The 10 Best Bars In Madrona, Seattle

Catrina Pang

Seattle’s cozy residential neighborhood Madrona is perhaps better known for its community of families than for its burgeoning restaurant and bar scene. Yet, residents needn’t look far for comfortable spots to enjoy Happy Hour deals and spectacular eateries with quality food. Whether you’re searching for the perfect wines to complement a lovely dinner or a laid-back neighborhood bar, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best bars in and around the Madrona area.

1. St. Clouds

Restaurant, South American, Cocktails

St. Clouds, Seattle
© Elizabeth Phung/Flickr
With an eclectic mix of traditional home-style comfort food and contemporary seasonal cooking, as well as delicious hand-crafted cocktails and local wines, St. Clouds has become a favorite among the neighborhood’s restaurants since it opened in the early 2000s. The restaurant has a reputation for having one of the best happy hours in the city, serving all beer, wine by the glass, and cocktails for half the price from 5-6:30pm on weeknights. The waiters and bartenders are known for being very knowledgable about the wine list and making excellent pairing recommendations, as well as constantly keeping patrons’ glasses full. People love the elaborate selection of red, white, sparkling, and dessert wines, in addition to the great offerings of bottled beers and unique cocktails like the Thai Lemon Drop and PNW Sazerac. The restaurant also features great live music every Friday, Saturday, and Monday night, making it a popular hangout for locals.

2. Hi Spot Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, American, Contemporary, Vegetarian, Coffee, Tea

Hi-Spot Cafe, WA
© Charyn Pfeuffer/Flickr
The popular Madrona brunch spot Hi Spot Cafe is known not only for its amazing cinnamon rolls, omelettes, sourdough toast, and other breakfast items, but also for its fantastic cocktails. Patrons love to complete their tasty brunches with the perfectly spicy Bloody Marys, pint-sized mimosas, or any of the other wonderful concoctions made with freshly squeezed juice. The café offers the perfect environment in which to enjoy a morning brunch while sipping on a refreshing drink out on the lovely patio. If you’re a fan of homemade scones, breakfast burritos, french toast, made-to-order omelettes, spicy corned beef hash, green eggs and ham, foamy lattes, and of course, a full bar, you’ll find a home at Hi Spot Café. Set in a comfy and cute two-story house, the café is super family-friendly and attracts people from all over Seattle, so it’s best to get there early if you don’t want your favorite bakery items to be sold out.

3. Bottlehouse

Bar, Cheesemonger, Wine Bar, Wine, Beer

Bottlehouse, Seattle
© McD22/Flickr
Owned by local wine curators, Bottlehouse is a gallery of favorite wines from around the Pacific Northwest. There, visitors can sample wines by the taste, glass, or through a variety of custom flights. Highlighting a revolving menu of handpicked wines from the Pacific Northwest and around the world, Bottlehouse is also one of the first establishments in Seattle to offer wine on tap. The tasting bar features four rotating selections, all of which are from the region, and provides an opportunity to pour (or pull) quality wine by the glass, with little to no waste. In addition to the wine, Bottlehouse also showcases revolving microbrews with a focus on Pacific Northwest offerings. They have an ever-growing list of hard ciders from Washington, Oregon, and sometimes rare finds from Europe. To go along with the excellent drinks, the tasting bar also offers small plates including artisan cheeses and cured meats handpicked by the resident Cheesemonger. There is even a Shoppe selling a wide and unique selection of wine by the bottle perfect for taking home or giving as gifts.

4. Vendemmia

Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Mexican, Wine, Beer

Vendemmia, Seattle
© Jeff Sandquist/Flickr
In a simple, modern establishment with a small bar and an open kitchen allowing guests to view chefs cooking incredible Italian-inspired meals, Vendemmia offers high quality ingredients seasoned to perfection and a wonderful selection of wines. Beautiful appetizers of beets with pear and goat cheese, Dungeness crab and sugar snap pea salad, and green beens with an excellent balance of salt, oil, and char wow all of the restaurant’s visitors. In addition, the melt-in-your-mouth black cod entree is incredibly popular. The chef also offers an amazing tasting menu and wine pairing that locals often opt for when dining out. The wine selection includes sparkling, white, rosé, and red, in addition to bottled whites and reds. The bar also serves several great cocktails, like the ‘Madrona’s Perfect Man’ with bourbon, Averna, Luxardo, Maraschino, and Martini Dry, and the ‘Salty Sicilian’ with dry gin, Linie aquavit, and Dolin Blanc. A few Italian beers, along with the local Pike Heirloom Amber Ale, are also offered, and they even have Mexican Coca-Cola.

5. The Neighbor Lady

Bar, Pub, Vegetarian, Beer

The Neighbor Lady, Seattle
© quite peculiar/Flickr
Good food, affordable drinks, and a chill, unpretentious atmosphere are all characteristics that make The Neighbor Lady a local favorite. This comforting and casual classic bar specializes in healthy pub fare, with extraordinary dishes like miso glazed salmon, chicken in cumin-heavy lentil curry, maple whiskey steak over mustard greens and parsnip puree, and gluten-free crepes, just to name a few. The tap selection rotates every now and then, featuring some of the usual Pacific Northwest favorites like Black Raven, Double Mountain, and Anthem. There is also usually a drink special every night that is a pretty good deal. Locals love this spot for hanging out and catching up with friends over a meal and a couple of drinks, thanks to the great prices and convivial atmosphere conducive to conversation and having a great time. The bar even has a pool table and a side room with an arcade that includes games including two pinball machines and Ms. Pacman. Trivia nights, five dollar mimosas and Bloody Marys on Sundays, cool decorations like a leg lamp and vintage wallpaper, and a great vegetarian menu have quickly turned visitors into regulars.

