Location can make or break a first date, and it’s a good idea to have a few great places up your sleeve for when you match with a Tinder cutie and need to show off your local expertise. But if you haven’t been around Seattle long, or you’re venturing into a neighborhood outside your usual scene, we’ve got you covered with great ideas that offer both an authentically Seattle experience and a little bit of adventure. After all, the fastest way to create a bond is to try something new together—here’s a list of places you can meet for a drink and create memories neither of you will soon forget.
Ducking into this Queen Anne bar feels like stepping out of a time machine and into a 1920s speakeasy. Park of the MarQueen Hotel building, which was built in 1918 as a school to retrain blacksmiths for the Ford assembly plant on Lake Union, Tin Lizzie has an antique bar, Prohibition-era cocktails, and a pressed-tin ceiling. We recommend going on a Sunday for live jazz and having the Wine & Cheese Selection, and if you try one of their Manhattans, you’ll never want to have one anywhere else again.
If you like the idea of a cozy wine bar destination, but you’re worried because you don’t actually know very much about wine, this is the spot for you. Located on Phinney Ridge, this wine bar prides itself in having an affordable, approachable take on wine and dining. You can go for dinner—they have four kinds of mac and cheese—or just to sample wines from around the world. And if you want to have a really memorable date, go on Monday to slurp down some oysters!
Though you’ll definitely want to check if your date is vegetarian first, this intimate Capitol Hill secret overlooks Cal Anderson and offers an array of cured meats with an excellent wine list to boot. Have the classics like prosciutto or salami, but be sure to share something a little more left-field, like the smoked duck breast or nduja, a spreadable spicy sausage. Their daily drink specials are a great way to explore an inspired cocktail menu, like Sunday’s New Orleans French.
If you want to have a lot of fun, and maybe not a lot of quiet conversation, try Shorty’s, a Coney Island-themed bar in Belltown with arcade games galore, cheap beer, and a riotous crowd. To get the most of the Shorty’s experience, we recommend going on a Monday night from 6-8pm to watch their live satellite feed of WWE wrestling.
Do you remember how couples in the 1950s would go on dates to the local diner and split a burger and a chocolate malt? Americana, in North Capitol Hill, offers a 21st century grown-up twist on this nostalgic date recipe. Their food menu takes classic American cuisine and adds a gourmet reinvention, like the duck confit nachos or the chicken Andouille corndogs, and they make boozy milkshakes in flavors like Bourbon Maple or Vivace Liqueur. And their cocktail menu, though pricey, is superb.