Gallery: Where Bartenders Drink in Seattle, WA

Jamie Boudreau, Canon
Jamie Boudreau, Canon

Favorite Dive Bar: Hooverville. Two words: cheap whiskey! And by that I mean good whiskey that is cheap.

1721 1st Avenue South, Seattle WA 98134 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: There is only one place in Seattle, and I'd be stunned if there is anyone who says otherwise (either at their ignorance or mine): Brouwer's. C'mon is there a better selection? And I mean better, not bigger.

400 North 35th Street, Seattle WA 98103 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: For here I go to the best kept secret in Seattle: the Canlis lounge. They have a reputation for being expensive, but if you sit in the bar/lounge, not only do you get the magical experience of Walt's piano, but an amazing cocktail menu and bar food at prices comparable to many hotspots in town. And then there's the wine list. You don't win as many wine awards as Canlis does without having a bottle or two of amazing stuff, and if you're not sure of what you're looking for, the staff will direct you to delights that you may have never thought to consider.

2576 Aurora Avenue North, Seattle WA 98109 (map)

[Photo courtesy Jaime Boudreau]

Erik Hakkinen, Zig Zag
Erik Hakkinen, Zig Zag

Favorite Cocktail Bar: I live in Eastlake, and as great as the Downtown and Capitol Hill cocktail options are, I'll put the drinks at Ravish and Serafina/Cicchetti up against them anytime. The bar staffs at all three of these places are great.

Ravish: 2956 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle WA 98102 (map)

Serafina: 2043 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle WA 98102 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: The Zoo Tavern, hands down. Buck Hunter and Zoo Metal on Thursdays?

2301 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle WA 98102 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: I hit Bottleworks on 45th weekly, if not more. If there are more knowledgeable beer guys in Seattle, I don't want to know them.

1710 North 45th Street #3, Seattle WA 98103 (map)

[Photo courtesy Erik Hakkinen]

Keith Waldbauer, Liberty
Keith Waldbauer, Liberty

Favorite Cocktail Bar: For the whole package—food, spirits and cocktails—my favorites are Barrio and Zig Zag.

Barrio: 420 12th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122 (map)

Zig Zag: 1501 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: I've always loved the Pacific Inn. The fish and chips are the best in the city, killer jukebox and a pool table, virtually all of the prerequisites for dive bar greatness.

3501 Stone Way North, Seattle WA 98103 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: One of my favorite restaurants in the city, Cafe Campagne, does a very good job in introducing me to the right French wine for my food.

1600 Post Alley, Seattle WA 98101 (map)

Veronika Groth, Poppy
Veronika Groth, Poppy

Favorite Cocktail Bar: If I am in the mood to be with a group and social, Oliver's Twist. A great neighborhood vibe, and delicious original cocktails.

6822 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle WA 98103 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: Hands down, the Baranof. This place is a mix of every kind of drinker imaginable, and the characters there are astounding! I always tell the story of how I got beat at pool by a one armed man (TRUE), the wooden boat builder turned prostitute, oh and the same waitress there for eons. Notice the running mascara and wobbly walk from joining in too many shots. Stiff drinks and loose bar stools.

8549 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle WA 98103 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: Feierabend. I am of German heritage and I like that when upon exiting this place I can say "Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke' and am immediately returned with "hoi, hoi, hoi", by almost every patron in the place. Cheesy, yes, but gets me all happy.

422 Yale Avenue North, Seattle WA 98109 (map)

[Photo courtesy Veronika Groth]

Jay Kuehner, Sambar
Jay Kuehner, Sambar

Favorite Cocktail Bar: If I catch Erik Hakkinen at Zig Zag after getting off the Bainbridge ferry, and Liverpool has won, and there's Picon, then that's my favorite (cocktail) bar.

1501 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: It doesn't quite fall into Seattle area, but the Cockatoo Chicken Lounge in Federal Way is kind of crazy.

33130 Pacific Highway South, Federal Way WA 98003 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: Mexican beer in a can is the way to go. But if it's fancy beer, I go for the Dray. They don't play as much Spanish football on the telly as I'd like, but that place is just great.

708 Northwest 65th Street, Seattle WA 98117 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: Gotta love Café Presse for wine because they pour it affordably, as it should be. And yeah, the French still do make good wine, in spite of what someone's aunt in Walla Walla told you.

1117 12th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122 (map)

[Photo courtesy Jay Kuehner]

Andrew Friedman, Liberty
Andrew Friedman, Liberty

Favorite Cocktail Bar: Barrio because Casey Robison is an outstanding host and bartender.

420 12th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: The Stumbling Monk in Capitol Hill on Olive is a beer geek heaven. They always have some of the most interesting beers that I've only seen there.

1635 East Olive Way, Seattle WA 98102 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: Check out the wines at Almquist Family Vintners, which is attached to the Book Bindery. Really tasty wines, really nice people.

198 Nickerson Street, Seattle WA 98109 (map)

[Photo courtesy Andrew Friedman]

Casey Robison, Barrio
Casey Robison, Barrio

Favorite Cocktail Bar: Liberty. They’ve done such an awesome job of building a world-class cocktail and spirits program. There's no other place in Seattle to drink a perfectly made, well-thought-out cocktail and listen to loud, fast music, and eat great sushi, all at the same time. Liberty is a really special, unique place.

517 15th Avenue East, Seattle WA 98112 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: The Clever Dunnes Irish House. I worked there for three years and learned nearly everything I know about being a bartender while working there. The staff is like family to me, I still know a lot of the regulars from back in the day, and it's just a great place to watch the latest MMA fight and drink a cold beer and a shot of tequila.

