Seattle Bars and Clubs - Seattle Dive Bars

The best part about the diviest of Seattle's dive bars is that, almost without exception, somebody there will be drunker than you. This means that it's pretty hard to make a complete fool of yourself, which is good when getting totally sloshed is on the agenda. As dive bar regulars know, jukeboxes are the alters of the bar. Regulars all claim that their favorite dive has the best juke box in Seattle, and without trying them all it's hard to disagree. Of course, cheap and strong drinks are equally important for a dive bar to succeed. Al's Tavern is a laid-back Seattle dive that isn't afraid to serve drinks strong enough to make the most hardened regulars cough. Pike Street's Comet Tavern has been a Seattle favorite ever since it gained the reputation of serving powerful drinks on the cheap, or ever since it opened. Fans of the dive bar will be more than satisfied with Seattle's plentiful options.
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Alki Tavern

1321 Harbor Ave. SW, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.932.9970
The Alki Tavern is exactly what a Seattle dive bar should be. A gaggle of interesting and friendly regulars, under the boozed up tutelage of the bartenders, start commandeering the barstools right after work and don't vacate until last call and the view from the Alki Tavern, fueled by hordes of liquor or not, is one of the best of Seattle. The drinks at this local dive are served fast, furious and cheap—sort of like the Alki Tavern's food—try to catch 'em on Thursdays for tacos.

Al's Tavern

2303 N 45th St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.545.9959
A beer soaked dive bar in Seattle, Al's Tavern, even though it's being invaded by local hipsters seeking that ever-alluring dive bar vibe, still mostly caters to its core following of blue-collar regulars just as Al's has done for years. This laid back Seattle bar, although steeped in timelessness from the décor and atmosphere to the eclectic jukebox—a dive bar staple—recently got some modern amenities in the form of a pinball machine and Galaga, games that you can play well even without putting down Al's Tavern only offerings: ice cold beer.

Ballard Smoke Shop

5439 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.784.6611
Dark and smokey with drinks stiffer than your Viagra popping granddad and a true Seattle dive bar classic, the Ballard Smoke Shop is loaded with appeal and, blessedly, severely lacking of any attitude or pretensions. The core regulars at the Ballard Smoke Shop are still comprised of the blue-collar crew that began drinking here at this Seattle bar's inception. The jukebox, like those in all great dive bars, is composed of every eclectic musical styling from the forties to now and the Ballard Smoke Shop even offers a dining area appropriately named the Ember Room that serves up booze soaking bar food. Lately, a few Seattle hipsters in the know have discovered the Ballard Smoke Shop and begun starting their liver destroying nights out here, which is cool as long as the club mass wannabes from the surrounding Ballard Street joints don't start flocking in to overly saturate the vibe with energy drinks and apple martinis.

Bit Saloon

4818 17th Ave. NW, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.782.1680
The Bit Saloon is a great Seattle dive bar with a mixed crowds of old school boozers and new wave hipsters that crowd in for the friendly vibes and the cheap cocktails. Also, the Bit Saloon has all of your favorite dive bar trappings, besides the heavy handed cheap drinks, like arcade games and a pool table if you need those sorts of distractions while taxing your liver.


4201 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.634.3161
We firmly believe that dive bars are the best places to get sauced in and the Buckaroo in Seattle is definitely not a disappointment in any of the important factors that go in to the great dive bar equation. First off, the Buckaroo has a classic dive bar name—slightly misleading without any designations as to what it provides. Secondly the cast of hard-core drinkers at this Seattle dive bar is as blue-collar as they come and everybody heartily pounds the booze. So, you take those two and then multiply it by the wallet friendly pricing structure inherent in dive bars and factor in the beat down décor comprised of falling apart booths carved up with witty euphemisms and there you have it, math geniuses, the Buckaroo equals great dive bar fun in Seattle. Oh, almost forgot to use the exponents of 25-cent hotdog Mondays and free pool Sundays...someone bring us another beer and a damn calculator.

Comet Tavern

922 E Pike St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.323.9853
The Comet Tavern is probably the most comfortable neighborhood dive bar in Seattle where regulars from the bars inception in the late forties rub elbows with newbie drinkers cutting their proverbial teeth here. The service is always great at the Comet Tavern, the drinks are always stiff and the only foods available are the dive bar staples of nuts and chips. Even if you haven't been to Seattle in a while—heck, or never at all—if you're into just drinking in comfort, meeting good people and getting sauced while having a great time then you'll probably end up drinking your nights away at the Comet.

