9 Best Bars in Belltown, Seattle

The Crocodile

Fodor's choice

The heart and soul of Seattle's music scene since 1991 has hosted the likes of the Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney, along with countless other bands. There's a reason Rolling Stone once called The Crocodile one of the best small clubs in America. Even now, in new, much larger digs (the main room has a 750-person capacity) not far from the original, The Croc retains its old-school Seattle vibe.

Bathtub Gin & Co.

The speakeasy trend has produced some lovely, intimate bars, including this one, which is reached via a wooden door in an alley next to the Humphrey Apartments (it's actually in the basement of the building). The tiny, shabby-chic bar is a laid-back spot to settle into a couch for a few drinks. Note that despite being a pain in the neck to find, the bar still attracts the hard-partying Belltown crowd on weekends, so go midweek for maximum serenity.

Black Bottle

This sleek and sexy gastro-tavern makes the northern reaches of Belltown look good. The interior is simple but stylish, with black chairs and tables and shiny wood floors. It gets crowded on nights and weekends with a laid-back but often dressed-up clientele. A small selection of beers on tap and a solid wine list (with Washington, Oregon, California, and beyond well represented) will help you wash down the sustainably sourced and creatively presented snacks and shareable dishes, including house-smoked wild boar ribs, pork belly with kimchi, and oysters on the half shell. Vegan and nut-, dairy-, and gluten-free options are plentiful.

Recommended Fodor's Video


A Belltown favorite for great happy-hour deals, this hip, dimly lit space has a come-hither glow thanks to red and white backlighting. An all-day happy hour on Sunday and Monday (or Tuesday to Saturday from 4--6:30 pm and 9--11) means you get half off the yummy food menu (local clams, Angus beef burgers, bacon-wrapped prawns, spicy calamari), plus $22 bottles of wine.

Rob Roy

With its deep selection of dark liquor, low-light ambience, and black leather walls, Rob Roy is a serious-but-inviting cocktail bar. Their original concoctions change four to five times a year, and include drinks like a Saffron Sandalwood Sour. They also feature nonalcoholic cocktails for teetotalers and designated drivers. Goldfish crackers, beef jerky, and chicken meatballs are among the options on the limited food menu, which is half-off during a daily 4--6 pm happy hour that also features drink specials.


It may be one of the diviest bars in Belltown, but Shorty's is a bright spot in a neighborhood where most bars serve $15 cocktails (and the bathrooms happen to be spotless). Along with a come-as-you-are atmosphere, the grown-up arcade features pinball machines and video games, cheap beer and gourmet hot dogs, and lots of no-frills fun.

The Rendezvous

Since it opened in 1926 as an elite screening room for film stars and moguls, Rendezvous has done time as both a porn theater and a dive bar. Today it's settled down as a multipurpose hub with a small theater, a basement bar, a lounge, and a classic dining room. While maintaining the building's 1920s charm, it's been spruced up just enough to suit the new wave of wealthy locals without alienating everyone else. The Jewelbox Theater (live music, comedy, film, burlesque shows) sets it apart from the neighborhood's string of cookie-cutter trendy spots.

The Whisky Bar

One of Belltown's reigning dive bars, this aptly named spot has a jaw-dropping selection of whisky, bourbon, and rye. They also have 24 beers on tap, mostly from West Coast brewers, and a bottle list with beers from around the world. The food menu includes comfort food such as wings, giant pretzels, and burgers. Daily happy hour runs from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.

Umi Sake House

Choose from a wide selection of sake and sake-based cocktails in a space designed to look like someone shoehorned a real izakaya (a sake house that also serves substantial snacks) into a Belltown building—there's even an enclosed patio and a tatami room that can be reserved for larger parties. The sushi is good, and there's a very long happy hour offered at one of the bar areas. Umi is less of a meat market than some Belltown spots—unless you're here late on a Friday or Saturday night.