Late-night eateries are an important part of Seattle’s culture. Its burgeoning music scene is well complemented by the accompanying bars and food spots. For those craving something beyond cream cheese hot dogs and Dick’s Drive-In, here’s our list of the places to keep in mind when cruising through the streets of Seattle after hours.
Ba Bar offers Vietnamese food inspired by street food in Saigon. With gourmet pho, killer cocktails, the house specialty of banh cuon, and pastries made fresh daily, the options are not only delicious but also varied. As a late-night spot, it’s extra awesome with its Late Night Happy Hour. Ba Bar has two other locations—one in South Lake Union and one in the University Village—but both close earlier than the one on Capitol Hill.
An omelette at Beth’s Cafe | Courtesy of Beth’s Cafe
Starting as a nickel slots gambling parlor back when it was founded in 1954, Beth’s Cafe is your typical 24-hour American diner—greasy, large portions, and breakfast served all day. In fact, at Beth’s, the entire menu is available all day, including for takeout. If you’re brave enough, try their famous 12-egg omelette!
Mario Vellotti, a.k.a. Big Mario, moved to New York from Naples in 1964. He’s been making pizza pretty much ever since. First, he made pizza all over New York, and now he’s brought New York-style pizza to Seattle. With pizza by the slice, whole pies, and a full bar, this place on Capitol Hill will take care of you. You can also find them in Fremont or on Queen Anne, though they won’t be open quite as late.
Café Presse is the product of two people passionate about French food, culture, and lifestyle. Bringing the French bar/café scene to Seattle, Café Presse is open until 2 am with an After Hours Happy Hour from 11 pm to 1:30 am. With house-made pastries, affordable French wine, and classic Parisian café dishes, the decade-old Café Presse is an excellent option on Capitol Hill for a place to relax late at night.
Grassfed Beef Burger with Gruyere, Portobello, and Bacon | Photo Credit, Nate Watters
Damn the Weather, named cleverly after both a cocktail and a typical Seattle sentiment, is a louche cocktail bar that twists traditional pub food into delightful deviations. The brick building in Seattle’s oldest neighborhood is a classic setting for daring dishes such as fried chicken skins or a spaghetti and meatball burger. Staying open until the wee hours on the weekend, patrons will find that unusual dishes never tasted so good.
This neighborhood bar offers generously portioned diner food all day and prides itself on being a contributing member of its community, staying active in philanthropy and creating an inclusive atmosphere within its walls. While the diner is open 24/7, the bar is open from 6 am to 2 am daily, and the food knows no limits. Check out Lost Lake for a quick drink, 4 am waffles, and everything in between.
A Tom Douglas restaurant, Palace Kitchen is a great late-night option. From handcrafted cheese to meats being roasted on the applewood grill (which you can watch in their open kitchen layout), the restaurant offers its full menu until 1 am. Other options include private dining for events or enjoying their happy hour during the week for a quick dish of fried chili mac bites.
Rancho Bravo Tacos started as a taco truck in 2012, and its philosophy from the beginning has been that quality food should be affordable. Having now expanded into four restaurants in Seattle, including on Cap Hill and The Ave as well as in Fremont and Wallingford, the truck is still available for catering. Closing times vary depending on location, but on Cap Hill, you will find them eager to serve customers as late as 3 am on Friday and Saturday.
Rocco’s may offer pizza by the slice, but compared to their cocktail program, the delicious pizza becomes more of a bonus than the main item. Don’t misunderstand: a ton of love goes into the pizza, including local and artisan products, many of which (i.e., sauces, dressings, dough, ricotta, and sausage) are made from scratch—which should give you an idea of just how incredible their bar scene is. Available every night as late as legally possible, check out Rocco’s bar for an extensive liquor list and an impressive array of beers.
With “alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929,” The 5 Point Cafe is the oldest existing bar in Belltown. Welcoming, witty, and unafraid to ruffle feathers to help out the community, the previous owners worked hard to build this dive bar and diner into a second home for their neighbors. The entire menu is offered all day, every day, with large portions at affordable prices. An extra treat is a periscope in the men’s bathroom that provides a view of the Space Needle.