagram. Proof of vaccination required for entry.

1108 Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101

8. Canon

928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
A martini on a bar with smoke rising from the glass
The Anning martini is a Canon classic.
Canon/Instagram

Canon is simply one of the premier booze destinations in Seattle, known for an extensive aged spirits selection and expertly crafted drinks. After a long hiatus, it recently reopened with a full menu and indoor seating, serving up classics and some seasonal concoctions, such as the Anning martini (with oyster shell gin) and the Summer Fashioned (with bourbon, rum, apple brandy, and lingonberry). Proof of vaccination required for entry.

928 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

9. Olympic Bar

411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

Downtown’s historic 97-year-old Fairmont Olympic Hotel recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, unveiling its new lobby bar as the centerpiece of the building’s revival. It offers some nautically-themed cocktails, such as the Seattleite (honey vodka, Amaro, and espresso), as well as food such as oysters, lamb meatballs, and falafel tacos.

411 University St
Seattle, WA 98101

10. Bad Bishop

704 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Bad Bishop feels right at home in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, with its throwback vibe. After staying dormant for most of 2020, it’s once again slinging some excellent twists on classic drinks, including the Bluejay (a Toronto with blueberry and black peppercorn syrup, and habañero shrub). Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test result within 48 hours required for entry.

704 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

11. In The Heart

Alley entrance, 4547 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

A New Orleans-influenced speakeasy recently opened in the back of West Seattle’s Lika Love clothing boutique, with a Big Easy cocktail list that includes Sazeracs, Hurricanes, and Ramos fizzes, along with a few substantial bites. For those who really want to party after shopping, $2 Jell-O shots made with rum and passionfruit juice are on offer as well.

Alley entrance, 4547 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

12. Georgetown Liquor Company

5501 Airport Way S Ste.B, Seattle, WA 98108
Two cocktails (one red, one peach) in the foreground, with a masked man wearing a baseball cap leaning to the side in the background.
Georgetown Liquor Company features creative drinks and vegan bites.
Georgetown Liquor Company/Instagram

The well-loved, vegan and vegetarian-friendly bar got a revival from Alan Threewit, co-owner of Capitol Hill’s heavy metal-influenced den Highline. Its cocktail list is as stellar as ever, with a lavender, soy milk white Russian that even the Dude would love. Meanwhile, the all-vegan food menu features alternative protein takes on pulled pork, reubens, and French dips.

5501 Airport Way S Ste.B
Seattle, WA 98108

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