Five Point Café

415 Cedar St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.441.4777
The Five Point Café, hands down one of Seattle's best dive bars, starts pouring their liver destroying, cross eye inducing, make you want to stagger home to mommy cocktails at the simply obscene hour of 6am. So if a beer and a shot or booze on the rocks with the mixer barely waved over the glass is your wake up call then the Five Point is your alarm clock. Seriously, this Seattle bar rocks all day and night long with boozers, young and old, who enjoy—like us—using bars for their expressed purpose: getting freakin' sauced and having a great time doing it. Make no mistake about it, the Five Point isn't for the faint of heart, the poseurs, the metro froufrou wannabes or the martini and a nosh crowd; it's, as the sign reads, for alcoholics serving alcoholics. Speaking of food stuffs, the Five Point Café's kitchen is open 24 hours, serving delicious greasy spoon style diner grub that is really a few steps above any other late night options. Think about it, the bar closes at 2am and opens at 6am, but the café is open for the four hours in-between...put in a shower and we're freakin' moving in.

High Dive

513 N. 36th St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.632.0212
The High Dive satisfies three of the basic needs of life: stiff drinks, inexpensive grubbin' barbecue and live rock and roll. This Seattle local bar seriously does those three staples extremely well, the drinks are always quick and strong from the unbelievably long bar, the kitchen pumps out food that's a step above most other joints and if you dig some loud ass alternative, indie, punk, pure rock or country, you've found your new hangout in the High Dive. The owner of High Dive's strong booking skills allows live music junkies to see up and coming local bands for a pittance—and like we said, you're not going to spend that much on the tab either—so, give this Seattle live music club and bar major value points across the board.

Jimmy Woo's Jade Pagoda Restaurant

606 Broadway E, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.322.5900
Although the Chinese food at Jimmy Woo's Jade Pagoda Restaurant may not be up to culinary snuff, this ain't the Seattle dining page so we'll leave that review to our resident gastronomes, you're reason for visiting our happy little corner of the web is for Seattle bar info; right? Well, the Jade Pagoda is one of the best retro kitschy dive bars in Seattle without trying to be a retro kitschy dive bar. Walking through the airlock door to the lounge at the Jade Pagoda is like going through to another freakin' world. There's curious hipsters lounging at the bar elbow to pint with aging queens, young metros, punks, piercers, all manner of freaks and geeks, boozers, etc...Jade Pagoda decidedly has the best amalgamation of Seattle bar hounds and you too can slip into freak show anonymity over a few of their more than potent cocktails and hear what the little voices inside your head have been screaming.

Linda's Tavern

707 E. Pine St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.325.1220
More familiar than your 1984 Misfits tour shirt and about as worn, Linda's Tavern is a Seattle neighborhood bar hangout for the punk and tattooed set for heady drinks and home spun food against a backdrop of killer tunes. This hip, but wholly casual Seattle bar also has one of the best back patios around that starts getting packed early in the afternoon and usually stays that way until the unfortunate tolling of the last call bells. Local DJs, spinning solid rock and country to surf, punk and garage, keep Linda's Tavern rocking when the jukebox filled with all your dive bar favorites needs a breather and those in the know hipsters snack on grilled cheese sandwiches or the best meatloaf sandwich you've ever had and crowd this local Seattle bar on Sunday mornings for the best kept drunken brunch secret in town....okay, not so secret anymore.

Mecca Café

526 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.285.9728
The Mecca Café is a Seattle dive bar institution due to its liver destroying, blast you outta the bar stool pours—served 6am to 2am—and its excellent greasy spoon diner fare all served to you at prices that don't hurt the wallet. The Mecca Café gets undeniably packed with a amalgamation of loyal neighborhood boozers from hipster to blue-collar tipping a few back and the ultra-narrow space sometimes makes this Seattle bar feel more cramped than it already is, but everything is so good at Mecca that you soon forget the confines. Also, the kitchen at the Mecca Café is open 24 hours so you can grab some booze soaking food and stumble it on home to catch a few Z's before you turn around and do it all again. If this little recipe for success sounds familiar it's because Mecca Café is the sister bar to another great Seattle dive bar, the Five Point.

Nite Lite Restaurant

2D Virginia St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.448.4852
The Nite Lite Restaurant is a venerable downtown Seattle dive bar that's known throughout the land for having some of the most dangerously potent cocktails around. The regulars and staff fling barbs back and forth like they've known each other all of their lives and they probably have, even newbies are made to feel right at home. Heck, with cheaper than a dime store harlot's perfume drinks that seriously make your eyes bug out; how can anyone not feel at home? The décor and attitude, like many a dive bar in Seattle, at the Nite Lite is retro garage sale unintended kitsch good natured heavy boozer and if you've followed along with the thematic dive bar staple, we don't have to tell you how good the jukebox is.
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