1501 East Olive Way, Seattle WA 98122 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: Along with making good cocktails, Tommy Gun, on Olive Way does a really great job of keeping a really good rotating selection of craft beers.

1703 East Olive Way, Seattle WA 98102 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: I think Marché in the market has a really fantastic selection, and the fact that they offer samples of the really good stuff is a big winner for me.

86 Pine Street, Seattle WA 98101 (map)

[Photo courtesy Casey Robison]

Evan Martin, Naga/Chantanee
Evan Martin, Naga/Chantanee

Favorite Cocktail Bar: I will say I'm happy to see Vessel back in action.

624 Olive Way, Seattle WA 98101 (map); 206-623-3325;

Favorite Place for Beer: The Beer Junction. I think about 20 rotating taps with a decent-sized lounge. Or drink while you shop what I think is the best beer selection in Seattle, and it's all refrigerated. Plus, the staff is great and it's just up the street from me.

4511 California Avenue Southwest, Seattle WA 98116 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: My last truly memorable dinner with wine, I'd have to say, was probably Cafe Juanita.

9702 Northeast 120th Place, Kirkland WA 98034 (map)

[Photo: Rachel Strawn Thibodeaux]

Jim Romdall, Vessel
Jim Romdall, Vessel

Favorite Cocktail Bar: Canon, because they have booze I haven't tried before.

928 12th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: Shorty's, because duh, pinball and hot dogs.

2222 2nd Avenue, Seattle WA 98121 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: This is a tougher one because this has more to do with food than the actual wine. I admire small, reasonably priced wine lists, for this I really enjoy the wine program at Ethan Stowell's restaurants, each focusing on what fits the food. If I have to pick one, Tavolata.

2323 2nd Avenue, Seattle WA 98121 (map)

Travis Stanley-Jones, Mulleady's
Travis Stanley-Jones, Mulleady's

Favorite Cocktail Bar: Zig Zag. Liquor selection is still top notch and it’s a place bartenders go to try out or test liquor we don't have but want. Bartenders are great in a mature, confident, laid-back way. Jazzy music, roses on the bar, and (shhhh) not crowded!

1501 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: The Roanoke on Mercer Island. Most folks don't know about it, but it is absolutely aces and has remained unchanged in the 15 years I've been going there. Clientele is diverse, beer is cheap-ish, and the ambiance is among the best in the Seattle area. Also enjoy a quick stop into the Golden City (aka ‘Golden Shitty’) in Ballard...tough to turn down food served with a sterno (for heating purposes) and bartenders missing teeth.

1825 72nd Avenue Southeast, Mercer Island WA 98040 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: The source...Schooner Exact, Fremont, Maritime, and Two Beers all have great tasting rooms and usually pretty cool one-offs that they'll glad fill a growler with. For the price, the ability to talk to brew staff, the aroma of beer brewing, you just can’t beat our local breweries.

Schooner Exact: 3901 1st Avenue South, Seattle WA 98134(map)

Fremont Brewing: 3409 Woodland Park Avenue North, Seattle WA 98103 (map)

Maritime: 1111 Northwest Ballard Way, Seattle WA 98107(map)

Two Beers: 4700 Ohio Avenue South, Seattle WA 98134(map)

Favorite Place for Wine: Easy: Bottlehouse in Madrona. Awesome space, good vibe, and nice variety of wine in terms of cost, region, etc. They usually have a few quirky and delicious cocktails with wine as a base, which are always neat. When Jameson Fink is working he has not only a great palate and excellent knowledge, but a zeal for wine and can educate in a very un-snobbish way.

1416 34th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122 (map)

Erik Carlson, Bastille
Erik Carlson, Bastille

Favorite Dive Bar: On Ballard Ave there are 2 institutions that have been doing the same thing since before I was born, Hattie’s Hat and The Smoke Shop. They've had the same people drinking there for 40 plus years and I'm sure not much has changed, ‘nuff said.

Hattie’s Hat: 5231 Ballard Avenue Northwest, Seattle WA 98107(map)

The Smoke Shop: 5439 Ballard Avenue Northwest, Seattle WA 98107 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: Stop by the Hilliard's Brewery and plop down in their tasting room and watch the canned magic happen right before your eyes. Great beers and awesome hospitality!

1550 Northwest 49th Street, Seattle WA 98107 (map)

[Photo courtesy Erik Carlson]

Kevin Langmack, Vessel
Kevin Langmack, Vessel

Favorite Cocktail Bar: Sun Liquor Lounge. I worked there for three-and-a-half years and it's still a bar I feel very much at home going to. The staff there makes solid scratch cocktails.

607 Summit Avenue East, Seattle WA 98102 (map)

Favorite Dive Bar: The Lookout is my go-to. They have a trivia night, a karaoke night, $5 pitcher night, $10 industry steak night, brunch on the weekends, a great view from the patio out back, pinball, sports on TV usually, and always have a tallboy and shot of whiskey for $5.

757 Bellevue Ave E, Seattle WA 98102 (map)

Favorite Place for Beer: Pine Box on Capitol Hill. They have a device called a Randall that allows them to infuse different beers. I've had a summer wheat ale infused with orange peel and clove and a double chocolate stout infused with espresso beans, which were both one of a kind.

1600 Melrose Avenue, Seattle WA 98122 (map)

Anu Apte, Rob Roy
Anu Apte, Rob Roy

Favorite Dive Bar: Mecca. The bartenders are fast, hilarious, and they really know what customer service means.

526 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle WA 98109 (map)

Favorite Place for Wine: Walrus and Carpenter, for their carefully curated wine list and relaxed ambiance.

4743 Ballard Avenue Northwest, Seattle WA 98107 (map)

[Photo courtesy Anu Apte]