6. The Twilight Exit

Bar, American

The Twilight Exit, Seattle
© Faisal Akram/Flickr
People from all over Seattle love coming to the divey hangout spot The Twilight Exit, thanks to its affordable drinks, pinball machines, jukebox, shuffleboard, photobooth, and surprisingly exceptional burgers, tater tots, wings, and fish and chips. There is lots of seating both inside and out to accommodate everyone, and the large back patio even has a ping pong table perfect for endless games on a nice day. When it’s too hot or rainy outside, visitors can retreat into the bar, which has great arcade games, tables and booths, funky lamps, and vintage oil paintings on the walls. Locals also know the bar as the best place to go to celebrate a birthday because of the 32-ounce stein of free hard liquor given to the birthday person. The bar tends to be frequented by the hipster crowd, especially on Sunday Karaoke nights. Happy hour goes all the way until 8pm and features great prices on PBR Drafts, Draft Ales, and Wells.

7. Bar Cantinetta

Bar, Restaurant, Cocktails, Beer, Italian

Bar Cantinetta, Seattle
© Yelp Inc./Flickr
A small, intimate restaurant with a beautifully decorated interior complete with gorgeous chandeliers, Bar Cantinetta specializes in Tuscan culinary traditions, authentic handmade pasta, and seasonal organic ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. The bar sits right next to the kitchen, where visitors have the opportunity to watch as all of the food is prepared and the cooks make everything from scratch. There is also a wonderful outdoor deck, perfect for enjoying warm Seattle nights with a selection from the restaurant’s amazing wine list and a memorable meal. The cute and cozy decor matched with romantic candle lighting make the restaurant perfect for a date night or gathering of close friends and family. Servers make great suggestions for wine pairings, and patrons love the cocktails and beer offerings as well. In addition, many guests have had the chance to chat with the lovely husband and wife owners and learn a bit about the restaurant and its chef. Late at night, the restaurant has also been known to have great dancing and music, along with plenty of wine, of course.

8. The BottleNeck Lounge

Bar, Beer, Cocktails

The BottleNeck Lounge, Seattle
© Anne Petersen/Flickr
On Valentine’s Day in 2007, The BottleNeck Lounge opened with the goal of becoming the best little neighborhood bar in Seattle. Since then, the 845-square-foot watering hole has garnered accolades for its laid-back atmosphere, superb cocktails, and unusually outgoing staff. Locals who live within walking distance and visitors looking for an independent locally owned spot in which to relax all find a home at The BottleNeck. Its four rotating taps feature award-winning beers and ciders brewed predominantly within 60 miles of the bar’s front door, and an array of locally distilled spirits can be found on the shelves. Patrons also love the great cocktails and draft beers. In addition, the bar offers a full menu featuring bar snacks and panini sandwiches available daily from 4pm until 2am, including the wildly popular truffle butter popcorn. There is even a side room that can be reserved for larger parties of up to 30 people. Happy Hour features four dollar pints of craft beer and cider, four dollar well drinks, and five dollar glasses of select wines. There’s also Manhattan Mondays, Twelve Buck Tuesdays, and Nintendo Game Night on Sundays. It’s always packed and is a great place to make new friends or catch up with old ones.

9. Two Doors Down

Bar, Restaurant, American

Two Doors Down, Seattle
© Ville Oksanen/Flickr
Owned and managed by The BottleNeck Lounge owners Erin Nestor and Rebecca Denk, Two Doors Down just opened in September 2015 but has quickly gained popularity. Featuring a split level design, soaring windows, wood-clad walls, and colorful drop lighting, the space caters not only to local families, but also to beer fans from across the city searching for the less commonly available offerings from Northwestern breweries. There, guests can linger at the bright blue counter while watching the kitchen crew work, or they can enjoy seating in a cozy booth or at the twenty tap bar top. The bar also has a communal table perfect for families and large groups, with an ideal vantage point for watching sports games on the flat screen. People with gluten-free or vegan diets rejoice because of the gluten-free buns and bread available on all orders and vegan patty that can replace the beef burgers, as well as the gluten-free beer available on draft. In addition, the bar has a rotating selection of craft ciders, Crater Lake Root Beer on draft, glass pours of house wine, and an array of nonalcoholic beverages such as Dry Soda and Stumptown Cold Brew.

10. Thudsuan Kitchen & Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Thai, Beer

Married couple Boyd and Ae opened Thudsuan Kitchen & Bar to bring to the neighborhood their own take on modern Thai cuisine with traditional influences. Their hope is to transport guests to an elegant hotel bar around Thailand, where they would enjoy an appetizer of handmade roti with yellow curry sauce, Thai flank steak marinated in traditional spices, rice powder, and fish sauce, crispy noodles swimming in a pumpkin chicken curry broth, and a dessert of pandang ice cream. Their goal is to delight the senses and take people on a savory, salty, sour, and sweet journey that will bring to mind the best memories of Thailand. The restaurant is also home to a beautiful full bar serving up great beer on tap, like the hard-to-find Asahi, as well as tasty and unique Thai-inspired handcrafted cocktails, like the Tom Yum Lemon Drop made with House Infused Tom Yum Vodka (lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir leaves), Triple Sec, Sweet & Sour, and house infused vanilla sugar on the rim. They also offer a great selection of Thudsuan sake cocktails, like the Sake Sunrise with Hakushika Pineapple Sake, orange juice, and Grenadine.

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